CLASS INEQUALITY IS MAKING US DIE SOONER AND LIVE SICKER THAN WE OUGHT:
Here are the scholarly articles that confirm it
by John Spritzler
February 13, 2023
The URL of this article is https://www.pdrboston.org/we-die-sooner-live-sicker-than-needed; please share it
"Researchers have long known that the rich live longer than the poor. Evidence now suggests that the life expectancy gap is increasing, at least here the United States" --Brookings Institution article titled "The growing life-expectancy gap between rich and poor"
Class inequality--a wealthy upper class treating ordinary people like dirt (as discussed in detail here)--causes us to suffer from chronic stress, poor nutrition, exposure to toxic pollution, overcrowded living conditions, etc., all of which make us sicker and live shorter lives.
Below I present the research--lots of it!--published in top notch medical and other scholarly journals, which backs up this assertion about the medical harm caused by class inequality. I follow this by presenting the scholarly evidence that as useful as drugs and vaccines may be, they are no substitute for the elimination of the medically harmful nature of our society due largely to the fact of it being based on class inequality. I conclude with a brief discussion about why so many of our health professionals are silent about what is the main reason we live sicker and die earlier than we ought.
Read here a column by the president of the Association for Psychological Science, Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett, in which she discusses the scientific studies that link stress as a factor that causes vulnerability to infectious disease organisms. See time point 43:17 in this video for more about this.
A website of The American Institute of Stress gives the results of numerous surveys and studies about stress on the job. Stress is essentially another word for the lack of what academics sometimes call a "sense of coherence," described below. Stress (low sense of coherence) is shown below to be medically very harmful. Here are some of the facts about how prevalent and serious stress on the job is:
Highlighted statistics from the report:
40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful
25% view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives
75% of employees believe that workers have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago
29% of workers felt quite a bit or extremely stressed at work
26% of workers said they were “often or very often burned out or stressed by their work
Job stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems
Highlighted statistics from the report:
80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their coworkers need such help
25% have felt like screaming or shouting because of job stress, 10% are concerned about an individual at work they fear could become violent
14% of respondents had felt like striking a coworker in the past year, but didn’t
9% are aware of an assault or violent act in their workplace and 18% had experienced some sort of threat or verbal intimidation in the past year
Academics use the term "coherence" to refer to things that people want to be true about their environment but which, for ordinary people, are absent in our society based on class inequality with the important decisions in our lives made undemocratically by the upper class and for the benefit of the upper class at our expense. Coherence for ordinary people requires an egalitarian society in which ordinary people have the real power and shape all of society including on-the-job by their values of equality and mutual aid. Here is the academic way of defining "sense of coherence" aka "SOC":
"The sense of coherence (SOC) concept, which is based on the salutogenic model, has attracted research attention in the population health field. One’s SOC is believed to express the extent to which they have a persistent, enduring but dynamic feeling of confidence that: (1) the stimuli deriving from their internal and external environments in the course of living are structured, predictable, and explicable (comprehensibility); (2) resources are available to them to meet the demands posed by these stimuli (manageability); and (3) such demands are challenges, worthy of investment and engagement (meaningfulness)." [from BMC Research Notes]
This lack of coherence in our lives is medically very harmful:
"After adjustment for socioeconomic position, occupation-based high job strain was associated with higher mortality in the presence of a weak sense of coherence (HR, 3.15; 1.62-6.13), [Note to those not familiar with this way of reporting results: HR stands for hazard ratio. An HR of 3.15, for example, means that people with, in this case, high job strain had, at any given moment, a hazard--which is similar mathematically to a probability, in this case of dying--3.15 times greater than that for people without high job strain, all other things such as occupation, etc. being the same. The pair of numbers following the HR, called a confidence interval (CI), in this case 1.62-6.13, says that that the interval 1.62 to 6.16 was calculated from the data in such a manner that it would have a 95% (the usual default % unless stated otherwise) chance of covering the true value of the HR, in other words the lower number being less than and the higher number being greater than the true HR value. If a 95% confidence interval includes the value 1 it means that there is NOT statistically significant evidence (at the 95%, unless stated otherwise, level of confidence) of a difference between the two groups being compared, in this case people with high versus not with high job strain. If a 95% CI excludes the value 1, either entirely above 1 or entirely below 1, it means the difference between the compared groups is statistically significant with "p<.05" (.05 comes from [100-95]/100 in this case)--another way the result is sometimes reported, i.e., based on how variable the observations were in the study, if there really were no difference between the two groups then the probability that the data would provide as much, or more, evidence of a difference as the actual data in the study did would be less than 0.05 or only one chance in twenty.] a result that was stronger in women (HR, 4.48; 1.64-12.26) than in men (HR, 2.90; 1.12-7.49). Self-reported passive jobs were associated with higher mortality in the presence of a weak sense of coherence in men (HR, 2.76; 1.16-6.59)." [ The European Journal of Public Health]
• We examined the association of Sense of Coherence (SOC) with 22-year all-cause mortality.
