With this alarming turn of phrase the CBC reported on the description of youth unemployment in New Brunswick as: “approaching levels seen in the poorer parts of Europe.” Randy Hatfield, a poverty activist, was speaking at a forum in Moncton as head of the Saint John Human Development Council.
New Brunswick poverty numbers on the rise CBC.ca
Poverty costs New Brunswickers $2 billion dollars per year
2011 report from Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
photo: Open CLip Art Library via Wikimedia Commons
It certainly is a mighty thing, Niagara Falls. All that water, the honeymoons, the things to see and do, the casinos, the hydro electric power that made both sides of the border into industrial societies. We can also see social difficulty on the Canadian side of the river has been a concern for some time. The number of people in Niagara Region living below the Low Income Cut Off (LICO) is higher there than the average for all of Canada, according to the Niagara Community Observatory at Brock University in St. Catharines. The Community Observatory recently issued a policy brief on poverty in the Niagara region. The LICO is the generally accepted rough equivalent in Canada to the poverty line in the United States. It would seem that despite its hydro power, industrial heritage and good agricultural land the Niagara frontier is coming to have things in common with the rust belts of Britain and America. Hopefully that can be turned around. Niagara needn’t be below the Canadian average. A community forum regarding poverty will be held in St Catharines tomorrow. It deserves to be well attended.
Are the consequences of poverty holding Niagara back?
Poverty creating storm clouds on horizon St Catharines Herald
photo: P. Bica via Wikimedia Commons
In north New Jersey we find more archetypal descriptions of people fallen out of their middle class working lives. “How will they climb back into them?” seems to be turning into “will they ever climb back into them?” Past performance in terms of income, employment, acquisition of assets and debts within the management of one’s personal finances and the dimensions of personal character doesn’t seem to hold an answer for many.
“Unlike the long-term poor, they had those nest eggs to fall back upon in hard times. But now, as the months without work have stretched into years, those accounts have been depleted and even extended unemployment benefits are running out. With job prospects still wispy, increasing numbers of them are reaching out for help,” says Harvey Lipman in this piece from The Record.
Hardship grows amid wealth: residents face unexpected need in communities across North Jersey
This piece contains a number of useful links regarding poverty in New Jersey including a searchable database of six indicators for Passaic and Bergen counties.
image: Princeton University from Wikimedia Commons
Canadian Thanksgiving weekend comes upon us and we do find plenty to be thankful for. The country remains blessed and peaceful. All the more reason to question the kind of poverty found even where the banks are apparently sensible and the tar sands melt into money. There is always a flip side to a resources boom, always. Vibrant Communities Calgary, a non-profit agency addressing poverty, details the nature of the problem in a blog and through other resources and intiatives in areas from wages to free transit on election days.
Supporting municipal policies in poverty reduction
T is for Toronto
T is for ten dollars and twenty-five cents an hour
T is for “totally sucks”
…which it does when you try and get by on that, the minimum wage, there. The fact Canada is a lucky country in many ways is all very nice but that should not be used to dismiss the need to improve wages, reduce inequality, crack down on slum landlords and build better public transit in Toronto.
Metcalf Foundation study: working poor numbers way up in Toronto
photo: alexindigo via Wikimedia Commons
Just around the corner from the site of Mitt Romney’s recent public suicide we find Tampa, Florida. Like many a town in that flat and sunny state, the one so beloved by Canadians, Tampa bought into the sprawl-based economy and now finds itself paying a price. Reports of enormous struggle for working people and the poor made it into the Huffington Post recently. As we’ve discovered elsewhere, the lack of public transit in the suburbs makes things tough. Thonotosassa, just northeast of Tampa near I-75 could almost be the sunbelt poster child of America’s new suburban poverty. A link within this piece to a Tampa Bay Times article from last year tells us of an increase in those in poverty from fifteen percent of the community to forty percent! It doesn’t sound like the sunny weather makes up for it.
In Tampa Suburb, Extreme Poverty Arrives While Jobs Remain Distant
photo: Tampa CIty Hall: TampAGS via Wikimedia Commons
Okay, let’s see if we got this straight. A couple of US academics just issued a report on research indicating that the level of economic inequality in the United States right now is worse than it was in 1774.
Time to use the F-word. WHAT THE FUCK is with that?
People, please now, …the steam engine and the Model T were not even on the drawing board then. In 1774, the drawing board hadn’t been invented. Slavery was legal …and would be in America for another hundred years.
Not worse in the Great Depression of the 1930s but in the 1770s.
For fuck’s sake, America.
U.S. Income Inequality Worse Now Than In 1774: Study
Hopefully suburban-poverty.com’s readership had a restful, thoughtful long weekend. We gave the Research Department their day off and spent some time online ourselves looking into all things suburban. Curiously, we found a Wikipedia page we knew would be of interest from the title alone: List of Largest Suburbs by Population. Alas, the entry lacks references which made us a little wary. A quick check via Google and the numbers seem roughly correct, just a little out of date.
So, looking through the list of incorporated exurbs with at least 700,000 people a couple of things stand out. First, we recognized only four or five of thirty-seven places. All but one of the largest suburbs are in fast-growing Third World countries, with the exception of Japan and South Korea. Only a single place on the list was in a First World, English-speaking country: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. …this also being home turf for suburban-poverty.com!!!
Labour Day long weekend is upon us and most of the population of the province of Ontario will pile onto the 400-series highways. A crush of motor vehicles bookends the final days of summer for those with access to lakes, cottages, boating and so forth. Such privileges are meant to be enjoyed and Ontario, especially its densely populated southern parts, has been a busy province these past six or so decades. The economic statistics for Canada’s largest province are staggering, 12.8 million people crank it out to the tune of over 600 billion dollars a year. A shade more GDP than Sweden. That makes Ontario the 25th largest economic unit by GDP in the world and the source of 40% of the Canadian economy. All the more depressing then to come across another negative report about poverty and inequality and threats to the standard of living in Ontario. A place that built 2.1 million automobiles in 2011, many for export all over the world.
A couple of days ago Ontario Common Front (see their Facebook page) released a report placing Ontario at the bottom of the list for social program spending, access to programs and support for public services. Education, health care and the affordability of housing are also examined and found problematic. We can’t think of anything directly related to the standard of living and quality of life of the population here that has been left out. Something like 100 labour groups are part of this organization and the report is dense with worrisome statistics. In turn, we fear it will get too little media attention as Ontarians enjoy their last weekend of the summer, and begin to think about sending children back to school. Nonetheless, an election is coming. One in which a reasonable centrist government will come under attack by eager neo-conservative/neo-liberal forces. Perhaps this report will be a wake up call to all concerned? National news outlets and most provincial newspapers with an online presence have picked it up.
Falling Behind: Ontario’s Backslide Into Widening Inequality, Growing Poverty and Cuts to Social Programs weareontario.ca
image: Wikimedia Commons
Money doesn’t grow on trees but it sure doesn’t mind having them around. That’s what some recent research into the relationship between tree cover and income has determined. The relationship appears to be reliable and is demonstrable numerically: the richer you are the more tree cover around you. This is visible from space, people.
Income inequality can be seen from space boingboing.net
photo: Wikimedia Commons