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No Mercy No Malice

Threats

April 23, 2021

In February 1946, President Truman directed his intelligence apparatus to prepare a daily summary of critical national security issues. The President’s Daily Brief (“PDB”) has been produced ever since, and those that have been made public illustrate the breadth and complexity of the threats facing our nation. For example, in 1962, while President Kennedy dealt with the risk of Soviet nuclear weapons being stationed 200 miles off Miami, his PDB also alerted him to chaos in the Saudi and Congolese governments, Khrushchev’s plans for a “major reorganization” in the USSR, worsening tensions between Laos and North Vietnam, and a destabilizing student protest in South Korea.

The U.S. has survived for 250 years in part because its leaders have worried about, fortified against, and repelled a wide range of emerging threats. Many threats are obvious and popularly understood; however, many others are self-inflicted, uncomfortable to acknowledge, or come hidden under the guise of opportunity. These threats can register the greatest damage, as fewer defensive measures have been taken against them. In sum, it’s productive to worry about things that others (e.g., the media, colleagues) do not.

Below are the threats that I believe to be most present and not clear.

1. The Virgin Homicides

Young men are less likely than young women to graduate from high school (45,000 fewer U.S. boys than girls do so every year) and college, they are twice as likely to overdose, and three times more likely to be arrested. Men die from suicide at a far greater rate than do women — and these disparities are increasing.

It is increasingly difficult for young people to become a viable, consistent provider. Real wage growth has been sluggish for decades, and the boom in asset prices makes it harder to buy a house or build wealth.

Self-perception of success/failure is a function of relativity and proximity. Twenty-somethings today spend three hours a day on social networking apps, and, for the first time in history, a majority of them live with their parents. Young people do not benchmark themselves against peers from other eras or geographies, but against their Instagram feeds and roommates (i.e., parents). These examples set unattainable standards and remind them of their shortcomings, respectively.

Worsening economic prospects affect men and women, but not equally. Despite generations of effort and real improvement in gender equality, men are still expected to be providers and are told from an early age that financial success is a critical measure of manhood. Seventy-one percent of American women say it is very important for a man to support his family financially. Only 25 percent of men say the same about women.

For better or worse, men who are perceived as unviable providers do especially poorly when seeking mates. Online dating apps are now the most popular way for people to meet, and they provide unprecedented data on mating preferences. Of course, for both men and women, a small group receives most of the attention. In fact, the inequality of attention is greater than the inequality of income.

But, the concentration is far greater for men. On Hinge, the top 10 percent of men receive nearly 60 percent of the “likes” — the comparable figure for women is 45 percent. If Hinge constituted a sovereign, it would reflect an average wealth (measured in “likes”) for women, but for men, it would be the eighth most unequal country on Earth.

One outcome: a radical decline in sexual activity among young men. In 2018, 28 percent of men under 30 reported having no sex in the past year — double historical rates.

This isn’t about sex, but about a wider range of (non-)attachments (marriage rates hit an all-time low in 2018 as well). As a species, we need physical and social contact, and we crave deep, meaningful bonds. Men who fail to attach to partners, careers, or communities grow bitter, and seek volatility and unrest. They are more susceptible to fringe theories, and over-index on online forums filled with misogynist content and misinformation. Economic inequality and elasticity are correlated with violence and instability, and studies of gun violence in the U.S. find a strong association with decreased social mobility. Marriage, on the other hand, correlates with reductions in crime, and may even have a causal effect on reducing it.

The reduction of economic pathways for young people is no less serious for women, but it appears to be less dangerous. When young women feel shame and rage, they don’t turn to AR-15s. The most dangerous person on the planet is a bored, broke, lonely young male. The U.S. is producing too many of them. Unless we dramatically increase the economic opportunities for young people, we increase the volatility of our commonwealth and add accelerant to crises.

2. Crypto’s Assault on the USD

The United States government plays a vital role in world security and economic prosperity. Large-scale criminal enterprises, extremist terror organizations, rogue nations such as North Korea, and authoritarian powers like China and Russia seek to undermine the American way of life. The bulwark to these threats is our nation’s ability to deploy unrivaled economic and military force in pursuit of U.S. interests and defense of our citizens.

A pillar of this strength is the primacy of the United States Dollar. The dollar is the world’s default currency, preferred store of value, and medium of exchange. Because global investors are eager to hold dollars, we have tremendous latitude regarding our own liquidity and influence over organizations and sovereigns that trade in the dollar. Because global commerce is settled in dollars, U.S. law enforcement maintains visibility into — and authority over — flows of capital and influence. The dollar is a ubiquitous countermeasure to adversaries that does not present the risk(s) of escalation of military force.

The dollar is already structurally challenged: It accounts for 59 percent of global foreign exchange reserves but only an estimated 16 percent of global GDP. That would be hard to sustain under any circumstances, but now, the U.S. is accelerating its long-running debasement of the once “all-mighty dollar” in a misguided attempt to prop up the shareholder class during the pandemic.

As John Connally Jr., Richard Nixon’s treasury secretary, put it in 1971, “the dollar is our currency, but it is your [every other nation’s] problem.” Today, apparently infinite quantitative easing (printing money) is our problem … and it is bitcoin’s opportunity. Cryptocurrency, sitting at a $2T market capitalization, is no threat to the dollar today, but the trends are not favorable.

Should bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies usurp the scarcity credibility of major currencies and emerge as the dominant form of money, the dollar — and the role it plays in world stability — would be drastically undermined. Widespread use of currencies that evade the existing financial system could blind U.S. authorities to tax fraud, sanctions evasion, and other criminal conduct. Indeed, it would degrade the ability of governments across all democracies to collect taxes and enforce financial laws. Less investor interest in the dollar would increase U.S. government borrowing rates, and reduce discretionary spending as interest on debt increases.

Delta of Domain

Big tech has created enormous value. However, its net value (benefits minus externalities) is diminished as regulators and lawmakers lack the domain expertise to regulate the externalities.  So, while cryptocurrencies offer potential for creative destruction — and significant value creation — ignorance among regulators and lawmakers regarding cryptocurrencies is unacceptable and dangerous.

It is fashionable in crypto communities to celebrate the potential impact on USD hegemony. This is a short-sighted, liberterian-esque screed whose loudest barkers are often the greatest beneficiaries of our economy, and who are using their influence to drive history’s greatest pump-and-dump. Crypto offers great possibility, but not all of those possibilities are good for the commonwealth.

Democracies lose when the wealthy evade taxes, or when organized crime can easily move and store capital. A decentralized financial system runs the risk of neutering enforcement. U.S. adversaries have a vested interest in the success of any technology whose success may come at the cost of the USD. China has announced a state-sponsored cryptocurrency (AKA Big Brother Coin) and India may be the swing vote to determine whether cryptocurrencies or the Yuan will reign supreme on the global stage.

