Free Trade, Opioids, The Liberty Movement, And The Collapse Of The White Working Class

A new study has found that something went terribly wrong for the White working class in the job market of the 1970s which is reducing their life expectancy:

“WASHINGTON (AP) — Middle-age white Americans with limited education are increasingly dying younger, on average, than other middle-age U.S. adults, a trend driven by their dwindling economic opportunities, research by two Princeton University economists has found.

The economists, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, argue in a paper released Thursday that the loss of steady middle-income jobs for those with high school degrees or less has triggered broad problems for this group. They are more likely than their college-educated counterparts, for example, to be unemployed, unmarried or afflicted with poor health.

“This is a story of the collapse of the white working class,” Deaton said in an interview. “The labor market has very much turned against them.” …

Since 1999, white men and women ages 45 through 54 have endured a sharp increase in “deaths of despair,” Case and Deaton found in their earlier work. These include suicides, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related deaths such as liver failure.

In the paper released Thursday, Case and Deaton draw a clearer relationship between rising death rates and changes in the job market since the 1970s. They find that men without college degrees are less likely to receive rising incomes over time, a trend “consistent with men moving to lower and lower skilled jobs.”


Alana Semuels has more on this in The Atlantic:

“Now, in a new paper, the economists explore why this demographic is so unhealthy. They conclude it has something to do with a lifetime of eroding economic opportunities. This may seem like a circular argument, when put together with previous work: Middle-aged Americans aren’t working because they’re sick, and middle-aged Americans are sick because they’re not working. But Case and Deaton argue that it’s not just poor job opportunities that are affecting this demographic, but rather, that these economic misfortunes build up and bleed into other segments of people’s lives, like marriage and mental health. This drives them to alcoholism, drug abuse, and even suicide, they say, in a new paper released Thursday in advance of a conference, the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity.

“As the labor market turns against them, and the kinds of jobs they find get worse and worse for people without a college degree, that affects them in other ways too,” Deaton told me.

What differentiates Case and Deaton’s paper is this idea that as people get older and their fates deviate more and more from those of their parents, they struggle to keep their lives together. The very act of doing worse than their parents’ generation—what Case and Deaton call “cumulative disadvantage”—is killing them. …”

The American middle class has been shrinking since the 1970s:

What could possibly explain this? In December 2015, I speculated it was related to the triumph of free-trade in the United States after the Kennedy Round of GATT:

The Pew Research Center has a massive new study out which shows the US middle class is losing ground:

“After more than four decades of serving as the nation’s economic majority, the American middle class is now matched in number by those in the economic tiers above and below it. In early 2015, 120.8 million adults were in middle-income households, compared with 121.3 million in lower- and upper-income households combined, a demographic shift that could signal a tipping point, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data …

Fully 49% of U.S. aggregate income went to upper-income households in 2014, up from 29% in 1970. The share accruing to middle-income households was 43% in 2014, down substantially from 62% in 1970.

And middle-income Americans have fallen further behind financially in the new century. In 2014, the median income of these households was 4% less than in 2000. Moreover, because of the housing market crisis and the Great Recession of 2007-09, their median wealth (assets minus debts) fell by 28% from 2001 to 2013.”


The Pew study doesn’t hazard to guess why the American middle class has shrunk in relative size in every consecutive decade since 1971. I believe, however, that I have found the answer in Pat Buchanan’s book The Great Betrayal:

“When and how did the free-traders capture America?

If one year could mark their decisive victory, it would be 1934, with the passage of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act. And if one year could be cited as the inauguration of the free-trade era, it would be 1967, with completion of the Kennedy Round of trade negotiations.”

The Kennedy Round of GATT was the fateful moment when America leapt off the cliff and went full retard on free-trade:

“In 1967 America arrived at the final crossroad. The Kennedy Round of trade negotiations under GATT was stalled. Europeans were balking at U.S. demands to further open their markets to American agriculture; Japan had given a flat no to greater market access. Fear gripped Washington. The talks were on the verge of collapse.

