1. Grand Chief Derek Nepinak was dismayed by comments made by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney about a report on access to food in Canada by the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food.

    Olivier Schutter completed his 11-day official visit to Canada by delivering a preliminary report in Ottawa Wednesday morning. Canada is the first developed nation De Schutter has visited.

    He said Canada is basking in the glow of its wealthy while nearly two million Canadians are left to wonder where there next meal is coming from.

    "I have to say my concerns are extremely severe, and I don’t see why I should mince my words," he said.

    He said Canada is ignoring its obligations under several UN conventions under which the government has a responsibility to protect the right to food. The country needs a national right to food strategy.

    But Aglukkaq said De Schutter was “patronizing” and “ill-informed” and Kenney said he was wasting his time in Canada when there are countries out there with real famines.

     

     poverty  Conservatives  Tories  Leona Aglukkaq  Jason Kenney 

  2. ellobofilipino:

kateoplis:

pantslessprogressive:

Dr. Cornel West at the Occupy Wall Street protest Tuesday evening. [Photo: @linktothepast86]

Win.

Truth.

    ellobofilipino:

    kateoplis:

    pantslessprogressive:

    Dr. Cornel West at the Occupy Wall Street protest Tuesday evening. [Photo: @linktothepast86]

    Win.

    Truth.

    (Source: pantslessprogressive)

     

     poverty  war  cornel west  wall street 

  3. From The Conference Board of Canada:

What does the Gini coefficient mean? 
The Gini coefficient (named after the Italian statistician Corrado  Gini) is the most commonly used measure of income inequality. It  calculates the extent to which the distribution of income among  individuals within a country deviates from a perfectly equal  distribution. A Gini coefficient of 0 represents perfect equality (that  is, every person in the society has the same amount of income); a Gini  coefficient of 100 represents perfect inequality (that is, one person  has all the income and the rest of the society has none).
How does Canada compare to its peers? 
Income inequality is higher in Canada than in 11 of the peer  countries. Although Canada’s wealth is distributed more equally than in  the U.S., Canada’s 12th place ranking suggests it is doing a mediocre  job of ensuring income equality. Canada gets a “C” grade on this  indicator.
Denmark and Sweden, which have the lowest levels of poverty among children and their working-age populations,  are also the clear leaders on the income inequality indicator. The  relationship between social spending and poverty rates has become more  obvious over time, so it is no surprise that these leading countries  boast strong traditions of wealth distribution. Their success in  maintaining low poverty rates is attributable to a universal welfare  policy that has been effectively combined with job creation strategies  that support gender equality and accessibility.

    From The Conference Board of Canada:

    What does the Gini coefficient mean?

    The Gini coefficient (named after the Italian statistician Corrado Gini) is the most commonly used measure of income inequality. It calculates the extent to which the distribution of income among individuals within a country deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. A Gini coefficient of 0 represents perfect equality (that is, every person in the society has the same amount of income); a Gini coefficient of 100 represents perfect inequality (that is, one person has all the income and the rest of the society has none).

    How does Canada compare to its peers?

    Income inequality is higher in Canada than in 11 of the peer countries. Although Canada’s wealth is distributed more equally than in the U.S., Canada’s 12th place ranking suggests it is doing a mediocre job of ensuring income equality. Canada gets a “C” grade on this indicator.

    Denmark and Sweden, which have the lowest levels of poverty among children and their working-age populations, are also the clear leaders on the income inequality indicator. The relationship between social spending and poverty rates has become more obvious over time, so it is no surprise that these leading countries boast strong traditions of wealth distribution. Their success in maintaining low poverty rates is attributable to a universal welfare policy that has been effectively combined with job creation strategies that support gender equality and accessibility.

     

     Canada  income inequality  poverty 

  4. brettjohn:

This startling picture of the White House, by Saddington & Baynes for WaterAid and End Water Poverty, marks a meeting of 30 nations to discuss the problem of water poverty.
Read More

More:
WaterAid America
WaterAid UK
WaterAid International
Engineers Without Borders Canada - African Programs
End Water Poverty

    brettjohn:

    This startling picture of the White House, by Saddington & Baynes for WaterAid and End Water Poverty, marks a meeting of 30 nations to discuss the problem of water poverty.

