EDIT: As a Norwegian following American politics, I am surprised that this topic is so rarely talked about by the democratic nominees. The only candidate I have seen talking about the causes of the drop in life expectancy is Andrew Yang. Not even Pete has worked this into his talking points as far as I have seen.
 The number is increasing fast; it was 75% in 2016 and rose to 78% in 2017.
I'm curious whether you believe lack of affordable health care in the US causes a lot of death from diseases of despair; and if so, why you believe that.
I always thought that health care is relatively ineffective at preventing death from those diseases -- addiction in particular, but also suicide. In other words, I always thought that the solution to this particular epidemic will require more than just allocating more money to health care.
Also I always thought that most of those dying from diseases of despair do not suffer from other chronic illness, e.g., diabetes, that health care is effective at treating. And I always thought that among those Americans without a pressing current need for health care, simply not having access to good affordable health care, although bad, is not bad enough on its own to drive a significant fraction to suicide or substance abuse. In other words, I always thought that the despair has another source, e.g., a lack of friends or a lack of feeling integrated into a community.
There are several underlying causes leading to deaths of despair in the first place; sudden job loss (largely due to automation)  I think is a big one–and as you point out– an increase in loneliness and a lack of societal cohesion in general. The fact that 70,237 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2017 alone  just boggles my mind, and there is no reason to believe that this trend has slowed down the last few years.
Without readily available (mental) health care or strong social security, there is next to nothing that protects people that are out of a job (in areas where the economy is winding down) from a downward spiral.
 https://money.cnn.com/2016/03/29/news/economy/us-manufacturi... (2016)
Will this actually reach the people that need it? I mean, just having friends (and/or people you're regularly in contact with) is probably quite helpful in preventing these situations from arising... I imagine the path towards suicide / serious life & mental health issues is quite gradual, rather than a cliff... so people would become negative, unpleasant to be around (hence lose their friends) way before coming anywhere near suicide... by then it's already too late.
I often think, in terms of my life (highly privileged, smart & well educated, upper class, rich or at least high-earning, programmer, young, healthy, lots of career options, career resistant to automation, first-world citizen so easy to migrate, ...) I'm really quite isolated from "normal", "average" people... I don't actually even know anyone who's poor, or not in a career (i.e. just has a dead-end job like a bartender or truck driver)... just by virtue of the education system, I've been kept away from people like that since I was 15! How am I to even imagine what they're going through?! Sure not everything is rosy in my life, and even rich people can get sick and depressed, but I sometimes consider this viewpoint for some perspective...
Only 40-60% of men become fathers. It's something I think about a lot after failing out of school. No one wants to date me, and the chances of me ever forming a nuclear family are getting slimmer by the day.
15 years is a tremendous gap!
However I would assume the poorest 1% would be covered by social security.
The first is a legal and regulatory status. The second requires knowledge of, access to, capability of negotiating system(s), having a sufficiently fixed address, documentation, and numerous other factors.
In other words, it's a shocking statistic, but I'm not sure what to do about it since both wealth and health are influenced by so many other things, including each other.
Looks like fewer of those risks are paying off than usual.
Granted, I should have said "Tend to be risk-takers" or something.
If you have some resources indicating this misandry and racism is behind drug use and suicide, can you share it? I'm not even saying that for some people it's upsetting to see this POV (the same that I imagine some boomers are tired of being told they created a lot of today's crises), but it seems like a pretty simplistic view and, if at all, only ver tangentially related.
I think the root of the problem with American men is that inequality in America is increasing. Also the culture and education system needs a reform, a lot of kids are growing in an environment where drug abuse is cool, doctors don't want to hear patients and just prescribe medicine etc.
There are a lot of wrong incentives. Hopefully the next president focuses on addressing them.
With incredibly toxic userbases.
What those platforms have in common is choice.
If you are toxic and think it is fine to openly argue and make socially awkward comments the whole time, then you will view it that way. You will likely also get attracted by subs and communities that this happens.
Twitter is much more of a free-for-all. There's a much greater chance of politics and general public reaching you on Twitter.
You should do what everyone else gets told to do when they complain about being harassed on the internet - simply ignore it.
