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Found 8 results

  1. (Courtesy of The Real Estalker) :eek: True this is nothing compared to the Desmarais estate in the middle of no where of Quebec.
  2. Toronto's two solitudes: Poor city beside rich city Nov 20, 2008 04:30 AM Comments on this story (3) David Hulchanski "We heard as well about parents whose struggle to hold down two or three jobs leaves them with no time or energy to parent, of youth being humiliated by the obviousness of their poverty, of the impact of precarious and substandard housing on their ability to study and learn and engage with friends, and about the numerous other daily stresses of living on the margins of a prosperous society." – Review of the Roots of Youth Violence, Vol. 1, p. 31. We learned last week that among the roots of youth violence is the lack of good jobs – jobs that support a family, jobs that support an average lifestyle, jobs that support good quality housing. Though we already knew this, as a society we need to stop moving in the opposite direction. It wasn't too long ago that our language did not include terms like "good jobs," "bad jobs" or "the working poor." How could you work and be poor? Many people today are working more than full-time and are poor. They have no choice but to live in the growing number of very poor neighbourhoods. Money buys choice. Many neighbourhoods are becoming poor in the sense that most of the residents are living in poverty, and poor in the sense that housing, public services and transit access are all inferior relative to the rest of the city. The growing polarization between rich and poor is happening in part because of the loss of average, middle-income jobs. There used to be far fewer concentrations of disadvantage in Toronto. In the early 1970s about two-thirds of the City of Toronto's neighbourhoods (66 per cent) were middle-income – within 20 per cent of the average individual in-come of the metropolitan area. By 2005, the middle income group of neighbourhoods had declined to less than one-third (29 per cent). The trend is the same in the communities around the city's boundaries – the 905 area. The number of middle-income neighbourhoods declined by 25 per cent, from 86 per cent to 61 per cent, during the same period. Now 20 per cent of the neighbourhoods in the 905 area have very low average individual incomes, compared to none in 1970. This income polarization – the decline of the middle group with growth in the two extreme poles – is not only a general trend among Toronto's population, but it also is the basis of where we live. The City of Toronto is now divided into increasingly distinct zones. One zone of tremendous wealth and prosperity, about 20 per cent of the city, is located mainly along the Yonge corridor and stretching east and west along Bloor and Danforth. Average household income was $170,000 in 2005, 82 per cent of the population is white, only 4 per cent are recent immigrants (arriving 2001 to 2006), and only 2 per cent are black. Some of these neighbourhoods are more white and had fewer foreign-born residents in 2005 than in 1995. In contrast, there is a huge zone of concentrated disadvantage. It is still located in part in the traditional inner-city neighbourhoods, but now is also in the inner suburbs, the car-oriented areas built during the 1960s and 1970s. This is 40 per cent of the city, about 1.1 million people. Close to one-third of residents live in poverty (are below the low-income cut-off measure used by the federal government). Only 34 per cent are white, 15 per cent are recent immigrants, and 12 per cent are black. Federal and provincial economic policies, while seemingly abstract and high-level, play themselves out on the ground in our neighbourhoods. Paying a growing segment of the population wages that do not support individuals, let along families, at a basic standard of living and a fundamental level of dignity is not sustainable. The now well-documented rise in income inequality, income polarization and ethnocultural and skin colour segregation are city-destroying trends. They are trends produced by commission and omission, by public and private sector decisions. We need to use our regulatory power for the common good to focus on improving the labour market through measures like a living wage and providing people with a voice in working conditions via a fairer path to unionization. One-sided policy-making is not only generating greater disadvantage, it is destroying the city as a great place to live and work. Nothing is trickling down. The city is increasingly segregating itself as the social distance between rich and poor increases. Immigrants are arriving in a very different economy than they did 30 and 40 years ago. A recent Statistics Canada study concludes, for example, "that the wage gap between newly hired employees and other employees has been widening over the past two decades," the "relative importance of temporary jobs has increased substantially among newly hired employees," and that compared with "the early 1980s, fewer male employees are now covered by a registered pension plan." In short, policies have allowed fewer jobs to pay a living wage with good benefits. This did not happen by accident. It is not only possible but essential that we have an economy with good jobs with at least a minimum living wage for all. We need public policies that support the goals of a just and inclusive society, and we have to ensure that the use of political power benefits the common good. These are key goals of the Good Jobs Coalition and form the agenda for Saturday's Good Jobs Summit. They are essential to reversing the city-destroying trends at work in Toronto today. David Hulchanski is a University of Toronto professor and author of the report The Three Cities within Toronto. This is one of a series of essays created for the Good Jobs Summit, which takes place Nov. 22 in Toronto.