    Read More

    More:

     

     water  White House  charity  poverty 

  5. afghanibanani:

    Child poverty in the US is double the average of the 30 OECD countries.

    (9 Myths)

    Related: …we looked at life expectancy, mental illness, teen birthrates, violence, the percent of populations in prison, and drug use [in relation to income (in)equality; Richard Wilkinson - GOOD]

    Income Inequality, Regression, and Understanding the Residual

     

     income  inequality  poverty  health  crime 

  6. Customers stormed the Kentucky Fried Chicken at the China World Tower in Beijing on Tuesday evening, flipping chairs and tables and refusing to leave after their coupons were denied, the branch’s manager said Wednesday.

    The anger stemmed from a national coupon promotion gone awry. It also resulted in KFC scrambling to do damage control after customers were told at counters that the discounts they had printed out from online weren’t valid. Some customers refused to leave without an explanation, believing they had been deceived.

    The promotion involved KFC branches across China, but it was abruptly canceled after it began Tuesday morning. Electronic coupons had been sent to the first 100 people who registered for a new “Super Value Tuesday” deal.

    In an attempt to address consumer outrage, KFC Wednesday made an apparently vague pledge to honor the half-price coupons that had been downloaded from its official website.

    […]

    According to the terms of the promotion, customers with the printed-out or copied e-coupons are entitled to a 50 percent discount if they buy the take-away family-serving Bucket, Chicken Strips, Extra-Tasty Crispy Burger, or Nuggets on particular days. The normal prices for the items range from 11 to 64 yuan ($1.60-$9.30).

    According to the original plan, special discount vouchers were to be sold at a mere 0.01 yuan at taobao.com , a popular online auction and shopping website in China, at three intervals - at 10 am, 2 pm and 4 pm - each for a different type of coupon.

    I first heard of this story from a coworker. Details were lacking and it was one that piqued my interest. I like to keep one eye on China (the other’s on tumblr) but as you may have heard it can be a challenge to find a variety of views from native sources.

    I’ll share some details I’ve heard personally from coworkers (who admittedly may be no more reliable than any other online news source) and wikipedia (please share sources if you have radically different numbers. Numbers interest me. Some of them anyways). And I think some background got lost in translation.

    First, from a coworker, I heard that this was happening at KFCs across the nation and this was not just a few isolated incidents. 

    from the article: KFC has been operating in China since it opened its first restaurant in Beijing in 1987. It has more than 2,100 outlets across 450 cities in the country.

    coworker: KFC prevalence in China (in nonrural regions) is similar to that of McDonald’s in Canada (and I’m guessing the States; e.g. three down a street just a couple of blocks apart). KFC is actually more than just fast-food in China. It’s actually considered somewhat of a luxury. And because of the prohibitive costs (see below) it’s actually the type of treat that some (particularly rural) families might indulge in but once a year. So for some of them, it is kind of a big deal (I think the best comparison I can think of is like going to The Keg or something along those lines here). Yeah, they’ll be giving a lot of free chicken away.

    Poverty numbers:

    From wikipedia:

    Poverty in China refers to people whose income is less than a poverty line of $1.25 per day (PPP) set by the World Bank benchmark.

    China has been the most rapidly growing economy in the world over the past 25 years. This growth has led to an extraordinary increase in real living standards and to an unprecedented decline in poverty. The World Bank estimates that more than 60% of the population was living under its $1 per day (PPP) poverty line at the beginning of economic reform. That poverty headcount ratio had declined to 10% by 2004, indicating that about 500 million people have been lifted out of poverty in a generation.

    From Facts and Details.

    There are three degrees of poverty: 1) extreme, or absolute, poverty defined by the World Bank as a household that gets by on less than $1 a day, not enough to support the basic needs of survival; 2) moderate poverty, defined as living on $1 or $2 a day, where basic needs are met but just barely; and 3) relative poverty, as defined by income below a certain level of the national average.

    About 13 percent of China’s population—about 203 million people— live on less than $1 a day. About 42 percent of China’s population—about 593 million people— live on less than $2 a day. Most are in the countryside.

