“Not Just a Paycheck”

I did not do very well on the Health Equity Quiz. I received only a 3 out of 10 overall. So, with results such as these, I found many statistics very surprising. One statistic I found very surprising was that the United States was in 29th place among the rest of the world for life expectancy. We are the wealthiest country, yet we are quite behind on how long we live for. Another surprising statistic was that recent Latino Immigrants are among the healthiest in America. Even more surprising than that is once a Latino Immigrant lives in the United States for after 5 years, their health begins to erode.

The case study I chose was called “Not Just a Paycheck.” This case study was about large factories owned by corporations in Greenville Michigan, America. More specifically the case study was about the corporation Electrolux, which is a Swedish company. In the case study, Electrolux closed it’s factory in Greenville Michigan and moved it to Mexico. This decreased the budget of Electrolux by 81 million dollars a year. On the other hand, it left many people unemployed. Not only did Electrolux close factories in America to move to less developed nations for lower wages, they moved factories in Sweden as well. The difference is that in Sweden, there are many benefits that help unemployed citizens versus that in the United States. Taxes are higher in Sweden but people are happy to pay because they know they will receive better care.

The closings of factories across the United States leave many people in the dust. According to some studies, unemployment and mortality rates are closely linked. In Greenville Michigan, it was predicted that 134 excess deaths were to occur from the effects that unemployment has on this particular population. Unemployment leads to higher rates of cardiovascular disease, depression, alcoholism, and drug use to name a few. So genetics does play a large role in health disparities, but it is not always the only cause of insufficient health.

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  1. Cherie Griffey says:

    I didn’t do so well on the quiz either. I thought that the United States would have ranked higher in life expectancy than what we did as well. It is interesting to know that this case study took place in Michigan. Closing the factory and moving it not only out of Michigan but out of the United States as a whole would create a problem for those who were employed by the company and for those who actually used items from the factory. With the factory closing leaving people unemployed I know for sure that it had to hurt the health of those people, their families and other businesses as well. With someone’s income being taken away from them that increases so many health problems in many ways from stress, the change in their diet and their access to health care. With the newly unemployed people they could have turned to other substances that are unhealthy to help them cope with their recent unemployment which increased more health problems. In this study genetics did not play a role in these people’s health at all. It seemed that the fact that they are now unemployed and the stressors and change in the way they now lived their life was the cause of problems. My solution would be to find these people a new job so they won’t have to be unemployed and struggling to live and remain healthy while doing so. You could say that creating these jobs for these unemployment people would be a political solution. The government would have to be the ones to step up and help these people and their families out in the time of need.

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