  3. Article intéressant... IMF debunks myth: Taxing rich not bad for economy OTTAWA -- A new paper by researchers at the International Monetary Fund appears to debunk a tenet of conservative economic ideology -- that taxing the rich to give to the poor is bad for the economy. The paper by IMF researchers Jonathan Ostry, Andrew Berg and Charalambos Tsangarides will be applauded by politicians and economists who regard high levels of income inequality as not only a moral stain on society but also economically unsound. Labelled as the first study to incorporate recently compiled figures comparing pre- and post-tax data from a large number of countries, the authors say there is convincing evidence that lower net inequality is good economics, boosting growth and leading to longer-lasting periods of expansion. In the most controversial finding, the study concludes that redistributing wealth, largely through taxation, does not significantly impact growth unless the intervention is extreme. In fact, because redistributing wealth through taxation has the positive impact of reducing inequality, the overall affect on the economy is to boost growth, the researchers conclude. "We find that higher inequality seems to lower growth. Redistribution, in contrast, has a tiny and statistically insignificant (slightly negative) effect," the paper states. "This implies that, rather than a trade-off, the average result across the sample is a win-win situation, in which redistribution has an overall pro-growth effect." While the paper is heavy on the economics, there is no mistaking the political implications in the findings. In Canada, the Liberal party led by Justin Trudeau is set to make supporting the middle class a key plank in the upcoming election and the NDP has also stressed the importance of tackling income inequality. Stephen Harper's Conservatives have boasted that tax cuts, particularly deep reductions in corporate taxation, are at least partly responsible for why the Canadian economy outperformed other G7 countries both during and after the 2008-09 recession. In the Commons on Tuesday, Employment Minister Jason Kenney said the many tax cuts his government has introduced since 2006, including a two-percentage-point trim of the GST, has helped most Canadians. Speaking on a Statistics Canada report showing net median family wealth had increased by 44.5 per cent since 2005, he added: "It is no coincidence because, with the more than 160 tax cuts by this government, Canadian families, on average, have seen their after-tax disposable income increase by 10 per cent across all income categories. We are continuing to lead the world on economic growth and opportunity for working families." The authors concede that their conclusions tend to contradict some well-accepted orthodoxy, which holds that taxation is a job killer. But they say that many previous studies failed to make a distinction between pre-tax inequality and post-tax inequality, hence often compared apples to oranges, among other shortcomings. The data they looked at showed almost no negative impact from redistribution policies and that economies where incomes are more equally distributed tend to grow faster and have growth cycles that last longer. Meanwhile, they say the data is not crystal clear that even large redistributions have a direct negative impact, although "from history and first principles ... after some point redistribution will be destructive of growth." Still, they also stop short of saying their conclusions definitively settle the issue, acknowledging that it is a complex area of economic theory with many variables at play and a scarcity of hard data. Instead, they urge more rigorous study and say their findings "highlight the urgency of this agenda." The Washington-based institution released the study Wednesday morning but, perhaps due to the controversial nature of the conclusions, calls it a "staff discussion note" that does "not necessarily" represent the IMF views or policy. It was authorized for distribution by Olivier Blanchard, the IMF's chief economist. Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/imf-debunks-myth-taxing-rich-not-bad-for-economy-1.1704643#ixzz2uRo5ElZH
  4. Méga article très intéressant du magazine The Economist Lien The world economy A glimmer of hope? Apr 23rd 2009 From The Economist print edition The worst thing for the world economy would be to assume the worst is over THE rays are diffuse, but the specks of light are unmistakable. Share prices are up sharply. Even after slipping early this week, two-thirds of the 42 stockmarkets that The Economist tracks have risen in the past six weeks by more than 20%. Different economic indicators from different parts of the world have brightened. China’s economy is picking up. The slump in global manufacturing seems to be easing. Property markets in America and Britain are showing signs of life, as mortgage rates fall and homes become more affordable. Confidence is growing. A widely tracked index of investor sentiment in Germany has turned positive for the first time in almost two years. All this is welcome—not least because the slump has been made so much worse by panic and despair. When the financial system was on the brink of collapse in September, investors shunned all but the safest assets, consumers stopped spending and firms shut down. That plunge into the depths could be succeeded by a virtuous cycle, where the wheels of finance turn again, cheerier consumers open their wallets and ambitious firms turn from hoarding cash to pursuing profits. But, welcome as it is, optimism contains two traps, one obvious, the other more subtle. The obvious trap is that confidence proves misplaced—that the glimmers of hope are misinterpreted as the beginnings of a strong recovery when all they really show is that the rate of decline is slowing. The subtler trap, particularly for politicians, is that confidence and