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Episode 36 - Dr. Claude Welch: Spotlight on Human Rights: Economic Rights in the United States

Monday, December 28, 2009, 8:38:41 AM

Image of Dr. Claude Welch

In this episode, Dr. Claude Welch, Jr. explains his contention that human rights can be violated as a result of economic structures. Currently, the issues involved in our response to the economic crisis and U.S. health care reform speak to our society's commitment to protect the human rights of its citizens. Dr. Welch describes the economic conditions that underlie problems such as poverty, housing, and working conditions that create inequality in a wealthy, capitalist society such as the United States.

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Average Rating: 4.5 stars (8 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 5stars  not bad, Sunday, April 03, 2011

By Anjum S Kashmiri :

I really found it interesting that the income tax was built into the US Constitution. Even I did not know this and I used to be a Political Science major. I found the end of the discussion to be somewhat interesting. I loved the websites that were recommended and especially freerice.org that gives rice to poor people that answer the SAT questions correctly. What I already knew and found obvious was the part about voting, writing letters to politicians and representatives, being involved in your government at both state and federal levels, and charity work.

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Average Rating: 4stars  economic and human rights, Thursday, March 31, 2011

By Treena Rawlins :

This was a very interesting podcast. I haven't given much thought to economic human rights prior to listening to the podcast. The most interesting part of the podcast was the differences between America and Canada and their responsiveness to criticism. I think the podcast could provide some more macro-level solutions.

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Average Rating: 5stars  economic rights, Friday, January 28, 2011

By Suzanne O'Brien :

It was interesting and very true to hear Dr. Welch emphasize that in the United States we tend to place an importance on civil and political rights versus economic rights. The structural aspects of economic disparities are in place and have changed very little as compared to 100 years ago. Federal laws provide for furthering economic disparities within the U.S., and we as consumers further exasperate these disparities by shopping at Walmart for example.
Understanding that economic and human rights security is very expensive is another interesting point. The three strikes rule Dr. Welch mentions is very expensive, yet supported by many people. The idea of rehabilitating felons is almost repulsive to those in power.
Dr. Welch also mentions that without organization, those affected by these disparities, lack a voice. His example of the AARP versus the population of youth who continue to lose funding for education is one that speaks loudly. While numbers are important, it is more important to organize and voice your frustrations in such a manner as to be heard by those with the power to bring about gradual change.
I also thought how seldom economic rights are discussed. Dr. Welch made some very good recommendations as to how, we as single people can make a difference. Donating to our local food pantry is just a small way to bring about change. He also suggested websites that with our involvement will donate much needed supplies to those in need. Eachone of us can make a difference if we make the effort to gradually move toward the recognition of economic rights.

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Average Rating: 4stars  even a little can make a difference, Friday, July 23, 2010

By Stacey :

I think Dr. Welch is correct when he states that many US citizens believe our country is one that has achieved success and therefore believe other countries should follow our example. We have been successful but we need to look at our failures as well. As an advanced country we fall behind in so many areas, areas that need to be reformed. One of those areas is strengthening the economic rights of the poor. We don't have to fight for change on a macro level, we can take little steps right in our back yard that will help make a difference. Economic rights are a big issue, but even those without power can make an impact. He made a statement a long the lines that money is powerful, numbers are powerful, but its the organizations that give the voice to those in need. People at the local level can speak out at meetings, stand behind or reject bills, vote, or even simply give food to a near by pantry to make a difference. Often it is the poor that don't vote, so they rely on those who form formal organization to give their cause a need. We can join those local organizations and still make a difference.

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Average Rating: 5stars  taking action, Wednesday, July 21, 2010

By Vincent T. Primiano :

This is an interesting podcast of which has addressed an issue of which is brought up very often. Distribution of wealth is a viewpoint of which Americans seem to overwhelmingly stray away from, from those I have discussed it with as well as in the media. With a very small percentage of the country owning the majority of the wealth, and a significantly large amount of the population living in poverty, I would agree with Dr. Welch that our society is definitely a more capitalist society, and does not recognize the economic needs of those without, often missing even basic needs on a regular basis. I believe that there will come a point, hopefully soon, when the people in need will have a new leader to create awareness and action, similar to that of which we have seen in the past, or even in the present with the gay community. Political action and representation in numbers is something that has been shown in the past to make major contributions towards distribution of the wealth, and I only hope I can be a major part of it.

