Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Vanessa Williamson rebuts the myth that fair tax policy will drive away wealthy residents. And Mike Maciag notes that tax giveaways to the corporate sector and the wealthy serve only to exacerbate inequality within the population as a whole.

- Malika Sharma, Andrew Pinto and Arno Kumagai write that we should view the social determinants of health as factors which can and should be changed, rather than inevitabilities to be observed but not acted upon:
In our paper “Teaching the Social Determinants of Health: A Path to Equity or a Road to Nowhere?”, we explore how contemporary SDOH education does little to reduce health inequities, for two key reasons. First, most training fails to acknowledge that the social determinants of health are man-made results of social, economic, and political decisions in how money, power, and resources are (unequally) distributed in society. Second, emphasis is often placed on knowing rather than acting. Rattling off socioeconomic status, educational attainment, and food insecurity as contributors to poor health outcomes does little to change the situation of people actually living these realities.

As such, students do not gain skills to allow them to act at systemic or societal-levels. They may feel overwhelmed when faced with complex social circumstances, or may feel that addressing the social determinants of health is someone else’s problem. They may not recognize that failing to address the SDOH will limit any clinical intervention they suggest. In addition, covering the SDOH as a simply a list to be known allows medical institutions to say they have fulfilled their social responsibility mandate, without forcing a reckoning of how they may themselves perpetuate and benefit from the status quo.
- Catherine Colebrook discusses the need for better measuring sticks for economic and social development beyond GDP alone. And Ploy Achakulwisut points out the importance of accounting for the health effects of pollution in developing environmental policy.

- Finally, Larry Elliott comments on the exploitation inherent in the gig economy and other models of precarious work.

[Edit: fixed typo.]

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