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Is Cutthroat Capitalism Pushing a Growing Number of Baby Boomers to Suicide?

Society & Culture  (tags: economy, baby boomers, suicide, culture, politics, society )

- 1836 days ago -
American baby boomers are taking their own lives like never before. Is Wall Street's version of capitalism driving up our suicide rates?

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Sheryl G (360)
Thursday May 16, 2013, 2:22 pm
Nyack, you took the words right out of my mouth. I recall how the message was put out there years ago, oh what are we going to do when the boomers start to age. Well I guess it's unwise to say, create conditions for them that are so harsh that they won't want to live anymore.

The last line in the article read: Well, a national movement to take back our country from Wall Street sure would bring a smile to this boomer.

And, this reader says, would also bring one to mine as well, also a baby boomer.

Sheryl G (360)
Thursday May 16, 2013, 2:37 pm
Yes, "pro-life" and family values....what a joke. Tell people something enough times and they think it's true. Sort of like the Patriot Act.....No Child Left Behind or Race to The Top....all sounds good but isn't.

The Fuel Assistance program was also cut which many Elders and now unemployed baby boomers depend upon, so a few more found frozen to death in their homes also cuts back the herd too. Because that is how these Plutocrats look at us, we are not human to them, we are just in the way or to be used to make their life better somehow.

Roger Skinner (14)
Thursday May 16, 2013, 5:56 pm
Who said, "if you aren't rich, it's your own fault"? That is the lesson capitalists have been teaching us for decades. If you reach retirement age and can't afford to live above subsistence level, you are a failure.

Lynn Squance (235)
Thursday May 16, 2013, 10:23 pm
For me, the crux of the article lies in this paragraph:

"Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers gambled the economy into the ground. Through mergers, acquisitions and leveraged buyouts they're still creating and recreating a form of capitalism that throws millions of older workers out on the street. To enrich themselves, financial elites helped to destroy defined pension plans as well as unions, which provide enormous protections for older workers. Wall Street also helps companies load up on debt that can bankrupt the pension funds that still exist. And now our financial barons are leading the charge for cuts in Social Security and Medicare to pay for the damage Wall Street has done to the economy. In short, the Wall Street version of capitalism makes life enormously insecure for the many, while enriching the few. "

As a Canadian, and at the risk of sounding anti American, one big difference between our two countries has been the difference in attitudes in business. As a Canadian, I saw the business ethic of "step all over anyone you need to to get to the top" as very American. Every one for himself and the hell with anyone else. And I intensely dislike that attitude. I was brought up on a more team oriented attitude. Unfortunately, with PM Stephen Harper at the helm, Canada is becoming more Americanised.

I too like the end of the article: "Well, a national movement to take back our country from Wall Street sure would bring a smile to this boomer. "

Edwin M (346)
Friday May 17, 2013, 4:44 am
This is rather long but I think it's appropriate for the current state of our society. Thanks to Lori Borgman

The Death of Common Sense
Lori Borgman | Sunday, March 15, 1998
Three yards of black fabric enshroud my computer terminal. I am mourning the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense. His obituary reads as follows: Common Sense, aka C.S., lived a long life, but died from heart failure at the brink of the millennium. No one really knows how old he was, his birth records were long ago entangled in miles and miles of bureaucratic red tape. Known affectionately to close friends as Horse Sense and Sound Thinking, he selflessly devoted himself to a life of service in homes, schools, hospitals and offices, helping folks get jobs done without a lot of fanfare, whooping and hollering.

Rules and regulations and petty, frivolous lawsuits held no power over C.S. A most reliable sage, he was credited with cultivating the ability to know when to come in out of the rain, the discovery that the early bird gets the worm and how to take the bitter with the sweet.

C.S. also developed sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adult is in charge, not the kid) and prudent dietary plans (offset eggs and bacon with a little fiber and orange juice).

A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, the Technological Revolution and the Smoking Crusades, C.S. survived sundry cultural and educational trends including disco, the men's movement, body piercing, whole language and new math. C.S.'s health began declining in the late 1960s when he became infected with the If-It-Feels-Good, Do-It virus.

In the following decades, his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing federal and state rules and regulations and an oppressive tax code. C.S. was sapped of strength and the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband and criminals received better treatment than victims.

