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Quiet Guy

Hpc And Suicide

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I stumbled across this article at the Jim Sinclair Mineset. It's a discussion about the relationship between economic distress and suicide rates.

http://www.washingto...depression.html

Some quotes:

"In a letter to The Lancet medical journal, scientists from Britain, Hong Kong and United States said an analysis of data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that while suicide rates increased slowly between 1999 and 2007, the rate of increase more than quadrupled from 2008 to 2010, Reuters reported."

"The correlation between unemployment and suicide has been observed since the 19th century."

A few of my thoughts about this:

-> What would be the human price of a HPC? I do not believe that anybody here wants to see people hurt but it's hard to see how we can have a full on crash without some associated damage to people (go easy on the schadenfreude please.)

-> Losing your job and/or house is obviously unpleasant but suicide? I think a lot of our expectations about life are relative and can be changed. Life on the dole for a while isn't great but still much better than in so many other parts of the world yet it seems that we don't think about life that way.

Lastly, a brief diversion with another quote:

"you're 2,059 times more likely to kill yourself than die at the hand of a terrorist." (in America)

which puts today's security paranoia in the correct perspective I think.

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-> Losing your job and/or house is obviously unpleasant but suicide? I think a lot of our expectations about life are relative and can be changed. Life on the dole for a while isn't great but still much better than in so many other parts of the world yet it seems that we don't think about life that way.

For me, that is the key. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

Ekhart Tolle who wrote best selling books and became a 'spiritual' celeb, was was for some time homeless and destitute prior to becoming famous. But, he was happy as Larry. Apparently so happy that people asked him how he could be so happy bearing in mind his circumstances and wanted him to teach them whatever it was he was on - which as far as I can tell is a mixture of Zen Buddhism and stoic philosophy.

Some interesting factoids about suicide:

In Robert Cialdini's book 'Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion' (the biggest selling psychology book in the history of the universe) Cialdini quotes some interesting research that shows following well publicized celebrity suicides, not only is there a big increase in suicides, but also car accidents and aeroplane crashes - which were probably suicides. And also, Cialdini's quoted research shows that by committing suicide you 'normalize' suicide, and dramatically increase the probability that someone who knew you will commit suicide - and that could be someone you care about!

One of the first major sociology studies/books was 'Le Suicide' by Emile Durkheim.. Published in 1897 it was ostensibly a case study of suicide.

Durkheim concluded that:

* Suicide rates are higher in men than women (although married women who remained childless for a number of years ended up with a high suicide rate).

* Suicide rates are higher for those who are single than those who are married.

* Suicide rates are higher for people without children than people with children.

* Suicide rates are higher among Protestants than Catholics and Jews.

* Suicide rates are higher among soldiers than civilians.

* Suicide rates are higher in times of peace than in times of war (the suicide rate in France fell after the coup d'etat of Louis Bonaparte, for example. War also reduced the suicide rate, after war broke out in 1866 between Austria and Italy, the suicide rate fell by 14% in both countries.)

* Suicide rates are higher in Scandinavian countries.

* the higher the education level, the more likely it was that an individual would commit suicide, however Durkheim established that there is more correlation between an individual's religion and suicide rate than an individual's education level; Jewish people were generally highly educated but had a low suicide rate.

It is possible that they may be a genetic link WRT higher suicide rates among different ethnic groups although I would have thought suicide is one of those instances were culture is key.

Surely, the more atomised individuals within our society become (and with the breakdown of religion and marriage that seems to be increasing) the more likely suicide will be. In other words Durkheim was right.

I've toyed with the idea of volunteering for the Samaritans, although my wife did it for a while and she said that in her brief experience, most people that ring up are clearly mentally ill and its difficult to see if you are doing much good. I suppose, like a lot of things in life, its a numbers game, and amongst all the people who need professional help there may be the one for whom your listening makes all the difference.

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-> What would be the human price of a HPC?

The counterfoil to this question is: what would be the human price of not having an HPC?

High housing/land prices lead to:

- high levels of economic inequality

- more pressure on families for both adults to work full time, all the time

- construction of small houses and subdivision of single family homes to house multiple family units

- a reduced ability to save, so less money to fall back on when something goes wrong

- pressure to delay having children or not have them at all

- reduced demand for things other than housing, putting other businesses out of work

- high costs to employ UK workers, making it more likely that their jobs will go overseas

How much unhappiness (and perhaps suicide) is that little lot causing?

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I've toyed with the idea of volunteering for the Samaritans, although my wife did it for a while and she said that in her brief experience, most people that ring up are clearly mentally ill and its difficult to see if you are doing much good. I suppose, like a lot of things in life, its a numbers game, and amongst all the people who need professional help there may be the one for whom your listening makes all the difference.

On reflection I suppose someone who is depressed and contemplating suicide is by definition mentally ill. But being depressed (which most people will suffer from to some extent at some point in their lives) is one thing, and illnesses such as schizophrenia are quite another.

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The counterfoil to this question is: what would be the human price of not having an HPC?

High housing/land prices lead to:

- high levels of economic inequality

- more pressure on families for both adults to work full time, all the time

- construction of small houses and subdivision of single family homes to house multiple family units

- a reduced ability to save, so less money to fall back on when something goes wrong

- pressure to delay having children or not have them at all

- reduced demand for things other than housing, putting other businesses out of work

- high costs to employ UK workers, making it more likely that their jobs will go overseas

How much unhappiness (and perhaps suicide) is that little lot causing?

Having established my caring/sharing credentials, I now feel free to say that to argue that we must not have a house price crash because some people might commit suicide (failing that, some might cry) would to my mind be a stunning indictment of what a pathetic society we've become. What would the WWII generation have said?

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Having established my caring/sharing credentials, I now feel free to say that to argue that we must not have a house price crash because some people might commit suicide (failing that, some might cry) would to my mind be a stunning indictment of what a pathetic society we've become. What would the WWII generation have said?

Thank you for your thoughtful comments - particularly the effort you put into the first one!

"Cialdini quotes some interesting research that shows following well publicized celebrity suicides, not only is there a big increase in suicides, but also car accidents and aeroplane crashes - which were probably suicides."

That was a bit creepy but interesting and new to me. I scored quite highly on your list of risk factors for tendency towards suicide. Hmm.

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  • 241 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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