Why occupy? It’s the inequality.

The Occupy Wall Street protests hinge on injustice, in particular a malaise with the current economic system that has brought us a tremendous inequality and the rise of the super-rich, or top 1%. But surely that is just the US?

Alas, no. The figure below shows the change in BC labour income (wages and salaries) and corporate profits (before tax) going back to 1991. They are presented as an index, with 1991 = 100. While total labour income doubled between 1991 and 2009 (not adjusting for inflation or population growth), corporate profits rose by 700% at their peak in 2008, before dropping somewhat in 2009.

Figures from BC Ministry of Finance, Financial and Economic Review 2011, p. 22.

One comment

  • hi everyone:

    Inequality is definitely an issue but its also one of federal spending (I think).

    this might be the culprit:

    Ottawa beats estimate of annual deficit by $2.8 billion as revenues rise
    The Canadian Press, On Wednesday October 12, 2011, 3:30 pm EDT
    By The Canadian Press

    OTTAWA – Ottawa says it was $2.8 billion to the good on its deficit projections last year.

    The federal government says its final accounting shows last year’s deficit for 2010-11 was $33.4 billion, better than the $36.2-billion shortfall it had estimated in June’s economic update.

    That’s about 40 per cent lower than the record $55.6 billion posted in 2009-10 when Ottawa was responding to a deep global recession.

    The improved results were due to a $1.5-billion increase in revenue over earlier estimates, while program spending was $1.2 billion less.

    Ottawa says almost half of the deficit is attributable to stimulus measures to help the economy emerging from recession.

    If Ottawa had spent the $2.8 million into the economy in qtr 1 or 2, we would have avoided the contraction and slow patch.

    It might help to divert the tax cuts from corporations to individuals but actually I’m against that – and also against increased tax deductions – because people consider their taxes as part of the social contract and also as their ante in the discussion on the economy.

    Corporations pay so little tax, why do they have such a big say.

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