better news create ruinous complacency. Optimism is one thing, but hubris that the world economy is returning to normal could hinder recovery and block policies to protect against a further plunge into the depths. Luminous indicators Begin with those glimmers. It is easy to read too much into the gain in share prices. Stockmarkets usually rally before economies improve, because investors spy the promise of fatter profits before the statisticians document a turnaround. But plenty of rallies fizzle into nothing. Between 1929 and 1932, the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared by more than 20% four times, only to fall back below its previous lows. Today’s crisis has seen five separate rallies in which share prices rose more than 10% only to subside again. The economic statistics are hard to interpret, too. The past six months have seen several slumps, each with a different trajectory. The plunge in manufacturing is in part the result of a huge global inventory adjustment. With unsold goods piling up and finance hard to come by, firms around the world have slashed production even faster than demand has fallen. Once firms have run down their stocks they will start making things again and the manufacturing recession will be past its worst. Even if that moment is at hand, two other slumps are likely to poison the economy for much longer. The most important is the banking crisis and the purge of debt in the bubble economies, especially America and Britain. Demand has plummeted as tighter credit and sinking asset prices have exposed consumers’ excessive borrowing and scared them into saving more. History suggests that such balance-sheet recessions are long and that the recoveries which eventually follow them are feeble. The second slump is in the emerging world, where many economies have been hit by the sudden fall in private cross-border capital flows. Emerging economies, which imported capital worth 5% of their GDP in 2007, now face a world where cautious investors keep their money at home. According to the IMF, banks, firms and governments in the emerging world have some $1.8 trillion-worth of borrowing to roll over this year, much of that in central and eastern Europe. Even if emerging markets escape a full-blown debt crisis, investors’ confidence is unlikely to recover for years. These crises sent the world economy into a decline that, on several measures, has been steeper than the onset of the Depression. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook expects global output to shrink by 1.3% this year, its first fall in 60 years. But the collapse has been countered by the most ambitious policy response in history. Central banks have pumped out trillions of dollars of liquidity and, in rising numbers, have resorted to an increasingly exotic arsenal of “unconventional” firepower to ease credit markets and loosen monetary conditions even as policy rates approach zero. Governments have battled to prop up their banks, committing trillions of dollars in the process. The IMF has new money. Every big rich country has bolstered demand with fiscal stimulus (and so have many emerging ones). The rich world’s budget deficits will, on average, reach almost 9% of GDP, six times higher than before the crisis hit. The Depression showed how damaging it can be if governments don’t step in when the rest of the economy seizes up. Yet action on the current scale has never been tried before and nobody knows when it will have an effect—let alone how much difference it will make. Whatever the impact, it would be a mistake to confuse the twitches of an economy on life-support with a lasting recovery. A real recovery depends on government demand being supplanted by sustainable sources of private spending. And here the news is almost uniformly grim. Searching for new demand Take the country many are pinning their hopes on: America. The adjustment in the housing market began earlier there than anywhere else. Prices peaked almost three years ago, and are now down by 30%. Manufacturing production has been falling at an annualised rate of more than 20% for the past three months. And the government’s offsetting policy offensive has been the rich world’s boldest. As the inventory adjustment ends and the stimuli kick in, America’s slump is sure to ease. Cushioned by the government, the economy may even begin to grow again before too long. But it is hard to see the ingredients for a recovery that is robust enough to stop unemployment rising. Weakness abroad will crimp exports. America’s banks are propped up with public capital, but their balance-sheets are clogged with toxic assets. Consumer spending and firms’ investment will be dragged lower by the need to pay back debt and restore savings. This will be a long slog. Private-sector leverage, which rose by 70% of GDP between 2000 and 2008, has barely begun to unwind. At 4%, the household savings rate has jumped sharply from its low of near zero, but it is still far below its post-war average of 7%. Higher unemployment and rising bankruptcies could easily cause a vicious new downward lurch. In Britain, given the size of its finance industry, housing boom and consumer debt, the balance-sheet adjustment will, if anything, be greater. The weaker pound will buoy exports, but fragile public finances suggest that Britain has much less scope to use government spending to cushion the private sector than America does—as this week’s flawed budget made painfully clear (see article). The outlook should in theory be brighter for Germany and Japan. Both have seen output slump faster than in other rich countries because of the collapse in trade and manufacturing, but neither has the huge private borrowing of the sort that haunts the Anglo-Saxon world. Once inventories have adjusted, recovery should come quickly. In practice, though, that seems unlikely, especially in Germany. As the output slump sends Germany’s jobless