The only way to have a good time on those platforms and to a lesser (but increasing, in my unscientific observation) degree, HN is to only express opinions that toe the party line (party line being relative to whatever the mainstream opinion is on the platform or subset of it in question). Those platforms have features designed to amplify consensus and quash dissent.
Kudos to the team (and all of us too!)
Is it just me, or are they becoming more common. I could have sworn when I browsed HN several years back there was next to non of it, but theres a good chance I'm just remembering incorrectly
Case in point my comment about working hours in a totally different thread that was apparently offensive to the average. Literally everything else I said today had a couple up-votes until I dropped that one now they're all negative and that one's very negative. I'm not particularly distraught because the internet is full of idiots but it's kind of annoying when they try to silence your opinion on a bunch of topics not related to the one they disagree with you on.
There's also value in knowing when to detach. For most people, these platforms are value subtracting.
Toxic -- adjective (ˈtäk-sik)
1) containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation
2) exhibiting symptoms of infection or toxicosis
3) extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful
4) relating to or being an asset that has lost so much value that it cannot be sold on the market
In the context of this specific discussion, for the sake of disambiguation, the third definition listed above is the one being used. Here are some articles which may help to further clarify the concept of "toxic" as it applies to people, social interactions and online communities:
I live here and travel frequently and it's very hard for even me to be in touch with the areas that are suffering. There are huge swaths of Metro Detroit that range from pleasantly functional to fabulously wealthy - a normal person would have to take a weird detour to be exposed to the dysfunctional/left behind part of America. I recently drove through Ohio to visit an amazing state park and the story was much the same. Reputable journalists write about massive unemployment and drug abuse in many regions there, but all I saw was well-maintained infrastructure, cute urban areas and a beautiful park.
2. The article specifically mentioned the uptick is caused by suicide and drug overdose
3. America does have a healthcare system for the poor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicaid
Just adding to what you said, which is correct, the issue is much more likely to be because the US nowadays is a very developed economy, but socially and culturally it is worse than many of third world countries. The country is only good for a very few. And I'm not even pushing some leftist view or anything. It's more like, there is so much data that says this is completely wrong and in many cases even dampers economic development.
For instance, just imagine if all black Americans would have a degree, how much GDP the US would add? Or if there wouldn't be an incentive for doctors to prescribe a lot of medicine to people?
In the US there are a lot of wrong incentives and this is what is killing Americans and making it look like a silly country when compared to other developed countries. Almost all the other developed countries, if not all, the people live better lives, of more quality, more happy... even though they have lower GDP per capita than US.
I think the same thing is happening in society where men are expected to behave a certain way or be shamed.
1. Be aware of their race.
2. Be aware people don't like their race or their culture.
3. Be aware of the various systemic problems they uniquely face.
4. Argue via tenuous connection as to what is causing their problems.
And that subset is growing because it is more attractive than
1. Joining the modern left
2. Remaining neutral
If you don't want to be banned, you're welcome to email email@example.com and give us reason to believe that you'll follow the rules in the future.
I suspect the impressions you get about how "anti-white" people are (as opposed to "anti-racism") will depend hugely on your filter bubble.
There are indeed, albeit a small amount of legitimately "anti-white" people and groups. However while in discouraged that there are people who would inherit dislike me / hate me, I understand why they feel that way.
But I will agree, I come to hn for a higher level of discourse. And the whole comment thread doesn’t belong here. As long as it is, however, I think it’s important to rebut absurdity.
Also, it would have been pretty easy to communicate your point without the mockery.
That person may have never once been racist or shitty to someone yet they have society telling them they are terrible. Blaming whole groups of people for the actions of portions of that group is not how things are going to change. You lose allies from people within those groups because they begin to get attacked. And if you’re thinking “who cares about those people,” think if equality really is your goal or is it really something else.
It seems like people are more about bringing the other side down instead of bringing everyone up.
There are groups of people that see it as being in their interests to sow division.
So there's maybe 20-30 years of "anti-white racism", how many years did we have "regular racism"?
20 to 30 years is almost my entire life
I am very, very, fortunate.
In 2018 I was suffering from the effects of PTSD: social isolation, anxiety, hyper-vigilance, poor physical health, and depression.
Many men are experiencing some of these issues, not brought about by PTSD but by other factors and they turn to drugs and alcohol to cope.
Luckily, instead of coping with PTSD brought about by deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan through drugs and alcohol I turned to food and extreme isolation.
But I make money. Lots of it. I also have persuasive parents, and a great job with awesome co-workers who spurred me into action.
With my money I hired a registered dietician, therapist, and a personal yoga instructor, and have completely changed the trajectory of my life. I meditate daily, go to yoga six days a week, have lost 50 lbs (22.7 kg) in eight months. I have had more, positive, social interactions in the last year than I have had in the last 10. My daughters say I am a completely different person, and I feel healthier at 40 than I did at 20.
I am tapering off the industrial quantities of anti-depressants I was on, and no longer eat anything that came off an assembly line.
There are very few social problems that lead to shortened life expectancy that cannot be overcome.
And while "diet and exercise" seems to be met with derision on HN, it's not just about that. It is about the mindfulness and care one puts into themselves when dieting and exercising. The slow changes that are barely noticed from day-to-day but hit you like waves, like when I was brushing my teeth and some toothpaste fell from my mouth and instead of landing on my belly, it landed on my feet. Or when you struggle for months with sitting still and focusing on your breathing while meditating and then one day your timer goes off and you are amazed because it feels like you just started your timer two or three breaths ago.
It is unacceptable to me that just because I used the GI Bill to get a degree in Computer Science and now make lots of money that I can save myself from a downward spiral of isolation and addiction (to food), while most other men cannot.
Because of my limited ability to effect change, the only thing I can propose is that we collectively throw the stigma associated with depression and isolation in the trash and look out for each other as best as possible, talking openly and candidly about those things and trying to support each other with low-cost evidence-based self-improvement methods like diet, exercise, and positive social interactions until access to the same resources I used to save myself of are attainable by everyone.
People in power would like to avoid divisions that are between them and people with less power. Instead they prefer divisions between different groups of people with less power, because that way these groups will be ineffective.
If the median white American man understood this, he would understand that he is siding with the wrong people.
PS: Yes, I know the labels for this might be "divide and conquer", and "false consciousness", but I think people have trouble relating to these terms.
I'm sorry, what groups are you saying actually support the "median white American man"?
Last time I checked, they didn't say "universal healthcare if you are exceptionally poor, colored, non-American, and/or female."
Can I ask, what for you are some important examples of anti-"median-white-American-man" statements? I'm aware that there is a prevailing narrative in many parts of the media that this group is being singled out a lot, but personally I don't often see blanket statements of that sort.
From the outside it seems absurd but I'm not sure how to meet you in the middle for this.
Maybe you heard people complaining about how "socialized" medicine would create death panels. Did you reflect on why they were scaring old people in this way?
Or the focus on how the left are actively wanting to kill babies, rather than wanting access to reproductive healthcare. Again, why would right wing media present this patently false image? What are they trying to achieve?
If you can understand that then you might understand why the media you consume is telling you that the left hates you.
Final hint, the phrase "identity politics" is itself identity politics.
But to address your ad hominem attacks:
> Maybe you heard people complaining about how "socialized" medicine would create death panels. Did you reflect on why they were scaring old people in this way?
Well, few things here. For one, any form of medical resource distribution creates death panels or the equivalent. There are not unlimited resources, therefore some people will not receive all they could have used. I don't think this is an argument against socialized health care. (I think that socializing health care would result in massive cost disease, and that efforts in the US to move consumers farther and farther from the prices of health care are also counterproductive, but that's unrelated)
> Or the focus on how the left are actively wanting to kill babies, rather than wanting access to reproductive healthcare. Again, why would right wing media present this patently false image? What are they trying to achieve?
I'm pro-choice, actually. Also pro gay marriage, drug legalization, good sex ed in schools, etc.
But as to why people would present abortion access as killing babies? That's a really trivial question to answer - it's because they believe abortion to be literally killing babies.