The velvet glove of U.S. values surrounding our unrivaled ability to deliver force (globally) is our nation’s most fearsome legionnaire. USD primacy is a close second. Indeed, they are codependent — anything that threatens both must be better understood.

3. Obesity

Before we all had mask collections and Zoom accounts, obesity was the defining public health crises of our time. Now, though it has been (temporarily) superseded by a pandemic that has killed half a million Americans, it is the leading aggravating factor in that new scourge.

Obesity is associated with many of the leading causes of death in the U.S. (diabetes, heart disease, and stroke). If that doesn’t scare you, let’s put it in the language of America: money. In 2016, the U.S. spent an estimated $480 billion on obesity-related costs and $1.24 trillion in indirect work loss costs. Or roughly … all the bitcoin.

It’s only getting worse: Today, 42 percent of Americans are classified as obese, up from 34 percent in 2007-2008. While obesity is a direct result of behaviors like overconsumption and inactivity, its prevalence is a symptom of structural inequality and just bad structures — namely, the food industrial complex, which profits greatly off the sales of cheap, unhealthy foods and that disproportionately targets low income people and people of color.

While obesity is not a new concern, it has gained new urgency, even as we are increasingly reluctant to address it. Just as masking has been politicized by the right, open conversation about the dangers of obesity has been politicized by the left. Media has moved from fat-shaming (reprehensible) to willful blindness towards the dangers of excess weight (inexcusable). Even as obesity rates increase, fewer people are trying to lose their dangerous excess weight.

But we cannot ignore the underlying data: Covid-19 is especially dangerous for the severely overweight. In fact, the CDC estimates that being obese triples the odds of being hospitalized for Covid. Seventy-eight percent of people hospitalized for Covid-19 were either overweight (28 percent) or obese (50 percent). Eighty-eight percent of Covid deaths in the first year of the pandemic occurred in countries where over half the population is overweight — led by the U.S.

In a dark twist, the pandemic has also made obesity more widespread. In February, nearly half of American adults reported gaining a median of 15 pounds during the pandemic, and 10 percent of them reported gaining more than 50 pounds.

Of course, obesity is not just a function of willpower, but also of genes, stress levels, and access to healthy food and healthcare. As industrial food production has scaled, our instincts for seeking salty, sugary, and fatty foods have not modulated. So, while individuals are not to blame, we are fighting an uphill battle: Once a person becomes severely overweight, their body changes and fights efforts to lose the excess weight and keep it off. If our government doesn’t tackle the obesity epidemic with the same urgency as it would any other public health crisis — starting with open, non-politicized conversation — we are destined to become a nation lacking the strength and vitality that has for so long cemented us as leaders on the global stage.

Summary

The U.S. is increasingly alone, broke, and overweight.

Life is so rich,

P.S. Registration for my next Brand Strategy Sprint, where I teach the frameworks and strategies of the world’s most successful brands, is now open. Join us.

97 comments

  1. Courtney Younglove says:

    Although you make a great synopsis of the Obesity epidemic and it’s relevance to the COVID-19 pandemic, the articles you reference are fairly outdated and/or biased. As someone that practices Obesity Medicine full-time, I can tell you without a doubt that there is a great deal of data showing that the obesity epidemic is not a result of willpower or personal responsibility – that people with overweight and obesity (now over 70% of our population) are not all failing to adhere to the eat-less and move-more dogma that has been so pervasive in the field. Despite the evidence to the contrary, the CDC continues to advocate the calorie counting hypothesis and that first article you reference is woefully out of touch with reality. The Obesity Medicine Association is a better resource than most – as most are heavily influenced by big food. There are a lot of physicians doing their best to change the dialogue from dogma to science – if you start looking at credentials and funding, you could find a gold mine of information to reference! Just being helpful (I’m clearly passionate about the topic). Also, it’s really helpful to talk about “people with obesity” rather than “obese people” – just like we talk about “people with cancer” rather than “cancerous people”. Words matter – especially when you are dealing with a disease that has already been heavily stigmatized!

    • reader says:

      Isn’t this the professor’s point? That this is not about individuals but about systems? He blames “the food industrial complex” and says the problem is not willpower?

  2. Mark Kaplow says:

    Prof. Galloway: You raise 3 interesting issues whose solutions will not be easy to find and implement. 1) The jobs/employment problem rests on labor arbitrage. In the 19th century, America was long on resources and short on people, whereas Europe(and other places) were short on resources and long on people. This encouraged underemployed workers to leave Europe for better opportunities in America. This labor arbitrage has now reversed where employers are seeking out lower cost(and in some cases better skilled workers) outside of America. This labor cost differential will take years to even out as American unions have priced themselves out of competition. It is also not clear how amenable displaced American workers would be to retrain to move up the labor food chain to provide more value-added to ameliorate this cost differential. In addition, robotics will obviate the need for overpaid, medium skilled workers on the assembly line. 2) The solidity of the US Dollar might depend a lot on whether the Dollar’s dirty shirt is less dirty than alternative currencies. Cryptocurrencies are not ready to be the backbone(if ever) of the world’s financial/ trade system. 3) If you fighting obesity as a charitable gesture to aid helpless obese people to avoid an early demise, this is admirable. On the other hand, I believe your beef(?) with obesity may reside with the extra medical costs engendered by obesity. Since these healthcare costs are not paid in full by patients but require subsidies from generous American taxpayers via government transfers, growing obesity will only raise financial burdens. The obvious solution would be to assess penalty assessments on the health insurance premiums of overweight insureds. I believe skydivers and race car drivers pay higher insurance rates. Money is often an excellent motivator for good. Denying sugar to the obese will probably resemble the good results achieved by denying alcohol during Prohibition.Maybe public service ads showing amputated limbs of diabetics and pictures of bed-ridden, tube-laden heart attack hospital patients might have some success like the frightening ads of cigarette abusers.

    • Daniel says:

      I agree with your final point and idea for a solution. Most of the world agreed decades ago that tobacco was horrible for health even though it was socially accepted and promoted. In other countries they print those horrific images (China, France, Mexico, etc.) right on the cigarette boxes. I grew up watching ads of smiling children eating hot pockets and drinking Sunny D. We need an ad campaign showing the consequences of sugar, fat, and salt. It needs to be comprehensive.

  3. Edward says:

    Professor Galloway exhibits insight and empathy and brings forward genuine issues to consider. It is important to remember that millennials are on the cusp of taking over leadership positions in government and business from Boomers this decade. Gen-X is generally regarded as non-political. This generational cohort will remember their burdens and hone their instincts in multiple arenas. And yes they will/would be willing to reduce Medicare and Social Security benefits as one example.

