Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Canada's inequality

"This is the first generation in a long time that doesn't think its children will be better off..." declared economist Hugh Mackenzie, a Toronto CCPA research associate.

The median earnings of full-time Canadian workers increased by just $53 annually -- that's right, $53 annually -- between 1980 and 2005. This 25-year income stagnation contrasts dramatically with the 16.4 per cent income gain posted by the richest Canadians and amplifies the shocking 20.6 per cent income drop afflicting the poorest.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' 2007 Growing Gap project found "greater inequality isn't just a statistic...The income gap is being driven by the extreme gains the market is delivering to the richest among us -- and the richer they are the richer they are becoming. The share of total earnings going to the richest 10 per cent of families soared from 23 per cent in the late 1970s to almost 30 per cent in 2004."

More Canadians earn minimum wages, 4.7 per cent in 2000 rose to 5.2 per cent in 2008
In June 2009 Food Banks Canada reported a 20-per cent increase in the number turning to food banks each month.

Canadians with low-incomes have the highest mortality rates, the lowest life expectancy rates and the highest rates of hospitalization. 43 per cent of children from low-income families have some kind of psychiatric, schooling or social problem.
One-in-seven Canadian children live in poverty.

In Canada there is more inequality and poverty than most OECD countries. Canada ranked 15th out of 17 countries for working age poverty.

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