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Canada's rapidly growing wealth gap remains off the political agenda. Why?

Photo: v i p e z/flickr

The Onion magazine suggests we should consider the gap between rich and poor the Eighth Wonder of the World -- "a tremendous, millennia-old expanse that fills us with both wonder and humility … the most colossal and enduring of mankind's creations."

Another aspect of the rich-poor gap that has always filled me with wonder is how the rich manage to keep it off the political agenda.

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Columnists

Harper Knows Best: The social engineering of income-splitting

Photo: pmwebphotos/flickr

Stephen Harper is gearing up for the next election with a plan for rewarding "hard-working Canadian families." Or at least a few of them.

In truth, Harper plans to give something to all families by enriching the Universal Child Care Benefit by $60 a month per child -- thereby providing parents with an extra $2 a day.

Having taken care of the "fairness" issue with this toonie-a-day (almost enough to buy a child an ice cream cone) Harper goes on to propose what really interests him: a new tax cut that moves in the direction of ending progressive taxation, the long-established notion that the rich should pay higher tax rates than the rest.

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Image: Nicolas Raymond/flickr
| October 24, 2014
Columnists

The Right pushes more austerity, despite surplus

Photo: Jeremy Schultz/flickr

Last week, Germany completed its plan to provide free university tuition to all its students. It's an idea that no doubt would excite the hopes and dreams of young people in Canada -- which explains the need to snuff it out before it catches on.

Certainly, it's the kind of big idea that powerful interests here are keen to keep off the radar as Ottawa finds itself flush with surplus cash -- $6 billion next year, with bigger surpluses expected in future years.

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Columnists

A number is never just a number: Good jobs, bad jobs

Photo: Tania Liu/flickr

112,000

That's the number of private-sector jobs that disappeared in Canada in August 2014. (Source)

87,000

That's the number of newly self-employed Canadians in August 2014. (Source)

20%

How much less a self-employed Canadian earns, on average, compared to a "regular employee." (Source)

 

66%

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Columnists

It's not about old vs. young. Growing inequality is the real problem.

Photo: frugg/flickr

I turn to Maclean's if I want to know what idea conservatives will be pushing next. So when I saw a recent copy of Maclean's featuring a jarring photo of an old person's wrinkled hand with the middle finger raised, I realized the right is gearing up to make generational conflict the next big thing.

Along with the photo of the raised middle finger was a cover photo of a smiling, white-haired older woman holding a wad of $50 bills, with many more floating around her head, as if money were raining down on her. The cover headline: "OLD. RICH. SPOILED."

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Photo: Sharon Drummond/flickr
| September 10, 2014
Source: CANSIM 282-0002
| August 25, 2014
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