(The Guardian) -- Whether it’s conservatives deriding the “nanny state”, former president Bill Clinton declaring the era of “big government” to be over, or Ted Cruz attacking “New York values”, big government seems to be perpetually under attack.
But what if the fight over “big government” simply comes down to how much you value a human life?
That is the implication of a groundbreaking study from the Health Inequality Project on the impacts of inequality in the United States. The study’s authors reviewed years of tax earnings and social security death records, and came to two notable conclusions.
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First, the bad news, considering our widening income gap: the rich live longer than the poor. In the early 1980s, the top 10% of earners lived 2.8 years longer than the bottom 10%. By the 1990s, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, that gap had grown to 4.5 years. This latest study found that the richest American men – the top 1% – live 15 years longer than the men in the bottom 1%, while for women the divide is a decade.