December 2010, Week 4


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Tue, 28 Dec 2010 22:18:09 -0500
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Canada Discovers Trickle-Up Economics

By Linda McQuaig
The Toronto Star
December 28, 2010


There was always skepticism about claims that, as the rich
became richer, income would 'trickle down' to others. What
wasn't perhaps foreseen was that the trickling would actually
be in the other direction, and that it would be more of a
torrent than a trickle.

But the evidence is now clear. Over the last three decades,
the tables of the rich have overflowed, with barely any
scraps falling off. On the contrary, there's been a massive
transfer of income and wealth from Canada's middle and lower
class to the rich.

The result is that Canada has become a highly unequal

This is bad news, since a growing body of empirical evidence
shows that extreme inequality has a clearly negative effect
on a wide range of health, social and economic problems, as
well as undermining democracy.

While some degree of inequality is inevitable and even
desirable (allowing bigger rewards for those making bigger
contributions), the level of inequality that exists today in
the Anglo-American countries - the United States, Britain and
Canada - is extreme, and almost unique in the advanced world.

This is a dramatic departure from the far greater equality
that prevailed in the U.S. and Canada in the early postwar
years - from 1945 to about 1980 - when the benefits of
economic growth were more widely shared.

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