Thursday, April 05, 2018

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- The Canadian Press reports on new research showing how wealth shocks at any level of income or wealth are associated with a higher risk of mortality:
Middle-aged Americans who experienced a sudden, large economic blow were more likely to die during the following years than those who didn't. The heightened danger of death after a devastating loss, which researchers called a "wealth shock," crossed socio-economic lines, affecting people no matter how much money they had to start.

The analysis of nearly 9,000 people's experiences underscores well-known connections between money and well-being, with prior studies linking lower incomes and rising income inequality with more chronic disease and shorter life expectancy.
About 1 in 4 people in the study had a wealth shock, which researchers defined as a loss of 75 per cent or more in net worth over two years. The average loss was about $100,000.

That could include a drop in the value of investments or realized losses like a home foreclosure. Some shocks happened during the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Others happened before or after. No matter what was going on in the greater U.S. economy, a wealth shock still increased the chance of dying.
- And on a related note, Richard Florida points out that Americans are much more anxious and dissatisfied than they were just under a decade ago.

- Sarah Anderson discusses the cumulative dangers of poverty and climate change in causing the spread of pest-borne diseases. And Canada Without Poverty examines the stresses of surviving on a low income - including the lack of access to basic dental care which many Canadians take for granted.

- Meanwhile, Chris Dillow highlights the danger of relying on a single indicator of inequality which may mask the breadth and depth of poverty.

- Finally, the Star's editorial board writes that Canada's access-to-information system is serving as a barrier to accountability, rather than a mechanism to facilitate oversight.

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