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Average Rating: 5stars  economic disparities, Tuesday, July 20, 2010

By Samantha Goodson :

This is an interesting Podcast to listen to as the "Bush Tax Cuts" are on the verge on sunsetting. It is basically a discussion of the sort of philosophy behind such tax cuts. Dr. Welch repeatedly brings up the idea that US citizens often respond so strongly to issues of "civil rights" in the Untied States, but somehow the connection to economic rights isn't made. He also talks about the fact the Americans tend to have strong emotional reactions to images of poverty in Third World Countries, and often tend to view such economic conditions only in such contexts, but when it it, as Dr. Welch says, an image of a child of illegal immigrants living in poverty in the US the reactions are much different, and far more negative. Dr. Welch's discusses the way American values are reflected in the economic disparities in this country, and certainly an interesting dicussion to listen to at this particular time in US politics and social policy.

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Average Rating: 4stars  economic and social rights, Monday, March 01, 2010

By Sonia :

This pod cast relates very closely to our class discussion on social class division in the United States. I think about causes of poverty that are mostly structural. Overall I found this discussion very interesting because I have taken a class with Professor Claude Welch and he inspires you to think critically and look at social issues from a global lens.
Economic, cultural and social rights are a crucial part of a person’s life and well-being. Lack of focus on these issues plays a big part in marginalization of a large part of the population in this country. I think acknowledging people cultures and the importance of their place in society is a great way to validate and show appreciation. I appreciate this conversation between Mr. Sabota and Professor Welch because they addressed economic and social injustice as a domestic issue; acknowledging that they are usually discussed as problems affecting only developing nations. Dr Welch goes over a piece of the United States’ economical past and how the economic gap in this country has remained the same. I appreciate the comparison with the Canadian system because it highlights the difference in standards of living and quality of life between countries that are so close.
Dr Welch mentioned that conscious steps must be taken to alleviate the injustices fostered by the capitalist system. It is interesting to imagine the difference a few structural changes might make. Between the United States and Canada it is interesting to see the differences in housing and health care policies and how people’s lives are affected. Dr Welch mentions how security is very expensive, how all people are entitled to basic human rights. I relate this to discussions we’ve has on housing and unsafe neighborhood where there is a concentration of low income people. I found it particularly enlightening how economic human rights are discussed in terms of simple human issues like health care, nutrition and housing

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Average Rating: 4stars  nice integration of social work and political science, Tuesday, February 02, 2010

By Kristen E. :

I was drawn to this podcast as a worker in the field of child welfare. I see economic disparity on a daily basis in my own community. The area where I reside has seen a substantial loss of manufacturing jobs over the years, recent high unemployment, and significant poverty for at least the last two decades. Dr. Welch discussed how the people who are struggling significantly financially may not be motivated to vote or engage in other political activism because they are trying to meet other basic needs such as food and housing. I have seen first hand how the struggle to make ends meet and provide the basics can consume families until they have no energy left to advocate for their rights. I think it is important to be aware of the disparity and assist people in any way possible as Dr. Welch mentions from donating food to writing to legislators.
This podcast focused on the differences between Canada and the United States in regard to economics. I am very interested now in reading the book mentioned as I would like to learn more about the progressive policies that Canada has adopted. Often I hear criticism of the health care system in Canada and that we should be afraid that this country is going to adopt similiar practices. I know that the health care system in this country is not working and believe that other avenues need to be explored.
It is difficult to look at the current economic disparity in the United States and realize that I am contributing to it by shopping with companies who monopolize markets. It is easy to blame others and not look to one's own actions as part of the equation.
I also related to Dr. Welch's comments about the quick response by many to help people in other countries before helping people in this country. Those in our communities that are severly poor should be our first focus and are often dismissed too readily due to lack of understanding.



























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