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Tue Mar 3, 2015, 03:21 PM

Austerity Kills: Economic Distress Seen as Culprit in Sharp Rise in Suicide Rate Among Middle Aged


Austerity Kills: Economic Distress Seen as Culprit in Sharp Rise in Suicide Rate Among Middle Aged
Posted on March 1, 2015 by Yves Smith


Iím surprised, but perhaps I shouldnít be, that a recent study hasnít gotten the attention it warrants. It points to a direct connection between the impact of the crisis and a marked increase in suicide rates among the middle aged. This link seems entirely logical, given how many citizens found themselves whacked by a one-two punch of job loss or hours cutbacks combined with the sudden plunge in home prices. Normally, a last ditch course of action for most middle and upper middle class income members in the pre-crisis days, when things got desperate, was to sell you house and cut costs radically by moving into a much more modest rental. But that option vanished in all but the most stable markets (as in some flyover states that the subprime merchants ignored) due to home price declines trashing equity for all but those with small or no mortgages.

And you have the further psychological toll of the difficulty of re-inventing yourself if you are over 35. I can point to people who had enough in the way of resources and took steps that seemed entirely logical, taking courses to prepare them for a new career in fields with good underlying demand (see this post for one example; I can cite others) and got either poor returns on their expenditure of time and effort or had no success at all.

And the ones with enough options (bigger savings buffers or relatives who were willing and able to help) are the lucky ones. For all too many middle to upper middle income workers in America, when you fall off the corporate/big firm meal ticket, the fall is far indeed. As readers know all too well, the prejudice against older candidates as well as the unemployed is substantial, even if the reason for the job loss in no way reflected on employee performance (as in business failure or working for an acquired company when, in typical practice, the buyer went through the ranks of the purchased business with a howitzer). People who thought that having a college degree and a steady history of good performance at white collar jobs gave them a measure of security had that illusion ripped from them. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/03/austerity-kills-economic-distress-seen-culprit-sharp-rise-suicide-rate-among-middle-aged.html



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Reply Austerity Kills: Economic Distress Seen as Culprit in Sharp Rise in Suicide Rate Among Middle Aged (Original post)
marmar Mar 2015 OP
Wellstone ruled Mar 2015 #1
daredtowork Mar 2015 #2

Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Mar 3, 2015, 04:10 PM

1. Hear in the South West it is not

Middle Aged Group. Appears we are seeing a major uptick in Seniors doing suicides. Health care as well as financial concerns are taking a huge toll on Seniors. Many Seniors we see on a daily basis are talking about how their situations are become more and more dire. Stressed by financial support of their adult children as well as caring for their Grand Children. Many of our neighbors are raising or caring for their Grand Kids on a daily basis. And if you want to here how well your Schools are doing,just ask a Grandparent that is raising Grand Kids. Comparative of today's School's Educational results as to when they attended,Oh Boy.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Mar 3, 2015, 04:17 PM

2. "Poor returns out of expenditure of time and effort"

I can't underscore enough how harmful this is and how ridiculous it is for the various people and agencies charged with helping older long-term unemployed people not to listen to the *logic* of their position in why they don't want to do the same thing that hasn't worked for the umpteenth time. Is it such a surprise these people are worn down by their poverty? Being on an UNPAID treadmill sucks! I have personally gotten to the point where I will only put an extraordinary amount of effort into situations where I calculate that the chances of success will be high: but to my "helpers" this comes across as being too choosy, defeatist, and host of other negative traits. They simply haven't been in this situation - and dare I say it haven't suffered - as long as I have. Perhaps I really do know something they don't about what the outcome is likely to be given all the factors. Yet they see me lingering in unemployment, a case lingering on their books, and they think the way forward is to push me harder into more fail situations.

Older workers need to be treated as intelligent human beings with a good handle on their skills and work history. They shouldn't be repeatedly thrown like silly putty against a wall for jobs they have a slim chance of getting, especially after the first year of an intense job hunt. Once they are demoralized, they need to narrow the range for successful outcomes. And the field on the other side needs to be leveled on their behalf, too: they need to be able to go into the interview confident that the employer is WANTS to hire people in their age group - perhaps even sees their age as an asset. That way the little energy they have left isn't being wasted, and they don't turn into a burned out husk before they even start a new job.

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