• Sense of Coherence was inversely associated with all-cause mortality during 22 years.
• The association was independent of sociodemographic factors and prevalent disease.
• Strong SOC was associated with 35% lower mortality hazard relative to weak SOC."
"A weak SOC, as compared with an intermediate SOC, was associated with a higher all-cause mortality risk after, on average, 13.5 years of follow-up and adjusted for sex and age (HR=1.40, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.70). After additional adjustments, the higher all-cause mortality risk remained statistically significant (HR=1.27, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.59). Mortality risk for the strong SOC group did not differ from that for the intermediate group.
"Conclusions A weak SOC was associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality. Health promotion focusing on strengthening SOC may be a promising new strategy, potentially affecting not only mental health but also mortality." [from Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health]
"We identified 102 633 individuals with 1 423 753 person-years at risk (mean follow-up 13·9 years [SD 3·9]), of whom 3441 had prevalent cardiometabolic disease at baseline and 3841 died during follow-up. In men with cardiometabolic disease, age-standardised mortality rates were substantially higher in people with job strain (149·8 per 10 000 person-years) than in those without (97·7 per 10 000 person-years; mortality difference 52·1 per 10 000 person-years; multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1·68, 95% CI 1·19–2·35). This mortality difference for job strain was almost as great as that for current smoking versus former smoking (78·1 per 10 000 person-years) and greater than those due to hypertension, high total cholesterol concentration, obesity, physical inactivity, and high alcohol consumption relative to the corresponding lower risk groups (mortality difference 5·9–44·0 per 10 000 person-years). Excess mortality associated with job strain was also noted in men with cardiometabolic disease who had achieved treatment targets, including groups with a healthy lifestyle (HR 2·01, 95% CI 1·18–3·43) and those with normal blood pressure and no dyslipidaemia (6·17, 1·74–21·9)" [from The Lancet: Diabetes & Endocrinology]
"In general, exposure to psychosocial job stress (high job demands, low job control, high job strain, job dissatisfaction, high effort–reward imbalance, overcommitment, burnout, unemployment, organizational downsizing, economic recession) had a measurable impact on immune parameters (reduced NK cell activity, NK and T cell subsets, CD4+/CD8+ ratio, and increased inflammatory markers). The evidence supports that psychosocial job stresses are related to disrupted immune responses but further research is needed to demonstrate cause–effect relationships." [from Psychoneuroimmunology]
The following study identifies CHRONIC stress as detrimental. Class inequality creates chronic stress.
Sapolsky (1998) wrote,
Stress-related disease emerges, predominantly, out of the fact that we so often activate a physiological system that has evolved for responding to acute physical emergencies, but we turn it on for months on end, worrying about mortgages, relationships, and promotions. (p. 7)
The results of this meta-analysis support this assertion in one sense: Stressors with the temporal parameters of the fight-or-flight situations faced by humans’ evolutionary ancestors elicited potentially beneficial changes in the immune system. The more a stressor deviated from those parameters by becoming more chronic, however, the more components of the immune system were affected in a potentially detrimental way." [from American Psychological Association: Psychological Bulletin]
The following is from an article summarizing scientific studies:
"DOES STRESS TAKE A TOLL ON YOUR BODY?
