Would Greece be any worse off if it's "Socialist" government had defied the IMF?

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture
Would Greece be any worse off if it's "Socialist" government had defied the IMF?

Is there anything that would have come of default that would possibly be worse than the fact that, thanks to PASOK's surrender, Greece will now probably have right-wing austerity economics no matter who wins the election for decades to come?

Are the Greek people really gaining anything from the total loss of autonomy and sovereignty that their "government" has meekly accepted?

And is there any reason ever again to re-elect PASOK, since it will never be able to do anything different from the right-wing party after this?

I hope the Greek people overthrow this regime...because it isn't a democracy any more and Greece isn't an independent country anymore.

 

Austerity is always defeat.

 

josh

The powers that be couldn't have afforded to let Greece default.  I'm sure the "socialist" government knew this, but cowtowed anyway.  They richly deserve the likely electoral defeat they will soon suffer.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

The name of the party says Socialist but in Greece they proudly self identify as a social democratic party.  The social democrats have a clear majority in the parliament.  By the time elections are held it will be too late.  The people will have been sold into debtor's servitude to the German and British bankers.

Heres a link I found to one of the minor parties in the Greek parliament.  It would be something if they formed the next government.

Quote:

Synaspismos identifies itself with the ideas and values of democratic socialism, ecology, feminism and anti-militarism. It believes in pluralism and considers the defense of human rights non-negotiable.

http://www.syn.gr/en/profile.htm

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

They'd get my vote.

notaradical

Doesn't matter who's elected as long as they don't consult the people via referendum on issues of this magnitude.

Tommy_Paine

"Austerity" was in the offing no matter which way things went in Greece.  If there's no money, there's no money.  But by choosing default, Greece could have come up with Greek solutions, and rebuilt an economy within a decade or two.  The end result would not resemble what Greece was before; but then, that wasn't based in reality anyway.

By choosing the bailout, they secure themselves the same position they occupied when they were part of the Ottoman Empire; just as when Ireland went the bailout route, they secured for themselves the same position they occupied under the British Empire. 

Other people that are not Greek, that are not Irish, now dictate domestic policy to puppet legislatures. 

Don't think that it stops here.  The war against democracy, the war against freedom that the Financial industry has declared on us is well underway and we are losing it-- not just in Greece, Ireland and shortly Portugal, but everywhere.

West Coast Greeny

Greece was running an annual deficit that represented 16% of their economy. Even if they were not to pay off a single bondholder, they still run a 10% deficit ... roughly $10billion. So, where the heck is that money going to come from? Greece would have to plug that gap and eliminate that deficit - instantaneously. Somebody (lots of bodies) somewhere just aren't going to get paid.

Tommy_Paine

Or, a lot of people would be working for a lot less.  That's not much different from the bailout "alternative".  The bailout isn't there to keep people being paid or employed, it's sole purpose is to protect the financial world. 

There's no easy way out; the real choice is between poverty without self determination, which translates to permanent poverty, or poverty with self determination where there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

josh

West Coast Greeny wrote:

Greece was running an annual deficit that represented 16% of their economy. Even if they were not to pay off a single bondholder, they still run a 10% deficit ... roughly $10billion. So, where the heck is that money going to come from? Greece would have to plug that gap and eliminate that deficit - instantaneously. Somebody (lots of bodies) somewhere just aren't going to get paid.

They could have dropped the euro.  Which would have increased their exports substantially.  And done something about their 35% tax noncompliance rate.  Throwing some rich tax deadbeats in prison would have set a good example.

Erik Redburn

The five foundational beliefs that keep the middleclass on the side of their masters, even where they/we pay the lions share of the bills for steadily diminishing returns, are the firm beliefs:

that (A) public deficits/debt are exactly like private ones (except perhaps in bankruptcy);

that (B) "we" are (all) "overtaxed";

that (C) the "free market" (and those who manage and/or invest in it) is a more objective and "efficient" arbitor of wealth creation(distribution) than government (always);

therefore (D) wealth can and should be managed (exactly) the same in the public sector as (it's supposed to) in the "private";

because (E) money/credit is more real than that which it's supposed to represent -the core monetarist doctrine/superstition-- "profit" being the only measure of economic health.  

