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GEOG 2RC3 (90)

Poverty in Canada

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Walter Peace

Poverty in Canada September 29 20111033 AM IntroductionQuestions1What is poverty1Who is poor1Why does poverty exists1What can should be done Geographic dimensions of povertySpatial patterns Defining povertyStatistics Canada does not measure poverty instead it uses the concept of a low income cutoff LICOFamilies spending59 of its income on necessities food shelter clothing are said to be in straightening circumstancesThe avg Canadian family spends 39 of its income on necessities soAt what point above 39 should be considered to be in straightened circumstancesSome social agencies define poverty as low income relative to the average or median income of Canadians poverty is relativeOther groups eg the Fraser Institute define poverty as the inability of a family to buy prescribed basket of goods poverty is absoluteNOTE policy response to poverty depends on your view of povertyis it relative or absoluteVariations in LICO depending on Size of community Rural vs urbanExplaining povertyWhy are people poorvarious perspectivesCulture of povertyPoverty results from the internal pathology of deviant groupsBUT is this blaming the victimCycle of povertyPoverty results from individual inadequacies being transmitted from one generation to the nextBUT is this blaming the victim1Instititional malfunctioning Poverty is rooted in the failure of the state ie the state does a poor job in planning for and administering to those in needBUT is it too easy to blame the state1Inequitable distribution of resourcesPoverty is the inevitable outcome of capitalism ie capitalism features HAVES and HAVE NOTSBUT resources wealth can be redistributed if the political will to do so exists 1Labour Market Theory
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