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Per Capita Measurements - General

Per Capita income is a direct function of productivity and it indicates the level of personal economic well-being. This is the real indicator of how well an economy is performing for the people who work in it.

In contrast, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures only the overall size and rate of growth of the commercial economy.

In Canada, GDP/capita is ignored in public policy as all the focus is on the size and growth of the economy as a whole. While our economy has grown at the fastest rate in the OECD over the past 40 years, driven to a substantial degree by mass immigration**, our GDP/capita gains are the lowest in the industrialized world due to our low levels of productivity and dependence on cheap labour.

  • The level of social services that a government can sustainably deliver is ultimately dependent on per capita incomes. .
  • A large economy based on low-income earners cannot maintain a comprehensive social net whereas
  • A smaller economy with high-income earners can generate the necessary taxes necessary to fund it.

By sacrificing individual economic well-being to make the economy as large as possible, Canadian policy, in effect, has people working for the economy instead of the other way around.

  • Economic size does not equal economic health
  • India has a much larger economy than Denmark
  • But Danes have much higher incomes than do Indians.
  • Social services in Denmark are far higher than in India

Most media reports speak only about the size of the economy but this obsession with GDP comes at the expense of the more meaningful GDP per capita. Current reporting reflects the national policy making apparatus' commitment to special interest groups rather than the welfare of the Canadian people or the health of the nation.

** Canada's current policy of "mass" immigration is designed to expand the economy. The current rate of immigration is around 280,000 immigrants annually and the plan is for this rate to be increased every year forever. The balanced immigration rate would be around 50,000 immigrants per year.

Per Capita Measurements - Advanced

Productivity is an extremely important core measure of the commercial economic output per hour of our workforce. The higher productivity is, the higher our standard of living and the more extensive our social safety net will be.

Over the past 4 decades, Canada has posted nearly the lowest rate of productivity increase in the developed world.

Productivity increases are created by increasing levels of investment both in peoples' education and training and in the tools with which they are equipped. Productivity and immigration are linked because a large continuous inflow of cheap labour reduces the incentive to upgrade production equipment and working conditions and freezes progress. Canada has had the highest level of immigration in the world for 40 years which our productivity record clearly reflects.

Doing the dirty, low paying jobs that Canadians refuse to do; used to be the featured prominently in the immigration lobby's promotional campaigns. Although phrases like that have been dropped, in practice, Canada's mass immigration policy still very much adheres to that philosophy.

There is no job that a well trained, well equipped and well paid Canadian will not do. Until we develop policies that are focussed on investing in our people and boosting productivity rather than subsidizing cheap labour employers, our productivity levels will continue to lag the world. We will continue to log the second highest number of working hours per year in the OECD. Our social safety net will continue to fray. Our income structure will continue to polarize.

In short, poor productivity improvements means both industrial decline and social stagnation.

Per Capita Measurements - Reference

Subject MatterSource

Temporary Employment in the Downturn
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Impact Index

Per Capita Income

Boosting Domestic Production Impact

Best Means of Increasing per Capita Income
  • Boosting Domestic Production 35%
  • Reducing Immigration 30%
  • Investing in Canadian training 20%
  • Reducing Outsourcing 15%

Increasing Canadian real wages and reducing debt can be achieved by rebuilding the manufacturing base, and ending outsourcing and the importation of large numbers of workers which supress wages and productivity increases.

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