Stephen Wade: Worry, not envy

January 24, 2014 

Imagine my astonishment when I learned in Kathleen Parker’s Jan. 4 column “Keeping hope alive” that “envy is the core emotion driving the current debate about income inequality” and not a desire for people to have adequate health care, food, clothing, shelter and education to maintain a semblance of safety, health and dignity in this world.

It’s resentment from Parker and her ilk that is driving the backlash to this desire and the subsequent debate, resentment that she and they will lose their sense of entitlement; lose the tax and economic policies that overwhelmingly favor the wealthy; an economic system ethos that allows, condones and encourages worker health and safety risks and environmental degradation and low worker wages an economic, business and moral virtue by putting private, individual profit and wealth above all else: community, lives, people’s safety and happiness.

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, “As I would not want to be a minimum wage employee, nor would I want to be a minimum wage employer.” The only thing missing from Parker’s column was advice to the poor to “Let them eat cake!”

Steven Wade, Chapel Hill

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