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How do you define poverty?

over 2 years ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

One challenge in determining a target for the Poverty Reduction Strategy is that Canada does not have an “official definition” of poverty or a consistent way to measure it. In fact, many countries do not. It is difficult to define poverty as it is such a personal experience. For one person, it may be a lack of income, while another may experience poverty because they face barriers to their inclusion in society.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded

  • 501130 over 2 years ago
    Poverty is defined in both relative and absolute terms. Absolute poverty measures poverty in the relation to the amount of money required for basic needs such as food shelter and clothing. Absolute poverty is not concerned with an individuals or families quality of life only that necessary basic needs are met.Relative Poverty is in relation to the economic status of other members of society. People are poor if they fall below a certain standard of living.Both are concerned with Income and Consumption and should be criticized.What is more important is to understand the social determinants of health and lack of human rights beyond the economic part when looking to define poverty.
  • Lisa Zigler almost 3 years ago
    I understand what poverty is and what it can look like by what I see and also what I do not see. When I am downtown in St. John's, NL on a cold winter's day with blowing snow and strong winds and I see someone on the sidewalk cuddling with their dog to try to keep warm, I see poverty. I see a system that is not working.When I learn of the increased use of food banks here in Newfoundland and Labrador, I think of the downturn of our economy; of the loss of good jobs out West in Alberta and the ripple effect this has had for many people here. I see those who were once employed, despondent because they are standing in line at a food bank trying to figure out how two bags of food will sustain their family until the next cheque comes in. I see a loss of hope. When I see women with children who come to our women's centre wearing three sweaters because they must choose between rent, food or heat, I see the despair of poverty. I know that these women often go without, especially if they have children. When I watch the news and see reports of people who are desperate for drugs that will numb their pain, I see the impact of exclusion; I see stigma and I see a lack of services. I see a criminal justice system that will punish instead of range of services that will help. As a social worker working in the field of mental health and addictions, I see those that we refer to as having "complex needs" struggle to find and maintain housing, find adequate support, and for whom finding a friend, a job and a sense of community, is something they may never experience, I see the impact of poverty. When I point out gaps and barriers to those who make decisions about funding and services, I sometimes hear, "no we can't do that". When I know that a single person on income support (welfare) here has to exist on just over $500/month, I get angry at this injustice. When I hear discussions about how this person needs to learn how to "budget", I wish those who judge could walk in their shoes. When I sit at meetings and hear about how so many people are couch surfing, sleeping on the floor, or living in rooming houses that are not fit to be in, I think about how we need to do so much better. When I see our Federal Government finally talking about developing a Poverty Reduction Strategy and a Housing Strategy, I feel hope. I think, its about time. It is time for concrete action. It is time to listen and to respond in ways that will make a real difference. I will continue to bring this hope to my work in collaborating with other key stakeholders, including all levels of government, and especially with those that experience poverty, to make the kind of difference that I know we can make; changes that we must make. What does poverty look like? Open your door and take a look. Open your eyes and take action.
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    • jorge almost 3 years ago
      Lisa, you are bringing in an important view on how poverty looks like on an individual level. I tend to bring up institutionalized poverty which ultimately ends up on what you can see. Previously you brought up the stigmatization of welfare, which in my opinion is a double standard mindset. When welfare is used to help victims of an economic system (inflation driven) working against them, it is set up vilifying its beneficiary. In the other hand, when welfare is used by institutions it is glorified. The problem itself is not welfare but how it is implemented. Many people don't actually recognize they do a living on welfare, most people would believe welfare is used only by excluded people. I'm going to give a few examples of people living in -actually everyone- welfare whom might not realize they are direct beneficiaries: Government employees and contractors, energy and utilities, and all users of the services provided by those beneficiaries. Government spending is welfare. Even 'self-made' people are actually welfare beneficiaries as they sell goods and services to people that would not be able to pay for it unless government spending using infrastructure developed by government or they would sell products and services with added value derived from government spending, in many cases using a larger share but contributing disproportionately less. This adds up to the poverty transfer while increasing inflation. That person you saw struggling for heat, that person struggling to pay for utilities and that person struggling to make ends meet is the result of the regressive transfer from the poor to the rich. They all struggle for domestic resources (energy in the example you gave) that are given disproportionately to business without accounting for people's needs. One of the predatory practice is, adding value to those resources which its monetary gains are not reinvested in a sustainable economy. You do see all this when factories use coal or nuclear energy which is about 3-6 cents per KWh to export value added products which its profits are retained in a bank without reinvesting it on the very place giving this business welfare while excluded people must pay from 10-20 cents per KWh for the very same resource. If you account as welfare the difference of utility cost, 4-17 cents per KWh which is not reinvested on opportunities to exclude people, you do see the regressive part but the sustainability part is a bit harder to see. One way to see the sustainability of those 4-17 cents per KWh is comparing it to the cost of opportunity of solar and wind. Both are under 12cents per KWh (6-12cents) with the added value of giving local job opportunities as well as cheaper utility cost to the poor with a sustainable energy source. It would be good to see sustainable housing projects with a complete sustainable mindset.
    • Slee almost 3 years ago
      It's what people don't see and what they can never really understand if they haven't lived it.Being poor is a daily struggle to survive. It takes the smallest problem to overwhelm an already overwhelmed person. It is feeling hope fade. Dreams disappear. It is an awareness of situation that comes early to a child of poverty as they face prejudice and social stigma. It is not taking that opportunity because your life experience has made you believe you are not worthy of it.Poverty means being scared every day. Scared of not having enough food. Of not being able to pay the rent. Of not being able to afford to get to work. Of getting sick and having no income. Not being able to afford your medicine. Scared of having your heat shut off. Scared of being homeless. Poverty is feeling shame, humility and guilt every day. For using a food bank. For having to fill out forms to prove how poor you are so your kids can use a pool. For having to prove how poor you are in order to ask for help for housing. For having to ask anyone for help. For not being able to give your child the money for a school trip. For being asked to bring pot luck at work knowing you can't afford the food. Staying isolated so others can't know your circumstances. Feeling like the world is against you without ever knowing you. Being poor is having fewer opportunities. It's understanding your 'place'. It's living in a basement full of mould because the only option is the street. It's moving in with your kids and grandkids because you lost your job at 55 and never recovered. It's moving in with your parents at 35 because despite having a job, you can't afford to pay rent and live. It's being invisible. It's knowing your teeth are rotting and pulling them yourself. It's finding out you need new glasses and walking away when they tell you the cost. It's cutting your medicine in half or quarters to stretch it out. It's being publicly shamed when people talk about the poor having access to a cell phone or the internet - without ever considering the working poor might need it for employment. It's hearing politicians talk about tightening your belt, when you can't notch yours any more. It's parents who teach stigma and exclusion to their kids by allowing friendships based on zip code. It's politicians and teachers and society that tell you daily that you should be smarter, work harder, try harder, get more education - without ever knowing you - and blaming you for not being all the things they think you should be while heaping labels on you - lazy, uneducated,welfare bum, loser, user.Poverty is hidden - it's the family who live 3 generations in a small apartment. It's the senior on fixed income who eats once a day while trying to pay rent that's eating up 60% of her income. It's the women who stay in abusive relationships because having been poor, they understand if they leave the abuse, they end up poor and that scares them. It's the million people you never notice because shame keeps them away from programs that might help them - taking help means you are exposing your circumstance and opening yourself up to ridicule and finger pointing. Accepting help means admitting your poverty and that in itself can cause more anxiety.Poverty is not always what we see.It is a state of being that permeates the soul of a person.Poverty is the crushing weight of struggle to survive in a world that condemns you for being poor.When I look around at where we are today, I have to wonder how little progress we have really made in our attitude and reduction in poverty over a few hundred years. Sometimes it's like we moved the goal posts so the issues are the same but we add on other policies to soften the reality. No more child labour. No more work houses. Great. Social housing blocks where we warehouse the poor. Women who still feel that a bad relationship is better than being poor. Kids whose labour might now be inside the home helping raise other kids or taking care of parents with addiction.We watched as a million women marched, primarily against a political figure - when was the last time you ever saw a million women or men march to demand change in policies that would affect them all? Water, food and shelter are not basic human rights in our country and maybe we should start there.
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      • jorge almost 3 years ago
        All you've said makes poverty an endless cycle. It would be best preventing poverty which is not possible under current socioeconomic settings.
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        • pclancey56@hotmail.com almost 3 years ago
          Poverty IS an endless cycle! I've been there, done that when my son became ill with cancer and I had no choice but to leave my job to take care of him! People who sit on their high horse looking down on people who live in poverty are the greatest contributors to poverty because they think they are experts in everything but you are an expert in nothing if you haven't lived it!