The U.S. trade negotiators went to see President Lyndon Johnson. Failure to end the Kennedy Round successfully, they warned, would return global trade to “jungle warfare,” risk “spiraling protectionism” in the United States, and “encourages strong forces now at work to male the [European Common Market] into an isolationist, anti-U.S. bloc, while, at the same time, further alienating the poor countries.” If America did not make the necessary concessions, disaster was certain.

Again the United States capitulated; and Commerce Secretary Alexander Trowbridge rejoiced.”


Buchanan continues:

“LBJ crushed the uprising with a flat declaration. No quota bill will “become law as long as I am president and can help it.” By the end of the sixties, early returns from the Kennedy Round were coming in. America had entered a new era”

He quotes trade historian Alfred E. Eckes, Jr.:

“Viewed from a historical perspective, the Kennedy Round marked a watershed. In each of the seventy-four years from 1893 to 1967 the United States ran a merchandise trade surplus (exports of good exceeded imports). During the 1968-72 implementation period for Kennedy Round concessions, the U.S. trade surplus vanished and a sizeable deficit emerged. For twenty of the next twenty-two years, the United States experienced merchandise trade deficits – as much as $160 billion in 1987.”

Buchanan explains what happened next after the Kennedy Round was implemented from 1968 to 1972:

“The Kennedy Round tore down the levees, and floods of imports poured in from low-wage nations. With the tariff collapsed, American companies had a powerful incentive to relocate factories abroad, to take advantage of the low-wage labor and then export back to the United States. Journalists were soon writing excitedly about the Japanese “miracle” and the “tigers” of Asia – Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea. Few asked at whose expense this sudden Asian prosperity had come.

One after another of the great U.S. industries began to decline, depart, or die. The radio- and television-manufacturing industries disappeared. The antifriction-bearings industry and machine-tool industry were gutted. The mighty auto industry was ravaged. Five years after the Kennedy Round, foreign penetration of the U.S. auto market had doubled, to 16 percent. But in Europe and Japan, internal tariffs, targeted at American-made cars, kept U.S. exports from making comparable gains.”

Back to trade historian Alfred E. Eckes, Jr.:

“In the twenty years after 1970 the opportunities Kennedy foresaw vanished for high-paid but relatively low-skilled U.S. workers. From 1972 to 1992 the United States created 44 million net jobs – particularly in services and government. However, America generated no net jobs in internationally traded industries. Japan and many of the other rapidly industrializing powers – Taiwan, South Korea, and Brazil among others – enjoyed rapid economic growth, not because they practiced free trade at home, but because they enjoyed access to the open American market. Like nineteenth-century America, they practiced protectionism at home while America’s generous market-opening policies provided boutiful export opportunities. Paul Bairoch noted the lesson: “Those who don’t obey the rules win.”

With the sole exceptions of 1973 and 1975, the US has ran a trade deficit with foreign countries since 1971, 42 out of the last 44 years of the free-trade era. Isn’t that an amazing coincidence?

Of course there were many other things going on in the US in 1971 that also contributed to this turning point for the White working class: the most important being the great tidal wave of Third World immigration that followed the Immigration Act of 1965, the mass entry of women into the labor market, the end of the Bretton Woods system after Nixon floated the dollar, the decimation of organized labor in the 1970s and 1980s, the triumph of deregulation across multiple industries and Ronald Reagan’s changes to the tax code. All of these things have contributed to a great winnowing of the American middle class and the creation of a more Latin American-style economy.

OxyContin entered this dismal picture in the mid-1990s:

“The state of Kentucky may finally get its deliverance. After more than seven years of battling the evasive legal tactics of Purdue Pharma, 2015 may be the year that Kentucky and its attorney general, Jack Conway, are able to move forward with a civil lawsuit alleging that the drugmaker misled doctors and patients about their blockbuster pain pill OxyContin, leading to a vicious addiction epidemic across large swaths of the state.

A pernicious distinction of the first decade of the 21st century was the rise in painkiller abuse, which ultimately led to a catastrophic increase in addicts, fatal overdoses, and blighted communities. But the story of the painkiller epidemic can really be reduced to the story of one powerful, highly addictive drug and its small but ruthlessly enterprising manufacturer.

