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Drugs, Despair, Job Loss: Early Deaths Rise for U.S. White Women

Aug. 22, 2016 (EIRNS)—"Life Lessons on early death from a small town undertaker as white women die younger in America," by Terrence McCoy, on page 1 of Sunday’s Washington Post, is the latest in a series of prominent articles reporting the shocking decline in life span for the rural American white population. Since 2000, death rates have risen for whites in midlife, particularly women.

These statistics will continue to increase, until Lyndon LaRouche’s "Four Laws" are implemented and bring economic recovery and hope.

Across America, especially in working class and rural communities, death rates have been accelerating among middle-aged white women for a generation. In rural McCreary County, Kentucky, which is 91% white, the mortality rate for white women aged 35 to 59—what should be the prime of life—has risen sharply, due to drugs, obesity, smoking, alcoholism, unemployment, poverty, and despair. The article recounts the death of a woman who was 44, but "looked 60," the undertaker said. In her last 10 years, she had been convicted of eleven separate drug- and alcohol-related charges. In the last 15 years, McCreary County has seen a 75% increase in the mortality rate for white women between 35 and 59—one of the highest increases in the U.S. The mortality rate for similarly-aged white women nationally increased by 23%; for white men, by 16 percent; for Hispanic women, it decreased by 11 percent; and for Hispanic men, it decreased by 16%.

On the latest death, the undertaker said, "She drank herself to death." The two previous deaths "were drugs." Another due to "lice." McCreary County, McCoy reports, had gone from a place of promise based on thriving coal mines to a place where, by Census Bureau and state figures, nearly 40% of households receive food stamps, and 77% of students are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches. The last coal mine shut in 1995. Virtually all the restaurants are fast food; in cemeteries, syringes are found on the grass.

The undertaker’s previous visit was made to a woman who lived in a "home" of corrugated iron and plywood; who supported herself with disability checks, and died of lung cancer. Her life, writes McCoy, "had come down to sitting in a brown leather recliner, watching television, and smoking cigarette after cigarette."