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Excess Deaths and Retirements

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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

As more research studies are done on the impact of the Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, we are getting a better picture of what happened in America. Two studies look at excess deaths and excess retirements.

One study compared deaths from the virus to deaths due to the draconian steps to mitigate it. Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the economists found that there were nearly 100,000 “non-Covid excess deaths.” They also issue the obvious disclaimer: the numbers “likely overestimate deaths from Covid and underestimate those from other causes.”

Non-Covid deaths would include alcoholism, drug overdoses, heart disease, diabetes, and many other medical ailments. When you sort those non-Covid excess deaths by age group, you find that for Americans under age 45, there were more excess deaths than there were deaths from the virus. The lockdowns not only disrupted ordinary life, but those lockdowns killed more young Americans than the Covid virus.

Another question is why we seem to have a worker shortage. Merrill Matthews cites a study done by the Federal Reserve. The researchers looked at the trend in retirements among Americans of retirement age and then discovered that the decrease in the labor force was due to “excess retirements.” About half of the increase was due to retirements that would not have likely occurred in the absence of the pandemic. The largest share was among white, college-educated Americans who retired due to health concerns.

As I have mentioned in previous commentaries, there are over 7 million men of “prime working age” who are not working nor are they looking for work. This study doesn’t answer why they aren’t working but it does explain the increase in retirements because of the pandemic.viewpoints new web version

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