Are Layoffs Murder?

Most Indians, with the exception of aberrations like Mahatma Gandhi, Baba Amte or Mother Teresa, are callous bastards with little or no concern for their fellow human beings.

So, it’s with regret we notice from stray newspaper reports that the widespread pernicious Western business practice of layoffs is starting to creep into India too adding to the misery quotient of the hapless people in that benighted land.

But did you schmucks know that layoffs have a serious human cost beyond just the loss of wages and self-esteem for the victim and suffering for the family?

Bet not. After all, you dickheads are still choking over chewing into Sachin’s dick lodged deep into your collective throats.

According to an article in today’s New York Times, layoffs can trigger suicides, unexpected fatal heart attacks and other serious health problems:

A growing body of research suggests that layoffs can have profound health consequences. One 2006 study by a group of epidemiologists at Yale found that layoffs more than doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke among older workers. Another paper, published last year by Kate W. Strully, a sociology professor at the State University of New York at Albany, found that a person who lost a job had an 83 percent greater chance of developing a stress-related health problem, like diabetes, arthritis or psychiatric issues.

In perhaps the most sobering finding, a study published last year found that layoffs can affect life expectancy. The paper, by Till von Wachter, a Columbia University economist, and Daniel G. Sullivan, director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, examined death records and earnings data in Pennsylvania during the recession of the early 1980s and concluded that death rates among high-seniority male workers jumped by 50 percent to 100 percent in the year after a job loss, depending on the worker’s age. Even 20 years later, deaths were 10 percent to 15 percent higher. That meant a worker who lost his job at age 40 had his life expectancy cut by a year to a year and half.

You can read the full story on the New York Times web site.

2 Responses to "Are Layoffs Murder?"

  1. ganeshncm   February 26, 2010 at 4:40 am

    Companies ramping up very fast (without spending adequate time to see if employee is a long term fit) and dont have a sustaining business model usually ends up laying off. And the employees are the ones that gets hurt in the process..

    But there is other side to the coin. How do companies handle inefficiency? I hve worked on projects that have big teams and we find that on an average, 10% of the folks do 60% of the core job, 20% of the folks support the 10% and the remaining 70% is fluff.. during the tough times the fluff is what that gets removed.. It is next to impossible to make some of these folks to understand professionalism (commitment, quality, results focussed etc)… Isn’t the employee to be blamed too? Responds:

    True, employees have some responsibility to deliver the goods but it’s our conviction that layoffs are more often the result of bad business decisions by the top management and a way of placating Wall Street.

    In the U.S., when plants are closed or the jobs outsourced there is a decimation of the workforce. And irrespective of one’s abilities, one gets the boot.

  2. STG   February 26, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    when a >30 aged guy who is married and raising child/ren pushed out of the company he relied for years, its natural for him to feel as if he lost the grip from the world. he is suddenly finds himself in nomans land. further if there is no backup for his family situation gets worse…everything comes to a standstill. and he have to find another job at this recession period which is lot harder than watching a Vijay-starrer film. i trembled for just borrowing that shoe for a min on my legs…people who actually go thru this pain…just terrible Responds:

    You write: i trembled for just borrowing that shoe for a min on my legs…people who actually go thru this pain…just terrible

    Part of the every-day American landscape.

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