Economics, latest, United States, USA
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New Study on Rising Suicide Rates in the US Suggests Capitalism Is Quite Literally Killing Americans

by Grit Post Editorial Board, June 11, 2018

A study released late last week showed that suicide rates have risen significantly across the country. The culprit appears to be capitalism.

t’s largely assumed that people who decide to kill themselves are suffering from a mental illness. Mental Health America estimates that 30 to 70 percent of Americans who end their own lives are suffering from either severe depression or bipolar disorder. However, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 54 percent of Americans who committed suicide in 27 states in 2015 had no known mental health condition.

The CDC study, which examined suicide rates in all 50 states between 1999 and 2016, found that the rate of Americans taking their own lives increased by an alarming 38 to 58 percent in 12 states, 31 to 37 percent in another 12 states, and 19 percent to 30 percent in another 12 states. The CDC found that on average, suicide rates jumped by more than 30 percent for all 50 states. The only state that saw a decrease in suicide rates was Nevada:

Alarming trends
(Data by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Map by Magazine for the Society for Science & the Public)

The fact that more than half of these suicides were not attributed to any mental illness in a majority of states for at least one year of the period the CDC studied is remarkable, and begs the question of what other factors led to thousands of Americans taking their own lives. CDC researchers discovered that, outside of problems with intimate partners, the prime causes of suicide for Americans with no known mental illnesses were primarily financial in nature.

“For those who died, circumstances surrounding their suicide included relationship or job problems, the loss of a home, legal troubles and physical health issues,” wrote Aimee Cunningham in the Magazine for the Society for Science & the Public. “These factors played a role whether suicide victims had a diagnosed medical condition or not.”

Such a significant increase in the rate of Americans killing themselves between 1999 and 2016 in 49 states merits research into national trends during that same time period. In 2011, The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed) published a report showing that student debt had risen by 511 percent over a 12-year period. Student debt continued to increase at a catastrophic rate, with the New York Fed finding that the average American household has roughly 828 percent more student debt in 2017 than in 1999.

Home prices and healthcare premiums also increased precipitously from 1999 to today. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that, on average, housing is 51 percent more expensive in 2018 than it was in 1999. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that between 1999 and 2017, health insurance premiums increased by more than 200 percent. Last year, Quartz reported that of the $2 billion raised on crowdfunding site Gofundme between 2010 and 2016, $930 million was for healthcare expenses.

single premiums(Data and graph by Kaiser Family Foundation)

In the meantime, wage growth for the bottom 90 percent of American workers has been at a standstill since the start of the 21st century. Even though workers saw an average 15 percent increase in wages during the 1990s, data from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows that the vast majority of wage earners saw no cumulative growth in real annual wages between 1999 and 2013 despite worker productivity increasing by approximately 71 percent. However, wages for the top 1 percent skyrocketed over that same time period.

productivity-compensation gap.pngtop 1% wages

When the troubling rise in American suicide rates is taken in context with the relentless redistribution of wealth from the bottom 90 percent to the top 1 percent that took place over the same period, the culprit behind the wave of suicides is abundantly clear. Working-class Americans — when faced with rapidly increasing costs of living and stagnant wages — are forced to work longer hours just to stay afloat. Tragically, for thousands of financially unstable Americans, the stress of providing for their household amidst crushing student debt, housing prices, and healthcare costs eventually became too much to bear.

America is rapidly becoming a place where only the rich can survive. If local, state, and federal governments don’t take drastic steps to correct the inequality plaguing society, the trend of rising suicide rates will only continue.

 

62 Comments

  1. Dan says

    The parasitical system and their criminal friends at wallstreet hold people back and make people desperate, unable to get ahead. They siphon the public money and laugh all the way to the bank at our expense. Just look at the ridiculous costs here:
    https://realitybloger.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/the-senate-how-much-does-it-cost/
    You can quote as many “scholarly arguments” as you like but they are pointless and there’s no value in rebutting them if they don’t address the root cause, and instead address secondary causes. This is what restricts the debate and you’re the one trying to do it! The root cause is peoples “unfortunate circumstances arise because of the political and economic structures and belief systems forced upon them”. And IMO, Carlin just wiped the floor with your face addressing the root cause for 3 minutes, and that’s good enough for me. What diversion will you post next?

  2. “For those who died, circumstances surrounding their suicide included relationship or job problems, the loss of a home, legal troubles and physical health issues,” … so, is this trying to say that none of those things could place someone in a mental health state that is possibly situational that could lead them to make a suicide attempt?

    As someone diagnosed with a mental health condition, a suicide attempt survivor and a trained mental health crisis responder, I find this line of thinking a terrible reaction to the suicide rates that have been at epidemic levels for longer than most people can even imagine. When almost all health resources have stated, around 25% of the world’s total population has or will have a mental health condition at some point in life that could be helped with professional care. Also, for every suicide that we know of, it is suggested that there are 4 – 6 people that attempt suicide.

    Trying to say that over half of suicides are not due to mental health is misleading. Just because someone has not been diagnosed with a condition does not mean they do not have one. It is called an ‘invisible illness’ for a reason. It takes careful study of each person to see if they have a condition that could be diagnosed. That takes time and often goes on for a very long time without being taken note of by others for a number of reasons including the stigma that surrounds mental health conditions.

    Do more homework as this line of thinking is not going to help anyone. I feel if this would become the popular way of thinking on this, many more lives will be lost rather than saved.

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    • George says

      What exactly is your point? That “the loss of a home, legal troubles and physical health issues” COULD place someone in a mental health state? Well yes, obviously. And if that is the case then what the sufferers need is not “professional care” but help with their homes, finances and physical health.

      • And I don’t see your point either. They may need both kinds of help. Kurt Cobain for example wasn’t poor.

    • Jen says

      Dear Gordon: Please stick to the topic which is that most suicides occur because of the particular monetary, legal and physical health circumstances victims find themselves in, and these circumstances arise because of the political and economic structures and belief systems imposed on people. To divert the conversation into a discussion of people’s mental states is a way of deflecting the focus away from the cause and onto proposing solutions that not only don’t address the cause of the problem but could worsen the problem and put the burden of blame or responsibility onto the victim.

