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Thu Mar 5, 2015, 10:48 AM

Austerity & Sharp Rise in Suicide Rates (US & Europe)

Austerity Seen as Culprit in Sharp Rise in Suicide Rate Among Middle-Aged People

Monday, 02 March 2015 09:17 By Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism | News Analysis

Iím surprised, but perhaps I shouldnít be, that a recent study hasnít gotten the attention it warrants. It points to a direct connection between the impact of the crisis and a marked increase in suicide rates among the middle aged. This link seems entirely logical, given how many citizens found themselves whacked by a one-two punch of job loss or hours cutbacks combined with the sudden plunge in home prices. Normally, a last ditch course of action for most middle and upper middle class income members in the pre-crisis days, when things got desperate, was to sell you house and cut costs radically by moving into a much more modest rental. But that option vanished in all but the most stable markets (as in some flyover states that the subprime merchants ignored) due to home price declines trashing equity for all but those with small or no mortgages.

And you have the further psychological toll of the difficulty of re-inventing yourself if you are over 35. I can point to people who had enough in the way of resources and took steps that seemed entirely logical, taking courses to prepare them for a new career in fields with good underlying demand (see this post for one example; I can cite others) and got either poor returns on their expenditure of time and effort or had no success at all.

And the ones with enough options (bigger savings buffers or relatives who were willing and able to help) are the lucky ones. For all too many middle to upper middle income workers in America, when you fall off the corporate/big firm meal ticket, the fall is far indeed. As readers know all too well, the prejudice against older candidates as well as the unemployed is substantial, even if the reason for the job loss in no way reflected on employee performance (as in business failure or working for an acquired company when, in typical practice, the buyer went through the ranks of the purchased business with a howitzer). People who thought that having a college degree and a steady history of good performance at white collar jobs gave them a measure of security had that illusion ripped from them.

MORE:

http://truth-out.org/news/item/29378-austerity-kills-economic-distress-seen-as-culprit-in-sharp-rise-in-suicide-rate-among-middle-aged

19 replies, 1345 views

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Austerity & Sharp Rise in Suicide Rates (US & Europe) (Original post)
mother earth Mar 2015 OP
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Mar 2015 #1
Warpy Mar 2015 #2
meow2u3 Mar 2015 #3
Warpy Mar 2015 #4
meow2u3 Mar 2015 #5
Warpy Mar 2015 #6
meow2u3 Mar 2015 #18
Name removed Mar 2015 #7
William769 Mar 2015 #8
greatauntoftriplets Mar 2015 #9
William769 Mar 2015 #10
greatauntoftriplets Mar 2015 #11
William769 Mar 2015 #12
greatauntoftriplets Mar 2015 #13
William769 Mar 2015 #14
greatauntoftriplets Mar 2015 #15
uppityperson Mar 2015 #16
greatauntoftriplets Mar 2015 #17
woo me with science Mar 2015 #19

Response to mother earth (Original post)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 11:00 AM

1. Austerity kills in many ways.

Austerity simply comes down to social Darwinism. Cut support for the marginalized and dispossessed, and let them die, so that the needs of government are reduced without taxing those who hoard wealth.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 11:56 AM

2. Squeeze people financially with low wages, bury them in debt, overwork them

and act all surprised when they become hopeless enough to kill themselves?

Austerity for the rich! A raise for Americans!

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Response to Warpy (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 12:20 PM

3. Austerity for the rich is right!

We need new sin taxes, but on accumulated wealth, financial transactions, overseas cash hoarding, whatever hurts billionaires' bank accounts.

Cut--or eliminate--"sin taxes" on stuff poor and middle-class people typically buy, such as tobacco, alcohol, and gasoline. We need to stop using the tax system to control the behavior of the little guys and use it instead to hold the powerful accountable.

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Response to meow2u3 (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 12:30 PM

4. Tobacco tax needs to stay, it's been effective at limiting stupid teenagers

from developing the addiction at 14 like they used to. The gasoline tax is likely to go up since it hasn't kept pace with inflation and is the major source of funding for road repair.

Regressive taxes like sales taxes on food, clothing and medicine need to go. The upper limit for OASDI taxes needs to be raised considerably. And yes, there needs to be a per transaction tax on Wall Street as well as corporate penalties for hoarding money overseas and refusing to pay their taxes here.

Mostly, wages need to go up.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 12:42 PM

5. No new taxes on vapor products

Or any harm reduction measures. A sin tax on harm reduction measures defeats the purpose.

BTW, I don't belive we should protect children by making things expensive for adults. Many adults are poor and stuff like e-cigs and tobacco are their only comfort. Why do we have to tax the shit out of the poor? Tobacco taxes are highly regressive; more poor adults smoke than do the better-off. I do not subscribe to the so-called precautionary principle, which amounts to a presumption of guilt until proven innocent.

I say let's elminate all regressive taxes and replace them with progressive taxes. Make progressive taxation a constitutional amendment.

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Response to meow2u3 (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 01:24 PM

6. I've seen enough people taper down and quit using e cigs to agree with you.

Cigarettes are different, they're highly addictive and proven killers. They contribute to lost productivity, disability, and years of torture from COPD, one of the worst ways to die I can think of. I watched my mother die that way.

Once cannabis is legal (and it's coming), poor folks will have much better comfort than the illusory one of tobacco, which does nothing but calm the cravings from the last cigarette.

I know you don't like tobacco taxes but it's a public health thing.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 02:37 PM

18. I started vaping at 24mg nic and now 12mg is getting too strong

I'm one of those vapers who reduced her nic level in half after a year and change. As a matter of fact, I just placed an order for 6mg nic juice.

I agree with you in that traditional tobacco should be taxed heavily, but e-cigs should be cheap, to encourage smokers to switch to a less harmful alternative without all those cancer-causing agents and other toxins like CO, arsenic, and benzene, to name a few.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)


Response to Name removed (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 01:39 PM

8. Newbie with a old library card.

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Response to William769 (Reply #8)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 01:43 PM

9. "Newbie" is a major stretch.

That library card expired ages ago.

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Response to greatauntoftriplets (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 01:44 PM

10. Must be the energizer batteries.

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Response to William769 (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 01:45 PM

11. That or caffeine overload.

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Response to greatauntoftriplets (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 01:47 PM

12. Or a vaccine gone awry!

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Response to William769 (Reply #12)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 01:48 PM

13. Or a lack of vaccine.

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Response to greatauntoftriplets (Reply #13)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 01:49 PM

14. Touche.

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Response to William769 (Reply #14)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 01:50 PM

15. ...

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Response to greatauntoftriplets (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 01:53 PM

16. I am amused by "we zombie-fy people".

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #16)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 01:55 PM

17. Especially when it's clear that particular "newbie" is indeed a zombie in internet speak.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 06:49 PM

19. K&R Corporatists kill. Neoliberals kill.

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