There are many things to say about the varied causes and potential effects of inequality. But one oft-neglected question that's worth asking is: Do people generally have an accurate picture of the level of inequality that exists in their countries? The short answer, according to a recent paper from the Institute for the Study of Labor, is that they do not. In Misperceiving Inequality, researchers Vladimir Gimpelson and Daniel Treisman note, first of all, that only 29 per cent of respondents across 40 countries were able to identify which of five diagrams best characterized income distribution in their societies--which is not much more accurate than random chance.
As the Wynne Government prepares to release its next budget, voters are expecting to finally get a formal introduction to the Premier's plan for Ontario. But after years of public sector funding freezes, Ontarians are expecting more than just belt loosening: they want to see concrete investment in their collective future.
The story beneath these statistics and trends is even more worrisome. United Way surveyed almost 3,000 people in our city to ask how they feel about their current situation and prospects for the future. We found that 86 per cent of people say the gap between rich and poor is too big -- a consistent sentiment regardless of income, age, education, or background.