Canadian Social Research Newsletter
June 17, 2012

Welcome to the weekly Canadian Social Research Newsletter,
a listing of the new links added to the Canadian Social Research Links website in the past week.

This week's issue of the newsletter is going out to 2,564 subscribers.


Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to see some notes, a disclaimer
and other stuff that has nothing whatsoever to do with social policy...


Canadian content

1. Omnibus bill exposes ‘pragmatic’ Stephen Harper as a radical (Ed Broadbent in the Toronto Star) - June 12
2. Alberta Premier's pledge to eliminate child poverty holds promise (Openfile Calgary) - June 13
3. Canada’s Rental Vacancy Rate Decreases : 2012 Rental Market Report (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) - June 12
4. Passage of Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act a Positive Step Towards Better Retirement Savings Options for Canadians (Finance Canada) - June 12
5. [British Columbia : welfare rules changing] Common Sense Changes Encourage Work, Protect Vulnerable Families (BC Ministry of Social Development) - June 11
6. Tax Freedom Day is June 11 this year (Fraser Institute)
What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
--- Labour Force Survey, May 2012 - June 8
--- Labour productivity, hourly compensation and unit labour cost, first quarter 2012 - June 8
--- Financial information of universities and colleges, 2010/2011
- June 4
8. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

International content

9. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
10. Americans saw wealth plummet 40 percent from 2007 to 2010, Federal Reserve says (Washington Post) - June 11
11. The Price of Inequality and the Myth of Opportunity (Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate) - June 6

12. Child Poverty in the UK: The report on the 2010 target (UK Dept. for Work and Pensions and Dept. for Education ) - June 14
13. CRINMAIL (weekly children's rights newsletter)

Have a great week!

[ ]


Go to the home page of the
Canadian Social Research Links website:

1. Omnibus bill exposes ‘pragmatic’ Stephen Harper as a radical - June 12
Ed Broadbent in the Toronto Star)

Omnibus bill exposes ‘pragmatic’ Stephen Harper as a radical:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper conveys the impression that too many
Canadian workers are slackers and need some kind of “tough love,” says former NDP leader Ed Broadbent.
June 12, 2012
By Ed Broadbent
Stephen Harper is often portrayed by his supporters as a pragmatist, a man who simply wants to do what works. But the evidence suggests that the “major transformation” he promised at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January is aimed in a more radical direction.
Instead of measures aimed at producing more above-the-poverty-line jobs for the unemployed and directly attacking stagnant wages for middle class Canadians, the massive omnibus bill before Parliament has a more narrowly conservative intent. Instead of providing hope, its measures will dampen our expectations and deepen inequality.
Most unemployed workers will now be forced to accept work that pays up to 30 per cent less than their previous jobs after only a few weeks of job search. Contractors will no longer be required to ensure employment equity for women and racial minorities. And employers will be permitted to pay temporary foreign workers up to 15 per cent less than the standard regional wage for that job — thus exploiting them and putting downward pressure on the wages of Canadian workers. Is this the Canada we want?
This federal budget should provoke a public debate about the kind of Canada we want.

[Ed Broadbent is a former national NDP leader and founder and chair of the Broadbent Institute.]

Toronto Star


- Go to the Harper Government™ Record Links page:

2. Alberta Premier's pledge to eliminate child poverty holds promise - June 13
(Openfile Calgary)

Op-Ed : Premier's pledge to eliminate child poverty holds promise
June 13, 2012
By Joe Ceci

On April 11—just 12 days before Albertans would go to the polls—Alison Redford made an announcement that surprised many. Faced with an apparently surging Wildrose Party, Redford promised, if re-elected, her government would eliminate child poverty in Alberta in five years and reduce overall poverty within 10 years. Social welfare advocates, both in Alberta and across Canada, took notice, welcoming Redford's campaign promise as a leap forward in the public discussion of poverty. For far too long in Alberta, the 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps' province, only the most progressive politicians identified poverty as an issue that might be responsive to government intervention.

How did this surprising breakthrough come about, especially during an election campaign that seemed to be a race to the bottom social-policy-wise?
Click the link above to read the complete op-ed...

