Posts Tagged ‘inequality’

Denounced in media, taxing the super-rich turns out to be popular with Canadians..

August 29, 2019

The Onion magazine once sardonically described the gap between rich and poor as the Eighth Wonder of the World — “a tremendous, millennia-old expanse that fills us with both wonder and humility… the most colossal and enduring of mankind’s creations.”

Another aspect of the rich-poor gap that fills me with wonder is the way the rich manage to keep it off the political agenda, although that may be changing.

Instead of squabbling over scarce jobs and incomes, we should jointly strive for a fair economic system..

June 20, 2019

There’s an African proverb that is becoming uncomfortably apt to apply to many workers and citizens: “As the waterhole becomes smaller, the animals get meaner.”

In other words, as basic needs dwindle, so does the willingness to share what’s left. The merits of community and co-operation are superseded by a selfish survival-of-the-fittest mentality.

A big difference, however, exists between what happens at a shrinking waterhole in Africa and what happens in Canada when good-paying jobs are reduced, incomes fall or stagnate, and government services are cut back. The African waterhole gets smaller because of a drought. It’s a natural and unavoidable phenomenon. In Canadian society, however, the necessities of life for the most vulnerable among us are being deliberately restricted.

Our welfare “waterhole” is being siphoned away, its contents inequitably transferred from the pockets of the poor into the bulging bank accounts and stock portfolios of the rich and powerful.

GTA: Land of Prosperity and Disparity..

May 28, 2019

Canada’s incredible expanding wealth gap..

October 5, 2018

Dr. Lars Osberg, professor of economics at Dalhousie University, has been studying inequality in Canada for a long time. Over 35 years ago, he published Economic Inequality in Canada, which looked at inequality in Canada’s post-war economy. He found that in the years between 1950 and 1980, economic inequality between the top and bottom 20 per cent of family units Canada was relatively constant: the top 20 per cent took about 10 times the income share of the bottom 20 per cent.

Things weren’t great, but at least it wasn’t getting worse.

Fast-forward to the 2018 release of another book by Osberg: The Age of Increasing Inequality: The Astonishing Rise of Canada’s 1%, and things have changed significantly.

Analysis Shows Canada’s 87 Richest Families Now Hold as Much Wealth as 12 Million Lowest-Income Canadians..

August 1, 2018

“You’d expect Canada’s tax regime would try to counteract this concentration of wealth at the very top, where it’s needed the least. But in fact, federal policies encourage it.”

How Global Elites Profit from Unaffordability

April 1, 2017

..if you belong to the community of wealthy elites that also gravitate to these cities, unaffordability means something else entirely. Insanely high real estate costs don’t dissuade the extremely rich from buying homes in places like Sydney, London and Vancouver. High prices make owning a house there more desirable. They confer social status. And if, like many members of this elite, you own several homes — one as a place to live in and the others as investments or safe havens for your wealth — you want home prices to keep going up. They are, after all, making you even wealthier.

New Canadian study explains why working class should be angry

November 16, 2016

A newly released study by the Canadian Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS) might explain some of that working class anger.

The study’s innocuous sounding title is: Labour Productivity and Real Earnings in Canada, 1976-2014. But its conclusions are almost explosive.

It shows that in Canada, the productivity of labour — the amount workers produce per unit of effort — went up by over one per cent per year over the 38 years between 1976 and 2014.

The average worker’s earnings, however, barely budged over that same period. The rise in wages was less than one-tenth of one per cent per year. Put differently, the rise in productivity was more than 10 times that of earnings.

Half Of Working Canadians Live Paycheque To Paycheque

September 11, 2016

TORONTO — A new poll suggests that about half of working Canadians would be hard-pressed to meet their financial obligations if their paycheque was delayed for a week.

The survey released Wednesday by the Canadian Payroll Association found that 48 per cent of respondents said they rely on each payday to cover their bills, with 40 per cent admitting they spend an amount equal to all or more of their net pay each week.

A quarter of those polled also said they wouldn’t be able to scrounge up $2,000 if an emergency situation happened within the next month.

The CPA said the survey highlights the growing number of Canadians who are living paycheque to paycheque, and unable to put away savings due to mounting debt and a weak economy.

When the top fifth of Canadians are worth 1,250 times the lower fifth, it’s time for a wealth tax

April 7, 2016

Wealth inequality, then, affects everything it can touch and therefore demands a policy response all its own. Unlike many of our OECD brethren, Canada does not currently levy an inheritance, estate or wealth tax of any sort. Where they do exist, wealth taxes are increasingly under both rhetorical and technocratic threat.

Joseph Stiglitz on Canada’s Housing Inequality: ‘It’s Very Disturbing’

November 29, 2015

Skyrocketing housing prices in Canada’s cities, most dramatically in Vancouver, threaten the cohesion of our society, argues Nobel laureate and former World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz.