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Governments have a duty to take care of the poor

Dear Sir,

I am appalled that Robert Stewart, the economic guru of Bermuda, would condemn many of the seniors in Bermuda as thieves because they are receiving money that they did not earn in the form of pension payments.

Well, Mr Stewart, ponder this:

1, Are those people who employed others, including children, and paid the substandard wages, thieves and robbers?

2, Are the descendants of slave owners, who now live on the inheritances of their ancestors, thieves and robbers because they did not work for their inheritances?

3, Are those people who came to Bermuda and profited from a system of discrimination, amassing great wealth, thieves and robbers?

4, Are the immigrants who came to Bermuda, used the system of scholarships and grants to attend overseas colleges, and returned to be offered jobs denied to the native Bermudians thieves and robbers?

5, Are those persons who received promotions and jobs for which they had no obvious qualifications thieves and robbers?

All the groups mentioned have enjoyed a high standard of living, which they could not legitimately achieve, save for the social conditions of the country — ie, “privilege”.

You say: “As a senior, I do not wish to be guilty, even second-hand, of theft from youngsters at school.”

May I deduce from this that you have refused and have returned your pension payments to the Accountant-General? You would not want to be associated with a Ponzi scheme, would you?

Sir Robert, you seem to look with disdain on most working-class people, perhaps because you are of royal lineage.

There are Bermudians who did not contribute to the pension plan or who contributed only in a minimal way. But unlike private enterprise, governments do have a duty to try to take care of the poor and destitute.

Unfortunately, there are some people living in the 21st century who would like to relive the 18th and 19th centuries, when the rich and powerful believed that the best thing for the poor was for them to die quietly.


Economist Robert Stewart

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Published November 20, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated November 19, 2017 at 10:11 pm)

Governments have a duty to take care of the poor

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