Why income inequality matters

For over a year, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has been producing report after report showing Canada's income and wealth gaps are growing at a time when they should be sinking.

They are growing despite a healthy economy, high unemployment figures, better worker productivity, better educated workers and workers putting in longer hours.

But why does income inequality matter?

Just a week before Statistics Canada releases its Census analysis of income inequality in Canada, the CCPA is releasing a new and powerful essay series by some of Canada's leading thinkers on income inequality.

The contributors to this essay series come from all kinds of academic backgrounds.

Though all the contributors are distinguished and well-respected for their academic work, they are not of like mind. They have differing ideological starting points and differing intellectual approaches.

But they agree on this: Income inequality is a problem that should be addressed, right here in Canada.

They warn that income inequality and persistent poverty could have serious and adverse effects on our nation.

In this series we present the opinions of four economists-Lars Osberg, Charles Beach, Jon Kesselman and David Green; a political scientist- Michael Orsini; a sociologist-John Myles; a philosopher-Frank Cunningham.

The series, in its entirety, is featured on the Globe and Mail website at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080426.wincomes26/BNStory/census2006/

On the Globe and Mail website you will see a story on income inequality by Michael Valpy. To the right, you'll see a button to click on links -- that's our essay series.

So why, you ask, does inequality matter? Inequality affects democracy. It affects our sense that we can get ahead, do better than the next generation. It pulls us apart and leaves people behind. But don't take my word for it, read the series.

-- Trish Hennessy