  4. Lala says:

    The amount of ‘hidden’ sugar in food is staggering – regulate that and general health will improve. But who wants to raise the ire of that industry…

  5. Matthew Smith says:

    With respect to obesity Scott G says: “So, while individuals are not to blame…..” Really? Isn’t this just the nub of the problem, someone else is always to blame. Grow up and take responsibility.

  6. Ivanovitch says:

    Nothing like listening to leftists comment on leftism and how down the middle they are. Its kinda weird and funny at the same time.

    • Brian says:

      Leftists need to be talked to in no uncertain critical terms, and none of their precepts accepted. I shut one down yesterday, in Facebook, by pointing out how his neurotic views were in the group overwhelmingly identifying him as Leftist/Liberal, and rejecting (criticizing) them wholesale.

  7. mark says:

    relevant, critical topics for discussion- more importantly for remediation and action. much of these issues are interconnected. Once again Prof G, spot on, Bravo!

  8. W M says:

    Hear hear. Prof. Galloway has nailed a number of the key pressing issues of the day. These problems, to one extent or another, face every western nation at this moment and the answers coming forth have been distinctly lacking.

    The 4th issue, I would argue, is the rise of utopianism amongst the young. The populist / Alt Right and the Intersectional / ‘woke’ Left are mirrors of one another but share traits (and risks) that all utopian worldviews contain.

    Without addressing why so many of the young are so enamoured by utopian ideas and ideals, we risk the further destabilisation of liberal democracies across the west in the coming decade or two.

    • Brian says:

      They’re enamored of utopian ideas because most of them see no other way to succeed besides being taken care of. School certainly isn’t teaching them to work hard and create something.

  9. Tankster says:

    Should the government provide sex from females for young males? There are maybe 200 million men in the PRC who have no hope of ever getting married, maybe even having sex with women. Although entrepreneurs from RUS are happy to import comfort women, there’s a recipe for trouble. Read Adjustment Day. Learn about the Incel movement.

  10. PJ Carr says:

    Regarding obesity, the science indicates willpower does not work. Please check out the very hopeful research from Brown University professor and clinician, Dr. Jud Brewer, at http://www.drjud.com. “How to change bad habits and overcome addiction” helps you to see he is deeply compassionate and on a mission to alleviate suffering.

  11. Jeffrey Cooper says:

    I think I also read that the US is having trouble finding enough soldiers since so many potential recruits are obese.

    • Andrew Duncan says:

      This is true – the Army in particular has had to lower their body composition entrance standards and PT standards frequently over the last decade, just to fill the ranks.

  12. Reyes says:

    Interesting piece this week, but I have my doubts Prof G wrote it…just doesn’t sound like anything he’s written before…maybe it’s just me.

    • Barrett says:

      I dunno, it sounds exactly like he wrote it to me. All three topics are things he’s discussed as asides in prior essays.

  13. hes says:

    “The United States government plays a vital role in world security and economic prosperity.” – Do you live in an alternate / mirrored reality? Are you just brainwashed or is it a cognitive dissonance?

    • NotHes says:

      Stop. Pick up a book

    • Tom says:

      Deeply cynical as you are, ask yourself if any other nation is really doing anything to stem genocide in Africa/Balkans etc. America may suck, but it sucks less than any other nation in the world when it comes to trying to do the right thing.

  14. Rascal Jasper says:

    I can’t remember what movie it was but the quote from the Momma was “ I want to thank Gameboy for keeping my son a virgin till he got married “. Or something similar to that. More truth to that than ever.
    Back to the farm folks if you want to save your -self – kids- spouse etc.
    John Prine had it right “ blow up your TV” .

  15. Neil says:

    Another thought provoking piece….vital in a world where so many have neither the inclination or indeed permission to think for themselves……

  16. ecopilled says:

    What’s the point of being wealthy in a society where there’s no community or solidarity? Let’s not pretend this can be fixed. It can’t. Collapse is now inevitable and democracy is not a viable political system anymore. People are skeptical of it. It failed to handle environmental problems, poverty, basic human needs. Capital won. Finance has saturated everything and destroyed the ancient human life world. Everything is now commensurate with money. There is no realm of the sacred or sublime anymore. Smartphones have captured attention, permanently. You will never again have a conversation where you talk to someone and they have your undivided attention. You will never again talk to strangers without annoyance and suspicion registering on their faces as they glance up from some obscure reddit page. It’s over. All that’s left is bread and circuses as things fall further apart. I would rather be miserable than feel nothing, which is exactly where this sterile drab hideous deja vu Sillicon Valley techno culture has brought us. This is cultural and psychological impoverishment created by internet companies, their “products” more addictive than heroin or meth. At this point, bring on the suffering and violence. Anything is better than interminable purgatory in a zombie world. Having grown up middle class and having resigned myself to a life of poverty working service jobs to avoid the “professional” sector and it’s associated cultural and human cancer: I would absolutely shoot myself in the foot to spite wealthy and upper middle class workers. These people have no values besides comfort and wealth. They are last men in the Nietzschean sense. Poor people are hated in America because wealth is seen as proof of virtue. I would prefer if the upper class was up front with how they feel about people making less than 20/hr: “You’re scum and we hate you and hope you suffer.” That would be better than the patronizing smugness of the software developers, lawyers, and “creatives” as they tell you how HARD they worked for their corporate shill job defending the ultrawealthy and impoverishing their brothers and sisters and friends. At this point, at least we know they’re basically doomed as well. WFH will eventually end in Ohio salaries paid to SF workers and eventually Chinese salaries paid to SF workers. Great. We need a hard recession where everyone suffers. If the wealthy and privileged keep dealing themselves stacked decks while the rest keep losing, blood is not far away. Just my take.

    • Cj says:

      Good sir (ma’am?),
      I don’t disagree. Unfortunately, I don’t think your proposed solution is any better. Suffering and collapse certainly won’t make things better for those seeking community and solidarity.

      As a citizen who desires similar societal shift, I’m trying to carve out my small niche. To live in my community. To know my neighbors. To accept limitations and reject money at all costs.

      I can’t change the country. But I can change myself. And find a couple people to do it with me. I’d hope the same for you.

    • tom says:

      I came across of a group of young teenage girls celebrating a birthday at an ice cream store. All of them wore paper hats, talked to each other, and none of them had a phone in the their hand. As for the wealthy, I don’t consider myself one. But I did play by the rules, spend less than I made, refrained from profligacy, and things have turned out OK so far. Not everyone with money is a sociopath.

  17. Financial Samurai says:

    Although we might be heavier, I think as a nation we are richer and happier.

