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22 September 2021

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Life expectancy falls - a condemnation of capitalism

Life expectancy is falling, and at a higher rate for the poorest

Life expectancy is falling, and at a higher rate for the poorest   (Click to enlarge)

Nancy Taaffe, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

I often think when I hear that a member of the royal family has died at the ripe old age of 101 - 'didn't they have a good innings, they mustn't grumble!'

And yet a report from Public Health England shows that life expectancy for the great mass of people in 2020 dropped to its lowest level for over a decade. For men, that meant 78.7 years and for women, 82.7 years. Men have lost around 1.3 years of life and women 0.9 of a year. You could say: 'Well of course these figures show an ebbing in life expectancy because we've just been through a world-wide coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of thousands of people have died prematurely'.

But what is revealing is the growing chasm that exists between those that live longest and those that live shortest, according to social deprivation. From 2011 to 2021 better off men on average live 10.3 years longer than the poorest men, and better off women 8.3 years longer.

What the stats show, is that if you were poor before the pandemic and prone to illnesses due to your poverty then, much like the virus's effects on other aspects of society, the pandemic has accentuated your propensity to suffer.

I wasn't shocked by the results of this report; poor, sick people were made sicker and poorer during the pandemic, and really sick people died before their time.

Longevity for those from the upper classes shows what's possible for all of us, given the right resources. The drop in life expectancy for the working class and poor shows that capitalism is sick. For the sake of societal and individual health, we need to kill it off as soon as possible!

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In The Socialist 22 September 2021:

What we think

Workers' politics won't come from Labour


Working class under attack

NHS workers reject 3% insult

Energy market chaos makes the case for nationalisation

Tory cuts to Universal Credit: we need a union fightback

Interview: Bakers' union to vote on Labour disaffiliation

Tax fraud could be over 20 billion annually

Life expectancy falls - a condemnation of capitalism


Socialists and the four-day week


10 years since Occupy

Workplace news

End the teaching workload crisis

MOJ pay deal accepted - we demand 10%

Workers at 13 colleges to strike over pay

New strike dates in EMR guards dispute

Stop press: Sparks walk out

Oaks Park strikers call eleven days' more action


German general election


Unemployment, low pay, rip-off uni fees, climate change... Join the fight for Socialism

Yorkshire Youth Fight for Jobs relaunched

W Sussex 'disability tax' - protest not going away

Fighting evictions in Cornwall

Leeds taxi drivers and disabled passengers unite to fight station changes

Socialist Students: Youth lit up when they saw us

York: Non-binary and trans rights protest

Readers' opinion

TV Review - Help: Heart-wrenching portrayal of Covid care home crisis

Gleision mine deaths: Still fighting for justice

Corbyn had a social care plan

Who pays for the climate crisis?

Famine in Madagascar


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Article dated 22 September 2021

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