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Can we ever knock down the walls of the wealthy ghetto?
Jul. 15, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | DOUG SAUNDERS.

Fifty-two years ago, sociologist John Porter demonstrated, in his bestseller The Vertical Mosaic, that Canada's economy, its politics and its culture were controlled by a cloistered elite from the same schools and neighbourhoods, and only 3 per cent of Canadians had any access to this circle. Social mobility has improved dramatically thanks to half a century of immigration, growth and better social policies. But the top ranks remain closed and self-protective.

There are two factors in particular that make Canada's cycle of privilege a closed loop that excludes outsiders.

The first is Canada's lack of an inheritance tax. Estates (including houses) are taxed as income upon their owner's death, then can be passed on to children – removing incentives to put that wealth to better and more productive use. As a result, the higher rungs on the ladder are less open to people who have developed creative, profitable companies and ideas, and more so to people who have simply had the right parents.

The second is Canada's lax policy on private schools. The 6 per cent of Canadians who attend fee-charging schools are overwhelmingly there because their families are wealthy (studies show that their advantages are entirely found in their connections, not in their academic performance).
Canada  Canadians  high_net_worth  privilege  Doug_Saunders  cumulative  social_mobility  social_classes  private_schools  inheritance_tax  elitism  compounded  inequality  geographic_sorting  college-educated  super_ZIPs  self-perpetuation  upper-income 
july 2017 by jerryking
Our Trump moment might not be so white - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017

Could Trump happen here in Canada? .....We like to think not. Canadians are more attuned to diversity, less prone to ethnic nationalism. Our parliamentary system prevents demagogues from gaining a foothold. And we’ve generally voted for moderate parties of centre-right or centre-left.

Better to ask: When it happens, what will it look like? Being Canada, if the new extremism catches on here, it probably won’t have the same complexion.....This week, the marketing agency Edelman released its annual “Trust Barometer” survey under the headline Canada At Populism, Trust Crisis Tipping Point. That might be an overstatement, but their numbers do show a rise in the same factors that have led Americans, French and Britons to support Mr. Trump, Marine Le Pen and the Brexit politicians.

The survey found large and growing numbers (eight in 10) believing that distant “elites” are out of touch with regular Canadians and are causing harm; almost half believe that “globalization” is hurting Canada; more than a quarter fear immigrants rather than regarding them as neighbours. And, tellingly, on trust in institutions (government, media, business) there is a 15-per-cent gap – twice as high as last year – between the “informed public” and the “mass population.”....Since the eighties, new Canadians and their families have tended to live in the low-cost, poorly transit-connected high-rise suburbs; they are more likely to be excluded from the housing boom and the secure new-economy jobs that have buoyed Canada; they are generally not white. Mr. Ford spoke their specific language of outsider resentment; he stoked the anger felt by many marginal Caribbean, African, South Asian and East Asian Canadians, and worked their Evangelical and Pentecostal churches. He knew their sense of exclusion could be turned into angry intolerance and he gave his voters a mythic “them” to be angry about. And it worked.......This doesn’t mean minorities in Canada have turned to the far right – they haven’t, any more than anyone else has. It does mean that anger and exclusion and paranoia in Canada, and even racial intolerance and xenophobia in Canada, are just as likely to entrap minority Canadians. The places where I most often hear overtly pro-Trump opinions are on Toronto’s black-music radio station or in the suburban flea markets: His outsider message works there....Canada has traditionally avoided extremism by offering hope: If you start on the bottom rung, you can make it higher. But the second and third rungs are no longer so secure. If they fail, we could wind up electing the world’s most diverse form of self-destructive intolerance.
Doug_Saunders  Donald_Trump  Rob_Ford  ethnic_communities  Toronto  Canada  Edelman  racial_resentment 
february 2017 by jerryking
In 1967, the birth of modern Canada - The Globe and Mail

1967 is the hinge upon which modern Canadian history turns and, in certain respects, the key to understanding the challenges of the next half-century.

Today, we live in the country shaped by the decisions and transformations of 1967, far more than by the events of 1867.

Let me make the case, then, that 1967 was Canada’s first good year. We should spend this year celebrating not the 150 th year of Confederation, but the 50th birthday of the new Canada.

But let me also make the case that our conventional story about the birth of second-century Canada is largely wrong. We like to believe that starting in the late 1960s, a series of political decisions, parliamentary votes, court rulings and royal commissions descended upon an innocent, paternalistic, resource-economy Canada and forced upon it an awkward jumble of novelties: non-white immigration, bilingualism, multiculturalism, refugees, indigenous nationhood, liberation of women and gays, the seeds of free trade, individual rights, religious diversity.

But the explosions of official novelty that were launched in and around 1967 weren’t a cause; they were an effect of profound changes that had taken place in Canadians themselves during the two decades after the war, in their thinking and their composition and their attitude toward their country, in Quebec and English Canada and in indigenous communities.

