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80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago

 
Boooooooming economy
User ID: 137330
United States
03/01/2007 09:27 AM
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80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
Income gap grows wider

PETER POWER / TORONTO STAR
'Everything is so expensive, yet our wages increase just a little," says Myrna Stoller, on a break from her job at the Royal York Hotel. 'Before you know it, you're getting behind.' Email story
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Speak Out: Income gapSpecial CoverageMeasuring what matters (.pdf)Star Video: Jason's storyMan 'amazed' by dental care offersReaders respondLayton sounds alarm on rich-poor gap (Feb. 10)Voices: A liveable wage?Mar 01, 2007 04:30 AM
Laurie Monsebraaten
Rita Daly
Staff Reporters

The vast majority of Canadian families almost 80 per cent are working more and earning less of the national economic pie than they did 30 years ago even as incomes of the richest families are soaring, says a new study to be released today.

What's more, the growing income gap has hit a record high during an economic boom, a period when traditionally the gap between rich and poor has shrunk.

"The rich are getting richer, the poor aren't going anywhere and there are fewer people in the middle to mediate the two extremes. We ignore these trends at our collective peril," says the study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, an independent research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice.

The report, titled "The Rich and the Rest of Us," shows that the richest 10 per cent of families with children those with incomes more than $131,200 in 2004 earned 82 times the amount earned by the poorest 10 per cent. In 1976, the richest families earned 31 times the amount of the poorest families.

The bottom half of families raising children, those earning less than $60,000 in 2004, earned less or stayed the same, in inflation-adjusted terms, compared to a generation ago. Those in-between worked more hours just to keep pace.

The data only consider earned income and don't count returns from investments and other assets, which could further increase the wealth gap.

The study, based on Statistics Canada labour income data from 1976 to 2004, doesn't say why most families aren't sharing in the current economic boom, but it calls the trend "unsustainable."

Economist Hugh Mackenzie, a research associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, blames the growing income gap on several factors:



Minimum wages that haven't kept pace with inflation.




The loss of well-paying manufacturing jobs and rise of lower-paying service sector work.




The decline in unionized workplaces.




The increase in contract and temporary employment.


"There's no single culprit you can point to," said Mackenzie, also a research associate at the U of T. "But there's no question the changing nature of work and how we value it is playing a role in what we are seeing."

The report paints a stark portrait of the vast majority of families, including the middle class, working longer hours but losing ground.

Take Myrna Stoller. The 50-year-old hotel-room cleaner and her husband, a tool and die designer, earn a combined $70,000 annually the average income for a Canadian family in 2004. They don't feel average though, or middle class.

"It's getting worse because everything is so expensive, yet our wages increase just a little. Before you know it, you're getting behind," said Stoller, who arrived here 20 years ago from the Philippines and has raised three children, two still in their teens.

For 16 years she has picked up after the privileged at the Royal York Hotel, working 40-hour weeks tidying up rooms that go for $280 to $450 a night. She often sees the same people. "I see the rich are getting richer," she said. "But we're not getting to where we're supposed to be."

History has shown the income gap typically grows during recessions as low-wage workers are laid off. The gap tends to shrink during periods of economic prosperity.

Not so today.

"A rising economic tide raises all boats, but what we are seeing is that some of those boats are yachts that are sailing far out into the harbour and are turning into rocket ships," said the study's author, Armine Yalnizyan, research director for the Toronto Community Social Planning Council.

The study notes that the one ray of hope is the role government has played in stopping the freefall of incomes for almost half the population raising kids. The tax and transfer system primarily the tax-free monthly Canada Child Tax Benefit is working, says the study.

For some, the study's breakdown of family income into 10 per cent groupings may yield some surprises, including that a household income of $131,000 counts as rich (top 10 per cent). The poorest 10 per cent of families raising children earned incomes below $9,400.

The analysis focuses strictly on the 3.8 million households raising children under the age of 18 almost half of all Canadians.

Jim Davies, economics professor at the University of Western Ontario, finds the study's results puzzling since the income gap has narrowed in the past decade when you look at all Canadian households, not just families.

