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05/21/2021

CUNY's Nick Freudenberg Discusses His Just-Published Work, "At What Cost, Modern Capitalism and the Future of Health" (May 20th)

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As the book's dust jacket notes, At What Cost, Modern Capitalism and the Future of Health [ recently published by Oxford University Press] confronts how globalization, financial speculation, monopolies, and control of science and technology have enhanced the ability of corporations and their allies to overwhelm influences of government, family, community, and faith.  As corporations manipulate demand through skillful marketing and veto the choices that undermine their bottom line, free consumer choice has all but disappeared, and with it, the personal protections guarding our collective health.  At What Cost argues that the world created by 21st-century capitalism is simply not fit to solve our most serious public health problems, from climate change to opioid addiction.  

This 32-minute interview opens with Professor Freudenberg commenting on the relationship between our economic model and public health in context of the current pandemic.   The discussion moves on Professor Freudenberg describing attributes associated with, or the problems related to, neoliberalism, the negative effects neoliberalism/American capitalism has had on what he terms the five pillars of well being, specifically food and healthcare, the health care industry's role and responsibility in addressing capitalism's negative effects and concludes with an overview of Part III of his work, or solutions he identifies to temper modern American capitalism.  

Nicholas Freudenberg is Distinguished Professor of Public Health at City University of New York School of Public Health and Freudenberg-1 Director of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute.  Professor Freudenberg is also founder and director of Healthy CUNY, a university-wide initiative to improve the health of CUNY’s 274,000 students in order to support their academic success.  Professor Freudenberg was also founder and first director of the CUNY School of Public Health’s Doctor of Public Health program.  For the past 35 years, he has worked in sum to plan, implement and evaluate health policies and programs to improve living conditions and reduce health inequalities in low income communities in New York City and elsewhere.  Among numerous other publications, he is also the author of Lethal But Legal Corporations, Consumption and Protecting Public Health (Oxford, 2014 and 2016).    Professor Freudenberger earned his BS from CUNY and his MPH and DPH from Columbia University.  

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