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General News    H1'ed 1/15/20

Study Shows Even $1 Minimum Wage Increase Reduces Suicides

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Raising the minimum wage will not just help the economy.

It will not just help lift people out of poverty or prevent some from descending into it.

According to a Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health study, raising the minimum wage by a single dollar can prevent suicides.

Tens of thousands of suicides the past 25 years could have been prevented had wages been higher during periods of widespread unemployment.

A dollar could have saved 27,000 lives.

A two-dollar increase could have saved 57,000.

Emory University epidemiology doctoral student and the study's lead author, John Kaufman, stated:

"This is a way that you can, it seems, improve the well-being of people working at lower-wage jobs and their dependents."

Kaufman said the study focused on less-educated adults due to their tendency to work minimum-wage jobs and their increased risk of depression and suicide.

According to the study:

"Our findings are consistent with the notion that policies designed to improve the livelihoods of individuals with less education, who are more likely to work at lower wages and at higher risk for adverse mental health outcomes, can reduce the suicide risk in this group. Our findings also suggest that the potential protective effects of a higher minimum wage are more important during times of high unemployment."

Kaufman added:

"During periods of high unemployment, people are more willing to work at lower-wage jobs, and those lower-wage jobs are going to be the ones that have increased pay if there's an increase in minimum wage. Those jobs become more valuable both to the people working and to their dependents and their families, compared to times when the economy is doing well."

The study goes on to note:

"Though the federal minimum hourly wage increased from $3.80 in 1990 to $7.25 in 2015, adjusting for inflation reveals essentially no change, and since the 1968 peak the inflation-adjusted minimum wage has decreased; currently, 29 individual states and Washington, D.C. have raised their minimum wages, while 21 maintain the lower federal minimum."

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5 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments  Post Comment


Charles Homer

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As shown in this article, there is one group of Americans that has an extremely high suicide level which will not be changed by increasing wages:

click here

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 15, 2020 at 5:50:35 PM

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Alexander Kershaw

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Minimum wage should be at least $30/hr. I think the nation is wealthier than it was in 1965. Minimum wage was $1.50/hr. One hour of work could purchase 10 NYC subway rides or 30 Hershey Bars or a Hendrix and a Doors album or two first run movie tickets or 6 gal. of gas or 6lbs of hamburger. To purchase the same now minimum wage would have to be $30/hr. A year at Cal or CUNY was free now minimum wage would have to be $350/hr to pay for a year at Cal with 40hrs work.There are similar comparisons for all the necessities including rent and vehicles. The consumer price index has been purposely skewed so that the social safety net can be dissolved little by little. Social Security should be at least twice what it is by real consumer measure. The .00001% are perfectly happy to discuss the minimum wage as between $7.50 and $15/hr. Most as with this article follow along with the parameters of the CPI. If the younger generation knew how they are being screwed they would be in the streets en masse on strike. I would be there supporting them.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 15, 2020 at 6:42:44 PM

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Floyd Tolar

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You are going to cause The Republicans to have Heart Failure. Whoops! The Republicans don't have hearts! Although retired, $30 seems to be a pretty good wage for the majority of workers in this backward country. And about damn time too!!

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 15, 2020 at 10:03:53 PM

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Josh Mitteldorf

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Yes - I don't see any virtue in focusing on incremental increases in the minimum wage. If we demand a living wage that will really make a difference for people, then it will be easier to get a movement together.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 15, 2020 at 10:54:15 PM

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Michael Dewey

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Reply to Josh Mitteldorf:   New Content

The worker ownership of the $20 Billion a year Mondragon Cooperative is a working model companies and communities could follow at local styles. It owns it's own collage which trains its workers who each have a vote in how company is run, cashing in 45% of profits when retire. It offers much potential which local Unions could figure out details of setting up. Funding could come from pensions invested through local pubic banks at the Post Office, to also take over local cable-internet ripoffs-turning into Public Utilities. Sure give share holders 30%.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 15, 2020 at 11:37:32 PM

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