With last night’s election results revealing another NeoCon minority government, it seems fitting somehow that today is Blog Action Day ’08 A call to action for bloggers to raise awareness on issues of poverty.
During the campaign Make Poverty History asked the leaders what they would do about poverty both home and abroad, not surprisingly “All of them except Conservative leader Stephen Harper agreed to answer our questions about their plans to fight poverty.” There is a take action section here to ask Harper what he plans to do about poverty. I think we can well guess his answer though.
From the Campaign 2000 sidebar “On November 24, 1989, the House of Commons unanimously passed a resolution to seek to achieve the goal of eliminating poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000.”
Well here we are in the year 2008 and child poverty if anything has increased. Incomes have been steadily eroded by regressive right wing policies. The constant cutting of social safety nets to provide funds to corporations that then take the money and run to other countries where workers are cheaper, have fewer or no rights and are often forced into labour, has resulted in more and more families making the choice between paying the rent and buying groceries. Between paying utilities or getting the kids new shoes/coats/birthday presents. There is no money for lessons or activities, no money for special treats, no trips. Children in poverty grow up in a war zone. The class war. The war no one speaks of unless the poor get a little rowdy and call into question the policies that have created a system where the boots of the few rest on the backs of the many, including so many children. So called “think tanks” like the Frasier Institute create formulae to determine that you only live in poverty if you are further than 500 miles from a shelter and there is no dumpster from which you can eat.
Deceit and manipulation has convinced that masses that social programs are too costly and any move toward *gasp* socialism would bankrupt the country/world economy. Yet if you look around after decades of rampant unfettered capitalism and corporate welfare the world economies are in collapse and governments are resorting to enormous amounts of socialist cash infusion into the banking industry to try to provide a solution to a world wide depression. No where near the amount of money spent on this fiasco could have provided decent housing, health care, eliminated, or vastly decreased, child poverty And proper regulations surrounding the treatment of workers and the expectations of corporations to keep jobs in Canada would have resulted in good jobs and plenty of cash influx into the economy. Yet instead we are told to tighten our belts while CEO’s reap obscene amounts of money even in a crashing economy.
If we as a country truly believe that it is acceptable that a child goes hungry while corporations that have no concern for or loyalty to our country or our citizens receive 50 billion dollars in tax cuts. If we as a country truly believe it is ok for people to live on the street while banks receive infusions of cash to prop up the obvious and glaring failures of a capitalist corportocracy. If we as a country truly believe it is more important to provide CEOs with multiple homes while others have no home or are in danger of losing theirs with just one missed day of work, then we have well and truly lost our humanity.