In last Thursdays Yorkshire Evening Post, an article by Grant Woodward about the recent killings whereby whole families were killed, it was very simplistic coming up with the same old reason, mental breakdown. But are there more of this type of killings in recent years, and is it more prevalent in certain countries? British psychologist Oliver James wrote a book called Affluenza. Oliver James defines affluenza as placing a high value on money, possessions, appearances and fame, and he was saying this before it was the fashion to pile on the make-up and have plastic surgery; his book was published in 2007. In the book he asserts that there is a correlation between the increase material inequality, the greater the unhappiness of its citizens; and mental illness. The pressures of a materialistic society lead to “psychological disorders, alienation and distress”, causing people to “self-medicate with mood-altering drugs and excessive alcohol consumption” Our millionaire politicians are now saying that we need a more caring form of capitalism, but until big company bosses start taking pay cuts and paying all their due taxes. Perhaps Stephen Hester has now started the ball rolling, and the disparity between the lowest paid and the wealthy might decrease? One thing is certain; this sea change in opinion cannot be carried forward by our rich politicians. As they are part of the problem too.


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