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The rich ... and the rest
Wealthy incomes soar as income gap grows
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
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 to keep pace.
The report paints a stark portrait of the vast majority of families,
including the middle class, working longer hours but losing ground.