No, Tim ‘S Jongers, ‘Caring for Mom’ was not a poverty peep show

No, Tim ‘S Jongers, ‘Caring for Mom’ was not a poverty peep show
No, Tim ‘S Jongers, ‘Caring for Mom’ was not a poverty peep show

Dear Mr ‘S Jongers,

Dear Tim,

As one of the coaches in Taking care of momthe VRT program about people in poverty, I was actually somewhat upset – and disappointed – by your position in last Saturday’s column in which you criticize ‘poverty porn and poverty peep shows’.

Of course, poverty is always a consequence of social organization and never the fault of the individual. After 40 years in the industry, I have never met anyone who consciously chose to live in poverty, never. One is born in the ‘wrong’ cradle, was given too few brains or another disability, has a rebellious character, a weak network, did not meet the right people or experienced disaster and setbacks.

In short, all things that a person does not ask for. This creates inequality, also socially. In itself this is bad, but not insurmountable if one pursues a policy that redistributes benefits and burdens. And this is lacking despite all the thick reports and thorough scientific research. The Thomas Piketty’s, Wim Van Lanckers, Paul Goossens’, Bas Jacobsens, Ingrid Robeynsens of this world and countless others have given us sufficient insights and remedies to eradicate poverty, right?

But it just won’t work, au contraire. The number of billionaires is increasing and more and more people are being pushed and kept in poverty. So your analysis is 100 percent correct, although the focus may need to be shifted from social inequality to inadequate redistribution.

You probably also know why this redistribution does not work: people are blamed when their lives do not turn out as they would like. They looked for it themselves, sir. They’re making the wrong choices, ma’am. They shouldn’t do this and they should do the other. In short, they are held individually responsible for their failure, which is in fact a social failure. There are too few affordable houses, a shortage of childcare, labor is heavily taxed and assets are almost non-existent, replacement incomes are below the poverty line, healthcare is often not accessible and affordable because more and more doctors no longer conform to conventional practices.

These are all matters that are known but do not create a conscience. Taking care of mom gave that poverty a face. The TV program made the social failure visible and had a greater impact on raising awareness about what it is like to live in poverty than numerous scientific studies.

Taking care of mom so it was not a peep show, as you write, but a Full Monty for a full house with all the lights on and the audience was moved by it.

This does not alter the fact that, together with you, I am a big fan of Ken Loach, and also of the Dardenne brothers, Koen Mortier and Wannes Destoop. I would also like to recommend everyone to immerse themselves in their films. All benefits help to combat the great injustice that is poverty.

With warm and combative greetings,
Joost Bonte

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Tim Jongers Caring Mom poverty peep show


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