    Sam

  18. Michael says:

    True that fat shaming has hindered the ability of health experts and others to really call out obesity for the negative results in health outcomes the way they should. Baldness, which is not something under your control, is now the only physical shortcoming which can be openly mocked.

  19. JEFFERY R RAINES says:

    At 130 tW-hrs per year, Bitcoin mining costs around $25 billion per year which is $3 billion more than Visa’s annual revenue for a miniscule number of transactions compared to Visa. Bitcoin is worthless as a currency. It’s only use is speculation and that’s going to end badly.

    • bharat says:

      Bitcoin is a global monetary system, Visa is a payment processor. That comparison isn’t accurate or useful. Comparing it with the current environmental impact of the global monetary system would be more accurate but that’s impossible.

      I do think the criticisms are valid though, and the solution is Proof of Stake which Ethereum will be implementing this year that doesn’t require the crazy GPU power Proof of Work does.

    • HiThere says:

      You forgot to mention that as soon as Bitcoin reaches a “critical level” of disruption in worldwide financial transactions it will simply be outlawed by first the US and then many other governments, which will lead to its collapse. There is NO WAY that Bitcoin will ever replace the USD or any other FIAT currency. The digital currencies that are being planned and tested in Europe, China and soon many other countries will replace FIAT currencies, but not the uncontrollable Bitcoin outside of any supervisory policing power by a national government.

  20. Alistair Richardson says:

    Re Cuban weapons crisis. At the time, the US had missiles stationed in Turkey directly across from the USSR’s southern borders, so, you know, there’s that.

  21. John Moore says:

    More Americans need to be mining crypto.

  22. Susan Johnston says:

    There is this inclination on the part of young men to seek sexual intercourse for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with forging rewarding and meaningful bonds with their partners. Hooking-up is the goal. The basis for meaningful relationships is not reflected in pop culture references. As the mom of three boys, I was devoted to ensuring they would be worthy partners to the women they chose to have in their lives. Building lives of purpose (another issue which may or may not include income levels to support a family) and learning how to listen with respect were the foundational principles.

    The good news: if their movitations were solely focused on having access to sex they were well-served in a larger sense. My oldest is a LtCol in the Marine Corps with a magnificent wife and four children. My middle son is a university professor teaching finance with a phenomenal wife and delightful little boy. My youngest is a finance professional with a highly motivated, successful, beautiful wife and a new baby girl.

    Success at pursuing sex as a goal has had amazing spillover benefits.

  23. Greg Pennefather says:

    Another excellent and insightful piece Prof G. I applaud your attempts at alerting people to the threat and opportunity that is cryptocurrency. However, in your podcasts and now in this, you identify obesity as a major issue (with which I completely agree), but you are SA far from the mark regarding its cause and the solution. Obesity is actually just a symptom of the underlying cause – chronically elevated insulin levels (hyperinsulinaemia) caused by over consumption of carbohydrates. Americans, and, subsequently, the rest of the western world, was told to eat this way in the early 80s with the release of the dietary guidelines. We’ve been getting fatter and sicker ever since. If you are serious about picking up the baton on obesity (and I hope you are), I implore you to review the massive amount of work done by the low carb community, especially that of Jason Fung, Rob Cywes, Ken Berry, Nina Teicholz, Gary Taubes et al. I’d be happy to do it but I learnt from all of these people- they’re the source. Their advice has resulted in me losing nearly 70 pounds and almost (a work in progress) reversing diabetes and other chronic conditions. The solution is not what you would intuitively think but is amazingly effective a d simple. I would be immensely grateful if you leant you voice to this extremely beneficial cause. Please educate yourself on this.

    All my best

    Greg

    • reader says:

      Isn’t that exactly his point? He writes “While obesity is a direct result of behaviors like overconsumption and inactivity, its prevalence is a symptom of structural inequality and just bad structures — namely, the food industrial complex, which profits greatly off the sales of cheap, unhealthy foods and that disproportionately targets low income people and people of color.”

  24. Linda says:

    I don’t think your measures of income and Tinder likes are sufficient in diagnosing the problem. In fact, it reflects a messed-up paradigm that perpetuates the problem of Toxic Masculinity. How about reforming the model of education and development that boys get? The last 2 decades have made great strides in changing this for girls – from ed systems/policies to culture to workplace outcomes and the language we use to talk about girls’ development, and even with their toys. The equivalent has not happened for boys. They are being raised to be hyper-competitive, dysfunctional, toxic behaviors excused as “boys will be boys,” to their own and society’s detriment. They are testing poorly while at the same time standardized tests are being dismissed as valid measures by many – so what does that say about girls’ achievements? Many boys not deemed “alpha” types are bullied and sidelined. They know the system and the culture is bunk. But far too many present a limited image of that so-called desirable “alpha” and everyone falls for it. We do NOT need more economic opportunities for this type of the male ideal that is a very limiting stereotype that keeps perpetuating itself. Now we have a good name for this set of destructive dynamics – “Toxic Masculinity.” We need to see the confluence of these crises as an opportunity to deal with Toxic Masculinity. We need to promote thought leaders who are presenting alternative frameworks for success and achievement (they are out there) – Role models of men who are caring for their communities without the use of violence and/or excessive wealth as a show of arrogance, ego and narcissism. You, Scott, have talked about these alternative male aspirations. So while these metrics may give insight into something, the solution is not to generate more anxiety over simplistic economic opportunity solutions. Then you’re just generating more anxiety over what is happening to boys, which will just be about white boys, and then what? You interviewed Jim Tankerseley for his book. In his book he outlines that the white non-college male has actually been just fine when compared to his counterparts who are female or non-white. What has happened is that he has not done as well as his white college-educated male counterparts. Meanwhile, Tankerseley (though not outright saying this) illuminates a really great question – why is the white non-college educated male entitled to do better than non-white college educated people, whether male or female? Why are boys not going to college TODAY, when they have more options to do so? And please do NOT point to the high cost of tuition. This is, again, an entitlement game. Not everyone is entitled to go to Harvard. But they can go to any number of public institutions and do just fine. Moreover, college and continuing ed has evolved to become overall, life-long human development. Plenty of people are engaging as such. It helps them develop and evolve across multiple dimensions- psychological, intellectual, emotional pathways – and even upskilling to transition to different types of jobs. We do need an improved social safety net that can support people through these transitions. But we don’t need more economic entitlement. There are lots of jobs that can be created because there are a shit-ton of problems all around us. But focusing so much on income and Tinder measures only fuels the consumer-capitalist mentality of anxiety for “more” without a more enlightened framework for “better.” Lastly, you are trying to draw a strong connection between these measures and the likelihood of being involved in white extremism. The Capitol insurrectionists were predominantly young and white, but also a high number were in the military. That means they had access to training and economic pathways (preferred hiring once they returned to civilian life) that are unavailable to others. So the logic doesn’t hold. Military vets have economic access. It may be poorly implemented as with getting timely healthcare from the VA, but they have access. Why, then, do they still turn to these toxic behaviors? Tankersley’s book shows that we need an entirely new model for white men – the American Cowboy (American Exceptionalism) still runs deep and it needs to be dismantled in the minds of these last holdouts. They need to join the rest of humanity in being “just” human, like the rest of us. I think that’s what they’re really crying out for, anyway. But we have a long way to go before they see their pain as a function of a false and illusory paradigm of power. What they need, in order to become human and really feel that they are human, is to connect with the rest of us in partnership and equality. No additional income or Tinder likes needed.