Openfile Calgary


- Go to the Provincial and Territorial Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:

3. Canada’s Rental Vacancy Rate Decreases : 2012 Rental Market Report - June 12
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

Canada’s Rental Vacancy Rate Decreases
News Release
June 12, 2012
The average rental apartment vacancy rate in Canada's 35 major centres1 decreased slightly to 2.3 per cent in April 2012, from 2.5 per cent in April 2011, according to the spring Rental Market Survey released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. (...) The results of CMHC’s spring survey reveal that, in April 2012, the major centres with the lowest vacancy rates were: Regina (0.6 per cent); Québec and Saguenay (0.7 per cent); and Guelph (1.0 per cent). At the provincial level, Manitoba has the lowest vacancy rate at 1.2 per cent. The survey reveals that the major centres with the highest vacancy rates were: Saint John (8.4 per cent); Windsor (7.7 per cent); Kelowna (5.2 per cent); and Moncton and Charlottetown (5.0 per cent). On a provincial basis, the highest vacancy rate was in New Brunswick (6.2 per cent).

To access CMHC’s 2012 reports on the rental market select from the links below:

Rental Market Report — Canada Highlights
- contains at a glance rental market information for Canada’s 35 major centres

Rental Market Report — Provincial Highlights
- provides a summary of rental market statistics for urban centres with populations of 10,000 and more in each province and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Rental Market Statistics Report
- sourcebook of statistical tables with national, provincial and local rental housing market data.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation


- Go to the Homelessness and Housing Links page:

4. Passage of Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act a Positive Step Towards Better Retirement Savings Options for Canadians - June 12
(Finance Canada)

Passage of Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act a
Positive Step Towards Better Retirement Savings Options for Canadians
June 12, 2012
At the December 2010 meeting of Canada’s finance ministers, there was unanimous agreement to pursue a framework for Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs). PRPPs are an effective and appropriate way to help bridge the existing gaps in the retirement system and provide a viable retirement savings option for Canadians who currently do not have access to a workplace pension plan.The PRPP framework will be fully in place across Canada once Senate approval and provincial enabling legislation occurs. Once operational, PRPPs will offer a new low-cost, easily accessible, privately administered pension option. They will be available to employees—with or without a participating employer—as well as the self-employed

Related link:

Helping Canadians Save for Retirement
- incl. a brief description of PRPPS and links to 10 more online resources with more information about PRPPs

Finance Canada


- Go to the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Links page:

- Go to the Federal Government Department Links (Agriculture to Finance) page:

5. [British Columbia : welfare rules changing] Common Sense Changes Encourage Work, Protect Vulnerable Families - June 11
(BC Ministry of Social Development

British Columbia : welfare rules changing

Common Sense Changes Encourage Work, Protect Vulnerable Families
News Release
June 11, 2012
VANCOUVER – Premier Christy Clark today unveiled the first pillar of her Families First Agenda: Supporting Vulnerable Families. These changes and initiatives will help build a stronger foundation for B.C. families to help them become self-sufficient. (...) The changes, most of which will come into effect later this year, will help vulnerable families attain better financial outcomes, assist individuals with disabilities lead more independent lives and help people capable of work avoid the cycle of income-assistance dependence.

To improve financial outcomes for vulnerable families, changes include:
· Increasing the school startup supplement so that families now receive $100 for every child aged 5-11, and $175 for every child 12 and over.
· Providing access to dental services for children of families on hardship so parents can take their children in for regular dental checkups.
· Exempting income tax refunds so individuals and families on income assistance will be able to keep their full income tax refund.

To assist individuals with disabilities to lead more independent lives, changes include:
· Individuals receiving disability assistance will be able to earn up to $800 per month and still receive their full benefits.
· Providing the flexibility to calculate earnings on an annual basis, rather than monthly, so individuals with disabilities can maximize their earning during times when they are feeling healthy and able to work to an annual total yearly exemption of $9,600.

To help families avoid the cycle of income assistance dependency, changes include:
· Extending work search requirements for new applicants from three weeks to five weeks.
· Instituting a modest $200 monthly earnings exemption for all expected-to-work clients, regardless of family size, to give employable individuals a better opportunity to get job skills and experience, take advantage of short-term or temporary work, and better provide for their families while receiving assistance.
· Enhancing employment planning to support people transitioning off income assistance and returning to work.
In addition to these changes to income and disability assistance, in April the Ministry of Social Development opened 85 centres in communities throughout the province to deliver the new Employment Program of B.C., which provides the supports and services to get unemployed British Columbians back into the workforce quickly. Over the coming weeks, more ideas and actions will be put forward to support our commitment to supporting families in B.C.

