Monday, September 06, 2004

Health of a Country

This article reaches an odd conclusion:
About 55% of Japanese males smoke, compared to 26% of American men. How do they get away with winning both Gold Medals? What is loaded in Japan's smoking gun?

What makes a population healthy are not the usual do's and don'ts that make an individual healthy. Smoking isn't good for you. But compared to other adverse health conditions, it isn't that bad. What is worse for a population than smoking?

Research has shown that status differences between the rich and the poor may be the best predictors of a population's health. The smaller the gap the higher the life expectancy. The caring and sharing in a society organized by social and economic justice precepts produces good health. A CEO in Japan makes ten times what an average worker makes, not the 531 times in the USA reported earlier this year.

When society structures egalitarian relationships among its people then Japan demonstrates that individual behaviors, such as tobacco use, are not so bad for health.
Huh? Tobacco is "not so bad for" a middle-class worker if only he lives in a society where CEOs aren't paid as much? What on earth could be the causal mechanism for that?

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention another idiot who confuses closeness of relative pay scales with social equality, too. Where pay scales are compressed, the importance of contacts and social status tends to be exaggerated.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The causal mechanism seems obvious. A lack of strict equality of outcome for all is stressful for socialist and communist types and, as we all know, A) Stress is a major, perhaps the most important, predictor of overall health, and B) All "right thinking" individuals are, at the very least, socialist.

As for non-right thinking indivduals... Well, we hope they die early anyway.

Myria

11:32 AM  
Blogger Joseph said...

If the gap between rich and poor produces ill health because the sight of a rich person stresses out the poor then ...

... envy is quite literally a deadly sin.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Aha! I've got it! Second-hand smoke improves health!

12:07 AM  
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