I don’t know whether it’s smugness or indifference, but we Canadians can be a self-deluding lot. Growing inequality, portrayed recently in The Economist as a global scourge, when viewed from Canada, seems to be a problem only for others.
After all, it was other countries’ banks that crashed in 2008. It’s in southern Europe that tens of thousands are taking to the streets. And it was in France and the United States that recent elections were fought over the fact that those who created the mess, the top 1 per cent, are still getting big bonuses and low tax rates.Read more
"The ideas of economists and political philosophers … are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist." - John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money (1936)
In economics, hope and faith coexist with great scientific pretension and also a deep desire for respectability. - J.K.Galbraith, New York Times Magazine (June 1970)
The policy community praises the ideal of “evidence-based” policy – policy with a solid research base. In the real world, however, we all know that public policies, as implemented, are more often than not only vaguely related to research results and the best available data.Read more
When Red Tories hear that union leaders, trade union economists, academics and thoughtful politicians of the left (and Red Tories believe there are many) are planning to engage and advocate on the issue of inequality, we have cause to worry a little. We worry because their focus is often on legislating outcomes that must be glaringly and unabashedly equal. We also worry about polemicists on the far right who argue that most unequal outcomes happen because the winners worked harder, took more risks, had more skill and well, that's how freedom and free markets are supposed to work, even though many of the winners were winners because their parents were or because they were at the right place at the right time. Both biases are deeply unhelpful to finding genuine solutions to inequality.Read more
TORONTO—Ed Broadbent is calling on Canadians to take action on income inequality. During a speech last night to a packed room of Economic Inequality.ca supporters in Toronto, the Broadbent Institute founder challenged Canadians to demand leadership from their governments in reducing inequality.
“The rise of extreme income inequality over the past two decades of major political, economic, and social change has taken us too far in the wrong direction,” explained Broadbent. “Values and politics clearly matter. Canadians can have a more equal, fair and just society, but we need to make better political choices.”
A majority of Canadians are ready to take action. The Broadbent Institute conducted research earlier this year which shows that 77% of Canadians are concerned about growing inequality, and are ready to do their share – including 2 of 3 Canadians who are willing to pay higher taxes to protect our social programs.
“Extreme income inequality is the result of the rise of precarious and low-paying jobs combined with a growing ‘winner-take-all’ corporate culture,” added Broadbent. “I call on Canadians across the country to demand that their governments take meaningful action to reduce inequality now.”
To launch the next phase of the Equality Project, the Broadbent Institute will release a new paper on income inequality in the coming weeks.
The Broadbent Institute seeks to equip the next generation of progressive thinkers and activists with the ideas and tools they need to build a more progressive Canada.
For more information, contact:
Communications Coordinator, Broadbent Institute
613-866-3606 or email@example.com