Capitalism’s assisted suicides

Posted: 15 April 2011 in Uncategorized
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Capitalism may not yet have killed itself. But capitalist crises do help people kill themselves.

According to a new study, there’s a clear correlation between suicide rates and the business cycle among young and middle-age adults.

In the study, which appears in The American Journal of Public Health, researchers at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined suicide rates per 100,000 Americans for every year from 1928 to 2007.

To investigate the effect of business cycles, the researchers calculated the average rate during periods when the economy contracted and compared it with the average during the years leading to downturns. The sharpest increase occurred at the start of the Great Depression, when rates jumped 23 percent — to 22.1 in 1932, from 18.0 in 1928. The study found smaller bumps during the oil crisis of the early 1970s and the double-dip recession of the early 1980s, among other economic troughs.

The suicide rate generally fell during periods of economic expansion, with some exceptions. Rates among people in their 30s and 40s went up during the booming 1960s and actually decreased among the elderly in the severe recession of the mid-1970s. . .

Feijun Luo, the lead author of the study, said, “The findings suggest the potential to see a big increase in the rates during this current recession.”

Individual suicides may be impossible to predict. But it is possible to predict that an increase in suicide rates is associated with capitalist crises.

In other words, capitalism kills.

  1. […] the various ways capitalism inflicts its punishments—particularly, by killing people (see, e.g., here, here, and […]

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