Canadians drastically underestimate the country’s wealth gap but still show broad support for policies such as higher income taxes to address the problem, according to new research by an Ottawa-based think tank.
A new poll from the progressive think-tank The Broadbent Institute concludes that Canadians do not have an accurate picture of the difference between the amount of wealth controlled by the country's richest people and the amount controlled by the poorest.
Posted by NationBuilder Support · December 16, 2014 4:00 AM
Animated video shows what people think gap is compared to the ideal and actual wealth distributions
OTTAWA—Canadians vastly underestimate the wealth gap in Canada and want a much more balanced distribution. This is the key finding in the first-ever survey to ask Canadians what they think the wealth distribution is and what they think the ideal should be.
Understanding what has been happening in recent years with income inequality in Canada is vitally important.
What do we know, for example, about the incidence of low income and poverty, or the impact of taxes and income transfers on the level and distribution of family income? What are the differences in income across provinces, or between different kinds of families, such as seniors and lone-parent families? More pressingly from a public policy perspective, what difference has government policy made to the economic well-being of Canadian families and to the fairness and equity of Canadian society?
Answering these questions relies on having sound data that are reliable and comparable over time.
“Sustained and growing prosperity for everyone in a society depends on government investment in people — in education, health care, infrastructure and basic R&D,” says Robert Reich. “That’s what creates first-class human and other essential assets.”