Monday, September 26, 2011

Myth: The rich get richer and the poor get poorer

The truth is, you start out poor when you're young. And you earn more money as you grow older:

Despite the old cliché about the rich and poor, the Canadian dream of climbing the income ladder is not a fantasy.

By examining the share of national income going to the "richest 20%" and "poorest 20%" of Canadians, the Conference Board continues to perpetuate the myth that most Canadians are born into, live and die within certain income groups. But in reality, with some hard work, young Canadians can and will live better than their parents.

Most young people start out in the low-income group and work up to the middle or high-income group over time. Given their initial lack of experience, education and/or training, their incomes start out low but peak when they hit middle age (the prime earning years) and then taper off as they approach retirement.

The reality is: most poor get richer at some point in their lives. Chronic poverty over a lifetime is the experience of a small minority of people.