Governments Know Work and Living Conditions Can Kill Us -- It's Time to Act

By Raphael, Dennis; Professor of Health Policy and Management et al. | The Canadian Press, May 22, 2018 | Go to article overview

Governments Know Work and Living Conditions Can Kill Us -- It's Time to Act


Raphael, Dennis, Professor of Health Policy and Management, University, York, Canada, The Canadian Press


Governments know work and living conditions can kill us -- it's time to act

--

This article was originally published on The Conversation, an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts. Disclosure information is available on the original site.

___

Author: Dennis Raphael, Professor of Health Policy and Management, York University, Canada

Living and working conditions are the primary causes of good health, and disease and premature death as well.

This has been known in Canada since at least the mid-1850s and any visitor to the Public Health Agency of Canada's website will find ample documentation of this fact.

Indeed, a recent Statistics Canada report found that 40,000 Canadians a year die prematurely because their working and living conditions are not of the quality experienced by well-off Canadians. Gaps in income and wealth kill people.

These living and working conditions are shaped by public policies made by Canadian governments at all levels. These policies serve to distribute economic and social resources among the population.

This is why political scientist Harold Lasswell defines politics as: "Who gets what, when and how."

And the evidence is clear that over the last three decades, these public policies have widened income and wealth disparities among Canadians, led to stagnating incomes for 60 per cent of Canadians and created an explosive increase in insecure and precarious employment -- all of which contribute to disease and illness.

Most strikingly, Canadian children fall well behind most developed countries on numerous indices of health and well-being, according to UNICEF Canada.

Conditions in decline for most Canadians

Yet despite the strong link between living and working conditions and health and disease, evidence shows that the situation is not improving for most Canadians, and is in fact declining for many.

The issue of what we call the social determinants of health has not made it onto any public policy agenda at any level of government in Canada.

Not surprisingly, most Canadians mistakenly believe achieving good health and avoiding disease and premature death is about refraining from tobacco and excessive alcohol use, exercising and eating more fruits and vegetables.

But the fallacy of that belief, and the role governments play in perpetuating it, has been demonstrated over and over again in numerous studies in Canada and elsewhere.

Why are politicians unwilling to go near the social determinants of health and disease, and their complicity?

Is it because they believe we're incapable of understanding the connection? That wouldn't be unreasonable given we're bombarded with messages from government, disease associations and the media telling us relentlessly that all we need for good health is to live a so-called healthy lifestyle. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Governments Know Work and Living Conditions Can Kill Us -- It's Time to Act
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.