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From: Steve Harris <>
Subject: Re: New Autism Cases Level Off in California, Data Show
Date: 28 Jul 2005 12:41:49 -0700
Message-ID: <>

>Contrary to your assumptions, people did live long lives back then too.
>The average lifespan was skewed down mostly by infectious disease and
>infections resulting from injuries, etc. But those who survived birth
>and accidents and had access to good wholesome foods did live long


Depends on what you mean by "long lives."  In the last century in the
US and most developed countries, we've added about 15 years to life
expectancy at 20. It used to be about 45 (more) years (meaning you
could expect to live to be 65), and it's now about 60 (meaning if you
make it to 20, you can expect to make it to 80). Interestingly, most of
this happened BEFORE the era of the modern ICU and associated fancy
tech (including bypass surgery). Some of it's antibiotics (which do
save a lot of senior citizens from urosepsis and pneumonia), but other
than that, nobody really knows what most of it is due to. Another big
mystery. It's not sanitation and child vaccination and all that--- this
effects mainly life expectance at BIRTH, not at age 20.


From: Steve Harris <>
Subject: Re: New Autism Cases Level Off in California, Data Show
Date: 28 Jul 2005 19:28:43 -0700
Message-ID: <> wrote:
> The USA has the shortest life expectancy of all advanced countries..
> It's our lack of universal health care.

CLearly not so. We don't have universal healthcare in Hawaii or Utah,
and they have life expectancies as good as anywhere in the world, with
the possible exception of Iceland and Japan. So the social problem is

The US overall poor life expectancy is statistically due to
socioeconomic problems and a persistant underclass in poor Southern
states and Washington DC. A legacy of slavery and racism and who knows
what else. But surely not something that can be fixed with a universal
healthcare system.

Canada has classes of people with poor life expectancies also, believe
it or not. Every culture does. If people have gotten into the cultural
rut where they have been raised brutally or without care, and therefore
want to kill themselves or each other, and want to abuse drugs and
alcohol and die, it's very hard to stop them. If you give them free
money and housing and healthcare, some of them will simply use MORE
drugs and alcohol and die just as fast, or faster.

Solutions for this are so mindbogglingly expensive that I'm not sure
they exist. There is plenty of evidence that what we've done so far in
the way of assistance has often only to made matters worse. People
*want* a free ride, but the only thing that seems to keep them alive is
a job, a place in the community, and the respect that comes with it.


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