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Columnists

A number is never just a number: Billionaires

Photo: Thomas Hawk/flickr

1

There is one billionaire for every three million people in the world.

2,325

Number of billionaires in the world in 2014 -- a 7 per cent increase since last year and it represents an all-time record high. They control nearly 4 per cent of the world's wealth.

$7.3 trillion (U.S.)

Combined worth of the world's billionaires in 2014 -- up 12 per cent since last year. That's higher than the market capitalization of all the companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

25

Percentage of the world's billionaires living in the United States. It's the country with the most billionaires -- 571 of them.

38

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Photo: Rick Eh?/flickr
| November 26, 2014
Photo: Book_Maiden/flickr
| November 20, 2014
| November 20, 2014
Columnists

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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