NOTE : At the bottom of this news release, you'll find a detailed backgrounder with more info on these measures.

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Social Development


More information about the
Families First Agenda: Supporting Vulnerable Families (PDF - 836K, 19 pages)
February 2011
2011 Liberal leadership campaign document
by leadership candidate Christy Clark:
[ ]
[ ]

Comment (by Gilles):

At some point after Christy Clark won the BC leadership race (and the Premier's chair) in February 2011, the link to started redirecting visitors to and all site content on the candidate's website vaporized. You'll note that the URL of the above PDF file is not from the Liberal party website, but rather the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) [ ].
BRAVO, BCCPA, for fostering government accountability by preserving this document.
BOO, Liberal Party of BC, for deep-sixing an online checklist of campaign promises against which Premier Clark's performance could be measured.

Perhaps my online searching abilities are on the wane, but I found it next to impossible to find more than a few passing references to the Families First Agenda in the February 2012 BC Budget [ ] . The main budget document is 162 pages and "Families First" doesn't appear once. The 2012/13 – 2014/15 Service Plan for the Ministry of Social Development doesn't mention Families First. The service plan for Children and Family Development contains exactly three mentions of "Families First" (twice on p. 3 and once on p.9).
To check these and other budget papers, click the 2012 Budget link in this paragraph.

[For that matter, I spent some time searching the BC Government website in general for anything on Families First, and came up pretty much empty. If you find some decent background info about this initiative on a BC govt. site, please send it along to me so that I can post its link.]


Related links:

From the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

New BC welfare rules: some positive steps forward (and a couple steps back)
June 12, 2012
By Seth Klein
Yesterday (June 11) the BC government surprised many when it announced a host of welfare policy changes. In all, almost 30 welfare rule adjustments are to be enacted (the full list of rule changes can be found here : ).
After more than a year as premier, the announcement was billed as “the first pillar of [Premier Clark’s] Families First Agenda.” The changes themselves were described as “common sense” reforms (begging the question of why the government stubbornly refused to make these changes for 10 years). Overall (but with some important exceptions), these changes are good news and long overdue. That said, many of the changes are marginal; most will impact very few people, and the government itself estimates the overall cost of the full suite of changes at approximately $5 million – a rounding error in provincial budget terms.

Policy Note (blog)

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives


The Tyee:

'Modest' changes to welfare welcomed, with some exceptions
By Andrew MacLeod
June 11, 2012
Advocates welcomed most of the changes the provincial government made today to the income assistance program, but criticized the province for increasing the time people will have to wait for help and for failing to raise rates."We're generally pleased, but we would like to see a raise in the rates," said Trish Garner, an organizer with the B.C. Poverty Reduction Coalition [ ]. Social Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux called the changes, the bulk of which will come into effect in October, "modest" and Premier Christy Clark described them as "balanced changes" that support people who are unemployed while encouraging them to get work. The province reversed a couple of major policies the BC Liberals put into place in 2002, shortly after forming the government.
Seth Klein (Director of the BC Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [ ], criticized the government for increasing from three weeks to five the time people who are classified as "expected to work" will be required to wait before receiving help. "It just feels punitive and penny pinching," he said. "It just creates a lot of hardship for people." Welfare is understood as a last resort and people don't tend to apply until they're in desperate need, he said. "All indications were the three-week wait was a dysfunctional rule, and they've chosen to expand it." While Klein agreed most of the changes Cadieux and Clark announced are common sense, he said, "This extension of the three week wait to five weeks is the one piece in all this that's quite the opposite."

The Tyee


From the CBC:

B.C. welfare changes draw lukewarm support
NDP says Liberals reinstating benefits they took away in 2001
June 11, 2012
B.C. Premier Christy Clark is drawing lukewarm praise from anti-poverty groups and the Opposition New Democrats for increasing assistance to poor families and British Columbians receiving disability payments. Clark said Monday her $5 million plan to supplement the incomes of vulnerable B.C. families and support the goals of disabled people looking for jobs is the first pillar in her Families First Agenda. (...) Clark will introduce welfare system changes later this year that provide extra money to needy families to get their children ready for school and she's allowing people who receive disability assistance to earn up to $800 per month without losing their benefits.



