|The Globe and Mail: Income inequality affects|
The Globe and Mail ran a piece featuring how income inequality hurts every Canadian's chance of building a better life.
This must-read is a part of The Globe and Mail's Wealth Paradox series which takes a look into how the income gap and inequality is shaping Canada. The question: How income in income inequality affects you? The answers are broken down into four categories: the wage gap, healthcare, education, recreation.
Here are a couple highlights:
- Canada's top earners have been getting richer with increasing speed while average incomes remain stagnant.
- In 2002, the average CEO-to-worker pay ration was 84:1. In 2012, its 122:1
- What if more companies ensured that the highest-paid worker never makes more than 10 times the wage of the lowest-paid worker?
- What if more companies engaged in profit-sharing with it's employees?
- Inequality is linked to poorer health outcomes.
- The income gap is perhaps the most pronounced in mental health care. An estimated 1.2 million young Canadians are affected by mental illness. Only 1 in 4 gets appropriate treatment.
- "What we have today in Canada is a two-tier mental health system in which kids are the victim." Michael Kirby
- High income areas are primarily home to high-achieving schools while lower income areas have a higher number of lower-scoring schools.
- We need to stop pretending that education can lift people out of poverty on its own.
- Great teachers make great schools, but great teachers can't do it alone - they require the support of an equitable society.
- If we are not careful, we risk misinterpreting standardized test scores, and instead of waging war on poverty and inequity, we end up waging war on teachers and schools.
- Highly-educated and affluent parents can give their kids opportunities their lower-income peers simply don't have.
- Median incomes haven't budged in 30 years, but leisure activities, the pleasure in life, some of which have become too expensive for the majority of Canadians.
- Parents of current minor hockey players spent an average of $2,898 on hockey-related items during the 2011/2012 season. The parents surveyed earned 15% more than the Canadian average.
INCOME GAP SOLUTIONS
At the end of the Globe and Mail's piece is a poll that asks Which solution would best reduce the effects of income inequality in Canada? The options include:
Restore Fairness in our Tax System
Enhance Early Childhood Education
Emulate Germany's Approach to Skills Training
Create a New "Social Contract"
Boost Support for the Working Poor
Do Nothing - There's No Major Problem