January 24, 2020 | The LA Times
The American Dream May Help the Poorest Among Us Live Longer. Here’s Why
“The American dream is good for the economy, and it seems to be good for people’s health,” said Atheendar Venkataramani, who led the study. Policies that give more Americans access to that uniquely American promise could boost the public’s health and change lives, he said.
Venkataramani, who recently studied the link between automobile plant closures and fatal drug overdoses, acknowledged that the new findings cannot prove that social mobility directly lengthens lives, or that lack of mobility shortens them. But it suggests there’s a real connection between having a reason to strive and the chance to thrive.
“Our country is predicated on the idea that anyone can become anything, and people want to have hope that that’s true for them,” he said. “The lack of that may hurt people’s desire to stay healthy. And it may hurt their health directly.”