There is a solid line leading from the events of 1967 to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982: It was impossible to have a Canada of multiple peoples, as we discovered was necessary in the late 1960s, without having a Canada of individual people and their rights.

....Individual rights, Quebecois consciousness, indigenous shared-sovereignty status and cultural plurality weren’t the only inevitable outcomes of the 1967 moment. What Canada witnessed over the next two decades was a self-reinforcing spiral of events that often sprung directly from the centennial-era awakening of a postcolonial consciousness.
Doug_Saunders  anniversaries  1967  nostalgia  nationalism  '60s  turning_points  centenaries  pride  Pierre_Berton  Canada  Canada150  national_identity  aboriginals  postcolonial  symbolism  John_Diefenbaker  Lester_Pearson  multiculturalism  Quebecois  Quiet_Revolution  monoculturalism  land_claim_settlements  immigration  royal_commissions  sesquicentennial  Charter_of_Rights_and_Freedoms  Confederation  retrospectives 
january 2017 by jerryking
Why black Canadians are facing U.S.-style problems - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Jul. 16, 2016

What’s the root of this discrimination, which takes place even when officials are racially diverse and liberal-minded? In part, it’s institutional path dependency: Police and judges have always responded to suspects based on traditional patterns (and on patterns learned from the U.S. media and justice system), and it’s hard to break those ugly traditions.

That’s dangerous, because black Canadians are also inordinately excluded from home ownership, neighbourhoods with good public transit and key employment markets. That’s partly due to the timing and economic circumstances of Caribbean immigration, partly due to racism.

Either way, it creates a spiral of discrimination: A group of Canadians who live in fringe rental-only neighbourhoods, with less secure employment and access to resources, who face a more hostile police and justice system, hurting their chances of advancement.
African_Canadians  Canadian  Doug_Saunders  geographic_segregation  racial_disparities  systemic_discrimination  systemic_racism  racial_discrimination  institutional_path_dependency  exclusion  marginalization 
july 2016 by jerryking
It's time to erect the anti-Trump cordon - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Jun. 11, 2016

Cordon sanitaire-- in the face of an extremist electoral threat to the physical safety of minority groups, there is an agreement among the major political parties, morally serious candidates, voters and the media to come together to prevent the extremist politician’s campaign from becoming a normal part of the political process.
Donald_Trump  Campaign_2016  cordon_sanitaire  extremism  Doug_Saunders 
june 2016 by jerryking
Obama is ending his presidency with a bang - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Aug. 08, 2015
Doug_Saunders  Obama  legacies 
august 2015 by jerryking
A half-century of progress and black America’s still burning - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 09 2015

When it comes to race relations, America is better than it’s ever been,” the Washington journalist Jamelle Bouie writes. “With that said, we shouldn’t confuse optimism about race relations (or, again, how whites view blacks and other groups) with optimism about racial progress, or how groups fare in relation to each other. There, the news isn’t just bad – it’s bleak.”

Why have the huge improvements in American racial attitudes and general social measures not brought about an improvement in racial equality? Why do police attack and discriminate against black Americans disproportionately – even when, as is the case in Baltimore, most of the police force, its chief, its mayor and its president are African-American?

This is the paradox of the United States today: A population of voters and leaders who have largely moved beyond racial discrimination continue to produce often grotesquely racist results. Why does the reality not change with the attitudes toward it?

The answer is found in the cities and towns where these explosions of violence and deprivation are taking place: Once an institution (a city, a police force, a school system, an economy) is set up to create a racial divide, it will continue to do so, regardless who’s running it, unless there’s a dramatic intervention.
Doug_Saunders  African-Americans  race_relations  institutions  institutional_path_dependency  systemic_discrimination  disproportionality  institutional_racism  deprivations 
may 2015 by jerryking
Hasta la vista, employment - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 02 2015

Next week, right on time, will see the publication of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, by the Silicon Valley software guru Martin Ford. It doesn’t mention Mr. Rifkin, but it argues that new, even smarter technology is now impinging on the medical and educational work forces.

Our era “will be defined by a fundamental shift in the relationship between workers and machines,” Mr. Ford writes. “That shift will ultimately challenge one of our most basic assumptions about technology: That machines are tools that increase the productivity of workers. Instead, machines themselves are turning into workers, and the line between the capability of labour and capital is blurring as never before.” As a result, he concludes in a déjà vu-inducing passage, “the virtuous feedback loop between productivity, rising wages and increasing consumer spending will collapse.”
Doug_Saunders  unemployment  middle_class  productivity  consumer_spending  books  joblessness  automation  robotics  artificial_intelligence 
may 2015 by jerryking
Our East-West lines are just artifices - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Feb. 14 2015
Doug_Saunders  Russia 
february 2015 by jerryking

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