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SOC345H5 (33)

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Mary Jo Nadeau

SOC345 Jan 11 th Mapping Poverty: The Growing Gap and the Economic Apartheid Video - people have jobs, but they sleep in cars, why? o the working poor - being off from work, being laid off from work, falling behind on rent - why do people not use shelters? o too much noise, can’t sleep – not comfortable - 13,500 people on the waitlist for social housing – the wait is too long - when people are homeless, there is a sense of resignation – that’s when people start to give up – don’t know who to trust anymore - higher rates of poverty with single parent families and immigrants - the long term impact of being marginalized and being poor – being alone and feelings of “unworthyness” – form of social exclusion - diverse – not a typical stereotype of “homelessness” - people suffering from mental illness and addictions – no help for these people o state has cut back on the funding for people with disabilities to be eligible to get ODSP – people are excluded from the program even though they need it o link from help from the ODSP and poverty - labour ready – work that day, get paid that day Canada’s Growing Gap 1998: Growing Gap Report: inequality between the rich and poor in Canada 2006: Growing Gap, Growing Concerns: Canadian attitudes toward income inequality 2007: Canada’s Rich and Poor: moving in opposite directions 2010: problem of poverty post-recession Economic Myths Myth: wealthy nation = economic growth for all Reality: rich getting richer; poor getting poorer Gap between rich and poor incomes is growing… 1976: richest 10% of Canadian families earn 31% more income than poorest 10% 2004: richest 10% if Canadian families earn 82% more income than poorest 10% The Growing Gap … In good economic times, and in bad - Canada is in top 10 wealthiest nations (#9) - Surplus in national budget for almost a decade And yet… The income gap between the rich and the poor is greater than it was 30 years ago… - and its widening - and its becoming entrenched as permanent during good and bad economic times, since the 1980s Unequal Distribution of Wealth The Shrinking Middle-Class (increasing instability) - increased work, lower overall income - less savings (from 20% in 1980 to 0% in 2005) - increased debt (mortgage, education) The Working Poor (two paycheques away from poverty) - 1.5 million Canadians live as working poor; full-time, multiple jobs - working poor = 40% of low-income Canadians - most poor people work full- or part-time o changing global structure of the economy – precarious and unstable and low paying work are increasing globally – linked to neoliberalism o before: if you are poor, get a job, but now: if you get a job, you can still be poor so you are stuck The Welfare Poor (on the margins; sub-poverty) - 1.7 million Canadians on welfare – half are children - most vulnerable economic group are single mothers - Ontario welfare incomes decreased by $6,600 since 1992 o so far below the poverty line that it becomes unliveable o not being on welfare doesn’t mean you don’t need it – you may not be eligible or may have been kicked out – stats are fluctuating and going down but that doesn’t mean things are getting better o most vulnerable group remains to be single mothers The Problem of Poverty Post Recession – 3 decades in review 1980s: - poverty increased by 26% (peaked in 1983) o was a recession in early 80s o 1981: first food bank - recovered by 1989 (to pre-recession rate) 1990s: - poverty increased by 67% (peaked in 1997) - incomplete recovery (2007, poverty increase still remains) o didn’t go back to the l
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