Total Pageviews

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I know you hate the truth when backed by facts: Stop the ignorance - educate yourself.

Criticism of the poor built on ignorance

OTTAWA — A story in Thursday's Free Press about the new Canada Child Benefit (Child benefit a godsend for poor, July 14) generated what has become all-too-typical feedback about social assistance recipients and government handouts.
The emails, comments and Facebook posts denouncing people on social assistance as lazy were fast and furious: they sit around all day and do nothing; their kids wear designer clothes and have iPhones; they drink and smoke and get everything for free. So where is their incentive to get a job?
One woman was so intent on judging she didn't even bother to read the story properly, and accused the woman profiled of not even trying to work while her son with diabetes was at school. The boy has cognitive disabilities — not diabetes — and the mother's attempts to find work that paid enough to afford the specialized care he needs failed. But thanks, lady, for your input. Much appreciated.
The comments — some went as far as to suggest women on welfare be sterilized — featured a litany of misinformation.
Fact No. 1: Poor people do not drink more than people in higher social classes. In fact, the Canadian Survey on Household Spending done by Statistics Canada found four in 10 people in the bottom 20 per cent of incomes in Canada didn't spend anything on booze. Not one nickel. Those who did spent an average of $289 a year. That's maybe two bottles of wine a month. But sure — let's just concern ourselves about all of "our" money people on welfare are wasting on booze. (For the record, Canadians in the top 20 per cent of incomes spent almost six times more than that on booze, and fewer than one in 10 in that higher income bracket didn't buy liquor at all.)
But what about cigarettes? Surely the poor smoke like chimneys, n'est-ce pas?

Fact No. 2: Nope.
Canadians with the lowest incomes have about the same smoking rate as those in higher incomes — about 30 per cent. The poorest Canadians who do smoke also buy fewer cigarettes, about three cartons a year. Middle-income Canadians bought almost seven cartons a year, on average.
But, but, but... I hear the buts coming, so bring 'em on.
If we give poor people more money (with the Canada Child Benefit, for example) they're just going to go out and buy more liquor and smokes.

No comments:

Post a Comment