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          • jorge almost 3 years ago
            I do agree with you. The current socioeconomic system place women at increased risk of becoming poor. I've wrote this before but as comments grows in this forum you might not see my stance at first glance. I do have various proposals that would lift women out of poverty while making sure women won't slide back to poverty. It just don't stop there, as I also propose an active system which would be looking for the poor to step out of poverty as contrary to the current system where the poor must look for help and might not find it at all. That being said, I also propose a sensible system based on the needs of the poor in which women has specific gender basic necessities in order to earn a living such as child care. This also means that women needs a voice at all socioeconomic levels. Different from political leaders, I also propose the inclusion of men into the strategy of lifting women out of poverty because you can't fight sexism with even more sexism. This reduces polarization and increases the rate of change to a positive direction. It is not true at all that being a man intrinsically prevents the understanding of women needs, it rather extends the multiple views available to solve women needs so long the person actually wants to solve it. You may have a government completely constituted by women and yet have no advances of long term women's needs. It is more important that people have better integrated solutions to the needs which actually solves the problem in a way that everyone or the majority agree with.
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            • pclancey56@hotmail.com almost 3 years ago
              I do understand you are offering solutions, but no one looks at where the real problems lie. One great solution to ending poverty with older women is to make businesses stop discriminating against older women on the basis of age. You send them a resume, they call you for an interview but as soon as you walk into their office you know from the way they are acting that you are not getting hired. The only jobs older women get hired for is doing the hard labour jobs like working at hotels as housekeepers/room attendants that no one else wants! We also need people working in offices that are supposed to help people get off their rear ends and actually help the people they are supposed to be helping. I called the labor standards board once to report a problem I was having at my work and all I got was "so you think you will be able to work there after we go in and check it out" and they did nothing. The 3 month probationary period should be done away with, all it does is give employers a out to fire you for no reason.
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              • jorge almost 3 years ago
                I do agree with you as I previously said women is at greater risk of poverty in elderly years. I've wrote: ''Women is more susceptible to poverty because biologically will outlive men on elderly years where fixed income is a poverty driver as inflation kicks in. This fixed income might be low just because retirement funds came from an underpaid job adding up to the struggle.'' In the case you've described the under paid job is a seasonal job with no real prospects of full employment. If you read my post on multi-tiered minimum wages, I proposed a solution based on minimum wages that would account for this practices. It's a long read but in a nutshell it would define partial unemployment which could be used to reward business with fair employment practices. It's based on creating a socially responsible business environment. I also suggest you to read the budget where you might find new opportunities and comment here if those measures actually helps you out. There's a measure for caregiving that I would like to hear if might help you in some way, as there is a measure for employment of people that have been out of a job for a long period of time, and training options for better jobs. I guess you agree with me on a innovative approach in which the mindset would actively take you out of poverty where the aid given actually works out for you.
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                • pclancey56@hotmail.com almost 3 years ago
                  I do agree on intiatives that do actually help people and do not judge people. I have gone to post secondary school 3 times, once to university and twice to college, it has done absolutely nothing toward helping me get a job. I'm not sure what you mean when you refer to caregiving but I don't need caregiving, I need a job where I don't have to work like a dog at my age. I hate being looked at like I have two heads and people wondering what the hell I'm doing looking for a job competing with teenagers for the same job. I'm out there because our government thinks 60 year olds should be working! I am single with no support. If there is a link to the budget I would love to see what might be available to me.
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                  • jorge almost 3 years ago
                    This is the link http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/plan/toc-tdm-en.html When I said caregiving, I meant that you already have experience in caregiving and there is something on the budget that might be help you out here https://twitter.com/kenthehr/status/846471911764905986 If that's not enough you might also look up here too http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2017/03/29/prime-minister-announces-support-high-quality-affordable-child-care-across-country You might benefit from giving high quality affordable care as a direct supplier of the service. This means you could be self- employed bypassing discrimination from employers. Maybe caregiving is not your desired option, in that case please search the budget to look up more opportunities for you. In the mean time you can always post in this forum which measures could be adopted to help you out.
                  • jorge almost 3 years ago
                    This link http://www.budget.gc.ca/2016/docs/plan/ch5-en.html#_Toc446106785 will direct you to this ''Restoring the Eligibility Ages of the Old Age Security Program As an essential part of the Government's plan to strengthen public pensions and improve the lives of Canadian seniors, the eligibility ages of the Old Age Security program will be restored. Budget 2016 proposes to cancel the provisions in the Old Age Security Act that increase the age of eligibility for Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits from 65 to 67 and Allowance benefits from 60 to 62 over the 2023 to 2029 period.Restoring the eligibility age for Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits to 65 will put thousands of dollars back in the pockets of Canadians as they become seniors. These benefits are an important part of the retirement income of Canadians, particularly for lower-income seniors. Vulnerable seniors depend on this support, and without it, face a much higher risk of living in poverty.''
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                    • pclancey56@hotmail.com almost 3 years ago
                      Why is it that couples can get the allowance at 60 but a single senior gets nothing at 60?60 year olds need to live too and not in poverty! Because I got divorced I'm not entitled to anything so I'm being punished for getting divorced.
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                      • jorge almost 3 years ago
                        There is a reality with global economics, no matter how well trained you are, since social responsibility is not required or required to a minimum, after 55yrs old the chances of having a good paying job drops drastically; not to mention having a job during the last 10yrs before reaching the retiring age which otherwise would be 68yrs old. That being said, were you really entitled to anything at all to begin with given the reality of the labor market? The effective answer is that you were not really entitled to anything as the socioeconomic system does not accounts for social responsibility of business. This is one aspect that I consider a part of the poverty creating system. It's nothing new, it is just something no one would discuss with the intention to fix it as it is an industry making money out bad practices. What I can do for you is give you hints on how to take advantage of what you are really entitled to and how to make money before reaching the retiring age -which was restored to 65yrs old. In the same page there is something that applies to single seniors: ''Increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement for Single SeniorsCanada's retirement income system has been successful in reducing the incidence of poverty among Canadian seniors. However, some seniors continue to be at heightened risk of living in low income. In particular, single seniors are nearly three times more likely to live in low income than seniors generally.Budget 2016 proposes to increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up benefit by up to $947 annually for the most vulnerable single seniors starting in July 2016, which will support those seniors who rely almost exclusively on Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits and may therefore be at risk of experiencing financial difficulties. This enhancement more than doubles the current maximum Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up benefit and represents a 10-per-cent increase in the total maximum Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits available to the lowest-income single seniors. This measure represents an investment of over $670 million per year and will improve the financial security of about 900,000 single seniors across Canada.Single seniors with annual income (other than Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits) of about $4,600 or less will receive the full increase of $947. Above this income threshold, the amount of the increased benefit will be gradually reduced and will be completely phased out at an income level of about $8,400. Benefits will be adjusted quarterly with increases in the cost of living.'' If you are interested in making money with caregiving I could give you few ideas.
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                        • pclancey56@hotmail.com almost 3 years ago
                          Thank you so much foe your feedback, I would love some ideas on caregiving, everything helps!
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                          • jorge almost 3 years ago
                            You are welcome. I have this idea that you might be able to adapt to your needs given this https://twitter.com/kenthehr/status/846471911764905986 If you could find 4 veterans living close together, let's say no more than 15 minutes apart, you'd be doing $48k/yr with this program. At this moment I'm not familiar with the specifics of this program, you might need to checkout if it is possible. If so, then you'd be working 5 days a week giving one hour to each veteran and less than one hour in travel time for a total of 5hrs a day of work earning a fulltime wage for 5yrs until you reach the retirement age. Since we are talking about caregiving to veterans it is reasonable to believe you'd be treated with dignity. The trick here in your case would be finding veterans whose needs you maybe able to meet in one hour. This might not be hard to find out as many veterans need assistance preparing their food. If this program allows this to happen then I could tell you how to implement technology creating jobs based on this program.
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                            • pclancey56@hotmail.com almost 3 years ago
                              I will see if I can find 4 veterans in my area whomight need assistance and will get back to you on this. I thank you for trying to help me. I am so tired of feeling like a lowlife because I've gotten older.
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                              • jorge almost 3 years ago
                                This is where technology might help connecting you with the people needing the service. First of all, check if the benefit for caregivers can be applied this way. It would be great if possible as you'd be lifted out of poverty while a veteran would find a service in short supply. This approach reflects the active part of lifting people out of poverty on you while the veteran would find the help. Technology could also be used to fund your job. I'll be waiting for your feedback on the feasibility of my idea.
                      • jorge almost 3 years ago
                        Maybe a measure giving you credit for the years you were married would open up a partial Allowance which would be a fair step in line with social responsibility and marital property laws. This is why women's voice is so important.
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                        • pclancey56@hotmail.com almost 3 years ago
                          If there is a way I could get credit for the years I was married that would entitle me to a partial allowance that would be wonderful! I would greatly appreciate anything that helps right now.