rate towards double-digits, it is hard to see consumers going on a spending spree. Nor has the government shown much appetite for boosting demand. Germany’s fiscal stimulus, although large by European standards, falls well short of what it could afford. Worse, the country’s banks are still in trouble. Germans did not behave recklessly, but their banks did—along with many others in continental Europe. New figures from the IMF suggest that European banks face some $1.1 trillion in losses, hardly any of which have yet been recognised (see article). This week’s German plan to set up several bad banks was no more than a down payment on the restructuring ahead. Japan has acted more boldly. Its latest package of tax cuts and government spending, unveiled in early April, will provide the biggest fiscal boost, relative to GDP, of any rich country this year. Its economy is likely to perk up, temporarily at least. But its public-debt stock is approaching 200% of GDP, so Japan has scant room for more fiscal stimulus. With export markets weak, demand will soon need to be privately generated at home. But the past two decades offer little evidence that Japan can make that shift. For the time being, the brightest light glows in China, where a huge inventory adjustment has exaggerated the impact of falling foreign demand, and where the government has the cash and determination to prop up domestic spending. China’s stimulus is already bearing fruit. Loans are soaring and infrastructure investment is growing smartly. The IMF’s latest forecast, that China’s economy will grow by 6.5% this year, may prove conservative. Yet even China has its difficulties. Perhaps three-quarters of the growth will come from government demand, particularly infrastructure spending. Not much to glow about Add all this up and the case for optimism fades quickly. The worst is over only in the narrowest sense that the pace of global decline has peaked. Thanks to massive—and unsustainable—fiscal and monetary transfusions, output will eventually stabilise. But in many ways, darker days lie ahead. Despite the scale of the slump, no conventional recovery is in sight. Growth, when it comes, will be too feeble to stop unemployment rising and idle capacity swelling. And for years most of the world’s economies will depend on their governments. Consider what that means. Much of the rich world will see jobless rates that reach double-digits, and then stay there. Deflation—a devastating disease in debt-laden economies—could set in as record economic slack pushes down prices and wages, particularly since headline inflation has already plunged thanks to sinking fuel costs. Public debt will soar because of weak growth, prolonged stimulus spending and the growing costs of cleaning up the financial mess. The OECD’s member countries began the crisis with debt stocks, on average, at 75% of GDP; by 2010 they will reach 100%. One analysis suggests persistent weakness could push the biggest economies’ debt ratios to 140% by 2014. Continuing joblessness, years of weak investment and higher public-debt burdens, in turn, will dent economies’ underlying potential. Although there is no sign that the world economy will return to its trend rate of growth any time soon, it is already clear that this speed limit will be lower than before the crisis hit. Start preparing for the next decade Welcome to an era of diminished expectations and continuing dangers; a world where policymakers must steer between the imminent threat of deflation while countering investors’ (reasonable) fears that swelling public debts and massive monetary easing could eventually lead to high inflation; an uncharted world where government borrowing reaches a scale not seen since the second world war, when capital controls ensured that savings stayed at home. How to cope with these dangers? Certainly not by clutching at scraps of better news. That risks leading to less action right now. Warding off deflation, for instance, will demand more unconventional steps from more central banks for longer than many now seem to foresee. Laggards, such as the European Central Bank, do themselves and the world no favours by holding back. Nor should governments immediately seek to take back the fiscal stimulus. Prolonged economic weakness does far greater damage to public finances than temporary fiscal activism. Remember how Japan snuffed out its recovery in the 1990s by rushing to raise taxes. Japan also put off bank reform. Countries facing big balance-sheet adjustments should heed that lesson and nudge reform along, in particular by doing more to clean up and restructure the banks. Countries with surpluses must encourage private spending at home more vigorously. China’s leaders are still doing too little to boost private citizens’ income and their spending by fostering reforms, from widening health-care coverage to forcing state-owned firms to pay higher dividends. At the same time policymakers must give themselves room to change course in the future. Central banks need to lay out the rules that will govern their exit from exotic forms of policy easing (see article). That may require new tools: the Federal Reserve would gain from being able to issue bonds that could mop up liquidity. All governments, especially those with the ropiest public finances, should think boldly about how to lower their debt ratios in the medium term—in ways that do not choke off nascent private demand. Rather than pushing up tax rates, they should think about raising retirement ages, reining in health costs and broadening the tax base. This weekend many of the world’s finance ministers and central bankers will meet in Washington, DC, for the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank. Amid rising confidence, they will be tempted to pat themselves on the back. There is no time for that. The worst global slump since the Depression is far from finished. There is work to do.