His deterioration accelerated as schools implemented zero-tolerance policies. Reports of 6-year-old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing classmates, a teen suspended for taking a swig of Scope mouthwash after lunch, girls suspended for possessing Midol and an honor student expelled for having a table knife in her school lunch were more than his heart could endure.

As the end neared, doctors say C.S. drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding regulations on low-flow toilets and mandatory air bags. Finally, upon hearing about a government plan to ban inhalers from 14 million asthmatics due to a trace of a pollutant that may be harmful to the environment, C.S. breathed his last.

Services will be at Whispering Pines Cemetery. C.S. was preceded in death by his wife, Discretion; one daughter, Responsibility; and one son, Reason. He is survived by two step-brothers, Half-Wit and Dim-Wit.

Memorial Contributions may be sent to the Institute for Rational Thought. Farewell, Common Sense. May you rest in peace.

Eternal G (745)
Friday May 17, 2013, 4:51 am
Wow Edwin... I wish I could give you another star! To the point.

Terrie Williams (798)
Friday May 17, 2013, 8:58 am
When they finally get the vast majority of us boomers into the ground or urns......what then? We ARE the biggest purchasing base, we ARE the biggest repository of knowledge of common sense how-to and we ARE the largest part of the late great Middle Class. When we are gone their society will have never been.

Self-Euthansia is now seen by many boomers as a viable option. If they succeed in taking everything away from my hiusband and I, we will loose everything we destroyed our health to achieve. After that, what's the point? Life for life's sake is no longer an option to people who are disabled because these Fascists use every loophole and every crooked turn they can find to NOT hire a disabled person, especially if that disabled person is over 50. And fight them in court over it....good luck with that. The courts are just as bought and corrupt as our politicians.

They {Fascists} have done their work well. But then again.....Karma is a b**** and she will embrace them...and she especially smiles on arrogance.

pam w (139)
Friday May 17, 2013, 9:18 am
We can't forget there's a LOT of chemical depression out here...hardly fair to apply this to capitalism.

Past Member (0)
Friday May 17, 2013, 7:42 pm
It's noted!

Nancy Black (308)
Friday May 17, 2013, 9:31 pm
Noted, tweeted, shared, tweeted, shared. Lots more stress out there than jobs.

P A (117)
Saturday May 18, 2013, 12:40 am
Stars to Ediwin (WOW!!) and Terrie - but I couldn't send a star to Lynn or Dandelion or others - sorry! Terrie I am so sorry you are in such difficulty - awful. - I wish I could help.

Terrie Williams (798)
Saturday May 18, 2013, 5:10 am
Pat, we aren't in difficulty---yet. It all depends on what the politicians do to Medicare and chained CPI. If they get their way and privatize both Medicare and Social Security, it won't be just my husband and I who will suffer losing homes, land or other properties, they will lose their medical coverages and that is what will kill my husband. That is what I fear most. The material crap is nothing compared to losing the one you love and have spent half one's life with. I can live in a tent if I have to, but I do not want to live without my man.

Isa V (44)
Saturday May 18, 2013, 10:36 am
Noted. Thanks, Lynn.
There is a lot of chemical depression all over the world, and it is increasing. One of the most critical issues in developing a chemical depression is to have e.g. financial difficulties. They are the number 1 reason. As the stress level rises, it prohibits the secretion of endorphin and serotonin. The lack of them creates depression. I agree with all of you, who have written above. Here in Finland we have chemical depression most common in baby boomers (after Second World War II) and also in students, who face financial difficulties due to high accommodation costs, high study loan rates, expensive public transport (the unis are in most cities far away from the city center), but also we are getting more and more of the work force to get this disease. Cut backs, lay offs, too much work left for those who were able too keep their jobs... Finland is a depressed nation, as we are basically melancholy, and it has to do with our dark winter days, some scientists say. They may be right, because most suicides take place in early winter and early spring. I have done volunteer work with people recovering from chemical depression, and they supplied me with a lot information of the causes why they got depressed. The reasons can be read above. But the most common was money. The government is saving the elderly and the mentally weak to death, and both groups have a huge amount of members with low income, most under the national poverty line, 1,200, and I am one of those, I am on a disability pension. I have managed to keep my head above the water simply because I won't give up the firght.
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