Canadian Dynasties Richer Than Ever As Wealth Gap Continues To Widen – Study
News from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Posted September 3rd, 2018 on Niagara At Large
A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper –
If you have spent any length of time following the rhetoric of politicians from Conservative Party politicians in Canada and their Republican counterparts in the United States, you have likely heard the term “job creators” used to describe big businesses – especially at times when these same politicians are working to sell on de-regulation or another round of tax cuts for them.
The big lie we are fed is that if we go along with sweeping, across-the-board tax cuts for corporation, we will ultimately reap the rewards in greater numbers of good-paying jobs.
If this is true, then how come – and in spite of all of the cuts to taxes and regulations governments across North America over the past three or four decades – we have continued to see a shift away from relatively secure, full-time employment and toward more precarious employment (i.e. – greater numbers of people working part-time jobs or doing contract work where there is no job security and there are no benefits) for those who have had years of experience in the workforce, and for those who are entering the workforce for the first time?
And how come we have seen the wage gap (as the following study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shows) between those at the top of the economic food chain and the rest of us continuing to grow by leaps and bounds?
What can we do about this?
Perhaps we can start by no longer buying the bunk from politicians that all businesses in the private sector are “job creators” and that any tax cuts or other form of corporate welfare they receive will “trickle down” to us in more and better jobs.
It is certainly true that some businesses create jobs, but it does not follow that all businesses are job creators.
Governments might want to give more consideration to only rewarding those companies that create jobs and invest some of their profits in expansion and innovation, rather than those that simply take their profits, even in the best of times, and stuff them in the pockets of their top execs and shareholders.
To continue with the status quo- to allow the wage gap to remain as it is or continue to grows – may ultimate lead our countries down the road to political and economic revolution that may or may not be good a good thing.
We have already seen the rise of Trump and Trump-like politicians playing to the frustration and anger of people in the United States and even now in Canada.
We could move in that ugly and dangerous direction or we can elect politicians at the local, provincial, state and federal levels who are less beholden to corporate masters and more willing to make things fairer for everyone who is working to achieve a quality life in our countries.
Just something to think about this Labour Day.
Now here is the recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives –
Canada’s wealthiest family dynasties are more than 4,400 times richer than the average Canadian family and much more likely to keep that money in the family than they were two decades ago, finds a new study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
The report, Born To Win: Wealth concentration in Canada since 1999, compares the net worth of Canada’s 87 wealthiest resident families (the Wealthy 87) to the wealth of average families over the past 17 years. The results show that wealth inequality is extreme and growing in Canada, but could be corrected with progressive tax reforms.
“Canada’s dynastic families have got it all—more wealth, more inheritance, and are as lightly taxed as they were the last time we looked in 2014,” says study author and CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald. “You’d expect Canada’s tax regime would try to counteract this concentration of wealth at the very top, where it’s needed the least, but in fact, federal policies encourage it.”
Among the study’s findings:
- Canada’s Wealthy 87 saw their net worth grow by an average of 37% between 2012 and 2016 from $2.2 billion a family to $3 billion on average, whereas middle class Canadian families saw their net worth grow by only $41,000, an increase of only 16% over the same period;
- The Wealthy 87 now own 4,448 times as much wealth as the Canadian average, and have as much wealth as 12 million Canadians combined;
- The collective net worth of the Wealthy 87 ($259 billion) is just shy of what everyone in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island collectively owns ($269 billion);
- Inheritance is a bigger factor for today’s Wealthy 87, with 53% of wealthy families having passed their wealth down at least one generation compared to 45% in 1999;
- Not only do these families control vast amounts of wealth, but their members are also disproportionately likely to be among the highest-paid CEOs in Canada.
“Canada is the only country in the G7 without an inheritance, estate or gift tax on tremendous family wealth,” adds Macdonald. “Instituting an estate tax and eliminating tax preferences for capital gains and dividend income could go a long way to curbing the tendency of Canada’s tax system to heighten socially, politically and economically harmful levels of wealth concentration in Canada.”
Born To Win: Wealth concentration in Canada since 1999 is available for download on the CCPA website. For more information, or to arrange an interview with David Macdonald, contact Alyssa O’Dell, CCPA Media and Public Relations Officer: 613-563-1341 x307, firstname.lastname@example.org or cell 343-998-7575.
ISSUE, click on:
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) is one of Canada’s leading sources of progressive policy ideas. Our work is rooted in the values of social justice and environmental sustainability. As non corporate-funded policy think tanks continue to be silenced, the importance of the Centre has never been greater.
Visit the Canada Centre for Policy Alternatives’ website by clicking on – https://www.policyalternatives.ca/ .
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