Does Canada have too few billionaires?

Alex Davidson of, 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 billionaires by a ratio of more than 19 to one. Germany (55), Russia (53), India (36), the U.K (29), Turkey (25) and Japan (24) all hold more billionaires than Canada.

That gap with the U.S. will probably be even more dramatic after the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans is published this month.

Is it just me, or is the notion that we get “bragging rights” for having more billionaires just plain offensive? Should we be anxious that, even when put in per capita terms, there exists a “gap with the US”? And are there really hosers out there bragging that we are the second-largest country (that our tundra is the most expansive … next to Russia)?

Some policy prescriptions for alleviating this embarassing problem might include: eliminating the minimum wage and banning unions so that more income can flow to the top; introducing a flat income tax so that the super-rich can keep more of their hard-earned income (monitoring that trust fund can be a bitch); and eliminating all public interest regulation so that companies can make more money by polluting and establishing less safe workplaces. I’m sure we will all sleep better, and be better at asserting the superiority of our country at the local pub, once the ranks of the super-rich have been strengthened.


  • I’m struck that – with half the population – we have almost as many as that other exemplar of neo liberal Anglo Saxon capitalism – the UK, especially given the weight of finance and the City in the UK economy.

  • Certainly this seems to be a sign pointing towards better income equality in Canada compared to some of the comparison countries. While we certainly are not perfect on this aspect we do have a lot to be proud of.

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