3 - Week 15: Consequences of Inequality ...

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Unformatted text preview: Week 15: Consequences of Inequality December 2, 2010 Unnatural Causes—In sickness and in wealth • United States ranked 30th in life expectancy • 47 million citizens have no health care coverage o In Britain everyone has health care coverage Inequalities are explained as a result from class differations • The way that society is organized is bad for our health • Direct connection between health conditions and social conditions • Louisville o Further East one goes, the more affluent communities become o Inequalities Council District 16 • Income 6 figures (top 1% in America) • Mortality not a major concern • Life expectancy 80 years Council District 24 • Life expectancy 75 years o 4 years less than District 16 Council District 21 • Median income (half live at this income level or below, $40,000) • Life expectancy 73 years o 2 years shorter that District 24 o 6 years less than District 16 Council District 5 • 30% live at or below poverty level • 12% are unemployed (double national average) • Life expectancy 70 years o 3 years less than District 21 o 9 years less than District 16 • We can predict how long people will live, based on…(resources) o Education o Income o Neighborhood • Stress Response o Increases heart rate; raises blood pressure o Effects Not being able to control stress can impair function and inhibit memory Increase of diabetes Increase of heart disease o Higher status=less stress; less stress=better immune system • It’s not about work, it’s about hierarchy and where you are on the social ladder that determine where you work • Accumulation of resources determined by class and race • o Excess deaths found among black Americans Reducing health inequality is not impossible o If it can get increasingly worse, it can get increasingly better o Examples that economic policy is health policy 1930s • Universal education; 8hr work day; social programs that helped both health and education • Blacks excluded 1950s 1960s • Medicare; medicaid; Civil Rights Laws; Black and white income narrowed o Since the 1980s we’ve gone in the opposite direction Reduced taxes for the wealthy; gap between super rich and middle class widened ...
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