  5. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/story?id=7055599&page=1 Video clip from 20/20 at link as well.
  6. You’ll probably be surprised if you live in Brookside to know that the median home price went up 17 percent in the past year — to more than $3 million. Actually, that’s Brookside, N.J., No. 10 on Forbes’ list of most expensive ZIP codes. Here they are, with median home price and percentage change from last year. The two New York City areas are listed by ZIP. 1. Alpine, N.J., $4,139,041, -23% 2. Atherton, Calif., $3,849,133, -26% 3. New York 10014, $3,521,514, -24% 4. Duarte, Calif., $3,444,773, +18% 5. Beverly Hills, Calif., $3,367,167, -5% 6. Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., $3,362,493, -12% 7. Santa Barbara, Calif., $3,284,652, -9% 8. Los Altos Hills, Calif., $3,277,500, +4% 9. New York 10065, $3,176,534, -10% 10. Brookside, N.J., $3,121,115, +17% Interesting footnote: “Stop Acting Rich,” Thomas J. Stanley (John A. Wiley & Sons) The author who brought us “The Millionaire Next Door” and “The Millionaire Mind” is back with a volume on the value of thrift, subtitled “And Start Living Like a Real Millionaire.” Stanley’s research finds that those who want to be rich spend a lot more than people who actually are rich — and that the real millionaires’ frugality often had a lot to do with their accumulating real wealth. "About 90% of millionaires lives in homes valued at under $1 million." Meanwhile only about 27% of homes valued at more than $1 million are owned by millionaires. http://www.kansascity.com/business/story/1504749.html
  7. Rich Canadians have bigger carbon footprint Size matters. Study links national income, consumption JOHN MORRISSY, Canwest News Service Published: 8 hours ago When it comes to ecological footprints, wealthy Canadians are a confirmed size 12, creating a global warming impact 66 per cent greater than the average household, according to a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The study is the first to link national income and consumption patterns with global warming, and it showed that the richest 10 per cent of Canadians create an environmental footprint that's 2.5 times the size of those created by the lowest 10 per cent on an income scale. "When we look at where the environmental impact of human activity comes from, we see that size really does matter," said Hugh Mackenzie, a research associate for the Ottawa-based think-tank and co-author of the study. "Higher-income Canadians create a much bigger footprint than poorer Canadians." The study revealed a gradual progression of environmental impact going up the income scale, but a marked jump with the richest 10 per cent. In fact, the highest 10 per cent has an environmental impact that's one third larger than the next lower 10 per cent, Mackenzie said. The differences stem largely from the homes wealthy people own and the way they get around, Mackenzie said. The top 10 per cent own homes that are larger, cost more to build and to heat, and they are more likely to own more than one vehicle and travel more frequently by air, Mackenzie said. The impact of food consumption, on the other hand, hardly varies from one income group to another. The study measures environmental impact in terms of the amount of hectares it would take to sustain a certain level of consumption. When it comes to the wealthiest Canadians, their environmental footprint requires 12.4 hectares per capita, compared with the average Canadian's 7.5-hectare footprint. Globally, the average Canadian's footprint is still several times the average of those in poorer nations. What the study highlights, Mackenzie said, is the need for policy-makers to realize how activities related to global warming concentrate themselves in the upper income groups. Failing to recognize that could lead to policies that penalize lower-income Canadians yet fail to achieve their objectives, he said. "All Canadians share responsibility for global warming," said co-author Rick Smith. "But wealthier Canadians are leaving behind a disproportionately larger footprint - and should be expected to make a disproportionate contribution to its reduction." http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=57768cfb-8144-4ae2-b235-3a045d045065
  8. (Courtesy of the Financial Post) Reason I put it in culture, it seems more of a Quebec culture to be more laid back and no really care about material wealth, but that is my own point of view.