Most people, confronted with a problem they can’t solve, say “We just have to live with it,” and very rapidly gloss into “It’s not really a problem.” Aging is often painful and debilitating and ends in death. Almost everyone has decided it’s not really a problem – simply because it has no known solution. But we also used to think that senile dementia and toothlessness were “just part of getting old.”Allen commented: "I don't really agree that it is difficult to call attention to problems." But the point isn't that problems aren't identified enough, it's that just because there is no obvious solution to a problem doesn't mean it isn't a problem. In other words, problems are too often dismissed as the norm.
I experienced this when I started feeling sick all the time. I went to several doctors, including hot young GI specialists, who all listened to my story and my symptoms and told me, "It sounds like IBS. There's not much you can do about it. Try eating more fiber." They acted like because my problem was common (feeling sick to my stomach every time I ate), it wasn't really a problem, as in something that might have a solution, rather just something to get used to. There turned out to be a very definite solution. I stopped eating gluten and felt roughly ten times better.
I think there are a lot of "problems of affluence" we tend to assume are just the way it goes. More primitive cultures often lack problems we assume are common to all humans, like acne and tooth decay (which we address with cures of affluence like fancy face washes and medications). There are cultures that get up to half of their calories from saturated fat and have no incidence of heart disease. We're quick to blame "genetics," but why not our fucking lifestyles?