A squeeze is on working people in the United Kingdom, the States and Canada. The calculus of personal pressure and hard times described in this piece from The Guardian website is certainly reproduced in the Greater Toronto Area. Such difficulty seems to be a big part of what it means to be a working person in these societies. Mentioned in this piece is the weak economics of wages for a couple with a young child in Glasgow where a call-centre job really just doesn’t cut it. The weight of this at the societal level is also discovered via this article. Recent data from a UK university is linked concluding a crap job is often much worse for your mental health than the stresses of full on unemployment.
Crazy stuff indeed. The late nineteenth century industrial economy was fuelled on coal. Our early twenty-first century digital economy is fuelled on human stress.
Having a bad job can be worse for your health than being unemployed
image: Flood G. via Flickr/CC
As with food and fuel we can attach hygiene to the word poverty more easily than we like. Making poverty a plural may be pushing it a little at the moment but if we continue with our present economic systems we might just have to. This UK item squares with our observations of a busy drop in centre in the Greater Toronto Area where personal care supplies were always very popular.
Poverty driving people to choose between eating or keeping clean. In Kind Direct charity warns of ‘hidden crisis’ facing thousands after it distributes £20.2m of hygiene products in one year
(1094) Period poverty
(597) Free tampons!
Here are two thoughtful pieces regarding the atrocious fire in a tower block in London on the 15th. We can’t help but feel that London’s economic regime, aided and abetted by public policy, produced this fire. People in authority need to go to jail.
Already there are several clear lines of responsibility leading to both government and business which indicate the fire would have been prevented had some fairly moderate things been tended to. Unfortunately, the neoliberal economic regime in the UK is a beast now quite skilled at defending itself from acquiring responsibility for disasters of every kind from questionable privatization drives to botched wars.
UK public money is available for wars in the Middle East, for surveillance programs run by intelligence agencies, and extensive agricultural subsidies. The local government body responsible for the building recently handed out a property tax rebate and is one of the wealthiest in Britain with large amounts of money on hand. Real property in London represents a vast and profitable churn of billions of pounds yearly and social housing has been a component of that for many years. Why so little for the Grenfell’s residents?
We’ll see over the next few years if eighty or more lives are enough to change things.
Grenfell is a shameful symbol of a state that didn’t care
(755) Towers for the better
(485) Highrise hell [report]
(321) Rising high
(83) 1 Millionth Tower
image: ChiralJon via Flickr/CC
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)
Fat cat tuesday 2016
Just as the joyful task of processing Finland’s basic income undertaking lifts off we encounter another endorphin-boosting news item on that very topic.
This one is from the UK, where things have been anything but progressive for a stupidly long time now. The Royal Society for Arts has released an initiative in support of a universal minimum income. The RSA is calling for about CAN$7500 per year with more for households that have young children.
Prestigious British think tank endorses basic income
Basic Income Earth Network (video 1:42)
image: CGP Grey via Flickr/CC
‘Conscious cruelty’: Ken Loach’s shock at benefit sanctions and food banks.‘ Hunger is being used as a weapon,’ says veteran director, calling for public rage over situation he says is worse than when he made Cathy Come Home in 1966
image: Willwal via Wikimedia Commons/CC
The rise and fall of Glasgow’s Red Road Flats, part 1: Glasgow housing in historical context
see also: (131) Boom! & http://www.redroadflats.org.uk/
image: Tom Parnell via Flickr/CC