On December 12, 1995, the Food and Drug Administration approved the opioid analgesic OxyContin. It hit the market in 1996. In its first year, OxyContin accounted for $45 million in sales for its manufacturer, Stamford, Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma. By 2000 that number would balloon to $1.1 billion, an increase of well over 2,000 percent in a span of just four years. Ten years later, the profits would inflate still further, to $3.1 billion. By then the potent opioid accounted for about 30 percent of the painkiller market. What’s more, Purdue Pharma’s patent for the original OxyContin formula didn’t expire until 2013. This meant that a single private, family-owned pharmaceutical company with non-descript headquarters in the Northeast controlled nearly a third of the entire United States market for pain pills. …

No state has been more devastated by the nationwide opiate problem than Kentucky. Much of the eastern part of the state and the Appalachians has watched as men, women, and teenagers fell victim to the potent pain pills. There were several different gateways — back injuries, operations, parents’ medicine cabinets — but all of them led to an implacable addiction that rivals that of the hardest street drugs. And that’s the rub. Because there was simply so much OxyContin available for over a decade, it trickled down from pharmacies and hospitals and became a street drug, coveted by teens and fiends and sold by dealers at a premium (prices often shot up well over $1 a milligram, pricing the popular 80mg tablets at over $100 for a single pill). …”

Allow me to set the scene.

Imagine a small town in Trump’s America. Since the 1960s, it is has probably gained a new Wal-Mart and commercial strip while it has lost many businesses in its downtown commercial district which have been replaced by bars. Multiple factories have likely shut down and moved overseas. Third World immigrants have arrived from Latin America and Asia and have established enclaves.

In the wake of feminism, women entered the workforce and the family has broken down. It is not uncommon these days to see White men struggling with their second or third marriage. Overall, the local culture has become less religious and drugs like heroin and painkillers like OxyContin have become a problem. Everyone has an iPhone or Android manufactured in East Asia though. Wall Street is doing great but the rise of the stock market seems to be a contrary indicator in your community.

Liberty has triumphed across the board in sex, gender identity and family life. Liberty has triumphed in immigration. It has triumphed in trade policy and regulation. It has even triumphed in attitudes toward drug abuse which is strange given the declining life expectancy of White Americans. The abuse of OxyContin is a win-win because both parties benefit in a free-market transaction!

Hunter Wallace
the authorHunter Wallace
Hunter Wallace is the founder and editor of


  • monopoly: the exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service. even though its not 1 person controlling an entire market, when 99.9 % of people have no way of competing and/or avoiding its influence something has to be done about it. the illegal act of intentionally cornering essential sectors needs to be enforced

  • > Purdue Pharma’s patent for the original OxyContin formula didn’t expire until 2013.

    Notice how the “Opiate Epidemic” didn’t start until Big Pharma needed to shift customers away from cheap opiates onto their high-margin patented synthetic substitutes.

    My elderly grandfather is near suicide because he can’t stop the pain from his crushed spine thanks to this opitate demonization campaign. Doctors refuse to proscribe him pain medicine.

    Please stop pushing this Opiate scare campaign.

  • Add all of thee above to the increased demand on the WWC to GTFO the urban areas because of forced integration, immigration, etc. and you have a kind of genocide.

  • You are not talking about toy factories. You are talking about huge industrial manufacturing plants that have been lost to free trade.

  • Everybody used to be farmers. A farm family was successful when they owned the farm free and clear. Dad, Mom, and the kids all worked in what was essentially the family business. Of course there was some specialization, you took some of your surplus crops and traded it for some tools make by the blacksmith and traded groceries for medicine from the town doctor.

    Then mechanization happened. Instead of spending 80% of human labor on growing food, you only had to spend 20%. To compete farmers had to take out a mortgage on the farm to buy tractors. But everyone was producing so many crops the prices dropped and the farmers lost the land.

    Factory jobs used to be hellish. But radical labor unions formed and demanded decent pay and working conditions. So Dad could work in the factory and Mom could do what she always did, just in a house with a yard as opposed to on a farm.

