Opinion – Opioid epidemic, not banking system, to blame for falling US labor participation – Fed chief Yellen — RT America

Russia’s RT reports that the opioid abuse in the US is linked to a decline in labor participation rates, citing a claim by  Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen.

Source: Opioid epidemic, not banking system, to blame for falling US labor participation – Fed chief Yellen — RT America

The opioid epidemic is a fairly recent phenomena, almost exclusively centred in the US and Canada. Opioids became widely prescribed in the US in the nineties to treat chronic pain – now there’s a crisis affecting North America young, notably with lower education and from poorer areas. Pharmaceutical grade opioids have given way to criminal supply chains, largely from Mexico  – poor quality and dependence have quickly lead to drug overdose being the largest cause of death in the under fifty age group.

It’s quite significant that the Chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, has singled out opioid abuse as a primary reason for the decline in labor participation. Yellen is expected to be replaced by President Trump who does not like her outspoken style, even if her arguments are supported by solid evidence. We should remember that Trump’s Far Right support comes from lower educated whites, often down on their luck, and who match the demographic profile of opioid abusers. Finally, of course, RT, the Russian news service, is pointing the finger at the underside of North American society, throwing some red meat to its own domestic readers who are feeling the impact of sanctions because of Putin’s foreign policy interventions.

It’s unlikely that Trump’s nationalistic domestic policies will slow the growth in opioid abuse. With increasing technology replacing lower and medium level jobs, matters will get worse unless there is an effective intervention.

Let me ask an open question:

How should America and Canada effectively eliminate the opioid epidemic?



2 responses

  1. This article via Dr Alf presupposes that America wishes to deal with the problem of drug abuse among the young and the under 50 age group.

    My view is that they have already written off a great many people as economically useless, not trainable and unwilling to adapt.

    This is why Obamacare is being scaled back and with automation,robotics and AI many if not all the jobs that these people could have done in the past are now dealt with without people.

    Since many of them have run out of unemployment benefit and are no longer counted in the jobless figures they lack money to buy anything and are useless as consumers which means they contribute nothing to the American Exchequer.

    They have voted for Trump,served their purpose as his election fodder and have become what Dr Henry Kissinger and Adolf Hitler before him called “useless eaters”.
    Common humanity and Judeo Christian ethics says that these people should be helped but with the life expectancy of some of the poorest of these people at 5 years worse than that of the average Greek one can see the direction of travel which is straight out of Brave New World and the Malthusian Doctrine.

    Professor John Holdren ,President Obama’s Chief Scientific Advisor ,was at least honest in his desire to reduce global population by 6.2 billion people which he expressed in his book.

    Politicians are nothing if not cunning so whilst pretending that they are against drugs and for lifting these people out of poverty they shed crocodile tears and let these people poison themselves by letting them get depressed and take drugs.

    Drugs pour into America as they do in the UK and if the authorities wanted to stop it they could do so as Singapore does with rigourous enforcement and zero tolerance to Triads,Mafiosi and the gangs that distribute the drugs whether from Mexico or Columbia.

    The logistics of moving such quantities of drugs over vast distances implies ownership of large ships and cargo planes which are owned by people other than the criminal gangs who engage in distribution.

    It also suggests brown paper bags stuffed with used notes and people looking the other way.

  2. Canada may be able to do something constructive, but I doubt the US can. To fight the opioid epidemic will require strong government policies, a lot of money into curing the addiction and rehab and into skills upgrading/training to ensure that the addicted not only is cured of his addiction but also finds a paying job as soon as he has regained his health.

    With Trump and the Republicans intent on reducing government to a minimum, cutting off funding for health and welfare programs, including worker training and education – with military expenditures the only exception, see how the Trump budget has assigned additional billions to the Pentagon! – there is little chance that anything can be done to reverse the opioid epidemic in the US!

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