Yesterday I wrote about the rebooting of the Occupy Movement in 10 days. I’m very excited.
And to help you understand why this is such a big deal, especially in Canada, it’s important to see how Canada is increasingly becoming the poster child for income inequality. We are not nice and neighbourly and friendly. We are increasingly unequal society. Unless we step up and say that we’re mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it any more, the rich in Canada will continue to pad their pockets with income at the expense of all of us in the working classes.
Here’s how this works:
- The OECD is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. It sounds so kumbaya, but it doesn’t get much further away from that. The OECD is the organization of basically the 34 richest countries in the world. I call the OECD world, the minority world because they represent the minority of the world’s population [compared to everyone else] that controls the majority of the wealth. The OECD is the epitome of income inequality. But they don’t suck as much as the World Economic Forum, the rich cabal of corporate and government leaders who literally run the world, democracy be damned.
- The Gini coefficient is a data geek term that measures how unequal income is distributed in a country. A 1.00 Gini coefficient means that one kleptocratic maniac gets it all and everyone else drops dead. A very low Gini coefficient demonstrates much more income equality. Zero means everyone has the some income.
- And while the 1% in America are racing ahead of those in other OECD countries at getting back in the game of getting richer than the rest of their fellow citizens, see the graph above, we can see that Canada, nice and neighbourly that we are, we’re looking at reaching towards South Africa, the crowning glory of income inequality.
- Canada’s December 2013 Gini coefficient, according to the darlings at the OECD is 0.32. South Africa’s, for comparison, is 0.695. That feels like we should congratulate ourselves, but we still suck.
- Now, look at the list below of all the OECD countries that have better Gini coefficients and better income equality than Canada. 22/34 of the OECD countries have more income equality than Canada. We are even worse than the OECD-wide Gini coefficient. Boy do we suck. Who doesn’t suck? Iceland, Slovenia, Norway, Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland, Slovak Republic, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Luxembourg, Hungary, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Poland, Ireland, Korea, New Zealand, Italy, Estonia. They’re all doing better than us. Sure, 11 OECD countries have even more income inequality than us, but really, Canada: #SlowClap for this one. 2/3 of the OECD countries are doing a better job than we are at income equality.
- The conclusion? Join us at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 10 days to start the long 3-month initial phase of the reboot of the Occupy Movement. The OAS qualifying age is going up. The CPP, though solvent for 75 years, provides less than a living wage; and since the majority of CPP value comes from investments and compounding, doubling the CPP will not be onerous on contributions. Fewer people are eligible for EI than ever before, since WWII. The Conservative Party wants to cut taxes some billions by extending pension splitting to family income splitting, allowing a really rich minority to drop their taxes EVEN MORE! And there are many more reasons why our economy is not serving humans, but corporations and the rich.
- But don’t take my word for it. The OECD represents the cabal of most of the most advanced countries in the world. Even THEY think Canada is swirling the toilet bowl of progress.
- Welcome back, Occupy Movement!