Friday, 20 January 2012

Occupy & Canada

Many in the Gen Y generation resort to pseudonyms and anonymous comments.

The Occupy movement is one of them. There were arguments about banning videotaping at one point, wearing masks in parks, attacking the so-called 1%. (It's more like the 0.5%!)

Yes, here I am watching those, many of whom do not have an income, nor contribute other than time and energy to the world, complaining about the poor and the rich! Bravely occupying a park.

You've read them; self-important comments, arrogance or rudeness more often than not. As if me and my generation did nothing for the poor, the environment, the economy, the world around us.

We're doing well in Canada, 
much better than many other countries.
Norway is richer than we are due to several reasons: Both Canada and Norway benefited in 2007 and 2008 from rising world energy prices. But the oil and gas sector accounts for a much larger proportion of the economy in Norway. 
Bike tour, 2011

To have those in Ottawa occupy a park is, to me, ridiculous. Writers are posting facts, such as millionaires (the 1%) control 40% of the world's wealth, not 99%. But this isn't so for Canada. For those of us who are not in the top10% and most of us aren't in the bottom 10%. We lie somewhere in between.
Compare Canada's debt with that of Greece.

Social indicators are clear
Canada, in 2009, our per capita GDP was $39,795. Not bad for a country with 1/10th the population of the US.

Afghanistan's was $457; Haiti's was $626; US $44, 872; Kuwait, $36,668; all in US dollars.
Compare Canadian's income and per capita GDP with that of other countries.
In 2008, Canada’s GDP actually grew, while six peer countries suffered negative growth. 
In the 1970s, Canada’s GDP per capita was $17,812, the fourth highest of its peer countries

Compare Ottawa's homeless with that of underdeveloped countries, e.g., Haiti, where many have volunteered. We have infrastructure, which our taxes pay for, and agencies to help meet the needs of our homeless.

In 2009, Canada's total median income was $68,410.
[Census families include couple families, with or without children, and lone-parent families.
Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, table (for fee) 111-0009.
Last modified: 2011-06-28.]

The homeless
There will always be those with and those without. The 'make poverty history' ideologies make me angry. There will always be those on the fringe, there will always be those who are homeless due to various reasons. A recent death of a homeless man revealed how many agencies and resources had been devoted to helping this man who could not choose to get the help. The individuals and agencies involved need to be lauded for respecting him and his choices.
Here is a fine example of a wonderful agency: Shepherds of Good Hope–

Homeless Shelters Prepare for Cold Weather

The housing market
According to the Ottawa Real Estate Board, average house sales are $343,701, which is an increase of 5.2% from 2010.
Of December’s sales, 177 were in the condominium property class, while 522 were in the residential property class. 

Our employment rates have gone up.
Things are slowly improving

There will always be those in the top 0.5%, truly the 1% that have been misnamed.
Those of us in the middle, who donate our time, money and energy, resent being told that Canada needs occupation. Occupy Perth has been the latest invention. When I look around, see the work being done by me and my volunteer peers, I feel good about my generation.

I see the snowmobiles sidle up to the gas pumps, the young people driving to the gas station to fill up their luxury boats, I wonder where the blame lies for the angst of the 99%, or the 0.5% occupying parks.
Play time in Parry Sound!

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