Economists Angus Deaton and Anne Case have discovered a rising trend of “deaths of despair” (suicides, alcohol abuse, and drug overdose) among middle-class American whites.
They look at Europe and don’t see the same rise in middle class deaths, nor do they see it among non-white Americans.
They wonder what is causing this, and offer several possibilities: the loss of jobs among the middle-aged, when it’s hard to start all over again in a new career; the (adjusted for inflation) decline in income among people with only a high-school diploma; and the breakdown of the social fabric as possible causes.
They don’t look at evolution.
American colonists from Europe were coming to a relatively unknown world, with little technological and material support. Co-dependents and people happy with the gentry “taking care” of them wouldn’t have gotten very far. To survive, they had to develop “Yankee ingenuity” and a strong independent streak, traits passed to the modern American White. (And, incidentally, greatly reduced among the Europeans.)
Arrivals from Africa faced a different situation. Most of them arrived in chains. They arrived from overcrowded ships of disease and malnourishment to be auctioned off to people who held power over every aspect of their lives–and deaths. Independence and individuality are not survival traits for a slave. The ones who survived to foster the modern American Black were the ones most receptive to having their lives managed.
And what do we have today? Big Government licensing itself to manage more and more aspects of our lives today. Compared to what negro slaves endured in past centuries, it’s still glorious freedom. Compared to the pioneers, modern society is the very embodiment of what their ancestors willingly left behind.
I grew up reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. In the later books, you find people who are moving west to avoid the encroachment of “civilization” and all its rules and taxes. Well, we reached the ocean several generations ago. The fiercely independent streak cultivated in our ancestors has nowhere to go.