The American economy right now is a disaster. That isn’t simply Donald Trump rallying the troops, that is a reality. Where once the people went to work for a specific company, put in their thirty or forty years and came out on the other end to retire to a life of Reilly, a killing field now exists. And the instrument of death is not cancer, heart disease, or car accidents. The leading cause of death in economically devastated areas in the United States is now suicide.
From 1999 to 2014, suicide rates have been rising approximately 1 to 2 percent every year, according to the report by the National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC. The rise is a marked change from the previous decade when the suicide rates were going down.
The suicide rate went up 24 percent between 1999 and 2014, from 10.5 per 100,000 people to 13 per 1000,000 people, according to the CDC.
“We don’t know why. We would like to know why,” Jane Pearson, chair of the Suicide Research Consortium at National Institute of Mental Health, told ABC News. “Knowing it’s going up, we are concerned, but we are not surprised because we have seen this trend happening.”
Well, let’s see:
- Companies are laying off middle-aged workers and hiring younger sorts to keep costs down.
- The coal industry has been bankrupted to the point where mining is going to become extinct.
- Factories have famously moved overseas thanks to a combination of high union wages, EPA regulations, and cheaper costs of living elsewhere.
- The American corporate tax rate, and lack of a tariff make it very easy to justify moving American companies overseas, and just shipping product back.
- Illegal aliens, oops, “undocumented workers” have branched out from farming to work in a variety of fields for considerably less money than American workers would demand.
And the people keeping track of the suicide rate are wondering why it’s climbing?
However, middle-aged men between the ages of 45 to 64 saw the greatest rise in suicide rates among males. That age group saw a 43 percent increase, from 20.8 suicides per 100,000 men in 1999 to 29.7 suicides per 100,000 men in 2014, according to the study.
This is the age group of men who are the breadwinners, as American culture calls it. It is, to us, Americans, a point of cultural identity to work, work hard, and not draw a dole. It is who we are. What we do (for a living) IS our make-up. Take that away, and the cascade toward the helplessness that leads one to take his or her own life, or spiral downward in a haze of alcohol and/or hard drugs, begins, especially if one has a hard time finding a new job.
Some of us have been able to remake ourselves with another way to make a living, but for those who either do not have the capacity to start their own business, or work freelance, the current state of American economic affairs, no matter what rosy glasses Hillary Clinton is wearing, SUCKS.
And, it is, one way or another, taking the life out of the American middle class.
Incidentally, there was another time in American history when suicide became the leading killer of middle aged, middle class Americans. We call it The Great Depression. Let that sink in.
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