Families, Time and Well-Being

Inequality of well-being among families with children is increasing at an even faster rate than income inequality, according to a new study by Peter Burton and Shelley Phipps, “Families, Time, and Well-Being in Canada”. They find that total family working hours have increased for most families, but not for those at the top of the income spectrum who have been […]

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Taxing the Rich

Over at the Globe and Mail Economy Lab our friend Stephen Gordon argues that there are only limited revenues to be gained by taxing the rich. He plays around with some back of the envelope calculations based on CRA data on the incomes of those making more than $500,000 – accurately enough, I think -  and concludes that each percentage […]

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Why even conservatives are worried about rising inequality

This essay was commissioned by the National Post.  It was published in today’s edition under the headline “A Problem for Everyone“.  In the print edition, the overline -  a large font summary of what you are about to read  written by the editors –  reads:  “Income inequality isn’t just unfair — it threatens the whole foundation on which our capitalist […]

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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 credits would be valued at […]

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So the BC HST Was Defeated. Now What?

Earlier today, Elections BC announced the much anticipated HST referendum results. British Columbians have voted to scrap the HST. The best part about having the results is that now we can move on from the narrow issue of what type of sales tax is better and focus our energies on some of the bigger issues affecting British Columbia. Since the […]

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Is Social Assistance a “Poverty Pariah?”

An article in the current edition of NOW Magazine looks at social assistance in Ontario. The article is aptly entitled “Poverty Pariah,” in light of how apparently unpopular Ontario’s welfare system has become over the past 20 years. As can be seen at the National Council of Welfare’s Interactive Welfare Incomes Map, a single adult on welfare in Ontario receives […]

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When Business and Progressives Agree

It was news, not so much because of what was said, as who said it:  The Conference Board of Canada released a report on rising inequality in Canada today, noting that despite the fact that Canadians are better off than a generation ago, the richest 20% in society are taking an ever-growing share of the economic pie, while the middle […]

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Incomes in Canada – Booming and Busted

Today’s release of the annual Income in Canada report is Statistics Canada’s first word on the impact of the Great Recession on Canadians’ incomes. The report in The Daily was presented as a non-event, but the data reveal important stories about the winners and losers since the recession. What comes through loud and clear is the fractured nature of the […]

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Of the 1%, For the 1%, By the 1%

The first leg of the federal election campaign has featured much debate over who benefits from different proposals. At least indirectly, it has been a conversation about income inequality. What have they been saying? The Harper Conservatives have introduced a number of high-cost measures all of which are based on tax cuts, all of which would widen the rich/poor gap. […]

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Robin Hood Economics

Canada’s economic context at the time of Election 2011 is one of “precarious recovery”, and overall demand conditions are weakened by a few major factors. Unemployment is still just under 8%, which is good compared to the double-digit unemployment of the early 1990s, but not great compared to the expansions of the late 1990s and 2000s. Too much of the […]

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Redirecting our Rage

       American economist Emmanuel Saez has painstakingly assembled a century-long statistical series on U.S. income distribution.  On two occasions, the share of income captured by the richest 1 percent reached about one-quarter of the national total.  The first time was in 1928.  The second was in 2007.  As we all know, both peaks in wealth concentration were followed by financial […]

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