    The mechanization and globalization happened. Dad got laid off at the factory which moved south and was automated. But that was ok because everyone was becoming “knowledge workers.” Instead of Dad using muscle to work the machine, he used his brain to program the robotic assembly line.

    But then things got even more efficient and now the machines can program themselves.

    So everything gets more and more efficient and everyone has more and more surplus food and consumer items and now powerful computers in the palm of their hand.

    But we still have to work to pay for everything. But if it only takes 10% of the work to produce 90% of the goods – what is everyone supposed to do with their time?

    What do you do with all that surplus labor? Apparently, the answer is to give them Oxycontin. I’m fairly certain Aldous Huxley predicted this.

    • Except the soma had no side effects. I believe this is part of the reason that kikes like Soros fund cannibas legalization and disinformation about its side effects.

      There is literally nothing worse for men than being idle. Most men are not artists or craftsmen and turn to drugs and too much drink when they are unemployed.

      Literally one giant pork farm could supply the world. One giant grain farm, one giant bannana plantation and so kn. Is that what we want?

  • “Liberty has triumphed..” You can’t be serious. An israeli-style police state is Liberty? The elimination of free association is Liberty? Micro-management of every field of human endeavor is Liberty? Wrong: this is tyranny courtesy of our eastern European imports. This is Oriental despotism.

    We expect these arguments from our Peinoviches and our Priebuses, our Chertoffs and our Adelsons, but to hear it from a Wallace? Ouch. Are you a kinsman or are you a foreigner? Go back and read the bill of rights one more time, bro. If Liberty is problematic for ya’ll there’s an easy solution: simply move to the shitty little country or any number of despotic hellholes the world over and enjoy!

    America is the sweet land of Liberty, the land of the free. Freedom is the byword of the historical American nation and the Anglo-Saxon race. Sic Semper Tyrannis, live free or die! Quit cozying up to foreign infiltration or be named a traitor.

      • As far as I know, anti-libertarianism on the alt-right is totally sincere. Peinovich is well known for his lengthy anti-libertarian diatribes, certainly. The evidence suggests that the alt-right is a Zionist, anti-Anglo-Saxon project which rose in response to the popular right-libertarianism of Ron Paul. The problem is that Yiddish tax-farming can’t work in a libertarian state and those sorry bastards can’t think of any other way to make money. They need the FED, the bailouts, the drug war, the welfare state, the private prisons etc. etc. in order to put bagels on the table.

        Unfortunately, for regular Americans, that stuff is anathema. We’re not slavic peasants, we’re not thralls, and we can’t thrive under tyranny. Our earliest coinage was imprinted with this motto: Liberty – Parent of Science and Industry. We owe our great successes as a nation to the libertarian government we had before the jews took power. And some of us are going to fight for freedom ’til the day we die, antient Saxon law or bust.

          • Right, and both of those movements are grossly anti-libertarian. Look at jewish feminism, propped up by tax farming and in contravention of natural law. How is it libertarian for fire departments to be forced to hire women to do men’s work?

            As for immigration, that has been imposed on us against our will, ergo, it’s not libertarian. Remember the Mayflower Compact: we, the freemen, make the rules. That is our folkish custom, that is Liberty. We said we didn’t want more immigration and the corrupt judges disobeyed us. Then, to make matters worse, we’re forced to pay these unwanted people to come here. That’s not libertarianism, bro.

          • The Puritans and Mayflower were a blip in American history and thank god that was so. Unless you live in a village in New England that is somehow stuck in the 17th century you are in dream land or Larping or both. America was people mostly by people of the British nations most of whom were not Puritans and then by the Germans and Scandinavians. We are a Germano-Celtic or Anglo-Celtic people with some exceptions. You cannot undo that not matter how much you LARP.

        • Hey I liked Ron Paul. If he hadn’t have cucked on immigration and made up silliness about how Harriet Tubman was his favorite hero I was willing to look past the autistic gold standard nonsense.

          Austrian economics is not Anglo-Saxon nor does it have anything to do with traditional American liberty. It is a foreign Jewish ideology imported from Eastern Europe.

