Thom Hartmann is the host of the nationally-syndicated radio show The Thom Hartmann Program. He is a liberal with a background in business. I suspect that as a child he would do or say outrageous things in order to get attention.
He hasn’t stopped. On a recent radio show Hartmann described “the excesses of unregulated capitalism” as a “cancer” that needed to be stopped by government, this from a man who has made millions of dollars and is presently living off the “cancer of capitalism.”
Hartmann’s latest “look at me” attention-getting article claims that conservative economic policies — “austerity measures” — are driving people in the state of Virginia toward suicide. The title of his AlterNet article is “The Corporate Right-Wing Agenda Is Driving Thousands of Americans to Attempt Suicide.” Here’s the argument:
“The very same austerity policies that Republicans in Washington are constantly pushing on us are the same policies that are driving Americans to kill themselves.”
Hartmann refers to an article on the high suicide rate in Virginia in which I found the following odd suicide example that has nothing to do with austerity measures:
“Just last Monday [July 30, 2013], Virginian police confirmed that a plane crash was among three recent unusual deaths that are being investigated as a suicide.”
Hartmann doesn’t tell his readers that the pilot “had a fight with his fiancé before the plane went down.” In fact, there are many reasons and multiple factors as to why people kill themselves. It’s rarely just one thing.
Two can play the blame game.
We might want to consider that liberal promises of a political and social utopia are the things that are driving people to consider suicide. For decades, liberals have created a system where government was the benefactor of all that was good and right with the world. Of course, such policies don’t last forever. Some day the piper must be paid. Debt can’t go on forever. There’s only such much road for the can to be kicked down.
Hartmann can’t see the forest for the trees. The reason for increased suicides, if there is a single cause, is staring him right in the face in his own article:
“In a study released in May, Professors David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu of Oxford University in England found that suicide rates in both the U.S. and U.K. increase when working class wages and wealth decline.”
What’s the cause of the decline in working class wages and wealth? Government policies! When businesses are squeezed by government taxing policies and regulations, they have less money to spend on infrastructure, investment, and wages.
Following Hartmann’s line of reasoning, reading between the statistics, it’s obvious that a population hooked on the welfare state, dependent on other people’s money, can contribute to people going over the edge.
Hartmann’s solution is to tax the people who actually create jobs and spend more money on people who don’t work rather than create an environment of self-reliance and self-respect. There was a time when people made modest gains in affluence, when the typical home price was within reach because the homes were smaller and people actually saved for a considerable down payment.
Today, millions of Americans want the American dream now, and they want someone else to pay for it. When the money train stops, they panic.
Liberals policies promised an economic utopia with other people’s money and false prosperity (printed money). It’s these suicidal policies that are putting the squeeze on everybody. More of the same will not solve the problem.