Close wealth gap for health of our economy

Okay, something’s gone wacky.

In a way that is endangering our way of life.

A CBC headline earlier this week tells us that according to an annual review by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives top Canadian CEOs earned the average worker’s entire salary by lunchtime on Jan. 2. And lest you think they were lowballing the average salary, they went with a fairly comfortable $46,634, not the paltry $21,000 earned by someone working full time making minimum wage.

So what’s wrong with that, you ask.

These guys (and gals) are heads of big corporations. They have a lot of responsibility.

Of course these are not easy jobs, and we agree that these folks deserve to be compensated fairly. Everyone deserves to be compensated fairly.

But there’s the rub. CEO salaries are going up at a hugely inflated rate compared to the average worker.

There is a large disparity occurring that threatens to turn us into a society without a middle class – a society of haves and have nots, with the haves a tiny portion of the population and the have nots the vast majority.

The average Canadian worker’s salary has grown by just six per cent between 1998 and 2012.

During that same period CEO pay has skyrocketed an astonishing 73 per cent.

That’s an awfully big money drain right at the top. Sometimes the corporations in question aren’t even doing very well financially, so performance isn’t the issue.

When we create this society of a few with a lot, and a lot with almost nothing, we set up an increasingly bleak future.

Without a critical mass of middle class folks making halfdecent salaries who can afford cars, homes and vacations, we set up an economic disaster.

A few very rich folks cannot buy and consume enough to make up for a large number of people buying and consuming.

So even more people end up on the wrong side of the balance sheet as small employers can no longer employ, and even those who are employed can’t afford to buy.

We need to decrease the wealth gap, and we need to do it now.

Submit your letter to the editor online

We want to hear from you! Submitting a letter to the editor is now easier than ever – you can do it online by going to the Cowichan Valley Citizen website, www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com, and clicking on the Opinion tab. Then click Send us a letter.

Write 300 words or less on the topic of your choice, include your full name (first and last), and a town you hail from.

Include a phone number (which is not printed) so that we can verify your authorship.

Just Posted

Desmond (Casey) Peter serves salmon and hamburgers to the waiting crowd at the Cowichan Tribes’ celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cowichan Tribes celebrates National Indigenous People’s Day

First Nation members gather for day of fun and remembrance

The Crofton Pool will reopen July 2. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Lifeguard services returning to Fuller Lake Park, Crofton Pool

Summer schedule starting after hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic

Sierra Acton, regional district director for Shawnigan Lake. (file photo)
New parkland in Shawnigan creating connections

Used to created parking for the popular Masons Beach Park

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Chris Wilkinson
Chris Wilkinson column: This could be the worst thing done to you during the pandemic

As a result, all of us will contend with more ‘scarcity’ thinking and mindset.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Children walk with their parents to Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver for the first day back to school on Sept. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Study reassures parents, teachers that COVID-19 infrequently shared at school

Federally funded study in Vancouver finds risk at school and in the community was identical

Conservative MP Kevin Waugh rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday April 13, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Single-game sports betting about to become legal in Canada

Senate passes bill to take sports gambling away from overseas agencies

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Point Roberts is part of the mainland United States but not physically connected to it, to reach the community by land one must pass through Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Closed Canadian border leaves Point Roberts’ only grocery store on verge of closure

‘We’re Americans but we’re not attached to America. It’s easy to forget we’re here,’ says owner Ali Hayton

The Somass Sawmill sits idle in early May 2021. While the kilns have been in use occasionally, and the lot has been used to store woodchips this spring, the mill has been curtailed since July 27, 2017. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni to expropriate Somass Sawmill from Western Forest Products

Sawmill has been ‘indefinitely’ curtailed since 2017

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock

Most Read