With rising inequality and the well-being of children in even the most affluent countries at serious risk, we can no longer confuse the health of a country's economy with the health of its people. The failure of GDP to capture the well-being of people - including children - necessitates a new way of thinking.
The growth in the visible minority population has seemingly changed the nature of the vertical mosaic and the portrait of inequality in Canada. The question that preoccupies researchers is whether the upward mobility experienced by most European origin groups can be replicated by non-European immigrants and their children.
Kevin O'Leary premiers his new reality show this weekend -- an all-too real show, in fact. The man who made a name for himself as the loudest and most offensive cast member of the Dragon's Den reality TV show will be testing the waters at the Conservative Party convention this weekend for a possible leadership bid. He would be a terrible leader. Terrible for the Conservatives and terrible for the national debate in this country. Being offensive and insensitive to the very real needs and wishes of Canadians is not leadership and it's certainly not prime ministerial.
What we have done for far too long is simply not working. Even with all the social supports in place, the resulting income is often only enough to maintain a family in poverty. At their worst, existing policies and programs actually entrap people in poverty. This is why we need a new way. A basic income would work as a tax credit administered through the taxation system similar to the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors. If someone earns less or has less than the poverty line, they would simply be topped up to a point above the poverty line.
Over the decades anyone who's a mover or shaker, along with those wishing to be, appear in Davos in a fascinating attempt at reading the global tea leaves. We know who they are and their ranks have grown to include celebrities -- actors, singers, authors -- who mix with the traditional grouping of financiers, politicians, and non-profit leaders.
Creating work environments that reflect the reality that both women and men are working and raising children is critical to not only women, but to the competitiveness of the economy. We are not maximizing the talent pool when 50 per cent of the population is absent from the vast majority of leadership roles that shape our economy.
Continuing legal differences between the entitlements of men and women in economies across the globe has a negative impact on female work force participation. Some say that women should suck it up, and do a different job. Why? If men are entitled to pursue any career they like, why shouldn't women have the same opportunities?
We need policies that enable the poorest to benefit most from economic growth. Of the 1.1 billion people living in extreme poverty in 2010, 200 million could have escaped extreme poverty if poor people had simply benefited equally from the proceeds of growth -- particularly women and youth, two groups being left behind.
The federal leaders' debate on the economy focused on important issues but no one talked about a different vision for Canada's economy. A better economic vision would support the right of all Canadians to live in a healthy environment, with access to clean air and water and healthy food. It would respect planetary boundaries and provide the moral imperative to decrease growing income disparities. Businesses would be required to pay for environmental damage they inflict, capital would be more widely distributed and ideas, such as employee shareholder programs with ethically invested stocks, would be the norm.
Over the next 15 years, the international community will be guided by 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) integrating the three broad pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental well-being. Universal in nature, this means the SDGs will go beyond guiding the international cooperation efforts of high-income countries and emerging economies, to encouraging Canada to determine how it will address its own sustainable development challenges domestically.
This week, I'm celebrating Women's Equality Day and continuing the conversation when we not only talk about the issue of women's equality but how we can reach equality for all. This is also a time when we highlight some amazing women who shine a light on this issue and believe that we can get there.
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.
Pope Francis recently put humanity's situation in context -- and offered hope for the future. Regardless of how you feel about religion or the Catholic Church, or even some ideas in the Pope's encyclical, there's no denying it contains a powerful, scientifically and morally valid call for radical change that will reach an audience far beyond the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. In his June 18 address, the Pope called on the world -- not just Catholics -- to recognize the need for change in the face of ecological crises such as human-caused global warming and the failure of growth-fuelled market economics to facilitate human survival, happiness and prosperity.
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.