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freedomLittle needs to be said about the growing gap between the rich and the poor. We are all acutely aware that the economic elite in the United States has almost absolute control of our government and that, as least for the last forty years, it has successfully instituted policies that have made the rich richer and the poor poorer. On a global level the World Bank, the IMF and the World Trade organization have in a similar manner created and enforced policies that sink poor countries in hopeless debt and make it very difficult for them to develop economically. These policies also serve to maintain, and in many cases increase, the gap between the rich and the poor within countries.

The Connection With Health:

The federal government of the United states, in its Institute of Medicine 2003 report "The Future of the Public's Health in the 21st Century," states on page 59: "more egalitarian societies (i.e. those with a less steep differential between the richest and the poorest) have better average health." If fact, the biggest gains in health are not to be found in technological advances so much as in increasing economic equity. This would, of course, mean that the resources that are available would be distributed more fairly. But over and above access to needed medicines and services, it has been found the inequity in income, in and of itself, has a negative impact on the health of all citizens – rich and poor.

Also one has to consider the profoundly negative impact that an economic system in which profit is the only bottom line has on the ecological stability of the planet. The health implications of this fact cannot be overstated. The very survival of the species may be at stake.