Pain in the Arse

I'm fucking shocked by the flabbergasting revelation that people who are financially destitute suffer more pain than those who are living high on the hog.
[Princeton economist Alan Krueger, who authored the study along with Dr. Arthur Stone, a psychiatry professor at Stony Brook University] notes that the type of pain people reported typically fell on either side of the rich-poor divide. "Those with higher incomes welcome pain almost by choice, usually through exercise," he says. "At lower incomes, pain comes as the result of work."
Stop the presses! Are you trying to tell me that someone who toils for 18 hours a day at the coal mine is likely to encounter more discomfort than some sedentary asshole who spends his entire day playing Minesweeper in his temperature-controlled corner office? I'm sure glad we have scientific geniuses such as Princeton economist Alan Krueger and Dr. Arthur Stone to tell us what any sentient human being already knows.
Indeed, Krueger and Stone found that blue-collar workers felt more pain, from physical labor or repetitive motion, while on the job than off, which at least offers hope that the problem can be mitigated. This finding "emphasizes the need for pain preventing measures [in the workplace] such as better ergonomics," wrote Juha H.O. Turunen, a professor of social pharmacy at Finland's University of Kuopio, in an accompanying commentary to the report.
Great. So if we wheel Joe Coalminer up to the coal face in an ergonomic office chair and make sure that he's wearing his carpal tunnel wristguards while wielding his pickaxe, his odds of developing black lung and the chronic back pain associated with brutal, repetitive manual labor will plummet.

But this was my favorite part:
People with chronic pain also worked less, the new study found, costing U.S. businesses as much as $60 billion annually.
Because that was my real concern: How much money Corporate America might be losing due to the unmitigated suffering of its workforce.
A 2005 study in Michigan showed that minorities and the poor have less access to such drugs than wealthier Americans because local pharmacies don't stock enough pain medications such as oxycodone or morphine.
I love that this article doesn't propose that we come up with a more humane health and welfare system that would allow people with chronic conditions to balance work and treatment in a long-term beneficial way, but just proposes instead that we all load up on painkillers so we can all keep on trucking, work through the pain, and push ourselves right over the edge. It's good for America, folks.

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