- Go to the BC Government Links page:

6. Tax Freedom Day is June 11 this year.
(Fraser Institute

Tax Freedom Day is June 11, one day later than last year as Canadians work longer to pay taxes
June 11, 2012
VANCOUVER, BC—Monday, June 11 is Tax Freedom Day, the day Canadians have finally earned enough money to pay all the taxes they owe to all levels of government for the year, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual calculations.
Tax Freedom Day arrives one day later than in 2011, when it fell on June 10. "This underscores a worrying trend across the country of governments increasing taxes," said Charles Lammam, Fraser Institute associate director of tax and budget policy and co-author of Canadians Celebrate Tax Freedom Day [ ] on June 11, 2012.

Fraser Institute


Related link:

Tax Benefits Day Eclipses Tax Freedom Day (PDF - 124K, 2 pages)
News Release
June 12, 2012
Ottawa – Calling Tax Freedom Day a ploy developed by those who dislike and hope to reduce the presence and role of government, Canada Without Poverty today marked the 2nd annual Tax Benefits Day.

Tax Benefits Day is a direct counter to Tax Freedom Day, announced by the Fraser Institute as being this year on June 10. “Tax Freedom Day is misleading,” says Harriett McLachlan, President of Canada Without Poverty. “Almost everyone pays something in tax almost every day of the year. We are and ought never to be free from paying our fair share of taxes. As the saying goes, taxes are the price we pay for civilization, or in other words the quality of life that we want.”

Canada Without Poverty


Critics question Tax Freedom Day concept
By Mark Gollom
April 19, 2012

94 comments about this article

CBC News


- Go to the Taxes and Tax Freedom Day Links page:

7. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
Canadian Economic Observer - June 2012 - June 15
Employer pension plans (trusteed pension funds), fourth quarter 2011
- June 15

What's new from The Daily:
[Statistics Canada ]

June 15, 2012
Canadian Economic Observer - June 2012
1. Current economic conditions
2. Economic events
3. Recent feature articles
4. National accounts
5. Labour markets
6. Prices
7. International trade
8. Goods-producing industries (manufacturing, construction and resources)
9. Services (trade, transportation, travel and communications)
10. Financial markets
11. Provincial (latest Unemployment rates and Consumer Price Index)
User information
Related products

Canadian Economic Observer - Product main page*
This monthly periodical is Statistics Canada's flagship publication for economic statistics. Each issue contains a monthly summary of the economy, major economic events and a feature article. A statistical summary contains a wide range of tables and graphs on the principal economic indicators for Canada, the provinces and the major industrial nations.
[ * Click "View" for the latest issue of this periodical; click "Chronological" index for earlier editions. ]

Related subjects:

* Business performance and ownership

* Current conditions

* Economic accounts

* Leading indicators

Employer pension plans (trusteed pension funds), fourth quarter 2011
June 12, 2012
The market value of Canadian employer-sponsored pension funds totalled $1.1 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter, a 3.4% increase from the previous quarter. In 2011, these pension fund assets increased 4.6%, compared with 14.2% in 2010 and 10.5% in 2009.

Related subjects:

* Income, pensions, spending and wealth

* Pension plans and funds and other retirement income programs

* Labour

* Non-wage benefits

* Seniors

* Income, pensions and wealth


The Daily
[Statistics Canada ]


8. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

What's new from the
Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU):

June 17, 2012

What's new online this week:

1. Research, policy & practice
- materials include: scholarly research, policy studies and briefs, government and NGO reports

Putting children first: Positioning early childhood for the future
13 Jun 2012 | New Brunswick
Framework for integrated early learning released by New Brunswick's Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

City of Toronto: Fee subsidy application goes online
13 Jun 2012 | Ontario
The City of Toronto recently put the fee subsidy application online.

A day without childcare
13 Jun 2012 | United States
Video produced in the U.S. provides a humorous look at what life might be like if child care disappeared.

Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education Programs
13 Jun 2012 | United States
New U.S. report contains practical intervention strategies for teachers and caregivers to prevent excessive weight gain in young children.

Quality matters in early childhood education and care: Korea
13 Jun 2012 | International
10 of 34 OECD countries are participating in the Quality Matters in ECEC: Country Policy Profiles. Canada is not included. This week the CRRU is featuring Korea where policy lever 2 - Designing and implementing curriculum and standards, is examined.

MORE research, policy & practice

2. Child care in the news:
- archive of news articles about early childhood education and child care (ECEC) in Canada and abroad.

