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Dreams of a better tomorrow are disappearing

Populism. A word I rarely heard until a couple of years ago. Google defines it as “support for the concerns of ordinary people”. Many people, too many people, are not sharing in the growth of their countries' economies.

In Bermuda, as in countless countries, people who had dreams of a better tomorrow for themselves and their families are becoming disillusioned.

What happened? Globalisation — “the new reality”, which can improve efficiency and productivity, but with one very concerning consequence of which can be growing economic inequality.

There has been much reported in the media in recent weeks and months on the concept of a “living wage” in Bermuda.

And we have heard also about the concepts of “a universal basic income” and “a minimum wage”.

What does each of them mean, and which one, if any, makes sense for Bermuda?

Bermuda is an affluent island, but there is without question a segment of our population that is disadvantaged economically. We need solutions that will address this growing economic inequality.

So where do we start? We need to start with information — relevant, up-to-date and transparent information to work with, so that stakeholders in Bermuda can look for fact-based solutions that we can all support.

There are many policy considerations to be discussed, not the least of which is what Bermuda, and Bermuda's businesses that employ Bermudians, can afford. But the issue of economic disparity will only grow unless we do something about it.

We all want to live in a fair and just society. Let's work together as a community towards this end, in a responsible and measured way.

John Wight is the president of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce

Economic disparity will grow unless we do something about it

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Published November 01, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated November 01, 2017 at 8:00 am)

Dreams of a better tomorrow are disappearing

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