Econocide: Body Count

While news reports indicate that extreme acts precipitated by economic disaster have occurred in at least 30 states, similar incidents have undoubtedly occurred in most, if not all, of the remaining 20 states. Suicides are normally under-reported in the press, while murders linked to the economic crisis may never be reported as such. Many extreme acts, in any case, go unnoticed by those not intimately affected.

There is, of course, no way to know which of these and similar acts might have occurred even if there had been no global economic meltdown. One thing is certain however: there will never be a full accounting of the lives ruined or lost under the pressure of economic disaster, nor will anyone ever raise a monument to the victims of foreclosure, job loss, and business failure, of busted pensions and dynamited 401ks.

There will be no memorial wall in Washington with names etched into black granite — not for these people, neither the desperate who killed themselves, nor those who lashed out and murdered others. Who will remember the Knudsons in their shallow grave, or Christopher Woods dead children? No statue will be raised on Wall Street to solemnly remind the former masters of the universe of the Main Street consequences of their financial manipulations. No equivalent of the Arlington National Cemetery will ever be laid out for the dead of this crisis or filled with headstones reading: “Beloved Mother, Killed by Capitalism” or “Devoted Husband and Father, Sacrificed in the Name of Greed.”

Nick Turse |