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基本收入计划之争议:靠勤俭脱贫的华裔是加国人士的榜样
Financial prudence can lift many Canadians out of poverty


 
安省政府近期宣布取消基本收入试点计划。该决定一经宣布,反对声四起,很多人指责这一“无情”的做法实际上在把那些贫困线上挣扎人士再度推入火坑。但至于这些反对和批评是否站得住脚,那些在当初身无分文而如今已在加国站稳脚跟的移民们最有发言权了。而在他们看来,解决贫困的契机并非向政府狮子大开口,而是埋头苦干和勤俭持家的原则。

The announcement by PC Ontario to cancel the Basic Income project has evoked heated oppositions, prompting accusations that the "callous cancellation" throws those struggling with financial hardships under the bus. Amid widespread criticisms over the government’s move, many established immigrants --who came to Canada penniless-- believe that the solution to poverty hinges on hardworking and fiscal prudence, rather than government largesse. 

可以说华裔人士为如何在加国脱贫致富趟出了一条血路。他们当初来加时,各个穷得叮当响,但在短短几十年间,很多人能力挽狂澜,跻身中产。在移民初期生活贫困之际,他们大都咬紧牙关,奋发图强,而不是躺在政府身上吃软饭,伸手要救济,这一点被加国统计局数据证实。除了起早贪黑拼命苦干之外,华裔出色的理财本领让他们在家政管理上游刃有余,并很快在加国成为脱贫致富的先锋。



Chinese immigrants set up an excellent example for Canadians to achieve financial success. While they generally suffer poverty in Canada as newcomers, they have turned things around and made it to the middle-class decades later. Struggling to make ends meet during their first years of immigration, many remained self-reliant and did not count on the government support or apply for welfare – a fact supported by statistics. Apart from dark-to dawn jobs, it was their money saving attitude and better financial behavior that has paved their path to economic victory.  

很多华裔吃苦耐劳,勤俭持家的经历至今仍历历在目。我的一个朋友1989年抵达皮尔逊机场时身上仅有$200美金。但他决不向政府张口,一笔最低收入硬是帮他度过了难关。他居住贫民屋,仅仅靠一包大米,几盒鸡蛋和一些蔬菜果腹。但精打细算的他不仅填饱了肚皮,还在每月底能有一些盈余存入银行。

Many financial struggles that immigrant families went through were not such a distant past. A friend of mine had $200 US in his pocket when he landed in Pearson airport in 1989. However, he managed to get by through a minimum income without begging a penny from the government. He pulled it through by living in a rooming house and relying on a pack of rice, a few boxes of eggs, and some vegetable, and ended up with some savings left in his bank account by the end of the month. 



我的朋友常说:“在资源丰富的加拿大你怎么会挨饿?” 他常常拿60年代毛泽东统治下的中国做比照。那年月的饥荒饿死了上千万的中国老百姓,而活下来也各个面黄肌瘦,患上饥饿综合症。而物产丰富,政局稳定,提供大量就业机会的加拿大却是那些肯干又会攒钱的人的致富天堂,为他们脱贫致富铺平了道路。

 “You would never get starved in this resource-rich country,” says my friend as he compares to the Mao-ruled China in the early 1960s, when a famine left the entire population in starvation and claimed over tens of millions of lives. Indeed, with abundant resources, a stable political environment, and tremendous employment opportunities, Canada is the best country in the world for hardworking, money-savvy individuals to live a healthy independent life and to enjoy economic prosperity.

但华裔新移民们的节俭生活方式却与当地加国人士铺张浪费,奢侈的生活习俗成为鲜明对比,而很多人为此债台高筑,并被迫支付高额利息。一些传说信息显示,某些如今生活于贫困中的加国人士当初曾属高收入阶层,其年工资高达6位数字甚至数十万元之高!但过度开销,铺张浪费,且从不精打细算,进行未雨绸缪等不良生活作风让他们在失去工作后立即陷入财务危机,面临四面楚歌的贫困境地!



However, the frugal lifestyle of Chinese newcomers is in sharp comparison to that of local Canadians who live an extravagant lifestyle at the cost of massive debt and the excessive interest payments. Anecdotal evidence indicates some Canadians living in poverty today had made six digits or even several hundred of thousands salary in their peak and productive years. However, living beyond their means, gross mismanagement of their financial affairs and a lack of prudence strategy to save for the rainy day have led them into financial troubles after losing their jobs. 

一份最新安格斯调查报告显示,很多加国人士生活于“明显的贫困之中,有40%的人士看不起牙医,1/4的人士靠借钱购买副食品和乘公共汽车。”而相比之下,很多大陆移民已摆脱了贫困并跻身中产。我的那位朋友就是一名典型的生活富庶的加国华裔。如今的他不仅无债一身轻,还拥有房产,数台汽车,并把子女送入私校。

A recent Angus Reid report indicates many people in Canada are living with “notable financial hardship, with forty percent unable to afford dental care, and one-quarter being forced to borrow money for groceries or transportation.” However, against this backdrop, many Chinese immigrants have beaten poverty and successfully established their lives in Canada. My Chinese friend today is a typical well-to-do family and achieved financial freedom. He owns properties, has multiple cars in his garage, and sent his children to private schools.



取消本来就是死路一条的基本收入计划是安省现任政府的正确主张。如果那些即无语言障碍也未曾面临任何社会挑战的当地加国人士却没本事像外来移民那样将自己从困境中解救出来,那么政府的基本收入救济也不是其求生稻草!如果华裔移民能自力更生摆脱贫困,为什么那些土生土长的加国人士们不能?!

Canceling Basic Income program – which was ill-fated at the outset -- is a right move of the Ontario government. It has never been the solutions for the poverty-stricken Canadians who face no language barriers and social challenges like newcomers do but who can’t pull themselves out of poverty like their immigrant- counterparts. If Chinese immigrants can fight economic hardship without becoming a freeloader, why can’t local Canadians?
 
 

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