Raul Freitas

Around And Around We Go



 Seriously, I hope there aren´t too many people reading my articles lately. What I mean is that whoever may actually be reading these will certainly be crying redundancy. Why? Because all of today’s major woes are due to a series of factors based on the same ideology.

I’m asked to comment on today’s issues with homelessness in the cities, the tents going up in public parks, increasing dependency on food banks and other social institutions, and what is fueling this decline in the standard of living. Also, I’m asked to comment on the government’s role in tackling these issues. Food and housing, the most elemental and basic of needs for the sustainment of human life, certainly an issue the whole world should be getting together on, and thus a most important topic for discussion. This is the reason I don’t mind going into redundancy.

I read a blurb in The Star quoting a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, that for the average worker to be able to afford a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto, that worker would have to be making $33.60 an hour. I don’t know anything about this economic thinktank, and to be honest, whenever I hear “thinktank”, I cringe, but, I couldn’t roll my eyes at the number. Do we really not understand why there are people living in tents? People have been flocking to the cities for many decades because of the availability of work. It still holds true. Most of the business is done in or near a large city, so that’s where the poor and/or unemployed are going to go. What a great system we live in; the more people need shelter, the higher the prices go. It doesn’t matter if people can’t afford to eat, I, as a landlord, need to make as much money as possible, no matter the consequences, and that’s a perfectly acceptable rationale! You want to fix the situation, let the government kick in taxpayer money. Those in need always end up footing the bill. Even when it comes to taxes, those who make less always pay a disproportionate amount. The only way to pay less taxes is to make lots of money. Those with money invest and therefore pay a much lower rate than those who can only make their money with their hands.
For months we’ve been witnessing the record rise in profits of energy and food companies, while they continue to raise prices, citing the market and the world’s conflicts as reasons. They always have several reasons. We’ve all thought this through, prices went up due to Covid and the Russians. Covid no longer seems to be an issue, and the war in the Ukraine has become a backdrop. Prices continue to either stay ridiculously high or go ridiculously higher. Practically nothing has come down in price, (like anybody expected it to). This week, Putin decided to end the agreement he had signed to allow for the free flow of grain, and one of the first things that popped up in the media was the possibility of food prices going up. Why? They never dropped back from when the initial embargo was in place! The prices stayed the same even though an agreement was reached! Why would prices go up again, now that all bets are off?

It proves repeatedly that we and our governments have no power and no say in the running of our lives. We are run by for-profit corporations that place profits above all, which is their duty. It’s why they exist. We, the media, continue to avoid the reality of the situation, posing the same questions over and over again. We focus on those in need with tearful prose and question if governments are just going to stand by. It makes for lovely copy and video, but has no substance, it just plays along, using those who suffer the most, competing for an audience.
What’s a government going to do to tackle rising food and housing prices? Throw more money at the problem? Our money? Does it ever resolve anything? It doesn’t. Why aren’t we blaming the real culprits? Why don’t governments solve the problems where they originate? Because they can’t, the system is one-sided, it’s not there to look after most of us. The problems we see today are only going to grow. We play the proverbial violin, while the city burns.

Fiquem bem.

Raul Freitas/MS

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