          • 501130 over 2 years ago
            Caregivers receive little credit and assistance when helping loved ones. If government does not want to provide the homecare services we need, they need to provide the financial assistance and labour laws so Caregivers can assist loved ones without job loss and financial penalties.
    • Brennan almost 3 years ago
      I agree with you regarding what is seen and not seen in relation to poverty. I live in Ontario in a very small town, and work in a nearby city. I also see poverty every day. People who cannot afford basic necessities, and people who struggle every darn day. People in my community on ODSP or OW who will buy one orange, one package of hamburger, one loaf of bread and one package of noodles for the week. They eat one meal a day. They don't have teeth because ODSP would not pay to have them fixed--only pulled, and then would not pay for dentures. I have seen people spend $45 per week on food for more than 18 months in order to get dentures. I have also known people who could not get dental care in northern communities because ODSP was too slow and sloppy with payments that the only dentist 60 miles away wouldn't take them as a patient anymore. I also see the complex needs. The developmentally handicapped person who lives with an elderly parent--what happens when the parent dies (as the tsunami of elderly boomer parents are set to do). The handicapped adult child will never have been associated with Community Living, or doesn't qualify because they never ever had an assessment to say they are handicapped, or they aren't "handicapped enough". They cannot get "a worker" to help them learn how to cook, or to arrange services or housing, or count change, or get away from an abusive boyfriend. They don't have other family, or have family who doesn't understand their needs or worse, will use their ODSP cheque on themselves. Poverty is not knowing who will look after you when you cannot look after yourself. Poverty is the single parent on welfare with no great social connections who dies after aspirating on vomit while having an unmedicated seizure, and her handicapped toddler also dying because there was nobody else...and nobody noticed. How about those living in group homes--where meals are made for you out of a box of packaged food that your landlord bought in bulk months ago, where you have not seen a piece of real fruit or raw veggies in months; where you get your medications handed to you, and the person dolling them out takes what they want first, but you can't prove it because they make you take them in front of them and there is no evidence; where you have to share a room with someone you are not related to and your bed is 1.5 feet away from theirs and you can't get away from them; where toilet paper is handed out...you don't get to choose 6 sheets over 4; where you never get a new pillow; where the Homes for Special Care worker thinks where you live is just fine because there are no vermin, and you do get food, and it is better than a place she has seen in Toronto? Or is poverty the person who has to go to a long line at the soup kitchen every night while battling the near constant voices in his head telling him someone is trying to poison him? Or is poverty having to move into one room in a house some guy renovates in his dead parents house and thinks he can rent it for most of your monthly cheque even though the plumbing trickles so that you can never have a bath, you have a hotplate to cook on, the electricity comes and goes, there are no smoke detectors, or fire doors or escapes, and you have to put up with someone else in the house who thinks they deserve your room because it is bigger, they eat your food and leave you with crumbs, and the landlord comes and goes when he wants to; you had cancer a long time ago, and have a wig, the same wig you have had for 20+ years because you can't afford another one, and of course ODSP doesn't cover, or you have had Crohn's disease and can't keep up with replacing your underwear as often as you need, so you never go to social programs like swimming or acquafit because it is just too embarrassing, and you can't afford a swimsuit anyway, and even if you could, you have metabolic syndrome caused by your psychiatric medications, and are embarrassed by how fat you have become? These scenarios and the people are real. The feelings behind these circumstances are more than anyone should have to bear. But they do. And they are amongst the most courageous people I know, and My Canada needs to do a better job. Poverty, whether financially caused, housing caused, socially caused, or health caused, makes my country so much less than it could be. I get angry when the taxes of the rich are proportionally so much less than those of others who can't afford it. Raising their taxes makes sense. Providing opportunity and enough money for services makes sense. I agree with the person who said we need to start with the basics, for everyone. Adequate food, adequate housing, adequate health care, adequate water and adequate opportunity. If we are not providing and protecting these basics for everyone then why are we spending so much on 150th anniversary celebrations, or on senate expenses or on other frivolous expenditures?
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      • jorge almost 3 years ago
        Brennan, I was the one saying I do believe in the creation of a comprehensive environment where people is able to meet all basic needs. When I wrote this I was talking about one particular case in housing where the current system let people slide into poverty. I do believe in a resilient system where once you are out of poverty, you will not go back into poverty. Saying this all alone would sound like empty words without telling you how to do so. However, that example is not comprehensive on its own. It goes hand in hand with other measures that boost the economy by giving people a better access to capital markets instead of excluding them, in a way that it is sensible to the needs of the poor. One post of mines all alone won't give you the full scope on how to do so, but all my post works as a unity. That being said, blaming the lack of basic necessities to frivolous spending is more a populist political pitch than a reality. You could be in the most austere system and it would actually increase poverty and lack of basic needs. The problem is not there but on issues no one to discuss as some people profits from poverty creation. Then again, saying so without an example would look like empty words. I could give you an example on healthcare but I would need to write down many things I'm not sure you know or anyone cares to fix. One simple measure would increase the access but the explanation is quite long.
  • veluvolurk almost 3 years ago
    I believe that 'Poverty is the strongest enemy every Country / Economy faces'. If we consider a country as a coin; The haves and Have not's (Poor) are the two sides of it. Poverty pose a great challenge to every country during the development. In my view, the main reasons for Poverty are; Unemployment - due to lack of opportunities, due to individual reasons like laziness, mental/physical disabilities, due to social inequalities, due to over exploitation, due to lack of motivation.Poverty deprives people from basic needs like food, bed and clothes. Poverty forces people to starve and even separates them from the society. Poverty is fasting for the day to save the remaining loaf of bread for tomorrow, because they have no resources to grab some food for the next days. Canada is country with vast resources. So, elimination of poverty shouldn't be major deal. Creation of employment by attracting entrepreneurs, providing pensions to eligible people, supporting agriculture are the better ways. I wish every country overcomes this problem in few years ultimately making this world a better place to live.
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    • jorge almost 3 years ago
      Poverty does not happens by chance or by personal choice. You will never wake up in morning being any wealthier but poorer. The economic system is completely based on creating poverty and exploit this condition as means of having power over you against your will or even against the law. Many women worked hard to have a STEM career (no one could ever say they are lazy) just to find themselves no one would hire them unless for the lowest ladders of opportunity with no intentions of better opportunities, not to mention many are diluted into other non STEM careers. This results in women not even searching for having a career on STEM to begging with as it cost money that chances tells they will never see it back from a job. This is not only common to women but also to minorities all over the world. You should rethink poverty based on reality not on demagogic terms which were conceived by the very ones creating poverty. Poverty is and will remain a permanent issues so long the economy is allowed to create it. In fact, poverty creation is rewarded by all governments. Don't believe it, how many did jail for stealing the pension of government employees? Basically none, very few or the lowest level tools. Would you consider as lazy all those government employees that at one time saw their retiring age increased? Fortunately it was restored but they are at an increased risk of poverty in elderly year due to the same demagogue stealing from the 'lazy.' Does it means poverty must be an intrinsic part of the society? No, it doesn't and it goes against all principles of liberty we fight for every single day.
    • 501130 over 2 years ago
      Having a lack of opportunities, disabilities, social inequalities, being exploited, stigmatized, and hungry is certainly not laziness... It's exhaustion.
  • Wayne McKay over 2 years ago
    A lack of access and ability to have choice over things which should be basic human rights (housing, transportation, recreation, health care, etc.).Poverty is cyclical and multi-generational and is impacted by community design, stigma and value laden government systems.
  • Emile S LeClerc over 2 years ago
    Poverty is having to choose between a bus ride to work or a meal. Poverty is having to collect bottles and cans. Poverty is being trapped in payday loan spiral. Poverty is choosing not to go to high school on snowy days to make money shoveling snow. Poverty is waking up early to get at the clothing that was donated to million $ corporations like value village. Poverty is eating cheap dollar store msg potato chips to fill hunger cravings. Poverty is never having the ability to be educated unless you get a student loan that shackles you to a form of debt slavery. Poverty is working crappy jobs for no benefits for short periods becsuse the company knows that people line up for the crappy job for the same low wages all the time. Poverty is missing meals. Poverty is being forced to let your teeth rot because of only being able to afford crappy psuedo dollar store food like noodles and pop because it is cheaper than milk or juice. Poverty means your lack of dentistry costs you the job that was just given to the person with awesome teeth and wardrobe. Poverty means courts throw the book at you, guilty or not because your poverty is very apparent and makes you appear weak with you lack of a lawyer or a crappy legal aid lawyer. Poverty can get generational. Sticking poor people together in the same neighborhood makes people think like the community around them. People in poverty lose the majority of court cases in child welfare and criminal matters. They end up with way stiffer penalties. Parents lose their housing due to not having kids with them. When system appears stacked against them they often falll deeper into traps. Children who live in poverty are often taught to live for today and not tomorrow. Adults who are raised in foster care or group homes often create a demographic of people who lack coping and lifeskills due to lack of family and being a part of the circle of life. As a result of the government thinking they can better raise kids, these adults end up living in poverty too. The cycle continues. The fact that there are generations of non-status indians and metis that the government does not recognize. These are people who come from all parts of Canada. They may have moved to other provinces in search of work. The government created 2 tiers of metis. Ine group has access to programs the other doesn't.
  • Kinz Alabi almost 3 years ago
    Municipal tax rates must be frozen. Thwe property tax cannot keep rising indefinitely. Our wages are not going up. Our property taxes in 2006 came to 8.5% of myn income. In 2016, property taxes consumed 11% of my income. That is double what i pay to the province of Ontario and almost equal to my Federal rate.The province of Ontario must elluiminate their surcharge and the must elliminate the Health premium.The Basic Personal Deduction must be doubled. Why does a person making just over $20,000 pay taxes ion the first place?The costs of the Cap and Trade programme were passed on to all consumers. Why? No business feels the need to be more energy efficient or clean if they can just pass the costs on to everyone else.This applies to the carbon tax, the plastic bag expense at groceries stores, eco-taxes...etc.).
  • Samie 55 almost 3 years ago
    My definition of poverty is the incapability of providing for your basic needs; such as, food clothing and most importantly shelter. Poverty is when one needs (expenses) is more than their income.
  • Kinz Alabi almost 3 years ago
    For my family, poverty means that the cost of living increases faster than our combined incomes. Utility bills, food, gasoline, education fees, etcetera, have all increased more than our wages. This means that more money is going to pay essential services (heat, hydro, telecommunications, education, transportation, housing, even repairs, etc) rather than being available for our children or our retirement.
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    • jorge almost 3 years ago
      I do agree with you, that's why price stability is key to prevent poverty and it's an engine to development and investments. Everyday essentials don't necessarily need to be tied up to inflation. In fact the way real capitalism works out is when domestic production is cheaper than imported, but the way many nations are doing devaluation of currencies makes domestic production costlier. This is by design not by chance as poverty creation became a business and a way to coerce you. Don't blame this one on politicians, you'd be surprised of the many people getting all the basic economics principles all wrong.
  • Marlene K almost 3 years ago
    Mar KayI believe that becoming a more self sustaining country, or even province, that we could cut most food costs. Have and support more farming in our own back yard. It should be cheaper to supply and to buy our own produce instead of paying for the high costs of transportation to several destinations instead of just one or two - from farmer to market/store, or from farmer to produce suppliers to stores would be cheaper that shipping from another countries farms to produce suppliers to the destinations countries produce supplier to the stores. That's gotta cost large in shipping. Besides, then we can monitor more accurately the safety and nutrition of our foods.The same should be applicable to clothing, linens, housewares, etc... .
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    • jorge almost 3 years ago
      You might want to take a look at this https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau/status/845347607866159104 It's a start, I do believe it could be better by integrating technology that it's not Canadian. There are other countries with far better innovations in this area. Canada has never dealt with limited agricultural space while other countries have many years dealing with this.
    • Navfelix almost 3 years ago
      Yes I agree with you, but cannot completely cut up from the World by rely on our produce. We'll instead be narrowing our own market and it will have a negative impact on the GDP of Canada. Canada can't love I'm isolation, they need to part of the World's trade which comes with more opportunities and foosters innovation.
  • Mike_S almost 3 years ago
    I define poverty as one not having their basic human needs met . Human beings need 3 basic things to live , 1. A warm and dry place . 2. Clean, uncontaminated drinking water. 3. Healthy food to eat. Without these things you can die or get very sick. Homelessness in Canada: Key statisticshttp://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/homelessness-in-canada-key-statistics-1.2819986 The Canadian Press Published Wednesday, March 16, 2016 2:07PM EDTOTTAWA -- A by-the-numbers look at some of the key figures about homeless in Canada:235,000: Estimated number of people who are homeless in Canada annually.35,000: Estimated number of people who are homeless in Canada on a given night.150,000: Approximate number of people who access emergency shelters in Canada annually.50,000: Estimated number of people who are "hidden homeless" -- defined as those without homes of their own who lean on friends or family for shelter -- on any given night.4 million: Number of bednights, defined as nights during which a shelter bed is occupied, each year across Canada.$105.3 million: Amount the federal government spends annually on the Homeless Partnering Strategy, which is designed to prevent and reduce homelessness.82,380: People who found more stable housing as a result of the Homeless Partnering Strategy. Amanda Klasing Special to The Globe and MailPublished Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 6:00AM EDT Last updated Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 3:40PM EDTWhy is Canada denying its indigenous peoples clean water? http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/why-is-canada-denying-its-indigenous-peoples-clean-water/article31599791/Going hungry: Why millions of Canadians can’t afford healthy foodBy Anna Mehler Paperny March 25, 2015 7:28 pm Updated: June 1, 2015 5:33 pmhttp://globalnews.ca/news/1903255/going-hungry-why-millions-of-canadians-cant-afford-healthy-food/Government of Healthy eatinghttps://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/healthy-eating.htmlIt's expensive trying not to live in poverty, paying the rent and utilities, getting healthy food but no one should ever have to drink contaminated, unclean drinking water.
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    • jorge almost 3 years ago
      There is surge of populism worldwide, which is the result of the global economic crisis. It is based on oversimplification of problems because it is easier not solving problems. In many places it started 10 yrs ago but in some places it begun 20 yrs ago. This means you do have a generation which is now in voting age but lacks education due to economic struggles. Unscrupulous politicians take a huge advantage of this vote as it is easily manipulated on lies which this group is unable to sort out. Your definition on basic human needs is based on populist ideas not in the whole human basic needs. Basic human needs are way more extensive than the ones you mentioned. If you were to live like an animal on an isolated place with a basic life expectancy of 30 yrs or so, then those populist basic human needs are right. The reality is that a government is created on the basis of having a better life than a wild animal based in order and living in a society. This means that your needs changes with the society; all of the sudden you need healthcare because one sick individual might get an entire population sick; in a technological society you do need access to technology in order to not be excluded from labor market; you do need arts, sports, cultural activities which reduces crime, integrate people to living in a society and creates jobs; Don't expect your populist leader telling you so. The populist tyrants would tell you, you are right and they will save you from your tax misery by cutting on measures meant to live in social order, without telling you why it is wrong (while shouldering his/her taxes on you.) I did not write down all the basic needs, it is your choice following blindly a populist leader or finding out on your own which are the basic needs for a human living in a society.
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      • Mike_S almost 3 years ago
        I am one of those people that are struggling to keep and maintain a place to live that is warm and dry and healthy food. I find it hard to meet those 2 basic needs, while trying to live on $1000 a month with rent $600 + then utilities averaging $100 +/- $50 depending on the season, a month then healthy eating at $10 dollars a day is a struggle . Luckily I live in a city where the water is clean so I don't have worries about getting clean water to drink. People need cloths for the changing seasons, I can't go spend $25 + dollars on new cloths because they have a hole or stain . I can't go to a dentist , or get my eyes and hearing checked because I have a cavity or my visions getting blurry . I'm a single person that lives off part time minimum wage when I'm working. Full time work isn't always available. I live well below the poverty line and know others that are struggling to maintain a warm and dry place to live and healthy food and can't afford to go see a dentist or other health related problems that cuts into the monthly budget . A cup of coffee $2 , means that there is only $8 left to feed yourself for that day. We pay taxes to not only keep the system working but to support society. I say raise taxes and demand we have a better society . Every one pays taxes whether its from a product they buy or from tax deductions from a pay check, I would pay more taxes to make sure that basic human needs are insured for everyone . I would pay even more taxes if it fully covered all basic needs health care including Eye sight , hearing and dental for people living below the poverty line and education from kinder garden to university . Other countries pay higher taxes to get similar needs met through their higher taxes . People have a misconception about paying taxes that it's a bad thing but fail to realize they pay way higher costs from the private institutions . We all share the responsibilities for shouldering his/her taxes to keep the system going , and that means having a safety net that has a strong foundation in making sure people are not living in poverty , that can get their basic needs met and that should include basic health care that includes dental, eye sight and hearing for people living below the poverty line , it should be flexible enough to provide education and training for people living below the poverty line to get a good job, to support the people living below poverty and make it easier for them while living in poverty so they can get out of poverty. But at the moment its hard enough struggling to survive while living in poverty , one check from living in the streets .
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        • jorge almost 3 years ago
          I really do appreciate your comment. In fact, I would like to hear your opinion on this http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/plan/toc-tdm-en.html There are measures that are supposed to help you out.