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      • Dear Jen, please try not to restrict the debate. Durkheim found otherwise: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89mile_Durkheim#Suicide

        Durkheim believed there was more to suicide than extremely personal individual life circumstances: for example, a loss of a job, divorce, or bankruptcy. Instead, he took suicide and explained it as a social fact instead of a result of one’s circumstances. Durkheim believed that suicide was an instance of social deviance. Social deviance being any transgression of socially established norms. He created a normative theory of suicide focusing on the conditions of group life. The four different types of suicide that he proposed are egoistic, altruistic, anomic, and fatalistic. He began by plotting social regulation on the x-axis of his chart, and social integration on the y-axis. Egoistic suicide corresponds to a low level of social integration. When one is not well integrated into a social group it can lead to a feeling that he or she has not made a difference in anyone’s lives. On the other hand, too much social integration would be altruistic suicide. This occurs when a group dominates the life of an individual to a degree where they feel meaningless to society. Anomic suicide occurs when one has an insufficient amount of social regulation. This stems from the sociological term anomie meaning a sense of aimlessness or despair that arises from the inability to reasonably expect life to be predictable. Lastly, there is fatalistic suicide, which results from too much social regulation. An example of this would be when one follows the same routine day after day. This leads to he or she believing there is nothing good to look forward to. Durkheim suggested this was the most popular form of suicide for prisoners.

        so I suppose the break down of social cohesiveness in a capitalist society can lead to feelings of isolation which sadly seems to be increasing.

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        • Jen says

          No I wasn’t restricting the debate, I was trying not to let it go into a narrow discussion about mental health.

          Durkheim’s position on the other hand is restrictive, and an example of the direction into a framework that I was warning against earlier: he sees the same problem as the Grit Post writer does but from the viewpoint of the isolated individual. If we were to follow Durkheim’s approach and recommend solutions within that approach, we’d probably say that the individual must fall back into the social group or distance himself/herself from the social group, depending on that individual’s background and context.

          But suppose the social cohesion allowed in capitalist society is itself dysfunctional – because it depends on people valuing themselves according to a monetary or materialist standard? In which case Durkheim’s theory of four suicide types is neither here nor there. If the context itself constitutes the danger, and one cannot escape the danger otherwise, then suicide (whatever it is, egoistic, altruistic, anomic, fatalistic) might be the only rational choice. So the ideology that informs the society must be the problem.

          • Despite its limitations, Durkheim’s work on suicide has influenced proponents of control theory, and is often mentioned as a classic sociological study. The book pioneered modern social research and served to distinguish social science from psychology and political philosophy

            Which might be why I object to you imposing your political philosophy as the only worthwhile scope of this debate, it only creates narrow emotional constructs which limits human understanding. Not that you or I are acting as debate monitors, of course 😉

            • Jen says

              The issue that the Grid Post article was pursuing is that capitalist society (and the belief systems and values it promotes as worthy: values such as competition, material consumption and a particular interpretation of “freedom” as in freedom from restraint and responsibility) is already a dysfunctional and sick entity. Normal people in such a society cannot thrive; it seems only sociopaths who can access power and wealth faster (by resorting to tactics and strategies that include breaking social rules and conventions, that in turn include violence and murder) can thrive in that type of society.

              You can say that Durkheim’s work on suicide and crime is valuable but if it rests on assuming that Western capitalist society is not dysfunctional and does not encourage or promote beliefs and values that lead to the very social fragmentation and breakdown that in turn push people towards crime and anti-social behaviours, then it is of not much help in this particular Off-Guardian discussion.

              It is all very well for us to suggest that suicidal people seek help from medical professionals, family members, counsellors and others – but if the family environment, work/school environment and the overall community and social environment are already noxious, medical professionals prescribe drugs with side effects, and counsellors cannot do more than advise or suggest changes that the individual may find impossible to undertake over a lengthy period of time (because of the cost involved) – and the problems that push people into thinking suicidal thoughts happen to be common in certain layers of society (that is, working-class and lower to average middle class people), then isn’t there a case to suggest that society at large is the problem?

              Treating suicide as mainly a mental health problem and not as the final result of a long process that starts with the society we live in and the values it promotes takes us in directions that can only treat the symptoms but ignores the ultimate cause of the problem that creates the symptoms.

              • The article suggests but doesn’t prove that capitalism is the cause of the rise of suicide amongst Americans and asserts that mental health may not be a major factor -“54 percent of Americans who committed suicide in 27 states in 2015 had no known mental health condition”.(That leaves the other 46% as having a “mental health condition”?) So thanks, but we’re not going to keep discussion of the vital subject of increasing suicide rates within a narrow, flawed parameter, with all due respect.

                Also, when you look at the study instead of the magazine article https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6722a1.htm?s_cid=mm6722a1_w
                Vital Signs: Trends in State Suicide Rates — United States, 1999–2016 and Circumstances Contributing to Suicide — 27 States, 2015

                “Mental health conditions are one of several factors contributing to suicide. Examining state-level trends in suicide and the multiple circumstances contributing to it can inform comprehensive state suicide prevention planning.”

                Not only is ‘capitalism’ not mentioned but mental health is. And those without mental health or alcohol/substance abuse problems, the most common causes are specifically intimate partner problems, or recent criminal legal problems, but yes, “physical health problems and job/financial problems were commonly contributing stressors among both persons without mental health conditions”.

                An interesting note in the study, many of those who committed suicide were already under treatment, thus proving we need to improve treatment, without the ‘noxious’ in my opinion one of the side effects is suicidal fixation, and, to have been released from a correctional facility (25.7% versus 8.7%), hospital (43.7% versus 33.0%), or other facility, such as an alcohol/substance use treatment facility (24.2% versus 11.6%). Among decedents with known mental health conditions who were recently released from an institution, 46.7% were released from psychiatric facilities.

                Also,

                Among decedents aged ≥18 years, 20.1% of those without known mental health conditions and 15.3% of those with mental health conditions had previously served in the U.S. military or were serving at the time of death.

                which is an appalling indictment of the state of military service.

                • Dan says

                  The situation really is not as complicated as you try to make it out to be. It only takes half a brain cell and a little critical thinking to realise capitalism IS the problem. You’re just another idiot who is willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick being shoved up your asshole every day.

