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Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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Inequality 'R' Us?

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Re The Talk Canada Needs: Are We Importing Inequality? (Nov. 28): A society that cannot maintain its population growth from within and is forced to rely upon immigration is a failed society.

When the general population does not feel secure enough to marry and have children, its members will cease to commit to a relationship and procreate.

Employment is tenuous at best, payment for labour is suppressed (except for the 1 per cent), and housing is out of reach.

Immigration will only compound this problem, which hasn't been dealt with adequately in the first place. Immigrants will fare no better than old-stock Canadians.

Leslie Martel, Mississauga

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Margaret Wente is right that "diversity tends to be divisive" and that "that's just human nature." But we have both our better angels and our worse angels: It is also part of human nature to be rational and generous. Ms. Wente may be understating the power our leaders have to set a tone and a standard of positive, welcoming discourse.

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While the Liberals are far from perfect, I appreciate their efforts to lead us down the sunny path of human unity and acceptance – a path not all of today's politicians choose.

Ed Hamel, Markham, Ont.

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Re As Canada Welcomes Syrian Refugees, Yemenis' Pleas Are Met With Silence (Nov. 27): Sad as the Yemeni situation is, Canada is a small nation; the number of the world's millions of dispossessed we can accommodate is not infinite.

We could be, and possibly already are getting submerged with the globe's unending needy – both financially, and emotionally with wear on our national psyche.

I know it would be inconvenient to our alleged "boundlessly loving" image, but terribly practical if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the other well-heeled dispensers of Canadian largesse realized that the country (that is, the millions of Canadians mostly just getting by) has its own internal unmet needs – housing, infrastructure, improved medical and pharmacare, our Indigenous people, an opioid crisis, trade uncertainty, jobless youth, etc. – and accepted the fact that Canada cannot adopt the world.

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W. E. Hildreth, Toronto

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Re Postmedia, Torstar To Swap And Shutter Dozens Of Local Newspapers (Nov. 28): I bet that I am not the only one asking this question: How big will the executive bonuses be?

Shame on both of them.

Mary Anne Beaudette, Kingston

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Finance, fettered

Re What Trudeau Isn't Saying About Inequality (Nov. 27): Several good moves could greatly reduce inequality. The big one, recommended by Thomas Piketty in his admirable book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, would be an annual tax on capital at the 1 or 2 per cent level, in concert with other countries.

A second one, also advanced by Prof. Piketty, would be to get serious about tax avoidance and tax evasion resulting from large sums being transferred to low-tax countries. Fortunately, this is being addressed by the federal government.

Other moves would include reigning in high incomes by rescinding the stock-options tax reduction, taxing capital gains at the same rate as other income, and putting a cap on all salaries paid from the public purse. Finally, at the other end of the income scale, another good move would be to raise the minimum wage until it's a living wage.

A high degree of inequality creates an unstable society.

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We may not see signs that "the pitchforks are coming," but accepting that no approaches to reducing inequality are politically feasible is defeatist. It opens the door for a populist demagogue.

David Goodings, Burlington, Ont.

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Widely shared postwar prosperity was made possible by restraints on capital flows and on the financial sector. When those restraints were removed after the 1970s, the world experienced serious financial crises and increasing inequality, and the accelerating flight of capital to tax havens, as the Paradise and Panama Papers illustrate.

Governments have a choice. They can either forget about rising economic instability and inequality, or they can collectively address the root causes by clamping down on unfettered global finance.

Roy Culpeper, Senior Fellow, School of International Development and Global Studies University of Ottawa

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Democratic wisdom

Re Cops Out, Cop-Out (letters, Nov. 28): Police officers are assigned to various schools. The Toronto District School Board board does a survey to see what students, parents and teachers think of having the school resource officers there. Some 15,000 students are surveyed; some 2,000 of them "are uncomfortable or want [the officers] out."

So 87 per cent either want the police there or don't object to having them there, and 13 per cent don't want them there. The board sides with … the 13 per cent.

Over and over, I'm reminded of Mark Twain – the bit about God making idiots for practice before moving on to school boards. Kafka would have been proud to adopt the incomprehensible machinations in this bizarre tale as an outline for one of his short stories.

Anne Campbell, Calgary

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In his criticism of the Toronto District School Board about cancelling police officers in almost four dozen schools, Marcus Gee takes the position the program was a success because a majority of students liked it (TDSB Makes Its Worst Decision Yet, Nov. 25). But democratic wisdom requires one to look at the impact on the minority, and as the survey of more than 15,000 students showed, a significant number of them felt intimidated and frightened by police surveillance.

The Toronto police force is hardly a good role model for students. For years, it fought hard to maintain its racist carding policy until the provincial government intervened last year. It continues to arrest many more blacks per capita than others, and to argue for stricter bail terms. It is difficult to think of another government agency which pursues such racist practices.

But Mr. Gee is right in arguing that "the police are feeling under siege these days." The Toronto police are being asked to change police culture, and for many managers and officers that must be scary.

John Sewell, former mayor of Toronto

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Somebody in a supervisory role, like the Ontario government, should take a look at the Toronto District School Board and its recent decisions. The latest misguided action is to stop the school resource officer program. The police-in-schools program, which began in 2008, was initiated to bridge gaps and open communication between students, parents/guardians, teachers and others connected to the school system.

By all accounts, it was deemed a success by the groups involved as demonstrated by a survey released last week. Why cancel a liked/successful program?

It is time for voters to pay attention to how trustees vote on issues. The next time one of them comes looking for votes to get re-elected, why vote for somebody who does not listen to the wishes of the majority?

K.R. O'Brien, Kingston

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Just wondering …

Why publish your Life & Arts essay feature under the banner "Facts and Arguments"?

Why not Department of Rueful Wisdom?

Simon Hearn, Vancouver

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