W2 Activity: Not just a pay check

This week I took the Health equity quiz an scored a very low 3 out of ten. Because I scored so low I realized that I don’t know much about the health of Americans. While taking the quiz I just knew the answers I selected were correct but they were wrong. When the quiz was over it showed a list of the quizzed facts and I learned that America ranks very low for life expectancy. I thought it would be higher because I thought the United states were ranked highest in the advancement of medicine but I found that this was not true. What was true and shocking for the outcome was that we spend the most money but have the less of improvement of life Expectancy and health. I also found it strange that people had an increase in life expectancy due to social changes rater than medical advances despite the advancement in medications.

The video I chose to review was the Not just a paycheck because I know first hand how losing your job can effect your family and health. As people around me lose their jobs I saw people sell their homes and cars. They take on jobs at fast food places because the plants close and lay people off. The people in the clip showed how the town became more depressing and natives of Greenville can’t find work. The middle class in their town is shrinking. On the other side of this the town has gained more big stores like Wal-Mart and the high classes is building homes of the lake. But one family in movie shows how they may have to sell part of their land on the lake in order to survive. When these people lost their jobs the company did not help them in continuing to survive as most people in America have the individual survival attitude, every man for himself. Also the video shows how this factory closing didn’t just affect this small town but the Swedish too. However these people have a better-unemployed system, which helps them survive.

As I stated before the people who lose their jobs in Greenville were depressed and their health plummeted. Not having funds and too much time caused them to sometimes over eat and lose sleep. None of these have to deal with their genetic makeup but their social environment.

4 thoughts on “W2 Activity: Not just a pay check

  1. Hi Dejonia,

    I found your post on the video “Not just a paycheck” to be very informative and interesting. I also have been personally affected by people losing their jobs and have seen first hand how much it can really impact someone’s family and health. It often forces people to settle for a job that pays less than their original job did, which gives families 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, as it was a union job. So when the company decided to outsource it to Mexico, many people lost their jobs, and families were directly affected by this. I find it very sad and disheartening that when the company decided to lay off all of these people that they did not do anything to help them find new jobs or give them an option to stay as a part of the company in some way. I feel that the people high up on the ladder in this company are to blame as this was clearly a greedy decision to help the rich become richer. 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.

  2. Dejonia,

    I agree with you as well. I have also been personally affected by this, as I have seen my family members struggle after being laid off from factory jobs in the area I grew up in. I believe that in order to ensure that the health of the individuals affected by this huge loss needs to be changed through government funding because in my opinion, it is the government’s job to take care of its citizens due to its over decision to outsource to another country. I believe that if they have chosen to save money by relocating factories they needed to take the money they are saving and put it directly back into the community through grants and other free community based organizations that will help benefit the people living in it. In doing so, it will create a happy, healthier community. I believe that it is the governments responsibility to ensure that the community is well taken care of after taking away a very huge staple in the community. Without the government’s help, the community will suffer greatly, both physically but economically more than it already has. If the government has the ability to take away from the community, then they should use the money they are supposibly saving and give it back to those that are suffering. The citizens can only do so much to better their situation. The government must guide and help them during the transition and try to find a solution to the problem they created.

  3. Dejonia,
    I agree I had a similar experience when I took the health equity quiz. I thought that I would score higher because I have an interest in public health, but I also overestimated where the United States stood regarding life expectancy. I think it would have been interesting to learn about morbidity and mortality rates in the U.S. for different groups as well, but I suspect that we will talk more about that as the class progresses. I watched the video on bad sugar and similar to your post I was surprised how the environment impacted the health of the people around. I also was shocked to read how being laid off from work can cause people to spiral into major depression, do you believe we as a capitalist society put too much emphasis on people’s value as human capital over their value as a person. I sometimes think that is why those who are laid off fare far worse health wise because society makes them feel useless and unworthy. I would love to hear your input on how societal pressure may impact someone and their mental health regarding job loss. I also agree with the comment above that government intervention is necessary for situations such as this, I felt that way about the bad sugar video as well.

  4. Hey Dejonia!
    One idea that has been around in progressive circles is a guaranteed minimum income for all Americans, in other words losing your job would not automatically force you into poverty. People would have a safety net, they can buy food, pay bills, while searching a job or being trained for a new type of job. Since Sweden is a progressive area, I feel like this idea would fit in with their political climate. If their is a minimum income and people felt safer I would estimate that the depression level would go down. I believe this solution is political and economic, you need the right political climate for this kind of solution and the right funding. I believe the local government, big companies/ the rich and local communities should be contributing to this solution. THe government is supposed to provide the people with Life Liberty and the Pursute of Happiness, hard to pursue happiness when you are living on the street…. I believe the big companies/the rich should also provide by being taxed and when laid off it should be mandatory to provide compensation, which this family did not.. Local communities could supply job training, social support for those who are having a hard time coping, etc. Social support is very important to our mental and physical well being.

Leave a Reply