The opioid crisis


Yeah. This is where internet message boards (and some liberals) go hyperbolic, and just lose people.

The U.S. has a real problem. For its wealth, resources, etc., it does a pretty terrible job of taking care of its people with social programs. We could really do a lot better with health care, education, wealth equality, elder care, etc. The resources are there to do it - we just have grossly misguided priorities (and a very inefficient, somewhat corrupt system).

But to suggest that the average American is living a third world life based on income is just so utterly ridiculous as to be laughable. It’s the type of thing that makes people write off leftist ideas. They hear that type of thing, and they just think they’re ridiculous, why even listen to anything else. It has the opposite effect of what is intended (unless what is intended is echo chamber ranting).


The weird thing is is how much of it is focused on the USA because… we’re not the only nation like that. The chart is not wrong. There are several other nations that have better medians than we do, and it’s weird to see the same people pushing otherwise when they’re the same people in other topics trying to push policies to make us like these other nations but… regardless of our ranking with other developed nations, we’re still a developed nation and much of the world is not.


I never said life in US was like a Third World country. Second World for many people, maybe.

Maybe we should compare the US state-by-state? Not every state is California or New Hampshire.


(I couldn’t find an appropriate chart. The best I could find was a comparison of GDP per capita between US states and sovereign states. Not the median income.)


I think all of us agree there’s an insane and growing gap between the haves and have-nots in the US. It’s just that first- and second world typically refer to nations instead of individuals or communities.


“Second world” was just a term used to refer to soviet bloc nations during the cold war.

The reality is, even the poor in America have it extremely good compared to most of the world. We live in a functional society with pretty much universal access to things like clean water and electricity. Even a homeless person in America can get those things in quantities that you often don’t have in many parts of the world.

There is a huge disparity in America between the richest person and the poorest… but the poorest person in America is dramatically better off than the poorest person on earth.

This isn’t said to minimize the plight of the poor in America… but it’s silly to pretend like America isn’t solidly a first world nation, with an extremely wealthy population. You’re drinking the koolaid a bit too much if you’re starting to believe that America is some kind of dystopic wasteland.


We have people who die, every year, freeze to death, heat exhaustion… I don’t think it’s unfair to point that out. It’s just on aggregate we’re better of than a lot of the world but we’re not always at the top compared to other like countries.


“Second World” was invented at the same time as “First World” and “Third World”. It fits countries like China and Russia pretty well. A functioning government (i.e. not in the middle of a civil war), a lot of basic services, industry. Pretty impressive considering the state these places were in a century or more ago.


No, no we don’t. Flint and Detroit would beg to differ. There are tens of thousands of poor with no electricity and no running water in Detroit alone. Just because you don’t hear about it everyday doesn’t mean it’s not happening. If you’re poor or get behind on bills you are f*ed in this country and end up living like you’re in a 3rd world country. U;like some areas of 3rd world countries they have no options for growing their own food nor raising their own livestock either.


Is Detroit part of America? We need POTUS to get in contact with the President of Detroit to help nip this problem in the bud.


Anyway, the people of Flint just need to pick themselves up by their bootstraps (after taking a sip of refreshing tap water) and make their own lives better!


Flint is certainly a major problem, but part of it is exactly because such a thing is unheard of in America.

In terms of Detroit… What are you talking about? Detroit has water. It has electricity. You can walk down the street to a water fountain and it has clean, potable water. This is not the same as a third world country where you literally have no clean water.

You are talking about this:

And yeah, that’s terrible, and largely because everyone has moved out of Detroit. But it’s still not remotely the same as being in a third world country.

No, being poor in America is NOT like living in a third world country. It is not even remotely close.



Do we all understand that something like safe lead levels in water is a solidly first world problem?

Like, it’s of essentially of trivial concern compared to the water issues in third world countries? Like… You won’t DIE from drinking Flint’s water.


I think you mean you will not die immediately. Yes. I am aware we’re not drinking sewage which can lead to severe sickness and death.

You are aware that people freeze, starve and die in this country? Starving is starving, freezing to death or dying of the elements is still a problem for very few, but it still happens. I am not talking about poverty or how we measure poverty in the use or income levels, I am talking about the destitute, the sick and the dying and the hungry you’re wanting to just overlook.


You know what, I’m not going to bother trying to explain what the difference is between America and a third world country is. You guys do you.


It’s insulting you think we don’t know. You have not seen enough of America if you don’t understand that fellow Americans are dying, and it’s not because they have basic TV and roofs over their heads. It’s just statistically very, very low, but those lives still matter.


What exactly makes you think that i believe Americans aren’t dying, or don’t live in poverty?

The fact that I’m saying that they don’t l live in the same kind of crushing poverty that exists in a third world country? And you think they do?


Come on now. If you’re not going to take this seriously then neither will I. Clearly I don’t because I actually said that.


That’s the root of the misunderstanding. Saying that some poor Americans live like people in 3rd world countries isn’t the same as saying that some poor Americans live like the poorest people in 3rd world countries. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think anyone believes that poverty in America is comparable to poverty in e.g. Somalia.


If you are over 40 and grew up in the US, you probably had higher blood lead levels as a kid than those in Flint. We basically poisoned everyone’s brains for a couple of generations.

Which would sort of explain a lot…