Until they/we seriously start to question all of this we'll remain struggling little bugs circling around a side eddy in a drying tidal pool, while the real economy rushes by us.  The three biggest blockages IMV are the debt/taxation/self regulating market mantras.  All three have to be undermined and overturned in the public consciousness before we can regain some control over our collective productivity and spending.

Post-Marxist dogma won't help however.  Most of it's almost irrelevant to where we are now.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

600 Billion Euros of money of Greek capitalists in Swiss banks isnt' dogma ... it's a fact. And that's almost twice as much as the Greek debt.

Quote:
The line of struggle of the KKE and the class oriented movement has made a special contribution to the conflict with capital and the anti-people policy as it clarified from the beginning that the crisis, the deficit and the debt are a product of capitalist development, of the strategy that supports the monopoly groups and that the workers are not responsible for it. More and more working people see this fact today when they compare the state debt (350 billions Euro) with the deposits of the Greek capitalists which in Switzerland amount to 600 billions Euro.

Of course, the Greek social democrats, like some in this country no doubt, would rather just open fire on peaceful protestors. "Blame the Communists!"

Resistance is NOT futile.

 

Erik Redburn

ikosmos wrote:

600 Billion Euros of money of Greek capitalists in Swiss banks isnt' dogma ... it's a fact. And that's almost twice as much as the Greek debt.

Quote:
The line of struggle of the KKE and the class oriented movement has made a special contribution to the conflict with capital and the anti-people policy as it clarified from the beginning that the crisis, the deficit and the debt are a product of capitalist development, of the strategy that supports the monopoly groups and that the workers are not responsible for it. More and more working people see this fact today when they compare the state debt (350 billions Euro) with the deposits of the Greek capitalists which in Switzerland amount to 600 billions Euro.

Of course, the Greek social democrats, like some in this country no doubt, would rather just open fire on peaceful protestors. "Blame the Communists!"

 

 

Stop blaming "social democrats" when you apparently don't even know what the term means; that "money" is real only because we agree to it.

Erik Redburn

And no, I'm not blaming the tiny handful of communists; communist doctrine is almost irrelevant except when it's confused with real socialism and other more current leftist alternatives. 

B9sus4 B9sus4's picture

Jots on paper. This is all about paper.

It seems to me that Argentina defaulted some time back and nothing happened. I hear they're doing okay right now, relatively speaking.

All this nonsense about paper. Screw the bankers and their paper. The real issues are human beings, human lives, the lives of old people and babies, young people with children to raise.. etc. Bankers already have too much. Simple. Very very very very simple. Everyone who talks about this phony "debt" is saying that the pointless, sadistic greed of parasite billionaires (trillionaires by now) is more important than the lives of human babies and loving old grandmothers.

Is that how you feel or not? Me not.

Erik Redburn

Excellent.   One of the things Putin did right was defaulting in the "debts" left by Yeltsin and the IMF "crash" program of "liberalization".   I think its time for the left to start talking about collective default -not just in the third world but here at home.   It would just have to proceed in an orderly and rational fashion, with household savings protected by the only insurers of last resort that count -ourselves.    That in itself could break the back of the neo-liberal/conservative predators.   But the comatose "middleclass" has to be woken up first to do it.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Fidel Castro before he retired, and others, have addressed this issue of defaulting on the debt created by big business regimes around the world for a long time. It's a political question although some people, babblers included, would like to remove it from the political realm in the same way that some people would like to remove the actions of the police and the military from political discussion.

Funny how that is ...

Erik Redburn

Like I said, almost irrelavant.    Medieval kings defaulted on debts/loans too, sometimes by cutting off heads of their creditors or by starting pogroms against the supposed creditor class.  Sometimes it backfired, if other kings and moguls backed the "money makers" and the loans dried up. 

I in no way said it wasn't political, I just said that we should focus on the issue at hand.   The "new right" for example succesfully brought "laissez fare" (with mercantilist government backing) back as the domininant state ideology, a mere ten years after the sixties ended, by NOt talking about their overall long term aims.  Thats one lesson the left could learn from the right.  Lay out the pieces involved, talk to the public as equals who share our burden, then watch the dots start being connected by the only economic actors who really matter.  Left-leaning (but fair) journalism is the magic missing ingredient.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Quote:

Of course, the Greek social democrats, like some in this country no doubt, would rather just open fire on peaceful protestors. "Blame the Communists!"

