Middle class eroding: study shows shocking wealth inequality in Canada


mentalfloss
#1
Middle class eroding: study shows shocking wealth inequality in Canada

OTTAWA—While politicians in Ottawa still can’t decide who is in the middle class, a new analysis suggests wealth is increasingly gravitating to the very top.

The report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shows the country’s 86 richest individuals and families—or 0.002 per cent of the total population—are getting exponentially richer and now have accumulated as much wealth as the country’s poorest 11.4 million—almost a third of our entire population.

That’s more than in 1999, when the richest 86 had as much money as the poorest 10.1 million and enough to buy up everything in New Brunswick and still have about $40 billion left over, according to the report, to be released Thursday.

The point of the exercise, says economist and author David Macdonald, who used Statistics Canada data and research from Canadian Business magazine, is to show that if income inequality is a policy and social justice concern—wealth inequality is worse.

In fact, the super-rich list of Canadian residents has little to do with income in the traditional sense, he said. None of the 86 are company CEOs—often the poster children of the Occupy crowd for their unseemly salaries and bonuses. Instead, the ones on the list are there by virtue of being company founders or related to company founders.

The super-rich have gotten there by creating and trading assets, whether companies, real estate or securities.

“We often focus on income inequality but that’s a socialist paradise compared to wealth inequality,” said Macdonald.

“The top 20 per cent only get half of all the income, but in terms of wealth inequality, the top 20 per cent have 70 per cent of all wealth. It’s much more extreme and the concern is as you accumulate all this wealth, this wealth starts to buy you political power.”


Inequality, whether in income or wealth, increasingly looks like it will become a key issue in the upcoming federal election, with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair seeking to make the case that Conservative policies have left the middle class behind—with little job security, higher in debt, and in many instances, living paycheque to paycheque.

The government has pointed to the growth in net worth most recently reported by Statistics Canada in February as an indicator their policies are working for everyone.

“After-tax disposable income has increased by 10 per cent across all income brackets,” noted Employment Minister Jason Kenney at the time.

But Statistics Canada also showed wealth gravitating to the top. While median income rose almost 80 per cent since 1999 to $243,800 per family unit, the top 40 per cent possessed 88.9 per cent of total net worth, leaving the bottom 60 per cent with a mere 11.1 per cent of the pie.

Eye-opening was the data that showed the poorest 20 per cent of family units had more debts than assets.

The issue flared again Wednesday after Trudeau asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper if he thought that the problem of the middle class was a myth. Harper chided Trudeau for his inability to define the middle class.

But the issue is not going away. The NDP has been especially critical of the government’s decision to severely cut corporate tax rates, even in the middle of a recession, and getting little job creation or business investment in return.

Some economists have also argued that nations with high levels of inequality tend to underperform compared to more egalitarian countries in terms of overall economic growth.

The latest CCPA analysis also suggests that once someone gets to the top of the wealth ladder, they likely stay there.

The richest individuals and families in 2013 were pretty much the same people who made the list in 2005 and in 1999—well-known family names like Thomson, Weston, Irving, Desmarais and Pattison.

Between 1999 and 2013, the report shows that the wealthiest 86 Canadians had enlarged their pot of gold from $118 billion to $178 billion on real, non-inflationary terms.

Macdonald says a reason wealth growth is increasingly becoming concentrated is that it is taxed differently from income.

“If one Canadian makes $100,000 a year selling a company (or shares) while another makes $100,000 a year working at a job, the worker will pay twice the tax of the business seller,” he said.

Middle class eroding: study shows shocking wealth inequality in Canada - Canadian Manufacturing (external - login to view)
 
spaminator
#2
edit
 
mentalfloss
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminatorView Post

edit

Lol what happened?
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#4
The banks only want two classes they say.
 
spaminator
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Lol what happened?

there isn't a move or delete option so I just put the word edit.
 
Locutus
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Lol what happened?


He might have been maybe pointing you to this:

forums.canadiancontent.net/ho...could-buy.html (external - login to view)
 
bobnoorduyn
Free Thinker
+3
#7  Top Rated Post
Oh sure, here comes a primer for another round of, "let's increase taxes on the rich" just in time for the next election. The CCPA is chock full of hypocrites, socialists and progressives. The whole purpose of our "progressive" and punitively high income taxes as claimed by the CCPA and other progressive is "wealth re-distribution", which is in fact income re-distribution. They cannot stand the fact that some folks have actually worked and sacrificed much to be able to earn more than the less willing. Paraphrasing Edison, it is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, and the less successful, but all the same greedy, seem to think they are somehow entitled to their share of someone else's work and income.