    Children in textile and garment factories often work 14 hours a day, seven days a week, and sleep by their machines. Boys in Green Mountain City gets paid about 18 cents a load for carrying 55 pound bags of coal up a mountain. Even in the cities, a school teacher with a salary of $50 a month—good by Chinese standards—might have to save for two years to be able to afford a bicycle. Married couples often live apart, sometimes in opposite corners of the country, working at different places. They only time the get to see each other is during holidays, three weeks a year.

    I have no sympathy for KFC in this matter.

    The second and third rounds of the promotion were set to begin later Tuesday, but the chain ordered the deal stopped when it found that “coupons were already in circulation before the official releases,” according to a statement issued by the company’s headquarters in Shanghai and e-mailed to the Global Times Wednesday.

    According to the terms of the promotion, customers with the printed-out or copied e-coupons are entitled to a 50 percent discount if they buy the take-away family-serving Bucket, Chicken Strips, Extra-Tasty Crispy Burger, or Nuggets on particular days. The normal prices for the items range from 11 to 64 yuan ($1.60-$9.30).

    According to the original plan, special discount vouchers were to be sold at a mere 0.01 yuan at taobao.com, a popular online auction and shopping website in China, at three intervals - at 10 am, 2 pm and 4 pm - each for a different type of coupon.

    So apparently they were going to issue these coupons anyways, but they were released prematurely. It’s 50% off. To provide these folks with a special treat many might only get to enjoy once a year at most otherwise. 

    KFC is still charging $1.60-$9.30 there, similar to what they`re charging here. 

    About 42 percent of China’s population—about 593 million people— live on less than $2 a day.

    Give them a fucking break. I’m not going to condone the rioting. I’m just saying think of the headaches you could just save yourselves sometimes, corporations. Especially given the significantly greater profit margin they make in the region with the lower costs (if you want me to show specific examples of more relaxed health and safety standards and employee costs which lead to cost savings I will, but I think you’re pretty confident of my claim on this).

    I will be trying to update this post should additional details surface.

    (Note: I`m hoping you would focus more on the rates of poverty than the rioting of KFCs, though we should work together to eradicate both)

     

     China  poverty  KFC  isaid 

  7. The Urban Institute | Poverty and Safety Net

    peoplesmovement:

    Mother and ChildGovernment safety net programs aim to protect families during tough times—before they fall into poverty. But rising unemployment, foreclosures, and economic distress are putting pressure on a system already in need of updates and repairs.

    Urban Institute experts, building on decades of welfare reform research, evaluated public safety nets and proposed new initiatives to bolster work supports and help families gain a stable financial footing. Read more.

    Featured Links

    Contact an expert on Poverty and Safety Net

    Related Policy Centers

    Publications on Poverty and Safety Net

     

     poverty  welfare  cities  employment  income 

  8.  

     India  women  violence  poverty 

  9. nhaler:

    <snip>
    [beginning of this discussion can be found here]

    ————————————————————

    My point is, that to back up what, so far, is entirely opinion: with “facts” and “figures”, you have to provide the actual facts…and figures. She goes on to say, “A black child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a black child born during slavery.  The recent disintegration of the African American family is due in large part to the mass imprisonment of black fathers.”

    The “mass imprisonment” of black fathers could certainly be a contributing force - but again, she gives no raw numbers and doesn’t cite any studies, nor does she consider the greater, overall imbalance of marriage deterioration across all cultures within America: approximately 40% in total are winding up in divorce. Phrased the same way, white/asian/native youth could be equally construed to be victims in an era that is “post-slavery”: A native child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a native child born during the Revolution.  The recent disintegration of the Native American family is due in large part to the mass subjugation/persecution/other discriminatory verb of Native fathers.


    She also claims that 80% of Chicago’s black population are “marked”, branded as life-long felons. She doesn’t mention any other cities, but uses it as a report of the Black American Male’s plight. Aside from obvious socioeconomic management issues that could - and likely are - at fault in this specific case, touting the (possible) results of gentrification and the alienation of a local population as a National Crisis indicator is purely irresponsible. (Secondarily, I have yet to find a study that matches or approaches the level she claims.)