Childcare’s market model in dire need of reform
13 Jun 2012 | Australia and New Zealand

Merkel’s “cash-for-care” subsidy under fire in Berlin
13 Jun 2012 | Europe

Stay-at-home fathers face unique challenges as full-time caregivers
13 Jun 2012 | Canada

Workers forgotten in outrage over child care
13 Jun 2012 | Australia and New Zealand

EI reform could break families
12 Jun 2012 | Canada

MORE child care in the news


NOTE: For links to earlier (weekly) issues of this weekly alert going back to June 2009,
check out the CRRU Links Archive on this site:


Subscribe to the CRRU email notices and updates
Sign up to receive email notices of updates and new postings on the CRRU website which will inform you of policy developments in early childhood care and education, new research and resources for policy, newly released CRRU publications, and upcoming events of interest to the child care and broader community.

Links to child care
sites in Canada and elsewhere

CRRU Publications
- briefing notes, factsheets, occasional papers and other publications

ISSUE files
- theme pages, each filled with contextual information and links to further info

Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU)
CRRU is a policy and research oriented facility that focuses on early childhood education and child care (ECEC) and family policy in Canada and internationally.


- Go to the Non-Governmental Early Learning and Child Care Links page:

9. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
(Institute for Research on Poverty - University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Poverty Dispatch (U.S.)
The Poverty Dispatch is a daily scan of U.S. web-based news items dealing with topics such as poverty, welfare reform, child welfare, education, health, hunger, Medicare and Medicaid, etc.. The Dispatch is distributed by the Institute for Research on Poverty, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. News articles from online newspapers are posted here in a number of general categories, and are tagged with more specific keywords relevant to each article.

Clicking on a word or expression in the list of tags will call up all relevant news items from past Dispatches under that tag. The list contains a tag for each U.S. state so you can view jurisdiction-specific news, and tags for a huge list of topics, including :
* Basic needs * Canada * Caseloads * Cash assistance * Cellular phones * Census * Charities * Child care * Child hunger * Child poverty * Child support * Child welfare * Child well-being * Chronic homelessness * Cohabitation * Cost of living * Crime * Crimes against the homeless * Debt * Deep poverty * Disability * Early childhood education * Earned income tax credit * Electronic benefit transfers * Eligibility * Food insecurity * Food programs * Foster care* Fuel poverty * Health care costs * Health insurance coverage * Homeless children * Homeless families * Homeless veterans * Housing First * Housing subsidies * Immigrant workers * Income * Income inequality * Jobless benefits * Juvenile justice * Legal aid * Low-income housing * Low-wage work * Medicaid * Microfinance * Minimum wage * Newly poor * No Child Left Behind * Ontario * Paid family leave * Payday lending * Persistent poverty * Poverty measurement * Poverty rate * Prisons * Privatization * Public Housing * Rural poverty * Safety net * SCHIP * Section 8 (Housing) * Seniors * Single parents * SNAP/Food Stamps * Supplemental Security Income * Taxes * Teen pregnancy * Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) * Unemployment rate * Uninsured * Urban poverty * Utilities * Welfare reform * Welfare-to-work * Women Infants and Children (WIC) * Work requirements * Youth employment * many more tags...

Latest issues of Poverty Dispatch:

June 15, 2012
Homeless Rights Bill - Rhode Island
Medicaid Enrollment and Health Care Costs - Minnesota

June 14, 2012
Jobless Claims
Proposed Cuts to Social Services Programs - California
Public Defender System - Michigan

June 13, 2012
Homeless Feeding Bans
Ohio Kids’ Poverty and Obesity
Child Poverty in Florida

June 12, 2012
States and Health Care Costs
Medicaid Cuts - Illinois

June 11, 2012
Welfare-to-Work Program - California
Long-term Unemployment


Earlier Poverty Dispatches (back to July 2006):
1. Go to the Poverty Dispatch home page:
2. Click on a date in the calendar (top right-hand corner of the page) to see the links for that date.
Change the month by clicking the link at the bottom of the calendar.
3. Click on a category or a tag (right-hand margin) to access all relevant links.
[ e.g., 588 links under the category "Poverty" - ]
4. Scroll down the home page to the Archives section, where you can view the full content of the dispatches by month back to July 2006 (although *some* media links tend to go 404 after awhile)...
NOTE: I highly recommend this excellent U.S. media resource!
The only shortcoming I encountered was the lack of a table of contents for each daily dispatch, which forces visitors to click each date in the calendar to see the contents of the daily dispatch for that day. So I've created my own archive (the link below), starting in mid-December of 2011, that is a table of contents of each dispatch as per the latest dispatches above, that lets you scan contents without opening each damn dispatch:


