Stress is Economically Based

Stress is Economically Based

Watching the movie Unnatural Causes made me think about inequities in a new way. Much of what was said echoes my Anthropology 101 class. We learned both in class and the movie how inequities are largely racially based. However, these inequities resulted from systemic racism by our government through the formation of policies throughout history that put African-Americans at a disadvantage. A specific example from the movie was the GI bill after World War II. The bill was passed to provide housing for soldiers and their families once they returned from war. However, this bill was not afforded to African-American soldiers. Over time, most of these families wealth became tied to the property they owned and thus, white families began to accumulate wealth in a way African-Americans could not resulting in a massive wealth inequity which still exists today. And as the movie mentioned several times, economic security plays a large role in the amount of stress a family has to deal with.

In order to remedy this inequity along with the many others, we need policies in place that motivate the fortunate to help the disadvantaged. I feel as though many policies fail because the people in power feel as though passing a bill to help the less fortunate somehow takes money away from them. Overcoming this “us against them” mindset is key in order to move towards change.

My question to you all is, “Do you believe in our current political climate we have the ability to reach health/economic equity?”

11 thoughts on “Stress is Economically Based

  1. Classism is one of the greatest problems to plague society for thousands of years. It is still very evident today as shown in the movie we watched in class last Thursday. In our current political climate, it will be very hard to redistribute wealth. The redistribution of wealth is one of the ways to give an advantage to the greatly disadvantaged. We will not have a system the promotes economic equality if certain races, genders, and beliefs are given more value than others. One of the best ways to narrow this gap is through all students getting an equal, quality education, and the ability to pursue a higher education. However, as seen far too often certain classes are unable to afford higher education due to the financial burden it would cause their family. This widens the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots”. Without some sort of policy in place those in the higher classes will become richer and richer and the working poor will be working hard to survive.

  2. Kevin,
    It is so interesting that you learned that in your Anthro class, because I learned something similar in my women’s studies course. I feel like the intersectionality of race and health is not often thought about. Moreover, I think it is important to think more critically into why these types of situations persist. Institutional racism is such a major component in why we have these types of differences in health based on races. As you mentioned, not only are minorities starting from a different foundation than whites, but that type of system is perpetuated even in 2017.

  3. You bring up a lot of good points in your post. The movie we watched in class has opened my eyes and raised awareness within me about the differences in health between classes and even race. The GI Bill example you brought up resonated with me. I didn’t realize how much blacks and whites diverged from that point. It seemed like this point was the starting point of the growing gap between the two races.

    The movie’s comparison between economic classes was really interesting as well. I understand that stress is in everyone, no matter how well off they are, but the main difference between the two stresses seemed like one was more about survival and convenience. The CEO’s stress was about things that would not be threatening to his life. The stress of the other two people was caused by things that could threaten their life. One of the ladies couldn’t get enough food for her whole family, something that will cause a huge burden on the mental health and eventually the physical health of the person.

  4. I definitely agree with your point that there needs to be a change in the “haves vs. have nots” system we currently have in our society. Inequity is and continues to be one of the large issues plaguing our society. However, in the current political climate I feel like we are getting further and further away from that ideal versus coming closer in pursuing it. I think that one of the most important and effective ways to begin to close the gap between the haves and have nots is to provide equity of opportunity to students. When there is such an unequal starting point for kids, its hard to break out of the social and economic barriers placed on their education. I think by reforming the education system and remedying it’s inequities we can at least begin to address the issues of widespread health and economic inequities.

  5. Kevin,
    I completely agree your idea to combat inequity in our society. I think that far too often, wealthy people are holding onto every dollar that they own, but proceed to complain about how the world is an awful place. Instead of helping to make a difference in the “awful world” by contributing with the money they have, they say that people need to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”. This is why I agree with your statement that we need to eliminate this “us against them” idea, because to really make a difference in the world people need to be unified and on the same page. To answer your question, I think it is possible to reach health/economic equity. I believe that the people of the world can unify under a common good. I think that in any state that the world is in, there is always a chance for the world to finally make a real change.

  6. I agree that a lot of inequalities are due to race. A lot of races are lower on the social ladder due to racism. I think that in our current political situation, inequalities are only going to increase. I think that racism is only going to increase from here because when a leader figure condones racism, it makes it seem okay for the followers to do. We have to find a way to reverse this and reduce racism if we want to reduce inequalities between races. When people stop judging people based on race, we will finally be headed towards equality.

  7. Kevin, you bring in a lot of good points in your post. This is something I have learned in my History of Medicine class. It is surprising that we are one of the richest countries, but we cannot break the link between income, health, and wealth. I think unification is the way to go. We need to work together towards equity and reduce disparities. A good way I think is by empowering communities who need the help, but also providing proper education for students everywhere. I also think incorporating public health in classrooms will help others be educated on these matters as well.

  8. I agree with your opinion that many policies fail because of the “us against them” concepts buried deep within the legislature. I think that the only way to change this is to somehow show the top 1% how certain policies will benefit them eventually, or give them an incentive to follow these policies. To answer your question, I sadly don’t think our current political climate has the power to reach health/economic equality. I think there are people with good hearts fighting for the right causes and those people do make impacts on injustices that do occur, but I don’t think there is a solution in our society to make things equal. The roots of capitalism and the way our country is set up will not allow things to be equal, because there will always be someone to take advantage of someone else through a loophole. I do believe there is a possibility for equality through a different type of governmental system, but I believe ours is too corrupt and biased to solve the problems we are discussing.

  9. In response to your question, I don’t think that, in our current current political climate, we have the ability to reach health/economic equality. However, I believe that our current political climate will push our generation to become more politically involved. Everyday, the inequities in this country become more and more apparent as more and more people are affected by recent political actions. I think being exposed to these health and economic inequities on a daily basis will motivate people to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. I’m optimistic that in the future we will be able to decrease the hyperpartisanship we have in our country and work together to decrease the inequities we have.

  10. Kevin,
    In regards to your question: “Do you believe in our current political climate we have the ability to reach health/economic equity?” I strongly want to say yes, however, realistically, it seems that the political climate is quickly regressing instead of progressing. Sad! (pulling a Trump style on that one). Just today, for example, federal aid for transgender restrooms in public schools has been rescinded. Not to mention, the Trump administration plans to real Obamacare—a health care breakthrough after 70+ years of stagnation. I am not a complete pessimist. Through history, there is always a revolt against the previous administration. Trump was that revolt against Obama, the United States first black president. Trump signifies a drastic change in the rhetoric and policies of the U.S. The next leadership, subsequently, will be a revolt against the fascist ideologies that Trump aligns with. In those coming years, I think that is where health equity can be possibly, under a socialist head.

  11. One of the most important things you mentioned within your post is that the racism within our culture and the medical society is rooted deep within our history. Do I find everything within the film shocking no? However, I am glad to see that more people who did not grow up within these stats be exposed to them finally. I think when you grow up in these marginalized groups and hear this your entire life at some point nothing shocks you anymore. I think it is impossible to eliminate prejudice and racism within our government and programs in the health care industry. So no, I do not think it is possible. With all of that said I do have faith in people, but with the state of our country and our president it is difficult. Within this time period people are openly expressing their faith in this man and the racist politics.

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