Poverty, especially child poverty, is a huge black mark in my hometown of Surrey and in British Columbia and Canada at large. We know that poverty leads to poor health and social outcomes for children in later years. Poverty is essentially a waste of human resources. It ensures that a segment of the population will not be living up to their potential.
Thousands of people are forced to take low-wage jobs with no benefits or pension to pay the bills. They are unable to pursue their true passion in life, whether that is to go to school or start a new company or volunteer in the community.
Who knows how many future Nobel Prize winners were too exhausted to invent a cure for cancer or AIDS or find ways to clean up pollution because they were trapped working two jobs just to pay for inflated rents and the necessities of life just to survive. To even dream of owning a house is pretty much out of the question now for most Metro Vancouver locals unless you move out to the middle of nowhere.
What is worse is that most employment and labour contracts are written in what I like to call a master-and-slave relationship. The employee has limited rights and protections. Why do you think a company like Walmart is so successful in North America? The politicians and decision-makers are essentially bought and sold by corporatist lobbyists which makes it even harder for the average worker to get ahead.
This was essentially the recent situation in B.C., due in part to the province having no caps on political donations. No wonder trying to ban big money in politics became a huge election issue in the last provincial election. The fact that it was even an problem is a sad reflection on the state of affairs in provincial politics. Are the politicians representing the people or the private corporations? Sometimes I wonder.
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