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Politics and health

April 1, 2014

Chris Mooney writes on a study that shows a relationship between state politics and people’s health, with the underlying conclusion that it partly is the liberal policies of Maine and Vermont that cause the people there to be healthier than here in Texas, or neighboring Oklahoma and Arkansas. Needless to say, to anyone who has studied statistics, this is the kind of study whose interpretation needs a good degree of skepticism. If there is a causal relationship, it could as much run the other direction. One of the social mores in the diabetejesus belt is a certain fatalism about health. If it isn’t in God’s hands or the devil’s hands, the preventions seem to be a lot things that smack of those damn leftist hippies, from eating more vegetables to exercise and yoga. So it’s cigarettes and whiskey and rolled jerky, ’till the horn blows. Whether Gabriel’s or the ambulance’s, doesn’t much matter. Maybe Mooney is right, and Rick Perry makes Texas unhealthy. Perhaps just as much, it’s that unhealthy Texans elect people like Rick Perry.

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