The CCPA Fells A Straw man

Blog, Poverty, Ben Eisen

Reading Policy Note, the blog of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives , I’ve come across an entry from last month criticizing my friend and former colleague Mark Milke for his recent op-ed commentaries on the subject of income inequality in Canada.

I won’t get into the nitty gritty of the ongoing inequality debate- I have a few things to say on the subject and will say them soon. For now I’ll just suggest that Shannon Daub’s argumentative strategy of knocking down a ridiculous straw man is not constructive.

Daub concludes her post by writing “the notion that if we all just work hard enough, we can all get as stinking rich as Bill Gates is as absurd as it sounds.” Well…of course it is! But neither Mark nor anybody else said that or anything like it. In fact, no sane person would say such a thing for reasons that are too obvious and numerous to describe.

The debate over what, if anything, we should do about growing income inequality in Canada is hugely important and we need to hear from all sides. But it’ll work better if we respond to what those with whom we have disagreements actually say instead of knocking over straw men.