Arthur L. Baron (abaron@STU.ATHABASCAU.CA)
Tue, 29 Oct 1996 11:31:58 MST
> What happened to the poverty thread?
> Rick, S.J.
It died due to lack of funding.
How many of you have gone to a food bank and asked for help?
Is poverty at this level worth experiencing? Do you want to experience
hoplessness, despair, and the alienation associated with being a social leper?
Poverty has been studied since thinking people started to stratify society. I
think there is no political will to do the right thing and bring about real
change, the upper classes won't allow it, and as Ronald Reagan said, "the
homeless want to be homeless" - have things really changed since Ronnie made
that statement? The true mark of a society is in how it treats its
unfortunate, its poor.
Does any one sense a loss of community, a loss of sharing, a loss of goodwill?
Lets talk about solutions. Does poverty exist because the gross national
income is not distributed equally or is it a matter of access to capital and
resources? Probably both. I live in a Country rich with natural resources
but I don't have access to those resources, nor do I have access to the kind of
capital required to exploit those resources. The jobs necessary to exploit
resources are becoming fewer and fewer, thus access to those jobs are limited
even if you have the necessary education and experience. That's the access
problem, now income distribution. A little research on the internet has
provided me with the amounts of money my government makes with respect to
payments (transfers they call it) to individuals and corporations. This amount
alone equally distributed among those in the age of majority would provide for
the basic needs of life (food, shelter, clothing), and no one person should be
denied these needs.
If governments need to raise more money without raising taxes, why not take a
serious look at the expense items on corporation's income statements.
Allowable expense items are in FACT tax free grants to corporations. Start
with disallowing the status items such as expense items for memberships to
clubs, lunch expense accounts, travel expenses - these and other items should
be scrutinized more closely.
In summary, there are two real things that could be done to facilitate real
change. 1 - take the transfer payments already being distributed to individuals
and corporations and make them universally available to everyone over the age
of majority - break down the stratified barriers that separate access to the
gross domestic revenue. 2 - start to disallow many, if not all expense items
on the income statement - no more tax free grants.