Thursday, March 26, 2009

Killer Economy

US Whig poster showing unemployment in 1837For over 30 years, Dr. Harvey Brenner, a sociologist and public health expert at Johns Hopkins University and the University of North Texas Health Science Center, has been carefully studying the link between economic fluctuations and the nation's physical and mental health. Based on the experience of the last half century, he has even estimated how many more deaths, suicides, heart attacks, homicides, and admissions to mental hospitals we can expect when unemployment rises.

After crunching the numbers, Brenner calculated that for every one percent increase in the unemployment rate (an additional 1.5 million people out of work), we can expect an additional 47,000 deaths, including 26,000 deaths from heart attacks, about 1,200 from suicide, 831 murders, and 635 deaths related to alcohol consumption.

-- Peter Dreier, E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics at Occidental College, "This Economy is a Real Killer," Huffington Post, 10 March 2009

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