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Ear to the Ground

In Europe, Crisis-Provoked Suicide on the Rise

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Posted on Apr 14, 2012
Gabriela Camerotti (CC-BY)

Tally the fatal, unhappy costs of runaway capitalism. Across Europe, businessmen unable to cope with the world made by the 2008 economic crash are taking their lives.

Like countless others, George Mordaunt, a 44-year-old resident of Ireland who watched all but one of his family’s car dealerships close down in the wake of the crisis, has lain awake at night considering suicide while his family sleeps. Given political leaders’ failure to save a languishing public, he wonders what it will take for him and others to help themselves.

“How many other people lie awake at night with the same fears?” he asked. “How many people are on the verge of losing everything? Everyone in Ireland must become active in our rescue.

“We don’t communicate and don’t share because we are laced with unreal pride. My view is you become active and stand up to the banks.”

—ARK

The New York Times:

In Greece, the suicide rate among men increased more than 24 percent from 2007 to 2009, government statistics show. In Ireland during the same period, suicides among men rose more than 16 percent. In Italy, suicides motivated by economic difficulties have increased 52 percent, to 187 in 2010 — the most recent year for which statistics were available — from 123 in 2005.

Researchers say the trend has intensified this year as government austerity measures took hold and compounded the hardships for many. While suicides often have many complex causes, researchers have found that severe economic stress corresponds to higher suicide rates.

“Financial crisis puts the lives of ordinary people at risk, but much more dangerous is when there are radical cuts to social protection,” said David Stuckler, a sociologist at the University of Cambridge, who led a study published in The Lancet that found a sharp rise in suicides across Europe, particularly in seriously affected countries like Greece and Ireland from 2007 to 2009, years that coincided with the downturn.

“Austerity can turn a crisis into an epidemic,” Mr. Stuckler added.

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By heterochromatic, April 16, 2012 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

sanda—- hang in there

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 16, 2012 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

Surfboy - “It is a major factor in economic reality that has never been dealt with before.  When you run out of customers, (e.g. people) it’s hard to sell more cars or corn or health insurance or housing”
Can’t say I’ve ever seen this event.
Today I see an excess of people but a shortage of producers. Producers have things to trade and producers are each others’ customers.

“The suicides started when the birth rate first began to fall because of the “Pill”.  “
WHAT? That’s utter nonsense.
Never has anyone proven such a thing. Even suggesting it is like saying we get rain because some people have pimples on a Tuesday. It’s nonsense.

When people didn’t have the pill they killed their babies, they got coat-hanger abortions, they killed themselves, all to avoid a life of suffering from having a baby at the wrong time. It’s more sensible to have a baby at the right time by using any contraception, including the birth control pill, to stop early pregnancy. Early pregnancy is a life-killer.

“The measure of “quality of life” is measured by how convenient it is to live sexually satisfied”

says YOU.
Lots of other people have other ways of measuring satisfaction and quality of life. I reject yours despite the obvious jokes that could go along with it.

“Technology based on greed has outpaced technology based on good heartedness”
Ya, I suppose that’s almost true.
I still see how that technology’s use and adjustments to it can go the other way with minimal effort but I think there’s a cultural element involved.

“A critical balance between: Fornicating and Fords vs. Libraries and Hospitals, seems necessary.”
No. Nothing about those things is related.

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By sanda1sculptorNYC, April 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

And, as an older person with severe disabling illness, I am aware of the encouragement, in the guise of “austerity” now, towards assisted suicide.  See http://www.notdeadyet.org which is a group that I support.

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By Justin Case, April 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

bpawk,
“That’s why I can’t understand people staunchly supporting Obama - he had four years to help taxpayers who paid for the bailouts but he has done nothing - and nobody complains. The only thing going for him is that he’s marginally better than Romney”

It’s even worse. Obama has outright said that what Wall Street did is not illegal. Romney has outright said that Corporations are People.
Ron Paul’s the best USA pick but obviously he’s not perfect. A free market is a great thing if not abused but a nation WITH a GOVERNMENT rather than a market with a “possibility” of a government is the order of the day & the foundation of the USA so deviating too far from that can only get Ron Paul some trouble.

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By Justin Case, April 14, 2012 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

“Tally the fatal, unhappy costs of runaway capitalism.”

What capitalism? Every day people are forced to lose money and forced into debt not of their choosing that’s ANTI-capitalism. Real capitalism would mean there’s no government debt but what you ELECT. Notice Greece has an UNELECTED bankster mafia-man running it as Prime Minister.

This is a very important point.
Tally the cost of REMOVING capitalism.

The day all these debts are erased, the day people are allowed to keep what they earn, the day people are allowed to OPT IN to taxes instead of being forced into it, the day that foreign nations & foreign corporations have NO CLAIM over the Greek people is the day capitalism returns. It is not there now.

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By heterochromatic, April 14, 2012 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

if some guy is down to owning his last car dealership and considers that just the
one makes life unbearable…..

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By gerard, April 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

If nationnal governments are afraid to self-correct based on facts, their people lose hope and do things that are desperate and counterproductive.  The news of those desperate and counterproductive acts itself causes further problems that governments should and can correct by self-aware internal reforms. The people are calling out to their governments all over the world, and most of the governments are hearing voices, running scared and playing dumb.
  Come on, you guys. Be heroes!  Remember the fellow who landed the plane on the Hudson River. Skill plus heart equals heroism.  It works every time.

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By bpawk, April 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Nobody will stand up to the bankers, in fact when they were ‘suffering’ it was bankers who were bailed out by both dems and repubs with now nothing left over for everyone else. That’s why I can’t understand people staunchly supporting Obama - he had four years to help taxpayers who paid for the bailouts but he has done nothing - and nobody complains. The only thing going for him is that he’s marginally better than Romney which people are quick to say when ‘defending’ obama. Hold your nose in the voting booth, it’s going to stick whichever way you go.

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