Essay on The Body Economic : Why Austerity Kills

1660 Words 7 Pages
In their book “The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills”, David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu scrutinize the impact of economic policy to the life and death of the world’s population during recession. To serve their purpose, they discover the term “body economic” which is defined as “a group of persons organized under a common set of economic policies; a people whose lives are collectively affected by these policies” (p. 139). They argue that the neoliberal austerity policy has lethal impact and cause unnecessary sufferings to human-being while stimulus policy creates better health and economic outcomes. Through their book, they call for a change of paradigm in dealing with recession, that the governments should protect “the community’s most basic health needs: healthcare, housing, and jobs” when extreme reduction of public spending became the terms of international economic policy. Briefly, the message from the book can be summarized in “recessions can hurt, but austerity kills”.
Contribution to existing literatures
“The Body Economic” gives an original contribution to the ongoing debates amongst the economist as well as the public health experts on the backwards of austerity. The book is in conjunction with a number of publications in the economic fields which argue that austerity inhibits economic growth therefore needs to be reexamined if not ended (Herndon et al., 2013, O 'Brien, 2014, Végh, 2014). It also advances the arguments of public health experts on the danger of…

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