Introduction: The white working class in the US has been decimated through an epidemic of ‘premature deaths’ – a bland term to cover-up the drop in life expectancy in this historically important demographic. There have been quiet studies and reports peripherally describing this trend – but their conclusions have not yet entered the national consciousness for reasons we will try to explore in this essay.
Indeed this is the first time in the country’s ‘peacetime’ history that its traditional core productive sector has experienced such a dramatic demographic decline – and the epicenter is in the small towns and rural communities of the United States.
The causes for ‘premature death’ (dying before normal life expectancy – usually of preventable conditions) include the sharply increasing…
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