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Up to the late 1990s, a certain smugness was evident in studies of Canadian income inequality. While an upward trend in inequality was evident in the United States and Britain by the 1980s, any signs of rising income inequality in Canada appeared to be offset by the welfare state. Taxes and transfers were doing their job. Canadians might not be as kind and gentle as the Swedes but we were certainly kinder and gentler than those nasty Americans or the increasingly unlovely Brits.

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