    • Joe says:

      Sorry Linda but I cannot agree. “Toxic Masculinity” is not even a good euphemism for what point of view it really conveys. And that is “Masculinity is Toxic” , as derogatorily diagnosed by passives, feminists, group, physicians of sociology ( yes, sarcasm).
      Why is there no attack on Toxic Femininity?
      Because natural, biological, anthropological feminists is Normal.
      The same applies to masculinity. That is there are no levels of either whereby self proclaimed enlightened elites can judge and declare guilt , no gradient scale.
      As you state, “they need to join humanity, like the rest of us”.
      But when young boys act like boys and are naturally more physical and aggressive with each other than how girls interact, This Is Normal and has been since the first humans.
      Yet when these boys are labeled as “toxic” or emotionally, psychologically or mentally unbalanced, and their energies are suppressed since they are not as passive or calm as the girls, of course they act out more.
      They are not raised to be “ hyper competitive, dysfunctional, toxic”, these are exaggerations since by their biology they are not feminine enough to your liking.
      This quip by Mark Steyn states your new world vision best:
      “ in the future we will all be women, just that some will have a vagina and some will have a penis.”

      • Barrett says:

        Joe, if you ever wonder why you have fewer friends this year than last, and fewer friends last year than the year before, and why that trend will continue until you have only a handful of people who you still see with any regularity, it’s because people around you are embarrassed when you say things like this. It’s not just overtly ignorant; it’s preferentially ignorant. I’m a 40 year old dude who can likely deadlift 2.5 – 3X your walkaround weight, but I have zero interest in your “masculinity must inherently be aggressive and violent” worldview. If you think “this is normal and has been since the first humans” you really need to read the most basic Anthropology 101 or History textbook – but something tells me you’re also one of the “college brainwashes you by teaching you liberal facts” folks. (I grew up around them – and even believed them until I actually grew up and started learning for myself how preferential ignorance operates. Now you’re easy to spot a mile away.)

        So don’t worry – I won’t force you to read; I know you won’t anyway. But in five years, look around your world and take stock of the people around you. And when you have fewer people than ever whom you could truly call “a close friend” I want you to remember this conversation, and I want you to accept and admit deep down in your soul that I was right all along. I won’t wait – you’re not worth it to me – but maybe you’ll decide that you’re worth it to you, and worth the effort to start making changes. And maybe then you can join humanity like the rest of us.

        • Joe says:

          Barrett, thanks for your reply. I’m sure you can out lift me since I’m a retired health care professional with a doctorate degree from an Ivy League university in the old days before online degrees. I am amused by your personal attacks on my personality and circle of friends which appears to be the only basis for your condescending diatribe.
          Since you assume I am some unwashed, uneducated, possibly illiterate I will try, in more basic language, to reiterate my position:
          Boys are not girls and girls are not boys.
          Boys will be more physical and competitive at play than girls. Nature, via male hormones, has evolved humans to make it thus. This should not be interpreted as violence. Perhaps your definition of “violent” is much lower than mine.
          Do you think all male contact sports such as football, rugby, wrestling should be outlawed. When you grunt and groan lifting weights 3x my body weight, all powered by natural androgynous hormones ( I assume you are male) should others view you as a potentially violent, aggressive muscle head?
          I see a dangerous and paradoxical climate whereby “diversity is strength” and yet differences between males and females is considered no longer acceptable. Where males are increasingly feminized ( research how much testosterone levels in males have decreased over the decades) and females are masculinized.
          Maybe you have it all figured out but I foresee more health issues for our youngsters physically, mentally and emotionally.

        • Edgar Smith says:

          Barrett, your entire post consists of you trying to establish your dominance physically and socially (you’re “more of a man” than Joe because you are stronger and I’m sure you aren’t losing friends each year, so you are also more well-liked, too!). Your tone is aggressive and you’re openly unapologetic about your insults. In what world are you not the poster child of “toxic masculinity”?

          • Joe says:

            Edgar, thanks for your comment. I was wondering if anyone else besides me picked up on the WWE insult/put down which pretty much, although even more extreme, proved my point.

  25. Gabor says:

    hmmm part of this article had great point, namely about the family structure, young boys/man lack of finding their identity and purpose, crime etc but I the last part about the USA role in maintaining the world police just to guard the reserve currency is creating more problems then it’s solve. First of all the $US as a reserve currency is way beyond it’s expiry date based historical data how long a country holds that title. Secondly seems like no one really understand what has happened in 1933. There many actually very well know and comprehend because they use the correct way to pay off debts. The ignorance of the others, the majority responsible for all the suffering they live through. They creating more dept, dept on dept and don’t understand anything about money, credit, set off, remittance, signature. They don’t even want to hear the truth, cause it goes against everything and makes them total imbecile and they choose to ignore it and even attack me . The reality is so painful to them, they rather continue than admit they have been fooled. The general view on 1933 is that we become slaves to the money, gold were robed etc. In reality we were freed, we got free will and choose to follow the dark. It is unbelievable easy to liberate yourself, but one has to have a faith.

  26. Patrick says:

    Insightful and intellectually honest. Thank you Mr. Galloway

  27. Paul says:

    I thinks it is inaccurate to label household income growth at “sluggish” when it is a compound annual growth of 3.5% compared to the S&P 500, which itself returned >7% annual growth over the same period.

  28. Chip says:

    Well that was ray of sunshine….the obesity thing needs to be played up big time. How this is escaped ancient and tiny little doctor is obvious. Fauci should have been talking about obesity from day one. We would have saved trillions if we had just said, “if you are old, sick or fat, stay home. The rest of you go to work.”

  29. Chris COLES FRSA says:

    “The United States government plays a vital role in world security and economic prosperity. Large-scale criminal enterprises, extremist terror organizations, rogue nations such as North Korea, and authoritarian powers like China and Russia seek to undermine the American way of life. The bulwark to these threats is our nation’s ability to deploy unrivaled economic and military force in pursuit of U.S. interests and defense of our citizens.”

