Rich and Poor Gap widdening : NDP


Jersay
#1
OTTAWA (CP) - Does it feel like you're working harder than ever, yet taking home less? It might not be just your imagination, says the federal NDP.

The gap has been steadily widening between well-off Canadians and modest-income earners over the past several years, say New Democrat MPs.

And last week's federal budget has done nothing to help narrow the difference, they add.

People in the top bracket, earning more than $85,700 a year, have seen their incomes rise 15 per cent between 1989 and 2004, MPs said Thursday, citing data from Statistics Canada.

Yet over the same period, people earning $20,400 or less saw their income actually shrink by nine per cent, says NDP finance Critic Judy Wasylycia-Leis.

Even middle-class Canadians, in the $56,600 to $85,700 income bracket, have barely kept up with inflation during that five-year period, enjoying a mere two per cent increase over the five-year period.

"The rich are getting richer and most Canadian families have seen their real income decline since 1989," Wasylycia-Leis said.

MP Peter Julian said the budget - the first for Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper - won't help families at the modest end of the income scale.

"People are finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet and. . .governments are not responding to what is a growing income crisis," he said.

The MPs used 1989 as a point of comparison because, they say, that's when the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1988 began to seriously change the nature of jobs and incomes in Canada.

Since then, they argue, more people have been forced into low-income jobs, part-time work and temporary positions as companies struggle to compete globally.

The centrepiece of the Tory budget - a one percentage point cut to the GST - will be a much greater boon to high rollers than poorer families. That's because the rich have much more discretionary income to spend and therefore, will get a better break.

Low-income families will also save, but most of their incomes is spent on essentials like food and rent, which are already GST exempt.

The Tory plan will be very good for modest income earners, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty insisted Thursday.

"The reduction in the GST by one point will benefit, above all, the one-third of low income Canadians who actually do not pay income tax," he told the Commons.

Yet studies of the GST cut have questioned its progressivity, pointing out it gives the rich precisely the same tax break as the poor.

Besides the GST cut, the budget also included several targeted income tax measures plus a new family allowance program that gives $1,200 per year (minus taxes) to families with children under age six.

The baby bonus is particularly good for two-income families of modest means, according to the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants

It figures a two-income family making a total of $30,000 with $5,000 in child-care expenses will save about $836 on this year's taxes under the new budget.

A dual-income family earning $60,000 with similar child-car costs will save about $706 in federal taxes.

The NDP report on stagnant incomes comes at the same time that stock market investors are seeing rocketing returns on investments, especially in the resource sector.

Company directors have also been enjoying much higher pay packets - compensation increased by 41 per cent between 2002 and 2004, according to a survey by the Conference Board of Canada.

Using a constant 2004 dollar value for all comparisons, the NDP say the lowest three income brackets, comprising 60 per cent of taxpayers, have lost ground since 1989.

Their research looks at total income earned before any adjustments for tax credits or tax paid.

Family income has a major impact on the well-being of children, with high-income families reporting better outcomes for their kids, according to a new report also released Thursday by Statistics Canada.

Higher incomes at home tend to be related to better physical, social-emotional, cognitive and behavioural well-being among children, concludes the study conducted by Human Resources and Social Development Canada and the Research Data Centre program.

http://start.shaw.ca/start/enCA/News...c=n051193A.xml
 
Jay
#2
Quote:

People in the top bracket, earning more than $85,700 a year, have seen their incomes rise 15 per cent between 1989 and 2004, MPs said Thursday, citing data from Statistics Canada.

Maybe the government should stop giving it's employees raises then.
 
Jersay
#3
Absolutely.
 
Kreskin
#4
Layton should speak to Chretien and Martin about the mess they created.
 
JonB2004
#5
Harper's budget isn't helping solve this problem. There are way too many tax cuts especially for rich folk.
 
ChrisP
#6
A person living on welfare has a better standard of living than a person who works full time on minimum wage.
 
Mogz
Conservative
#7
Quote:

Maybe the government should stop giving it's employees raises then.

