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Find Out How Your Health is Linked to Your Wealth

Updated on July 16, 2017
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Charmaine is a poet and freelance writer who offers a Cartomancy service. Charmaine loves ideas and using a holistic approach to life.

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Introduction

Do you want a fairer, more progressive and emotionally sustainable country? Then, we collectively are going to have to have a big picture vision where we put people and the environment ahead of the interests of the economy.

We would also need to simplify economics speak as early as possible, so that all ages could understand the giving and the taking, so that economic literacy doesn’t continue to reinforce the position of those only in highly elite positions. A paradigm shift of relevancy is needed to express how the economy can help the sick, rather than saying how the sick are bad for the economy.

How can we create this paradigm shift where in 2012, only 19% of leaders in the making (The Millennials-18 to 35-year-olds) believe you can trust another?


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The Human Condition Hasn’t Changed in 700 Years


More than seven hundred years ago, a poet by the name of Dante took on the onus of defining the human condition as he travelled into his own hell at the age of 35 years of age, the same age as the Millennials.

Dante not only travels into Hell but into the nine circles of Hell where he collides with personalities who are suffering for their lust, insatiable appetite for high living, greed, fury, superstition, violence and fraud. The lowest of the nine circles of Hell holding those personalities that betrayed us, were given the title, Traitor. The ninth circle contains an iced over lake.

According to Dante, those people that annihilate our love and trust, which are the unique bonds that enable people to cooperate, were not even worthy of Hell’s fire and brimstone. Betrayal grinds away at trust. And presently, trust in our institutions, leaders, experts, economic models and the generational mantra that “the children will do better”, is in short supply. I don’t know about your country but we still have wealthy senior men being elected whose guiding principles has been about enriching one’s own backyard, rather than performing the duty of enriching the lives of others for their common good. (Julianne Schultz, 2017, Righting the Wrongs, GriffithReview56)

We learnt in 2016, the narrowest of majorities made a decision for Britain to leave the European Union, the Americans to elect President Donald Trump and the Australians to return to a Liberal National Coalition. Issues of social concern, climate change and the rise of inequality, are areas of concern that have seen to be pushed to the sidelines. Wages are held back, the costs of health, housing and education are increasing together with full time jobs disappearing. There is a rise in pessimism and thereby, the manifestation of anxiety and depression.

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Does your social status affect your health

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The Zeitgeist of Now

The current Zeitgeist is expressing that we are in a time where economic justice needs to happen. How significant one’s well-being is, together with having a decent future, is all tied in together.

Bernie Sanders of the USA campaign, successfully weaved a new economic idea across both conventional and new media, calling out, income and wealth inequality, are the most important issues of our time. The result? Most Americans under 30 years of age (The Millennials-our future leaders) voted for Bernie Sanders rather than Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump combined.

In Australia, we don’t have a Bernie Sanders however in 2017, people of all ages were in an escalated agreement that: -

1.we need to spend a lot more money on our health, education and public transport sectors

2.king sized companies such as Google, Apple and our mining magnate Gina Reinhart, need to pay more tax.

3.major corporations swing the hammer of influence over our Politicians and that is not okay.


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How Your Wealth Affects Your Health

Did you know that if you are in a low wage job that this has an impact on your health and longevity? Not only are you more than likely to die younger but you are more likely to live your life as a sickly person. Smoking, obesity and high blood pressure run higher the lower you sit on the rungs of the socio-economic ladder.

Chronic diseases such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, cancer and parkinson’s disease are more common among the financially less well off than the wealthy. Alcohol is the problem with the wealthy.

The very poor just don’t have the resources or enough of the resources to buy healthy, fresh food; gym memberships; be in jobs where their health is not damaged in some way; as well as be less privy to educational resources that will show them how to build a healthier lifestyle.

The statistics for people grouped in the middle of the financial hierarchy, shows when it comes to heart disease, diabetes, death, everyone’s health is influenced by their income relative to the rest of society. Therefore, one’s social status in life is seen to be the factor that influences how healthy one is or can be.

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...start where you can, use what you have and do what you can....

or can be.

Two Key factors to Lead to Good Health and Longevity

Professor Sir Michael Marmot (British Epidemiologist and President of the World Medical Association) believes that the amount of control a person has over their life together with feeling socially connected, are the two key factors in maintaining good health and longevity. Having low control over your life leads to chronic stress. Consequently, the more unequal society becomes, the more exploited and powerless one becomes in the work place, then, the more one gets sick.

