Tag Archives: psychological aspects

(1143) Citizen psychology


If the poor are less likely to vote then they won’t do much to advocate for themselves in the form of activism, letter writing or calling elected representatives either, will they?
In Ontario there is an opportunity to lift up the status of the working poor.  This is a moment when a push from the electorate could make a difference.
Advocates: Ontario plan to overhaul labour laws, boost minimum wage step in the right direction. Labour advocates applaud sweeping labour reforms and Ontario’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, but say it needs to happen soon
metronews.ca
Ontario to consider boosting minimum wage to $15, increasing paid sick days.
cbc.ca/news
UK-based academic research confirms what many have suspected for years; that low-income people have little faith in the system.
How poverty makes people less likely to vote. It is not surprising that so many of the poorest people choose not to vote. Theirs is not an act of apathy – for they are often intensely political – but of disgust
theguardian.com
image: duncan c via Flickr/CC

(1128) Discount grocery pay


Discount grocery stores exemplify the struggle to get by – on both sides of the cash register.

We should be paid a living wage’. Discount grocery store workers speak out against management, unions.  Food Basics say company and unions are not fighting enough for their rights
cbc.ca/news

A podcast with author Ellen Rupel Shell about the implications of low end retail.

The high cost of buying ‘cheap’
npr.org (2009 podcast 29:43)

image: rene_beignet via Flickr/CC

(1125) Poverty as disease

This past weekend saw the international March for Science take place in something like 600 communities.  We can hardly think of anything as heartening as smart people the world over gathering for science.  Adhering to a theme of knowledge and objectivity is this piece from Nautilus.  Its author looks into the reality of living a life of deep uncertainty and stress.  We really urge you to read this one because it is starting to look like poverty doesn’t just deform personal behaviour and therefore lead us to injury.  Poverty can be increasingly seen as harmful to us at cellular and genetic levels and in our body chemistry.  An understanding of the science of poverty should allow us to stop attributing its existence of some combination of personal character and systemic inevitability and to rationally treating it.
Why poverty is like a disease. Emerging science is putting the lie to American meritocracy
See also: (372) Studies indicate poverty impairs cognitive ability

(1100) Basic income Friday

Wine o’clock Friday.  Another week closer to a universal basic income?  Maybe.
Universal basic income: a psychological assessment
Psychologists for Social Change 22-page .pdf file
Ontario releases basic income consultation feedback. 
Province moving forward with pilot program in 2017
news.ontario.ca
The promise of a basic income in Canada
foodbankscanada.ca
image: Kristo via Flickr/CC

(1085) Prepared Housewives


Walk Score is an online software tool that assesses the basic characteristics of any address in Canada or the United States given to it.  Your neighbourhood is rated by an algorithm between 0 and 100 for ease of access to a list of general amenities, such common sense things as schools, cinemas, bus stops.  Its intentions are generally progressive and supportive of the idea that a walkable community is simply nicer to live in and easier on the environment and therefore more desirable.  Walk Score is often used by people looking for a new neighbourhood and it can be quite fairly said to be a barometer of the quality of life in a given place.  A strong Walk Score, would reflect the humane values of urbanist Jane Jacobs.  A low Walk Score might be reflected in a less salubrious environment.
So, it was a little disorienting to come across a Texas mom’s utilization of Walk Score today.  All those people nearby in your dense, cross-connected community?  Well, if things got tough they might just kill you and eat your brain, right?  If there was a pandemic, a civil war, an infrastructure and economic crash all at the same time you want to be ready, right?  You need maximum info on where to be when things get even dumber than they already are.
Jamie, who seems super nice and obviously really loves her kids, blogged about the way she applies Walk Score to her preparations for the coming apocalypse.  Walk Score provides her with intel on her kind of community.  The index tells Jamie where she doesn’t want to be.
This is almost a mirror opposite use of Walk Score for assessing resilience.  Flying deeper into the century, each to their own anxiety, we suppose…
Walk score.  One test preppers want their home to FAIL! 
prepared-housewives.com
See also:
(771) A privileged doom: suburban preppers
(39) Suburban survivalists
image: Jeremy Brooks via Flickr/CC

(1084) Lotto madness


Barely anyone at large in the industrial, consumer, automotive, real estate complex we call home has escaped the call of the lottery ticket.  Deep down, even the most sensible and realistic of us harbours a fantasy of something for nothing here.  We think of all the good things we could do for those we care about or all the crazy shit we could do for ourselves.  Either way, we frequently line up at that most suburban of settings, the gas station, and lay down several hours pay in our minimum wage job for a piece of paper that could change everything. Time to think a little more about the psycho-social effects of the lotteries, yeah?
EIther way, good luck and don’t forget to give us some.
Robin Hoodwinked:how billion dollar powerballs reflect 21st century inequality. State lotteries take from the poor to give to the rich, but we have options and there is a game-changing alternative
US basic income activist Scott Santens on medium.com

image: Mark Turnauckus via Flickr/CC