Shortgevity

"Shortgevity." It's an interesting coinage; with no outside reference, I'd take it to mean what people are attaining for themselves by a) failing to take care of their health in the here and now and b) failing to support and nurture the future of anti-aging research. The coiner has something a little more geopolitical in mind, however:

"Health and longevity create wealth," according to Butler, who recently keynoted the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging and Community's (CAC) annual conference on Managing the 21st Century Workplace. Nations characterized by "shortgevity" - nations with low life-expectancy rates - are impoverished, unproductive, and unstable. They drain the world economy. Nations characterized by high life expectancies, however, are wealthy, highly productive, and stable. They fuel the world economy.

I think the implication here is precisely backwards. In fact wealth - in the broadest sense of the term - fuels longevity. Only with wealth can sufficient resources be directed to luxuries such as research and medical infrastructure to extend healthy life spans. There is likely an element of negative feedback in this picture; once you're in a position of shorter longevity, it is harder to get out. But it can't be that hard, because cultures through the world and history have managed it time and time again, and in a very short span of years.

The roots of wealth and prosperity are deceptively simple: strong property rights, the rule of law and as little government as humanly possible. Lives are short in the poorest nations precisely because the inhabitants are poor, and they are poor not for lack of trying to be otherwise, but because their politicians, despots and political culture are even more destructive, ignorant and rotten to the core than our own.

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