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          • Mike_S almost 3 years ago
            The working poor, while living in poverty, should have access to all working support programs to help those working poor, living in poverty, find a better job or full time employment.One of the main issues I have in my particular situation is not being able to access a lot of the back to work programs, training, education, and employer incentives . A person working a part time job, while living below the poverty level, can't access the back to work programs, training, education, and employer incentives programs that are only offered to people that are on EI, Social Assistance, disabilities or fall into a minority. I think back to work programs, training, education, and employer incentives should be available to anyone that's in poverty, working or not. That being said I'm curious to see how this plays out ,Chapter 1—Skills, Innovation and Middle Class Jobs,Part 3—Canada's Innovation Economy: Clean Technology, Digital Industries and Agri-Food. If a person that's living below the poverty line while working a part time job can access these programs without having to be on EI, Social Assistance or income assistance, or disabilities or fall into a minority, that would be outstanding , because it addresses one of the working poor's struggles in the system. Investing in Canada's Innovation Economy: Clean Technology and Skills, Innovation and Middle Class Jobs is smart, as it not only creates jobs, and a trained workforce but also addresses the energy security of the future getting away from our dependence on fossil fuels and toxic nuclear waste energy system. http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/plan/toc-tdm-en.html
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            • jorge almost 3 years ago
              I do believe this 2 measures would help: defining underemployment and tier minimum wages.-Seasonal and part time jobs are considered flexible jobs without considering they are also partial unemployment. By defining underemployment as part of unemployment then you would have access to programs that you need.-Smarter labor laws would define multiple minimum wages depending on many factors. When a service is not recurrent you do pay a premium which is considered fair in business. For example goods and services bought on the spot have a premium over long term contracts on goods and services. The same should apply to labor as a worker also has a cost associated with underemployment. Consider this as a guide, as it is not comprehensive because it's meant to point out social injustice on labor market. You can't call person working 2 or 3 jobs barely making a living being a part of a flexible job market more than being in a exploitation.
        • jorge almost 3 years ago
          Don't get me wrong, I don't favor raising taxes but using taxes in smarter ways. If you could get 3 healthy meals for $3 in a day, would it help you out? How about if those meals were like meals ready to eat with no need for refrigeration or cooking, just add some water? Now you'd could eat anywhere as long as you bring your water, lower some utility cost from cooking, and have a little bit of more money available. I understand this would not fix all your hardship but it is an example of how a smarter welfare could workout without creating a tax burden. Some people might not even have $3 for 3 meals in which case tax would be used but food would cost less than it cost now, using technology and better economic models. It is completely possible however poverty is desired under current socioeconomic scopes (something I've wrote earlier.)
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          • Mike_S almost 3 years ago
            Oh I AM in favor of raising taxes +/- 3% on all non-essential items,**( Non-essential Items, is any item, that isn't required for a human being to live in order to survive ).** ( Human beings need a place to live, that is warm and dry, clean water, and healthy food in order to survive and live. )In order to guarantee,A : Infrastructure 1. Investing in grants and incentives for environmentally safe, renewable, sustainable, alternative green energy for households to large scale operations as well as education and training. 2. New infrastructure towards a healthier living, •Creating exercise parks with Outdoor Fitness Equipment geared for kids to adults connected with bicycle and walk paths. B : A Poverty Reduction Strategy / Living Wage System C : Add basic non-cosmetic dentist, eye, and hearing care coverage to the health care system that covers people living below the poverty level. If that's what it takes to guarantee programs then raise taxes on all non-essential items, and guarantee that the +/- 3 % tax increase will be dedicated to the programs that are being promised. * ( +/- 3%, depending on the amount of tax increase needed to guarantee the programs get the funding they need )* To eat healthy according to the Cost of Eating BC 2011 - Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca/Dietitians-Views/Food-Security/Household-Food-Insecurity/The-Cost-of-Eating-in-British-Columbia.aspx
  • Sheikh Adil Zubair almost 3 years ago
    General public can't provide the basic necessity (Food , Shelter, Health, Clothing, education) to their children due to shortage of money, then we can say that that peoples are facing poverty.
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    • jorge almost 3 years ago
      Do you know 2/3 of the price you pay for food at the grocery store has nothing to do with cost of food?
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      • Sheikh Adil Zubair almost 3 years ago
        But without that cost how can grocery store continue their operations. Profit earning is the basic philosophy for Grocery stores, but it return they pay huge amount of taxes. Poverty reduction is the cause of Govt, not the issue for Business Mans.
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        • jorge almost 3 years ago
          In today's economy grocery stores don't turn a profit on food as food companies 'rent' grocery store space by the same amount of operational cost which is less than 10% (many cases less than 1%) of your buying price. Way less than 1% goes for payroll and yes, you do pay more taxes than the money accounted as profits but it is the way the books are cook, not the reality. As this happens taxes increases as you have to subsidy the payroll because the money flow is not correctly accounted. In a nutshell you do pay taxes to private business while it is completely profitable. That's why I do emphasize smarter labor laws.
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          • Sheikh Adil Zubair almost 3 years ago
            very informative ...................................... i did't know ...........
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            • jorge almost 3 years ago
              Thank you. This is a model that applies to other industries, as any model is meant to be pedagogic and not as accurate because companies are run in many apparent ways but the underlying effective way is similar to what I do post in this forum. Once you understand this basic model you can transfer it more elaborated schemes used to do social injustice. Hopefully someone will eventually give a good use to this in order to make social justice. There are other post of mine as informative but might be a little technical for an average reader or the concepts are not presented in the conventional way. The conventional way was conceived to create poverty by means of distortion of economics. You can't fix what you can't recognize as a problem, many economic models are a black box which you never know what's really going on. I try my best to give you an accurate model more transparent which explains the untold underlying. This would be better understood in a conference rather than a written comment.
  • Lisa Zigler almost 3 years ago
    Very interesting conversation here. I know there are some communities in Canada as well as other Countries piloting a Basic Income program. I have heard pros and cons to moving in this direction. The one advantage is that there would be no welfare or income support. There is quite a bit of stigma associated with those on income support. On the other side, others question why those who are not living in poverty would get a cheque each month. The universal aspect raises questions as well. I wonder if the Federal Government will be looking at this as it develops ideas about how to reduce poverty in this country.
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    • jorge almost 3 years ago
      Universal income works out in a price stability settings. In current inflation driven economy when you do give money out its like giving nothing as purchasing value erodes instantly to nothing by the same amount you hand out. However even on inflation driven economy, you can use an in-kind model which is decoupled from the economy, therefore inflation does not take place. Current experiments are couple with the current inflation system on purpose as it is known to be costlier just because economic distortion (induced by inflation system) make it look costlier. In fact all those experiments are done to convince you not to change inflation system and to prove nothing is actually better. On a price stability system you would need a combination of in-kind and universal income to balance out cost of living which on today's economic system is not even mentioned. Cost of living is a metric of making ends meet which you can't accurate define on a distorting economy, negating an accurate definition of poverty on monetary value.
    • Slee almost 3 years ago
      At some point I believe this will be the most likely scenario however, without some form of control on things like healthcare, food and housing, it is unlikely to achieve much. I think overall it would be a good way to start and it could be done by using annual tax data to determine who is eligible for what.If for example, we decide that a family of four must have an income of $45k to live on and the family files tax returns of $35k, then we know they fall short of an adequate basic income and are eligible for a top up. Basic income could do away with all the paperwork and forms, administration costs, many programs and processes would become redundant, people would be able to move, take other jobs, go back to school, start businesses, stay home and raise their children, strengthen communities and remove much of the stigma and humiliation that people in poverty face every day.
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      • jorge almost 3 years ago
        As soon as you place everyone on a fixed income you will have all problems of living on a fix income. One of the problem from the discussion paper is the flexible jobs in which the employer would pay you less from reduced working hours so long you get the job done as a fulltime or you'd be fired. Many people would benefit from smarter labor laws targeting this exploitation.
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        • Slee almost 3 years ago
          I wouldn't say so much as a 'fixed' income for everyone in as much as a 'basic' income threshold that allows people to find any work they can while at the same time, being able to put a roof over their head and food in their stomach. Technology is taking more jobs than it is providing and will continue to do so. One machine can do the job of 200 people making shoes. A machine that flips burgers can replace hundreds of human workers. There is software now that is fast and accurate that will replace researchers - and legal software that could replace specialists in law. We have personal robots that can work in hospitality and healthcare. ATM's reduced the number of clerks. Farms and tower farms use technology to grow and harvest food now. In the not too distant future there will be no need for large schools as students can be taught anywhere, any time and by one single teacher online. Our idea of how people receive income and the measurements of what is valuable work, must change if our desire is for a healthy society. Our progression must take advantage of technology, remove barriers to use of land and severe restrictions of corporatism & unnecessary policies. We have ten thousand acres of land that could house people but refuse to allow them to inhabit it. We wring our hands at the high cost of housing that pushes the poor outside the community - but don't plan communities that incorporate a variety of housing, all integrated in some way. We have people relying on importation of basic foods, often subsidized by governments, but we don't examine and allow the possibility of communities growing their own by erecting solar grow towers - perhaps subsidized one time on start up. We put a carbon tax on people using fuel to drive cars necessary for employment or goods/services but don't make walkable communities.
