Category Archives: video

(1025) Comedy host John Oliver gets it

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If this blog had a board of directors we would appoint Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver to upon it sit.  He looked right into the dark heart of suburban poverty and social difficulty in a recent episode of his popular show to razor sharp effect.  How so?  He took the American sub prime auto loan industry out for a run, that’s how.

Oliver starts with the difficulty faced by many of his adopted country’s working poor: that trap between horrendously long commutes through the sprawl via public transit or buying some nasty set of wheels from a self-financing used car dealer.  There’s some impressive research and real world tales of woe brought out and then capped off with a hilarious skit spoofing the whole sad machinery of extortionate high interest loans, overpriced shitboxes and repossessions.  It has gotten so out of hand of late that some observers are seeing a repeat of the mortgage crisis of 2008 taking shape in US auto financing.  We’ll see soon enough.

image: staci myers via Flickr/CC

(967) Cheap at ten times the price: MB benefit protects baby health

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Eighty-one dollars a month is a modest sum well spent in the form of Manitoba’s Healthy Baby Prenatal  Benefit.  Strong hints of the social blessings associated with basic income are found here.

$81 a month buys a healthier baby. Lift out of poverty helps women give birth to fewer premature and low-weight babies
cbc.ca/news (video 2:07)

image: Kristina Alexanderson

(934) Rocky retirements on the way for many [Study]

retirementBroadbent Institute has released an important and unsettling report on where too many of us are headed in retirement.  Canada’s mainstream media has picked up the report quite widely.
Retirement? Few Canadians without an employer pension plan have enough money, study says. Broadbent Institute finds fewer than 20% of middle-income earners have more than 5 years of savings
cbc.ca video 6:21
Many Canadians nearing retirement don’t have the savings they need to avoid poverty
pressprogress.ca

image: Simon Cunningham via lendingmemo.com flickr/CC

(921) Goodwill closure

thriftCash flow problems? Well, we can’t say we like the closure of Goodwill stores in Ontario.  And what of the presence of a high pay and high profile manager while this flop occurred?  The stores and their associated services play a role for those in social difficulty here.  But only when they are open.

Goodwill workers blast charity’s CEO over closures. Workers frustrated and furious at the abrupt closure of 16 Goodwill stores, 10 donation centres and two offices
thestar.com (video 00:57)

See also: (744) Second hand index

image: Leslie Abraham via Flickr/CC