    Scott, you have given yourself away, you are blinded by a lack of truthful information. As such, your personal library needs two books, which will start the process of your education into what has been driven by the very same people that have been presenting the Presidents Daily Brief.

    First: Gold Warriors: America’s Secret Recovery of Yamashita’s Gold
    by Sterling Seagrave, Peggy Seagrave
    “In 1945, US intelligence officers in Manila discovered that the Japanese had hidden large quantities of gold bullion and other looted treasure in the Philippines. President Truman decided to recover the gold but to keep its riches secret. These, combined with Japanese treasure recovered during the US occupation, and with recovered Nazi loot, would create a worldwide American political action fund to fight communism. This ‘Black Gold’ gave Washington virtually limitless, unaccountable funds, providing an asset base to reinforce the treasuries of America’s allies, to bribe political and military leaders, and to manipulate elections in foreign countries for more than fifty years.

    Second: Enough Already, Time to end the war on terrorism by Scott Horton . . . “With outstanding scholarship, research and analysis, Enough Already lays bare the logical absurdity and self-defeating nature of America’s permanent-war establishment.”.

    America’s problems stem from within, which is what you get as a nation led by those that have no regard for the truth, even less for the effects of their leadership upon the people.

    Then add, over time, these leadership failures become embedded into the mindset of the primary leadership of all your major industries. . . where National leadership always defines the ethics and responsibilities, for everyone within their nation; so that now you reap the harvest of an embedded mindset that says it is OK to lie and cheat, and moreover, do everything you can, by any means; to suppress all external competition. End result, low wages, rapidly rising economic disparity; now ending with complete suppression of natural food and health solutions to a “same mindset” that creates a pandemic for profit.

  30. Robert Fallone says:

    “Unless we dramatically increase the economic opportunities for young people, we increase the volatility of our commonwealth and add accelerant to crises.”

    Unemployment data by age (bls.gov) breaks out A-10 by ages 20-24 and then 24-34, so let’s just use 20-24. I looked at February monthly rates since that’s the most recent month prior to the pandemic shutdown in March 2020.

    Average unemployment rate for all demographics, Feb. 2011- Feb. 2015 averaged 7.44% vs 12.80% for all people aged 20-24.

    Average unemployment age for all demographics Feb. 2018 – Feb. 2020 averaged 3.8% vs 6.73%.

    You diagnose a problem without a solution, but it would appear that, at least from an employment perspective (which is the fastest way to get them out of their parents home and on to the path of economic security), the policies in place from 2018-2020 were much more effective at creating economic opportunities for those aged 20-24 than those enacted from 2011-2015.

  31. John W Crane says:

    Hi, Prof. Galloway, I really enjoy your writings / books, and am an avid follower. In your above article you very accurately identify obesity as a serious threat…..but then mention that “individuals are not to blame”. The whole concept of “fat shaming” has been expanded to such an extent that personal responsibility and self discipline are seen as optional. Would it be ok if the same approach were applied to hygiene? Campaigns against “grime shaming” would excuse everyone from bathing? Dietary habits largely are set in childhood, so responsibility for good dietary choices and self discipline around eating begin with parenting; and personal responsibility for diet choices thereafter are influenced by both parental / family influence and social influence. Obviously there are certain individuals who suffer from thyroid or other hormonal / medical conditions that effect metabolism…..but that is a tiny percentage of the obese population. As long as the US, as a society, keeps telling people it is OK to take no responsibility for their reckless eating behavior, this problem will persist.

    • Ryan says:

      Well said John, completely agree. Personal accountability is sadly lacking when it comes to over eating and under exercising. And in this instance so is leadership from the Professor.

    • tom says:

      My favorite content is grossly obese people sharing pics on social media, proclaiming they love their body and are not ashamed. Great. See if your knees/hips/kidneys/heart feel the same way in 15 years.

  32. Barry Weinman says:

    Your quote is misleading—-“ but now, the U.S. is accelerating its long-running debasement of the once “all-mighty dollar” in a misguided attempt to prop up the shareholder class during the pandemic.”
    It is much simpler—-“Biden Administration spends money it doesn’t have.” Much more serious long term.

  33. John Azevedo says:

    Hi Scott, I really enjoy many of your original takes on business, family and culture but I wish you’d look into the underpinnings of your economic and military beliefs. ALL of the problems that you outline are caused by the unfettered military/industrial/congressional/laissez faire capitalism complex. 65% of our discretionary tax dollar goes to the military while people are going sick and hungry. The Scandinavian countries are happier and healthier because everyone is taken care of. They DON’T spend most of their money on the military and making the rich richer. One of the wisdoms in life is to find someone who is getting the results you want and copy them. Democratic socialism and prioritizing people over the military and rich seem to work pretty well for the happiest countries.

  34. Clark Newhall says:

    Worry about ‘untraceable’ bitcoin transactions tied to organized crime, tax evasion or illicit commerce is misplaced. It is relatively easy to trace bitcoin transactions, far easier in fact than tracing paper dollar transactions. Taxation is a problem that cna be solved on the blockchain itself, by collecting a small transaction tax on every crypto transaction–something that is already being done by miners and nodes, who are funded by this ubiquitous transaction ‘tax’ called mining fees.

  35. Will G says:

    Great post (again), Scott. If one of the biggest threats in the US is that “The most dangerous person on the planet is a bored, broke, lonely young male.”, then China’s got an even worse problem. Decades of a one-child policy, combined with a cultural preference for male children, has led to a population with 30-40 million more men than women. And with the mass migration of economic opportunity to urban centers, many young women in rural locations have moved to the cities to find not only jobs, but husbands. This has left the rural areas of China with tens of millions of “bare branches”, or men who have no prospects for sex, marriage or continuation of their family lines. Some estimates place this figure at 20% of rural Chinese men between the ages of 18-35. Add to this the economic hardships and decreasing number of jobs for farmers and rural laborers, and China is facing a huge swell of angry and shame-ridden young men who “can’t get laid and can’t get paid”. In a country that values social stability above all else, this is a powder keg that could go off at any point. At least they don’t all have access to AR-15s

  36. Frank says:

    74% of adults are obese so the 78% number may mean nothing.

  37. J says:

    I think the fundamental problem that underlies all of these threats is the political inability to think long-term. Reps have 2 year terms, President’s have 4, and Senators have 6, why would they think 30 years into the future when they are busy thinking about their much sooner reelection? We can’t address even the important threat multipliers you wrote about if we don’t think long-term. Curious for feedback from other commenters.

    • geo says:

      Point taken, but what’s the alternative? Longer terms? That would mean that when representatives / executives are elected would have less accountability to those who elected them. I guess that’s why at least the legislative branch was set up with terms for life.

