Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Jordon Cooper rightly argues that we should move away from forcing people to rely on homeless shelters and other stopgap measures when we can afford to provide permanent homes:
We fill a bus for the hungry while ignoring that the reason for it is that social service programs depend in part on our generosity to feed people. We bring care packages to shelters and forget that cities elsewhere in Canada have drastically reduced the number of people in shelters and the time they spend there, and that it's cheaper than keeping people in shelters. One can make Christmas at shelters an extremely pleasant experience. I have seen shelters provide fabulous food, nice gifts, good movies and quality entertainment over the holidays. Staff, volunteers and even residents go all out to make things pleasant and inviting.

Yet, at the same time, you are left with people who remain homeless. If you ask them if they would rather be in a dorm or a their own apartment, the answer would be the same for each: They want a place to call home.
As important as it is to be charitable toward the poor, it is more important to find long term solutions to social problems and implement them. As great as it is to help someone in a shelter at Christmas, it would be even better if they didn't have to be there.
- Zoe Williams laments the UK's move toward different classes of new citizenship based on wealth. And Susana Mas reports that the Cons are being even less subtle about making cash up front the default standard for immigrants to Canada.

- Jim Tankersley writes that far too many of the U.S.' best and brightest young minds are being diverted into a financial system which does nothing but extract wealth for itself. And Michael Lewis has a few suggestions to reverse that pattern.

- Scott Clark and Peter DeVries comment on the absurdity of being governed by a party which is fundamentally opposed to the idea of government. And Michael Harris highlights the gap between what the Cons plan to campaign on next year, and what Canadians actually want out of a federal government.

- And finally, Linda McQuaig reminds us of Canada's appalling role in encouraging and facilitating torture in the wake of the U.S.' long-awaited report. 

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