- Danny Dorling comments on the dangers posed by inequality, while pointing out that it's simple enough to ensure a more equal society as long as that's made a primary goal of government:
It is not hard to reduce inequalities and to improve health and happiness once that is your actual goal. It is much harder to maintain high and rising levels of economic inequality because you constantly need to find more people to exploit and impoverish if you are to become richer and richer; and you have to fight off others who will always try to take your place at the top of the steepest of inequality slopes; as well as the growing number opposed the high inequality in general. Increasing fairness in education reduces later economic inequality. Taxing people fairly reduces the incentives of those who are greedy to try to always take more. Ensuring that basic human rights are protected over housing, that rents don’t become too high, that people cannot be evicted so easily, makes us all more equal and prevents a very small group of landlords becoming richer and richer. Spending a decent amount on health services protects those who fall ill the most, and often become (or already are) the poorest. In Western Europe only Greece and Italy now spend a lower proportion of their GDP on health care as compared to the UK. Switzerland spends twice as much per person, the Netherlands 59% more, Germany 49% more, France 27% more. The best-off 1% in Switzerland take half what the best-off 1% in the UK take each year. There is no shortage of policies you can adopt, if you believe that we all deserve respect.- Meanwhile, Ben Sichel writes that many educational concerns can be traced back to poverty and inequality. And Teuila Fuatai reminds us that a basic income has been shown to relieve against multiple kinds of stressors and health issues.
- Mary Ornsby reports on the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty's study showing that province's shelter system is breaking down. And Andre Picard examines the national problem of precarious housing:
- Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on the difficulty workers face trying to recover stolen wages. And Barbara Yaffe exposes what appears to be widespread tax evasion on income from house flipping.On any given night, there are about 35,000 homeless people across Canada, and the number of families and children among them is growing at an alarming rate, a new report reveals.One in every seven users of homeless shelters is a child, according to Putting an End to Child & Family Homelessness, being published Monday by the advocacy group Raising the Roof.The report shows that family use of shelters has jumped 50 per cent in the past decade, and their length of stay has increased markedly in recent years to an average of more than 50 days.Further, nightly shelter use is just the tip of the iceberg. About 235,000 people used homeless shelters at some point last year, and that doesn’t include the “hidden homeless” who crash with family and friends, or live in their cars.All told, about 3.1 million Canadians are precariously housed, living in crowded, sub-standard housing or in unaffordable housing (meaning more than 30 per cent of their income goes to housing costs), and many of them are one rent payment away from homelessness.
- Finally, David Roberts discusses how the scope of climate change makes it difficult for people to easily process the need to act.