(659) Four child poverty charts

child povertyA major indicator for child poverty is the number of charts made to describe it.  Twenty-five years ago then NDP leader Ed Broadbent introduced a motion in Canada’s parliament to end child poverty.  It passed unanimously.  Right now, child poverty is up in Canada.  Where did we go wrong?  The economy is bigger than ever though we’ve had a stupid war or two and lots of neoconservatism since 1989.  Here’s four more charts for us to ponder.

Child poverty is up in Canada even after vowing in 1989 to end it
pressprogress.ca

Mr. Broadbent in 1989:

(655) Faster than ever

Marie-Antoinette,_1775_-_Musée_Antoine_LécuyerSince forever, Canada’s rich have gotten richer.  Now, it’s the speed of it all.  Even America, the original home of all things zillionaire-ey, is behind us.  Wealth-X and UBS put this, and not a few other findings, in their new global report on ultra high net worth people.  There’s thought to be just under a quarter of a million such individuals worldwide and their status rests on $30-trillion in assets.  In 2008 and 2010 there were reports on Canada’s fast-movers, so the trend is looking quite solid.

The rich are getting richer — and faster than you think
Linda McQuaig in iPolitics

Canada’s rapidly growing wealth gap remains off the political agenda. Why?
Linda McQuaig on rabble.ca

image: Marie Antoinette by unknown artist via Wikimedia Commons

(649) Social safety

GrantThis cold week of Remembrance Day 2014 included the voice of Harry Leslie Smith, 91.  Smith experienced the Great Depression and World War II, firstly as a child, then as a working person and soldier.  The difficulties and losses of those years are attached, in a book Smith has written, to the progress made after 1945.  Harry’s Last Stand describes its author’s fear that the erosion of the security and quality of life for middle and working class people is disastrous in ways all too familiar to his generation.  Young people coming of age in an era of austerity and inequality face diminished prospects according to Smith.  His words are delivered gently but carry very serious things.

Why this 91-year old veteran fears we’re losing what we won after WWII
pressprogress.ca

And the very same week, what appears other than a brutal report on child poverty in Toronto?  This is why social safety nets were invented and need to be fought for.  This is exactly what Smith is talking about.

Hidden epidemic: a report on child and family poverty in Toronto

(647) The low wage trap [UK report]

resolutionA report from the UK finds low wage workers quite trapped.

Low-paid workers unable to escape poverty trap. Only one in four workers who were low-paid in 2001 managed to move on to higher pay after a decade, says social mobility study
theguardian.com

Escape plan: understanding who progresses from low pay and who gets stuck
Resolution Foundation – at their site is a series of papers on pay & social difficulty in the UK

(639) Deflation

Flat_tireSometimes, we secretly wish we were accountants, high end ones that could work the big numbers, unpack the complexity of money like it was no more than a cheap suitcase in a Vegas motel room.  Then we could come up with magic articles like this one from Medium:

Breaking down without a spare: America’s lopsided welfare system of counterproductive public assistance

image: Frenkieb via Wikimedia Commons

(637) Divide


2skid rowA new report
looks at where three emerging classes stand in twelve city regions half a decade after the big crash.  A much reduced number of blue collar workers, the so-called creative class and service sector employees all need to get along and get around.  When they step out their doors in the morning they are finding different things.  Inequality dictates much of what they will encounter.  This divide is seen in place of residence and mode of transportation and will have a determining effect on economics and politics and the manner of living of tens of millions.  The report comes from Richard Florida and the Toronto-based Martin Prosperity Institute.  It’s focus is American but the trends identified are applicable in the Greater Toronto Area.  It will be an amazing and powerful story to see which places get this right and a horror to see the ones that do not.  The author asks us to take a more complex view of cities and suburbs and their needs going forward.

The Divided City. Just as they’ve started to revitalize—attracting industry, investment and people—our cities are threatened by new and more vexing divides

image: Stephen Zeigler via Wikimedia Commons