Tucked away in the flurry of reports about continued increases in European life expectancy is a nugget of information that I already knew, but is well worth highlighting -
"Meanwhile, the US was at the same level as the lowest of any Western European country (Portugal for males and Denmark for females), despite spending more per capita on health care than any other country in the world, with the rate for women increasing at a much slower pace than Western Europe.
In 2007, average life expectancy in the US was 78 years compared to 80 in the UK."
Shome mishtake, shurely? I thought the American right could only rationally be objecting to our system of "socialised medicine" and "death panels" (translation : universal health care) on the grounds that we were living less long.
But, as with gun deaths, it's doubtless vital that we show a bit of sophistication here, and look beyond the American "headline figure" for life expectancy. It's almost certainly being artificially dragged down by...well, less important people. You know, the sort who were just never cut out for "freedom". Darwinism in action.