The book Beyond Borders by Paula Rothenberg is a succinct compilation of mini essays, that range from 3 to twenty pages, pertaining to socioeconomic issues around the globe. Personally I love what the author has done with this book, as these are issues that face society on a daily basis. It brings light to poverty, lack of access to healthcare, awful living conditions, sparse food supply and much more to the table. These problems should be brought to the attention to college students, particularly in the United States, because we are walking on easy street compared to many third world countries around the planet.
Let’s face it, we live in a globalized society. We import and export goods from all over the world and deal with people within organizations that may not speak English as a first language. It is important to be sensitive to other cultures, their values and the problems they face that most Americans cannot comprehend.
This article focuses on healthcare and lack thereof in third world countries. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a pandemic across the world, yet no one wants to address the issue. I believe that for $7.50 per person per year is a small price to pay and yet it seemingly has no impact on the Western world. Also, the diseases such as malaria and those caused by nutrient deficiencies can be eradicated with simple measures. Fly nets, bug spray and clean water are very accessible to us; but in Ethiopia and the like, they are next to impossible to obtain.
These social issues are downplayed as many people in industrialized countries have a “let them eat cake” attitude toward the poor and underprivileged. This article brings this hypocritical behavior into full focus. The Macroeconomics of Health are a substantial aspect to the call to action. Clearly, the people of Ethiopia and other underdeveloped countries lack basic necessities that we Americans take for granted. Plenty of healthy food, clean water, and healthcare are a luxury and the author wants us to see this as such.
There are people who lay ill or even dead alongside roadways in Ethiopia. It is a common sight over there and this article simply attempts to enhance global awareness of these atrocities. Just to re-iterate, we live in a global society and we should know what plagues other parts of the world outside the United States. The greatest lesson learned from this book is to show the existing needs of so many people and how so few are actually in the field trying to help. It exemplifies the crucial elements of humanitarianism and the understanding of humanity; both the positive and negative aspects. The single section of Macroeconomics of Health, along with this article and many other essays regarding poverty around the globe are a simple, yet powerful, message that should be sent to young people preparing to embark on their future.