"mostly it is the product of governments that have neither shared nor cared. As a Unicef report last Friday pointed out, Canadian politicians have failed our children. During the 1990s, the federal government abandoned a leadership role for Canada's poor. It unilaterally cancelled the Canada Assistance Plan with the provinces, eliminated all low-cost housing programs, ceased to set the pattern for minimum wages and failed to bring in a national child-care program. Perhaps most serious and unbelievable of all, it exacerbated the inequality that was emerging in the marketplace by changing the income-tax system to the advantage of the richest Canadians."
His solution? To start taxing the rich. Obviously, a no brainer.
"For more than a decade, it is upper-income Canadians – not the poor or middle class – who have disproportionately benefited from globalization and deregulation. Therefore, I say that increasing their share of income taxes would be based on neither greed nor class envy. It should be called justice."
This Blogging Tory, of course disagrees with taxing the rich because:
"Taxing the rich will just make them get more tax breaks in other ways, currently most people who are extremely rich do not pay an adequate amount of tax comparably to lower and middle incomes because of all the tax alleviations for them."
I agree with that statement, so instead of just leaving them alone, we need to go further: let's start plugging all those legal tax loopholes that the rich and the corporations rely on.
More needs to be invested in job training so the unemployed can either gain or upgrade skills particularly if their trades are considered now obsolete due to the changes in technology and trends.
Countries like Finland, Denmark and Sweden have managed to almost eliminate child poverty. Countries under Socialist regimes (more or less, anyway), where taxes are much higher. A lot of folks would balk at this but the fact is those countries tend to enjoy a higher standard of living. Norway was rated #1 in the world recently by the United Nations.
I also strongly believe that attitudes need to change. We are following the greedy self-centered, self justifying ways of the U.S. We need to stop relying on stereotypes that help us sleep easily at night like, 'oh, they're only welfare folks, siphoning off the tax payers' or finding some way to blame the poor families themselves.
The G & M article points out that most of these parents of poor kids are workers. More often, than not, a two income family. The days of the luxuries of a stay at home parent is as obsolete as the typewriter, unless one parent is lucky enough to be able to work at home and even then, it is often at even less money. Fact is that salary increases as a whole don't seem to catch up with the rise of the cost of living.
Attitudes like those of folks like Kathy Shiddle, who admits to hating the poor and nothing should be done to help them, need to change. She is certainly not alone.
It is even worse when a politician comes out with the same attitude. Yesterday, Gerald Keddy told The Chronicle Herald exactly what he thought of the unemployed of Halifax: