Greed didn’t accomplish medicare, better pensions

KamloopsNews.ca – opinion/letters – Re:” Greed creates better lifestyle for all,” The Daily News, Nov. 21).
November 28, 2011.   K-J Klontz

I felt compelled to respond to Elmer Borneman’s letter regarding, “Our free-enterprise system is the engine that drives our economy…if we didn’t have greed, then there would be little if any progress.”

Tommy Douglas, voted the greatest Canadian, was the father of our country’s medicare who believed that unrestrained capitalism and industrialism were at the root of many of society ills.

At the turn of the century he grew up in Winnipeg, an immigrant from Scotland who did not have enough money to pay for surgery to fix his injured leg. Luckily for him a surgeon operated free of charge and he was able to walk.

During the Great Depression Tommy went on to become a Methodist minister in Weyburn and witnessed the poverty stricken suffering of many Canadians. He not only preached the social gospel but put action to his words by helping the poor and unemployed. He accomplished this by getting involved in politics.

He was not opposed to free enterprise and capitalism but believed that the well-being of our public is a collective responsibility. He successfully fought for a universal health care system paid for out of public funds, the Bill of Rights, improved old age pensions, and a bilingual civil service.

I don’t think greed was one of his motivational tools.

Many philosophies teach that the love of money (greed) is the root of all evil. To me greed means someone nosing into the trough and taking more than what they are entitled to.

The majority of people strive for a better lifestyle for themselves and their families. Those of us who have good-paying jobs with hard fought-for benefits are able to make their way into our ever abundant, consumer-driven society.

Some people, the “one-per centers,” have been known to accomplish this and much more by crawling over the backs of others. Real progress in our society comes from the selfless acts of those who extend themselves to help others without any expectation of return.

K-J Klontz, Kamloops

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