We allow poverty to exist

Posted on May 15, 2015 in Social Security Debates

WindsorStar.com – Letters/SoapBox
May 14, 2015.   James Kuracina

Recently, in the news, there has been a repeating story of the cost of poverty on our health care system. This story is an embarrassing nightmare.

It demonstrates the insanity of public policy and the utter failure of society to have compassion for its most vulnerable citizens. One measure of poverty places five per cent of Canadians in its grasp. But this five per cent accounts for 50 per cent of health care costs. What does this tell us about who we are?

Poverty is a social construct. It is the result of public policy. Yet, this policy can only exist because Canadians of all stripes allow it to exist. We vote in the politicians who create these policies.

In Canada, it is fair game to abuse our most vulnerable citizens. When people become disabled, they are legislated into a poverty so severe that it leads to an early grave. But there are no demonstrations in our streets opposing this moral outrage.

Politicians of all stripes have allowed this to happen. Yet, it is insane. We keep five per cent of our population in poverty and then pay an enormous price for our failure of compassion.

Fifty per cent of our tax dollars go to health care. That alone is outrageous.

If the automobile you drove ate up 50 per cent of your income, it would not be long before you would replace that vehicle. But we allow a failure of compassion to then lead to an unsustainable health care system.

The first step in solving our health care costs would be to resolve our moral failure when it comes to caring for disadvantaged citizens.

As it stands right now, our governments are committing murder in slow motion in a public setting. Their weapon of choice — poverty.

When will Canadians wake up?

James Kuracina, Windsor

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