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Jedy2

Who killed the Knapp family?

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https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/opinion/sunday/deaths-despair-poverty.html

 

YAMHILL, Ore. — Chaos reigned daily on the No. 6 school bus, with working-class boys and girls flirting and gossiping and dreaming, brimming with mischief, bravado and optimism. Nick rode it every day in the 1970s with neighbors here in rural Oregon, neighbors like Farlan, Zealan, Rogena, Nathan and Keylan Knapp.

They were bright, rambunctious, upwardly mobile youngsters whose father had a good job installing pipes. The Knapps were thrilled to have just bought their own home, and everyone oohed and aahed when Farlan received a Ford Mustang for his 16th birthday.

Yet today about one-quarter of the children on that No. 6 bus are dead, mostly from drugs, suicide, alcohol or reckless accidents. Of the five Knapp kids who had once been so cheery, Farlan died of liver failure from drink and drugs, Zealan burned to death in a house fire while passed out drunk, Rogena died from hepatitis linked to drug use and Nathan blew himself up cooking meth. Keylan survived partly because he spent 13 years in a state penitentiary.

 

Among other kids on the bus, Mike died from suicide, Steve from the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, Cindy from depression and a heart attack, Jeff from a daredevil car crash, Billy from diabetes in prison, Kevin from obesity-related ailments, Tim from a construction accident, Sue from undetermined causes. And then there’s Chris, who is presumed dead after years of alcoholism and homelessness. At least one more is in prison, and another is homeless.

We Americans are locked in political combat and focused on President Trump, but there is a cancer gnawing at the nation that predates Trump and is larger than him. Suicides are at their highest rate since World War II; one child in seven is living with a parent suffering from substance abuse; a baby is born every 15 minutes after prenatal exposure to opioids; America is slipping as a great power.

We have deep structural problems that have been a half century in the making, under both political parties, and that are often transmitted from generation to generation. Only in America has life expectancy now fallen three years in a row, for the first time in a century, because of “deaths of despair.”

“The meaningfulness of the working-class life seems to have evaporated,” Angus Deaton, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, told us. “The economy just seems to have stopped delivering for these people.” Deaton and the economist Anne Case, who is also his wife, coined the term “deaths of despair” to describe the surge of mortality from alcohol, drugs and suicide.

The kids on the No. 6 bus rode into a cataclysm as working-class communities disintegrated across America because of lost jobs, broken families, gloom — and failed policies. The suffering was invisible to affluent Americans, but the consequences are now evident to all: The survivors mostly voted for Trump, some in hopes that he would rescue them, but under him the number of children without health insurance has risen by more than 400,000.

The stock market is near record highs, but working-class Americans (often defined as those without college degrees) continue to struggle. If you’re only a high school graduate, or worse, a dropout, work no longer pays. If the federal minimum wage in 1968 had kept up with inflation and productivity, it would now be $22 an hour. Instead, it’s $7.25.

We were foreign correspondents together for many years, periodically covering humanitarian crises in distant countries. Then we would return to the Kristof family farm in Yamhill and see a humanitarian crisis unfolding in a community we loved — and a similar unraveling was happening in towns across the country. This was not one town’s problem, but a crisis in the American system.


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Just signalling the underlying issues - I have no simple solutions like "power to the unions" or "feed the poor". I think those tendencies are widespread, not limited to the USA.

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Politicians, rich people, and corporations convinced generations of Americans that giving them huge tax breaks would ultimately mean more money in worker's pockets.  It's a giant lie and there is zero evidence to support that it works.  Supply-side economics benefit one thing, the suppliers.  Instead of Reaganomics it should have been labeled slavenomics.  The only thing that increases jobs and worker pay is when companies have to hire and pay better to meet demand.  Demand only increases when worker's have the money to buy your products or services.  

Change is coming, and it's going to be scary, but it will only come when the majority of Americans can no longer afford to eat and are starving.  The 1% have two choices.  They can either share in the prosperity that millions upon millions of hard working people have helped create, or they can sit in their gilded towers wringing out every last dime.  If they choose the latter then they can sit back and wait for the horde to storm their gates demanding their heads.

 

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After Reagan and his policies, the next largest detriment contributing to the article is NAFTA. Overall I didn't think Clinton (paying down our national debt) did a bad job as President but NAFTA's affect was felt nationwide within the first year. Trump's newer version will continue this trend where more working class Americans will either find themselves without work or resign to low paying service work. Labor unions saw their largest decline due to hubris and inefficiency compounded by international competition where US companies harvested 3rd world economies for workers. Free trade agreements haven't made the US better. The averaging of Americans in relation to the recipients of free trade has a cost that is hard to measure. The OP article above is a great example.

I watched this video below in its entirety. It is a five part feature on how AI impacts now and the future. One segments is about loss on manufacturing jobs due to automation. White collar jobs are next for the chopping block attributed through AI innovation.

 

Employment, Health care, cultural shifts, Ideology shifts, Technology shifts, governmental apathy have essentially thrown a large part of Americans under the bus. All in the name of progress, where the rich get richer and everyone else are the foundation the rich build their houses upon.

