Who creates more wealth in society – bankers or nurses?
Julia Davis and Winsome Hill are surely right (One of us is a millionaire, the other a care worker. The cruel divide between rich and poor disgusts us both, 1 December). All of us should be disgusted by the alarming disparities in access to the necessities that promote the good life and human flourishing.
In 2014, I co-edited a book exploring the relationship between theology and economics. In a chapter on human and financial value, Bishop Alan Wilson and Canon Rosie Harper posited a scenario in which a banker is seriously injured while travelling to work. Their life is saved by a team of paramedics and nurses, leading to the conclusion that “a banker is no more a wealth creator than the nurse who saves his life in casualty, and no less”.
The point is simple: inequality will continue to widen if society continues to think in binary terms when it comes to wealth creation and the consequential allocation of resources.
Canon Andrew Lightbown
• Julia Davis and Winsome Hill, two people with polar opposite incomes, present a powerful case for higher rates of tax for the wealthy. Their article also lays bare the fickleness of the public perception of public service workers and their worth and pay rates.
If we are considering the system of taxation, how about cutting the tax of public service workers such as nurses, binmen (and -women), posties, ambulance staff etc almost completely? The deficit could be made up from higher taxation of the better-off, and those in public service would get a real pay increase by not paying tax.
Prof Roger Bayston
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