The obvious reaction is the one voiced by liberal Harvard professor Robert Putnam:
This is part of the larger emerging pattern of evidence of the links between poverty, hopelessness and health.Economists argue non-stop about how real the decline in median income has been, but whatever their numbers show the sense of decline is real, and it is killing people. I think that both liberal and conservative interpretations of this malaise have something to be said for them. The economic decline of the working class must be a major factor. But it may be that the decline in religious practice is another, and perhaps the increasingly disorienting nature of life with more freedom but fewer certainties.