June 16, 2016

The Inequality Problem

                                                             ERJ-Aotearoa

The Inequality Problem

Recently our newly arrived Grandson had to be taken to Starship for a breathing problem. The care and competence of the Starship unit is something that makes you proud to be a New Zealander … no health detail was too small, the doctors were smart and the health service was exceptional.

When I left the unit, I was watching the news with our Prime Minister saying he was looking at tax cuts either in the upcoming budget, or as an issue in the next election. I saw a glance of the problem of inequality in NZ. Tax cuts would favor those on high incomes to spend on Pinot Noir, overseas travel or a refurbished kitchen.

The Health Department would be left to starve and to manage its meagre budget. The political comment would be everyone has to live within their means.

Why not build a starship in every major city in NZ?

Why not simply increase the health budget to accommodate the poorest people in our society … our families?

Why did our Prime Minister think that tax cuts were a good idea in the first place?
Thank goodness the adult in the room was the Minister of Finance who thought the idea needed further consideration!

If we are all poor together, that’s fine. Even if we are all rich together… that is okay.

But to tell a young struggling family that your child could miss out on medical care because some other high earner’s Pinot Noir taste is a bit galling.

Inequality as a concept seems to be part of nature and part of our possessive beings as humans.

This is true at the atomic level.

There is a chemical principle when describing how double bonded hydrocarbons (alkenes) distribute their hydrogen atoms after the carbon bond is broken…the carbon that has the most hydrogen atoms gets more!

It true at the societal level.

The rich get richer.
Those who have money, get more money.
Those who have good health, get access to better health
Those who have had a good education, pay for their children to have a better education.

We need to be aware of the inequality struggle of our country.

Those who need help in knowing which way to vote … let me know!

– Kieran Fouhy