Unnatural cause 7-Not just a paycheck

When I took the Health Equality Quiz I got a 7 out 10. The question which I found the most surprising was the one about the differences among life expectancy for various counties. There was a side note about the difference in a county in new jersey having a 33 year long life expectancy than another county in North Dakota. To me something that drastic shows just much inequality in health care we have here in the United States. Just because of affluence someone can on average live almost a generation longer than another is kind of ridiculous. I understand that class distinctions are necessary and common place but they should not have such a strong effect on an individual’s life.

The Case study that I found the most interesting was entitled “Not just a paycheck”. This segment focused on a major refrigeration company that closed down their American factory in order to move overseas. This resulted in lots of people being laid off a few years from retirement unable to receive their full pensions and stuck taking minimum wage jobs just to make ends meet. For many this caused them to live on fifty percent or less of their normal (prior to layoff) income. While many of these upper middle class families moved out because they could no longer afford the taxes, much of the lakefront property was being redeveloped into larger homes. No only did this clip give a view to the urbanization of the property but it also the effect that the psychological stress had on the laid off employees. Some struggled with depression, drinking issues, and even health problems from internalized stress such as headaches and jaw clenching.

The spread and treatment of a disease or illness incorporates many factors: politics, economics, environment, and culture. Policies development can lead to ordinances that require quarantines, or vaccines, or even provide general health care for citizens. By enacting these things the spread of disease is halted, or slowed down so that not as many can be infected. Politics also impacts which drugs are permitted for prescribed use. The economy can impact what policies would be passed. It can also affect drug development, if a company is worried about losing its patent on one of its major drugs they may redesign it to sell it under different circumstances, as was done with the drug BiDil. By spending time designing narcotics companies are missing opportunities to discover the cure for something else.

3 thoughts on “Unnatural cause 7-Not just a paycheck

  1. I also found this video to be very interesting. I am a little hesitant on commenting on this topic because the problem is so large and out of control. I think the two approaches that would work best with this problem is an economic and political approach. What lie at the heart of the problem is our cultural ideals about individualism. Changing this cultural concept is a difficult one to grasp because it lies within the concepts of capitalism. This idea of individualism has led to many problems within our society. It is one reason why so many people are against national health care, raising up the poor, and caring for our unemployed.

    What many people do not realize is by providing for people in need we are eliminating many of the hidden cost that develops during this time. This video talked about how the chronic stress that develops during times of unemployment causes a variety of health problems to the people involved. By creating an unemployment system, similar so Sweden and treating the unemployed with the respect that they deserve many of these health problems could be avoided. For something like this to happen would take some strong politics. The politician would have to fight big business, industry, the medical system, and the cultural ideals of individualism for any policies like this to be passed. An economic plan would have to be offered to pay for the process and all of this would need the support of the people.

    It has been argued that the reason why some people have health care and other do not in our country was an attempt to divide workers. By dividing workers in America it prevents political groups like the Workers Party from ever getting established. This can also be said about caring for our unemployed. If the counties elite ever give value to the unemployed it may break down barriers between workers. The only way anything like this will ever happen is if the people of the United States demand it. In the current political climate where people become outraged at the idea of providing people healthcare that do not possess the jobs that make them worthy of having healthcare; I do not see anything like this happening soon.

  2. I also found the ‘Not just a paycheck’ unnatural cause interesting. I think that this case also demonstrated how urbanization and development is not always a positive thing, which is something I pointed out in my post about the Collateral Damage unnatural cause. Another parallel I found between the two cases was the stress that was induced among the populations. In the collateral damage video, it was actually stress that took its toll on the immune systems of the population of the Marshall Islands and made the Marshallese more susceptible to diseases such as tuberculosis. I think a solution to Not Just a Paycheck could be that the people who were close to retirement should receive a retirement package that includes benefits and a pension. These costs may not be practical for the company but I feel it is owed to the employees that were laid off. I would say my solution is economical because the benefits for the workers would be costly but it would help to reduce the health issues going on with the workers laid off including the internalized stress and I feel the company itself should be responsible for alleviating these issues. A pro of this solution would be to get rid of the stress and depression the laid off workers face entirely while an obvious con would be the cost of health benefits and pensions that the refrigeration company would have to come up with.

  3. Although I did my post on a different case study, I did watch this one as well. I found it interesting, even more so because Greenville isn’t that far from where I grew up in Grand Rapids. While watching it, I felt bad for those people, and couldn’t believe it was so close to my own home. The effects losing their jobs has had on their lives, particularly their health, was incredibly evident, whether it be simple stress, poverty, depression, exhaustion, or even overworking themselves. I thought it was interesting that the workers at the company’s plant in Europe had been compensated & were living fairly well off. It was an interesting comparison to be able to see, even if it was because of government reasons. This difference is the reason I would suggest both a political and economical solution. Economical because, Electrolux, the company, should compensate the workers somehow, for the many years of service. And political, because I don’t think a company should legally be able to move their company for cheaper labor, and if they do they should have to pay/compensate the displaced workers they leave behind so they are not stuck struggling so. The problem with this would be that, things would be more expensive, & people wouldn’t like that.

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