Re: Nothing wrong with rewarding hard work, Letters, Oct. 26, 2011.
What’s wrong with a system that rewards the hard worker?
There’s nothing wrong about a system that allows, in true Horatio Alger Jr. fashion, some to climb to the pinnacle of financial success.
But there is something wrong with a system that, as they climb that ladder, their burden of maintaining the common good is shifted to those hanging onto the last rung by their very fingertips. In short, a system that is rigged.
There’s a cherished American myth that’s made its way to Canada — the notion that the fabulously wealthy, the one percenters, are the job creators and therefore they deserve special treatment. The one percenters don’t create jobs. In fact, no person creates jobs. No one.
It is demand for goods that is the catalyst for job creation. And for there to be demand, first there must be a mass of humanity with enough money in its pockets to buy more than basic necessities.
For this demand to be met, the entrepreneurs then enter the picture to hire the workers to produce, transport and sell the goods.
So the “one percenters,” to the degree that this elite is involved in the process at all, are at the end of the continuum, not at the beginning.
But in our present economy, some entity has to prime the pump; some entity has to put those excess dollars in people’s pockets so they can create a demand that can be met by the entrepreneurs and thereby produce the taxes to pay for those excess dollars. That entity is the government. No surprise there. That’s why it exists.
To the writer’s parting question “If we’re going to change the system, what are we going to change to?”
The obvious answer is going to a system that is not calibrated to benefit only the rich, the powerful, the privileged.
To a system in which all may share to an equitable degree in the fruits of a just and compassionate society. And one in which all may share to an equitable extent in support of that society.