"Rather than an injustice story, it may be about the changing composition of who is in this group," said Davies, an expert in income and wealth distribution. In the past 30 years, for example, the number of single-parent families has grown, as has the number of immigrant families stuck in low-paying jobs.

"It's something to investigate further to find out what is happening because, as they're saying, we haven't had a recession in a long time. We really ought to try and make sure we're prepared for things like that."

The study's focus on families is deliberate. Families busy raising children are among the most time-pressed of Canadians. And yet, the report notes, all but the richest Canadian families are spending more time at work.

The average Canadian family with children clocked almost 200 more hours of work in 2004 compared to nine years earlier. Only the richest 10 per cent of families didn't work more hours between 1996 and 2004. And yet they were the only ones to see major increases in earnings.

"Families are doing everything they're told to succeed," said Yalnizyan. "They get a better education. They delay family formation. They work harder than ever before. They should be better off than their parents' generation. But 80 per cent of families cannot say that."
[link to www.thestar.com]
kunta
User ID: 202854
United States
03/01/2007 09:30 AM
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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
Slaves have had the same problem throughout history. Nothing new.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 199671
Australia
03/01/2007 09:35 AM
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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
LOL

"Hand a girl a spanner."

Women entering the workforce has led to the enslavement of both genders among other problems like kids not being raised properly etc.

Nice move.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 137330
United States
03/01/2007 09:43 AM
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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
seemingly unrelated story corroborates the original post:


excerpt:
But a major weakness would be "price competitiveness," she said.

"When it comes to the cost of living in the country, Canada scores really bad 120th out of 124 countries very expensive," said Mia.



--------------------------------------
Canada pricey for tourists: Report

Canada ranks seventh in a new study of world travel and tourism destinations released Thursday, but could do a better job putting out the welcome mat for tourists.

Canada tied with Singapore and Luxembourg in the international survey of 124 countries listed in the Geneva-based World Economic Forum's first ever Travel &Tourism Competitiveness Report.

Switzerland heads the list, followed by Austria, Germany, Iceland, the United States and Hong Kong.

Canada scores high marks for its travel and tourism infrastructure, but needs to work on reducing air ticket taxes and offering a friendlier face to visitors from abroad, the report suggests.

"I would say in general it is a very good assessment of Canada," Irene Mia, a senior economist with the World Economic Forum who helped prepare the report, said from Geneva.

"It's in the top 10," she said.

Canada placed above the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Australia and New Zealand.

In terms of strengths, Mia cited the air transport infrastructure which is ranked second in the world. As well, Canada ranked fourth in terms of being able to use the Internet to book air tickets, hotels, rent cars or purchase other travel needs.

But a major weakness would be "price competitiveness," she said.

"When it comes to the cost of living in the country, Canada scores really bad 120th out of 124 countries very expensive," said Mia.

The forum conducts surveys on business competitiveness aimed at a better understanding of why some countries grow prosperous and others are left behind.

It also hosts an annual meeting of top business and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland where competitiveness ideas and strategies are discussed.

Tourism has become a key sector in the world economy and a valuable source of economic growth and development for many countries, said Mia.

Between 1950 and 2004, international tourism receipts increased from US$2.1 billion to US$622.7 billion, according to the survey prepared by the Global Competitiveness Network, the forum's research arm.

The survey looks at three categories: a country's travel and tourism regulatory framework; its travel and tourism business environment and infrastructure; and its tourism human, cultural and natural resources.

"What you're looking at in general is ... the policies which are conducive to the development of the tourism industry," Mia said.

These include travel environmental regulations, prioritization of tourism by each government, travel business environment and infrastructure, air and ground transport infrastructures, she said.

"Canada is doing quite well in the (survey's) three components," she said.

It ranked 15th on regulatory framework, fourth on business environment and infrastructure and 16th on human, cultural and natural resources.

Canada stands 12th in the world on quality of education, which is important for competitiveness, said Mia.

But when it comes to welcoming visitors, "it is not doing well at all," she said.

