Pain: the real class divider.

Time released an article recently about a study between the correspondence of pain (especially chronic pain) and a variety of other categories: income, age, gender, education, and class.  The study, authored by Alan Krueger and Arthur Stone, is noted for its more detailed analysis of how Americans live with pain.  While the information I can gather from the article does not address much of the lower end of the spectrum (i.e, those only dealing with occasional, minor pain), the incidence of more severe or prolonged pain does say some interesting things.

“Americans in households making less than $30,000 a year spend nearly 20% of their lives in moderate to severe pain, compared with less than 8% of people in households earning above $100,000” says the article, drawing the conclusion that those who make less feel more pain.  This could be a sign of lower-paying jobs that require a good deal of manual labor, with a corresponding higher risk of injury.  However, to me it suggests the possibility of another conclusion: those who suffer from moderate to severe pain on a regular basis find it more difficult to suceed at their careers than those who do not.

The article itself goes on to suggest such an idea related to chronic pain: “People with chronic pain also worked less, the new study found, costing U.S. businesses as much as $60 billion annually.”  Perhaps this suggests a corresponding loss of work for thsoe who suffer moderate pain?  What an astounding idea!

Still, Time had one up on the Boston Metro this morning: one of their headlines read “Rich kids packed off to fat-wallet camp: Summer camps teach financial responsibility earl”.  Hmm.  It seems we’ve become a little confused about old money and titles.  At least they managed to get it together for the online edition.

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