Large slum, poor living conditions.

Quando la Disuguaglianza Uccide

NEW YORK – Questa settimana, Angus Deaton riceverà il Premio Nobel per l’Economia “per i suoi studi su consumi, povertà, e welfare”. Meritatamente. Infatti, subito dopo l’annuncio del premio, nel mese di ottobre, Deaton, con Ann Case, ha pubblicato un lavoro sorprendente nella rivista Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – una ricerca rilevante almeno quanto la cerimonia del Nobel.

Analizzando un enorme quantità di dati su salute e mortalità tra gli Americani, Case e Deaton hanno dimostrato il declinare della speranza di vita e salute per gli Americani bianchi di mezza età, soprattutto quelli con una formazione di scuola secondaria o anche inferiore. Tra le cause c’erano suicidio, droga, e alcolismo.

L’America è orgogliosa di essere uno dei paesi più prosperi del mondo, e può vantare il fatto che di recente in tutti gli anni, tranne che nel solo 2009, il PIL pro capite è cresciuto. E un segno di prosperità si suppone significhi buona salute e longevità. Ma, sebbene per l’assistenza sanitaria gli Stati Uniti spendano pro capite più di quasi tutti gli altri paesi (e di più in percentuale del PIL), restano lontani dal top delle classifiche mondiali riguardo alla speranza di vita. La Francia, ad esempio, spende meno del 12% del suo PIL per l’assistenza medica, rispetto al 17% degli Stati Uniti. Eppure gli Americani hanno una aspettativa di vita inferiore di tre anni rispetto a quella dei Francesi.

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