One example is Jeff Bezos and his Amazon distribution network. Amazon is now the largest employer in every place where he has distribution centers. Those employees don't hardly make enough to plan for families or futures. Currently Amazon has the highest injury rate of any company in the US. Highest as in proportion not total numbers of employees. Those workplace injuries are more than double the national average. In some locations for his distributing network they are more than 5 times the national average. Production work nationwide has changed to a 12 hour day for many of Americas largest companies selling well known brands in the US and worldwide. Sixty hour work weeks are common. Swing shifts, split shifts and regular week day shifts and are with the agreement overtime is mandatory and often with little notice. Amazon is no different. Americans work longer and for less pay. That's even if the person can get the job. Being denied employment because a single household parent made a late utility payment 6 months before the interview.

 

Those kids in the article had everything stacked against them before they looked out to see what the world was offering.

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It would seem that the Knapp family mostly killed the Knapp family. There's only so far you can blame society for the choices of idiot criminal substance abusers. Plenty of people have been in shit situations and haven't punted their lives into a canal. I'm firmly against removing self-responsibility from the individual only to place it into the lap of the majority, especially when those same individuals do retarded stuff like take drugs. That's on them.

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3 hours ago, Doro said:

It would seem that the Knapp family mostly killed the Knapp family. There's only so far you can blame society for the choices of idiot criminal substance abusers. Plenty of people have been in shit situations and haven't punted their lives into a canal. I'm firmly against removing self-responsibility from the individual only to place it into the lap of the majority, especially when those same individuals do retarded stuff like take drugs. That's on them.

Jedy sighs heavily, though reading without understaniding seems normal here. No I am NOT in the camp of "Society is to blame", but rather trying to understand the mechanics pushing whole stratum of people into degenarate behavior. 

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14 minutes ago, Jedy2 said:

Jedy sighs heavily, though reading without understaniding seems normal here. No I am NOT in the camp of "Society is to blame", but rather trying to understand the mechanics pushing whole stratum of people into degenarate behavior. 

I never said you were. I was referring to the article.

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1 minute ago, Doro said:

I never said you were. I was referring to the article.

I bit of teary eyes there, but the gist is serious. 

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So.... intentionally emotional bullshit = Orange Man bad?

Sounds to me like the article writer cherry-picked a specific family that had a horrible bit of bad luck in a very low income area (which is not surprising considering it's Oregon).  Drug abuse tends to correlate with the lack of family income - which is not surprising considering that the hippies basically took over Oregon and destroyed their logging and mining industries.

Or perhaps nihilism is more correct here, after all, life's a bitch and then you die.

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There is a saying - "Wherever you travel, you will find yourself there". Or some such. I will invent a new saying;

"Whatever you read is limited to what you think."

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On 1/12/2020 at 8:49 PM, Jedy2 said:

I bit of teary eyes there, but the gist is serious. 

No idea what you're even trying to say here. But if you're actually wondering what's turning people to degeneracy, it's the degeneracy of culture. People don't have any self-respect, respect for others, or respect of their surroundings, and each generation gets worse because the standard will inevitably slip as parents pass on a less strict version of their own upbringing. It's always someone else's fault, some excuse that's not on their shoulders as to why they're the way they are. No introspection. No attempts at self-improvement. Just whiny self-destruction. That article is just another example of the shitty "permissivism" (because it's not progression) that's poisoning our culture, where everyone should be free to do whatever they like without ridicule to try to deal with the nonsense idea that people are just victims in their own lives.

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38 minutes ago, Doro said:

No idea what you're even trying to say here. But if you're actually wondering what's turning people to degeneracy, it's the degeneracy of culture. People don't have any self-respect, respect for others, or respect of their surroundings, and each generation gets worse because the standard will inevitably slip as parents pass on a less strict version of their own upbringing. It's always someone else's fault, some excuse that's not on their shoulders as to why they're the way they are. No introspection. No attempts at self-improvement. Just whiny self-destruction. That article is just another example of the shitty "permissivism" (because it's not progression) that's poisoning our culture, where everyone should be free to do whatever they like without ridicule to try to deal with the nonsense idea that people are just victims in their own lives.

10 hours ago, Jedy2 said:

There is a saying - "Wherever you travel, you will find yourself there". Or some such. I will invent a new saying;

"Whatever you read is limited to what you think."

@ Doro - I vehemently disagree, but it's late, and the forum does strange things to my post. Will reply tomorrow. 

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21 hours ago, Doro said:

No idea what you're even trying to say here. But if you're actually wondering what's turning people to degeneracy, it's the degeneracy of culture. People don't have any self-respect, respect for others, or respect of their surroundings, and each generation gets worse because the standard will inevitably slip as parents pass on a less strict version of their own upbringing. It's always someone else's fault, some excuse that's not on their shoulders as to why they're the way they are. No introspection. No attempts at self-improvement. Just whiny self-destruction. That article is just another example of the shitty "permissivism" (because it's not progression) that's poisoning our culture, where everyone should be free to do whatever they like without ridicule to try to deal with the nonsense idea that people are just victims in their own lives.

So basically the "victim mindset" (even when someone isn't actually a victim)?

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