There were 158,000 “deaths of despair” in the US in 2018. Think of it as three fully loaded Boeing 737 MAX jets falling out of the sky every day for a year. In their new book, “Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism,” Anne Case and Angus Deaton talk about the other epidemic decimating American communities, now exacerbated by the coronavirus.

What’s to blame for these increased deaths from suicide, drug overdose, and alcoholism? Sir Angus joined Dany and Marc to discuss his new book and the coronavirus’ likely impact on communities already suffering from opioid abuse, unemployment, alcoholism and suicide. He also explains why other countries aren’t experiencing the phenomenon and what can be done to reverse the trend.

Sir Angus Deaton, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in economics, is a senior scholar and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University and Presidential Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California.

Download the transcript here.

The post WTH are deaths of despair? Nobel Prize winner Sir Angus Deaton on the other epidemic appeared first on American Enterprise Institute – AEI.

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  1. colleenb Member

    Interesting interview and discussion. Yes no job or business should be labeled unessential. Even with a snowstorm or natural disaster, I think we should label some jobs in another way to show that it doesn’t have to be done today (stay off the roads, etc) but it still important. Non-immediate or ? Hoping everyone can get back to work or their business as soon as possible.

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  2. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne

    Every job is not essential. (At around 40:00 Marc said every job is essential because it helped somebody.) Milton Friedman once saw laborers transporting Earth for some government job in the third world. They didn’t have bulldozers and heavy equipment to move the earth. Milton Friedman asked the foreman why they didn’t have the equipment. The foreman said that they needed to hire more workers. Milton responded by asking why they didn’t just use spoons instead of shovels. 

    Jobs are of real use to us if they add value. That is to say, that produce a good and/or service that is actually useful. Giving people make-work corrupts them as much as welfare.

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