CHICAGO’S RED LINE SHOWS 30-YEAR RANGE OF LIFE EXPECTANCY, BY ZIP CODE
So this is pretty scary to comprehend. The Economist, of all high-end rags, wrote an in-depth piece that should shock every single American that hear about it. I’m shocked, and you should be too. It turns out that there is a very simple example of income inequality having a great deal to do with life expectancy. But the example is a single rail line in the city of Chicago, Illinois. It’s the Red Line, a local train line that I’ve actually been on once years ago. The red line runs north to south over a distance of 23 miles. But it seems that where you live along that line has a huge impact on life expectancy. The wrong zip code means a much shorter life!
IN OTHER WORDS, RICH PEOPLE IN RICH NEIGHBORHOODS NEAR THE TRAIN LIVE 30 YEARS LONGER
Not shocked yet? Well, the range is shockingly extreme. If you live in the best neighborhood, you are likely to live 30 years longer than in the worst. Yeah, told you. Shocking. If you live in the wrong zip code (or the wrong side of the tracks) you are likely to die 30 years before folks nearby who live in the right zip code. So if you’re under 30 and you’ve always been affluent, maybe you feel inured to this news. But trust me, this is shocking. We are the richest and one of the most developed countries in the entire world.
LIFE EXPECTANCY IN THE US SHOULD NOT BE RELATED TO INCOME, ZIP CODE, OR RACE
So hearing about a 30 year life expectancy gap in a tiny metro sampling of a mass transit line is…. Unacceptable. It simply defies what America is supposed to be all about. Or, at least, what it was supposed to be about. But we’ve all clearly taken our eyes off the ball in recent decades. And no, you can’t simply explain away the numbers here with distractions like the Opioid crisis and random nationalistic gun freaks. But it does have a lot to do with economic policies and priorities. They’ve left quite a number of us…. 30 years behind.