There is a good reason why the minimum wage has fired up so much debate lately. It has to do with how a “trickle-away” recovery has dogged so many advanced economies since the 2008 global crisis hit.

For most people today, growth is happening somewhere else, for someone else. The result is a crescendo of frustration.

Within the wage share of the economy – which includes everyone from chief executive officers to servers – only the average top-1-per-cent earner saw enough income growth to outpace inflation between 2009 and 2011. (Statistics Canada hasn’t yet published 2012 data for top earners.) The further down the income ladder you go, the smaller the income increase.