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          • jorge almost 3 years ago
            There is something similar to your suggested tax reform: "If for example, we decide that a family of four must have an income of $45k to live on and the family files tax returns of $35k, then we know they fall short of an adequate basic income and are eligible for a top up.'' http://www.budget.gc.ca/2016/docs/plan/ch1-en.html#_Toc446106641There is also something similar to your proposed workshops under ''Helping Youth Obtain Valuable Work Experience.''
          • jorge almost 3 years ago
            In the current socioeconomic system you do have a basic income which is not a fixed income, it is called minimum wage. The problem is that it was created for unskilled workers (analphabets) with basic needs (just to survive) but it is applied to skilled workers and all basic needs are not considered.
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            • NCheung almost 3 years ago
              Great point, you know the issue with 'fixed income' or 'raising the minimum wage' arguments is they don't consider where the money will come from. If you pay Joe $15/hr a business is going to have a problem with this. Suddenly their $10.25/hr full time employees have to be paid $15! This company is trying to make a profit, so they dot he sensible thing and make a majority of employees part time. The other option, is to hire a TFW worker who is locked in for 2 years and paid at the minimum wage, but nothing much as to be supplied to them. On top of this, they can, sadly, get away with the law until found out. You also have to remember that small businesses will take the heaviest weight in a system that guarantees a high minimum wage. As a side note, a guaranteed income would have to be different for every province, and even city. Each area has a different living wage. Just look at Vancouver and compare it with Saskatoon.
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              • jorge almost 3 years ago
                You are right, that happens when the system is inflation based but it does not happens when the system is based on price stability. You do have a great point also, one minimum wage fits all is a problem. The correct and fair approach is minimum wage by task or job done (multiple tier minimum wages.) Minimum wage must account for the cost of education and skills required for a job. If you read some of my previous comment you''ll find out a very common issue where employer wants university graduated employees for task done in the past by people with high school diploma and actually the task do require the education but it still paid minimum wage. This is a social injustice which could be easily fixed. That way small business don't get the burden unless it really needs the service in which case it is fair. It is a social justice to people investing on education. It reduces the cost of education for government. Smarter labor laws do pay off.
              • Slee almost 3 years ago
                One of the positive factors however in a basic income, is that it provides opportunity and that can come in the form of relocation.It also could have a positive effect on jobs - with a basic income, how many women or men, might choose to stay home to raise their children thereby creating vacancies in those positions formerly held. People could choose to remain in smaller towns and cities where their families live thereby taking advantage of support systems they give up by moving to larger cities for work. People could start up businesses.
            • Slee almost 3 years ago
              But I don't believe we do have a basic income - income is not necessarily just from wages but from all sources. In working with one disabled person, their income for the year was $11,500. - that is total income and not from wages but from disability income from CPP. That figure breaks down to about $6.00/hr if we were to use a base point of 40 hours a week full time. Another example is a PSW who earns $1340 a month but whose work is only part time so while the dollar/hour is higher than minimum wage, broken down to a 40 hour week would be only 8.50 - below a basic income. That job means being available for shifts, on call and courses meaning many people cannot take on second jobs that conflict with scheduling.A person after working low paying jobs ends up unemployed - uses up savings and takes CPP early at a reduced rate of $6000/year. Break that down into 40 hours a week income and you have a daily basic income of about $4.00 - that person isn't living on their own but bunking with family wherever they can.We could go on but you get the picture - we have a minimum wage - we do not have a basic income. Two different things. We need to address a basic income for many reasons in order to address poverty because the basic issue of poverty is lack of money -
          • jorge almost 3 years ago
            Most job losses are due to the lack of smart labor laws integrated to global economics and lack of corporate social accountability. You gave the example of apparel jobs being lost to automation, the reality is that most of the apparel you buy is labor intensive done in countries where employees are paid cents/hrs. This is a problem of social responsibility where neither country benefits from global trade and the money done might actually end up in another third country doing absolutely nothing as it is not invested. There are also many myth around on job being lost to automation when it is not really the case. The bank clerk job is an example of lack of smart labor laws. You do see bank clerks all the time, you just don't recognize them as they are minimum wage paid workers dressed up as cashiers, just not paid for the actual task they are doing.
  • f.koziar almost 3 years ago
    I think poverty is supposed to mean when you don't have enough money for basic necessities, and the harder question is what are necessities and how much do they cost? In Ontario, as someone on social assistance who has had to live at very low income, I would say welfare (OW) is well below the poverty line, but disability (ODSP) is a little above it, because it is livable, if only when you're very good at budgeting. But it would depend on what the cost of living, of food and rent, are where you live. I imagine poverty is at a higher income number in Nunavut than it is in Toronto, for instance. In Montreal or Toronto, two places I've lived, I'd say 12k/yr is livable and below that is poverty. The most important thing, I think, is that people at the very least, have the money to afford food and rent, (at least grocery-store food and shared housing rent) and have a bit left over for transportation and clothing, etc. (and basic health coverage, if they don't have social assistance coverage)
  • Kendall.Hammond almost 3 years ago
    The Market Basket Measure (MBM) provides a decent starting point for developing a Canadian definition of poverty. However, the MBM is limited in that it does not account for child care needs, education, or non-insured medical expenses. The nice thing about the MBM is that it accounts for regional discrepancies in the cost of the living throughout the country. However, Statistics Canada should report the MBM for communities in the North as a feasibility study conducted in 2012 showed that this could be done in a reasonable manner. Unfortunately, Statistics Canada still does not calculate the MBM for the North so our understanding of the prevalence of poverty is limited as a result.
  • Dietitians of Canada almost 3 years ago
    All households in Canada must have sufficient income for secure access to nutritious food after paying for other basic necessities. Household food insecurity is a condition in which a household’s access to food is inadequate or precarious because of inconsistent income or insufficient financial resources. Households experience food insecurity when there is not enough money for adequate, secure access to food, after paying for rent, utilities and other basic living expenses. Among Canadian households reliant on wages and salaries as their main income, the prevalence of household food insecurity was 11.2% on average in 2012. The largest proportion of households with food insecurity in Canada (almost two thirds, 62.2%) are “working poor” households with low wages/salaries or self-employed, including part-time work and precarious employment. The prevalence of household food insecurity is also high among households reliant on income from government sources, such as Employment Insurance, Workers’ Compensation and social assistance – about four to six times higher than that of the average waged/salaried households – since these incomes are also low. Unexpected financial or budget shocks, resulting from job loss, salary reduction, reduced work hours, inability to work due to a health condition, unexpected household expenses for medication or legal fees and/or increased housing costs, can cause household food insecurity for short periods of time and/or lead to persistent household food insecurity. The experience of food insecurity within one’s household at some time in the past year is likely a more accurate and sensitive indication of inadequate financial resources than typical indicators of poverty based on average annual income. Measured decreases in the prevalence of household food insecurity are an indication of successful policies that support adequate income on a consistent basis. While rising food prices and the much higher cost of food in some northern and remote regions of Canada can contribute to a household’s risk of experiencing food insecurity, all income and expense factors must be considered in the development and implementation of public policy to ensure all households will consistently have enough money to buy and/or obtain traditional/country food through hunting, fishing, gathering/growing.
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    • jorge almost 3 years ago
      It's a really good comment, I was talking about food security earlier. This is an extensive topic where many things could improve given a sustainable path integrating innovation. There is a global issue on food security, paradoxically measures taken to provide food actually decreases food security. I do believe every person should have good quality food regardless of income. You pointed out ways on how to source food, that's very important and often overlooked.
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      • Dietitians of Canada almost 3 years ago
        Access to food is indeed complex. Most of us rely on store-bought foods - we need money to buy food. Money is still important for those who hunt or fish for their foods - they need to travel to the animals' habitat, equipment, gear for camping/lodging; they also need time - which may not be compatible with a job that earns money. Even food processing is a problem - if hunters in the Territories are hunting for food that they wish to sell, they need butchering facilities and meat inspectors - scarce in the North. Many Indigenous Peoples share their food however, so their ability to access food depends on the agreements and exchanges to which they agree. Furthermore, for Indigenous Peoples, it is essential that there be access to land and water - many treaties are not honoured, so there may not be enough land for hunting, or the land and water (fishing) may be a very far distance away (again, need money, time and equipment). There are some programs to assist hunters, but improvements are needed. The price of food is another issue often cited in food insecurity discussions. In general however, the PRICE of food in Canada is NOT high, relative to our average incomes. In recent years, we are paying more for food, but the % of income is still only about 12% - not unreasonable. Where the rising prices of food are problematic are for people with low, fixed incomes - who are the same people who often struggle to pay for housing, because market rents may be a big % of their incomes. And food banks are NOT the answer - it may seem simple to say "No food? got to the food bank", but this is not a sustainable system for feeding the country's vulnerable people - it is estimated that charities can only supply about 10% of the need of people who go to food banks, and it is the minority of households who go to food banks. Food banks are useful for emergencies - as intended, but they cannot replace a public responsibility to ensure citizens have a right to food. Bottom line: household food insecurity is an income problem, sometimes a land sovereignty issue, but not a food problem.
