Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Rich Get Richer, the Poor Get Poorer and the Middle Class Stagnates

The Vancouver Sun reports today that the
Richest Canadians see their paycheques soar

The richest Canadians take home a larger slice of the economic pie now than at any other time on record, according to a report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The wealthiest one per cent -- 246,000 individuals who made at least $169,000 in 2007 -- accounted for 32 per cent of the growth in incomes during the booming years between 1997 and 2007, quadruple the eight-per-cent share of income growth they took home in the hot economy of the 1950s and 1960s. The richest group also took home about one-third of the growth during the recession-plagued decade between 1987 and 1997. "There is no generation of Canadians in the top one per cent that took that much of a share of the growth."
Is free-market corporatism working?

Yes the Ultra-rich getting richer.
Canada has entered a 1920s-like Gilded Age, where the super-rich consolidate their wealth while the middle class stagnates.
Is free-market corporatism working?

Thomas Walkom in the Star calls it: The decline of the self-destructive middle class
In a strange way, the Depression of the 1930s helped create the modern middle class. The legacy of this slump may be its destruction. That the middle class is under attack is not news. People know it in their own lives as pay cheques wither and jobs disappear.
In the U.S. they are trying to redefine the Middle Class as those making less than a million dollars but more than $ 250,000.00.

Good luck with that. I hardly think anyone making $ 200,000.00 a year is poor.

We also learn recently that Billions in federal spending falls flat on jobs
A special report on whether the Harper government’s multi-billion dollar infrastructure program was successful says the stimulus spending failed to deliver on job expectations. “In terms of jobs, it’s not a glowing report,” Kevin Page, parliamentary budget officer, told the Star Tuesday. His “substantive” report, which is to be delivered Wednesday, reviews the performance of the $4 billion, two-year federal infrastructure stimulus fund as of June 30. Page told the Star the program hits the mark in some areas but the lack of job creation is probably the most disappointing.
That's because they failed to target the spending to communities the hardest hit by the recession, but instead based it on what communities provided the best political leverage. Same old, same old.

So how can Stephen Harper possibly go through with the projected corporate tax cuts in January, while promising the rest of us an austerity budget? It boggles the mind.

And again I ask: Is free-market corporatism working?

I love the lambasting given the Irish government in the following video. We need some of that here, except that our government won't allow dissent. But they too, should be ashamed.

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