California. So much wealth and potential alongside such difficulty. Disneyland and tent cities. Again and again in neoliberal North American life wages and the cost of housing jam working people up against the wall.
Bankhead from the outside looks like a place that would be pretty hard to love. In other words, it is much like much of the United States. The Atlanta neighbourhood has seen better days, yes, and with some investment from a multi-award winning musician with roots there Bankhead may rise up yet.
In a balanced community, the trails and parks are major assets. Greenery and recreation outside are important to so many things, from the development of children to cleaning the air we breathe. Scenery and recreation are fairly described as necessities.
Something is off when such assets are pressed into use as places to live. Anyone travelling to Los Angeles lately will have been struck with the scale of urban outdoor living there. It seems like much of the city has been commandeered by raggedy tents and tarps stretched between poles and sticks to define some privacy for people experiencing socio-economic difficulty.
Such encroachment is problematic in a host of ways. Safety and hygiene are a challenge for the homeless, to say the least. Outdoor living in parks and along trails also reduces the pleasure and benefit of such places on the part of others. It can eliminate that pleasure and benefit completely in some cases. So, in the best uncomfortable-to-read tradition of this blog we therefore link you to a newspaper item about Hamilton, Ontario.
Hopefully, this issue will receive some sensible amelioration. Just as the smoke from burning fires in the north seeps across the horizon a sense of psychological uneasiness with the social prospects for Ontario swirls outward as the primal, humid days of Premier Ford’s era unfold.
A series in Slate does the job working over the downward tilt in fortune for American suburban living. Worth a visit. I suppose we Ontarians are looking to protect ourselves from this kind of socioeconomic illness how?
By electing Doug Ford premier?
Ontario’s basic income pilot has begun to produce some observations and anecdotes. A thorough, high level analysis will need to be done at the conclusion of the three-year, three-community trial but expectations are high. The pilot project is not quite a full-on basic income, more of a test apparatus designed to gather evidence of what actually happens in the lives of a recipient.
Yes, there is still a fair bit of naysaying and skepticism out there. Some of it from surprising directions like a major anti-poverty activist here in Ontario and from union figures. Another hurdle may be the upcoming provincial election. All kinds of right wing critters and neoliberal reactionaries are looking for power, for gravy trains to stop, as it were. The pilot project may be an early target in the election and for whoever gets into the premier’s office. In the meantime, words from the participants are appropriate.