Your Lying Eyes

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03 January 2007

Good News/Bad News

The New York Times reports on the paradoxical longevity of Hispanic immigrants in the U.S. Despite being generally poor, they live longer lives than white Americans. That's good news for the immigrants - but the obvious bad news is that this will only increase the burden of these immigrants on the general population.
[A] recent analysis by Irma T. Elo, a demographer at the University of Pennsylvania, indicates that a 65-year-old white woman will live, on average, an additional 18.9 years. But a 65-year-old Hispanic woman who immigrated to the United States will live an additional 19.8 years, a significant difference. The longevity difference persists even though Hispanic immigrants tend to be like Mrs. Lara, poor and poorly educated and lacking health care. It persists even though, like Mrs. Lara, they get chronic diseases like arthritis and high blood pressure and are often overweight.

“Everyone,” said Kyriakos S. Markides, who directs the Division of Sociomedical Sciences at the University of Texas in Galveston, “is trying to figure out what the hell is going on.” Two popular hypotheses have not held up in recent studies. One said that immigrants returned home to die, leaving healthier people in the United States. The other said that healthier people were more likely to immigrate.
There's always been that silly notion that illegal immigrants would help solve our Social Security mess by contributing via payroll taxes while never being able to collect. The Democrat (and Bush/McCain) proposals to legalize our 11+ million illegals sounds like a really dumb idea in this light. At least there seems some likelihood that current illegals will return to the more affordable Mexico with some kind of nest egg as they age, but full normalization would guarantee them a publicly financed (and long) retirement wherever they settle.

7 Comments:

Anonymous tom.m said...

wow, thats an interesting article, Ziel.

Didn't know that being as wide as you are tall, drunk driving, knife fighting, only going to the doctor when you are sick enough to need the emergency room and other peculiarities of Mexicans in this country were conducive to longevity. If true, it sure does blow to shreads the notion that Mexicans will be net-positive contributors to our nation's social welfare system. With amnesty looming on the horizon, and if word gets back to the Land of Eternal Diarhea that you move to America, and you'll live to be 94 (what's the life expectancy in Mexico - 60 maybe?), we can expect a flood of mexican senior citizens to accompany half their workforce into the U.S.

January 06, 2007 1:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom.m stated "land of the eternal diareha"

I got a chuckle out of that. I have tried and liked Mexican food myself, but yikes I cannot digest it. Indian food (as in Bombay, not native American) does me the same way. I enjoyed it, it was spicy......but ouch.

Hot chili and budwiser and a few (moderately) hot wings are about all I can handle.


Funny story,
Years ago (about 95 or so) Im still in college, working two jobs. One was at a Subway sandwich franchise. A bunch of Mexicans (really short ones) came in who were obviously working on Apartments going up down the road. They only had one guy that spoke broken English order as the others watched. One in particular wanted alot of jalepenos (way too hot for me) on his sandwich, and kept asking for more. No other condiment other than mustard or some such, maybe tomatoes. I told him (through the interpreter) to tell me "when". So help me man, I had a small PILE of jalepenos' on that sandwich before he said enough. I remember thinking to myself that I would be able to breathe fire like a dragon if I ate that many of those things.

January 06, 2007 2:23 AM  
Blogger ziel said...

Hey, maybe a big pile of jalapenos is the secret to their longevity, who knows. I for one love Mexican food, though I can't handle too many jalapenos in one serving. But I'm not stupid enough to think that more immigrants will lead to more and better Mexican food. Like all other immigrant groups, they will gladly trade-in their more difficult-to-prepare native food for convenient American fare - or quickly bastardize it to fit in with the realities of American life - think spaghetti and meatballs.

January 07, 2007 10:21 AM  
Blogger agnostic said...

If it's not the obvious environmental causes -- health care, staying away from rotting urban areas, etc. -- and assuming the pattern is real, then it could have a genetic basis. Unlike lots of things the people investigate the genetic basis of, greater longevity would actually be expected to have a strong genetic basis.

January 07, 2007 5:13 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Mexico's life expectancy at birth compares well to some wealthier eastern European countries such as Hungary and Slovakia so maybe there is some built in logevity in the genes.

January 08, 2007 12:34 AM  
Blogger agnostic said...

I hope so -- once we figure out what the mechanism is, we can try to duplicate its effects in non-Latinos.

January 08, 2007 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Ely said...

This cannot have effect as a matter of fact, that is what I suppose.
5 | 1 | 2

October 18, 2012 11:38 AM  

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