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Why occupy? It's the inequality

The Occupy Wall Street protests hinge on injustice, in particular a malaise with the current economic system that has brought us a tremendous inequality and the rise of the super-rich, or top 1 per cent. But surely that is just the U.S.?

Alas, no. The figure below shows the change in B.C. labour income (wages and salaries) and corporate profits (before tax) going back to 1991. They are presented as an index, with 1991 = 100. While total labour income doubled between 1991 and 2009 (not adjusting for inflation or population growth), corporate profits rose by 700 per cent at their peak in 2008, before dropping somewhat in 2009.

B.C. Labour income and corporate profits, 1991-2009

Figures from BC Ministry of Finance, Financial and Economic Review 2011, p. 22.

This article was first posted on The Progressive Economics Forum.

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