Episode 9 — Poverty is Not the Problem

A Conversation with Allan Smith-Reeve

With the advent of Peterborough’s very own tent city, Allan Smith-Reeve wrote and circulated two thoughtful pieces, Poverty’s Not the Problem and How Does Our Wealth Isolate.

In them he turned things on their heads a bit and asked some pointed questions. Allan invited a conversation to explore those questions and this podcast accepts the invitation and extends the conversation.

In this recorded conversation, we explored how loneliness and isolation are symptoms of our prevailing way of life, why any of us would resist, or want to, adopting new ways of doing things, and what some of those already emerging ways might be. Ways. The failure of our large systems to address poverty in a meaningful way came and went as we looked to how we can engage as a community to do better than what has been done so far.

To be sure, ours wasn’t a conversation about saving the poor. In fact, much of the ‘saving’ seemed more to go in the opposite direction, or at least in the direction of taking on new habits of mind and behaviour. Our sense was that those ways of life might bring us more life and stop or slow the hamster wheel of restless productivity, empire, and the worship of capital.

It has been said that one of the most debilitating forms of poverty is a poverty of imagination.

On the whole the content of our conversation was grounding, whole, and at least a little bit imaginative.

Allan  and his partner Lynn Smith-Reeve are the stewards of Bedford House and Bridges Out of Poverty.

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