Saturday, October 26, 2013

New Zealand Inequality

"Poverty is the parent of revolution" - Aristotle 

Over 20 years from 1988 to 2008, the incomes of the world's top 1 per cent grew by 60 per cent while the bottom 5 per cent saw no change in their income.  Eight per cent of people worldwide take home 50 per cent of global income. The top 1 per cent takes home 15 per cent.

A New Zealand household in the top 10 per cent now has nine times the income of a household in the bottom 10 per cent. The top 1 per cent own 16 per cent of New Zealand's wealth while the bottom 50 per cent has just over 5 per cent.

270,000 New Zealand children live in poverty

The UK's New Economics Foundation estimated that highly-paid investment bankers destroy £7 of wider social, economic and environmental value for every £1 of value they create. But low-paid childcare workers generate between £7 and £9.50 in value for every £1 they are paid.

Discrimination and deprivation are not figures, they are realities stunting generations of people. Many factors favor the rich getting richer while the poor stagnate. The wealthy benefit from economies of scale, as the best prices and lowest interest rates are more readily available to those who least need them. The poor are perpetually in reactive mode, lurching from one crisis to another. The wealthy, on the other hand, can act proactively, spending smaller sums in advance to prevent costly crises later.

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