Bits and Pieces: Human Longevity, Red Dye No 2, Oregon Bottle Bill

This collection of short pieces examine state-level human longevity figures, the dire economic forcasts of Dr. Franz Pick, proposals to ban red dye no. 2, and an Oregon bottle bill that significantly reduced the state's roadside trash.

| July/August 1973

  • generic bottles - Fotolia
    The Oregon bottle bill, passed in 1971, outlawed the sale of throw-away cans and bottles and mandated that retailers pay a 5 cent refund for returned bottles.

  • generic bottles - Fotolia

YOU CAN EXPECT TO LIVE LONGEST if you do that living in Nebraska, says a new American Medical Association report. People born from 1959 to 1961 in the Cornhusker State are expected to survive an average of 71.95 years and folks from other "heartland of middle America" states should expect to endure almost as long. Citizens of parts of the Deep South—Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and North Carolina — on the other hand, can figure on living about 12 months less than the national average of 69.89 years... and South Carolinians can consider themselves fortunate if they make it past the 66.41 mark.

SCIENCE has unwittingly created much of today's crime, poverty, drug, pollution, and other problems. It has done this, says the National Academy of Sciences' Dr. Peter Goldmark, by luring too many Americans into densely populated urban areas with the bait of job, educational, cultural and recreational opportunities. After helping to oversee an exhaustive government-funded study, Dr. Goldmark reports: "We now know of some 6,200 communities outside the urban complexes where the quality of life is at least potentially much more satisfying than in the big cities. Our next step will be to show businesses how they can divide, break up, and — as a matter of fact — operate more efficiently by locating in these areas."

The fact that life is much more pleasant out in the green and quiet countryside is, of course, no great revelation to the thousands of "drop outs" and "back to the landers" who have turned their backs on the big cities during the past few years. The question that those returnees to the soil — and all the folks who never left in the first place — might well want to ask Dr. Goldmark right now is, "Just how long can that rural quality of life endure if you succeed in moving all that industry (with its inevitable pollution, time clocks, parking lots, shopping centers, etc.) to the country?

DR. FRANZ PICK, the world's acknowledged authority on gold and monetary systems, believes "there will be another devaluation of the dollar—two, three, four, five — until our currency is wiped out. It will be soon. We are bankrupt. There is not one person living who can repair the financial wrongdoing of the government." What's worse, Dr. Pick states that—of the 140 currencies in the world—only seven (the Japanese yen, British pound, Dutch guilder, French franc, Belgian franc, Swiss franc and German mark) are in any better health than our dollar.

"Forget savings accounts, real estate, bonds and the stock market," says Pick. "Buy gold bars ... the only thing that will count." For U.S. Citizens, who are legally prohibited from making such purchases, the currency expert advises the accumulation of gold "collector's" coins.

I assume that Dr. Pick is thinking of speculative investments in buildings, developments, etc.— and not homestead-size pieces of land — when he states that we should "forget real estate" as a hedge against his projected crash. A chunk of acreage large enough to feed a family has — time and again — proven itself the safest of all havens in which to weather a depression. And is a depression what Pick sees in the future? He doesn't say... only that "what lies ahead is very unpleasant."

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