January 31 2013
More Canadians living in poverty then ever before. 19.4% of torontonians are in poverty. 39% of
all immigrant groups, 30% of aboriginals, 18% of all Ontario children.
Distinction between Extreme, moderate, and relative poverty.
Extreme poverty: households cannot meet basic needs for survival. Chronically hungry, unable
to access health caredo not have safe drinking water or sanitation, cannot afford education of
some or all children, lack shelter/ roof over home, lack basic clothing i.e shoes. Extreme povery
only happens in developing countries.
Moderate poverty: basic needs are met, but barely (have enough food to stay alive, but not
Relative poverty: generally household income level lower then household average. (depends on
country living in). lack cultural goods, entertainment, lack access to private healthcare(dental,
vision etc), lack access to higher education.
What kind of beliefs/ politics/expectations sustain poverty.
2 interrelated conditions that are part of the experience of chronic poverty:
#1, privatization of charity- does not alter the poverty situation
#2, retreat of the state from the provision of welfare
Attempts to alter or stop
1, feeding the poor provides immediate substance
2, asking questions why people are in poverty
Charity is the staple of neo liberal economics. You are just feeding people, not changing the
poverty state. Celebrity aspect to charity. Part of popular culture. Charity groups mediate for the
poor (example tv commercials) Package poverty that we can overcome poverty by ex. Building
a well. Neo-liberalism destroyed welfare state. Goal of destroying the welfare state was to save
money. Retreat of the state leads the fate of the poor to the voluntary sector(private), relatively
powerless force, cannot challenge the market or the forces of capital. When the state deserts the poor, the space must be filled by nongovernmental groups. Charities don’t have political
power, can’t change structures that lead to poverty.
Neo liberal globalization generates poverty on a global scale because NL is a globalized
phenomenon. World bank & IMF(for the poor). Created a concept called structural adjustments.
Was supposed to be a means for development in poor parts of the world. Naturally poverty
would be eliminated.
Poor countries need loans, approach world bank for loan, world bank ties conditions to loans,
requires countries to adopt structural changes. Base income unity (biu). This could mean
government cuts subsidy to universities/ education. Reduce access for services to poor.
Privatization- schemes govnmt forced to sell off enterprises (energy, transit