The death rate diagram below is from Monday’s New York Times, from a study by two Princeton economists. It shows the shocking counter-trend of death rates for middle-aged white Americans. They do worse – far worse than any other industrialized nation – and worse than any other race and ethnic groups in the USA (African American, Latino, Asian), and other generations. And no, it’s not the big killers like heart disease and diabetes, says the article, but an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse: alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids. The article shot to the top of the most-emailed list, and attracted nearly 1,900 comments.