Low wages, ‘unrealistic’ wants at the heart of poverty

Published June 16, 2015

I liked the article on the need to press the government to develop better plans for dealing with poverty here in Canada (Faith groups back anti-poverty campaign, April 2015, p. 1). So often we focus on those far away, forgetting the suffering near us.

However, I would like to see proposals to include providing realistic jobs with realistic wages. A large part of the problem is the unrealistically low minimum wage, which is not a real living wage.

People also have unrealistic expectations: two cars, more than one TV, phone, etc. People should also have decent, modest housing closer to work and with better transportation. All of us need to pull in our expectations and ask ourselves, “What do we actually need?”-not, “I want, I want.”

The dominance of large multinational corporations, such as McDonald’s and Walmart, is also a factor. Our local people are being pushed out of work. To correct this, we will likely have to pay more for what we get, but if we can get quality items instead of cheap ones that are soon obsolete or broken, that should even out. If the money stayed in the country, we could afford to address our own issues.

Margaret Sugawara
Nipigon, Ont.


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