Listening to Global Public Square podcast on the way to work the other day, when something caught my attention.
Paul Krugman was explaining how Obamacare was working and that medical costs growing slower, but what caught my attention was this allusion to young, affluent males:
KRUGMAN: The aggregate data shows something, which has got people pinching themselves, which it’s health care costs are growing so slowly it’s really hard to believe. Medicare, Medicare is currently spending about a thousand dollars less per beneficiary than what’s projected at just four years ago. So, Medicare is way down. It’s aggregate health expenditures is growing much more slowly. Premiums are rising, but premiums have risen every year forever. They don’t seem to be rising. They seem – If anything be rising more slowly than before. The thing, you know, you’re going to find basically if you’re a healthy young male in a state that didn’t have community ratings, so California, not New York, and you’re affluent enough that you don’t qualify for a subsidy, yeah, your premiums have gone up. You don’t find a lot of — you know, the anti-Obama care ad campaigns don’t highlight people like that because they’re not sufficiently sympathetic. They keep on trying to find middle-aged or older middle class people who have had big premium increases, but not one of those stories that’s been highlighted and the assets held up under scrutiny. So, it turns out, yes, there are some losers, but it’s pretty narrow group and the people that the program is supposed to help are being helped. The people who really need the care.
Krugman is stating the obvious, but just look at how accepting we are of this.
The young male is “not sufficiently sympathetic” by default in Western culture. When you add colour (sometimes whiteness, sometimes blackness) and especially affluence, you have true 21st century villains. In the cultural and political narrative, not only does no one cares about the welfare of this demographic, they are seen as a problem to be managed, a pool of tax money to drain for the benefit of others and a political liability.
No wonder so many of young men are going their own way.
See also: Worthless White Male Victim
whiteness and you have super-villains.