The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “poverty

The Third Place (Chapter 10) – The Worst of Times

Posted on August 11, 2018

Aware that the rapid movement of wealth around the globe was slowly stripping the fibre of our community from our midst, along with so many other regions that had depended on basic manufacturing for economic survival, an inevitable sense of decline hovered over our city.  Gloom was everywhere.  It began when a couple of large auto parts suppliers shut down for good but inevitably picked up speed as other businesses first cut down on their services and then closed down altogether.  Social services reported record numbers of people seeking help and even our successful local sports teams succumbed to dispiriting losing streaks.  It was like some kind of emotional plague had infested the populace. In such situations,  communities can start coming apart or drawing…

Summer Reflections – It Was Always Thus

Posted on July 25, 2018

In a column I’m writing for this weekend’s London Free Press, I talk about how people in low-income situations can’t actually afford summer.  I stumbled across this article from the New York Times, written in 1860, just as the American Civil War was about to commence.  There are a lot of similarities here and I thought it worth sharing.  In some ways we’ve made progress, but not in others. ————————————————————————————-   Where the Rich and the Poor Pass the Summer May 19, 1860 The season is fast approaching when our wealthy and fashionable citizens will, according to their annual custom, leave the City, and seek a more comfortable and healthy retreat in the country. And what, then, of the poor, whom poverty and the…

Think You Know Your World? A Quiz.

Posted on April 12, 2018

Hans Rosling revolutionized my perspective of the world back in 2006, with his thoughts on world health and development.  Though he passed away last year of liver failure, his TED talks remain some of the most popular.  He remained a good friend and advisor to Bill and Melinda Gates prior to this death. His final book, Factfulness, reminds us how little we truly know of the world and humanity’s great potential and maintains that things are really better than we believe.  It’s a debatable point, but in his field of global health few could match his scope nor the innovative methods he utilized in promoting his ideas. Just how necessary minds like his are is apparent in the earliest portions of Factfulness, when he…

If You Want to Fix Poverty, Fix the Economy

Posted on April 5, 2018

This is from a post I wrote a few years ago (October 2015) and it still seems as relevant today.  We’re still not making the choices necessary to attain serious poverty reduction.   He awoke from a deep slumber a couple of weeks ago to the sound of phone ringing incessantly, but when he answered he didn’t mind. Angus Deaton was being informed by someone on the other end of the phone that he was being awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Science. Interestingly, it was how he shed new light on persistent poverty that earned him the credit. Or as the Nobel committee put it: “To design economic policy that promotes welfare and reduces poverty, we must first understand individual consumption choices. Angus…

A Different Path

Posted on March 18, 2018

Fifty years ago  this past week (March 16, 1968), Robert Kennedy announced he would be running for president in the same Senate Caucus Room his brother had made his announcement eight years earlier.  We all know how it ended, but few recognized the personal transformation he went through during that brief campaign. Ironically, RFK chose an opposite path to most of today’s politicians, opting to migrate from a place of attack and negativity to one of hope, social justice and a sense of ethical responsibility.  True, he had frequently been somewhat moralistic earlier in his career, but it always seemed to propel him into attack mode, especially against corruption and greed.  He became his JFK’s watchdog as his attorney general in his relentless pursuit…

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