NOTE : You can subscribe to this email list or RSS feed
by clicking "Subscribe" in the right-hand margin on any page of the Poverty Dispatch website


Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP)

University of Wisconsin-Madison


- Go to the Links to American Government Social Research page:

- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (A-J) page:

- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (M-Z) page:

- Go to the Poverty Measures - International Resources page:

10. Americans saw wealth plummet 40 percent from 2007 to 2010, Federal Reserve says - June 11
(Washington Post

Americans saw wealth plummet 40 percent from 2007 to 2010, Federal Reserve says
By Ylan Q. Mui
June 11, 2012
The recent recession wiped out nearly two decades of Americans’ wealth, according to government data released Monday, with ­middle-class families bearing the brunt of the decline.

Washington Post


Related link:

Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2007 to 2010:
Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances
(PDF - 492K, 80 pages)
By Jesse Bricker et al.
The Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) for 2010 provides insights into changes in family income and net worth since the 2007 survey. The survey shows that, over the 2007–10 period, the median value of real (inflation-adjusted) family income before taxes fell 7.7 percent; median income had also fallen slightly in the preceding three-year period). The decline in median income was widespread across demographic groups, with only a few groups experiencing stable or rising incomes. Most noticeably, median incomes moved higher for retirees and other nonworking families. The decline in median income was most pronounced among more highly educated families, families headed by persons aged less than 55, and families living in the South and West regions. Real mean income fell even more than median income in the recent period, by 11.1 percent across all families. The decline in mean income was even more widespread than the decline in median income, with virtually all demographic groups experiencing a decline between 2007 and 2010; the decline in the mean was most pronounced in the top 10 percent of the
income distribution and for higher education or wealth groups. Over the preceding threeyears, mean income had risen, especially for high-net-worth families and families headed by a person who was self-employed.

Federal Reserve


- Go to the Income and Wealth Inequality Links page:

11. The Price of Inequality and the Myth of Opportunity - June 6
( Joseph Stiglitz
, Project Syndicate)

The Price of Inequality and the Myth of Opportunity
June 6, 2012
by Joseph Stiglitz
America likes to think of itself as a land of opportunity, and others view it in much the same light. But, while we can all think of examples of Americans who rose to the top on their own, what really matters are the statistics: to what extent do an individual’s life chances depend on the income and education of his or her parents? Nowadays, these numbers show that the American dream is a myth. There is less equality of opportunity in the United States today than there is in Europe – or, indeed, in any advanced industrial country for which there are data.

This is one of the reasons that America has the highest level of inequality of any of the advanced countries – and its gap with the rest has been widening. In the “recovery” of 2009-2010, the top 1% of US income earners captured 93% of the income growth. Other inequality indicators – like wealth, health, and life expectancy – are as bad or even worse. The clear trend is one of concentration of income and wealth at the top, the hollowing out of the middle, and increasing poverty at the bottom.

[ Joseph E. Stiglitz is a Nobel laureate in economics who served on and later chaired President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, and was Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank. He is currently a professor at Columbia University. ]

More commentaries by Joseph Stiglitz:

Project Syndicate
Project Syndicate brings original, engaging, and thought-provoking commentaries by esteemed leaders and thinkers from around the world to readers everywhere. By offering incisive perspectives on our changing world from those who are shaping its economics, politics, science, and culture, Project Syndicate has created an unrivaled venue for informed public debate.


- Go to the Income and Wealth Inequality Links page:

- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (M-Z) Links page:

12. Child Poverty in the UK: The report on the 2010 target - June 14
(UK Dept. for Work and Pensions and Dept. for Education )

UK Child poverty figures drop, but remain above 2 million
June 14, 2012
By Randeep Ramesh
• 18% of children live in households earning £251 or less a week
• Number rises to 3.6 million when housing costs included
• Campaigners warn of future rises as government cuts kick in
• Separate figures show leap in homelessness

The number of children living below the poverty line in the UK has fallen slightly, but the figure remains stubbornly above 2 million, official figures show. Eighteen percent of children are living in households in the UK with incomes of less than 60% of the median average in 2010-11, equating to 2.3 million children, according to figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions on Thursday. When housing costs are taken into account, this share rises to 27%, or 3.6 million children. The figures show 300,000 fewer children are living in poverty than a year ago, or 200,000 fewer after housing costs are taken into account.
The Guardian (UK)


The complete report:

Child Poverty in the UK: The report on the 2010 target (PDF - 608K, 29 pages)
June 2012
As required by section 1(1) of the Child Poverty Act 2010, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has laid a report on whether or not the previous Government’s target to halve child poverty by 2010 was met.
The target to halve child poverty by 2010 was not met. The number of children living in relative income poverty in 2010/11 was reduced to 2.3 million. This is 600,000 short of the number required to meet the target.

