On this edition of Parallax Views, Dr. Stephen Bezruchka, an emergency physician turned global population doctor, joins us to discuss his book Inequality Kills Us All: COVID-19's Health Lessons for the World.
Dr. Stephen Bezruchka's new book, "Inequality Kills Us All," tackles a pressing issue in the United States: poor health in the United States and it's relationship to inequality. In this episode, we discuss the book's key points, including how living in a society with entrenched hierarchies worsens the effects of diseases for everyone. Dr. Bezruchka book emphasizes the importance of addressing this problem by raising awareness and implementing policies that promote fairness, such as a fair taxation system, support for child well-being, universal healthcare, and a guaranteed income. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in public health and the impact of inequality on health outcomes. Tune in to learn more and discover how we can create a fairer and healthier society.
Topics covered in this episode:
- Dr. Bezruchka explains the concept of the "Health Olympics" and how health outcomes seem to differ by country and culture.
- We discuss the ideas of "structural violence" and "social murder" and how they point towards the systemic ways in which economic structures and conditions like poverty effect health outcomes.
- Dr. Bezruchka discusses how personal behaviors matter less to public health outcomes than we often assume they do and the social factors that effect our health.
- The effect of stress and social atomization/isolation on people's health
- America Vs. Japan: even though almost half the Japanese male population smokes cigarettes they live longer than their American male counterparts despite the fact that less men smoke cigarettes in America. Why is this and what does it tell us about health outcomes by population and social factors contributing to those outcomes?
- The importance of social relationships to good health outcomes
- How "an early life lasts a lifetime" in terms of health outcomes; child well-being's importance to health outcomes; studies on secure attachment to one's parents and what they tell us health outcomes and mortality rates
- An analysis of the pandemic and the lessons that can be learned from it; income inequality and mortality rates of COVID; COVID and low birth rate babies
- Social policies of Sweden vs. the U.S. in relation to maternity leave, child daycare, etc. and what they can tell us about approaches to public health
- Taxation, redistribution of wealth, and public health; looking at the policies of FDR and the New Deal
- Poorer people have poorer health, but this is not necessarily due simply to personal failings
- African-American health outcomes, racism, and studies on intergenerational transmission of health from the era of slavery in the United States
- How a more cooperative culture would help all of us, rich and poor, with our health outcomes; health outcomes of billionaires; the selling point of decreasing inequality; the connection between mental health and physical health
- How political choices effect our health; why is Hawaii the U.S. state where citizens are reported to live the longest of anywhere in the country and how does it potentially relate to the social determinants of health?
- Universal healthcare, Medicare-4-All, and single-payer healthcare; primary care, as opposed to specialist care, as the most important and effective part of healthcare; the need to spend money on policies that would benefit early-life care; what the U.S. can learn from other countries
- Surveillance capitalism and the havoc it is wreaking on our health
- Dr. Bezruchka addresses conservatives and libertarians who may disagree with the perspective he has on inequality and health outcomes
- And more!