Envy will get you nowhere

Mr Olsson headed his letter “Without prejudice” (Opinion, May 29) though frankly, his correspondence usually is prejudiced against many people and subjects!

He says he doesn’t hold prejudice against people who are better off than him, but then goes on to say he envies them and accuses them of looking down on those below them!

It is a sad indictment. He refers to me – yet despite my coming from a very poor yet hard-working family background, qualifying for free school dinners, no holidays and leaving school at 16, I had never either envied what others had or felt prejudice against those better off than me.

Perhaps the problem is his confusion behind hard work and aspiration to achievement, rather than moaning about others being in better situations than himself?

Mr Olsson’s arguments are somewhat blown out of the water by the Guardian’s latest survey, which says that one in 10 in our country has assets over £1million (and chunks of that in cash).

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Despite the skew towards the South East, it shows that it’s not just the money men hanging-on to their money but ordinary people frightened of their economic futures and awaiting confidence to see a return to some sort of reality.

As for wage levels – sustainable businesses and economies need to be able to afford the wages they pay or they’ll go the same way as Mr Olsson’s business, into which he says he and his wife put in huge numbers of hours but didn’t succeed.

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It all has to be realistic and affordable and that’s the big problem. A job is worth what it’s worth too, the same as all other expenses a business or employer has to pay.

Successful, thriving ones provide greater job security and can afford to pay more, oddly enough.

Philip J Milton


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