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Adversity Costs Your Life and the Economy

If we take a look at the results of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study where 1037 (535 males: 503 females) New Zealanders were involved from 3 years of age to 38 years of age to see how life adversity affected one’s health (=economic burdensome)

The results demonstrated that one fifth of this group had the highest risk of being economically burdensome due to a mix of childhood deprivation, maltreatment, low IQ and poor self-control. By the time this group grew up, they accounted for a large proportion of the health and criminal justice spending. By 38 years of age they had used two thirds of the groups’ welfare benefits which accounted for just over three quarters of the years children that lived without a father, smoked more than half of the group’s cigarettes, carried 40% of the excess kilograms, occupied over half of the night hospital beds, filled more than three quarters of all prescriptions and were convicted of 81% of the crimes charged to the group. Their early life experiences of disadvantage were shaping their choices well into their adult life.

The above set of results demonstrated that there were implications for human rights. As adults who were living the hardest lives were costing society the most. Note, though, there were a few exceptions. Some people in the group did flourish and they were ascertained to be due to personality, traits, intelligence and opportunities.

Switch on or Switch Off?

Genetic determinists say our health is in the hands of fate, the Gods. That is, our parents and the choices we make in life.

Life experiences can create a toxic stress which embeds itself as a physiological memory. Therefore, our interactions with our immediate surrounding environment can switch on or switch off our genes which creates different health or sickness experiences. The American Academy of Paediatrics now claim that common diseases should be viewed as developmental disorders. Therefore, when our lifestyle changes, our genes can change and this change is then passed onto future generations.

A review done in the Nature Journal illustrates through animal and human studies, that changes to genes and their expression can be induced by diet or stress. This can be seen in children of people that experienced adversity such as war or famine. Consequently, this factor needs to be taken into account when deciding how much money needs to be spent on improving the lives of those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, as future health effects can be seen in the following generation.

...The emerging leader will be, strong minded, strong hearted, strong souled and strong bodied. Strength and beauty must go together....

— Louisa May Alcott
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Considerations to Move Forward to Health and Wealth


Amy Corderoy (The Sickness of Social Organization, 2017, GriffithReview56) says there is a moral sickness in a society where the powerful pursue policies that advance their own economic and social interests at the cost of the least powerful.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot argues the quality of a citizen’s health needs to be the key factor on which the functioning of a democracy is judged.

We need leaders whom we respect and who will not only guide us but put the welfare of others before their own. Are you out there? Please step up.



Sources


GriffithReview56, 2017, Millennials Strike Back, Melbourne


Dunedin Multi Disciplinary Health Development Study

Wikipedia

© 2017 Threekeys

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    • profile image

      Threekeys 4 months ago

      One learns to wear many hats when money is irregular or in short supply. Living simply and becoming resourceful is a must here. So I agree with you Jo. But a lot of worry and pressure comes with living simply, and being resourceful. This we can do without, would you agree? All the best to you and your loved ones.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 4 months ago from Tennessee

      I agree with your premise that all people in a society deserve equality of access to good health, education, employment, and housing, and I fully support a government that strives to provide that for all citizens rather than increasing the benefits for those with the most power. But I also believe it is possible to make good choices even when we have less income. Simplicity in living can be beneficial for all income levels.

    • threekeys profile image
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      Threekeys 4 months ago from Australia

      I am not sure if the point I was trying to make came across in this article. It was not to balme or make bad those that are suffering from lack in their lives. It was my attempt to say, we need a leader or leaders to pull up all those that can't get beyond the lowest rungs of the socioeconomic ladder and create better conditions so that they do not longer suffer from their environment or the authourities that inhabit that sphere of the environment. People and the environment need to be put ahead of profit. Health is number one wealth. It is a human rights issue.

      Thank you Louise and Grace for reading this article and sharing your thoughts.

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      Louise Powles 4 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Money does indeed make life a lot easier.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 4 months ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Money does indeed buy happiness, a quality lifestyle, & most of all, GREAT HEALTH. People who are upper middle & upper class have the BEST access to nutritious food, health care, living conditions(quality, clean neighborhoods), & excellent education which further their chances for success.

      Wealth leads to health. This proves that money is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to lead a quality life. Without money, one doesn't have access to good nutrition & health care. Also, without money, one has a lower life expectancy. That is an undeniable fact of life. Money is ALL.