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View Diary: Graphing Rising Income Inequality, the Trademark of Neoliberalism (282 comments)

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  •  This is an excellent diary (5+ / 0-)

    on what I consider to be THE most important issue of our time

    There is another aspect to this that is not often discussed, but it's something close to my heart because I work in public health- there are actually health consequences to socioeconomic inequality. And it is not what you would expect-it's not health issues related to poverty or malnutrition, or lack of medical care, it is an actual phenomenon that is related to inequality itself. Living in an unequal society, especially one that embraces rugged individualism (the two themes go hand in hand) actually triggers the "fight or flight" stress response in the body, which triggers a cascade of inflammation and hormonal responses that, over time, lead to chronic health problems like Diabetes and Heart Disease. It also has a profound effect on the developing fetus in pregnant women, and can make children born during times of extreme inequality more likely to be born premature and susceptible to those same diseases in adulthood. It is believed to be one of the factors behind the disproportionately high rate of infant mortality, diabetes, heart disease, and shorter life expectancy in minority communities- who in addition to experiencing racism and exclusion have much higher rates of income inequality overall.

    There is a great documentary about this called Unnatural Causes Unfortunately it's not fully available online, but you can see excerpts of it on the website.

    Suffice it to say, we are going to be feeling the consequences of Neoliberalism for a very long time, and in ways that we can't even imagine

    Will work for food
    Will die for oil
    Will kill for power and to us the spoils
    The billionaires get to pay less tax
    The working poor get to fall through the cracks
    -James McMurtry

    -9.75/-8.26

    by SwedishJewfish on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 09:35:09 AM PDT

    •  You know I never thought of that? (4+ / 0-)

      I NEVER thought of the emotional and psychological strain that a high gini might cause independent of material wealth as measured by GDP per capita or something like the HDI. Is there any chance of you writing a diary on this? Please direct message me if there's any way I can share some of the labor. I think this is a critical part of the puzzle, and one that no one is thinking of (except all the wonderful public health workers out there). Thanks for sharing this. I can totally see how the rugged individualism could end up quanitifiably fueling psychological disorders and that the fight or flight response could contribute to a weak heart. And I am NO doctor.

      I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. ||@totushek on twitter

      by tote on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 09:48:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have been working on one actually (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tote, divineorder, TomP, Eric Nelson

        I'm in the middle of a project at work (one that relates to this topic, as a matter a fact) so I haven't had a lot of time to write lately, but I will probobly be publishing a diary on this subject some time next week. The data on this is just astounding- it goes beyond just weakening a heart or wearing down the body, it actually changes your DNA.

        Will work for food
        Will die for oil
        Will kill for power and to us the spoils
        The billionaires get to pay less tax
        The working poor get to fall through the cracks
        -James McMurtry

        -9.75/-8.26

        by SwedishJewfish on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 10:06:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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