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      • And to add https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4482518/

        Results

        Nine studies that altogether evaluated 2339 suicide cases and 5252 comparison participants met all selection criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. The meta-analysis suggested an overall protective effect of religiosity from completed suicide with a pooled OR of 0.38 (95% CI: 0.21–0.71) and I2 of 91%. Sub-analyses similarly revealed significant protective effects for studies performed in western cultures (OR = 0.29, 95% CI: 0.18–0.46), areas with religious homogeneity (OR = 0.18, 95% CI: 0.13–0.26), and among older populations (OR = 0.42, 95% CI: 0.21–0.84). High heterogeneity of our meta-analysis was attributed to three studies in which the methods varied from the other six.

        Conclusion

        Religion plays a protective role against suicide in a majority of settings where suicide research is conducted. However, this effect varies based on the cultural and religious context. Therefore, public health professionals need to strongly consider the current social and religious atmosphere of a given population when designing suicide prevention strategies.

        So, while some might want to attack “belief systems imposed on people” there is no denying how a strong belief system can create a protective effect against the suicidal feelings that may erupt either from mental illness, or a particular set of circumstances.

  3. Harry Stotle says

    The biggest threat to US combat soldiers is not enemy bullets but their own hands – fact.

    Veterans commit suicide at the rate of 1 per hour (approx) or 7,400 per annum – that’s 21% above the national average.

  4. Gary Weglarz says

    Before my retirement several years ago I worked for almost 40 years as a social worker in the U.S. in every realm from mental health, to child abuse & neglect, to hospice care and to drug and alcohol counseling. What was abundantly clear from personal experience (as well as the research) is that poverty and childhood trauma combine in the U.S. with racism, sexism, a woefully insufficient social safety net, and a total disintegration of the social fabric in general to create almost unimaginable suffering for a huge segment of the U.S. population. For the most part the lives of the poor are invisible to the rest of U.S. society (those with jobs, with some healthcare, with some hope). The film “The Florida Project” actually does an admirable job of exploring the lives of one segment of poor Americans. It’s worth watching for its depiction of how the deck is stacked against poor children by forces totally outside of their control.

    There are decades of research showing that suicide rates, domestic violence rates, child abuse rates and rates of admission to drug and alcohol treatment all increase in lock-step with increasing unemployment rates (this isn’t rocket science) though politicians here will find every reason to blame the poor for their plight rather than acknowledge the obvious systemic problems. Increasing poverty and increasing lack of access to basic services including housing (there are 6 vacant homes in the U.S. for each homeless person on the street) have created unlivable conditions for huge numbers in the U.S. The criminalization of drug use, and the “prison industrial complex” are Capitalism’s systemic response to the mass destruction it has been creating decade upon decade.

    Since in the U.S. the wealthy no longer have abundant natural resources to exploit (coal, oil, lumber) – Capitalism and Wall Street have found a way – (through the so called ‘miracle of the market’ perhaps?) – to simply turn the poor and the disenfranchised into yet another money making commodity for wealthy investors to profitably exploit and invest in. For-profit prisons! How completely and utterly amoral. Strange how the religiously revered “invisible hand of the market” always can be found tightly wrapped around the throats of the poor anywhere and everywhere on the planet.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      This reality, of a putatively ‘Christian’ country treating its people with such undisguised hatred and sadism (and the cancer is spreading deep into the supposed ‘middle’ class)makes all the hissing and spitting by the fakestream media presstitutes, that Trump failed to bring up ‘North Korea’s human rights record’, in his little tete-a-tete, more than usually hypocritical and odious. It is the DPRK that ought to be bemoaning the USA’s hideous record of human rights abuse-and that is not even to contemplate its record of aggression, genocide, torture and destruction outside the USA.

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      • Astute comment , MM ..

        Personally, imo, I think Vaska is being perhaps a little naive on this one (untimely suicide pick) , in some senses: specifically speaking, falling into the ZioNazi trappings of short attention spans & mind control techniques of old. After all Christine Lagarde M.D. (IMF) stated clearly in late May 2014 in Mansion House to her fellow Elites that “Capitalism has Failed”, but still the debate just gets down and even dirtier .. & comical still, in the abstract ! >>

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10989528/Inclusive-capitalism-conference-ends-in-High-Court-battle-between-organisers.html

        Better watch this, to lighten up 🙂

        ‘USA world leaders’ >> The sheer number of US citizens per capita incarcerated is stunning: so stunning that it even floors & flaws Human Rights NGO’s, their activists & Gary Kasparov simultaneously – lmso, check the link: at least Jimmy Dore dares to give you the chance to laugh at the Western NGO brainwash & Kasparov, simultaneously .. Nice one Jimmy 🙂 >>
        Ridicule rules , OK !

        Though I have to say that I’m none too pleased at even allowing myself to comment on this article, in the first place: especially given the that the MHA and CDC are no doubt getting money from somewhere with ‘interest’ (inc. pseudo-“song-sheet” Scientists) and ‘somebody’ in the article also mentions the FED & “Student Debt” , along with all the added “fashionable” interest in suicide ‘Suddenly’ most recent , when so many of the celebrity cases were obviously murder, not suicide ..
        See the pattern ? so nicely timed & not coincidental .. all perfectly orchestrated.

        And the fact that the FED are about to pull the greatest financial stunt in the history of global banking and are monitoring all those that understand why, how & what, (like me 😉 ) .. even interfering with my email, that arrives with no content, when being sent to gmail or yahoo & many other addresses, inc. OFFG , it now seems ..

        MM, you at least know the nature of the ZioNazi Beast & their depth in control of all agendas, communications and the perfectly timed method of delivery .. eg. directly after the Bourdain Murder , (that was declared a suicide), with Hotlines being flashed up everywhere online ,
        on Tv & on radio ..

        “It’s not what you say it’s the way that you say it,
        it’s not what you do but the the way that you do it ..”

