Why Suicide?

Click to access 15078.full.pdf

This paper documents a marked increase in the all-cause mortality of
middle-aged white non-Hispanic men and women in the United States
between 1999 and 2013. . . .

. . . . . potential economic causes and consequences of this deterioration . . . .

To read on, please go to the above link. I found the following interesting reading too:


6 thoughts on “Why Suicide?

    1. Thanks for commenting, Stuart.
      It seems to me that middle class people with good qualifications, can’t cope very well, when first they lose one job after another despite their qualifications, then get sick and end up with medical bills they cannot afford, and then have to stoop to low paid manual jobs because of ill health, depression sets in and suicidal thoughts are not far away.
      Unfortunately quite a few white middle class people seem to fall into this category in certain areas of the USA.
      Isn’t it so, that even with good qualifications these middle class people cannot be sure to always have a job? Also they have no guaranty they’ll be able to afford adequate health care? There seems to be a steady increase of people who fall into this category! No wonder, the suicide rate rises!

  1. There’s a lot to help explain the trend. There’s a big factor of the culture, the environment, the religious right, the shrinking middle class, etc. non-white Hispanics and African Americans are still struggling here, for the most part. Many have so many trials and tribulations that fuel their passion to succeed, to be recognized, to earn respect, etc. But I don’t think it explains it all.

    1. You mention the ‘shrinking middle class’, Mary-Ann. But why is it shrinking? People get qualifications for certain jobs. And then there just are not enough jobs available for people with these qualifications. And even if in due course they acquire qualifications for different jobs, there is no guaranty that the next job is going to last. All these people who rely on being employed by somebody, are often quite vulnerable. More resourceful people who create their own jobs, may have a better chance of survival.
      I would think that Hispanics and African Americans would usually be more used to having a lower living standard, Any increase in that living standard for them is probably something they do not take for granted, and so they may be better able to cope with conditions when times get tough.

      1. The middle class is shrinking for many reasons: there were massive lay offs between 2007-2011. Jobs started to open up slowly around 2012. A lot of factory jobs were replaced with automation. There were a lot of people who lost their homes. They lived in their cars. Even families! The job losses, businesses shutting down necessitated migration to where there might be jobs. People were displaced. Remember Bernie Madoff? He caused a lot of pain with his ponzu scheme. He robbed a lot of people their life savings, their retirement, their homes, etc. There was Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae, that caused people to get kicked out of their homes too. The big banks had their own shenanigans!

        A lot of people went back to school to learn more skills so they can apply for higher skilled jobs. But still, not a lot got their jobs back.

        It is only recently, starting 2015 that wages are being slowly adjusted. Wages have not kept up with inflation, the high cost if living, and all that. The minimum wage has been suppressed for so long. How can people live on so little with prices going up on food, shelter, education, healthcare? And our Congress has refused to fund or subsidize education and healthcare the way the White House has been wanting for the last 8 years! They keep fighting him on it!

  2. Mary-Ann, thank you so much for your comment which explains so well why the middle class is shrinking in America. Here in Australia wage earning people, I think, are not quite that disadvantaged yet, and funding for education and healthcare seems to be a bit better here. But a lot of people are frightened, we might go down the American way more and more. For instance the housing market disadvantages low income earners a real lot.

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