Economic Justice includes the availability of high-quality employment opportunities that are safe and pay living wages, ownership of assets such as homes and businesses by community members, taxation policies that benefit all members of a community, and the equitable distribution of wealth and resources.
Economic Justice & Latino Health
Economic Justice is closely tied to health – individuals with higher incomes, more permanent and stable jobs, and accumulated assets and wealth tend to have better health outcomes. Economic justice in communities generates feelings of security, which can reduce stress. It also allows individuals to afford health-promoting goods and services, such as healthier foods and health insurance. Economic stability also increases opportunities for families to access higher education.
Money—getting it, saving it, managing it, and sometimes borrowing it—is key to nearly
everything we do in life: buying a home, going to college, starting a business, retiring with
dignity, and passing something along to the next generation. Everyone should have access to the tools they need to earn, save, manage and grow their money. Banks and other financial institutions should invest in communities of color. And they should treat all customers fairly—regardless of factors like race, income or language.
Few people would deny that there are many advantages of having more income or wealth. Nevertheless, apart from the well-known link between economic resources and being able to afford health insurance and medical care, their influence on health has received relatively little attention from the general public or policy-makers, despite a large body of evidence from studies documenting strong and pervasive relationships between income, wealth and health. The evidence tells us that these relationships are based not just on how economic resources can affect our access to medical care, but also on how they enable us to live in safer homes and neighborhoods, buy healthier food, have more leisure time for physical activity, and experience less health-harming stress. Understanding the importance of the links between income, wealth and health can inform policies aiming to achieve better health for all Americans while reducing social disparities in health.
This paper reviews the evidence on the well-known positive association between socioeconomic status and health. We focus on four dimensions of socioeconomic status — education, financial resources, rank, and race and ethnicity — paying particular attention to how the mechanisms linking health to each of these dimensions diverge and coincide. The extent to which socioeconomic advantage causes good health varies, both across these four dimensions and across the phases of the lifecycle. Circumstances in early life play a crucial role in determining the co-evolution of socioeconomic status and health throughout adulthood. In adulthood, a considerable part of the association runs from health to socioeconomic status, at least in the case of wealth. The diversity of pathways casts doubt upon theories that treat socioeconomic status as a unified concept