Growing Wealth Divide Is Bad for Health

Growing Wealth Divide Is Bad for Health


Jones: THERE’S SOMETHING
UNFOLDING HERE IN GREENVILLE AND ALL OF MONTCALM COUNTY THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN WHAT
DICKENS WAS TALKING ABOUT WHEN HE SAID, “THE BEST
OF TIMES, THE WORST OF TIMES,” BECAUSE WE ARE HAVING AN
ECONOMIC BOOM IN SOME SECTORS. THERE ARE NEW HOUSES
BEING BUILT HERE THAT MAKES IT INTO
A BEDROOM COMMUNITY FOR SOME LARGER AREAS AROUND. WE HAVE HAD SOME NATIONAL
FRANCHISES MOVE IN HERE AND BUILD SIGNIFICANT BUILDINGS
HERE. AT THE SAME TIME,
THERE’S THIS LOSS OF JOBS IN WEST CENTRAL MICHIGAN
THAT GOES FAR BEYOND ELECTROLUX. AND IT SEEMS TO ME
LIKE THERE’S A GROWING CHASM BETWEEN THE HAVES
AND THE HAVE-NOTS. SO, PLEASE JOIN ME. I’M VERY HAPPY TO FINALLY HAVE
SOME OF MY CARS IN ONE LOCATION. SO PLEASE JOIN ME. THIS IS THE ADDITION
OF THE HOUSE… Narrator: GORDON STAUFFER LIVES
DOWN THE ROAD FROM SANDY’S FARM. HIS LAKESIDE HOME IS A SHOWCASE FOR THE HIGH-END APPLIANCES
HIS COMPANY MANUFACTURES. REFRIGERATOR/FREEZER IN
STAINLESS STEEL, INSIDE AND OUT. STAUFFER IS FOUNDING CEO
OF NORTHLAND, ONE OF GREENVILLE’S
LAST WORKING FACTORIES. HIS COMPANY IS RIDING A WAVE OF
NEW CONSUMPTION BY THE WEALTHY. Stauffer:
WE CERTAINLY ANTICIPATED THAT THERE WOULD BE GROWTH IN THE SUPER-HIGH-END PORTION
OF THE HOME-APPLIANCE INDUSTRY. THERE WERE PROBABLY
MORE MILLION-DOLLAR HOMES BUILT LAST YEAR THAN ANY TIME
IN OUR HISTORY. AND THERE IS A LOT OF DISPOSABLE
INCOME GOING TO SECOND HOMES, HIGH-END SECOND HOMES. AND WHEN THEY BUILD
THESE HIGH-END SECOND HOMES, THEY EXPECT AN ICE MAKER. VERY, VERY GOOD ICE. THEY EXPECT A WINE COOLER. THEY EXPECT ALL
OF THESE HIGH-END APPLIANCES. PET FOOD,
ICE FOR THE PET’S WATER. THE HOT TUB
IS RIGHT THROUGH THOSE DOORS. Narrator:
TRENDS IN THE APPLIANCE INDUSTRY REFLECT GROWING INEQUALITY
IN AMERICA. CEO SALARIES
ARE NOW MORE THAN 250 TIMES THE AVERAGE WORKER’S PAY. Lui: THE NUMBER OF PRODUCTS
PRODUCED PER WORKERS HAS ACTUALLY GONE UP. HOWEVER, WORKERS HAVE NOT SHARED IN THE BENEFITS
OF THAT GREATER PRODUCTIVITY. IT HAS GONE TO THOSE
AT THE TOP OF THE PAY SCALE WITHIN THE COMPANIES. Narrator: AND WHERE YOU STAND
ON THE ECONOMIC LADDER IS A GOOD PREDICTOR OF HEALTH. Marmot: THE HIGHER THE GRADE,
THE BETTER THE HEALTH. THE LOWER THE GRADE,
THE HIGHER THE MORTALITY RATE AND THE SHORTER
THE LIFE EXPECTANCY IN THIS REMARKABLY GRADED
PHENOMENON. SO IF YOU WERE SECOND
FROM THE TOP, YOU HAD WORSE HEALTH
THAN IF YOU WERE AT THE TOP. IF YOU WERE THIRD FROM THE TOP, YOU HAD WORSE HEALTH THAN IF YOU
WERE SECOND FROM THE TOP — ALL THE WAY FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. Stauffer:
I HAVE BEEN VERY BLESSED, AND I’VE HAD EXCEPTIONAL HEALTH. I DO LIKE TO WORK OUT. IN FACT, I’M WAITING FOR THIS
CONSTRUCTION TO BE COMPLETED SO THAT I CAN PUT MY BASKETBALL
COURT BACK IN OPERATION, BECAUSE I STILL PLAY BASKETBALL. Narrator: STAUFFER
AND OTHER WEALTHY AMERICANS HAVE MORE OPTIONS, RESOURCES, AND POWER
TO CONTROL THEIR LIVES — ALL CONTRIBUTING
TO BETTER HEALTH. Stauffer:
I TOLD GEORGE W. THAT I HAD A PHOTOGRAPH
OF MYSELF WITH HIS MOTHER. HE SAID,
“THAT’S THE ONE TO KEEP. KEEP THAT PHOTOGRAPH.” THERE IS A PERCEPTION THAT
THE CEO GETS ALL OF THE STRESS. ACTUALLY, IF YOU’RE A GOOD CEO, MAYBE YOU GIVE THE STRESS
RATHER THAN GET THE STRESS. Marmot:
AUTONOMY, CONTROL, EMPOWERMENT TURNS OUT TO BE A CRUCIAL
INFLUENCE ON HEALTH AND DISEASE. PEOPLE WHO ARE DISEMPOWERED,
PEOPLE WHO DON’T HAVE AUTONOMY, PEOPLE WHO HAVE LITTLE CONTROL
OVER THEIR LIVES ARE AT INCREASED RISK
OF HEART DISEASE, INCREASED RISK
OF MENTAL ILLNESS, IN THE WHITEHALL STUDIES, INCREASED RISK
OF ABSENCE FROM WORK AND INCREASED RISK
OF DECREMENTS IN FUNCTIONING. Repair and Synchronization by
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