Erik Redburn wrote:

Stop blaming "social democrats" when you apparently don't even know what the term means; that "money" is real only because we agree to it.

Every analyst I have read refers to PASOK as a social democratic party.  they were founded as a socialist party but as they approached power they morphed into a social democratic party.

It was the "socialist"  party that led the Greeks into the EU and ultimately within a couple of decades to the inevitable second class nation status.

Quote:

PASOK’s economic policies and political scandals helped end its eight years of rule in 1989. Nevertheless, four years later the party returned to power, despite the manifest ill health of Papandreou. In 1996, following a lengthy sojourn in the hospital, Papandreou resigned as prime minister in favour of  Konstantinos Simitis, a leading figure in the technocratic, social democratic wing of the party. Later that year, after Papandreou’s death, Simitis was elected party leader and began to consolidate his power. Under his leadership, PASOK strongly favoured joining the European Monetary System (EMS) and having the drachma, Greece’s currency (and Europe’s oldest), replaced with the euro, the currency unit of the EU. In 2000, despite the implementation of austerity measures to align Greece’s economy with those of its EU partners—policies that aroused opposition within the populist wing of PASOK and within the country—PASOK narrowly won reelection. Greece subsequently qualified for the euro, and in 2002 it became Greece’s official currency.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/441273/Panhellenic-Socialist-M...

Doug

Greek default would probably be a no-brainer if there were only Greece to worry about. In the actual situation the trick would be how to pull it off without tipping Spain, Portugal, Ireland and possibly Italy into default too - since that's what Greece unilaterally saying publicly that they aren't going to pay has a high chance of causing.

Erik Redburn

Northern Shoveler wrote:

Quote:

Of course, the Greek social democrats, like some in this country no doubt, would rather just open fire on peaceful protestors. "Blame the Communists!"

Erik Redburn wrote:

Stop blaming "social democrats" when you apparently don't even know what the term means; that "money" is real only because we agree to it.

Every analyst I have read refers to PASOK as a social democratic party.  they were founded as a socialist party but as they approached power they morphed into a social democratic party.

It was the "socialist"  party that led the Greeks into the EU and ultimately within a couple of decades to the inevitable second class nation status.

Quote:

PASOK’s economic policies and political scandals helped end its eight years of rule in 1989. Nevertheless, four years later the party returned to power, despite the manifest ill health of Papandreou. In 1996, following a lengthy sojourn in the hospital, Papandreou resigned as prime minister in favour of  Konstantinos Simitis, a leading figure in the technocratic, social democratic wing of the party. Later that year, after Papandreou’s death, Simitis was elected party leader and began to consolidate his power. Under his leadership, PASOK strongly favoured joining the European Monetary System (EMS) and having the drachma, Greece’s currency (and Europe’s oldest), replaced with the euro, the currency unit of the EU. In 2000, despite the implementation of austerity measures to align Greece’s economy with those of its EU partners—policies that aroused opposition within the populist wing of PASOK and within the country—PASOK narrowly won reelection. Greece subsequently qualified for the euro, and in 2002 it became Greece’s official currency.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/441273/Panhellenic-Socialist-M...

 

Please read my other post about labels, versus observable behaviour.  I probaby dislike the current crop of "socia democratic" leaders more than you do   The EU wasn't a bad idea either, originally, much more balanced than NAFTA, but it too has been coopted by small minds with no vision beyond their own narrow ambitions and little accountibility.

Erik Redburn

Doug wrote:

Greek default would probably be a no-brainer if there were only Greece to worry about. In the actual situation the trick would be how to pull it off without tipping Spain, Portugal, Ireland and possibly Italy into default too - since that's what Greece unilaterally saying publicly that they aren't going to pay has a high chance of causing.

 

A generalized default might be necessary now, Doug, as painful as that can be short-term.  If we have any brains left we'll make those who actualy created "our" state of debts pay.  Maybe we can even put the IOC out of business for good...   Innocent

Roscoe

"Would Greece be any worse off....."

