Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Vanessa Brcic offers some observations on the connection between poverty and health, including the importance of ensuring marginalized people are treated with respect:
The economic argument for poverty reduction is clear, but we see in health care what is more plainly obvious and compelling: the argument for human dignity. The deeply colonial, broken and inaccessible “poverty policing” that occurs in the current welfare and disability support systems have negative health impacts. Various papers and reports describe the impact of discriminatory systems, which for too long have perpetuated the shameful trend of labeling the poor and marginalized as undeserving. I invite anyone who believes that any person is undeserving of food, housing, or opportunity to thrive and contribute to contact me for a conversation: let’s talk.
A fair income program must not allow governments off the hook for, or take the place of, other universal programs that patients depend on for their health (pharmacare, primary care and mental health), for their families (child care, elder and caregiver support, and housing), and for belonging (community and cultural programs, and so much more). If we dare look beyond a four-year political term, these public programs are cost-saving and economy-boosting measures. Further progressive policy (such as fair taxation and increasing private sector accountability for social and environmental externalities) can also help with this.

Support for people marginalized by current policies of oppression and colonization must include person-to-person support. People must be seen, heard and respected. Systemic change—including essential public services and basic income support—must provide the foundation for this support so that people can live with dignity, rather than systemically endorsed shame and isolation.
- Nicole Mortarillo reports on new research showing that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch includes 16 times more plastic waste than previously known. And Graham Readfearn points out the World Health Organization's concerns about large amounts of plastic in tap and (especially) bottled water.

- Meanwhile, Julia Belluz reports on the U.S.' use of NAFTA to try to prevent Canada and Mexico from warning citizens about unhealthy food.

- Finally, Kate Aronoff writes about the difficulties advocates have faced in pursuing even first steps toward combating climate change in the U.S. And Robson Fletcher and Brooks DeCillia discuss how Jason Kenney and other right-wing politicians have muddied the waters on climate policy - and how the few measures they're occasionally willing to tolerate are particularly inefficient.

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