Gap Rich and Poor – HousingPosted: August 22, 2013
12 August, 2013
The Editor, The Wellingtonian
Gordon Campbell in his column of 1 Aug (Labour turns to housing . . .) gets at the main issue only at the end with his reference to those on lower incomes. For them the housing programs proposed by Labour (and also National) will make no difference.
And housing pressures will continue to get worse for them as long as the current national and global trend toward a widening gap between rich and poor continues. The pressures will continue to spill onto the middle classes. Any of these housing proposals will amount to tinkering until the gap begins to decrease. Once the gap begins to decrease then housing proposals like these will suddenly begin to show significant results.
Is Campbell’s warning that alienated lower-income voters are a “sleeping giant” valid? Housing is but one aspect of the national and global economy which has been pressuring low income people. The growing gap between rich and poor has become the main cultural and economic process of our era. Centuries of exploitation of the environment has led to climate change, and along with other forms of exploitation such as racism, sexism, consumerism, nuclearism, colonialism, has accelerated to bring us to a crisis point on our planet. To address this crisis our consumer society, indeed our form of predatory capitalism, must be replaced. Are many of us, including the lower income, ready to take this step? Reversing the increasing gap to a decreasing gap would be a start.
published 15 August