I remember a chap in the trucking business who expanded his business by purchasing 8 new trucks from a major dealer with in-house financing.
The economy worsened and he got behind in his payments. The arrears grew and grew but the dealer didn't repossess the trucks.
The chap sold his house and moved in with his girlfriend,giving the proceeds from his house sale to the dealer for arrears payments. The day after he gave the dealer the money, the dealer repo-ed the trucks. The dealer couldn't touch the chap's house but waited patiently for the fellow to pay something rather than simply taking the trucks back.

This is the situation the Greeks are in. After they acquiece to all the banksters'demands,hand over all their assets at fire sale prices, receive 'bailouts' at usurious interest rates, they will still default because the bailouts only address the symptoms and not the structural deficit that is the underlying problem.

These bailouts are only offered to protect EU banks and especially pension funds. Protection not from Greek bond losses but from the reality that its all a Ponzi scheme run by the banksters and their political stooges.

Roscoe

Erik Redburn wrote:

Doug wrote:

Greek default would probably be a no-brainer if there were only Greece to worry about. In the actual situation the trick would be how to pull it off without tipping Spain, Portugal, Ireland and possibly Italy into default too - since that's what Greece unilaterally saying publicly that they aren't going to pay has a high chance of causing.

 

A generalized default might be necessary now, Doug, as painful as that can be short-term.  If we have any brains left we'll make those who actualy created "our" state of debts pay.  Maybe we can even put the IOC out of business for good...   Innocent

It doesn't matter how many 'bailouts' are extended, the Greeks will default regardless. These bailouts are like receiving a higher credit card limit in order to pay the interest on one's mortgage.

The only way to get out of a hole is to stop digging, not by taking out a second mortgage on the shovel.

josh

Greece's economy will shrink by more than 5 percent this year, topping earlier projections, the country's finance minister told business people in this northern Greek city where the prime minister will speak about the economy later on Saturday.

. . . .

The Greek economy shrank at an annual 7.3 percent clip in the second quarter, after an 8.1 percent contraction in the first three months of 2011.

Austerity measures, including higher indirect taxes and cuts in public sector pay and pensions, have hurt economic activity.

Mr. Venizelos was keen to send a message to Greece's euro zone partners, who are growing frustrated with its backsliding, that Athens is fully committed to carrying out agreed economic reforms.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany reiterated on Saturday that Greece had to meet conditions laid out by the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund to receive the aid it is seeking.

. . . .

"The most clear message Greece is sending right now," Mr. Venizelos said, "is that we are absolutely determined, without weighing any political cost, to fully meet our obligations versus are institutional partners."

"We must prove all those who say that Greece can't, or doesn't have the will, is a pariah or does not deserve to be in the euro, wrong" he said.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/business/greek-economy-will-shrink-mor...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the crisis goes beyond greece. if somehow an economic collapse is avoided in the here and now, this does not fix the world economic situation nor the enviromental pickle we are in. we need to make drastic change in how we run the world. the capitalist system, imo, cannot be saved or reformed. we need a different way of living that is respectful to the earth and ourselves.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

BTW, my comments about Greek Social Democrats opening fire on peaceful protestors was based on the fact that the Greek regime DID open fire on such protestors.

Anyway, here's a genuine left analysis of the crisis and the debt issue in Greece and the EU generally.

Quote:
1.The unprecedented escalation of the offensive against their income and rights which the people are experiencing is not due to the real inflation of the public debt. The political line of the "continuous memorandum" is being implemented in all the EU member-states. This leads the people to both relative and absolute destitution and ensures cheaper labour power, accelerates the accumulation and concentration of capital.

2.The workers are not responsible and must not pay for the public debt. The propaganda of the capitalist power attempts to obscure the real causes of the inflation of the public debt such as:

3. t has been demonstrated that the anti-people political line of bourgeois power in Greece, in coordination with the strategy of the EU, amongst other things has increased the debt burden of the country.

4. While the workers are already on the road to bankruptcy, relative and absolute destitution, the member-states of the EU and the strong groups from the financial sector are negotiating for a course of controlled bankruptcy for the Greek economy.

