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Wed Sep 11, 2019, 02:04 AM

Researchers say there's a simple way to reduce suicides: Increase the minimum wage

Researchers say there’s a simple way to reduce suicides: Increase the minimum wage

Brian Benson of the Kern County coroner's office unloads the body of a 44-year-old white woman in Bakersfield, Calif., in 2016. The number of fatal overdoses had tripled and the number of suicides had doubled for white women since the turn of the century in the county. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)

By Andrew Van Dam April 30

Since 2000, the suicide rate in the United States has risen 35 percent, primarily because of the significant increase in such deaths among the white population.

There are hints that these deaths are the result of worsening prospects among less-educated people, but there are few immediate answers. But maybe the solution is simple: pursue policies that improve the prospects of working-class Americans.

Researchers have found that when the minimum wage in a state increased, or when states boosted a tax credit for working families, the suicide rate decreased.

Raising the minimum wage and the earned-income tax credit (EITC) by 10 percent each could prevent about 1,230 suicides annually, according to a working paper circulated by the National Bureau of Economic Research this week.

The EITC was designed to boost the wages of low-income workers, particularly families with children. Many states have supplemented or expanded the credit.

Raising the minimum wage and increasing the tax credit help less-educated, low-wage workers who have been hit hardest by what are now known as “deaths of despair*,” according to the analysis of 1999-2015 death data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by University of California at Berkeley economists Anna Godoey and Michael Reich, as well as public-health specialists William Dow and Christopher Lowenstein.

More at the link.


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Reply Researchers say there's a simple way to reduce suicides: Increase the minimum wage (Original post)
littlemissmartypants Sep 11 OP
Sherman A1 Sep 11 #1

Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Wed Sep 11, 2019, 05:35 AM

1. This among many other reasons is why I support Andrew Yang


I think that a Universal Basic Income goes a long way towards solving a whole lot of the problems of society.

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