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I saw teacherken's excellent diary on the Canadian Middle Class surpassing their US counterparts in affluence as incomes for non-elites in the US have stagnated. The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest Included in the data was that a shrinking middle class isn't something limited to the United States, its a worldwide phenomena.
A new study shows Canada’s middle class as a world leader in income, but before we get too excited it’s worth noting we are just leading a shrinking class around the globe.
The Times study found median per income per capita was US$18,700 in the United States in 2010, up 20% since 1980 but almost unchanged since 2000 when inflation is factored in. Median income in Canada rose almost 20% adjusted for inflation between 2000 and 2010 to tie with the median U.S. income at $18,700, and has most likely surpassed it since, according the The Times story.
“Governments in Canada and Western Europe take more aggressive steps to raise the take-home pay of low-and middle income household by redistributing income,” it said.
The problem of the top 0.01% capturing growing share of the wealth and income is worldwide. Its detrimental effects include their wealth being used to capture governments who's policy priorities are being distorted to primarily benefit national oligarchies. This has made governments unwilling to address the needs of the vast majority of their citizens, and unwilling to grapple with the increasingly urgent challenges posed by potentially catastrophic climate change.
How can we unshackle our governments from the pervasive power of great concentrations of wealth? Its not only a predicament we face here in the US its something we MUST overcome around the globe. That is the central challenge of our epoch.