Department for Work and Pensions

Department for Education

Related link:

UK Child Poverty: Percentage of children living in poverty drops as
[Work and Pensions Secretary] Iain Duncan Smith changes definition
June 15, 2012
Income should not be the only determinant for child poverty, the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith has said. The Minister argued that just by ensuring a family’s income is over an artificial threshold will not take the family out of poverty.

"By this narrow measure, if you have a family who sit one pound below the poverty line, you can do a magical thing," Mr Duncan Smith said. "Give them one pound more, say through increased benefit payments, and you can apparently change everything – you are said to have pulled them out of poverty. Yet moving someone from one pound below the poverty line to one pound above it might be enough to hit a target."

According to latest official figures, 18% of children currently live in households who earn 60% less than the median income in the UK - about 2.3 million children. However, if housing costs are included in the figures then, the number of children living in poverty increases to 27% or 3.6 million children.

This means the coalition government has failed to keep the Labour pledge it had promised to keep. UK has not been able to halve the child poverty numbers, as pledged by Tony Blair, by 2010-11.



Child poverty: where next?
13 June 2012
By Nick Pearce
Thursday morning sees the annual publication of the child poverty statistics. This year’s set of statistics is especially important because it covers the year 2010/11, so it enables us to come to a final judgment on the Labour government’s record on child poverty.
In advance of the statistics, battle has been properly joined on whether Labour’s child poverty targets, enshrined in the Child Poverty Act 2010 [ ] , were the right ones, and in particular, whether measuring poor households’ incomes, relative to median incomes, is the best way of thinking about poverty or not. The Centre for Social Justice [ ]has become the latest in a long line of conservative thinktanks to criticise the child poverty targets and Labour’s approach to meeting them; meanwhile the Child Poverty Action Group [ ] and a number of commentators have issued their detailed rejoinders.
Following substantial rises in spending under Labour, we now commit a relatively high share of our national income on families with children. However, while this was aimed at reducing child poverty in a cost-efficient manner, the graph below suggests that – paradoxically – we are not doing as well as other countries at translating this into low child poverty.
This disparity is partly explained byBritain’s relatively high levels of income inequality, single parent households, low pay and worklessness, but it also reinforces the need for a more strategic approach to supporting families with children – especially given the fiscal constraints. That means a stronger focus on childcare, the under-5s and working families – and a recognition that the struggle to eradicate child poverty will not be achieved overnight.

Nick Pearce is the Director of IPPR.
He blogs on things that matter to our public life, from the heart of progressive thinking in Britain.

Institute for Public Policy Research (IRPP)
The Institute for Public Policy Research, is the UK’s leading progressive thinktank. We produce rigorous research and innovative policy ideas for a fair, democratic and sustainable world.


- Go to the International Children, Families and Youth Links page:

- Go to the Government Social Research Links in Other Countries page:

13. CRINMAIL (Newsletter of the Child Rights Information Network - CRIN)

Child Rights Information Network (CRIN):
CRIN envisions a world in which every child enjoys all of the human rights promised by the United Nations, regional organisations, and national governments alike. (...) Our inspiration is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which we use to bring children's rights to the top of the international agenda. We launch advocacy campaigns, lead international children's rights coalitions, and strive to make existing human rights enforcement mechanisms accessible for all. More than 2,100 organisations in 150 countries rely on CRIN's publications, research and information.

The latest information on children's rights around the world:
CRIN publishes several email lists on children's rights issues in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. We also issue thematic editions on armed conflict, violence against children and strategic litigation. You can subscribe to any of these email lists and unsubscribe at any time.

