- Paul Willcocks discusses British Columbia's two-tiered education system and the role it plays in exacerbating inequality - which is well worth keeping in mind as Saskatchewan deals with the fallout from the Wall government's refusal to fund public schools. And Charlie Smith reviews Andrew MacLeod's A Better Place on Earth as an important contribution to understanding the reality of poverty and inequality in B.C.
- Meanwhile, David MacDonald highlights new Statistics Canada data showing how parental income tends to influence children's opportunities:
Previous estimates in Canada put our income transmission at 23%, but the new report pegs it at 32% . Put another way, a third of what you’ll make in your best years can already be predicted by what your parent made in their best years. That means that both advantage and disadvantage are passed down generationally from parent to child.- Noah Smith comments on the IMF's belated recognition that forced austerity is generally an obstacle to economic development, not a factor promoting it. And Tracy Brown Hamilton outlines the Netherlands' upcoming study of the effect of a number of basic income models.
In Canada, our income transmission rate isn’t quite as bad as the US, where half of a person’s income is pre-determined by what their parent made. So, what does that mean for the rags-to-riches “American Dream?” Well, it’s actually a bit of an impossible dream. Of developed nations, the US is actually one of the countries where it’s least likely for children to move from abject poverty to millionaire’s row.
If you look only at the intergenerational income transmission of rich parents to their kids, it’s far higher than the average, at 45%. This means that half of the keys to the top 1% club in Canada are passed from parent to child. Since this linkage is so strong, it also means that it’s much more difficult for someone whose parents were middle class (or low income) to work their way up into the top 1%.
- Alison writes about the first meeting of Canada's parliamentary committee on electoral reform - with particular emphasis on Nathan Cullen's work to encourage direct public participating in the proceedings, coupled with Jason Kenney's determination to stifle it.
- Finally, Andrew Mitrovica points out the mathematical certainty that the Libs' idea of oversight for Canada's surveillance state will be insufficient.