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Canada (161,538)
Sociology (229)
Chapter 1

Sociology 2R03 Chapter 1.docx

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Augie Fleras

Chapter 1: The Iniquities of Inequality Introduction surveying the Damage  Standards of good living: wealth, crime rates, trust in public institutions, and health of family related to divorce rates while job security is based on unemployment rates and gender equality by the number of women in parliament  Canada did well on some measure such as low murder rate, life satisfaction, disabled income, elderly poverty, intergenerational income mobility, and acceptance of diversity  Canda scored poorly on child poverty (15.1%), working age poverty (11.1%), gender income gap, voter turnout and confidence in Parliament  Fennoscandinavian countries, Netherlands, and Austria scored A’s while the USA and Japan scored D’s  Neoliberal agendas tend to emphasize aggressive market competitiveness, flexible workforce to address the demanda of just in time global economy, and regulations that work to the advantage of employers  “Trickle down meaness” (Himmelfarb): intensifying inequality  Celine Dion earned around $75 million per year (2000-2010), Leonardo DiCaprio was the highest paid actor in Hollywood ($71 million), Johnny Depp ($50 million), Adam Sandler ($40 million)  Average NHL salary for 2012/2013 was $2.45 million, highest paid player was Alex Ovechkin ($9.538 million)  OHL players earn $35 per week (58 cents an hour)  2011: Tiger Woods ($90.5 million), Roger Federer, tennis player ($61.8 million), Phil Mickelson, golfer ($61.6 million)  Prime Minister of Canada ($300 000), President of US ($400-500 000)  Major league ball players increased from $414 000 in 2011 to $480 000 in 2012 (average MBA salary is $3.2 million per year)  NBA: 21.3 million admissions in 2010/2011 season, $3.8 billion, average contract is $5.36 million per year (highest in any professional team sport, NFL averages $2.2 million)  Top 1% of earners in Canada, must earn at least $230 000 to belong o Members are mostly older males, posses a BA, over half work 50 hours per week (10% is doctors, dentists and vets)  Highest paying job sector is a specialist physician (income in 2010 was %179 514), followed by judges ($178 053), and senior managers of financial, communications, and other business services ($162 376)  Lowest paying job sectors are female babysitters, nannies, and parents helpers who earn $12 662, female dominated sectors including food and beverage servers ($13 861) and food preparer/service counter attendants at $14 681. Lowest paid male dominated job was parking lot attendants ($21 000)  Average household income in 2009 was $74 700, average worker income was $42 988, minimum wage is $19 877  Between 1980 and 2005, the median real wages of full time workers increased by only $53  Average for Canadas 100 best CEO’s in 2009 was $7.7 million (drop of 8.3% from 2010) which is 169 times the average of the average industrial wage of $45 000  Between 1982 and 2012, the federal department of Industry spent $13.7 billion on subsidies to business (44.3% disbursed with no repayment expected)  More millionares in Canada than in any other G7 country: for every 100 households in Canada 12.6 possess total assets worth at least one million dollars (8.9 millionaire families per 100 households in the USA)  The richest 1% of all Canadians whose average income exceeds $405 000 received 32% of all real economic growth since 1987, accounting for 13.8% of all Canadian maret income in 2007  Top 1% of Canada own 50% of the country’s assests, bottom 50% own 1%  In the US the median net worth of white households ($113 149) in 2009 is 20 times that of a black family and 18 times that of a Latino family  December 2012: a single adult on disability in BC receives $906 a month or $10 877 a year, the low income cutoff line for poverty now stands at $23 637  McQuaig and Brooks argue that no political party seems interested in making social inequality a political issue  Why did these massive and growing gaps originate and expand exponentially for those at the top despite Canada’s pride in the principle of equality? Why do governments pursue neoliberal policies that tend to marginalize the vulnerable then turn around and blame the marginalized for failing and rebelling?  Why have Canadians accepted these realities as unproblematic rather then rioting in protest?  Inequality matters because it reverberates throughout society threatening the social order, the quality of life, and the very functioning of democracy Social Inequalities: Politics and Paradoxes  Canada is perceived as a generally egalitarian society whose citizens seemingly bristle at the prospect of extremes in wealth, status, or power  Compared to the inequalities and racial oppression elsewhere or in its historical past, Canada sparkles as a beacon of enlightenment, thanks to its commitment to the principles of liberal universalism, institutional inclusivity, and social equality  2010 poll by the Historica Dominion Institute and the Munk Centre for Global Affairs: more then half (54%) of the worlds 24 leading economies, including 77% of Chinese respondents, agreed with the statement “If I had a choice to live in Canada or stay in my current country, I would move to Canada”  Government intervention ensures that few Canadians are denied the basic physical necessities of food, clothing, and shelter  Older Canadians are healthier, wealthier, and living longer largely because of improvement in pension plans and Old Age security payments  Canada was the first country in the world to constitutionally entrench Aboriginal rights; the worlds first multicultural society; the first to scrap national and racial origins as a basis for immigrant admission into Canada, and the first and only country to receive the coveted Nansen medal for its humanitarian work with overseas refugees  Patterns of property, power, and privilege are unequally distributed across class, gender, race, and aboriginality  Aboriginals, racial minorities, and single female parents endure damming levels of inequality and exclusion  Social institutions inequality o Resistence prevails in the form of organizational values, bureaucratic barriers, occupational subcultures, and prejudicial discrimination that are proving more durable than many had anticipated o Unequal in: the distribution of power and privilege, levels of stratification with respect to management-labor relations, and endorsing, downsizing, or outsourcing except in the precarious job sector  The subordination of people and the planet to profits may reflect the primacy of neoliberalism and free market principles,
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