    She then goes on using militant (and banal) phrasing like, “people of color rounded up en masse” as though it were genocidal, replete with allusions to ghetto invasions imbued with the striking visuals of, crazily enough, tanks, bazookas, and grenade launchers. Her vague use of phrasing like, “nearly a quarter” of Black Americans live below the poverty line doesn’t give justice to the actual numbers across America. Similarly, over a quarter (26.6%) of all single-parent households live below the poverty line; this doesn’t diminish the socioeconomic imbalance: it just exaggerates it. Wikipedia’s most recent source indicates that 8.3% of married black persons,[19] and 5.4% of white persons lived below the poverty line in 2008, compared to  15% of Hispanic Americans. The poverty grows but the disparity shrinks when one considers those who are single: 20% of white people, 27% of black people, and 27% of Americans of latinic origin are also living below the poverty line.

    I agree, the lack of statistics is disappointing. I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt (at this point) to the author though since I’m assuming she cites proper references in the book (I know, I may be giving her too much credit here, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt). I agree with you that using “the alienation of a local population as a National Crisis indicator is purely irresponsible” but you haven’t cited any references to the contrary either. I think we really need someone who’s actually read the book to fill us in on what stats she actually does cite.

    I’m glad you do cite Wikipedia as your next source because it illustrates so well how easily one can pick and choose their data set to make a point.

    The numbers you cite for those living below the poverty line:

    Married couples:

    8.3% of married black persons

    5.4% of married white persons

    15% of Hispanic Americans

    If you actually go to the source, the census bureau survey [1-Whites,2-Blacks,3-Hispanics], what you find is ithe numbers cited on Wikipedia are only for married-couple families. If you look at the actual numbers for people in all families (same sources), these are the actual numbers [also note at least one of the Wikipedia reference links is just plain wrong, with the cited reference for Blacks actually linking to the results for Hispanics]:

    29.1% of married black persons

    8.7% of married white persons

    20.6% of Hispanic Americans

    Also, looking at the same tables, you will see that ~80% of white people in families have married couples while only ~50% of black people are in families with married couples. (re: your comment earlier re: marriage disintegration)

    Her point is that you’re all closeted racists, subtly (subconsciously?) holding back and targeting African Americans; my point is that America has a fundamental misunderstanding of the management of disenfranchised classes of people, and that her florid, sensationalist writing style denies any objective credibility to be had.

    I agree with your point but not your assessment of her point. What I took away from that excerpt was that a policy sold to the public as an attempt to eradicate some problem is actually making it worst. And that there is some bias in those implementing said policy that actually exacerbates the very problem they claim to be trying to eliminate. Even if she is suggesting that some police/prosecuters are racist, I don’t see how you can interpret that as implying that we all are racist.

    But then again, I’m just a Canadian— what do I know?

    Ditto. I wonder what the Americans around here think…

    Dude, we need go out and grab some beers some day and work on solving problems closer to home. Like what the hell to do with the Leafs.

    I also would have liked to have used more nuanced terms than black & white but this is what the US Census Bureau has given us to work with.

     

     US  drugs  durg policy  politics  poverty 

  10. calltoaction:

    givemesomethingtoread:

    A Detroit neighborhood fights for its life, and an ex-cop leads the way

    More from the Metro Times article:

    “It’s a great neighborhood. Lots of good people live around here, been around here for years,” Jackson says. “Where else can you get this close to the water? Just five blocks down the road it costs half a million, three-quarters of a million to live,” he says, pointing toward Grosse Pointe. By contrast, many homes on this side of Alter Road, the border of Detroit, sell for less than $10,000 nowadays.

    But there’s a war going on here. On one side are longtime residents trying to maintain a safe, desirable neighborhood. On the other side is their enemy: the drug dealers, the burglars, the petty thieves, the lifelong criminals who prey on the regular folks here. Some invade from bordering neighborhoods; a few live right within it. Though they’ve always been a problem, there appears to be more of them since the economy tanked.

    It’s a war of little battles. The residents fight by lighting their yards, videotaping drug deals, harassing scrappers and chasing off thieves.

    Their enemy attacks in shocking ways. Like taking over the homes of bedridden old people. Like recruiting kids as dope-house spotters and runners. Like killing people’s dogs.