        That’s what gets ‘Bananarama’ results .. lol >> best kill myself 😉

        If you like, I can make you a gas formula that can be delivered by plane: if you are interested in the ‘groove’ of feeling a bit suicidal, for a while and I could back it up with some MicroRadioWaves for you to get the full feeling of depression & futility of life: just saying that , people really don’t have a clue what one can do, Scientifically in terms of Hypnotic Psychology , with some imagery implanted conveniently at the right moment and a swift touch of Frequency Wave Modulation, in a Wide Variety of ways. Maybe this next link will interest you more than Jimmy Dore & most other’s comments (looking below) .. some Funky stuff that my B’Amps taught me about , (when I was a kid) , that is All far more highly sophisticated in ‘Nature’ today !! (Logic applied, please).

        Ironically, the original most prolific Professor of the science of electronic mind control conditioning & hypnosis got well & truly stuck into the methodology the year I was born, 1961: so, once again nothing new, just like A.i. ….

        http://constitution.org/abus/mkt/uncom.htm

        Extract :-

        “Conclusion? While the documentary evidence in this report does not exactly

        “prove” we are being targetted by intelligence/defence contractors using

        classified electronic weapons, it certainly eliminates the argument that

        such devices are impossible, don’t exist, or that government has “no

        interest” in them, or that the “were tried years ago but didn’t work”.

        Add in the experiences of victims of the Tuskegee untreated syphilis exper-

        iments, the feeding of radioactive food to uninformed U.S. citizens, and

        the atrocities perpetrated under the institutional/drug/child abuse phases

        of the CIA’s MKULTRA programmes, and you have more than enough grounds to

        petition for an independent, open investigation.

        No doubt there were citizens of ancient Pompeii who argued that Vesuvius

        could not possibly erupt in their lifetimes.

        Faced with all the evidence, no honest government can afford to take the

        risk that electronic mind control activity may be happening, controlled

        from their own “back rooms”.

        Eleanor White

        If any doubts as to the importance of this issue remain,

        please see below what the U.S. NSA (National Security Agency)

        says would be the result of releasing information on electronic

        mind control: ”

        So in conclusion, I am not alone in my certitude of Knowledge & I should add that the “Raven’ website mentioned within the document has been closed down and an initial groggy ‘google search’ is making this ‘stuff’ harder & harder to find online, upon a preliminary search. No surprises thur’ & the whole damn ‘Shebang’ is obviously Heralded with the self same cognitive dissonance that surrounds 9/11..

        The sheeple just don’t want to know or believe it and it is much easier to label people like the Lady Eleanor & I as simple ‘Crazies’ .. from some ‘Lindisfarne-Lodge’ of Celts 🙂 : indeed , ‘Tis true, that i, as child, used to school holiday every year , with multiple holidays & much happy times past in the ole’ School House of “Lindisfarne” in the Stanbridge Earls school of thought , right next door to Lord Mountbatten’s ‘gaff ‘ (Estate) by Romsey in Hampshire.

        N.B. Directly below the above declaration of Eleanor White in the link, is a copy of the NSA response to her letter of request under the F.o.I. Act ..

        Research for yourSELF 😉 & mental health .. Knock yer’self out 🙂
        before ZioNazi’s endeavours to do same 🙂

        Best wishes,
        Balkydj

        • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate#United_States

          Uncle Sam leading the way, by incarcerating more than any other sovereign nation, per 100,000 citizens: proving the USA to have a scant hypocritical regard for Human Rights, along with colonies of the USA running closely behind: atrocious figures made doubly ironic, given their withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Commission , absurdly claiming bias &&& like some AshkeNazi Creature of Zion

          The Data Speaks louder than Nikki Hayley ever could: in fact , the Data helps to illuminate what an ill informed Biased-Woman Hayley really is, not others ! ; she screeching absurdity, like some stroppy guilty schoolgirl, endeavouring to shift the blame !

  5. bevin says

    The underlying fact is that, since the early 1970s, half a century ago, there has been an inexorable decline in Labour’s share of the national income.
    This means, inter alia, that there has been a steady reduction in consumer demand in the economy- a long depression, characterised by curiously low unemployment rates, which are not entirely a function of statistical jiggery-pokery.
    Millions of Americans are working in insecure, ill paid and humiliating jobs an affront to their self respect and an emblem of their impotence.
    Add to this the fact that most Americans either do not have health care insurance or are highly incentivised not to seek assistance from health professionals. Incentives which include monopoly priced pharmaceuticals. And the, not unrelated and widespread, tendency to self medicate using opioids etc
    And the only question is when, not ‘if’, the populace breaks free of the subliminal messages from above to wallow in despair, give up hope and look to the grave for consolation and peace and turns the hundreds of millions of guns that it owns on its oppressors.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      What’s more, the US plebs have been forced to go into huge indebtedness in order to keep consuming at something like an acceptable rate ie keeping food on the table. The US system is based on totalitarian rule by a psychopathic elite that hates other people, possesses no empathy or compassion, is insatiably greedy and does not care what happens to humanity after they are dead. The very worst are in total control of ‘society’, the most perfect kakistocracy as the Greeks called that situation, imaginable. What is peculiarly loathsome is that these deranged moral monsters and spiritual devils still declare themselves and their hideous Death-worshipping system, to be the most perfected social, economic and political model in existence, and that the rest of humanity MUST copy Thanatopia in EVERY way, or else the Thanatopian military and economic death-machine will be unleashed against them-even civilizations like China, Russia and Iran. Thanatopia will be the death of us all.

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  6. Ure Kismet says

    It wasn’t that long ago the US was trying to tear the USSR a new one over that nation’s policy of treating many of the citizens who struggled to fit into the socialist system as potentially suffering from an illness.
    See what freedom and apple pie does? Those who can’t cope are simply ignored in the US until they ‘do the decent thing’ and top themselves.
    Nice, particularly when the suicide stat is considered in conjunction with the US’ alarming rate of imprisonment, easily twice the rate of anywhere else.
    Not that the US doesn’t slot up lotsa nutters, they do, as long as the person in need of treatment carries insurance. Generally then the human is held under section, against the human’s will until the insurance is used up which may be quite fast if the ‘hospital’ can bill the insurers for a big swag of pills at rates such as $12.50 for an aspirin, close to 20 bucks for one dose of paracetamol and $80 to $150 per day for the sort of crude anti-psychotics the civilised world quit giving to patients last century not least because quitting those crude treatments is excruciating & physically dangerous.
    Not that the hospital alleging to be helping them would know since the inmate is shown the door when the insurance runs out so the human is left to withdraw on the street un-monitored by the US’s caring medical industry.

    Gone but not forgotten. If the ‘patient’ still has cover but must wait 12 months or whatever until the residential care component re-accrues, the kindly hospital will send out the padded ambulance to pick the patient up once that date is reached so the entire process can begin over again.

    It is no surprise that as well as those without a psychiatric illness which corporate capitalism has failed those who do have a psychiatric illness also top themselves rather than endure this cruel punishment disguised as treatment

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  7. this is from my book “Credo” from Chapter 42 – The Psycho-dynamics of the financial market

    there is a striking correlation between mental ill health and debt – on both sides – lenders as well as borrowers. Among other things, it is now well documented that self-reported anxiety increases with the ratio of credit card debt to personal income; that the onset of mortgage debt has a negative impact on mental health on males; that of people receiving debt advice, a high proportion (62% in a UK study) reported that their debt led to stress, anxiety and depression which they are likely to consult their doctor about; that there is a relationship between debt and post natal depression; that debt is the strongest predictor of depression; that difficulties in repaying debts are strongly connected with suicidal
    ideation and self-harm; that debt is associated with feelings of shame, social embarrassment, a sense of personal failure, negative self-identities and is implicated in isolation, social exclusion and strained relationships. (Fitch, Chaplin, Trend, & Collard, 2007)

    That does not preclude there being other causes of mental health problems and suicide, perhaps also “vaccines” and “capitalism”. However “capitalism” is such a wide concept that I don’t think its terribly helpful to say that its capitalism – Rhys Jaggars comments are much more specific. Also the ideas of someone like Guy Standing about “the precariat” are important – having gnawing anxiety all the time because of financial insecurity is much more specific. Also taking on board the ideology that one is oneself to blame for failing – and not the system.

    There is also a lot of literature about how market societies tend to produce “marketing personalities” This is discussed in Oliver James’ book “Affluenza”. “Marketing characters experience themselves as commodities whose value and meaning are externally determined.” Such characters have the following traits:
    … eager to consume; wasteful of goods, disposing and replacing them frequently; having
    conventional tastes and views; uncritical of themselves or society, un-insightful; agreeing with the
    statement “having makes me more”; a tendency to publicise and promote themselves; experiencing
    themselves as a commodity whose value is determined by possessions and the opinions of others;
    and with values portrayed in television advertisements. (James, 2007)

    Studies show people like this are more likely to be “materialistic, conformist, unconcerned about
    ecology, expressive of anger, anxious and depressive.” A subsequent study by Saunders, again cited by
    James, explains how marketing characters:

    … place little value on beauty, freedoms or inner harmony. Their main pursuits are social
    recognition, comfort, and having an exciting life. They are extremely individualistic in their
    social values and do not regard social equality as desirable. They compare themselves obsessively
    and enviously with others, always having to have more and better things than others, believing
    inequality to be man’s natural state. (James, Affluenza, 2007, p. 66)

    The point here is that if people like this are hit by failure in economic terms they are bound to get into serious psychological difficulties….

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  8. Rather than jumping on that familiar bandwagon of blaming capitalism, I suggest that people at least consider the late Harris Coulter’s goundbreaking study ‘Vaccination, Social Violence and Criminality- The medical assault on the US Brain’. Coulter worked with parents and children who had been damaged by the pertussis vaccine and concluded that the incidence of autism, almost unheard of before the second world war, has grown exponentially through the use of vaccination, particularly with the pertussis vaccine. He notes that when first made available, it was the children of parents wealthy enough to pay for vacicnation who succumbed, and that autism was rare enough to be blamed by the Freudian psychiatrist Bruno Bettelheim on ‘refrigerator mothers’. Nowadays in the US, school attendence is conditional upon vaccination and the incidence of autism is at epidemic levels both in the US, in the UK and elsewhere. The dangers to society of mass vaccination are gaining increasing credence in the US with Robert Kennedy Junior being a prominent critic.

    Coulter makes a convincing case for increasing levels of antisocial behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse being the inevitable consequence of increasing levels of infant vaccination. Indeed, he estimates that between one in ten and one in twenty people in the US are minimally brain damaged through vaccination. An interesting possible confirmation of Coulter’s views came around 2002 when the WHO announced that one in ten of the world’s children are mentally ill. Officialdom and many people refuse to even consider the real implications of mass vaccination. Back in the 1970s I worked in a local mental hospital, on an adult male ward, where adults described as having ‘the bodies of adults but the minds of babies’ were freely acknowledged to be the victims of the pertussis vaccine. Back then many parents refused to vaccinate their children.

    An incidence almost unheard of when I was a child at school in the fifties and sixties was sudden death by anaphylaxis. Nowadays schools warn that they are ‘nut free zones’ yet back then we often walked to school munching peanuts. We are often told that scientists have no idea why there has been a massive increase in allergies, yet Dr Coulter tells us that allergic responses in laboratory animals is induced by injecting them with the pertussis vaccine!

    By all means criticise the failings of capitalism, but it is clear to me that the world’s health problems are rather more deserving of more thorough analysis.

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    • bevin says

      “Rather than jumping on that familiar bandwagon of blaming capitalism, I suggest that people at least consider the late Harris Coulter’s groundbreaking study ‘Vaccination, Social Violence and Criminality- The medical assault on the US Brain’…’

      The notion that a public health regimen us unrelated to the socio-political characteristics of the society in which it is found is mind boggling.

      If this is your view of the relationships between policies and politics I urge you to explain the logic behind your conclusion- as to the crap about vaccines, we’ve heard it all before.

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      • kevin morris says

        And you will carry on hearing about it until something is done about it, for those- and there are many- who have seen their loved ones damaged by vaccination are growing impatient. Please remember that most governments including those of the UK and the US have funds to compensate for vaccine damage. There would be no reason for such funds to exist if vaccine damage didn’t exist.

