Tag Archives: income

(1234) On the lighter side…


”Action is what matters.” -Gene Simmons, 2017

Two comic efforts at understanding North American economic reality brought some laffs to the suburban-poverty.com bunker complex this week.  Unintentionally hilarious, but no less instructive for that, is a hot new self help book from KISS front man Gene Simmons. The second, a sharp strike from Rick Mercer.
To understand Gene’s book, picture an elevator shaft as black as On Power’s faux leather cover at the bottom.  Ayn Rand chugs a mickey of rye whiskey on an empty stomache, takes two or three hits off a crack pipe and tosses herself down the elevator shaft.
Mercer’s rant about Ontario’s coming move to a higher minimum wage is a little more to our liking.  Together, the two efforts tackle powerful myths about life here.
editor’s note: let’s give Gene props for urging us to read books and self educate.  He’s right, there are no excuses when all the knowledge of the world is available to us on the screens in our hands.

(1231) Stockton, CA

Stockton, California did a post-2008 crash-and-burn rivalled perhaps only by Detroit in terms of American municipal financial disaster.  By embracing an economy built on minimally regulated suburban real-estate development and low taxes the city of about three hundred thousand in the San Joaquin Valley ran maximum risk with its economic health.  The result?  Maximum bust.
Stockton, CA: one of America’s most miserable cities just got more miserable
forbes.com
All the woes of America from foreclosures to rising crime and obesity and declining schools seem to beset Stockton and grip the city in a depressing vice.  A new mayor, however, has begun to reconceive Stockton with a modest basic income program as part of his plan for trying to move things forward.
Three years ago, Stockton, California, was bankrupt. Now it’s trying out a basic income. A city on the outskirts of Silicon Valley is using Facebook money to fund a basic income trial
vox.com (numerous links)

(1230) Tax havens & CASW statement on uBIG

This week we were reminded that the federal Liberal party’s bag men are no strangers to the benefits of stashing one’s money overseas.  Hey, even Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has a couple hundred pounds in that fancy hat.  Attention for the matter of how Canada’s elites array their money has, unfortunately, proved fleeting.
Also predictably disappointing was a near total lack of media interest in a statement from a professional body of Canadian social workers in favour of recent official interest in basic income.  Like other observers, the social workers have come to find Canada’s approach to the costly presence of poverty here less than effective.  Along with the experience of doctors and nurses, the knowledge of social workers has to be considered with high seriousness in this area.  Money stashed overseas in tax havens would seem to at least hint at the ability of this society to afford social policies that would eradicate poverty.
From safety net to stable foundation: CASW recommends a universal basic income
casw-acts.ca (with links to 2014 & 2015 papers on inequality that consider UBI)
Paradise Papers underscore need for tax justice
rabble.ca
Queen Elizabeth II has $13M in investments in offshore tax havens: documents
global.ca
How will governments solve the tax haven riddle? Offshore tax havens cost us all billions, but cracking down on them is like a game of whack-a-mole, writes the Star’s Marco Chown Oved in an analysis following the Paradise Papers leak
thestar.com

(1228) GTA income & equality update

For low income neighbourhoods to increase from 9% of a place to  51% of a place is a pretty crap reality.  Welcome to Brampton and Mississauga, once showpieces of growth and consumer choice.  Really, if you know anything about social conditions here the update to a 2015 United Way report will not surprise you.
Toronto region becoming more divided along income lines
thestar.com
And oh boy, the reports are never in short supply for long.  From late September: word about older citizens and others in food difficulty.
Who’s Hungry in Our City? 2017
North York Harvest & Daily Bread Food Bank
Not working isn’t the cause of all this.  In case you were wondering about 60% of those in poverty in Canada are in work.
Canadians for Public Justice 2017 Poverty Trends
cpj.ca

(1220) Ontario basic income challenges


Ontario’s basic income pilot program moves forward and real world details accumulate about it.  This is the hard work part, turning a theoretical schema into a reality.
Again, with variations of this hideous term ‘free money’ which The Star ought to know better than to use because it is so biased towards the right leaning critique of basic income.
Handing out money for free harder than it looks. Ontario began issuing basic income cheques in July, but reaching eligible participants has been a challenge
thestar.com