4) INEQUALITY AND THE 2019 FEDERAL ELECTION

People's Voice Editorial

In our previous issue, an editorial looked at the ever-growing problem of global economic inequality. Here are a few more figures. According to Oxfam’s latest annual report, Public Good or Private Wealth? the world’s 26 richest people own as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity - 3.8 billion people. The world’s 2,200 billionaires grew 12 per cent wealthier in 2018. Meanwhile, the bottom half of the global population got 11 per cent poorer. Since the 2008 financial crisis, the number of billionaires has doubled, and their fortunes grow by $2.5 billion a day, yet the super-rich and corporations are paying lower tax rates. At the same time, 3.4 billion people live in poverty on less than $5.50 a day, and men hold 50 per cent more of the world’s wealth than women. About 10,000 people per day die for lack of health care, and 262 million children are not in school.

With a federal election slated for October 20, people in Canada need to know how the political parties stand on these issues. Will they call for more tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, or for returning tax rates to the much higher levels of previous decades? Will any other party join the Communists in calling for a 75% cut in Canada's $20 billion annual military budget? And which will yield to Donald Trump's orders to boost military spending at the expense of public services? Which parties will campaign for an immediate increase in the minimum wage to a liveable level of $21 per hour, and which will refuse to help working people get a decent wage? Which parties will campaign for programs like universal pharmacare and a truly pan-Canadian, affordable, high quality public child care system? We'll be watching with great interest - so should you!

(The above article is from the February 15-28, 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.)