Wealth held by a handful

Dear Editor:

I read the news today and oh boy, and with deference to The Beatles, it wasn’t about 4,000 (pot) holes in Blackburn Lancashire (that needed repair.)

Instead I found a handful of individuals now control half the wealth on our planet. A monument to the acquisitive power of individual effort! Is there anyone who believes this is a desirable and sustainable situation for the billions of the rest of us?

Surely the collective interests of the whole planet would be better served by a more equitable and stable balance of individual and communal benefits.

Locally the marvels of innovative technology that will use laminated beams are extolled in expansion planned for a private hotel to be constructed of wood. At the same time one of the classic Penticton heritage buildings with the same marvellous innovative laminated beam technology is dismissed as “too expensive to be maintained” and destined for the rubbish heap.

I refer to the Memorial Arena constructed in a less-wealthy time by considerable public effort in honour of First and Second World War sacrifices.

Similarly the unique and beautiful public beaches, free to all, preserved by the foresight of previous citizens, seem to be only valuable in terms of money which can be earned from parking fees and waterslide leases.

What has happened to our political will that made us value public investment benefiting all? Is it not time for our publically-elected officials to demonstrate the type of leadership that supports and strengthens public facilities?

I am a citizen, skater and swimmer in public places and just not a taxpayer.

Gerry Neilsen