Liberal radio host Thom Hartmann is making the case that conservative economic policies are driving more Americans to kill themselves.
Writing Saturday on the progressive news site AlterNet, Hartmann said Virginia's suicide rate is at a 13-year high, and that the nation's suicide rate as a whole has risen 23 percent over the last decade.
"The fact is, America’s suicide rate is on the rise, and conservative economic policies are to blame," Hartmann wrote.
People line up at the job fair on Monday, July 15, 2013 in South Burlington, Vt. (AP)
He cited an Oxford University study that found a correlation between suicide rates in the U.S. and U.K. and declining working class wages and wealth, as well as similar findings from Australia that showed suicide rates increased when a conservative government was in power.
"When conservative-backed austerity policies began to ravage Greece in 2010, the suicide rate shot up by 18 percent," Hartmann wrote. Austerity in Italy coincided with a similar increased suicide rate, he said.
Radio host Thom Hartmann (Image source: Thom Hartmann/thomhartmann.com)
Iceland, meanwhile, showed no significant suicide increase after it said "no to austerity, and rejected major cuts to its social safety net programs."
"You’d think that the clear correlation between austerity and suicide rates in Europe would wake Republicans up, and encourage them to stop inflicting the same despicable and devastating policies on Americans," Hartmann wrote. "In their continuing service to the billionaire class, Republicans continue to slash away at social safety net programs, and continue pushing the Reaganomics policies that have devastated America’s working class."
Hartmann, who previously floated a theory that giving hyperactive children Ritalin could turn them into conservatives, continued: "Conservative economic policies, from austerity to sequester to Reaganomics, kill people."
"Now that the science is in, and irrefutable, it’s time to wake Americans up to this deadly con game," he wrote.