So basically what you’re telling us, New York Times, is that if you’re white and want to live longer, you have to get a high school diploma? “There’s this enormous issue of why,” said Harvard economics professor David Cutler. “It’s very puzzling and we don’t have a great explanation.” Weird.
without any research on my side, i wonder if white privilege itself isn’t part of the “why” (i doubt any one thing can explain it). privilege tells one that one is entitled to a job, pay, health, long life. it also estranges one from survival skills — because one expects to get a job with decent pay and benefits without a degree, because one is white, one avoids manual labor and menial labor, thus greatly diminishing 1. the kind of work one feels is appropriate for oneself and 2. the kind of marketable, job-acquiring skills one learns by the time one must find work. then: one drops out of school, can’t get work, can’t get paid, can’t figure out why or get anything but angry, and turns that anger inward: alcoholism, drug abuse, high-risk sex — behaviors that allow one to act out one’s privilege when one is denied it (and to feel as if one has it again).
in turn, all those abuses take a massive physical toll on one’s body. and shorten one’s life expectancy greatly.
that can’t be all. but it’s what i immediately thought of.