The spirit of co-operation helps all

"...What does the author think taxes are? Are they not the way we co-operatively share the costs of schools, hospitals, highways & police?"

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Your letter page contained a letter from someone who holds a position of power in a local cooperative (Proposed tax will have negative impact, Trail Times May 8).

He wrote to raise the prospect of taxation as a spectre of fear and loathing against which all co-op members should raise standards, mount ramparts and prepare to repel raiding hordes of collectors who would reap the benefits of dividends from the grasp of co-op members.

Now really, what does the author think taxes are? Are they not the way we co-operatively share the costs of schools, hospitals, highways and police? Do they not provide fire protection, seniors residences, law courts and parks? Do they not provide a minimum of income to the poorest and least able among us?

Is it wrong for us to share the cost? Right for us to demand higher user fees and the private operation of public facilities so that those with dividends can afford them, while those without may beg the service at our feet?

Are we not already well enough supplied with food banks, dinner programs, thrift shops and shelters for the homeless? Must we have more as options for the discriminating co-op member to select as recipients of dividend and interest income?

If the author was upset that banks are being treated better than credit unions, I’d applaud the intent of the letter.

But to suggest that credit union members ought to fight to address the inequity by attaining it for themselves seems a bit at odds with the principles upon which credit unions and the entire co-operative movement were founded.

Or so it seems from the food bank side of life.

Keith SimmondsTrail