The answer is yes, in some cases. If you experience chronic stress, the same chemicals produced to prepare your body to response keep going for longer periods of time and can impede other bodily functions including weakening your immune system and preventing your digestive, excretory and reproductive systems from working as they should. Chronic stress can lead to sleep and digestive issues, headaches and body aches, depression and irritability, just to name a few potential issues.
According to the Center for Disease Control/National Institute on Occupational Safety & Health, the workplace is the number one cause of life stress. The American Institute of Stress reports 120,000 people die every year as a direct result of work-related stress. Additionally, healthcare costs resulting from work-related stress totals an average of $190 billion a year. [Emphasis added--J.S.]
The NIH says continued strain on your body from routine stress is often the hardest to detect but could lead to serious health problems such as:
High blood pressure
Chronic stress is linked to six leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide, according to the American Psychological Association."
Why Our Immune Systems Are Not Up To Par
Many Americans live in places where there is a lot of toxic pollution (not the billionaires, of course!) Read about this in item #15 at https://www.pdrboston.org/why-no-rich-no-poor. Let's see how this affects our immune system.
"Environmental toxins impair immune system over multiple generations. New research shows that maternal exposure to a common and ubiquitous form of industrial pollution can harm the immune system of offspring and that this injury is passed along to subsequent generations, weakening the body's defenses against infections such as the influenza virus." [from ScienceDaily]
"Air Pollution May Increase Mortality Risk in Heart Transplant Patients: Heart transplant recipients who live in areas where particulate matter air pollution levels reached above national limits for clean air had a 26 percent higher risk of mortality due to infection, according to a study published Dec. 9 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology." [from American College of Cardiology]
"Is air pollution making the coronavirus pandemic even more deadly?
Dirty air is well known to worsen the heart and lung risk factors for Covid-19 - early research is cause for concern...And decades of gold standard research have shown air pollution damages hearts and lungs.
So is dirty air, which already kills at least 7 million people a year, turbo-charging the coronavirus pandemic?
The overlap of highly polluted places, such as northern Italy, and pandemic hotspots is stark and preliminary studies point in this direction, while a link between the 2003 Sars outbreak and dirty air is already known." [from The Guardian]
"Air pollution alters immune function, worsens asthma symptoms:
"Exposure to dirty air is linked to decreased function of a gene that appears to increase the severity of asthma in children, according to a joint study by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.
"While air pollution is known to be a source of immediate inflammation, this new study provides one of the first pieces of direct evidence that explains how some ambient air pollutants could have long-term effects.
"Researchers have linked exposure to dirty air to changes in a gene that, in turn, is connected to more severe asthma symptoms.
"The findings, published in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, come from a study of 181 children with and without asthma in the California cities of Fresno and Palo Alto.
"The researchers found that air pollution exposure suppressed the immune system’s regulatory T cells (Treg), and that the decreased level of Treg function was linked to greater severity of asthma symptoms and lower lung capacity. Treg cells are responsible for putting the brakes on the immune system so that it doesn’t react to non-pathogenic substances in the body that are associated with allergy and asthma. When Treg function is low, the cells fail to block the inflammatory responses that are the hallmark of asthma symptoms." [from UC Berkeley News]
"Air pollution can enhance T helper lymphocyte type 2 (Th2) and T helper lymphocyte type 17 (Th17) adaptive immune responses, as seen in allergy and asthma, and dysregulate anti-viral immune responses. The clinical effects of air pollution, in particular the known association between elevated ambient pollution and exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are consistent with these identified immunological mechanisms." [from Free Radic Biol Med]
Research from the University of Rochester suggests why flu season hits some harder than others:
Researchers at the University of Rochester said that they have found links between environmental toxins and weakened immune systems that get passed down from generation to generation.
