As you are probably aware, the economy is slowly starting to improve. Kind of. As you are probably not aware, it is a scientific fact that some of us are going to die as a result of this improvement in the economy. (Did you know this? I did not know this.) Apparently, researchers have been studying this phenomenon for years, scratching their heads trying to figure out why the death rate in America goes up when the economy expands. Are people getting drunk after work and then driving home? Taking up smoking to cope with the crushing realization that their 9-to-5 job is utterly meaningless? No one really knew for sure. Until now.
The real reason is… nobody wants to work in a nursing home. So, when the economy improves, nursing home workers are all “Later Grandma!! Applebee’s is hiring!! Wipe your own damn ass!!” And then Grandma is all “But Harold said he’s bringing me a cordial in his Model-T later. I want some polka-dot pie.” And then Grandma dies, because there is no one left to serve her lime Jello and pretend it’s polka dot pie. And then we are all very sad, because Grandma has died. But then we realize that this means that the improving economy is not actually going to cause our own deaths, and then we’re all ”Sweeeeeet!!!! It’s just the grandmas who are gonna die, not me!! Boo-yah!!!“
Well, that’s the theory, anyway. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College released a paper this month finding that when employment goes up, mortality increases disproportionately among the elderly and among older women in particular. According to the Center’s brief, deaths among people ages 65 and older accounted for 75 percent of the 6,700 additional deaths studied in the paper, and women over 65 alone accounted for 55 percent of these additional deaths. Okay fine, but old people die all the time. So what? But significantly, the paper also showed a dramatic spike in deaths that take place in nursing homes. Putting two and two together, the researchers noted that there tends to be greater scarcity in front-line caregivers in nursing homes during times of economic recovery and concluded that this was the cause of the increased death rate.
So there you have it: Obama’s death panel economic recovery is killing your grandmother. Palin 2016!!
A more educated discussion of the study can be found over at Wonkblog.
Photo attribution: DougHuntly/wiki