Comment 48913

By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted October 06, 2010 at 11:26:09

It seems to me that many of the negative comments regarding steelworkers' wages/benefits/pensions are based in the "race to the bottom" mentality of dismissing something as "rich" or "gold-plated" simply because it's better than what the writer is receiving. We hear it all the time regarding teachers, civil servants, unionized workers and the list goes on. One working person denigrating what another working person has achieved is precisely what keeps the gap between "rich" and "poor" widening.

Hamilton was built by unionized workers (Local 1005 is the de facto union at Dofasco) fighting to earn enough money to buy houses and cars, put their kids through school, eat out once in a while and have a secure retirement after slugging in filth for much of their lives.

Think about it, what good is a pension that ISN'T indexed to inflation? What good is a job that barely let's you squeak through life? What good is capped healthcare if you've got cancer?

Instead of putting down the conditions enjoyed by working neighbours who float in a slightly better boat, maybe we should be questioning the wisdom of "free" trade with low wage, polluting countries or an income tax system skewed to favour the well-to-do or an education system that is increasingly difficult to access for working people or any of the other systemic devices that help make the poor poorer and the rich richer.

That way, we might actually pull those at the bottom up rather than those in the middle down.

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