Until recently a Private in the Army was listed well below the poverty line in terms of yearly salary. Just my 86 1/2 cents.
 
JonB2004
#8
Really? I thought people in the military made a fair wage.
 
Mogz
Conservative
#9
As of last fiscal year a Private makes an...OK...wage. You have to be a second year Private I believe before you get just shy of $36,000 a year. You only start to do well at Corporal, which takes the average person 4 years to obtain, although some do it in 3, or even 2 years, but they're the exception not the rule.
 
BitWhys
#10
36 Large is pretty damn good for entry-level +1 yr with on-the-job training.

Jay: what percent of government employees make that kind of wage?
 
Karlin
#11
Looking at the broader picture, we see wars between Islam and Chistians, we see a corporate domination of government, we see global decline in the environment, and we see that the rich are getting richer.

The corporations and government are both run by the same group of Elite Wealthy people. It is plenty obvious that the things the majority of people wants are being taken away by the Elite wealthy - a healthy natural environment, the ability to live at least a simple life with enough basics, and to live without fear or undue anxiety - and instead the Elites are being served, able to continue their opulent lifestyle at the expense of so many other people's basic needs.

They want to keep us weak, to keep us stressed and focused on daily problems and not the bigger picture. They are getting it done. Where it will all lead is unknown, but wherever this path goes, it won't be good for the poor, or even the average income people.
 
Diuretic
#12
Perhaps its End Times for conservatives? Here in Australia we've just had our federal budget. The right-wing media (there are two types of media in Australia, the right wing and righter wing) have been creaming their jeans over the budget about how good it was. Our Treasurer has been wandering around with a smarmy grin (he has two visages, smarmy grin and scowl, it's why he is a politician and not an actor) wanking on about how good the budget its. But now we're starting to do the sums and it looks decidedly dodgy. What we have is a backward-looking government. We have a PM who is - one day - going to pull the pin and piss off (sooner the better) and a Treasurer who thinks he is going to walk into the PM's job. The future interests of our country have been burned on the altar of populism. We are - to be blunt - screwed. The Opposition Leader ripped into the Govt in his Budget Reply speech but both the Right Wing and Righter Wing press pooh-poohed his points. He looked to the future, the current Government tried to cement its arse in Parliament by give-aways with taxpayer's money. We're in danger of waking up any minute though.

Put the blowtorch to Harper's belly before it's too late, don't get sucked into the conservative spiral downwards that we are in now.
 
Vicious
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Karlin

Looking at the broader picture, we see wars between Islam and Chistians, we see a corporate domination of government, we see global decline in the environment, and we see that the rich are getting richer.

The corporations and government are both run by the same group of Elite Wealthy people. It is plenty obvious that the things the majority of people wants are being taken away by the Elite wealthy - a healthy natural environment, the ability to live at least a simple life with enough basics, and to live without fear or undue anxiety - and instead the Elites are being served, able to continue their opulent lifestyle at the expense of so many other people's basic needs.

They want to keep us weak, to keep us stressed and focused on daily problems and not the bigger picture. They are getting it done. Where it will all lead is unknown, but wherever this path goes, it won't be good for the poor, or even the average income people.

Yes, comrade, it's important that the country cater to the economically disengaged. Eventually, as we all migrate to the simple life free of concerns like feeding the family and keeping the rain off our heads, there will be no one left to pay taxes to provide the services for the socialist utopia you prefer.

I'll take a pass on your utopia and get back to working for the man so I can pay the rent.
 
HonestAbe
#14
First of all, the government is no way responsible for this. The government can't say, "Hey, Let's make poor people richer." That is absolutely absurd.

The reason the rich are getting richer, and the poor might be getting a little poorer, although once you're poor, your poor, and there isn't anything below that, is because the rich know how to make money. What do you think makes rich people rich to begin with? It's because rich people have figured out a way to make money, and they in fact become richer every year because of it. Same thing happens in countries around the world. Sure, sometimes the wealthy lose all their money and become poor, but a lot of them bounce back due to their knowledge on money making. In addition, how can you divide people into different classes such like the upper and lower classes based on annual income. Just because you make $90,000, doesn't mean you are rich, you could have thousands of dollars in debt, and have to pay alimony.

