French more prone to suicide

Hmmm. From the Economist:

"The French suicide rate is 14.6 per 100,000 people, according to the OECD. Men are particularly prone: 22.8, against 7.5 for women. This puts the suicides over 20 months at France Telecom, which employs just over 100,000 people, in line with the national average. More people take their lives as a share of the population than anywhere in western Europe bar Finland and Belgium. The French suicide rate is over twice that in Britain and 40% higher than in Germany and America.

A recent mental-health survey suggested that two-fifths of French people suffer from serious depression at some point in their lives. The French swallow more anti-depressants per head than the Germans or British. One in ten French people claims anti-depressant medication on their public health-insurance.

How to explain this existential angst? France offers its citizens unusual comforts, with first-rate health care, long holidays and sit-down lunches, protected jobs and generous welfare. But the veneer of security masks much uncertainty. Job-protection rules discourage permanent job creation, so the young drift on temporary contracts. Unable to shed staff, firms give employees meaningless jobs instead, to try to nudge them out. And big French firms, many one-time branches of the civil service, have been opened up to market competition, bringing new pressures to perform in the office or factory floor. According to a survey last month by TNS Sofres, a polling agency, the French have less confidence in their employers (32%) than do either Germans (47%) or Americans (54%).

In a country that idealises the good life, the reality of drudgery and waiting for the monthly pay check, or of solitude in retirement, may be harder to accept."


Well, I quite like The Economist but that it’s from The Economist rather says it all about the article, I’d say. Suicide as the result of a culture not loving The Market enough does seem a little simplistic.

Just another reason for the French to emigrate to the United States and buy an RV and find meaningful work.

[Well, “maybe” find meaningful work. Under the current administration which seems to admire everything European, the adoption of European taxation, European regulations, European socialism, European unfostering of religious practices, there may not be that many jobs in the United States until the current administration is voted out and the government sector is reduced to below 40% and education no longer dumbed down and people allowed to create new businesses and new jobs.]

I don’t think the French overall are very Religious.

Your make an interesting point. At least one poll indicates that the more religious a country, the lower the suicide rate.

On the other hand, it is possible that the statistics are not accurate. A highly religious country may foster attitudes which make officials reluctant to record deaths as suicide, evern when they occur.

Why do you think the suicide rate in France is higher?

In less than how many thousand words?


That long of a list, eh?

Maybe the general attitude?

Concierge: [coolly] Welcome back, Madame, to the Georges V.

Kate: Huh… its incredible how you do that. The words come out -
“Welcome back” - but the meaning is completely different. Whats
the deal, is that a French thing or a concierge thing?

Concierge: As Madame wishes.

Kate: You did it again. Tell me something, because I just… I dont
get it. Do you enjoy being that rude? Because when you do that, it
just gets underneath my skin, and it makes me… completely…

It could just be the cheese…

Kate: Did you know that there are four hundred and fifty-two official
government cheeses in this country? Dont you think thats
incredible? To come up with four hundred and fifty-two ways of
classifying what is basically a bacterial process?

Luc: You would prefer one cheese? One cheeseburger to put it on and
one restaurant to eat it in?

Kate: Im saying I like the cheese.

Sorry…couldn’t help but think of that movie (French Kiss)…Kevin Kline plays such a convincing Parisian.

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