- Maia Szalavitz discusses the connection between unemployment, inequality and addictions, noting in particular that uncertainty and stress in other areas of an individual's life make addition recovery far more difficult:
The relationship between addiction rates and inequality has long been noted by researchers who study its health effects: countries and states with higher levels of inequality tend to have worse mental health and addiction problems than those with less dramatic differences between the 1% and everyone else.- Of course, there's one obvious way to make sure individuals have a secure income to fall back on - and on that front, Charles Murray makes the case for a guaranteed annual income in the U.S., while Heather Stewart reports that the Labour Party is taking a close look at a basic income in the UK.
Further, decades of survey data also show that the addiction rate among the unemployed is usually around twice as high as among those who have jobs. Some of this unemployment, of course, is addiction-related job loss. But a review of this literature suggests that in many cases, unemployment precedes addiction and that either way, it reduces the odds of recovery.
(W)hen decent jobs are not available, all of the social aspects of this process can be blocked because economic opportunity influences not only employment, but also coupling and childrearing. Accordingly, recovery without treatment is far less common among the poor and unemployed.
For over 100 years, we’ve relied on attempting to cut the drug supply by locking up dealers or restricting access to certain chemicals – and this has never remotely come close to solving the problem. If we want to fight addiction, we’ve got to look at what drives people to despair. And to do that, we can’t ignore inequality.
- But Jordan Press reports that the Cons' attempts to instead fragment social services and outsource them to the corporate sector have proven to be an utter failure - even as the Libs continue down the same path. And David Shield reports that programs working on the connections between social issues are also being axed by Brad Wall.
- CAP Action points out a new Congressional Budget Office report on the risks and costs of climate change. And Patrick Cain comments on how Canada's prairies in particular will be affected - including serious risks to water supplies.
- Finally, Sean McElwee examines the U.S.' political donor class and its outsized influence on public policy.