Wealth is the accumulation of assets due to hard work, and is often passed down to heirs, but it is still the fruit of someone's labour. The CCPA wants to stir the collectivist mindset, much the way Marx, Lennin, Pol Pot, Mao and others did, to rob from those who worked hard, whether physically or intectually, and risked harm either physically or finacially (and their heirs), to enrich themselves with little or no sweat or threat.

Equality is now the goal, inequality is somehow evil. I can see how we can achieve income equality, taxes have been employed as a social engineering tool for the past century. I just can't seem to grasp how anyone could imagine that we could somehow achieve wealth equality, oh yeah, the use of force, right, Russia did it, China did it, North Korea, (sorry, the Democratic People's Republic,[euphemism alert] of Korea), did it, along with countless other tinpot dictatorships. The end result was, get this, the wealth was still held by the top dogs, the only difference is that they didn't earn it, they stole it.

Equality is a myth, and the quest for it only makes for more useful idiots to do a despot's bidding. We're not there yet, but by golly we are sure on our way.

Quote: Originally Posted by LocutusView Post

He might have been maybe pointing you to this:

forums.canadiancontent.net/ho...could-buy.html (external - login to view)

And they are that way because they wouldn't do something so foolish .
 
Liberalman
#8
It's time to spread the wealth by higher minimum wage and more welfare money which will decrease taxes by making the rich and corporations to pay their fair share.
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#9
Can anyone define middle class in Canada and the differing regions.
What is MC in BC is not in NB.
 
bobnoorduyn
Free Thinker
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by liberalmanView Post

it's time to spread the wealth by higher minimum wage and more welfare money which will decrease taxes by making the rich and corporations to pay their fair share.

buzz-click/does/not/compute/please/re.enter/data/danger/danger/will/robinson.....
 
Liberalman
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

Can anyone define middle class in Canada and the differing regions.
What is MC in BC is not in NB.

Where a family of four meal does not come out of pet food containers
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by LiberalmanView Post

Where a family of four meal does not come out of pet food containers

That is not Middle Class.
 
Liberalman
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

That is not Middle Class.

Our government has not protected the middle class by discouraging businesses from taking jobs out of country thus eroding the middle class. The taxpayer should get the same deductions as the rich and corporations get.
 
bobnoorduyn
Free Thinker
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by LiberalmanView Post

The taxpayer should get the same deductions as the rich and corporations get.

For instance?
 
Liberalman
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by bobnoorduynView Post

For instance?

Eveything
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by bobnoorduynView Post

For instance?

Yeah- We all have the same tax breaks- it is having the money to salt away in RRSP's, TFSA'a, Educational funds and so on.
 
bobnoorduyn
Free Thinker
+1
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

Yeah- We all have the same tax breaks- it is having the money to salt away in RRSP's, TFSA'a, Educational funds and so on.

Well,corporations don't have TFSA's RRSP's or RESP's, but everyone else gets those. What tax breaks do the "rich"get that we don't?
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by bobnoorduynView Post

Well,corporations don't have TFSA's RRSP's or RESP's, but everyone else gets those. What tax breaks do the "rich"get that we don't?

Off shore accounts.
Oh let's protect the rich so they can hide their money and send our jobs overseas, Yup. Makes a whole lot of sense. Meanwhile, anybody not making a hundred thousand a year foots the bills. I can't believe people still buy this crap.
Eat the rich!
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

Off shore accounts.
Oh let's protect the rich so they can hide their money and send our jobs overseas, Yup. Makes a whole lot of sense. Meanwhile, anybody not making a hundred thousand a year foots the bills. I can't believe people still buy this crap.
Eat the rich!

That is not what Lib man was referring to.
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
+1
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

That is not what Lib man was referring to.

I wasn't responding to him but "everything" covers a lot of ground, does it not?
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

I wasn't responding to him but "everything" covers a lot of ground, does it not?

True.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

Off shore accounts.
Oh let's protect the rich so they can hide their money and send our jobs overseas, Yup. Makes a whole lot of sense. Meanwhile, anybody not making a hundred thousand a year foots the bills. I can't believe people still buy this crap.
Eat the rich!


I'm guessing that you didn't make $100k this year... How much did the CRA ding you for?
 
PoliticalNick
Free Thinker
#23
I think the more socially dangerous fact surrounding this issue is that the top 1% gets 99% of the access to govt. In that I am saying the regular working person is not able to get meetings with the PM or Premier or ministers or most times not even their own MP/MLA to discuss their concerns or try to gain govt support for their needs/wants. The wealthiest 86 people most likely get a call back from Harper himself when they call the PMO whereas you or I will get some intern to the PA of a junior staff member in the PMO if any response at all. That my friends is why there is so much distrust of govt and why most citizens feel disenfranchised. The fact that this access to the higher levels of govt usually results in the richest getting legislation they want or project funding or contracts simply makes the rich richer while the rest of us seemingly foot the bill. It is this part of our system that is broken and it is being recognized by more and more people all the time giving to the overall hatred of govt by the general population. Until we change this the disparity between the upper echelon of wealth and the middle/lower classes will continue to grow at a rapidly increasing rate.
 
bobnoorduyn
Free Thinker
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

Off shore accounts.
Oh let's protect the rich so they can hide their money and send our jobs overseas, Yup. Makes a whole lot of sense. Meanwhile, anybody not making a hundred thousand a year foots the bills. I can't believe people still buy this crap.
Eat the rich!

You can have an offshore account too, it's a pain in the ****, and if you do it to hide taxable income the CCRA will get you no matter how rich you are. The IRS is even worse,(or better depending upon your viewpoint); a co-worker of mine rescinded his US citizenship because the IRS was going after everyone, and while his main purpose in life is to die rich, he would rather pay Canadian taxes (and Nova Scotia taxes to boot) than have to put up with the harrassment from the IRS to file retrurns where he owes nothing to them.

You can hate the rich man all you want, but I've never had a poor man give me a job.

Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNickView Post

I think the more socially dangerous fact surrounding this issue is that the top 1% gets 99% of the access to govt. In that I am saying the regular working person is not able to get meetings with the PM or Premier or ministers or most times not even their own MP/MLA to discuss their concerns or try to gain govt support for their needs/wants. The wealthiest 86 people most likely get a call back from Harper himself when they call the PMO whereas you or I will get some intern to the PA of a junior staff member in the PMO if any response at all. That my friends is why there is so much distrust of govt and why most citizens feel disenfranchised. The fact that this access to the higher levels of govt usually results in the richest getting legislation they want or project funding or contracts simply makes the rich richer while the rest of us seemingly foot the bill. It is this part of our system that is broken and it is being recognized by more and more people all the time giving to the overall hatred of govt by the general population. Until we change this the disparity between the upper echelon of wealth and the middle/lower classes will continue to grow at a rapidly increasing rate.

I guess I've been lucky, I get a phone call from my MP, (Peter Stoffer) every time I have a letter to the editor printed in the local paper. He has never failed to return a phone call either, even though I have never voted for him. I am still miffed at him though for backtracking on his promise to vote for the end of the firearms registry, ( he was the swing vote at the time), and I told him so.
 
PoliticalNick
Free Thinker
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by bobnoorduynView Post

I guess I've been lucky, I get a phone call from my MP, (Peter Stoffer) every time I have a letter to the editor printed in the local paper. He has never failed to return a phone call either, even though I have never voted for him. I am still miffed at him though for backtracking on his promise to vote for the end of the firearms registry, ( he was the swing vote at the time), and I told him so.

Sure but if you called him and asked him to vote a certain way on minimum wage or build a road somewhere he would smile, nod and do what he pleased whereas one of those 86 people who backed him with a few hundred grand would get his new road.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNickView Post

Sure but if you called him and asked him to vote a certain way on minimum wage or build a road somewhere he would smile, nod and do what he pleased whereas one of those 86 people who backed him with a few hundred grand would get his new road.


You're dreaming PN
 
bobnoorduyn
Free Thinker
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

You're dreaming PN

Yup, you're right in that regard, he is unimpeachable in that aspect, and for that he has my utmost respect. My problem was that he was swayed by the mass of calls, e-mails and letters to change his mind blindsiding those who trusted him at his word and remained silent, which is where my respect for him was lost. There was no warning nor any chance to rebut or challenge the attack from the other side, had there been I'm sure Mr. Stoffer would have seen that the majority of his constiuants did favour the demise of the registry.

The rich can certainly influence politics, not by buying politicians, but by buying voters, their useful idiots. I can see where money buys power, buy paying the powerless, where they themselves become those who they once so despised.
 

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