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Archive for 'wealth'

Wealth Inequality and Neo Liberalism

I have a commentary posted on the Broadbent Institute web site, arguing that inequality of wealth fundamentally undermines the argument that market rewards are “fair.” http://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/en/blog/andrew-jackson-distribution-wealth-implications-neo-liberal-justification-economic-inequality

Poverty in Yukon

Last week I was in Whitehorse where I released a peer-reviewed policy report on poverty in Yukon. The report was part of the much larger Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada project. Report findings include the following: -Ignoring poverty can be quite costly, as has been clearly demonstrated by research on the ‘costs of […]

The financial wealth of Canada’s top 1%

Following up on my post on wealth and income of the top 1%, Eric Pineault wrote to add some data on financial wealth distribution for Canada. He had a research assistant comb through microdata from Statcan’s Survey of Financial Security from 2005, and notes: “the 1% richest (all households are classed according to net worth rather […]

Wealth and Income in the Top 1%

One thing I really like about the Occupy movement is that it reclaiming mental space. I’m thinking of the overt focus on the riches gained by the top 1%, and of naming and shaming capitalism. Two are one and the same, of course. It is in the top 1% that we find the capitalists – […]

Canada’s Billionaires

Just in time for the “Occupy Bay Street” protest this weekend, Canadian Business magazine has come out with its annual listing of the richest 100 people in Canada.  So in honour of the protestors and their noble cause (demanding more attention to the 99%, instead of the 1%), let’s peruse together the sordid details of […]

The Ontario NDP Platform

Pollsters tell us that Ontario’s New Democrats may double their seat total in next month’s provincial election. It’s also entirely conceivable that they could be part of a coalition government at Queen’s Park. But what’s actually in the party’s election platform? One central feature of the NDP’s proposals is to implement a tax credit for companies that hire new workers. The tax […]

The Rise of the Global Elite

“The already wealthy have emerged from the global recession in an even wealthier position. What does the rise of global elites mean to power and influence at home and abroad?” That’s the blurb from TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, the latest Canadian news show to tackle the issue that explains so much of what […]

What to do about Household Debt?

It’s a funny old economy we live in. The release of today’s national balance sheet accounts has aroused great concern about the rise of the ratio of household debt to personal disposable income to a new record of 148%. Mark Carney and our banks want – quite rightly – to discourage further borrowing to prevent […]

Plutonomy?

I put this post out for comments and discussion since this is an important question for which I don’t have an answer. A 2005 Citigroup report – apparently cited in Michael Moore’s new movie, which I have not yet seen – argues  that “plutonomy” – the extreme concentration of income and wealth in the hands […]

The flipside of the affordable housing crisis

… is people like me, who have made spectacular capital gains as home owners. Through the dumb luck of having bought real estate at the right time, before the current boom, my family has reaped a windfall profit that only an oil executive could sneer at. It is not particularly accessible. We need to live […]

Pity the Poor Capital Gains-Makers

I am glad that Jim Flaherty’s budget did not actually come through with a rumoured exemption for capital gains income.  Recall that the Conservatives’ 2006 platform had promised a ridiculous and unworkable exemption from income taxes on capital gains so long as the winnings were “re-invested.”  This high-profile broken promise still clearly niggled the Harper […]

Does Canada have too few billionaires?

Alex Davidson of forbes.com, in an article published by the Globe and Mail, comments: Canada has bragging rights as the world’s second-largest country, but when it comes to number of billionaires, they are few and far between. In March, we pinned down the fortunes of just 23 Canadian billionaires — outnumbered by the U.S.’s 415 […]

Fortune Magazine’s Plutocracy index

I’m not a big fan of business journalism. For the most part, it’s a lazy, sycophantic, uninspired, biased, occasionally self-interested (in a conflict-of-interest sense) and worse yet, boring business. I should know, I was once part of the fold. In my experience, at least half of financial journalists are in it for the food (gotta […]

Anna Nicole Smith

I bet you didn’t expect to see this title on Relentlessly Progressive Economics, and it’s not just an attempt to get more Google hits. This story highlights some important questions about inheritance. Not surprisingly, men have lined up for DNA tests to stake a claim on her late husband’s fortune via her baby. While some […]

Philanthropy and the super-rich

Philosopher Peter Singer asks what the super-rich should give in order to reduce global poverty. Drawing on Piketty and Saez, Singer finds that doing the right thing would barely be noticeable to their standard of living. From New York Times Magazine: What Should a Billionaire Give – and What Should You? By PETER SINGER December […]

A Surge in Wealth Inequality

There was a fair amount of media coverage of the new data  on assets and debt from the 2005 Survey of Financial Security released by Stats Can last week (Daily, December 7); less so of the very useful companion research paper on wealth inequality by StatsCan researchers Morissette and Zhang published in the latest issue […]

Wealth distribution in Canada

Statistics Canada has released results of the latest wealth survey (Survey of Financial Security, or SFS), covering the 2005 year (previous survey was for 1999, and prior to that, 1984). This makes for an interesting comparison, as the 1999 results came at a time when stock markets were bubbling, whereas by 2005 the bubble had […]

World distribution of wealth

The World Distribution of Household Wealth, by James B. Davies, Susanna Sandstrom, Anthony Shorrocks, and Edward N. Wolff, was released by the World Institute for Development Economics Research. A Canadian (and a former prof of mine at Western – Go Mustangs!) is the lead author. The full paper is available here. The extended press release […]