Paige Lawrence, who runs a lab in the environmental medicine department at the University of Rochester, said the results of the study, published this month in the journal iScience, could help explain why some people are more vulnerable to the flu than others." [from WRVO Public Media]
Poor Nutrition Is Deadly
Many Americans (not the billionaires, of course!) lack good nutritious food (fruits and vegetables for example) because they live in "food deserts" where there are no nearby stores selling nutritious food but only fast-food restaurants (not to mention that many people have to go without good food in order to pay the rent or the payment on the car they need to drive to work or a hospital bill they couldn't afford good insurance for--problems caused by the class inequality that Dr. Fauci's billionaire buddies enforce). This poor nutrition leads to obesity and excess salt consumption, which--as shown below--have terrible health consequences.
"Obesity does not happen overnight. It develops gradually over time, as a result of poor diet and lifestyle choices, such as:
eating large amounts of processed or fast food – that's high in fat and sugar " [from the National Health Service UK]
Fast food also causes us to consume too much salt (sodium).
"CDC: 90% of Americans consume too much salt
"Nine in ten Americans consume more than the recommended limits for sodium – which mostly comes from salt in the diet – an excess of which leads to high blood pressure, raising the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke...The Dietary Guidelines – revised every 5 years – are based on the latest scientific evidence, which Dr. Frieden says clearly shows “too much sodium in our foods leads to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.”
"Around 1 in 3 adult Americans – around 70 million people – have high blood pressure and only half of them have it under control.
"Heart disease and stroke kill more Americans every year than any other cause. Together with other cardiovascular diseases, they claim more than 800,000 lives each year in the US and cost the nation nearly $320 billion a year in health care and lost productivity.
"Need to reduce sodium in manufactured and restaurant foods:
"While one way to cut back on sodium is to go easy on the salt shaker, most of the sodium that Americans consume comes from packaged, processed foods and restaurant meals. Dr. Frieden urges:
“Reducing sodium in manufactured and restaurant foods will give consumers more choice and save lives.”" [from MedicalNewsToday.com]
"Good nutrition is essential for keeping Americans healthy across the lifespan. A healthy diet helps children grow and develop properly and reduces their risk of chronic diseases, including obesity. Adults who eat a healthy diet live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and prevent complications.
Most Americans, however, do not have a healthy diet. Although breastfeeding is the ideal source of nutrition for infants, only 1 in 4 is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age as recommended. Fewer than 1 in 10 adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 9 in 10 Americans aged 2 years or older consume more than the recommended amount of sodium.
In addition, 6 in 10 young people aged 2 to 19 years and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day. Processed foods and sugary drinks add unneeded sodium, saturated fats, and sugar to many diets, increasing the risk of chronic diseases.
Overweight and Obesity
Eating a healthy diet, along with getting enough physical activity and sleep, can help children grow up healthy and prevent overweight and obesity. In the United States, 19% of young people aged 2 to 19 years and 40% of adults have obesity, which can put them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. In addition, obesity costs the US health care system $147 billion a year.
Heart Disease and Stroke
Two of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke are high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. Consuming too much sodium can increase blood pressure and the risk for heart disease and stroke. Current guidelines recommend getting less than 2,300 mg a day, but Americans consume more than 3,400 mg a day on average.
Over 70% of the sodium that Americans eat comes from packaged, processed, store-bought, and restaurant foods. Eating foods low in saturated fats and high in fiber and increasing access to low-sodium foods, along with regular physical activity, can help prevent high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Type 2 Diabetes
People who are overweight or have obesity are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those at a normal weight because, over time, their bodies become less able to use the insulin they make. More than 84 million US adults—or 1 in 3 people—have prediabetes, and 90% of them don’t know they have it. In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled as the US population has aged and become heavier.
An unhealthy diet can increase the risk of some cancers. Overweight and obesity are associated with at least 13 types of cancer, including endometrial (uterine) cancer, breast cancer in postmenopausal women, and colorectal cancer. These cancers make up 40% of all cancers diagnosed.
Deficits in Brain Function
The brain develops most quickly in the first 1,000 days of life, from the start of pregnancy to the child’s second birthday. Having low levels of iron during pregnancy and early childhood is associated with mental and behavioral delays in children. Ensuring that iodine levels are high enough during pregnancy also helps a growing baby have the best brain development possible." [from CDC]
People at the Bottom of Our Unequal Society Suffer the Most from Covid-19
The facts presented above, and other facts related to class inequality, help explain why the poorest people are suffering the most from the covid-19 virus. The CDC, in its article titled, "COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups," reports:
"A recent CDC MMWR report included race and ethnicity data from 580 patients hospitalized with lab-confirmed COVID-19 found that 45% of individuals for whom race or ethnicity data was available were white, compared to 55% of individuals in the surrounding community. However, 33% of hospitalized patients were black compared to 18% in the community and 8% were Hispanic, compared to 14% in the community. These data suggest an overrepresentation of blacks among hospitalized patients. Among COVID-19 deaths for which race and ethnicity data were available, New York Citypdf icon external icon identified death rates among Black/African American persons (92.3 deaths per 100,000 population) and Hispanic/Latino persons (74.3) that were substantially higher than that of white (45.2) or Asian (34.5) persons...
"For many people in racial and ethnic minority groups, living conditions may contribute to underlying health conditions and make it difficult to follow steps to prevent getting sick with COVID-19 or to seek treatment if they do get sick.
Members of racial and ethnic minorities may be more likely to live in densely populated areas because of institutional racism in the form of residential housing segregation. People living in densely populated areas may find it more difficult to practice prevention measures such as social distancing.
Research also suggests that racial residential segregation is a fundamental cause of health disparities. For example, racial residential segregation is linked with a variety of adverse health outcomes and underlying health conditions.2-5 These underlying conditions can also increase the likelihood of severe illness from COVID-19.
Many members of racial and ethnic minorities live in neighborhoods that are further from grocery stores and medical facilities, making it more difficult to receive care if sick and stock up on supplies that would allow them to stay home.
Multi-generational households, which may be more common among some racial and ethnic minority families6, may find it difficult to take precautions to protect older family members or isolate those who are sick, if space in the household is limited.
Racial and ethnic minority groups are over-represented in jails, prisons, and detention centers, which have specific risks due to congregate living, shared food service, and more....
Serious underlying medical conditions: Compared to whites, black Americans experience higher death rates, and higher prevalence rates of chronic conditions.10"
A very similar report was issued by the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies based on Boston, MA data.
"Despite the paucity of adequate data on race/ethnicity – and no data on socioeconomic position – in US national data on COVID-19 mortality, both investigative journalism and some state and local health departments are beginning to document evidence of the greater mortality burden of COVID-19 on communities of color and low-income communities."
When wealthy people get infected with covid-19 they do better, on average, than poor people because they have not experienced over the course of their lifetime the damage to their bodies caused by living in a very unhealthful environment.
BIG MONEY CORPORATE FARMS INCREASE THE RISK OF DANGEROUS PANDEMIC VIRUSES BECAUSE IT'S PROFITABLE TO DO SO
There is good reason to believe that the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerged in large measure because of novel Big Farm methods of producing hogs and poultry. For an overview of how this is so see the article titled, "How Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Fuel Pandemics". Some scientific journal articles about this are here and here.
A book about this, published before the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerged, titled Big Farms Make Big Flu, describes how Big Money protects the new Big Farm methods because they are very profitable even though it is known that they increase the risk of very dangerous pandemic viruses emerging.
