Equal in poverty or prosperity?

NationalPost.com – news – Re: Income Inequality Rising, Sept. 14.
Sept. 20, 2011.    Michel Kelly-Gagnon

According to the Conference Board of Canada, income inequality has increased over the past 20 years in Canada. Or to put it differently with the jargon associated with the Gini coefficient, the distribution of income increasingly deviates from a perfectly equal distribution of wealth among Canadians, which it would be if that coefficient was zero.

Should we care? World Bank data show that Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Pakistan are more egalitarian than Canada. Within Canada itself, the poorer provinces are more egalitarian than the richer provinces.

It’s just the same old debate with Marxist overtones: Is it better to be all equal in poverty, or unequal but more prosperous? There is no question that civilized people will choose prosperity and freedom over equality and poverty.

Michel Kelly-Gagnon, president and CEO of the Montreal Economic Institute.

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