Covid-19 has highlighted a number of things about Canadian socio-economic life. Several months into it all and the data is emerging steadily that ye olde before times, were, you know, maybe not that great for a lot of us.
Housing became decoupled from wages some time ago. Less considered but just as problematic is the relationship between wages and a reasonable level of physical and emotional effort. An economics and personal finance journo gives some thought to whether hard work is really enough. Breaking down the ‘minimum wage work ethic’ mirandmarquit.com
Even a passing glance at Michigan cities Flint and Detroit highlights the problematic side of American water poverty. What a thing, as the temperatures go up and the statues hit the sidewalks in the middle of a pandemic. A significant look into this national quality of life issue starts below:
A brutal police shooting of a mentally ill man has rightly upset Mississauga in recent days. What the hell kind of ‘wellness check’ ends in a fatal shooting? Are we going down the same road as the likes of Chicago? If we are, what exactly is our excuse? Even if you are a really huge fan of police and take a harsh view of life how do you justify this kind of thing?
A bike can be such a friend to a working person. Wouldn’t it be a public good if our built environments and economic systems were friendlier to bikes then? There just might be an opportunity here post-Covid-19.
Grim reading from august commentator on American community James Howard Kunstler. The author of seminal work The Geography of Nowhere sees direct ties between sprawl-lived lives and the gun nihilsm of America. Suburbia has been Kunstler’s thing for decades now and we respect his words. Even if he has become a little reactive, a touch cranky in recent years, any wisdom on this matter is surely welcome and his probably more than many others. The resort to maximum hand-held firepower as a response to one’s environment staggers the imagination and really has for decades now. What to do on this file? Thank the God of your choice this is not Canada, Dear Readers.
Back to class, not just for the future workers, heads of families, homebuyers and consumers either. It’s always been about class, kids. Two thought pieces from the Canadian media on a topic they would much prefer to ignore most days. A long one and a short one, both on point. It’s not an ‘affordability crisis’, it’s a class conflict thestar.com
Just as the season begins to turn, though more these days that turning is about the relentless churning of some Category 5 hurricane than the expected memory of back-to-school rituals and soul-soothing autumn colours, advance word comes from Las Vegas of hot futures. The premier example of unsustainable sprawl in North America is now finding out what it is like to be on the public health front line of climate change. What else is it but a public health disaster if you cannot go outside? What if you are kinda stuck outside? How does this quotation grab you from an item in today’s Guardian? ”… homeless people with post-mortem burns from collapsing on hot streets.”
No matter how fractured our collective political lives become most of us would still tend to agree that preventing premature death by any cause is a good idea. Recent data from the United States should therefore interest all of us, regardless of how entrenched in total ideology or total indifference.