Surely few will argue that poverty comes cheap. Poverty is a master issue found to amplify nearly all other forms of social difficulty from tooth decay to car accidents and much worse things like cancer and house fires. Public sector finances are merely the first, strongest indicator of the cost of poverty. In the case of Great Britain this effect is captured only too well in the new report at the link below. Serious stuff. Seventy-eight billion pounds worth.
Counting the cost of UK poverty
Joseph Rowntree Foundation (92-page .pdf file)
If you are looking for US data, and perhaps some insight into Canadian trends, this page from Strong Towns will help. Seriously, bookmark this site.
image: Vincent via Flickr/CC
We keep hearing about all this generalized American anger. Swathes of the population there are feeling filthy about the way things have turned out after decades of neoconservative nonsense from both sides of a two-party federal system. This generalized anger in turn explains the success of Mr. Orangeface Clownpants. Trump has been able to say pretty much any nasty-ass thing he wants to say and still get ahead because of the funk and fury the American voter has sunk into and seethes with respectively. Rage serves to peg in place political illiteracy these days. Hillary Clinton offers herself as the calming Mommy to the tantrum-throwing voter and so she benefits from the unfocused rage as well.
So, how about you Americans focus a little. Dare we even suggest an apoplectic unity on behalf of the children who will someday inherit your republic? A good starting point would be this kick in the head of a paper from March this year. Half of all children in America are in poverty or pretty damn near it. Half of them! What does the lackluster alumni of US federal political party leadership have to say about this topic during the weirdest of elections ever? Looks to be pretty much nothing.
image: Thomas Hawk via Flickr/CC
Oh dear. Mexico City, Dallas and Seattle have more inequality than Toronto. We are a little higher on the inequality list than most of us may think. We got right into the North American ill top four thanks to eight billionaires, a brace of other rich folk and Canada’s slackness on inheritance taxes. Crazy returns on real estate probably also helped the one percenters. We’re nineteenth globally.
The geography of the global super-rich 47-page .pdf file
Martin Prosperity Institute/University of Toronto
Toronto’s 1 per cent are about 100,000 times wealthier than us. Divide between Toronto’s rich and the rest of us among the biggest in the world
This month the Centre for the Study of Living Standards issued a new report all about income gaps, inequality, job quality and other such things that determine much of daily life in Canada. Among the findings: what looks like a slackening of the connection between advanced education and higher income. Canada’s lowest income brackets have seen an increase in the number of PhD holders therein. This may be evidence of something many of us have observed casually over the years? More study is needed to understand the depth and meaning of these particular findings but if they are true this isn’t really good news. We are supposed to be living and working in a society that needs and respects education and rewards strivers. Maybe that proposition has changed?
Low-wage earners with graduate degrees on rise, new study shows
Trends in low wage employment in Canada: incidence, gap, intensity 1997-2014 66-page .pdf file
Journalist Frances Bula starts a summer-long Globe and Mail series on renter’s issues. In terms of cost alone renting has become a horror show for many Canadians. This could be such a rich topic for media outlets of almost any size and format. I mean, we are talking about a form of second-class citizenship in one of the richest countries in the world.
No Vacancy: high rents and low vacancy are squeezing renters in Canada’s largest cities
Will the housing crisis finally make someone pay attention to renter issues?
image: Curly via Flickr/CC
New work from University or Toronto indicates a not inconsiderable peril for the health of the GTA’s children.
image: Toronto archives via Flickr/CC
York Region continues to find itself beset by a growing economic precariousness according to United Way findings from last year updated this week. Most of us still consider York Region well off but some forty percent of jobs there are weakly held ones that don’t pay enough.
Linkage via this United Way blog page: imagineacity.ca