Dying for Growth: Global Inequality and the Health of the Poor

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Jim Yong Kim, Joyce V. Millen, Alec Irwin, John Gershman
Common Courage Press, 2000 - Medical - 584 pages
Is economic "growth" killing the poor? The Institute for Health and Social Justice brings us the answers in Dying for Growth. An extraordinary collection of fourteen hard-hitting case studies from Haiti to the US, Dying for Growth exposes the interests behind a system that consigns a fifth of the world's population to live (and die) on less than a dollar a day. Rooted in the lives of people waging heart-wrenching struggles against a new, systemic form of poverty, these studies don't just document inequality -- they pinpoint its underlying causes.

Looking at the effects of international restructuring strategies on the poor, the increasing control trans-national corporations exert over world health, and the impact of U.S. drug policy on global inequality, Dying for Growth debunks the myths of global capitalism, including:

Myth: Throwing loans at developing nations will cure poverty.

Fact: As shown in "Sickness Amidst Recovery: Public Debt and Private Suffering in a Peruvian Shanty Town", loans can make things worse.

Myth: Getting rid of big government automatically improves the standard of living.

Fact: Cutting services can lead to calamity, as detailed in "Neoliberal Economic Policy, State Desertion and the Russian Health Crisis". Myth: The free market is a panacea.

Fact: There's nothing liberating about modern capitalism, as demonstrated in "'Todo Bajo Control': The Costs of 'Free' Trade to Mexican Maquiladora Workers".

Dying for Growth concludes with an extensive section on alternatives to standard models. Included is a chapter on health and revolution in Cuba, "The Threat of a Good Example", and a plan for action, "Pragmatic Solidarity: What You Can Do".

With passionrarely found in works of comparable analytic rigor, Dying for Growth tells the stories of people trapped in the machine of growth, and compels readers to recognize that the problem of inequality is not one of insufficient resources, nor even of inefficiency -- the problem is power.

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