Poverty & The Wheel of Fortune
Back in 1989, the Canadian parliament swore they would eradicate child poverty by the year 2000. Many years later, the statistics on child poverty are still the same; in fact, the total number of people living in poverty has actually increased. Those on welfare assistance today receive considerably less than they did 20 years ago! Even the social safety nets that were of help to the poor have been viciously gutted. Today:
20% of women in Canada are now poor.
49% of senior female citizens have low incomes. That is half the population of female senior citizens.
And yet, every few years, a new commission is created to examine poverty, to give short-term and long-term suggestions on how Canada can - and will - address the persistent problem of poverty.
Poverty cannot be eradicated by royal commissions. In fact, the solution to poverty is a simple one and has been well understood by politicians for a long time: stop giving concessions to corporations at the expense of the poor and the middle class. Why tax wealthy corporations less than half of what the government taxes the rest of us when the billions they gather is not even used to create jobs?
The only thing that is true is this: these studies and commissions are used by the government to appear as though they are committed to eliminate poverty. And they repeat this lie year after year and we let them get away with it.
The truth of it all is that the Harper government is at war…yes, at war…against the poor and the middle class. He has brutishly cut funds for social programs at the expense of those in need; reduced help under EI, cut funding for childcare programs, sided with corporations against the organized labour movement, and has shown absolutely no respect for the Universal Declaration of Rights that recognizes housing as a fundamental right; the list is a long one. Any assistance that could have helped the poor help themselves out of poverty has been cut.
Does this look like a commitment to eradicate poverty?
But we all know the truth - it is a question of morals and human values. And Harper's values are to pad the banks and CEO's pockets with exorbitant profits. Not to help the poor.