Business travellers and tourists, she said, complain about the high cost of airport fees, taxes on ground transportation tickets and hotel rooms.

Canada placed No. 76 in the assessment of the actions of Canadians towards tourists.

Canadians need to be a little more helpful in pointing people in the right direction to help them get to their destinations, Mia said.

When it comes to measuring the friendliness factor, a combination of variables were taken into account.

"One variable looks at the attitudes towards tourists and another one regarding the recommendation to extend business trips," said Mia.

"One of the questions asks them whether they would recommend that their business trip be extended ... stay in Canada and visit the country, whether the people are welcoming."
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 137330
United States
03/01/2007 09:48 AM
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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
when 80% of the country is suffering in this matter financially, that's a real national security issue; not in that they'll riot, but of course in that their mental and physical wellbeing and that of their children is at stake, if they continue to suffer financially. like the people were saying, even with the average income it doesn't take long to fall seriously behind.

i have very good idea: henceforth, NO monies will be given directly to government but will rather be handed out as needed from a trust fund run by the people, for the people. we're gonna hand out the tax money like you would an allowance to an irresponsible kid: only as much as needed and only when needed. nothing in advance to be squandered.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 202873
Canada
03/01/2007 10:08 AM
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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
when 80% of the country is suffering in this matter financially, that's a real national security issue; not in that they'll riot, but of course in that their mental and physical wellbeing and that of their children is at stake, if they continue to suffer financially. like the people were saying, even with the average income it doesn't take long to fall seriously behind.

i have very good idea: henceforth, NO monies will be given directly to government but will rather be handed out as needed from a trust fund run by the people, for the people. we're gonna hand out the tax money like you would an allowance to an irresponsible kid: only as much as needed and only when needed. nothing in advance to be squandered.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 137330


What people are really getting angry about here in Canada is the fact that more than 1/2 our incomes go to "taxes". Where the fuck is all that money going????? No one knows. We are getting less infrastructure, less health benefits, less repairs to public places, and EVERYTHING demands an admittance fee. For instance, just to go to the art gallery is $20 to get in!!!!!! There is nothing at all free in this country. So we are paying and paying and paying, yet in a lot of private businesses, people have worked for years with no pay increases, more taxes being deducted from the paychecks, and they keep the amount of hours worked just under the law so that they don't have to allow a drug or dental membership. It sucks! So we can't afford medicines or dental help.

This is the greediest country on the planet. Everywhere you go in Canada you pay and pay. Every dollar you make, more than half goes to taxes at the municipal, provincial plus federal levels. TOO MANY LEVELS GRABBING OUR MONEY.

People are getting angrier and sick of it all. They keep inventing new reasons and methods to get more money out of us yet we don't earn more than we did even ten years ago!!!! I am actually earning less than I did 15 years ago!!!
[charlie]

User ID: 202878
Canada
03/01/2007 10:29 AM
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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
how about this... when Canadian immigration can't be curbed down from the 20X-more-lax-than-UN-guidelines, and the few once worthwhile Canadian cities get flooded with a pool of hungry non-English speaking manual labourers... it's time for the ones that were here the longest to look for a new frontier... like OFF THE MOTHERFUCKING GRID.

close all accounts, tell the banks to go fuck themselves, stop 'voting', sell your 'real estate property' in town and turn that cash into a real investment for the future.

alternative energy sources like solar and wind are totally viable these days to power a homestead. learn a craft to supplement a gardening or farming effort, and if you don't already, learn how to hunt and fish for crap's sake.

everything in history has taught us that nothing lasts forever especially when tyrants are running things. FUCK THEM.


militia
i love it when kittehs ride me [link to www.youtube.com]
mercury2

User ID: 202902
United States
03/01/2007 11:37 AM

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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
Yes, I'm glad someone mentioned immigration, labor is subject to laws of supply and demand just like any commodity, if you keep flooding the market with more new workers every year, the "price" or wage is bound to go down.

