I remember a time when governments of all stripes and at all levels understood that the role of the state was, among other things, to care for the neediest among us, primarily through the wise use of taxes spent on social programs.

We have now reached a point, thanks to the Harper brand of Thatcherism, where tax is a dirty word; thus, we have left the care of the hungry and the homeless to organized charities, and also to the churches.

Instead of making sure that people are able to earn enough to get by, we now lean on the banks — and here I mean the food, the clothing and the furniture banks.