The Weeds Will Live Forever


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Matt, Dara, Jerusalem, and German use Matt’s last Tuesday episode to discuss life expectancy in the US. They explore paternalistic policy decisions, the misnomer of “deaths of despair,” and the longevity of The Weeds. US life expectancy is compared to that of European and Asian nations, and the US numbers are disaggregated and examined up close.


“Why Americans Die So Much” by Derek Thompson (The Atlantic; Sep 12, 2021)

“Inequality in Mortality between Black and White Americans by Age, Place, and Cause, and in Comparison to Europe, 1990-2018” by Hannes Schwandt et al. (NBER; Sep 2021)

“The Great Divide: Education, Despair and Death” by Anne Case and Angus Deaton (NBER; Sep 2021)

The Insider by Michael Mann (Touchstone Pictures; 1999)

“Immigration and improvements in American life expectancy” by Arun S. Hendi and Jessica Y. Ho (Science Direct; Sep 2021)


Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias),

Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration Reporter, ProPublica

Jerusalem Demsas (@JerusalemDemsas), Policy Reporter, Vox

German Lopez (@germanrlopez), Senior Correspondent, Vox


Ness Smith-Savedoff, Producer & Engineer

Erikk Geannikis, Producer, Talk Podcasts

Sofi LaLonde, Producer

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663 episodes