Canada's immigration policies are changing Canada into a different country in just a few short years. You used to be so proud of your low crime rates and community spirit, this is all rapidly becoming a thing of the past, at least around the urban areas.
"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. " (1 Thessalonians 5.18)

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:6-7
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 202924
United Kingdom
03/01/2007 12:04 PM
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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
I live in the UK, and have just spent three weeks in Canda having a look see.

I got to say, I fucking cried when i couldnt find an English speaking person when I was lost in Toronto.

In the end, i had to speak German to a Czech women who was on Holiday.... In Canada! every one on the street at that time was african / chinese / pakistani, and none of them spoke good enough english to help me...

I came home, told my friends at work that there is now one rule when going on Holiday.

FUCK GOING TO CANADA ITS A SHIT HOLE.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 177530
Canada
03/01/2007 12:13 PM
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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
I live in the UK, and have just spent three weeks in Canda having a look see.

I got to say, I fucking cried when i couldnt find an English speaking person when I was lost in Toronto.

In the end, i had to speak German to a Czech women who was on Holiday.... In Canada! every one on the street at that time was african / chinese / pakistani, and none of them spoke good enough english to help me...

I came home, told my friends at work that there is now one rule when going on Holiday.

FUCK GOING TO CANADA ITS A SHIT HOLE.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 202924



STFU


go home asshole

If you judge Canada on the biais of Toronto, lol

joke

AT least in Canada our rights are still protected,,,


fuck outta here
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 202932
United States
03/01/2007 12:23 PM
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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
What a coincidence... Company execs are working less and earning more!
User # 78/68

User ID: 160749
Canada
03/01/2007 12:28 PM
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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
"I got to say, I fucking cried when i couldnt find an English speaking person when I was lost in Toronto."


This illiterate prick is a fucking LIAR.
Almost everyone in Toronto speaks English. Unless, of course, if you are in China town. And even there most people speak English.

Go lie somewhere else goof-ball.
At least 9 out of 10 people in Toronto speak English. hiding
Redheaded Stepchild

User ID: 202879
United States
03/01/2007 12:35 PM
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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
Welcome to America!

You think it's bad now? Just wait until Bush gets his NAU.
"Until you are willing to organize your friends and neighbors and literally shut down cities - drive at 5mph through the streets of major cities on the freeway and stop commerce, refuse to show up for work, refuse to borrow and spend more than you make, show up in Washington DC with a million of your neighbors and literally shut down The Capitol you WILL be bent over the table on a daily basis." Karl Denninger

Don't blame me; I voted for Ron Paul.


Silence is consent.
I'm Afraid Of Americans

User ID: 201399
United States
03/01/2007 12:45 PM
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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
I live in the UK, and have just spent three weeks in Canda having a look see.

I got to say, I fucking cried when i couldnt find an English speaking person when I was lost in Toronto.

In the end, i had to speak German to a Czech women who was on Holiday.... In Canada! every one on the street at that time was african / chinese / pakistani, and none of them spoke good enough english to help me...

I came home, told my friends at work that there is now one rule when going on Holiday.

FUCK GOING TO CANADA ITS A SHIT HOLE.



STFU


go home asshole

If you judge Canada on the biais of Toronto, lol

joke

AT least in Canada our rights are still protected,,,


fuck outta here
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 177530


Ha! After years of hearing how great Canada is from insecure Canadians, now the truth comes out. Welcome to the party pal! Enjoy your enslavement!
Which is the most universal human characteristic, fear or laziness?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 199671
Australia
03/01/2007 12:48 PM
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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
Socialism is "passable" except when people running your country want to see it destroyed and initiate a near open border policy, bringing in migants that pay less tax to the system than they take out through benefits.

The West has been systmatically raped by those that shall remain nameless because I'm sick of mentioning them.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 203051
United Kingdom
03/01/2007 05:47 PM
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Re: 80% of Canadian Families Working More And Earning Less Than 30 Years Ago
OMG, you are joking right?

Middle of the day and i had to speak GERMAN TO A CZECH to get help.....

Oh and as for your much vaunted welcome...it sucked.





GLP