Hot Topic: Canada Inequality

Unattributed, Conference Board of Canada, Jul 14, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I have in the past pointed to the importance of income distribution to education outcomes. For those who with to study income inequality in Canada in more detail, this Conference Board of Canada report is well worth reading. See this article for a summary, or (recommended) read the full report. Even if you are not particularly interested in inequality in Canada, the report is worth reading in order to understand how income inequality is discussed and measured. That said, the report itself has two messages, an overt message, and an unstated subtext. The overt message is that Canada's income inequalities grew significantly over the last 20 years, with the poor gaining only minimally, if at all. The subtext is that most of the growth in inequality occurred between 1994 and 2002, and has levelled off since. This to me suggests an origin in economic measures - especially the reduction in unemployment and welfare payouts, which began in 1989, as a result of deficit reduction following the implementation of NAFTA and the GST. Via the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
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