BNN and the Growing Gap

For the past few weeks, a business leader could scarcely pick up a magazine without bumping into that other inconvenient truth of our era: rising inequality. It’s been the topic of discussion everywhere from the Economist, to The Atlantic, to the World Economic Forum.

Today CTV’s Business News Network (BNN) launched a three-part series looking at the gap between the rich and the rest of us.

Here’s the way the producers of the show, Squeezeplay, have framed why business needs to tune in to the discussion:

“According to a new survey by the World Economic Forum, widening economic disparities is a main global risk over the next decade that could threaten social and economic stability. What then, if anything, should be done to alleviate the gaping income gap?”

Robert Reich was first up to bat.

Tomorrow I go toe-to-toe with Bill Watson: professor of economics at McGill, columnist with the Financial Post, and very tall guy.

Following that debate is a dose of more gritty reality. Again, using BNN’s words: “Bay Street has roared back since the financial crisis, but many Canadians are still struggling to recover their lives. BNN interviews Kevin Sword, a Canadian citizen who is trying to make ends meet in the post-recession economy.”

The series wraps on Friday with a focus on one solution: “For more than 30 years, a lone Conservative was a proponent for a guaranteed annual income. Can this be the answer to a growing income gap in Canada? BNN interviews Hugh Segal, Senator, Kingston-Frontenac-Leeds.”

The Alternative Federal Budget, coming to a media outlet near you, will soon put out a number of other ideas that could close the gap and make life a little better for everyone, rich, poor and in between.

It’s time we talked, not just about the problems, but about the solutions. And not just among ourselves, but with everyone.

As the business elite at Davos put it, inequality is the most serious challenge for the world in the years to come. We’ve all got skin in this game.

Kudos to the folks at Squeezeplay, and BNN, for getting the business class tuned into the discussion that they have to be part of.


  • And thanks for making sure we were aware of this series.

  • Those who, like me, couldn’t sit through the program long enough to see Reich can find the clip at

  • Very pertinent subject in light of Egypt. This is THE issue facing the world today, with many repercussions if not addressed. Barry Eichengreen takes a look at the subject…..

    BERKELEY – A strictly economic interpretation of events in Tunisia and Egypt would be too simplistic – however tempting such an exercise is for an economist. That said, there is no question that the upheavals in both countries – and elsewhere in the Arab world – largely reflect their governments’ failure to share the wealth……..It may stretch credulity to think that a high-growth economy like China might soon be facing similar problems. But the warning signs are there. Given the lack of political freedoms, the Chinese government’s legitimacy rests on its ability to deliver improved living standards and increased economic opportunity to the masses. So far those masses have little to complain about. But that could change, and suddenly.


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