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  • Canada’s Fossil-Fuelled Pensions June 22, 2018
    The British Columbia Investment Management Corporation is?the steward of BC’s public pensions, but bankrolls companies?whose current business models exceed the climate change targets agreed to in the Paris Agreement to which Canada is a signatory. The pensions of over 500,000 British Columbians and assets worth $135 billion are managed by the Corporation—-one of Canada's largest […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Imagine a Winnipeg...2018 Alternative Municipal Budget June 18, 2018
    Climate change; stagnant global economic growth; political polarization; growing inequality.? Our city finds itself dealing with all these issues, and more at once. The 2018 Alternative Municipal Budget (AMB) is a community response that shows how the city can deal with all these issues and balance the budget.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Why would a boom town need charity? Inequities in Saskatchewan’s oil boom and bust May 23, 2018
    When we think of a “boomtown,” we often imagine a formerly sleepy rural town suddenly awash in wealth and economic expansion. It might surprise some to learn that for many municipalities in oil-producing regions in Saskatchewan, the costs of servicing the oil boom can outweigh the benefits. A Prairie Patchwork: Reliance on Oil Industry Philanthropy […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • What are Canada’s energy options in a carbon-constrained world? May 1, 2018
    Canada faces some very difficult choices in maintaining energy security while meeting emissions reduction targets.? A new?study by veteran earth scientist David Hughes—published through the Corporate Mapping Project, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Parkland Institute—is a comprehensive assessment of Canada’s energy systems in light of the need to maintain energy security and […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The 2018 Living Wage for Metro Vancouver April 25, 2018
    The cost of raising a family in British Columbia increased slightly from 2017 to 2018. A $20.91 hourly wage is needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver, up from $20.61 per hour in 2017?due to soaring housing costs.?This is the hourly wage that two working parents with two young children […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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Archive for 'income distribution'

Who Is Earning Too Much?

  Last weeka€?s publication of the so-called a€?sunshinea€? list of 88,412 Ontario public sector workers earning more than $100,000 per year elicited lots of howls of outrage in terms of on line commentary. It should not be forgotten that the whole point of the annual list a€“ which dates back to the Harris days a€“ […]

Wealth Inequality and Neo Liberalism

I have a commentary posted on the Broadbent Institute web site, arguing that inequality of wealth fundamentally undermines the argument that market rewards are “fair.” http://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/en/blog/andrew-jackson-distribution-wealth-implications-neo-liberal-justification-economic-inequality Enjoy and share:

Why The Income Inequality Deniers Are Wrong

This article was published in an abridged form today in the National Post.??http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/12/21/armine-yalnizyan-sorry-andrew-coyne-but-income-inequality-is-a-real-problem/ ?? I like this opening better so I posted it here. You couldn’t have made it through 2012 without running into a story about income inequality. ??Chances are, it made you think about how you fit into the story.?? That’s “entirely constructive”, […]

Time to Rethink The Way We Fund Higher Education

This September, like every year, a new group of high school graduates headed to college or university to pursue higher education. But todaya€?s generation of students is in for a very different experience from the ones their parents had. On campuses across the country shiny new buildings are popping up, bearing corporate logos or the […]

Income Inequality & twitter

Armine Yalnizyan had a great twitter debate with Andrew Coyne on poverty and inequality that Trish Hennessey storified here:??http://bit.ly/QwHGJB I think it bears repeating that GDP growth has far outpaced any growth in median and average incomes for Canadians, as you can see in the graph below. (2010 dollars, average and median income in $’s, […]

Happy Crashiversary! Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

Four years after Lehman Brothers collapsed, ita€?s time to take stock of things by asking a stock political question: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Where you stand on the answer depends on where you sit. Many people, businesses and communities are still struggling to regain the ground they lost […]

Dead Money

Kudos to Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney for raising the profile of the over $500 billion Canadian corporations are holding in excess cash surpluses and not investing in the economy, which garnered front page coverage (and kudos to the CAW for inviting him to speak.) It’s not the first time he’s raised this ??concern. […]

