Inequality hurts us all

Re: Living Wage letter sparks lively debate (NewsLeader, Feb. 26)

My letter approving of the City of New Westminster’s Living Wage Policy has sparked a response from Dave Nickel and Alan McNulty.

Mr. Nickel says he has seen no evidence that workers’ standard of living or social program spending has declined in the last 30 years. This runs contrary to all economic evidence from government, OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development), Oxfam, and other sources.

And Mr. McNulty says the living wage policy plunders and pillages the taxpayers, and is based on corrupt principles.

In just a single budget, Ottawa could improve the lives of more than five million Canadians who struggle with hardship most of us cannot imagine.

Money is not the problem; the problem is a lack of political will.

Fortunately, this council has that political will.

As for the class warfare narrative, multi-billionaire Warren Buffett, the second richest man on the planet, understands it better than either of these two letter writers. Buffett pointed out that people like him are winning the class war and the rich are not paying the taxes they should.

Barbara Stocking, Oxfam’s chief executive, says the world’s extremity of wealth inequality is “economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive and environmentally destructive.”

While paying a fair wage does not solve the problem of inequality and poverty, it is a move in the right direction. And we should thank this council for having a moral compass many do not have.

Bill Zander

New Westminster

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