Hot! A kinder, gentler Canada? Myth busted in one graph

PressProgress.ca – post/kinder-gentler-canada-myth-busted-one-graph
 By PressProgress

Canada’s inequality problem is often overshadowed by the extreme situation in the United States. 

The graph below, courtesy of Mother Jones, shows why: the U.S does the least of the advanced industrialized countries to combat inequality through government taxes and transfers.

The bad news? When it comes to reducing income inequality, Canada languishes at the bottom of that barrel too.

Income inequality

Things weren’t always this way.

In the late 1980s and the early 1990s, government taxes and transfers lowered the gap between rich and poor most in Canada, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.

By the late 1990s and early 2000s, after massive cuts to social programs and taxes that once funded them, Canada had joined Switzerland and the U.S. as the countries with the smallest redistributive impact.

This redistributive fade in Canada is considered among the most dramatic among the 34-member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

A kinder, gentler Canada? Not so much.

< http://www.pressprogress.ca/en/post/kinder-gentler-canada-myth-busted-one-graph >

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America is the Stingiest Rich Country in the World
Nov. 26, 2013.   By 

Over at the EconomistSteven Mazie directs me to a recent New Yorker piece on income inequality by John Cassidy. Its most revealing chart, Mazie says, is one that compares raw income inequality in various rich countries (as calculated by GINI scores) to income inequality after taxes and government transfers. In other words, it helps us see which countries do the most to fight the relentless rise in income inequality over the past three decades.

But I wanted to see that more directly, so I re-charted the data. All I did was calculate how much taxes and transfers reduced inequality in every country that had high inequality to begin with. Unsurprisingly, whether you use raw number or percentages, the United States is #1:

The United States is one of the richest countries in the world, with a top 1 percent that’s seen its income triple or more in the past three decades. And yet, we also do the least to fight the rising tide of income inequality. Government programs in America reduce the level of inequality by only 26 percent. Nobody else is so stingy.

Happy Thanksgiving.

< http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world >

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