COLUMNS: The rich get richer

According to recent reports, the CEOs of many big corporations make more money before lunch than the average worker makes in a year.

According to recent reports, the CEOs of many big corporations make more money before lunch than the average worker makes in a year. And that’s just the CEOs.

According to the world charity organization Oxfam, the super rich people are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and it’s getting worse. The richest one percent now own more than the other 99 percent combined. Does anyone remember when the super rich were millionaires?

Now they’re billionaires, or even multi- billionaires. I was surprised a how multi the multi is. Bill Gates tops the Forbes list with $75 billion. Stanley Kroenke (who owns a number of BC ranches) has $7.4 billion — he’s #58 on the list. His wife Ann, a member of the Walmart family, has $6.2 billion. Donald Trump has only $3.7 billion.  That just the US rich folks, I didn’t check other countries but B.C.’s Jim Pattison is listed as having $7.88 billion. I have no idea how big a pile $1 billion loonies would make. Is there something wrong with this picture ? Never mind world poverty, one in seven B.C. children went to bed hungry last year Wages stayed flat while more than half of B.C. families lived paycheque to paycheque.

OXFAM says that while world leaders have expressed concern over the inequality crisis, there hasn’t been much action. However, at least one city is trying. Portland, Oregon has passed a law that ties company taxes to CEO vs worker pay. Companies will see a 10 per cent increase in taxes if the CEO makes 100 times the average worker wage and a 25 per cent increase if they make 250 times more. The plan is to help deal with the city’s nearly 1800 homeless.

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Adults may whine about snow but kids use it. As they walk down city sidewalks they kick it around,  shake it out of trees and bushes, and they roll in snowbanks where available.

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Watched the Golden Globe ceremonies Sunday. Hadn’t seen many of the movies but the number of bearded men involved in the show was interesting. The women mostly wore gorgeous gowns of course, many with very plunging necklines. Or is it bosom lines?

Diana French is a freelance columnist, former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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