Why aren’t our governments more concerned about what the US is doing? Ignoring, for the moment, the legality, or lack thereof, why don’t the governments of our countries recognize that the terrorization of their citizens by the US has a far greater effect than just the immediate financial impact on an individual?
First of all, why don’t our governments see what the US is doing as terrorization? Is that too strong a word? I don’t think so, considering the impact of their policies, the statements of the IRS, and the media reports. The definition of terrorization, according to the Free Dictionary: 1. To fill or overpower with terror; terrify. 2. To coerce by intimidation or fear, or according to Merriam Webster: 1. To fill with terror or anxiety; 2. To coerce by threat or violence. The word simply fits.
So, why don’t our governments see the overall impact this terrorization can have on their countries’ economies? It’s not just individuals that are financially affected if they must dip into their retirement savings, or take out loans against their houses in order to pay specialists or pay ridiculous penalties to the US. We all recognize that the financial stress has had a negative impact on our health, our relationships, our jobs, and our families. Why don’t our governments?
Why aren’t the departments of Health, Finance and Occupational Health and Safety (or equivalents) of our various governments concerned?
Consider what I’ve found with just a little research:
- financial worries are the number one cause of stress;
- personal stress has a negative effect in the workplace;
- the main reason for lost work hours is stress.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the most common diagnosis during a physician’s visit is essential hypertension, which is simply high blood pressure from an unknown cause.
The site WebMD says, ‘But too much stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems — including heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains, or irregular heartbeats. Reducing stress can help lower high blood pressure. ‘
A report published in Sep 2011 by the Health and Safety Executive of the UK government states:
- Stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health, 10.8 and 7.6 million days respectively.
- The average days lost per case for stress, depression or anxiety (27 days) was higher than for musculoskeletal disorders (15 days).
According to Princeton University’s Isle.org, reported in May 2011,
- 20 hours per month/per employee is lost due to financial stress, at a cost of $7,000 per year per employee in lost productivity.
- 60% to 80% of on-the-job accidents are stress related, at a cost of $29,000 per accident (2001 figure).
- 75% to 90% of all doctor visits are stress related. On any given day, 1 million employees are on sick leave due to stress.
A 2004 report by Carleton University associates financial stress with a decline in physical health, marital breakups, and long lasting effects on children.
- …. can put one at increased risk for health problems including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, hypertension, and reduced ability to fend off viruses due to compromised immune functioning. They can also maintain (if not cause) major psychological disturbances including depression and anxiety.
- Financial stress is also associated with declining physical health such as an increase in headaches, stomachaches, and insomnia. Again, it is likely that people with a great deal of financial stress experience high levels of depression and it is depression that is most directly associated with worsening physical health.
- As financial stress increases, so does the likelihood of marital discord and breakup.
- Financial stress also has a negative impact on how parents parent. That is, as financial pressure mounted, children became more depressed and anxious, and began to feel less control over their lives.
- Children of financially stressed parents tend to be more prone to mental health problems, depression, loneliness, and are more emotionally sensitive.
- …a conservative estimate that anxiety, depression, and substance abuse costs Canadian businesses more than $11 billion per year in direct losses in productivity and an additional $22 billion per year in indirect costs, based on 1993 data. They note that these estimates do not include costs related to health care or social services.
It seems clear to me that stress has a negative impact on the economy of a country, with more sick days being taken, an overall loss of productivity in the workplace, an increase in substance abuse, an increase in divorce rates and an increased load on health care and social services systems.
Even if they don’t care about us individually, after all, in Canada, for example, we’re less than 3% of the population who are directly affected, why don’t they recognize the broader financial impact? Is it that they don’t care? Or is it simply that they’re afraid to stand up to the US?