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Targeting poverty

Dear Editor,

Many years ago, the Fraser Institute published an item that claimed welfare rates were more than enough to provide the necessities for those in need.

Local media persons were sufficiently intrigued by the idea, some becoming local heroes for making the attempt to live for a week on the amounts stated in the report. They proudly claimed that the amounts provided were sufficient to provide an adequate living.

There was an elephant in the room which was completely ignored and which would have validated activists’ claims that the amounts were inadequate.

That elephant’s name was “Chattel Capital.”

The participants in the experiment were quite able to live well on the stipulated amounts because they were connected to their Chattel Capital.

What is Chattel Capital, some may ask, since for most of us, it is taken for granted?

Chattel Capital is what is left to a bankrupt person by a judge as the necessities of life.

What is the value of a chicken if there is no pot to cook it in? No stove on which to put the pot? No power to heat the pot and no saltshaker to make it palatable? No dish from which to eat it, or cutlery to carve it?

In addition to that, they certainly used a reasonably good vehicle to take them to their place of employment, rather than time consuming public transit.

Another item that impinges upon those living in poverty is the mental stress and anxiety of not being able to catch the chicken in the first place.

Thinking under stress is not recommended!

One of the first duties of any ruler is to “settle the people.” Absent that settlement, a ruler will be faced with a constant threat of being overthrown.

Settlement means adequate food, shelter and clothing to be able to live a life.

Basic income can be accomplished, but not under its current name. By changing the name, the debate can be changed to identify a measurable situation the debate can be won.

As Minister Deb Matthews has said, “poverty is difficult to define since it is relative.”

We need to target the problem of privation.

Ed Goertzen