 

5. In any case, the workers can expect nothing positive from the outcome of this particular struggle. Whatever the result of this struggle between various sections of capital and imperialist states, the offensive of the ruling class will continue and escalate in order to ensure cheaper labour power, the acceleration of the restructurings and privatizations, the selling off of public property to the monopoly groups.

Especially in relation to the repaying of the public debt the various bourgeois proposals only differ as to when and how the workers will foot the bill.

...The time has come for the capitalist class and its political staff that use the bogey of bankruptcy to feel true fear. If the government actually resorted to borrowing because it cannot pay salaries and pensions then the overthrow of the monopolies power must be accelerated. The development path of the people's economy, socialism can pay salaries and pensions utilizing the rich domestic natural resources, canceling the debt and establishing international agreements of mutual benefit through the disengagement from the EU and NATO.

So there is a solution: "disengagement from the EU and cancellation of the debt with people's power".

It is time for the labour movement to come together with the radical movement of the self-employed and the farmers with a line of struggle that will have as its final outcome the sweeping away of the rotten and bankrupted system of exploitation.

 

 

 

 

 

alexgr

Hello from Athens. I recently found the ''rabble'' and I read with interest the aforementioned opinions about the current situation of Greece. Unfortunately, the sityation here is very bad in economy & society.

To begin with, Pa.So.K. (Panhellenic Socialist Movement, a social-democrat party in theory) won the 2009 elections with the misleading motto ''we [Greece] have money''. However, the next month the government said that not only we hadn't money but also we were one step before bankrupcy and announced some austerity measure. Finally, Greece entered to the IMF/EU/ECB bailout in May 2010. Among the period 12/2009-5/2010 a atmosphere that we would bankrupt is created since country couldn't borrow for the markets (bond yield was approximately in 10%). Ultimately, the governmet presented the bailout as a great achievement which would ensure that Greece would overcome the crisis until 2014.

Today we see that it wasn't true. Initially, during last year every 3 months when troika arrives in Athens (we use the russian word ''troika'' for the commision of the three, IMF/EU/ECB) we see the same situation: ''We would not achieve the economic goals so we should take some extra measures'' while the deficit is constantly in high rates and the public debt is boomed from 120%(2009) to 145%(2011) of GDP because of troika's loans.

This ''social-democrat'' government has a extreme neo-liberal policy. It wants to diminish the public sector privatizind most of the public services (medicare, education, electricity) for example OTE (Hellenic Telecommunication Organization) has already been sold to Deutsch Telecom. Salaries are decreased, now the lower is €592, while the taxes are increase, the v.a.t. before two years was 18% and now it is 23%. Tickets in public transport was €1 and now €1,4, increase of 40% in one year. Last weekend Papandreou (prime minister) announced that all household should pay with the electricity bill an extra tax €5-€20 per square meter of its house. And all that when the unemployment is over 20% and among young people (under 30) approximately 45%. And nobody knows which is next. If elections are held probably will win New Democracy (conservative) which says that it will change policy but it is not an creditable solution. On the left there are the Communist Party, which is a stalinist party, and Sy.Riz.A. (Synaspismos), which has the great drawback that there are many battles inside it.

P.S.: I ask for your understanding for the case I have some mistakes in english text. Greetings from Greece.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..welcome alexgr! and don't worry about text mistakes. babble is full of them. :)

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

alexgr, what do you think of the (Stalinist?) views of the Greek CP on the crisis that I quoted above?

Tommy_Paine

Thank you, Alexgr, for that insight.

alexgr

Firstly, thanks for the welcome.

ikosmos, about the aforementioned points of KKE (CP):

1. I believe it is true that european governments is taking (and will take in future) strict austerity measures with the high debts and deficits as justification. Greece was the first country with this policy and other countries followed such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, U.K. etc.

2. A minority is responsible for this situation and no the majority of greek people. However, unfortunatelly corruption was (and still is) one of the prevalent traits of the State during last 37 years (from the establish of current 3rd Hellenic Republic). Moreover, there is a huge public sector which malfunctions.

