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The Financial Crisis Is Driving Hordes of Americans to Suicide

Pushed past their breaking points, people are robbing banks to pay the rent, setting homes on fire -- even taking their own lives.

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Going to Extremes

Across the United States, people have been reacting to dire circumstances with extreme acts, including murder, suicide and suicide attempts, self-inflicted injury, bank robberies, flights from the law, and arson, as well as resistance to eviction and armed self-defense. And yet, while various bailout schemes have been introduced and implemented for banks and giant corporations, no significant plans have been outlined or introduced into public debate, let alone implemented by Washington, to take strong measures to combat the dire circumstances affecting ordinary Americans.

There has been next to no talk of debt or mortgage forgiveness, or of an enhanced and massively bulked-up version of the Nixonian guaranteed income plan (which would pay stipends to the neediest), or of buying up and handing over the glut of homes on the market, with adequate fix-up funds, to the homeless, or of any significant gesture toward even the most modest redistributions of wealth. Until then, for many, hope will be nothing but a slogan, the body count will rise, and Americans will undoubtedly continue going to extremes.

Nick Turse is the associate editor and research director of Tomdispatch.com. His first book, The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives , an exploration of the new military-corporate complex in America, was recently published by Metropolitan Books. His website is Nick Turse.com .

 
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