Last but not least, I found something on Tax Cuts, because I've noticed that a bunch of you sound a little confused about tax cuts.

Quote:

Suppose that, every day, 10 men go out for dinner and the total bill comes to $100. Suppose, too, that they decide to pay the bill the way we pay our taxes. This is what happens:

The first four men (the poorest) pay nothing.

The fifth pays $1.

The sixth pays $3.

The seventh pays $7.

The eighth pays $12.

The ninth pays $18.

The tenth man (the richest) pays $59.

The 10 men are happy with the arrangement. But then, one day, the owner of the restaurant throws them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he says, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20." Dinner for the 10 now costs just $80.
The group still wants to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men are unaffected. They still eat for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How do they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone gets his "fair share"?

They realize that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtract that amount from everybody's share, the fifth and sixth men would end up being paid to eat their meals.

So the restaurant owner suggests that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount - and he proceeds to work out how much each one should pay.
And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now pays nothing (a 100% savings).

The sixth now pays $2 instead of $3 (a 33% savings).

The seventh now pays $5 instead of $7 (a 28% savings).

The eighth now pays $9 instead of $12 (a 25% savings).

The ninth now pays $14 instead of $18 (a 22% savings).

The tenth now pays $49 instead of $59 (a 16% savings).

All six of these men are now better off than they were before. And the other four continue to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declares the sixth man. He points to the tenth man, "But he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaims the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar too. It's unfair that he got 10 times more than me. "

"That's true!" shouts the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I get only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute!" the first four men yell in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. This system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surround the tenth and beat him up.

The next night, the tenth man doesn't show up for dinner, so the nine sit down and eat without him. But when it comes time to pay the bill, they make a disturbing discovery. They don't have enough money between all of them to cover even half of the bill.

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may stop showing up. In fact, they might start eating overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Well, this is how it works in the U.S. at least.
 
BitWhys
#15
"Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may stop showing up."

that has never happened and probably never will

great exercise in make-believe, though.
 
Jersay
#16
That is in America, and maybe it works in America but I am not to sure CANADIANS would want the same system. Maybe not the majority at least.

However, you overlook the fact that the rich get rich because they kno how to make money and the poor is poor, for I forget your reasoning is silly.

The rich get rich by giving 'minimal' wages to their lower class employees so that they don't go into the red.

And anyone can be the top of the corporation and say or politics and say I deserve this and gets that amount of money while the poorer sections get less and less.
 
sanch
#17
Quote:

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may stop showing up. In fact, they might start eating overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Not really clear on the logic here but there needs to be a bit of context to this argument.

The people in the highest tax group get the most benefit from government services. This is why lobbyists are in such great demand. It's called corporate welfare and so the rich get coddled by the invisible hand of government.

The theory for the tax breaks for the rich is based on the first part of your argument. The rich are rich because they know how to make money and so to stimulate the economy you give tax breaks to these prolific money earners and they will create more wealth which will trickle down. This is a fallacy.

Look at Dick Cheney. There is nothing in his history except government service that would qualify him to be a CEO. That is why he got the head job at Halliburton. He was the go to person for government contracts. Why should he be entitled to tax breaks? He knows nothing about creating wealth or developing a sucessful company.

Do you have any idea how much public money Harvard and the other Ivy Leagues receive? Grant money goes to well connected researchers at these schools and these grants pay a lot of overhead to the universities. So public money is being used to subsidize the education of future MBA's.

By any of this criteria the rich should pay more taxes simply because they utilize more public resources.
 
Vicious
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by BitWhys

"Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may stop showing up."

that has never happened and probably never will

great exercise in make-believe, though.

I hope that was sarcasm. Are you really saying no one has left Canada to receive more favorable tax treatment?

There's a fellow named Paul Martin that has this shipping company... but I'm sure he keeps all that money in Canada and pays the appropriate taxes.
 
