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Lecture 12

English 2017 Lecture 12: Lecture 12 Notes

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English 2017
Nigel Joseph

In 2015, 62 people have the same wealth as 3.6 billion people. Wealth of the richest 62 people had risen 44% in five years since 2010 Why is this a problem for all ^?  It violates our sense of social justice  Massive inequality hampers economic growth and development  Many of the richest have made fortunes on the backs of others: financial speculation; retail and sweatshops; technology and destruction of employment, etc.  Rich people avoid taxes  It is bad for democracy (political influence; but also non-democratic philanthropy) How about inequality in Canada? Worse today than in the past Shifting tax burdens  Declining corporate taxes (28% in 2000, 15%today)  Declining taxes for high income earners (Taxing rich people less than we did in the past) Result: declining income for government  Less social spending  Less income redistribution  Budget deficits and austerity measures Social Outcomes  Increasing levels of inequality The Distribution of After-Tax Income Among Families and unattached individuals, Canadian 1976 and 2010 Since 1976, the only quintile that has seen growth is the top 20%, while the rest have all seen declines in income. Inequality in Wealthy Countries The lower the Gini Coefficient, the more equality your society is (between 0 and 1) The countries with the highest Gini Coefficient Taxes are much higher in lower Gini Coefficient countries (more money put in social structures, etc. child care, education, welfare programs) Some of the harmful effects discussed by Welkins (TED VIDEO) include… Inequality & crime rates Inequality & educational attainment Inequality & life expectantly Inequality & health outcomes Inequality & trust Inequality & child poverty Some of these outcomes are very relative in unequal society:  For example: the US offers the best and the worst health care in any industrial nation Comparisons: Happiness Individuals in more equal, (and collectivist) societies seem happier than those in highly unequal (and individualistic), societies Comparisons: Voter turnout Individuals in equal (and collectivist) societies are more likely to vote. Stronger belief in the role of the state Explanations of Income Inequality Employment (The more education you need for the job, the higher the income) Education (Having a university degree allows for much more income to be made) Birth Status Natural Talent Luck Inequality: more complicated than work and education Social Capital: Peoples networks or connections (can help them get into the right schools and the best jobs) Cultural Capital: Valued resources that help with school success and getting high-status jobs. Wealth and birth status: Inheritance of opportunities What is poverty? Official definition: Living below a specific level of income ($36,567). At this cut-off income, families are expected to
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