Canadian gov't economists insist that stats on collapsing middle class mean just the opposite


Dave sez, "Last year, Employment and Social Development Canada put together a report suggesting that the Canadian middle class has seen wage stagnation and is experiencing record levels of debt; Finance Canada felt that this 'appears to conflict with the general message in Budget 2014 and previous internal briefings' so they made a new report -- that says the opposite, while looking at the same data."

The internal memos on this -- released in heavily censored form after an Access to Information request -- paint a picture of ideology trumping reality, a skill Harper's Tories have honed through decades of climate change denial.

"Their analysis arrives at conclusions — namely that middle-income families have stagnant wages, are unlikely to move to higher income groups, and are increasingly indebted — which appear to conflict with the general message in Budget 2014 and previous internal briefings," says an accompanying briefing note for Oliver.

Copies of the rebuttal material, with some significant sections censored, were obtained from Finance Canada under the Access to Information Act.

The new analysis, entitled "Income Equality and the Middle Class: Recent Trends," also uses data up to 2011, whereas the previous report covered the period only to 2007.

Finance Canada now sees middle-class families in rosy hue [Dean Beeby/Canadian Press]

(Thanks, Dave!)

(Image: Was Is Peace / Freedom Is Slavery / Ignorance Is Strength, Joel Franusic, CC-BY-SA)

Notable Replies

  1. I am confident the censored sections contained delicate military secrets. Agents' lives may be in jeopardy if their names are revealed.

  2. jetfx says:

    Sounds like the hired economists from the Fraser Insitute to cook the books.

  3. PatRx2 says:

    No, probably not. The Tories have been systematically suppressing any civil servants who don't toe the line. Telling the Masters what they want to hear is a career survival trait, even more so than in previous governments.

  4. "Class mobility" is sales pitch that conservatives trot out to justify the existence of the hyper-rich.

    With enough moxy and gumption, damnit, you might make it, too!

  5. jetfx says:

    Yeah, you're right, it's just that you don't usually get such creative reimaginings of the data coming from someone other than them.

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