September 5, 2017

It is ironic that in an age of instant communication there remains a prevalent negative attitude towards the fastest growing segment of our economic population – the poor.  This upworthy.com video is certainly well worth the viewing and expresses peoples’ attitudes perfectly.

Oh, we all like to put on a good face, pretending that we care, creating our public persona in the image of social acceptance or political correctness, but at the end of the day most people just bury their heads in the sand.  We can certainly see the effect of this attitude when we talk about poor destitute people who are on welfare – calling them bums, drug addicts, etc.  The reality is that there are, per capita, more drug addicts on Wall Street that on the welfare rolls and we spend more on corporate welfare in a week than we do on social welfare in a year.

Out of blissful ignorance we jealously chide “overpaid” union workers – not thinking for one moment that the entire middle class came about because of strong unions and it has been disappearing as fast as the unions have been broken.  We have health care, labour regulations, health and safety acts in Canada precisely because of unions.

In Canada average family incomes have been steadily declining, by some estimates by as much as 45% (adjusted for inflation) since 1970.  In 1970 Stats Can estimated that 75% of eligible males participated in the workforce 30% of females participated.  In 2014 the ratios are identical, 65% female and 65% male.  If you’re doing the math that means that the average family in 1970, that earned 45% more than the average family in 2014 was supported by a single income earner, in 2014 it takes two incomes and the standard of living (in real terms) has declined.

In 2014 we pay about 85% more tax than we did in 1970 and we use credit to supplement our income thousands of percent more than we did in 1970.  It is clearly not just our attitudes towards the poor that needs to change we need to change our attitudes towards our entire financial lives and our communities in order to be financially successful.