BitWhys
#19
I'm saying that so far despite all the caterwailing the concentration of wealth has actually increased so that argument is all sneeze and no symptoms. You don't analyze a macroeconomic problem with a microscope.
 
Vicious
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by Jersay

That is in America, and maybe it works in America but I am not to sure CANADIANS would want the same system. Maybe not the majority at least.

However, you overlook the fact that the rich get rich because they kno how to make money and the poor is poor, for I forget your reasoning is silly.

The rich get rich by giving 'minimal' wages to their lower class employees so that they don't go into the red.

And anyone can be the top of the corporation and say or politics and say I deserve this and gets that amount of money while the poorer sections get less and less.

No, in Canada we want a Universal, National Restaurant program.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by ChrisP

A person living on welfare has a better standard of living than a person who works full time on minimum wage.

This statement requires some further refinement.

Do you mean to attack welfare recipiants or do you mean to congradulate minimum wage earners?

Socialism pays dividends capitalism sucks.

What minimum is met by minimum wage?

What class benifits most from current minimum wage legislation?
 
Vicious
#22
Socialism brings everyone down to the same level of mediocrity.

A meritocracy ensures those with the talent succeed.

If society does not reward talent and risk takers you'd be hand writing your opinions.

Do you have an example where socialism pays dividends?

Minimum wage should be abolished it distorts the true value of the work performed.
 
Toro
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by BitWhys

"Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may stop showing up."

that has never happened and probably never will

great exercise in make-believe, though.

Lots of us Canadians in the US who do the taxes and wonder if its worth the effort to move back.
 
BitWhys
#24
you seem to have missed by point.

curious, that.
 
Toro
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by BitWhys

you seem to have missed by point.

curious, that.

No, junior, I got it.
 
BitWhys
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by Toro

Quote: Originally Posted by BitWhys

you seem to have missed by point.

curious, that.

No, junior, I got it.

Junior?

bite me

if you know wtf I'm talking about then speak to it instead of talking around it like the cowardly troll you are proving yourself to be.
 
Toro
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by BitWhys

Junior?

bite me

if you know wtf I'm talking about then speak to it instead of talking around it like a coward

If you don't like being b!tch-slapped, don't start it.

Quote: Originally Posted by BitWhys

you seem to have missed by point.

curious, that.

Got it?

Quote: Originally Posted by BitWhys

"Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may stop showing up."

that has never happened and probably never will

great exercise in make-believe, though.

Emphasis added on the word never

Quote: Originally Posted by BitWhys

I'm saying that so far despite all the caterwailing the concentration of wealth has actually increased so that argument is all sneeze and no symptoms. You don't analyze a macroeconomic problem with a microscope.

So tell me, why do tax havens like the Cayman islands exist? So people can get their money out of the country and pay more taxes?

In places where funds are being expropriated, people move their money out of the country. If people think taxes are too high, they avoid them, sometimes illegally.

In the UK in the mid-70s, the country was facing a foreign exchange crisis because people were moving their money out of the country and had to take loans from the IMF, in part because the clueless Labour Party had tax rates as high as 98% on "unearned" capital gains. So to say this has never happened is flat out wrong.

Your concentration of wealth argument is irrelevent because there is no evidence that the current tax structure in Canada, the US or even Europe is excessive. Thus, you cannot make any conclusion that the concentration of wealth is rising in spite of "excessive" taxes because taxes aren't considered to be excessive.
 
BitWhys
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by Toro

Lots of us Canadians in the US who do the taxes and wonder if its worth the effort to move back.

Quote: Originally Posted by Toro

Your concentration of wealth argument is irrelevent because there is no evidence that the current tax structure in Canada, the US or even Europe is excessive.

that last part's a keeper. heh.

pick a horse
 
I think not
#29
BitWhys

That's so unlike you, you take words out of context to make up an argument. You're smarter than that.
 
BitWhys
#30
what have I taken out of context?
 

Similar Threads

5
Bee in the Bonnet: Rich Man, Poor Man
by CDNBear | Dec 29th, 2006
15
GAP BETWEEN RICH AND POOR and POVERTY
by jimmoyer | Oct 26th, 2006