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        • jorge almost 3 years ago
          You've made some good comments earlier on excluded people from food security. It is important to identify what limits food security. I've made some comments few weeks ago on how making people poor is an industry. Food security is tied to oil pricing, there are many ways to avoid food cost being manipulated but money goes to energy intensive food production, where pricing is tied to artificial inflation -which regressively transfer from the poor to the wealthiest. At is most basic level food transportation is one factor affecting distribution where many places have already proven effectively point of use food production as a solution. There are more complex issues with food tied to oil pricing but even the most basic proven solutions are not widespread adopted as poverty creation is the basis of inflation driven economies. In another words, food insecurity exist because it is convenient for some people, not because there is a real technical challenge. Statistics are misleading, read Lisa's comments: "When I know that a single person on income support (welfare) here has to exist on just over $500/month, I get angry at this injustice. When I hear discussions about how this person needs to learn how to "budget", I wish those who judge could walk in their shoes. "Not everyone fits the average, where many data is considered to take action. Just at one standard deviation from the average, you still have a large number of people, excluded people. Today you might be average or not, but tomorrow you will always be a part of the exclude portion. For example the biology and economics limits the years anyone could be in the labor force and be a part of the average income earners.
  • Slee almost 3 years ago
    I think that poverty is first defined by lack of resources to adequately house, feed, educate and provide necessary healthcare for oneself and their family. A person who has inadequate income will live in a poorer or possibly less secure part of the community, have less access to necessary care such as dental and vision, less access and opportunity to education and employment. Society stigmatizes those by ZIP code; by appearance (eg missing teeth); by employment; by education; by retail choices - and so based on the bias of society against the poor on so many levels, I believe it starts with income. Understanding that society is layered with complexities, and nobody wants to be stigmatized, people even with higher incomes will make choices that seem contrary to the truly poor who have fewer of those choices - such as living in a house in a great neighbourhood that eats up most of their income but viewing that location as perhaps providing better opportunities for their children, for their professional contacts, for safer living. More people living in poverty have less contact with those outside that community thereby putting up barriers to opportunity. We install food banks where the impoverished can shop for their food by proving how poor they really are, while the rest of society shops in a well lit market. We tell the poor that they need to prove how poor they are in order for the government to allow them to have their name put on a five year list for housing. We demand the poor tell us how poor they are before we will help them pay for life saving medicines or transportation to medical appointments after surgery. We fail to recognize the realities of life for so many discarded people in society - the small business owner who got cancer and ended up broke and on disability; the woman who ended up leaving her job to care for her elderly parent instead of forcing them into a care faciilty; the person on disability who can work at least part time but who is penalized if they do so - so they don't; those who lose a partner or a child and lose what they have fighting depression; women who leave abusive relationships in middle age and who have nothing to start over with. We lump all poor into one bucket and never bother to understand their lives. Government by doing nothing encourages poverty. By pushing charity instead of addressing the underlying issues, encourage poverty of mind and body. Imagine if that poor person in that stigimatized neighbourhood had enough income to move into the same neighbourhood as the higher income person - equity in opportunity suddenly becomes possible. Basic things like rent subsidies across the country would immediately lift millions out of rent poverty. Housing subsidies or no interest grants,would do the same thing for young families who want to put down roots in a community. Instead of demanding the poor prove their need at a food bank, why not a food card at local stores that allow the poor to shop with everyone else for good, healthy and an adequate supply of food? Barriers exist in housing; transportation; retail; education; employment; healthcare for anyone who is poor - stats show that poverty has a definite effect on mental, physical and emotional health. A senior who is poor will be more isolated, rent poor and food challenged, just as a child born in poverty may face lifelong problems, including PTSD from the barriers that society, including government encases them in.
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    • jorge almost 3 years ago
      The distribution of wealth is a direct result of current global economic system. It is based (in theory, not in reality) on giving more resources to the ones able to give it a better use and compensate contingent to efforts. In real world economics it is based in rewarding by discrimination. If you give $1 to everyone then inflation negates the value of that dollar, but if you give that dollar only to some people it will have value. The very basis is creating poverty. You can actually find how this works out in the following example base on the bio-psycho-social global scenario.Biology: Gender inequality Psychology: Religious beliefs in women 's inferiority.Social: Women is paid less on average than men. For a given task on equal conditions a company would hire a woman just because it drives payroll down.Women is more susceptible to poverty because biologically will outlive men on elderly years where fixed income is a poverty driver as inflation kicks in. This fixed income might be low just because retirement funds came from an underpaid job adding up to the struggle. Psychologically, companies invest in marketing women's poverty as a good thing. Job flexibility is an euphemism for unpaid labor and driving poverty levels up. Women engages more often than men in flexible jobs, than in career jobs. Career jobs available to women seldom leads to high corporate ranking such as CEO and companies having women as CEO still have the bulk of it female workers underpaid relative to its male counterpart. This social interaction is forced by a unregulated global economy where there is no fair job rules enacted to drive social justice. When you buy products made with social injustice, you further social injustice.
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      • Slee almost 3 years ago
        At this point in time in Canadian, it would be reasonable to say that more women are mired in poverty by age group than men however, this will likely spread more equally over both gender groups in time as a direct result of years of part time jobs, no benefits, low paid employment, and stagnant wages. A young man today may exist on temporary jobs, part time work, greater periods of unemployment, casual and contract income sources and as a result, they will save less, own less property, have smaller pensions etc. Technology will not open up more jobs, AI will reduce the numbers of people needed for work thereby creating greater unemployment and increasing the numbers of poor. Countries that do nothing to recognize this event will simply continue to talk about poverty instead of being proactive in discussing it now.We seem to bandaid issues and should be looking at new, proactive and individual approaches to how we work with low income families instead of a one size fits all.For example - Joe and Linda both work full time but are at the low income cut off. They have two children - the cost of day care means that almost all of Linda's income is eaten up by paying for child care. The government decides to subsidize their child care so Linda can keep working. Now Linda can keep half her pay - and we give the subsidy to the day care provider who operates the program. Who benefits? The day care operator benefits because they get the funds direct from the government. The government benefits because Linda can still pay her income tax and other taxes to them. Linda benefits least of all because she still only gets to keep half her paycheck, sends her kids out to care every day and juggles the reality of spending in order to work.As an alternative approach, what if we offered Linda the subsidy that we are paying the child care operator and gave her the option of staying home to raise her children and possibly opening up the opportunity for her to become a more engaged member of her community - something she has no time for with her full time job?If for example, we pay $20k to child care operators as a subsidy for LInda's two young children, and Linda earns a net income of $22k and then deducts necessary work expenditures such as transportation, would it benefit society more if we offered Linda the choice of a direct benefit to her family for not working than paying the same funds direct the child care operator?The notion that only income is the parameter of how we value people and what they contribute should be re-evaluated so that we try and balance life/work/community and family and that we approach it with choice not force.We need progressive and proactive approaches in how we think and how best as a society we can help families and communities survive and thrive.
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        • jorge almost 3 years ago
          It's important to notice we all live in a society, that means all issues are interconnected. Businesses and governments invest in efforts to hide those relationships. I've selected women in a global context as an example because all countries have this minority. Underpaid women in Canada will drive wages down of Canadian men, but also an underpaid woman in another country will drive all Canadians wages down as you import social injustice from unregulated global trade without fair job regulations (this is the most predominant factor in today's global economy.) There is a mindset created on purpose in which people see minorities' problems disconnected from majority. For example, you do see trade agreements where no one cares about fair jobs regulations as social problems from another country might look disconnected from local social problem, when in fact it's the most interrelated social interaction. When you buy products made by underpaid labor you are displacing good paying jobs in the whole world as a global economy has no accountability for social justice. Social injustice knows no borders and affects everyone whether minority or not. This mindset creates a complete industry based on creating poverty instead of reducing it. It also limits government's options to paradoxical solutions which furthers poverty even more.
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          • jorge almost 3 years ago
            This came up just now: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2017/02/15/prime-minister-trudeau-welcomes-european-parliaments-approval-comprehensive-economic. This is the correct mindset but be aware there are many ways to evade regulation concerning fair job clauses. For instance, suppliers might not be tied to fair job regulation in labor intensive manufacture of parts while the end product might be tied to fair job regulations in countries where the finished product use minimal labor.