Labour Losing to Capital

The just-released OECD Employment Outlook – full text not available on line – has an interesting chapter on the sharp decline of labour’s share of national income in virtually all OECD countries over the past 30 years, and especially the last twenty years. The median labour share in the OECD fell from 66.1% in the […]

In Memoriam: Perspectives on Labour and Income

Another sad tombstone to the shrinkage of information for informed social and economic policy – Statscan has decided to discontinue “Perspectives on Labour and Income” in both print and online format. For as long as I can remember, Perspectives reliably provided a firm empirical base for policy debate on key labour market and income issues […]

Incomes Flat in “Recovery Year” of 2010

Today’s Statscan release of income data for 2010 allow for a backward glance at the state of the recovery. What is most striking is that – following two years of flat income growth in 2008 and 2009 – there was no meaningful economic recovery for most Canadians in 2010. Median earnings (half earned more, half […]

US family net worth crushed by financial crisis

The US Federal Reserve today released its triennial examination of incomes and net worth of American households in the Survey of Consumer Finances.?? It shows the crushing effects on net worth of a housing and financial bust unparalleled since the great depression. The shocking results of this study overviewed in the New York Times are […]

Canada’s Self-Imposed Crisis in Post-Secondary Education

On June 7, I gave a keynote address to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Education Sector Conference.?? My PowerPoint presentation (with full references) can be found at this link. Points I raised in the address include the following: -Canada’s economy has been growing quite steadily over the past three decades, even when one adjusts […]

Seven reasons why you should support the Quebec students’ call for low tuition fees

Despite the remarkably poor media coverage of the early days of the protests (especially in English Canada), it seems that the Quebec student protestors have finally succeeded in sparking a broader public discussion about civil liberties and the right to protest (even in the Globe here,?? here and in the Celebrity Photo captions). Yet, media […]

Implications of Inequality

I, Jason Clemens from the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and David Macdonald from the CCPA discussed the social and economic implications of growing income inequality on an ipolitics panel yesterday. Jason was a bit outgunned so I won’t go after him here, except to say that he took the usual neo liberal tack of shifting the debate […]

The Big Banks’ Big Secret

The CCPA today released my report: a€?The Big Banks Big Secreta€? which provides the first public estimates of the emergency funds taken by Canadian banks.?? The report bases its estimates on publicly available data from CMHC, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada, as well as quarterly […]

BC isna€?t broke: putting teacher bargaining in perspective

Last Monday, BC teachers held a Day of Action in communities across the province to protest the BC government’s decision to legislate a contract and put an end to their collective bargaining process. I was invited to speak to teachers at the Surrey rally, where I had the opportunity to share some of my analysis […]

The Affordability of Post-Secondary Education

Carleton University’s Ted Jackson teaches a graduate seminar course on post-secondary education in Carleton’s School of Public Policy and Administration. Earlier this month, I was invited to give a guest presentation to Professor Jackson’s class. I focused the presentation on affordability challenges faced by students wanting to pursue post-secondary education. My slide presentation can be […]

Rising Inequality Spooking the 0.0001%

Contributors to this blog–and CCPA experts–have been warning about the negative economic and social consequences of rising inequality for decades.???? Now the even the 0.0001% are getting concerned.???? Experts polled for the Global Risks Report for this month’s??meetings of the World Economic Forum in Davos –one of the most eleite gatherings of the powerful in […]

Recovery Demands Increase in Labour’s Share

The just-released 2011 ILO World of Work Report is a must read for progressive economists. Released on the eve of the G-20 meetings, the report underlines the gravity of the current global employment situation and warns of the need to put job creation first if we are to avoid a very extended period of high […]

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 […]

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 -?? […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

What is a middle class income these days?

Whenever we consider the pros and cons of a new policy, we want to know if it benefits or hurts the poor, the middle class and those who are better off. Often, the answer depends on how we define each of these groups. It’s said that 99% of Canadians think of themselves as middle class, […]

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 […]

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 […]

False Consciousness, Part I: On Elections and the Middle Class

The following appeared in the National Post today. We’re in the last week of a federal election campaign, and every party wants you to believe they’re there for the hardworking families of a middle class under enormous pressure. That’s you, right? The idea of the middle class resonates, because it is a notion we all […]

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 […]