  38. Joe Iannello says:

    1.” Virgin Homicides” (and Suicides)
    Maybe, just maybe, the affirmative action programs beginning decades ago promulgated by the then newly risen feminists pushing “girl power”, soon followed by similar programs for “minorities” whereby these annointed identity groups were increasingly favored for college admissions& career ops to the present inevitable nadir where males (especially white) and now Asians are told sorry, wrong gender, too smart so you’re embarrassing the rest of us etc has resulted in today’s emasculated, low self esteem, increasingly hopeless and violent young and middle aged men.
    Equal Opportunity and Meritocracy have always been the natural means to a cohesive, successful society. They no longer exist.
    2. “Fat shaming is reprehensible”. Unfortunately, today so is shaming criminals, absent parents, incompetent educators, lying politicians and MSM, illegal immigrants.
    We do, however, shame LEO, religious citizens, 1st&2nd Amendments, patriots.
    Your statement “obesity…..individuals are not to blame” only reinforces today’s popular mandate that no one should accept responsibility for their actions!
    I fear greatly for your children and mine.

  39. Andy says:

    ‘Individuals are not to blame’ for their own obesity? Straight out of the leftist talk track. No one is force feeding anyone. Sure the food people market and sell but that’s how business works. Accountability and personal responsibility might be what needs to be rediscovered by fat Americans in order for them to recover their own health. Alternatively, tax people based on their weight. Obesity epidemic over!

  40. Carsten says:

    Can we stop calling Crypto a currency? It’s not. Crypto is a gold, not a dollar or euro replacement.

  41. Tien says:

    Next up, US start mass shooting other countries.

  42. stan konwiser says:

    Regarding crypto currencies replacing the dollar in international commerce, the saving grace of the dollar are the trusted agents that facilitate transactions by extending credit. For example: A $12 million shipment of oil needs a contract and a letter of credit to protect the buyer and seller while the oil is in transit and being off loaded. That requires the existence of trusted agents to extend the letter of credit and know the identities of the parties involved. That credit infrastructure exists in the US dollar dominated international banking system. Yes, those folks might be willing to handle crypto transactions, but the underpinning of the transaction is still going to be in dollars. That might change over time, especially when Chinese banks integrate those trusted agent capabilities into pure crypto transactions. Once the Chinese economy becomes larger than the US, all bets will be off.

  43. Rob says:

    RE:
    1. Virgin Homicides

    Totally agree that this is a problem. Also pretty sure that this has happened before throughout history and probably why young unemployed men (Chart?) are the first to pick up cobblestones.

    Unfortunately the U.S. exported a lot of it’s (non-Military) manufacturing capacity to China, with the profits going into Equity valuations while U.S. workers saw lower/stagnant real wages.

    I remember when there used to be a “Quality Spectrum” for goods, from Cheap, to Good, to High Quality. Now increasingly there’s only Cheap garbage and Expensive quality, with no middle class left.

    2. I read recently (but I’m sure it would be impossible to find…Einhorn’s letter?) that illicit use of Bitcoin is 1% and falling versus illicit use of fiat currency is 2%-4% of GDP. Central Banks use “criminality” because if they say “it threatens our currency” the game is over.

    As far as “rogue nations such as North Korea, and authoritarian powers like China and Russia” are concerned, how many Military Bases do these countries have around the world compared to the U.S.? How many Democratic governments have they overthrown? How many Nuclear bombs have they dropped?

    No Empire lasts forever, the previous 4 averaged 97, so the clock is ticking (101…) on the U.S. The signs of decay are there if you look for them. The 2009 “Mulligan” for the Banks, Regulatory Capture, the Identity Polarization of Politics (neither of the two equilibrium at the end of this game should be considered a win).

    3. Obesity

    With the conversion of people in the U.S. from Citizens to Consumers the pickup in Obesity isn’t a surprise. I agree that the combination of deflating real wages and cheap fast food is deadly. It’s hard to eat right when the good food is just too expensive.

  44. W Nichols says:

    Scott- very thoughtful as usual. Another topic I know you are concerned about is the obsession with identity in the US at the expense of a unified American identity. This Balkanization is tearing at the fabric of the country and only getting worse. Fed by polarization via gerrymandering, profit-centric 24/7 media, click bait, foreign adversaries, and activist groups on the left and right (mostly left) driving the cancel culture wedge. Free speech and opinion being crushed starting at the university level. These are fundamentally existential threats that deserve to be in your above list

  45. C Cook says:

    Good points. Most of the problems you outline are said to be the fault of the ‘rich’ or the ‘shareholder class’. I agree, but not the same way you seem to. They are caused by those fortunate enough to have someone buy them a good education, then social contacts to get them into a decent job. Once there, all that imbedded academic angst disappears as many use their skills to run marketing and promotion machines. Tell minority kids that makeup, sports shoes, and flavored alcohol make you cool, no education needed. Push terrible social influences like rappers or MMA fighters to define manhood. Tell women it is OK to be morbidly obese as long as you have cool fingernails. Fresh food? Let sports hero push fast food and salty snacks, stuff they would never touch. Blaming the ‘rich’ is a copout. Blame the marketing and advertising enablers, those who use their position to manipulate less fortunate. In other words, the marketing profession are another form of pusher here. I hope you discuss this in your Marketing sprints…

  46. C Cook says:

    Good points, relevant but caught up in the Woke whirlwind of correctness. Most of the problems you outline are said to be the fault of the ‘rich’ or the ‘shareholder class’. I agree, but not the same way you seem to. They are caused by those fortunate enough to have someone buy them a good education, then social contacts to get them into a decent job. Once there, all that imbedded academic angst disappears as many use their skills to run marketing and promotion machines. Tell minority kids that makeup, sports shoes, and flavored alcohol make you cool, no education needed. Push terrible social influences like rappers or MMA fighters to define manhood. Tell women it is OK to be morbidly obese as long as you have cool fingernails. Fresh food? Let sports hero push fast food and salty snacks, stuff they would never touch. Blaming the ‘rich’ is a copout. Blame the marketing and advertising enablers, those who use their position to manipulate less fortunate. In other words, the marketing profession are another form of pusher here. I hope you discuss this in your Marketing sprints…

  47. Daviel says:

    Insightful post, Scott. All of these things seem like things that involves a lot of personal agency. More and more, people are prioritizing money as a proxy to happiness forsaking relationships. Being able to have a livable wage, while increasingly hard, is not impossible. It’s also a function of being able to live within your means. Being overweight has a lot to do with what you eat but it also has to do with how much you exercise. Sometimes we also have to remember that the average individual is not blessed with the time to exercise. Either that or it isn’t a priority for them. I’m worried about this trend because as a millennials it’s effects can be pernicious. Blue Cross Blue Shield released a study a few years back stating that millennials will suffer worse health outcomes than their previous generation. Even as the standard of living has increased tremendously. So, what’s the problem? Public policy has no power over personal opinion. The change starts and ends with the person.