          • Slee almost 3 years ago
            Globalism is a political corporate ideology and the impact on all of us is undeniable however, I think that is a broader discussion than trying to isolate issues specific to poverty within our country and try to find a way to make changes in the here and now. I think it has to be broken down into parts in order to even begin to work on solutions.One of the biggest challenges facing the impoverished is attitude - even on a global political scale if you will.We operate on a tiered and biased pie chart for poverty where we determine the numbers, the effect, the assistance, the recognition is very often discussed in terms of gender, race, culture and then we determine suffering based on our own political agenda or personal bias. We do not say we will address poverty in simple terms - instead we divide people up into segments and apply levels of suffering first and then take an approach to it based on that division. Poverty is political. The media can be politically driven and therefore, issues of poverty will also be part of a corporate political agenda without ever touching the real issue of overall poverty in the country. One of the lessons we teach our children is how we as a society value them and when we politicize the issue, divide it into tiers of suffering and choose who we deem more valuable and worthy of help, we devalue everyone else and their experience.How many of our leaders have gone days without food? How many have lived in a Canadian winter without heat? How many left school to go to work as a teenager? How many were the victims of bullying by teachers and students alike because they were poor? How many lived in poor neighbourhoods where stability and safety were just dreams?A child born into poverty may run through life making what others see as poor choices because those people haven't had to survive - they've had the luxury of living.Getting people out of poverty is more than just one idea - but the first one should be to value everyone equally. Stop dividing. Stop placing the worth of a person on how deserving we think they should be. By devising a basic income line and setting it as national and provincial law would be a start. It would remove the politics of poverty tiering and address the real issue of income - if someone or a family is under the poverty line, we provide help regardless of their culture or gender or race. If we remove the politics of fighting in province that allows our leaders to decide that allocating two social housing complexes over ten years is such a great thing we'd be better off - recognizing that in ten years that space will not meet even 10% of the need for housing when in fact, rent subsidies would immediately improve the lives of the poor and give them opportunity and choice. It is all about value - when we start out devaluing people - deciding if their suffering is equal to our own bias - when we create programs dedicated to helping the poor but not solving the problem - when we decide that a poor person should have not dignity but be thankful for the crumbs they can scramble for - we do not create strong, health societies , we maintain tiered societies based on our own perceived value of worthiness.Many, many , years ago there was a great media outrage about some poor children in a remote northern community who had fallen victim to drug abuses. It drove political gavel pounding in the demand for new laws. Sadly there was never any outrage about some poor children in a rural southern community who fell victim to the same abuses. The lesson learned ? We place a value on suffering and put people on a pie chart of worthiness. We like to believe that real hunger doesn't exist in Canada - until we acknowledge that it does and we start understanding the long term effects of it, until we recognize that people devalued won't seek help because they have been deemed unworthy - until we change our attitude entirely, we will keep talking about the problem without ever understanding it.
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            • jorge almost 3 years ago
              We are talking about the same, the difference is perspective. All the problems you talk about are created by bigger systemic problems. The industries thriving in creating poverty wants you to look at the tree instead of the forest. Using the child care example you gave, we agree that child care is needed to fight poverty. We also agree many people don't have access to it forcing government to socialize its cost. This is representative of what I've said: ''This mindset creates a complete industry based on creating poverty instead of reducing it. It also limits government's options to paradoxical solutions which furthers poverty even more.''Child care access is a problem under the umbrella of what's called people unable to make ends meet, which is a problem created by unregulated global economy. From the tree perspective you can only see welfare cost given to people when in fact it is a welfare given to predatory businesses' practice. When you look at the forest, you realize that many people can't make ends meet due to socialization of handouts to predatory practices known as weakening the purchasing power of the dollar. Global businesses can escape the erosion of inflation just because they created it. Governments then transfer this cost as welfare hiding the real cause, even using the victims of those predatory practices as scapegoats. The actual problem is an economy based on inflation, when what would actually work out the best for people is price stability. In fact, small, medium and large domestic businesses benefit from price stability (any government too). The reality is all central banks have a mandate to make you poor by inflation. For practical purposes if you are not a global business, you live on a fixed income at best, as cost of living (or doing business) will always grow faster than your ability to get income (this applies to any government as well.) Price stability gives a leveled playing field to all. Without price stability you get economic distortion which leads to predatory practices and makes next to impossible to define economic problems (including poverty.) Unregulated global economy on its own creates economic distortion, that's another topic which creates poverty.
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              • Slee almost 3 years ago
                I do agree that we are in agreement - I am just trying to keep it close instead of opening it up to the broader global issue because I don't think global governance has the will to really make big changes that would eliminate poverty or drastically reduce it.
              • Slee almost 3 years ago
                So in this conversation, would it be more prudent ; more beneficial for Canadian to have a national bank that could compete with the private banking industry. Would a post office banking system, run nationally, be a better alternative for example for all people, but especially the poor who often face many more barriers and challenges even in day to day financial matters. Today in Canada, a person cannot open a bank account without having that private bank run a credit check on the person. There are no laws in Canada that uphold the right of an individual to even open a bank account, but the government of Canada itself has gone to direct deposit for all payments thereby making bank accounts necessary. In todays Canada, no bank has to provide you with a bank account despite the government forcing you to have one. This affects low income people, poor neighbourhoods, those who may at one time fallen on hard times and filed bankruptcy - it prevents the poor, many working poor or those on fixed income from getting loans to start up business or purchase goods and services - the marginal in our society are hampered by the banking system - and the government while writing some laws, does little to ensure that federal law and provincial laws are compatible.
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                • jorge almost 3 years ago
                  It is not sustainable an economic system taking over the functions of government. Forcing you to drive all economic activity with banks as intermediary is fundamental to the poverty industry. It is by no mistake this situation you describe happens as this mindset creates a complete industry based on creating poverty instead of reducing it, you need no bank to get paid yet you are forced to the banking system if you want a paycheck. If central banks mindset is not shifted to price stability your solution on government run banking will also be a limited option and a paradoxical solution which would further poverty even more as you would only transfer the poverty making mindset to a government run entity.
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                  • Slee almost 3 years ago
                    But in the closest context of how we can help here in Canada today - ideas of how to move toward the reduction or elimination of poverty - what do you suggest as some first steps? Debating the broader issues will not necessarily move very quickly toward any resolution.Addressing the most urgent needs such as - stable housing whether through subsidies or caps; banking reform; food insecurity measures and education on food, nutrition, supply; education reform to include apprenticeship, high school co-op programs.There is no one way is best scenario but we need to begin somewhere and pick a point of absolute.If we don't start a base point issue and at least point to a resolution then we are spinning our wheels. Most of us can agree there is poverty, attitudes need to change in how we deal with it and recognize it; we need solutions that can begin to drive poverty down while allowing for further discussion on more long term solutions as the world faces automation that inevitably results in higher unemployment and increasing social/health/living problems.
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                    • jorge almost 3 years ago
                      Inflation affects disproportionately to low income, one effective way to null inflationary effects is controlling cost of living. Food at low level income is the biggest contributor to cost of living. Food impacts many things such as health, tourism, energy and materials, to name few. If you like I'll discuss measures on how a food security system would reduce poverty.
                • jorge almost 3 years ago
                  Your idea on government run banking coupled with other measures is actually the solution for displaced jobs due to robotics or automated industries, given a price stability setting. This is a long topic related to poverty but price stability is key to reduce poverty, while an inflation based economy creates it. I'll explain it later on with more details.
  • jorge almost 3 years ago
    We are bio-psycho-social beings. What's written above is right from the social perspective, I will add the biological part and psychological part:-Social: The opening article talks about exclusion in society. Socials are divided in 2: economics and social relations. Poverty in this view is an exclusion from the economy and exclusions from social relations.-Biological: I will limit the discussion to the exclusion but this is way more extensive. Physical limitations excluded people.-Psychological: Some governments (G7 included) actually invest on denial of poverty and punishing charity. This excludes the problem from being solved.In my humble opinion the expertise needed to tackle the poverty is actually the one creating it. In fact the sciences combined to effectively solve this problem exist in the academia but they are used for more profitable causes as the education needed all alone to combine those science into a single individual comes very pricey, not to mention the scarcity of people with all this studies. To add up to the problem the private economic system does not reward solving poverty issues as much as it creates. In fact the economic system is based on creating poverty, an extensive topic to discuss too.
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    • Admin Commented D_Nelson almost 3 years ago
      Thanks for kicking off our discussion Jorge!
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      • jorge almost 3 years ago
        My pleasure, thanks to you for opening up a space to bring up ideas. I do understand the challenges you are trying to solve. I wanted to open up the discussion with a little bit of controversy as many topics related to poverty are taboo. For instances it happens because it is actually accepted but socially no one would admit favoring poverty conditions. There is a complete industry based on creating poverty, if you stop rewarding that mindset, you might actually do a lot with less effort.