For a long time I was relatively proud of Canada’s stand on income inequality. Like many productive and efficient countries in Western Europe, our income inequality was relatively low. Currently, however, Canada stands as “among the worst in the developed world” (Huffington Post, 2014). and it’s “among the fastest growing in the OECD” (CTV, 2015). This change has been relatively recent in Canada’s history: and is marked by a shift from being a country in which our leadership was concerned to make sure that all Canadians have the capacity to live productive lives to one in which are leadership are concerned with providing opportunities for growth. This change is particularly well illustrated by a study that was done on the subject a couple of years ago (The Star, 2012), in which the PM was praised for using tax policies to promote growth… the same policies that favour the rich and burden the poor (Bowles, 2015).
Canada is not the only place this is happening: and Harper is not the only one doing it. But he is Canadian, and he is damaging our country, or at least the country we thought we were. Much though Harper gloats about his work to cut taxes to benefit the poor… those cuts, in fact, have not only been primarily worked for the rich, but they’ve resulted in necessarily cutting programs that help the poor (Toronto Sun, 2014). The result has been a decline in the support for the lower classes, an expectation that they fight for themselves without anyone’s help. It has, in fact, been a substantial erosion of “civilized” policies that have been built up over the last generation (Metro News, 2015).
It’s almost humorous: because of my history with the Conservative church, I’m very aware of modern day prophets who claim that the “end of the world” is and has been foretold by events and modern changes in policies: things like abortion and same-sex marriage. Obviously I disagree: but I think they might be right in one regard. Perhaps the end of the world is coming: or at least the end of the current age. But if it happens, it won’t be because people have too much freedom: it will be because they have too little. And that lack of freedom might be spawned by the income inequality that Harper thinks so little of. In a wonderfully ironic twist, interest in Marxism and sales of his books have also increased during Harper’s time in power (The Guardian, 2012). History has a terrible habit of being very unpredictable.