When economic times are rough, suicide rates tend to surge. This point has been debated. Yet it seems like common sense that when people have no opportunities and no perceivable chance at a better future… they may be more likely to take the easy way out.
The New York Times reports that the suicide rate in America has surged to a 30-year high:
“ The suicide rate for middle-aged women, ages 45 to 64, jumped by 63 percent over the period of the study, while it rose by 43 percent for men in that age range, the sharpest increase for males of any age. The overall suicide rate rose by 24 percent from 1999 to 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, which released the study on Friday.
The increases were so widespread that they lifted the nation’s suicide rate to 13 per 100,000 people, the highest since 1986. The rate rose by 2 percent a year starting in 2006, double the annual rise in the earlier period of the study. In all, 42,773 people died from suicide in 2014, compared with 29,199 in 1999. “
The article goes on to state that “the data analysis provided fresh evidence of suffering among white Americans”. Then other factors immediately come under scrutiny, such as education. And yet, in the same paragraph the article notes that:
“The new report did not break down suicide rates by education, but researchers who reviewed the analysis said the patterns in age and race were consistent with that recent research and painted a picture of desperation for many in American society. “
While it gets acknowledged that despair has been created as a result of poor economic conditions, and that seems a plausible link to suicide, this very same logic then gets questioned and doubted. A strange sort of Orwellian doublethink gets employed: realities become admitted and negated at once.
“There was a consistent pattern,” he said, which held for all ages between 25 and 64. “When the economy got worse, suicides went up, and when it got better, they went down.”
“But other experts pointed out that the unemployment rate had been declining in the latter period of the study, and questioned how important the economy was to suicide.”
What “other experts” have been conjured up here? Why do their names happen to not be worth mentioning?
In addition, the unemployment rate had been falling due to labor force participation rate falling, as seen here. So the unemployment rate didn’t go down because people found jobs. It went down because they gave up looking for jobs.
It makes me sick to see such obvious rhetorical tactics being used regarding such a serious issue. Any real American publication ought to assert that our lack of freedom has caused our economic distress, and that it must be restored if we are to ever regain our lost prosperity. The founding fathers of America warned about big federal government and private central banks. We have seen the results of not heeding that warning over the past century and in particular the past decade.
What do you think? Does America need to return to its former free state and leave the rest of the world alone? Or does it remain exceptional? Feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment below, and to share this post on social media.