CRINMAIL - Children's Rights Newsletter (weekly)
Latest issue:

13 June 2012 - CRINMAIL Issue 1280
In this issue:
Latest news and reports
- Repression on the horizon
- Detained for no offence
- Calls to abort regression
- Reviewing pharmaceutical ethics
- A 'mass caning spree'
- Boxing up rights
- In other news
Children's Rights Wiki
Spotlight on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Upcoming events
Also includes:
* World news * Reports * Events * Issues * Law
* Advocacy * Challenging breaches * Take action * Campaigns * Toolkits


CRINMAIL Archive (earlier issues):

Option 1: (WITH table of contents)
- includes a table of contents for each issue, as above, back to 2009-2010:

Option 2: (WITHOUT table of contents)
- On the CRINMAIL website --- does *not* include the table of contents for each issue (so you must click on each link to see its contents), but it goes back much further (pre-2006). Follow this link to see hundreds of earlier weekly issues, many of which are special editions focusing on special themes, such as the 45th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


The CRINMAIL Children's Rights Newsletter is only ONE of several weekly newsletters produced and distributed by CRIN.
See the complete list of newsletters:

Child Rights Information Network (CRIN):
CRIN envisions a world in which every child enjoys all of the human rights promised by the United Nations, regional organisations, and national governments alike. (...) Our inspiration is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which we use to bring children's rights to the top of the international agenda. We launch advocacy campaigns, lead international children's rights coalitions, and strive to make existing human rights enforcement mechanisms accessible for all. More than 2,100 organisations in 150 countries rely on CRIN's publications, research and information.


- Go to the Children's Rights Links page:

Disclaimer/Privacy Statement

Both Canadian Social Research Links (the site) and this Canadian Social Research Newsletter belong to me, Gilles Séguin.

I am solely accountable for the choice of links presented therein and for the occasional editorial comment - it's my time, my home computer, my experience, my biases, my Rogers Internet account and my web hosting service.

I administer the mailing list and distribute the weekly newsletter using software on the web server of the
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
Thanks, CUPE!


If you wish to receive this weekly newsletter by email, go to the Canadian Social Research Newsletter Online Subscription page:
...or send me an email message.

You can unsubscribe by going to the same page or by sending me an e-mail message [ ]


Privacy Policy:

The Canadian Social Research Newsletter mailing list is not used for any purpose except to distribute each weekly newsletter.
I promise not share any information on this list, nor to send you any junk mail.

Links presented in the Canadian Social Research Newsletter point to different views about social policy and social programs.
There are some that I don't agree with, so don't get on my case, eh...

To access earlier online HTML issues of the Canadian Social Research Newsletter, go to the Newsletter page:

Feel free to distribute this newsletter as widely as you wish, but please remember to mention Canadian Social Research Links when you do.





Ten Words You Might Not Know Are Trademarked

Many of the items we use every day, like zippers and escalators, were once brand names. Even heroin, which no one should use any day, was a brand name. Here are some trademarked names that are often used as generic terms today.


* When Q-tips were originally released, they were called Baby Gays. The name was changed to Q-tips—the “Q” standing for quality—in 1926. Although they have changed hands several times since then, Unilever owns the brand today.

* Two hockey-player brothers designed Rollerblade inline skates from a pair of old roller skates in 1979. They were the only brand of inline skates until the mid-eighties, when several other companies emerged.

* According to legend, Scotch tape earned its name when a frustrated customer told a 3M scientist to “take it back to your Scotch bosses and tell them to put more adhesive on it.” Today, Scotch “Magic Tape” is only manufactured in one place in the world: Hutchinson, Minn.

* The permanent marker was invented in 1956, but the Sharpie wasn’t introduced until 1964. Today, the products are almost synonymous with one another.

* In 1899, Pearle Wait sold his recipe for Jell-O to Orator Woodward for $450. In 1902, sales for the product were around $250,000. Today, the gelatin dessert is owned by Kraft.

* Tupperware is a brand that got its name from its creator, Earle Silas Tupper.

* George de Mastreal invented Velcro when he discovered that burrs stuck to matted dog fur. Today, it is the world’s most prominent brand of hook and loop fasteners.

* Johnson & Johnson manufactured gauze and adhesive tape separately until Earle Dickinson had the idea to combine them to create Band-Aids for his accident-prone wife.
* The Zamboni is an ice resurfacer named after its inventor, Frank Zamboni.

* TASER is a trademark of TASER International, and shouldn’t technically be used as a verb. To be fair, “Don’t hit me with that electroshock weapon, bro!” is probably hard to shout under duress. Bonus fact: TASER is an acronym. It stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle.”

[Click the source links for more trademarked words]

And, in closing...

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there!