3. Yes, Greek State lives with borrowed money and this policy is encouraged by EU.

4. We haven't bankrupt yet because if we bankrupt, the euro will collapse and world econimy will have serious problems since a huge amount of greek bonds is purchased by powerful banks (especially french Paribas, Societe General etc.). Moreover, if greek banks have problems, many economies in Balkans and Turkey will also have where greek banks dominated. And yes we are still alive because they fear the consiquencies of  default. Probably, if they are sure that there is no problem, Greece will bankrupt officially.

5. Unfortunatelly, it seems clear that the situation is worsened every day.

The reference (in bold) about ''fear'' I believe is the perfect excuse for the continued economic ''shock-therapy'' policy like many other countries (the Shock Doctrine)

But, I believe KKE has some drawbacks. It is one of the few stalinist (or orthodox communist) parties of the europe and probably the most powerful (8%) with this strict policy. It has as doctrine the policy of Soviet Union under J. Stalin and nothing else. They believe that all other socialist/social-democratic policies are not the correct because they are alies of bourgeoisie. They don't admit the crimes of Stalin (Gulags, Moscow trials or Katyn massacre). They said that all the aforementioned are fake. Furthermore, it is contrary to allies with other left parties (like Synasprismos) because KKE supports that they are traitors of real socialism. I think with this policy they lose a significant opportunity of a really strong left in countery (at least over 15%)

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

hmm. I've been impressed with the KKE materials on educational "reform" (ie, neoliberal atrocities) in the EU and I've learned a lot from reading their policy documents. I actually like their clarity on what distinguishes them from EU social democrats and other "socialist" groupings.

I'm a little surprised by the STalinist epithet. Years ago, I met a Greek Communist who, upon discovering I was a CAnadian, told me in no uncertain terms that - unlike the Greek CP - the Canadian CP was an unreconstructed Stalinist party.

I don't agree with the idea that everything about the old Soviet bloc socialism was bad. However, there are efforts to make this a kind of litmus test, even of legality, in the EU, and that's not acceptable. Anyway, welcome and please stick around. Another European view would be welcome here.

Fidel

Yep, I believe Joe's show trials were real, just like there were 35-40M Russians slaughtered during western aggression against the revolution part II. What most people in the west understand about the former USSR is a lot of cold war era propaganda.

alexgr

I didn't say that everything was bad. USSR had many beneficial labor laws (such as compolsury work of 7 hours per day) and there was small unemployment rates. But in the fact it was an one-party state without political freedom. And also an elite of party members had too many priveleges to the detriment of the majority of people.

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

alexgr wrote:

 And also an elite of party members had too many priveleges to the detriment of the majority of people.

While this is undoubtedly true could you tell us what system doesn't.  Russia certainly has not avoided this in their new post Soviet government and in Canada we have been going backwards i a major way for three decades.

alexgr

Of course, this didn't happen only in USSR. Multy-party capitalist countries has also great gaps among their citizens. And yes in the post-Soviet Russia the gap was increased rapidly after the clearance sale of public property at few ''oligarchs''

 

I don't understand what exactly you wrote about Canada,could you please explain it ?

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

alexgr wrote:

I don't understand what exactly you wrote about Canada, could you please explain it ?

Sure. The gap in income in Canada has been growing for decades now.  Here is a Conference Board study.  We are no longer a low income inequality country and are fast approaching the US level that verges on a high inequality rate.

I note that the inequality in our society has been rising since the advent of our corporate "free" trade agreements. 

Quote:

In a global context, Canada is among an elite peer group. Of the 16 countries that the Conference Board has designated as Canada’s peer countries, 11 are considered to have low income inequality. No peer country is considered a high-inequality country, although the U.S., with a Gini coefficient of 0.3782 in 2008, is close to the 0.4 threshold that would make it a high inequality country. Canada is a medium income-inequality country.

The gap between rich and poor has widened in most peer countries. Between the mid-1990s and the late 2000s, 10 peer countries, including Canada, experienced rising income inequality. Only two countries had stable inequality, and five countries saw income inequality decline.

The rise in income inequality was largest in countries that have traditionally had low inequality—Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. Canada had the fourth largest increase in income inequality. This means that even though income inequality is higher in the U.S. than in Canada, inequality in Canada has been increasing at a faster pace.

http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/hot-topics/worldInequality.aspx#anchor6a