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Columnists

Why the wealthy are not like us: Capital gains, wealth and income distribution

Photo: City of Toronto Archives/Toronto History/flickr

This week's release from Statistics Canada on the income share of the wealthy generated some interesting coverage and commentary. It reported that the top 1 per cent's share of total income in Canada remained steady in 2011 in Canada, at 10.6 percent -- but still significantly higher than in the 1980s.

Most observers did not mention, however, that this oft-cited income share statistic does not include capital gains in the calculation of incomes and income shares. A capital gain, of course, is a realized benefit resulting from the disposition of an asset (buy low, sell high … unless you are a short seller, in which case you should buy high and sell low!).

Photo: Shazz Mack/flickr
| November 26, 2013
Photo: Neal Jennings/flickr
| November 20, 2013
| September 23, 2013
Columnists

The price of American inequality

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The most significant, recent news -- that trust in neoliberalism is dead, that confidence in the unrestrained free market has become unfathomable to the majority of U.S. citizens -- has become more evident since 2008. The event is of course obscured by neoliberalism's continued dominance of conservative and centrist governments, political parties and media, yet it is evident that we are now witnessing its inevitable sequence of delegitimation, ruin and replacement.

Columnists

Calculating household debt after the 2013 federal budget

Photo: Canadian Pacific/Flickr

As both the Bank of Canada and the IMF have now reported, the Canadian economic recovery slowed in early 2013. Sadly, this contains good news.

A return to economic strength would bring an increase in interest rates. This would cause Canadian households deeply in debt to dig down even deeper to make ends meet. With weakness, rate hikes are likely delayed until 2014.

Photo: bgilliard/Flickr
| April 2, 2013
Columnists

Toronto's guerrilla campaign to restore the public realm through transit

Photo: Jeff Samsonow/Flickr

It's hard not to watch Cyprus the way you watch one of those plucky little countries that appear in the World Cup and people root for. This week they rejected the European hierarchy's latest attack on its citizens. The plan involved swiping a portion of all savings accounts there in return for another bailout that won't work. It was so blatantly unfair to ordinary folks who, as usual, weren't to blame for the mess, that even Cypriot legislators voted it down.

Columnists

The legacy of President Hugo Chavez

Photo: ChavezCandanga / flickr

"We spoke for over an hour. He said he was happy to finally meet someone Bush hated more than him."

- Michael Moore

Columnists

Hugo Chavez's audacious challenge to Western power

Photo courtesy of Linda McQuaig

Had Hugo Chavez followed the pattern of many Third World leaders and concentrated on siphoning off his nation's wealth for personal gain, he would have attracted little attention or animosity in the West.

Instead, he did virtually the opposite -- redirecting vast sums of national wealth to the swollen ranks of Venezuela's poor, along with free health care and education. No wonder he alienated local elites, who are used to being first in line at the national trough.

Chavez's relentless championing of the downtrodden set a standard increasingly followed in Latin America. It explains his immense popularity with the masses and the widespread grief over his death last week.

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