Health-care iceberg

Friday, August 10th, 2012

30 July 2012
Persistent poverty and inequality are the most powerful determinants of health status and, therefore, health-care expenditure… poverty accounts for at least 20 per cent of all health-care costs. The premiers ignore this at their peril. No one remembers the crew of the Titanic for making service more efficient by reorganizing deck chairs, but rather for causing a disaster by ignoring reality.

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Posted in Health Debates | 4 Comments »

A roundup of the usual child-poverty suspects

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

June 4, 2012
Poverty is about more than material deprivation. It also involves exclusion from participating in many aspects of society and considerable stress… child poverty leads to poorer educational outcomes… Reducing child poverty will increase the number of skilled workers available… poverty produces real economic costs… reducing childhood poverty is both an important health promotion and an important crime-control strategy. Our governments tend to ignore the economic benefits and argue the costs of poverty reduction are too high. That is bad economics.

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | No Comments »

Wealth Gap

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Dec. 11, 2011
Margaret Wente has a point. If you take a long enough historical period and use a narrow definition of poverty, the poor are doing better than you think. Things would look even better if we compared today with the 17th century. Beyond this, poverty is more than material deprivation. It also involves social exclusion and lack of opportunity for participating in society. These have measureable effects on health and social well-being. They reflect growing income inequality, and not simply decreasing material deprivation.

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Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »

Butting Heads [DSM update]

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Jul. 10, 2011
Without quickly offering a diagnostic label and a prescription, there are very few ways to make a living as a psychiatrist in the U.S. today. We do not face these issues in the same way in Canada. Inherent in the DSM system is the necessity that the condition leads to clinically significant distress or clear and measured impairment in social and occupational functioning… Ian Brown’s sound diagnosis of psychiatry and its diagnostic system logically leads to the conclusion that establishing the diagnostic system should be a public policy matter, not left exclusively to psychiatry.

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Canada’s corporate tax policy sustains child poverty

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Apr 10 2011
Canada already has one of the lower corporate tax rates in the western world. Now the Conservatives want to lower it even further. Canada also has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the western world. Why can’t we be one of the lowest? It’s a question of priorities — fiscal priorities. Surely that is the nub of the question… The most recent reduction in Canadian corporate taxes will by itself deplete the federal treasury by $6 billion annually and that figure will increase significantly as the economy grows over time… Canadians are going to have do without… what economists call social goods.

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | No Comments »

Provinces need to pull children out of poverty

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Aug. 3, 2010
Canada’s impoverished children deserve to be at the table of the country’s economic recovery. Why then, on the agenda of the premiers meeting in Winnipeg this week, is there no mention of how to pull those families that suffered most damage from the recession along in the plan for sustained growth? They need a recovery more than anyone else… We [the SPC of Winnipeg and Campaign 2000] want the Council of the Federation to establish a working group to report back in a year to outline core provincial/territorial roles and expected federal contributions to a joint plan “to eliminate poverty in Canada for all.” And, we want the premiers to pressure the federal government to contribute to the plan and to join a task force to implement it.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »

Information blackout

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

July 9, 2010
The long form of the census is the source of the most accurate information about the rate and depth of poverty in Canada… Is the government trying to hide information about poverty? (SF) –
Cuts to national sources of information are a form of social policy by stealth. They are made quietly under the radar screen but their impact can be irreparable… So much for evidence-based policy. (KB) – [In the U.S.] the change from mandatory to voluntary survey resulted in a huge 20.7 per cent decline in response rate. (MH)

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Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »