Are people's financial burdens stressing them to the point where they might kill themselves? ABC warned that they could be.
“Good Morning America” did a segment titled “Recession Depression” on June 10. Reporter Chris Cuomo explained personal finances have people so stressed, they are developing health problems. But he didn’t leave the report there.
“The link between financial troubles and psychological problems is well documented,” he said. “In the U.S. the seminal example is the Great Depression, when the suicide rate jumped from 14 to 17 for every 100,000 Americans,” stated Cuomo. “And today, with the threat of recession looming large, the price we pay physically may skyrocket as well.”
Despite the fact that the economy is nowhere near the terrible state it was in during the Depression, ABC continued to make comparisons between the two. The Business & Media Institute has documented this trend in network reports – comparing 2008 with the economy that followed the stock market crash of 1929. One example of the contrast between now and then is the unemployment rate – though it jumped to 5.5 percent most recently, at the height of the Depression it was close to 25 percent.
This time, ABC used the reference to suggest that suicide rates will increase.
“A rising tide of distress is going to be manifest in mental health problems, suicide rates, heart disease,” said Dr. Redford Williams.
About 20 minutes after reporting the “threat of recession looming large,” Cuomo actually reported the economy may be looking up despite a “weak” job market. “Turn now to the economy where the news is not all bad. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the danger of a substantial economic downturn has faded, thanks to reforms in the financial markets and strong exports.”