          There is the traditional Anglo-Saxon American Liberty – and then there is Muh Gold Standard Randroidism.

          • Heh, actually Austrian economics was originally called American economics precisely because it is Anglo-Saxon.

            Reasonable people can disagree about the proper form of currency, but the FED is purely a welfare program for talentless, rat-faced crooks like Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn.

            Paul is definitely jew-wise and pro-white but he favors the “bringing people together for Liberty” approach which involves some pandering to negroes.

          • It really wasn’t. Austrianism is based on the crazy Talmudic nonsense of von Mises’ praxeology. There is plenty of collectivism in the Anglo-Saxon/American heritage as well.

          • Wrong, the Austrian school is full of Yids and it wasthe Rockefellers who funded the entire movement.

        • You are in Libertarian dream world. Before the Yids got so powerful (for one thing they have been powerful behind the scenes since the beginning of America) we had anti-sodomy laws, divorce was nearly impossible to get, pornography was illegal, we had trade tariffs, and so on. There NEVER was a libertarian America. Get out of your dream world.

          Besides the Libertarian’s hero Ayn Rand and her movement have been rightly called Bolshevism for Americans.

      • Have you noticed all of the moonshine making shows on TV. There’s nothing better than good moonshine. But, bad moonshine will kill you. In the end moonshine is as deadly as any drug—and mixed together it’s lethal.

  • The Council on Foreign Relations put their puppet, Jimmy Carter, into office. Carter was the first Democrat to stab the labor unions in the back and promote austerity and “free trade.” But he was a liberal, and we all hate liberals, so everyone voted for Ronald Reagan.

    Reagan didn’t stab the labor unions in the back, he shot them in the face. Everyone cheered when those lazy striking air traffic controllers got fired. Regan destroyed the labor movement and told everyone we’d all be Wall Street investors. We see how that turned out.

    So we voted for Bill Clinton, who “felt our pain.” Clinton put Al Gore in charge of “free trade” and we got NAFTA and GATT, All the blue collar jobs went away but that didn’t matter because we would all become Computer Programmers and make millions in Silicon Valley.

    Then George W. Bush was going to save us from the terrorists and physics defying Muslims and deregulate Wall Street to unleash the prosperity. But then the housing market crashed. So we had Obama who was going to heal the racial divide. Republicans went apeshit because Communist Obama took some of the bailout money that was supposed to go to Goldman Sachs and instead spent in on Ford motor company to keep some high paying union jobs in Detroit.

    But Obama was a Secret Muslim who wasn’t even born in the USA – as Donald Trump told us – so now we have Trump who is going to build a wall or something.

    • All of that is because the money power rules in our materialist civilization. Not because of the people you mentioned. They are Facemen. Donald Trump will also dance to the tune of the money power not only because it is baked in the cake but because he believes in Capitalism/Liberalism/Materialism. He is a builder of temples to Money after all. But he may unwittingly set the stage for its final demise that will only come, if it does, through the worst war in human history.

  • White Peoples have taken Great Hits to their Momentum in the Past…….

    Plenty of Times…….

    And Overcome……

    I tend to be an Optimist regarding the Future of White Peoples……..

    Peaks and Valleys come together as a Pair………

    A People that arose during the Last Ice Age isn’t going anywhere…….any time soon…….


    • Depeche Mode will not save us .. but perhaps we can all celebrate being Carbon Based Lifeforms as we circle the drain .. love and light bitches.

      • I’m sure the Bottlenecked Ice Age Proto-Europeans worried at times of their Extinction……

        But, somehow they kept going and then exploded when conditions improved……

        And Music and Love aren’t our Enemies……


  • Mostly true but what we call “free trade” and “liberty” are mostly rhetorical smokescreens. What is absolutely true is that the White working class in this country is a serious mess and that needs to be recognized. We can end immigration, send all the Mexicans back home and even form a White ethnostate but if we populate said state with Whites who think and function like blacks, we haven’t really improved things all that much. It is going to take some hard work and a long time to rebuild what has been perverted in much of White culture and that process needs to start now and go alongside all the other issues we are talking about. Elections take places every few years but building stable families takes decades.

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