> If you can understand that then you might understand why the media you consume is telling you that the left hates you.
I wouldn't say hates - at least not the vast majority of the left. Doesn't care about? Sure.
> Final hint, the phrase "identity politics" is itself identity politics.
Are you saying that the descriptor is wrong? It's been around for a while.  And if it's not wrong, I don't see what the objection is.
It's great that you still publicly identify with all the sane and sensible policies that Democrats have been fighting for for decades and have slowly achieved. It's sad that you can't support them in the American two-party system because they harbor so many communist, anti-white campaigners like the Clintons and Obamas and all those other people who would be center right in any sane political system.
But, no worries, you can easily claim to be even more right-on than them, because you're a libertarian. You can attack them for centrist stances they took two decades ago when Reason was still openly denying the Holocaust and supporting Apartheid and somehow hold the moral high ground as yet another Republican criminal gets elected to President and large numbers of the administration get arrested and jailed (weird how that just keeps happening, right?).
But you keep your eye on the real danger, there must be a sexual, racial or religious minority group that's taking things too far for your liking and that's well worth getting angry about. Luckily a bunch of Billionaires are really keen to keep that in the front of your mind at all times so you don't even need to seek this stuff out. Enjoy your anger.
The right mostly doesn't give a shit about the dispossessed, at least as far as potential government intervention goes. They're more social darwinist; if some men are really suffering, maybe they should stop being such losers, goes the thinking.
It makes me a little skeptical that "the left" care that much about the homeless.
 I'll be honest I think "the left" and "liberal" are kind of useless catch all term at this point and lumps too many people into one group together. For instance, for this conversation I mean middle class college educated men and women living in coastal american cities that had at least semi-stable childhoods.
This means there's a financial incentive for any given city to treat the homeless like shit. Classic free rider problem; why not let other cities deal with helping them?
If you look at the countries where they do a better job, what you largely see is not a handful of metros doing their part, while other cities and the national government completely shunt the responsibility. The whole country contributes, is at least sort of on the same page. At least, that's been my experience living in Germany and reading about other places.
So in my opinion, what we'd need to see is a federal mandate that doesn't let some cities mooch off of others' charity. But short of Bernie storming the white House and the Dems getting an overwhelming majority in both halves of Congress, it's hard to see that happening.
Anyway, I don't disagree that more liberal cities could do more, but at the same time I don't think the problem is solvable without national involvement.
As for the Dems in congress - You'd need the right kind of democrat also. I think Hillary clinton did a real number to that parties reputation during her time in power. The american democrats desperately need smart, ethical and above all honest new faces that will fight the rampant corruption in american politics.
Why would a smart, ethical and honest person ever get within a gunshot of politics?
And should by any accident that happen, how such a person would survive?
Well yeah, being against government intervention is sort of the classic definition of the American political right. People on the right believe that when possible you should choose private charity over government programs. They also donate more to private charities.
We all know the answer is that the homeless are radically better off in those interventionist countries. Ergo, if we care about results, ours are rather abysmal.
> Well yeah, being against government intervention is sort of the classic definition of the American political right.
To a certain extent, but it also depends on the domain. The right is very much in favor of government intervention for some things, like who you're allowed to marry, or how you can have sex.
It's an odd fact, isn't it? It doesn't mesh well with the portrayal of them as stingy people who don't care about others.
I think another motive here may be that if you provide "the dispossessed" and benefits, you create the incentive to become dispossessed.
This problem is relatively easy to solve on a small community level (all family knows that aunt Rosa isn't actually as sick as she likes to pretend), but becomes extremely complicated when scaled to the whole country.
For example, if someone doesn't know how to find a girlfriend, then PUAs are the only game in town.
Until viable alternatives are presented I suspect that men will keep going with what's available.
Well, we have had it good for basically the entire course of human history. I personally don’t mind taking a backseat and allowing society to focus on issues affecting women now.
I think at the root of this is just a poor economy. Many of these issues about uselessness or loneliness would be solved by a job and a significant other. But no one's just going to start handing out well paying jobs and girlfriends.
