Saw this anti-communism meme today:
(I couldn't find a higher res version.) Looks true enough, but perhaps cherry-picked. There were more than 6 countries in the ex-USSR. So I downloaded the data from OWID:
It holds up with the full set, only Kosovo is weird, presumably because these are
fake imputed data. Next up, let's see if we can get a real statistical result. First, a linear fit:
The fit isn't terrible (R²=.63), but we can improve it with a linear spline:
Much better fit (R²=.69). I had to manually specify the knots (locations where the slope changes) and these looked like about 1970 and 1990. Still, this is somewhat arbitrary. Here's a natural spline:
The fit is about the same (R² = .70). Sure enough, we get about the same result: improvement from 1950 to about 1970, then stagnation until the fall in 1990 and a bit later (capitalism takes some time to work). We can also allow each country its own spline, which will essentially give us what OWID did:
Of course the fit is now near perfect (R²=.97), but it also doesn't as clearly show the effect of communism since every country has some other factors affecting their life expectancy.
There are so many errors of logic (and science) in this article, its difficult to know where to begin. But for starters...
1) "Actual communism is bad for your health".
Using the term 'communism' to describe the widely varying socio-economic systems in socialist block betrays a lack of rigor. Soviets used the more accurate term for their common social system, "socialism", not "communism". The parties were Communist, not the societies.
2) Socialism only began in 1950
The data proffered is from 1950 until today. Excluding socialist countries health history prior to 1950 and concluding "Communism is bad for your health" boarders on prevarication. Here's the actual history of health in Russia during socialism, compared to capitalism:
Millions of lives were saved by socialism, despite the 27,000,000 Soviet lives destroyed by capitalism of Nazi Germany. One wonders how the impact of capitalism's WWII impact on "health" and life expectancy could have escaped the notice of an objective observer.
3) "Bad for your health"
If one is trying to evaluate "health" of a population, life expectancy is not the best measure. Especially for measuring the change in overall health over time. Infant mortality can rise, while mortality of older people decreases, while life expectancy could remain flat.
In general, infant mortality is the gold standard of population health, rather than life expectancy: "The infant mortality rate (IMR) is often regarded as a barometer for overall welfare of a community or country." (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6681443/)
4) Infant mortality since 1920
One more indicator of the superior health status of populations under socialism:
>Much better fit (R²=.69).
No, take your own advice and take the square root to find r; the fit scarcely changes. I'm no fan of communism, but ultimately this dataset doesn't show what you seem to want it to; the year 2000 is the primary turning point.