From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Monday, February 20, 2012

Poverty! What Poverty?

We all suspected that poverty isn't very high on Harper's agenda perhaps even not on it at all, but it appears that he does indeed have a plan to reduce poverty after all. As an article penned by Michael Goldberg, Steve Kerstetter and Seth Klein informs us Harper has merely redefined what poverty is. What the Harperites have done is reduce the housing portion of the most reliable measure of poverty we have, the Market Basket Measure (MBM) to ridiculous levels.

From the article:
Two years ago, the bean-counters in Ottawa changed the methodology. In particular, they started calculating housing costs in a way that produced figures that were patently absurd. Suddenly, the much-lauded MBM no longer passed the test of common sense.
In Vancouver, for example, the shelter portion of the MBM for a family of four dropped from $12,329 a year for two-bedroom or three-bedroom apartments to $7,455 a year, a drop of almost 40 per cent. The new measure works out to $621 a month, including utilities, in one of the most expensive housing markets in Canada.
Anyone know of a nice two-bedroom or three-bedroom apartment in Greater Vancouver that rents for $621 a month?
Similarly, under the revised methodology, the shelter amount for Toronto went from $13,477 a year to $9,346 (or $779 a month), a drop of 31 per cent. While the Toronto devaluation was not as stark as occurred in B.C., the revised Toronto rent figure is a far cry from the actual average rent according to CMHC of $1,118 per month for a two-bedroom apartment, and $1,305 for a three-bedroom one.

So there you have it poverty eliminated by the stroke of a keyboard, brilliant in it's simplicity and here we have been advocating complicted solutions to what we thought was a complex issue only to find out it was all very simple in the end. Whew glad we could solve that one,now on to unemployment oh wait ...damn they've already solved that one too.

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