Yang's redistribution is step 1. You elect the guy who gets the "reasonable" dole in place, and every election after that becomes about who can offer the most money to the people collecting.
Yang is a snake oil salesman and has no solution. His solution is actually step 1 - create a situation where politics becomes about individually promising people money.
What a disaster of a candidate. The only thing that at all makes me feel better is that he's going nowhere.
I mean, the US already has food stamps, medicare, EI, disability... quite the socialist smorgasbord really. I thought you were saying those were 'unreasonable' while UBI was 'reasonable'. What did you mean then?
What is the problem with these guidelines? I didn't see anything particularly controversial or objectionable there, although I did just skim them.
In my experience this leads to going to a therapist and being told you can be anything you want to be, but when you actually try to follow up and get help, no one wants to help you because you're a man.
I can't get it to load on this connection so I can't provide direct citations. Most of what I found objectionable was in the first two pages or so.
I'm guessing you're making the common assumption that the "feminist conception of what is wrong with masculinity" is that masculinity itself is somehow harmful, which is a misinterpretation of the concept of what "toxic masculinity" is - a concept invented by the men's rights movement, and not feminists.
The premise that masculinity could have negative aspects is at the core of common male "codes of conduct" like chivalry and gentlemanly behavior, traditionally enforced by men in order to police their own behavior (and, ironically, to enforce patriarchy.) And it's a premise that men didn't take issue with with until feminists agreed with them.
If you interpret the concepts presented in the guidelines on their face rather than an anti-feminist bias then you would likely find that it isn't actually anti-male or even anti-masculine. Rather it mentions many of the issues that people often insist that society disregards relative to men, such as the life expectancy issue mentioned in the OP.
> It's fine to say you don't owe anyone anything or don't need to impress anyone -- but as a man, if you're not doing those things, no one cares who you are.
In other words... masculinity is an influential aspect of male identity, both personally and socially, and some aspects of the way masculinity is expressed can be harmful, just as any social, political or cultural complex (which masculinity is) can present both positive and negative effects. And it would be helpful for counselors and medical professionals to recognize this and know how to deal with it when necessary.
This suggests to me that the conception of masculinity and what can go wrong with it (as opposed to "what is wrong with it", which again, suggests an often willful misunderstanding the concept) in the guidelines is correct, and that the focus presented on it by those guidelines is in proportion to its likely relevance.
But as we seem to have come to radically different conclusions from this document, we may have to agree to disagree. I didn't read a sexist agenda or a callous disregard for men or men's issues from it, quite the opposite.
So talking about masculinity and "subverting" it is pointless because as a man at the end of the day you are still left without opportunities or companionship because of how other people are evaluating you.
 I only ever hear toxic masculinity brought up by feminists, can you really show it has some attachment to the men's rights movement?
The AMA guidelines don't link psychological issues to masculinity, nor are they considering masculinity to be a cause of any issues in and of itself.
>So talking about masculinity and "subverting" it is pointless because as a man at the end of the day you are still left without opportunities or companionship because of how other people are evaluating you.
Nowhere in the AMA guidelines is "subverting" masculinity discussed or considered, either.
You're basing your opinions on a false assumption of what masculinity is assumed to be, and reading an agenda into the AMA guidelines that isn't there.
>can you really show it has some attachment to the men's rights movement?
It's literally mentioned in the Wikipedia article on the term, and a quick Google search brings up a few more references[1..3] although I'm guessing your use of the term "really" in italics is meant to leave wiggle room to deny whatever sources I present as being authoritative enough. So take the fact that, if you research the origin of both the term and the concept, you find links to the mens' rights movement and male culture, and no such sources claiming that the term was invented by feminists, as you will.
What is the intended interpretation of your sources? It seems like you just put some random links up. They don't seem to link the creation of toxic masculinity to any movement.
They don't claim that it's irrelevant, nor do I, so we disagree there, and we also disagree that the space given to it is out of proportion to its relevance. They merely don't consider it pathological, and most of the guidelines don't appear to be about masculinity per se, at all.
> It seems like you just put some random links up. They don't seem to link the creation of toxic masculinity to any movement.
