I try to keep my posts to marketing and tech-related topics, but I reserve the right to stray occasionally. This is just such a post. This is a revamp of a post I wrote last year, but the spectre (or is it spector?) of a double-dip recession has me rethinking about fun things like increased mortality rates.
Not long ago I was listening to the local news radio station. They interviewed a researcher from some North Texas mental health facility or research group. The topic? Increased mortality rates during economic hard times. His projection? Expect to see deaths, things like stress-related heart attacks and strokes or suicides and homicides, rise due to the recession. What’s more, the worse the recession is, the more dead people we’ll see.
Boy, was he a breath of fresh air.
I’m sure the good doctor is a fine man who is loved by his wife and family, but he could not have been more depressing. I have to blame the radio station for scheduling the topic, but I think the palpable sense of gloominess even surprised the hosts. Of course they didn’t help the situation by asking questions like, “Will lack of affordable healthcare cause people not to take their medications and maybe commit suicide or seek treatment for stress-related illnesses?” My favorite question was: “Is the stress of the economy what causes people to go into an office building and shoot people?” There was almost a glimmer of excitement in the doctor’s voice when he said something like, “Yes, we do see an increase in murder/suicides during times like these.” So we have that to look forward to, I guess.
(If I can find a clip or transcript I’ll try to get exact quotes. I don’t want anyone to think I’m making this up.)
Nice topic, eh?
There’s more to discuss here, I’m sure. For instance, there was also a point made during the interview that being poor and uneducated makes people die earlier. That seems to make intuitive sense, but shouldn’t that be something we tell kids when they want to drop out of school? If the standard “You’re never going to succeed without an education ” message isn’t strong enough, how about “Drop Out and Die Young!” That message may resonate a little more.
I feel as though I should apologize for such a downer of a post, so I’ll mitigate the mood a bit by providing you an uplifting image from that time of happiness and harmony known as the 70′s. Hang in there, baby….
Update: I’ve done everything I can to locate the actual copyright holder for this picture or the story behind it. I can’t find it. I seem to remember there were many versions of this poster, but this is the one that Mrs Scott, my 9th grade English teacher, had hanging in her classroom. If you know the story behind the poster, or can point me to the company that manufactured this and all the other dreadful motivational posters from the 70′s, I’d love to hear from you.