Emmy Griffin / September 21, 2022

Life Expectancy and Life Choices

Not only is the U.S. experiencing a birth decline, it is experiencing a decline in life expectancy.

The United States has experienced a further decline in life expectancy. This is the second drop over the course of two years. According to Pacific Research Institute President Sally Pipes: “Between 2020 and 2021, American life expectancy decreased 0.9 years. That follows a drop of 1.8 years in 2020.” These numbers are based off data released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The factors that the CDC cites as major contributors are unintentional injuries (which include both car crashes and drug overdoses), the pandemic (which presumably also includes deaths of despair), higher homicide rates, cancer, and poor lifestyle choices (which lead to obesity, diabetes, cirrhosis, etc.).

Pipes has a refreshing take on the consequences of blaming institutions for not solving these issues. Pipes is a big advocate for holding people accountable for individual choices. It is also fair to point out further that government, when it steps in and tries to affect change to bring about equitable outcomes, usually leaves behind a far bigger mess.

Let’s start with unintentional injuries. Half of them, according to the CDC, are caused by drug overdoses. Drug use is an individual choice, yes, but access to drugs has been more and more easy under this administration. In fact, instead of encouraging people to stop or curb these destructive appetites, the Biden administration funded smoking kits. Instead of blocking a major port of entry for drugs via the southern border, drug cartels effectively have carte blanche and are now making fentanyl brightly colored to resemble candy to entice an ever-younger group of potential addicts.

Higher homicide rates are another example of extreme failure on the government’s part. The higher homicide rates are directly linked to bad policy and a refusal by prosecutors and attorneys general to uphold law and order. It is no coincidence that 28 of the 31 top murder capitals are run by Democrats, or that murders spiked after riots and unrest over George Floyd’s death. It’s only going to get worse with Joe Biden attempting to incite political violence with his speeches calling half the country racists, bigots, and semi-fascists.

The pandemic was a black swan event, but the government, especially in 2020 and 2021, was more intent on forcing people to comply with its will for political virtue signaling than on actually focusing on what worked and protecting those who were the most vulnerable. Many lives were recklessly lost. Just ask the loved ones of the nursing home victims in New York under former Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Lastly, the deaths that were the result of poor lifestyle choices are also not helped by the government. The food pyramid, set out as a guideline by the Department of Agriculture, is wrong. The political expediency of intersectionality in the Democrat Party has hamstrung this particular administration’s ability or inclination to curb any poor health decision-making because of the whole “body positivity” movement. One can also point to monkeypox as another example in which the government is so hell-bent on ideology and not speaking truth that it is afraid to tell people to stop participating in gay orgies if they want to avoid this particular disease.

People do make their own individual choices that lead to their own demise. That cannot be discounted. But government intervention is absolutely not going to curb life expectancy decline precisely because most policymakers do not care about the people they govern. They care about power and who is wielding it. That’s probably the most deceptive aspect of leftism’s focus on intersectional politics. Ultimately, they “care” or discount groups, all the while forgetting that those groups are made up of individuals with more freedom and power to choose their own life path than people in other countries all over the world.

We are a dying society that is passing away at a faster rate the further we stray from Christianity and our country’s Judeo-Christian roots. Jesus not only holds the individual to account for their choices but also loves every single person so much that He died for us and removed the gulf of our sin that was separating us from God. That is our only hope: Accepting Christ as king of one’s life, not the government.

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