        How is it that autism, was such a rare incidence prior to the introduction of the pertussis vaccine in the early forties that psychiatrists could blame the victims’ mothers for being too cold, yet articles in the Grauniad tell us that it has always been at around one in one hundred of the population? It seems that when the Grauniad publishes utter nonsense on many subjects it is uniformly ridiculed here, yet when it states utter nonsense about autism we ignore it?

        Clearly there is a relationship between health regimens and the socio-political characteristics, and the parents of vaccine damaged children know all too well that as far as vaccination is concerned it is a situation indeed mired in corruption of the most appalling kind. But given the blandishments of policy makers, the outright denial by opinion formers and the unwillingness to see what stares us all in the face, I would argue that that is the reason why many of us might wish to ‘blame capitalism’. The irony is that we as individuals can actually do something about vaccination of our own children whereas all we can do about capitalism is wring our hands and perhaps enjoy if only momentarily, our communal groan, courtesy of Offguardian.

        A final point. In a forum that I have always had a high regard for, not least for its willingness to showcase differing viewpoints with relatively good nature, why the need to express oneself in such an unpleasant manner? If it is of any comfort to you the death of sacred cows is often distressing.

        • George says

          The rise in autism may also have a lot to do with non-stop 24 hour mind-numbing advertisment strewn entertainment and immersion in the virtual worlds of computer games, mobile phones and the internet. Not to mention the compulsively expanding racks of dazzling multi-coloured consumer items – all declaring themselves to be completely different from each other but in fact differing by miniscule amounts.

          • Doesn’t address those children who developed autism symptoms after receiving their shots at the age of 2 though.

            https://www.naturalnews.com/047072_MMR_vaccine_autism_government_coverup.html

            A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed in the UK has forced the Department of Health to release confidential documents outlining the details of MMR’s initial approval back in the 1980s. These documents reveal that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the manufacturer of the MMR vaccine Pluserix, knew that there were problems with the vaccine causing a high rate of adverse events in children. Among these were encephalitis and other conditions associated with autism.

            Concerned that the British government was withholding information about MMR’s dangers from the public, the FOIA request was filed in response to the growing number of vaccinated children who were coming down with debilitating gut problems, brain damage and other symptoms believed to be associated with MMR. As it turns out, these suspicions are now validated.

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says

            If humanity survives, a highly doubtful prospect, our future descendants will look back on the psychological and spiritual molestation and manipulation of advertising, let alone its ubiquitous pollution of every available space, as one of the gravest evils that twisted, greed-driven, pathopsychology ever concocted.

      • Jim Scott says

        If indeed there is a problem with vaccinations causing autism and with this being forced on parents by authorities, then it could be seen as an example of capitalism via medi-business causing autism and mental illness.

    • Kevin:
      I still have my copy of “DPT A SHOT IN THE DARK”. I also still have my copy of “Pottenger’s Cats” and “Nutrition And Physical Degeneration”. If you read the two latter books you may come to same conclusion that I have come to best expressed by William A. Albrecht, PhD: “It’s not the overpowering invader we must fear but the weakened condition of the victim.”

      • kevin morris says

        I couldn’t agree more Gary, but being a homoeopath myself, that should hardly come as a surprise. Unlike radicals in the anti-vaccine movement I merely call for openness and debate about the dangers of vaccination so that parents may make an informed choice. Since our supine media merely trumpets health scare propaganda nowadays openness is more needed than ever before.

        It is said that towards the end of his life Louis Pasteur, who had always blamed ‘germs’ for disease, recanted and said, ‘The soil is everything’ which is essentially what you say.

        • Kevin:
          The way I heard it he said, “The microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything.” I think that applies to both us and to the soil.
          For some time I have been familiar with the evidence left by the late soil soil scientist, William Albrecht, PhD. His evidence shows that nature works, literally, from the ground up. It starts with the ability of the soil to produce protein. My goal in improving soil fertility is to create the microbes that are at the bottom of the food chain. That is my approach to bring back a butterfly that is extirpated in my area.
          As a homeopath, you may be interested that my approach is not just chemical based but also energy based. IMO the energy is the more important of the two.
          My attempt is based on my conviction that the butterfly became extirpated in my area because of malnutrition, probably the reason that most extinctions occur. If this works for the butterfly the principle will not apply to just this one butterfly. It will apply to life across the board, including bees.

            • BigB says

              I touched on this in another comment, but essentially I agree with this take: a sick diet is making us sick. The ‘Green Revolution’ in farming is lowering soil fertility (and killing biodiversity); the resultant crops have less and less nutrition; that remaining nutrition is then processed out – essentially as waste; the resultant denatured ‘food’ is lowering intelligence levels, making us sick, and susceptible to physical and mental illness.

              I would add another dimension to our changing diet: sugar. High fructose corn syrup and invert sugars might just be among the worst of our inventions. Along with the denatured food, they are causal of the obesity endemic. There are other factors; chiefly environmental pollutants, lack of clean air and clean water, VOCs etc …but essentially our immunity (which in itself is predominantly healthy bacterial flora – particularly in the gut) is deficient. Personally, I do think that vaccines are contributory, but in the context of the bigger picture. I think we are looking, even in obesity, at the results of an endemic malnutrition crisis. And not just for butterflies!

              • Mulga Mumblebrain says

                And then there is glyphosate, most notorious as Roundup. It kills the soil biota, all those arthropods and other beneficials that are central to soil health. Soils are basically being stripped of life and vitality. No-one cares in the capitalist kakistocracy, of course, just so long as profits always grow.
                When GE ‘crops’ immune to Roundup were introduced and pushed, the blood-suckers claimed, bizarrely, that LESS Roundup would be required, an obvious lie that goes against capitalist religion and commonsense, the fakestream presstitutes circulated it, unquestioningly, as required for their employment. Naturally Roundup use has soared, with crops drenched in the poison, local populations afflicted by disease, and Roundup and metabolites becoming ubiquitous in human blood samples. It has even been found as an adjuvant in vaccines! Perhaps the most bizarre use, testament to greed gone raving mad, is its utilisation to dessicate, ie kill, grain crops, prior to harvest. Enjoy your daily bread!

