W2 activity: Not Just a Paycheck


I got a 7/10 on the Health Equity Quiz. The statistic that I found most surprising was how much we actually spend on health care compared to other industrialized countries. It’s surprising of how much we actually spend due to the amount of people that are sick. I never really thought about how the number of people that are sick affects how much we pay for health care. The case study of unnatural causes I chose was “Not Just a Paycheck”. A refrigerator factory in Greenville, Michigan moved to Juarez, Mexico to cut labor cost and to increase their profit, the company was called Electrolux Corporation. Due to over 3,000 people losing their jobs, the hospitals began to get an increase in caseloads from depression, alcoholism, stress levels, domestic abuse, and heart disease. Compared to other countries, the impact of losing their jobs is completely different than the people that lost their job at Electrolux in Michigan. For example, when Electrolux shut down one of their factories in Sweden, it hardly affected them. The workers that were laid off were able to collect unemployment and still receive 80% of their salary. They were also able to get training and education from new jobs. The major difference between Sweden and America is that we are left to survive on our own. As you can tell, unemployment has a negative effect on people’s health. I think that these health disparities are also influenced by non-genetic factors such as social factors that have a potential of effecting health. In this situation it was losing their jobs to have their health to spiral downward. In other situations the health disparities are influenced by genetic factors, in this class it is not. Ones income or education has no effect on their genes, however, it does play a role in health.

2 thoughts on “W2 activity: Not Just a Paycheck

  1. Hi Nicole,

    In regards to your comments on the case study in “Not Just a Paycheck”, I believe that you made some very valid points, specifically the part about socioeconomic factors playing a role in an individual’s health independent of their genetic makeup.

    While there isn’t necessarily a pathogen:disease situation going on in this case, there are still steps that can be taken to prevent some of the negative effects of the outsourcing of a workforce and the loss of thousands of jobs. One such solution would be to create and enforce better social policies to protect workers, such as job replacement/training programs, termination compensation packages, written legal contracts and case workers who would be there to facilitate the transition for the displaced workers. These workers would then gain new skills and be better able to adapt to a new job, thus increasing their employability. One way that this socioeconomic program could be funded would be the matching of employer funds to employee taxes, something similar to how social security and other social programs currently work in the United States. By funding the program in this way, the burden isn’t placed specifically on one party and while it may be a small price to pay for everyone involved, I would imagine that the end costs would be significantly cheaper than the alternatives (costs of medical treatment, medications, counseling, etc).

  2. Hello Nicole,

    I found your post on the video “Not just a paycheck” to be very educational and interesting. I have a friend who worked for Chrysler and witnessed her losing her job and have seen how much it really impacted her family and health. It forced her to settle for lower paying job, which gave her family no choice but to change their budget in order to make ends meet. In this particular video, an entire city depended on this business for their work, just how over ten thousand people depended on Chrysler for work in Michigan before they laid everyone off years ago. My solution would have to be political because it’s very sad and frightening that when a company decides to lay off all of its people and they do not do anything to help them find new jobs or at least pay them a little over half their salary for a month or two until they can find another job. The government and the factories should take action when it comes to laying people off because people like managers or high up supervisors in factories are to blame as this was clearly a greedy decision to help the rich become richer. For example, factories that lay off thousands or people because they found machines that can take over. What are those people supposed to do if they’ve been working there for years? Their decision was based purely off of making more money and they did not take into consideration how it would affect the people who work hard every day to keep their company running in the first place.

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