5) INEQUALITY: A WIDENING PROBLEM

 

People's Voice Editorial

 

Statistics released in January prove that income inequality is widening in Canada, despite the relatively low unemployment rate of recent years. (Those faulty figures are largely based on inflating the total considered as “working”, and by conveniently leaving hundreds of thousands of jobless people out of workforce totals… but that’s another story.)

 

We won’t see the latest Canadian corporate earnings numbers on the front page of print dailies, since such publicity might spark a revival of the Occupy movement. Reports from the first three quarters of 2018 reveal that corporate profits hit a staggering $240 billion over that period, heading towards an annual total of $320 billion, similar to 2017. These numbers smash all previous profit levels, including most of the last 15 years during which corporations racked up an average annual total of around $250 billion. Yes, the Trudeau Liberal era is a great time to be a corporate CEO or a major shareholder.

 

The flip side of this gold rush gets slightly more media attention, perhaps because it points to an impending economic crash, which could be (gulp…) bad for business. Insolvency firm MNP Ltd., based on a survey conducted in December, reports that the number of Canadians who are $200 or less away from financial insolvency at month-end has jumped to 46 per cent, 31 per cent don't make enough to cover their bills and debt payments, and 51 per cent “feel the pinch of interest rate increases”. Despite this, 45 per cent of those surveyed say they need to go further into debt to pay living expenses.

 

150 years ago, Karl Marx gave us a roadmap for this deadly trip. The only question is how soon the crisis will hit, and how badly it will affect millions of families. With a federal election just months away, it’s time to think outside the capitalist box; read more on that in our next issue's editorial.

 

(The above article is from the February 1-14, 2019, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading socialist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)