                • Big B says

                  Once you start using Roundup (plus ‘Roundup Ready’ biotech mononcrop patented and licensed seeds) you need more and more Roundup …and a lot more water. Hydrological systems collapse; the runoff causes algal blooms and hypoxic dead zones… …This is all too familiar and predictable. One of the first environmental books I (and everyone else) read was Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ …replace DDT with Roundup and on we go… 🙁

                  • Mulga Mumblebrain says

                    And remember how the psychopathic Right, if you’ll forgive the tautology, attacked Carson, in the vilest manner, as being responsible for ‘millions of deaths’ in the poor world, because DDT was no longer used against malarial mosquitoes. As if those Rightwing vermin gave a stuff over how many millions or billions of ‘useless eaters’ died under any circumstance? You still see that shite from time to time in some Rightwing hate sewer, often in a Murdoch latrine.
                    This, and countless other examples, remind us of a central truth, and one that the human beings refuse to contemplate and accept-to their very great, indeed terminal, detriment. And that is that those who we euphemise as ‘the Right’ represent not just some variant of human behaviour and psychology, but, to vary degrees, and with those at the apex of the capitalist Death-machine the most malignant specimens of the type, they in fact represent moral and spiritual Evil. Evil so profound that they are driving humanity to extinction, without a particle of regret.

                    • BigB says

                      Whoah, bud, I’m afraid it’s not as easily reductive as that: bad Right – ‘good’ Left? The Right may be paleoconservative and extremised …but it’s the “sordid materialistic calculus” that is killing the planet …and that is ubiquitous. That might seem unnecessarily blaming at first: but also, it is the only liberational praxis we have …to envision an equitable future to replace the mass karmic hallucination of hell on earth. Heaven may or may not be possible, but with a new awareness, we might avoid the Mad Max – Hunger Games – Handmaid’s Tale future we’re heading for! There might even be a few birds left to herald Spring? (If there is a Spring?)

                    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

                      What I do, B, is define all shits as ‘Right’. It’s just a silly shorthand, based on the seating arrangements at the French assembly at the end of the 18th century. Generally, if a person is a ‘conservative’, ‘liberal’, ‘Free Marketeer’, etc, they are shits and I’ll call them ‘Rightists’. There are so-called, ‘Leftists’ who are not, of course, but that’s all part of the brainwashing. A true Leftist is simply non-psychopathic, humane, compassionate, and free of insatiable greed- in my opinion at least.

    • Jen says

      @ Kevin: May I ask who supplies the pertussis vaccine to the federal and/or state governments, or to hospitals (public and private) in the US?

      In Australia, GlaxoSmithKline Australia supplies the Boostrix-IPV pertussis vaccine to all federal, state and territory governments that have chosen to use it.
      https://au.gsk.com/en-au/media/press-releases/2016/whooping-cough-vaccines-availability-update/

      You see, even the health problems arising from vaccines can still fall within a critique of capitalism. GSK, Merck and other pharmaceutical companies don’t supply childhood and other vaccines out of the goodness of their own corporate collective heart.

      You yourself have noted that when vaccination first became available, childhood autism rates first rose among children of wealthy families who could afford to pay for vaccination. Does that not tell you that pharmaceutical companies supply childhood vaccines for profit? That they now supply vaccines to governments (so the money now comes from taxpayers) does not mean their business model has changed.

      • kevin morris says

        Hello Jen. I agree wholeheartedly. In my reply to Bevin I said as much. The problem with simply ‘blaming it on capitalism’ is that this has at least the potential to cloud the issue. In fact, it is at least arguable that the system of economics we have now is no longer capitalism at all, but the socialisation of risk for the wealthy, and capitalism red in tooth and claw for the rest of us. Special pleading on the part of the rich and corruption on the part of our elected representatives has resulted in an economic system that would be seen as alien to past exponents of capitalism.

        This tendency of course manifests within the pharmaceutical industry, and radicals in the anti vaccine movement are arguing that the massive increase in the number infant vaccinations in the US is explained because legislation has been enacted that allows no litigation on the part of individuals against the industry for vaccine damage. Representatives of health watchdogs in the US have been heard to claim that it would be perfectly safe for babies a few weeks old to receive as many as a hundred vaccines, whilst in medicine as in everything else, what happens there tends to happen here soon after.

        It does seem that whatever the definition of our current economic system, our policy makers are being wilfully ignorant of the social implications of what with any other illness would be seen as an epidemic. The costs are already proving catastrophic but it will not be the drug companies that will end up paying.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      I agree that mass vaccination of the very young, with an increasing burden of vaccines, all full of ‘adjuvants’ many kept secret on spurious ‘commercial’ grounds, almost certainly causes damage to some susceptible individuals, particularly as the human immune system is not yet fully functional at early age, and human neurological development continues into early adulthood. Vaccines are not, of course, the only assault on human health and function. We must also cope with chemical toxicity from thousands of novel poisons created by the chemical industry Moloch, the effects of which in particular individuals, and the synergistic damage done in conjunction with other toxins, are incalculable-if the vested interests involved were even interested in calculating anything but next quarter’s profits. Add in microwave radiation, other forms of radiation from the nuclear industry, heavy metal pollution, spiritual pollution from an odious, insanely intrusive, mass indoctrination system and the metabolic pollution of a junk-food diet etc, and it’s a wonder that anyone escapes-and the number that do is falling, inexorably, everywhere.

  9. Jen says

    Has anyone noticed that the states recording the highest percentage increases in suicide rates in the CDC study from 1999 to 2016 appear to be either Republican-voting states or states with small populations living in small, perhaps mostly rural areas with low levels of investment in infrastructure and social and community institutions and networks?

    States with small populations are naturally going to record very high jumps in the suicide rate if the initial suicide rate figure in 1999 is very low. So that is a statistical feature to bear in mind.

    On the other hand, the states recording decreases or slight increases in the suicide rate over the same period are populous states with large urban populations that tend to vote, er, Democrat. Again we must be wary that in these states, the base suicide rate in 1999 could have been fairly high.

    It would be interesting to know also if the states that recorded the greatest increases in the suicide rate are states where access to guns is easy or not. Ditto for fentanyl and crystal meth.

