I'm glad to see some rational comments from firstchair. Let me just throw something out there, based on something someone said earlier in the thread.
The comment was about the pressure that Americans feel and the social disapproval of not being successful (or something like that). Well, take it a little farther. In Canada what we do have are social programs that form a better safety net than Americans have. We also have laws that protect workers much better. Socialist, yes, but what if it's the difference between knowing that you have that backup vs the fear that you could end up living in a box in an alley that's causing people to snap? What if the fear of getting ill and going bankrupt treating it, of losing your job for no reason, of whatever else is what's causing people to snap.
I haven't really thought this through, and I don't have any statistics, but I'm still on this "gotta be a reason" kick. So flame away....