Working hard not getting people ahead

Conversations continue to happen around Occupy Victoria

People gather at the Occupy Victoria rally in Centennial Square earlier this month. One of the Occupy movement’s premises is that the gap between the rich and everyone else is growing

People gather at the Occupy Victoria rally in Centennial Square earlier this month. One of the Occupy movement’s premises is that the gap between the rich and everyone else is growing

Re: Nothing wrong with rewarding hard workers (Letters, Oct. 21)

Obviously the writer doesn’t get it. His examples relate to exactly why people are protesting. For every Jimmy Pattison success story there are millions who work, and have worked, far harder and are struggling or poor.

The increasing cost of making ends meet and the average person’s overwhelming housing debt load and increasing taxes makes it extremely difficult just to get by.

Governments have contributed to the present situation by using tax dollars for business bailouts, dramatically reducing taxes to corporations and the rich, eroding consumer protections through the elimination of public utility and monopoly laws, then permitting deregulation and amalgamation. Free trade agreements have allowed wholesale outsourcing of jobs and resources to countries that exploit cheap goods and labour.

This has inevitably led to a situation where, as the Oak Bay News editorial (Oct. 19) rightly points out, “The middle class is being swallowed by layoffs, taxes and debt,” and “People are unhappy as life becomes more difficult.”

In the past there have no doubt been benefits to our system, but that was before this current economic imbalance.

We pay world market prices for our own gas and many of our own commodities, and now B.C. Hydro wants the same for electricity prices. Yet very few countries have our hydroelectric power capabilities. Soon, many Canadians will be wondering exactly what they are getting out of our abundant natural resources.

Massive outsourcing of jobs in the United States has resulted in massive unemployment; a CNN report stated only 62 per cent of American males have jobs. One prominent American scientist said recently, “You can’t destroy the economic base of your system and survive.”

Employment is vital to business, otherwise people won’t have money to buy goods. We are following this same road in Canada with a much higher tax load. Politicians must rethink the impact many of their decisions have had on the average Canadian citizen. Government decisions must be based on the health and well-being of the Canadian community.

Anthony Mears

Oak Bay