Why we shouldn’t worry about wealth inequality in Canada

Age and accumulated wealth account for much of the discrepancy. And that's just normal life-cycle economics

Why we shouldn’t worry about wealth inequality in CanadaMuch ado about nothing. The title of the Shakespearean comedy comes to mind when I think about the attention devoted to wealth inequality in recent years. The left's (and much of the major media's) preoccupation with economic inequality is fundamentally misplaced and has diverted attention away from the real problems we face. For example, take…

We need to measure basic-needs poverty, not inequality

The fundamental problem with relative measures of poverty is that they often give us results that border on absurd

We need to measure basic-needs poverty, not inequalityDoes Canada need a new measure of poverty? That’s what Michael Wolfson, member of the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa, recently argued. According to Wolfson, poverty (in the Canadian context) is hard to measure because it’s connected to issues such as disability, literacy, food insecurity and the like.…

Are living standards in Canada becoming more unequal?

Results of a recent Fraser Institute report flies in the face of accepted wisdom that Canada is quickly becoming a more unequal society

Are living standards in Canada becoming more unequal?Much has been written in recent years about income inequality and the (apparently) growing gap between the rich and the poor. The focus on income is understandable. It’s a measure that resonates with the general public. It’s fairly easy to determine because everyone files an annual income tax return. For the researcher, income is attractive…

Our continuing obsession with inequality

The grand pooh-bahs at Davos were more concerned with inequality than they were with poverty and terrorism

Our continuing obsession with inequalityLast week the world's intellectual elite met in Davos to, apparently, solve our economic ills. None too soon. We have a mountain of economic problems to challenge the brightest minds on the planet. But I’m a little bothered that they (the special people) have been at this for 45 years and the world economy seems…

Why measurement matters in income inequality

Oversimplifying this issue to arrive at predetermined results risks making the situation worse

Why measurement matters in income inequalityBy Jason Clemens and Chris Sarlo The Fraser Institute Canada, like most industrial countries has its fair share of economists and politicians arguing that Canada has an inequality crisis requiring large-scale, even unprecedented government intervention to solve. More often than not the issue of inequality and how we measure it is grossly over-simplified. The reality…

Income inequality not the best measure of living standards

If we look at individuals rather than families, income inequality has, in fact, declined a bit since the early 1980s

Income inequality not the best measure of living standardsYou can hardly find a current affairs magazine, newspaper or television program that has not dealt with income inequality recently. In December 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama called America's growing income gap "the defining challenge of our time." Whether the income gap is a problem or a "challenge" is something for another column. However, the…