It Was Not Vaccines and Antibiotics that Did the Heavy Lifting to Dramatically Reduce Mortality in Past Centuries: It Was Eliminating Aspects of Our Society that Were Harmful to Health, and Which Existed Because of Its Class Inequality
The most important thing responsible for the dramatic decline in mortality from infectious diseases in the last centuries was NOT vaccines and it was NOT antibiotics; it was improved sanitation (such as flush toilets) and improved nutrition. Mortality from these formerly high fatality diseases was extremely low (following big improvements in sanitation and nutrition) by the time vaccines and antibiotics were subsequently introduced. This is not a controversial fact. I was taught it by the Harvard School of Public Health. Read a book length discussion of this.
"An analysis has been made of the evolution in Switzerland of mortality due to the main infectious diseases ever since causes of death began to be registered. Mortality due to tuberculosis, diphtheria, scarlet fever, whooping cough, measles, typhoid, puerperal fever and infant gastro-enteritis started to fall long before the introduction of immunization and/or antibiotics. This decline was probably due to a great extent to various factors linked to the steady rise in the standard of living: qualitative and quantitative improvements in nutrition; better public and personal hygiene; better housing and working conditions and improvements in education."
The same article also added: "Immunization has probably been decisive in the eradication of smallpox and poliomyelitis and for the reduction in mortality from tetanus. The introduction of sulfonamides and antibiotics was associated with the beginning of the decline in mortality from non-meningococcal meningitis, otitis and appendicitis and with a more pronounced decline in mortality from pneumonia and acute rheumatic fever. Finally, mortality from syphilis started to decline a few years after the introduction of Salvarsan."
A Journal of Population Studies article titled, "Reasons for the decline of mortality in England and Wales during the nineteenth century" found:
"Five diseases or disease groups accounted for almost the whole of the reduction in mortality between 1851–60 and 1891–1900: tuberculosis (all forms), 47.2 per cent; typhus, enteric fever and simple continued fever, 22.9 per cent; scarlet fever, 20.3 per cent; diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera, 8.9 per cent; and smallpox, 6.1 per cent. In order of their relative Importance the Influences responsible for the decline were: (a) a rising standard of living, of which the most significant feature was improved diet (responsible mainly for the decline of tuberculosis, and less certainly, and to a lesser extent, of typhus); (b) the hygienic changes introduced by the sanitary reformers (responsible for the decline of the typhus-typhoid and cholera groups); and (c) a favourable trend In the relationship between infectious agent and human host (which accounted for the decline of mortality from scarlet fever, and may have contributed to that from tuberculosis, typhus and cholera). The effect of therapy was restricted to smallpox and hence had only a trivial effect on the total reduction of the death rate."
A 1977 Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly, Health and Society journal article titled, "The Questionable Contribution of Medical Measures to the Decline of Mortality in the United States in the Twentieth Century" concludes:
Without claiming they are definitive findings, and eschewing pretentions to an analysis as sophisticated as McKeown’s [an author of the article cited above --J.S.] for England and Wales, one can reasonably draw the following conclusions from the analysis presented in this paper: In general, medical measures (both chemotherapeutic and prophylactic) appear to have contributed little to the overall decline in mortality in the United States since about 1900—having in many instances been introduced several decades after a marked decline had already set in and having no detectable influence in most instances. More specifically, with reference to those five conditions (influenza, pneumonia, diphtheria, whooping cough, and poliomyelitis) for which the decline in mortality appears substantial after the point of intervention—and on the unlikely assumption that all of this decline is attributable to the intervention—it is estimated that at most 3.5 percent of the total decline in mortality since 1900 could be ascribed to medical measures introduced for the diseases considered here."
A 2019 article in the Journal The History of the Family states:
"The decline of mortality
The interpretation of the causes of mortality decline has long been contentious. During the first half of the twentieth century, British historians and economists often argued that a large part of the decline should be credited to improvements in medical provision. For example, John Plumb (1950, p. 78) claimed that the decline in the death rate after circa 1740 was ‘almost entirely due to improved midwifery … and the foundation of lying-in hospitals’, whilst John Hicks (1942, p. 43) attributed it ‘beyond all doubt’ to ‘the improvements in sanitation and medical skill which were beginning to be effective in northern Europe by the middle of the eighteenth century’.2 However, although some writers have recently sought to revive the claims made on behalf of medical intervention, most observers now believe that the primary responsibility for improvements in mortality lies with some combination of improvements in diet and nutrition, housing, and sanitary intervention (see e.g. Johansson, 2010; Van Poppel et al., 2016)."