    • aallord says

      Political in red state/blue state? Nevada is red (1% decrease)… Minnesota is blue (38%-58%), Vermont is blue (38%-58%) while New Hampshire is red (38%-58%)…. My only point here is maybe, just maybe we should stop looking at the red state/blue state aspects and dig deeper into the American society as a whole… We can always look at the minuscule and then we miss the obvious..

      • Jen says

        I didn’t say or imply that the voting record across the US had anything to do with the increase or decrease in suicide rates in different states. There appears to be some correlation between voting record and + or – changes in the suicide rates which can be put down to sociological factors influencing voting patterns in the various states. Democrat voters tend to be urban dwellers living in cosmopolitan cities on the seaboard and Republican voters are likely to live far inland where the economy is not doing so well. They may also be living in areas where access to guns is easier than in areas where Democrat voters live.

        As I suspected, firearms access and high suicide rates seem to fit together:
        http://www.bradycampaign.org/sites/default/files/statewide%20gun%20ownership%20and%20gun%20suicide%20rates%202016.png

        I also only point out that the huge increase in suicide rates in some states from 1999 onward has to be interpreted carefully because some states that have experienced such large increases have small populations and have always had small populations.

        Perhaps the base year of 1999 is not such a good choice and the CDC should have examined suicide rates over a longer period with the period broken up into smaller periods so we get some idea of trends in the suicide rates in each state.

  10. One tends to suspect that if the suicide decision is logical then many or all of the following will pertain:

    1) They have no stake in the future – no children, no hope of children, no access to any children they do have;
    2) No stake in the present – no career, no prospect of a career, no prospect of financial prosperity;
    3) No emotional bonds – broken family, no emotional support, no community integration;
    4) No affiliation to a prevalent value system – dissociation from national values, lack of religious faith, no feeling of belonging;
    5) No realistic goals still left to achieve – peaks already reached, future peaks not worth the sacrifice, no affiliation to the achievements of meaningful others;
    6) No prospect of good health – body already broken, healthcare unaffordable, chronic conditions present;
    7) No affirmation of worth – contempt from others, discrimination by society, preponderance of negativity, lack of praise, love and kindness.

    The problem with cruel societies is they cannot accept someone saying ‘let me die with dignity, my choice, my time’.

    So people end up doing it without dignity, from despair, without tidying up their affairs.

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    • Jen says

      “… No affiliation to a prevalent value system – dissociation from national values, lack of religious faith, no feeling of belonging …”

      When I saw this part of your statement, goaded by the malicious side of my nature, I couldn’t resist looking up Utah’s suicide rate and the rate of increase in that state’s suicide rate from 1999 to 2016: it’s been a whopping 46.5%.

      https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/06/07/suicide-rates-rise-sharply-in-utah-and-across-the-country-new-report-shows/

      Yup, that’s Utah, where over half the population belongs to the Church of Latter-Day Saints which lays heavy importance on the family as an institution.

      • I’m Scottish. I’m not familiar with the US. The Latter-Day Saints are non-Catholic….Protestant. I studied Social Science. I’d expect to find suicide rates are higher for Protestants and lower for Catholics.

        • Jen says

          In Europe, the nations that reported the highest suicide rates in 2012 according to a World Health Orgaisation study were Lithuania, Russia and Hungary. Two of these countries are traditionally majority-Catholic countries. Suicide rates were generally higher for eastern European countries than western European countries: one indication that changing from socialist societies to capitalist societies is not resulting in a better life for many people.

          https://jakubmarian.com/suicide-rates-by-country-in-europe/

          Curiously the Republic of Ireland reported a higher suicide rate than the UK did that year.

          • Here’s a scholarly refutation of your generalized statement about suicide rates in ‘Catholic’ Lithuania, ahem. http://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/9/3/71/pdf

            D Gailienė
            Mar 5, 2018 – The Lithuanian case is intriguing because before WWII, along with Catholic Poland, it showed much lower suicide rates than its Protestant neighbours Latvia and Estonia. However, today Lithuania is among the leading countries in terms of the prevalence of suicide.
            Abstract: Religion as a protective factor against suicide was introduced in Durkheim’s theory of
            suicide and analysed from various perspectives in multiple studies. The Lithuanian case is intriguing
            because before WWII, along with Catholic Poland, it showed much lower suicide rates than its
            Protestant neighbours Latvia and Estonia. However, today Lithuania is among the leading countries
            in terms of the prevalence of suicide. Interestingly, not much has changed in Lithuania in terms
            of religious denomination—about 80% of population call themselves Catholic. The aim of this
            article was to explore which factors might have affected religions’ protective function against suicide
            during radical historical processes. The method of study consists of an analysis of historical sources,
            and of recent studies in suicidology and sociology of religion about suicide and religion in Lithuania.
            The results of this analysis show that two factors seem to be most important—heroicizing resistance
            suicides and experiencing long-term politics of atheisation.

            I suppose Russia also “experienced long-term politics of atheisation”?

            • Jen says

              What part of my comment was Danute Gailiene’s article refuting? And is that question about Russia experiencing “long-term politics of atheisation” – well, Russia used to be part of the Soviet Union – supposed to be a rhetorical question?

              All that I was showing was that while national or regional suicide rates may correlate with particular religious denominations, the links are not due to cause-and-effect.

              Possibly the correlations may relate to particular cultural values and institutions that existed in some countries before they became Christian and which ended up being valued by the particular religious denominations that became dominant in those countries. Northern European nations may have always valued individualism and more horizontal family structures more, even before they became Christian (and they were also Roman Catholic before becoming Protestant), and quite possibly this particular cultural orientation may (among other things) have led them to create cradle-2-grave social welfare state institutions. Southern European nations may have always been more family or community-oriented as a result of historical and cultural processes predating Christianity.

              • Since you quoted a study then used your own interpretation to back your argument
                In Europe, the nations that reported the highest suicide rates in 2012 according to a World Health Organisation study were Lithuania, Russia and Hungary. Two of these countries are traditionally majority-Catholic countries. Suicide rates were generally higher for eastern European countries than western European countries: one indication that changing from socialist societies to capitalist societies is not resulting in a better life for many people.
                and seem congenitally incapable of seeing the actual studies and links I provided refute every one of your ill informed cultural views, not really interested in arguing further, sorry.

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