Capitalism is Ruining Our Mental Health


Molly Clemens, Editor

There’s been a new revelation about capitalism. In an every-man-for-himself system where people’s value is seemingly determined by the amount of money they make, mental health is not a priority. In fact, in order to survive in the system, many compromise their mental wellbeing.

Senior Rachel Gerstenberger said, “It sucks having to work during high school because of the added stress. But I need to save money for college, so I can eventually get a high-paying career.”

And she’s not the only one frustrated with the harmful cycle. Junior Camila Ruiz said, “There’s so much pressure on us as high schoolers right now, and honestly, we owe a lot of it to the state of our capitalist economy. I don’t love the idea of socialism, but there are so many unhappy people right now.”

Capitalism rewards the upper class, leaving the majority of Americans behind. In fact, recent studies from psychologists at Purdue and Virginia Universities found that the average individual needs an annual income of $60,000-$70,000 a year to maintain emotional wellbeing. Anything more than $95,000 a year doesn’t provide additional satisfaction.

Yet, while nearly 13% of America lives below the poverty line, and more than 5o% of American families earn less than $60,000 annually, our current system allows for multi-billionaires to afford more cars and homes than anyone needs. The richest Americans keep a tight grasp on their wealth, often encouraging those in the lower class to “work harder” to achieve their status.

To allow people to live with such large amounts of wealth while others suffer physically and emotionally in poverty is inhumane. There doesn’t have to be a total redistribution of wealth. But when the three richest men in America–men who made it to the top not on their own, but on the backs of many hard-working, underpaid people–have more wealth than the bottom 50%, there’s a problem. Capitalism is no longer the answer.