A report on the local news last night featured a commentator telling a reporter that an increase in crime is due to higher levels of poverty.
But, what is poverty? This question came to light several years ago when one woman took her kids panhandling downtown to draw attention to her plight. There was an outpouring of sympathy, until a sharp-eyed newspaper reader noticed in a picture that her son was wearing shoes costing more than $100 -- and the shoes were in almost-new condition, too.
The woman tried to recover her credibility by inviting a reporter to her home. Perhaps mischievously, perhaps unintentionally, she was photographed with her video library clearly visible in the background. Any remaining credibility was totally gone.
With majorities of those North Americans living in poverty owning washing machines, clothes dryers, colour televisions, microwave ovens and VCRs, has poverty lost its meaning?
And is it an insult to those who truly do live in destitution?