From Wikipedia: "The term toxic masculinity originated in the mythopoetic men's movement of the 1980s and 1990s."
From the Atlantic: "Despite the term’s recent popularity among feminists, toxic masculinity did not originate with the women’s movement. It was coined in the mythopoetic men’s movement of the 1980s and ’90s, motivated in part as a reaction to second-wave feminism."
From the book of man: "The phrase can be traced back to a guy called, brilliantly, Shepherd Bliss, who was one of the leaders of the Mythopoetic Men’s Movement activist which sprang up in the 80s, and aimed to remythologise men: essentially remove the limited archetypes like “warrior and king” and end biological determinism and hierarchical thinking. Bliss wrote about a return to preindustrial cooperative masculinity, all raising barns and making fires, rather than competitive technological masculinity."
The goodmen project page doesn't make the links the others do, but it does describe the concept as existing as far back as the Victorian era. One can make a reasonable inference from there.
>yet every resource makes it seem like men are way ahead and tries to bring them down
What college resources are trying to bring men down?
The student paper was full of articles for months talking about what horrible misogyny men would get up to if they were allowed to gather in a space without female supervision and people were ostracized for expressing support for the project, there was an immediate backlash of intimidation that successfully shut it down.
Sure, you can say men don't take advantage of educational resources, but that's typically because they're used to those resources wanting to be unhelpful.
The things you mentioned arent being done for men, they're being done to men.
and for those who aren't carers, perhaps look to being carers.
All categories are filled with subsets. There are always folks left behind. Let's look to them.
What are the struggles and needs that you would like us to focus on and meet?
As to your second part - is sort of see the back and forth like this .
You "We are supporting men who are carers"
Me "What about men who aren't carers?"
You "perhaps look into being carers"
This is the opposite of an empowerment message. You're saying if they want support they must conform to being you.
I don't want anything from you sir. You represent no one and nothing. I was merely contradicting your statements that the two things you mentioned are being done for men, when in fact they're being done to men.
What do I want from you? To acknowledge that becoming carers and being acknowledged as having mental issues isn't a solution for anyone.
And also : you say you don't want anything from me, and then you say you want me to acknowledge your pain? The first step here is for you to acknowledge that you are in pain, you are distressed, and you need some help.
I dont want you to acknowledge pain, I want you to acknowledge that your initial statement was wrong.
Your emoting at me there wasn't really part of intelligent discussion.
Reading this discussion convinces me you are in need of help. I urge you to get it from a professional before you hurt someone.
Please. My wife recently had some health issues due to a condition that primarily affects women, and I went with her to her medical appointments. The level of casual dismissal I saw regarding pain and symptoms from numerous (male and female) doctors was absolutely shocking. While I've certainly had doctors fail to resolve a medical condition before, nothing like the lack of respect I saw had ever accompanied my interactions at a doctor's office. If you genuinely believe that "society doesn't care about men's issues", at least compared to women's issues, you're living in an absolute fantasy world.
See for example this article: https://www.ft.com/content/7864ae80-9597-11e8-95f8-8640db906...
You missed a pretty important part. I don’t see how that could be the result of anything other than society?
You: BS. Out of touch. Men are too ignorant to complain.
A better reply would have responded to the actual points in some substantial way. For example, we could go back to "the 1%" phrasing and stop saying "men" are privileged while also complaining about male incarceration rates.
> Young women are also experiencing a sharp uptick in drug overdoses
That was a pretty big societal crisis which among other things helped bring to power an autocrat like Putin (and especially helped him stay there, as life expectancy shot up again starting with the early 2000s), I’m wondering when will the present situation in the States be treated like the real societal crisis that it represents? In other words, guys like Trump are not merely the causes for much that goes wrong in the States, they’re merely the effects, take him down and a new Trump-like character will probably emerge in his place, unless you fix the problem at its very roots.
To give context: Hubbert's peak, which is generally considered the most reliable predictor of fossil fuel extraction curves, predicted a peak for the US in 1970 and the world in 2010. Allow 2 years margin of error on either side and it lines up very closely with the advent of stagflation in both systems.
If I dropped the first part, there would be no downvotes.