This article in 2020, titled "How sanitation conquered disease long before vaccines or antibiotics," provides many graphs of mortality for various causes over time and in various nations so that one can easily see how mortality was falling dramatically before the use of antibiotics or vaccines. The author summarizes the data thus:
"The bottom line is that sanitation—pest control, water filtration and chlorination, safe sewage disposal, milk pasteurization and other food safety, and public education about general hygiene—probably did more than anything else to reduce mortality rates, if only because these techniques were available decades, and in some cases centuries, before anything else. Antibiotics were dramatically effective when they were finally introduced, but by this point a lot of the work had already been done. Vaccines too were extremely effective, but merely delivered the coup de grace for many diseases."
(The reason there was improved sanitation and nutrition was because good people fought for it and in particular they made it clear to the public that if the ruling class did not make these improvements it would show that the ruling class was lying big time when it claimed to act in the interest of the welfare of the public. Ruling classes know that if they are perceived as enemies of the public welfare they will lose the minimum amount of credibility they require to remain in power. This is why, for example, even Hitler had to end the euthanasia program in response to extreme public anger at it when the public discovered its existence.)
LIKE CHATTEL SLAVERY
Class inequality today, like chattel slavery in the past, is extremely harmful to health and longevity. We need to respond to class inequality the way good people responded to chattel slavery--by working to abolish it, not simply trying to make health better in spite of it.
Our Billionaire Ruling Plutocracy Tries to Prevent Health Professionals from Exposing and Working to End the Class Inequality that Is Medically So Harmful
Our health professionals who want to make us live healthier and longer lives (as most indeed do) are not exposing and working to end the class inequality that is medically so harmful. Why not?
A big reason is that health professionals do not, themselves, know the relevant facts about the harmfulness of class inequality. They are not taught it in medical schools or other professional schools because the ruling class does not want them to be taught it. Instead they only learn about drugs and vaccines and therapies that ignore the root problem of class inequality. Or if they are taught about the harmfulness of things such as stress or poor nutrition, etc., they are not taught to properly understand these things as consequences of class inequality, i.e., of something that ought not to exist and that can be abolished.
The health professionals at the very top of the profession, people such as Dr. Anthony Fauci before he retired, are essentially bribed by the ruling class to avoid any mention of the harmfulness of class inequality. The bribe that Dr. Fauci received, for example was, of course, enormous public glorification as "the nation's leading authority on infectious disease"--an adulation that virtually always accompanied his name in the mass media during the Covid pandemic years. Fauci knew that his glorification depended on his remaining silent about the harmfulness of class inequality and sticking exclusively to the benefits of drugs and vaccinations.
Even when a health professional does know that class inequality is the chief cause of our poor health, he or she also knows that trying to explicitly expose and end this class inequality means going against the very powerful people who rule virtually all of the major institutions of society including the one that employs him or herself; in other words it is DANGEROUS to do the right thing in our society and understandably good people fear doing so.
The antidote to fear in this context is numbers: knowing that one is not alone, and that one will be joined by many others if one tries to do the right thing. The ruling class, for this reason, works hard to ensure that good people never learn that they are not alone in this regard: the mass media and other media that the ruling class controls (such as medical journals) virtually never, for this reason, inform health professionals that they are not alone in wanting to expose and end class inequality to make us have healthier and longer lives. Sharing articles like this one with one's health professional colleagues is one way to let them know the important facts they may not yet know as well as to learn that they are not alone in wanting to do the right thing, which can lead to building an organization to collectively fight back to change the world.