If the Harperites read their own internally generated research, they know why Justin Trudeau is a threat. The Globe and Mail reports that a document prepared last October by Employment and Social Development Canada concluded that between 1993 and 2007:
“The wages of middle income workers have stagnated. Middle-income families are increasingly vulnerable to financial shocks."
The report is blunt in its assessment:
The authors say middle-income families have seen their earnings rise by an average of only 1.7 per cent a year over the 15 years ending 2007.
“The market does not reward middle-income families so well,” says the report. “As a result, they get an increasingly smaller share of the earning’s pie” compared with higher-income families."
A spokeswoman for Employment Minister Jason Kenny points out that the report stops at 2007, the year after the Conservatives were elected:
"Our government has reduced taxes and made life affordable for Canadian families,” Alexandra Fortier said in an email Sunday, adding a “typical” family of four enjoys tax cuts of $3,400 a year, thanks to Conservative policies.
That “typical” family includes working parents who together earn $120,000 a year, with two children.
Canadians know that, with an average annual income of $47,000, the increase in part time work, and the hollowing out of Canadian manufacturing, the $120,000 figure is pure fiction. In fact, the middle class has stayed afloat by going into debt -- something the report stresses:
The report also refers to debt, saying “many in the middle spend more than they earn, mortgaging their future to sustain their current consumption.”
“Over the medium term, middle-income Canadians are unlikely to move to higher income brackets, i.e., the ‘Canadian dream’ is a myth more than a reality.”
In short, Canada is on the same path the United States was on before the collapse of 2008. It's true that the decline began during the Liberal ascendancy -- which will be a problem for Trudeau. Will Canadians believe the man who leads the party which engineered the decline of the middle class?
For both Liberals and Conservatives, the report simply repeats the inconvenient truth.