  48. JK says:

    Great post! What do you think is a bigger threat to public health: tobacco use or obesity? I think you probably live longer if you are not obese and use tobacco vs obese and tobacco free. Yet how much do we spend on anti-tobacco ads vs spending almost nothing on anti-sugar ads (and don’t even get me started on 2nd hand smoke). Japan: much higher smoking rates, much lower obesity, and quite often the highest rank for life expectancy in the world.

    • Charlie says:

      Why is it good for obese people to smoke?

      • JK says:

        My question was poorly worded. Let me try again: what’s a greater health risk obesity or tobacco use? I think it is obesity. Your thoughts? Trying to say that lean smokers will probably have longer lives than obese non-smokers.

  49. Ronen says:

    The obvious solution is a cryptocurrency that increases in value when you lose weight. Fatcoin?!

    • JK says:

      Classic! Fatcoin: accepted at all fast food joints, however you cannot buy bottled water or vegatables with Fatcoin!

  50. george says:

    One thing you didn’t mention is that while we have done a fantastic job (that we needed to do), to help champion women, we forgot about men in the process. You can tell your little girl “you’re smart, capable and powerful”, but you can’t tell that to your little boy or else you’re “perpetuating the patriarchy” or some other buzzword. Houses cost a ton because of building regulations. Guess where they don’t cost a ton? Texas and Florida. Liberals need to realize that they have not allowed supply to increase with demand which has created a crunch.

  51. Bruce Spector says:

    A clear statement of the problems. How about your detailed thoughts on ‘workable’ solutions?

    • c cook says:

      Scott did a good job of outlining the Bitcoin issues. Could also mention that 60% of new bitcoins are minted now in northern China using Coal fired electricity. May say that 2% own half the bitcoins. In any case, US will ultimately ban non-tethered Crypto out of national security concerns, or to try to stop illicit activity. When you do your taxes this year, note the question ‘Did you buy or sell crypto currency’? Lie at your own risk.

  52. timd66md says:

    Great insights, Scott. As usual. I think we’ve missed a great opportunity in the last year to fight the pandemic by imploring people to get healthy, get outside, get exercise. But we can’t shame people who are obese, we’re told to celebrate them.

  53. Jeremy D Peck says:

    You are the King of Logic and Data. Thanks for putting this together, Unfortunately people are too busy on SM to think about this so I am doubtful things will improve. But I will post this link on my FB page for those smart enough to take the time to read it. Hopefully it makes a difference. Thanks again for making us think outside the box on Facts like these.

    • W. Nichols says:

      Scott- very thoughtful as usual. Another topic I know you are concerned about is the obsession with identity in the US at the expense of a unified American identity. This Balkanization is tearing at the fabric of the country and only getting worse. Fed by polarization via gerrymandering, profit-centric 24/7 media, click bait, foreign adversaries, and activist groups on the left and right (mostly left) driving the cancel culture wedge. Free speech and opinion being crushed starting at the university level. These are fundamentally existential threats that deserve to be in your above list.

  54. Trip Fontaine says:

    The Virgin Homicides – I enjoy the snappy titles.

  55. James says:

    Scott #2 is being addressed by Palantir assisting the IRS with Operation Hidden Treasure to track down crypto trades that are trying to stay hidden. The G-Man wants his cut.

  56. Chris Frost says:

    As a biologist, I am also suspicious of the many chemicals that are in foods apart those in the environment that might synergistically have a role in obesity. Knowledge of how the body functions is still a young science and much more research is needed. Biological research tends to be ahead of medical research but both have far to go.

  57. tobin trevarthen says:

    “The U.S. is increasingly alone, broke, and overweight.” This is the resistance statement that starts the process. So how do you see turning this into a US narrative, worthy of, if not more purposeful than the “American Dream”. Which by the way, is also fading into obscurity.

  58. Garageprof says:

    Would like to see the data recast for all charts showing U.S.median income to include total social welfare transfer payments, which my understanding is not included in estimates of household income.

  59. Luke says:

    Couple notes: Per the study, of the 42% who reported gaining weight, 10% of that group gained 50lbs or more. So 4.2% total, not 10%, which is still way too much.
    Also I think the first chart is labeled wrong, the dashes should be sp500 performance, no?

  60. bradley dressler says:

    I can’t believe you concluded with “while individuals are not to blame”. Pretty sure I am to blame for eating yet another chocolate chip cookie. How does the government get me to stop eating cookies? More useless “education”? Ban cookies from stores? Maybe charge fat people more for health care (oh can’t do that).Maybe we can be like China and when your body fat index rises over X your social responsibility score drops and you are no longer able to enter a 7-11. No question fat Americans are a major problem. The solution, however, is more elusive than you portray.

    • Carlo D says:

      I don’t think bans are effective but subsidizing the good can give transformation the nudge it needs. One of the most effective things here is preventative care. Due to how we get our healthcare many Americans wait until they get sick before seeing their doctor. I was one of those people. I’m fortunate enough to have health insurance covered 100% by my employer so now I see my doctor more regularly.

  61. Brandon Galbraith says:

    Very much enjoyed this post Scott. What are your thoughts on turning this into a regular sub topic of your blog (Galloway’s Brief’s)?

  62. Lawrence Chan says:

    This is a great list, Scott. Thanks for your insights. I think one threat that trumps all of these that isn’t listed is climate change—will affect not only the US, but also the world, which in turn affects the US.

    • Anthony Toms says:

      Bitcoin is a scam and fat people have always been irresponsible selfish consumers of medical care.
      What’s worse is the war on boys and men.
      For most white young men ( and for blacks) there is no upside to getting married in America. The system favors women- the courts, judges, and police need reforms -not trained for “domestic incidents”. This is an epidemic. Not for rich dudes but for us. Its become a money grab for cops = how many arrests they make. And for judges. Destroy a man’s life for child support, threaten him with prison or just let him kill himself.
      The divorce lawyers are the biggest sleazebags; the judges are awarded incentives to harass men with constant warrants, tros and jailtime cf. Walter
      Scott)
      If the men don’t perform- not a sexual problem- a woman can wake up one day and flip her underemployed partner and get support while the man loses his kids, his money, and sometimes his marbles.
      The divorce culture ruins families; kills motivation creates resentment and leads many men to start over. Try starting over at fuckin 50 It’s the easiest way to lose it all-that the media ignore. But I made my own luck. I got the fuk out, prefer Eastern culture remarried to a decent woman. And I/m a lawyer. My son will never get married there.
      You’re an idiot if you get married without a prenup.
      See my website..