     

     Detroit  drugs  neighborhoods  communities  poverty  safety 

  11. …we looked at life expectancy, mental illness, teen birthrates, violence, the percent of populations in prison, and drug use. They were all not just a little bit worse, but much worse, in more unequal countries. … Epidemiologists and people working in public health have been doing this work for some time, not only controlling for relative poverty, but for all the income levels within, for instance, an American state. So once you know the relationship between income and death rates, for example, you should be able to predict what a state’s death rate will be. Actually, though, that doesn’t produce a good prediction; what matters aren’t the incomes themselves but how unequal they are. If you’re a more unequal state, the same level of income produces a higher death rate.

    […]

    In fact, in more unequal societies, these problems aren’t higher by ten or twenty percent. There are perhaps eight times the number of teenage births per capita, ten times the homicide rate, three times the rate of mental illness.

    — 

    Richard Wilkinson via GOOD

    Reminded me of AZspot's Thom Hartman post “The Impact of Inequality

     

     income  inequalities  wealth  distribution  poverty  health 

  12. criticalculture:

    Olympic dream vs. Vancouver reality

    Media love-in with Winter Olympics challenged by city’s new journalist co-op

    FREESTON: Police were denounced for numerous rights violations, both before and during the games.

    LÓPEZ: The worst part about it was the chilling effect that they were hoping to have by intimidating activists—many activists, including myself, were visited by not just police officers but intelligence officers, who went to or workplaces, who went to our homes, who went to the houses of our girlfriends and our moms and our colleagues to try to stop us from showing our dissent.

    * * *

    LÓPEZ: Sadly, one of the biggest legacies is going to be a police apparatus that was not really there before, thousands of CCTV cameras throughout the city.

    FREESTON: The police have said that the cameras will be used for traffic purposes, but history provides a cautionary tale. The privacy commissioner for the Greek government resigned in protest in 2007 after discovering that cameras installed for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens were now being used by police to gather information on protesters, this in spite of a law constraining the cameras to traffic surveillance only.

    * * *

    … what we showed is that non-corporate, noncommercial, truly open and truly democratic media can happen with very, very little budget. And we’re very proud of this accomplishment, and it’s basically raised the bar as to what the next incarnation of Indymedia should be.

    More: Vancouver Media Co-op

    No Sochi 2014

     

     Vancouver  Olympics  2010  natives  rights  poverty  Sochi  2014 

  13. abbyjean:

    For low-income mothers in Oregon in the state’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, buying most organic, hormone-free, or cruelty-free items is simply not allowed. The reason for these products’ exclusion from Oregon WIC’s list of approved foods isn’t exactly clear. The list is a confusing hodge-podge of arbitrary rules: mothers in the program can buy organic fruits and vegetables but not organic milk, grains, legumes, eggs, cheese, peanut butter, or infant foods and cereals. They can buy soy milk but not rice milk or raw milk, white eggs but not cage-free or those with higher Omega-3 or Vitamin E. Cheese options are slim — only six varieties are permitted. Moms can’t even purchase low-fat peanut butter for their families. Not all of these rules appear to be based on concerns about nutrition or high prices.

     

     poverty  social programs  health  nutrition  US  Oregon 

  14. meaghano:

    heh.

     

     poverty  hunger  challenges  struggles 

  15. 2010 Poverty Olympics

    Homelessness: doubled in Greater Vancouver between 2002 and 2005 alone — there are now more than 2,000 people living on the streets or in shelters. Hundreds search through the garbage for food and things to sell every day.

    Welfare: It’s supposed to provide a minimum amount of money for basic necessities when people go through a hard time. But our provincial government made it even harder to get, and the rates are less than half the poverty line (not enough to rent a place to live and eat nutritious food).

    Disease: Vancouver’s poorest neighbourhood, the Downtown Eastside, has an HIV rate of 30% — the same as Botswana’s. Other diseases like Hepatitis C are rampant.

    A Gold Medal for Highest Poverty Rate: British Columbia (our province) is a gold medalist when it comes to poverty — we’ve had the highest child poverty rate in all of Canada six years in a row.

    Solutions: It’s not too late to make a difference before 2010. Our governments need to invest more in things like a decent welfare program and social housing… For a fraction of what it costs to deal with disease, malnutrition, addiction, and disorder.

     

     Olympics  Vancouver  poverty  youtube