Casualties of the social counterrevolution in America


One million dead from suicide, drug overdoses since 2007

Casualties of the social counterrevolution in America

1 December 2018

This year’s report on mortality rates released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveal that the American working class is confronting an unprecedented social, economic, health and psychological crisis.

The CDC’s findings show a staggering increase in the indices of social misery in just one year, from 2016 to 2017.

  • Life expectancy dropped from 78.7 to 78.6 years, the third consecutive year-by-year decline.
  • The age-adjusted death rate increased 0.4 percent, from 728.8 deaths per 100,000 people to 731.9 per 100,000 (including a 2.9 percent increase among young people aged 25-34).
  • Drug overdose deaths increased 9.6 percent (including a 45 percent increase in deaths from fentanyl). Drug overdose is the leading cause of death for those under 55.
  • Suicide rates increased in 2017 by 3.7 percent, from 13.5 per 100,000 to 14.0 per 100,000.

The report’s historical figures quantify the devastating impact on the working class of the financial crash of 2007-2008 and its aftermath.

  • From 2007 to 2017, suicide deaths rose from 34,598 to 47,173, a 36.3 percent increase.
  • Drug overdose deaths nearly doubled, rising 95.0 percent, from 36,010 in 2007 to 70,237 in 2017.
  • The total dead from suicide and drug overdose since 2007 alone is 954,365 people—equivalent to the population of America’s 10th largest city. This is more than the total number of US soldiers killed in all of America’s wars, excluding the Civil War. With 2018 nearly complete, the total dead has now likely crossed one million people.

The response of the political establishment to the report is entirely predictable: an article or two in the major newspapers, a quick segment on…

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