Over the past 20 years, income inequality has been growing faster in Canada than in other similar countries. During this period about one third of all income growth has gone to the top 1%, leaving precious little to be shared among the remaining 99%. We know the inequality problem all too well, but what is the answer to addressing it?
There seem to be three main pillars that provide effective solutions: progressive taxation, a robust safety net, and ensuring fairness in the workplace. This third pillar includes raising the minimum wage in a transparent and predictable manner, improving associated employment standards legislation, and generally making sure labour laws have kept pace with what’s happening in workplaces across the country.Read more
In a recent feature interview with Amanda Lang, host of CBC's The Exchange with Amanda Lang, Broadbent Institute Chair Ed Broadbent spoke about inequality, politics, government, social democracy and more.
Here is the interview:
OTTAWA—The existing Tax-Free Savings Account scheme is projected to cost the federal government up to $15.5 billion annually when it matures, and doubling the contribution limits would shift additional billions from tax revenues into the pockets of the already well-off, a new Broadbent Institute study has found.Read more
Daniel Tencer / Huffington Post Canada
You’ve probably read stories about how Canada’s wage growth is nothing to write home about, but new research from the Broadbent Institute adds a surprising dimension to the story: No fewer than 15 of Canada’s 32 largest metro areas saw incomes slide during 2006-2012.Read more
CBC Radio / The Current
In a week where the U.S. President has signaled new taxes and fees on the wealthiest American individuals and corporations and where the financially and politically powerful meet in Davos, Oxfam is warning of growing inequality across the globe. Today we look at the implications of counting up the haves and have-nots.
Economists take a benign view of the impact of technological change on jobs, dismissing the "Luddite" view that technical progress can be a significant cause of unemployment. The core argument is that higher productivity (output per hour worked) drives increases in incomes so that demand rises, creating new jobs as old ones are destroyed.
That said, it has become the conventional wisdom that there are winners and losers from the new information based, digital technologies, and that these have been an important factor behind rising income inequality since the 1980s. “Skill biased technological change” is held to benefit the highly educated since technology generally complements cognitive skills, while it eliminates many less skilled jobs.
David Foot and Daniel Stoffman / The Globe and Mail
It’s rare for a book on economics to become a bestseller. It’s even rarer for a book by a hitherto unknown economist to reset the discussion among economists and policy-makers over a vitally important economic issue. But that’s what French economist Thomas Piketty did with the publication earlier this year of his 700-page tome, Capital in the Twenty-first Century.Read more