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gzt

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  Reply # 1045231 15-May-2014 00:13
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ajobbins: Some stats here.

Top 1% hold 16.4 percent of the wealth.

Bottom 50% hold only 5.2% of the wealth


What is this 'wealth' they are measuring here? Assets? Wages?

That is useful proxy for many other indicators but I expect you would get a better view from quality of life indicators. For instance here in Auckland it is very possible asset value (and or wage in many sectors) has increased substantially but quality of life has declined fundamentally (traffic, noise, air pollution, etc) due to a systemic lack of urban and suburban planning. Focus on monetary factors can easily obscure what is important.

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  Reply # 1045234 15-May-2014 00:31
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I don't really like to fit in the political spectrum, it seems like it was designed to dumb people down to think of every political concept along a single axis from left wing socialist communist dole bludgers through to right wing greedy neocon fascists. Worse: if you don't join one of those gangs you are a fence sitter. 

Communism and Socialism seem like they are dirty words in NZ, which sort of amuses me, I assumed advanced countries recognised that a communities with a wide socio demographic mean trouble, crime, poverty, suicide etc. 

I will probably vote labour green or Internet, not so much on policy but on the potential change a party could offer.
I certainly don't see the Greens as a 'communist threat'. I see a far more likely event in a huge corporation irreversibly influencing our laws and civil liberties for monetary gain. 

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  Reply # 1045236 15-May-2014 00:41
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turnin: I certainly don't see the Greens as a 'communist threat'. I see a far more likely event in a huge corporation irreversibly influencing our laws and civil liberties for monetary gain. 


Or the US with the TPPA




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  Reply # 1045237 15-May-2014 00:43
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gzt: What is this 'wealth' they are measuring here? Assets? Wages?


Individual net worth. I believe there are also stats for income, but I haven't looked for those.




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  Reply # 1045238 15-May-2014 00:58
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gzt: What is this 'wealth' they are measuring here? Assets? Wages?


There is a thing called the internet, it has information like that which you seek. Additionally AJobbins already provided a link to the source.

gzt: That is useful proxy for many other indicators but I expect you would get a better view from quality of life indicators. For instance here in Auckland it is very possible asset value (and or wage in many sectors) has increased substantially but quality of life has declined fundamentally (traffic, noise, air pollution, etc) due to a systemic lack of urban and suburban planning. Focus on monetary factors can easily obscure what is important.


Seriously? If traffic/noise/air pollution are "what is important" in terms of quality of life indicators for you, then you have amassed a degree of wealth and comfort that 50% of New Zealanders are wholly unable to relate to. For them quality of life is things like paying the rent, having enough food and so forth - you know, the bottom tier of Maslow's heirarchy? 

You also seem to have no appreciation for what it means to have valuable assets like housing. For the bottom 50% their quality of life is only as secure as their next pay check, try and really understand that. Having assets may not improve the quality of your life in some respects, but it provides a large buffer against difficult circumstances. If I lost my job tomorrow I have nearly a half million dollars of security to see me through to my next paid gig. Attempting to undercut the value of assets in this discussion as a means of trying to suggest there isn't a very real problem with the distribution of wealth, or that it isn't quite of the magnitude suggested, is intellectually dishonest.




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  Reply # 1045312 15-May-2014 08:47
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If you read my post again you will see it does nothing to suggest there is no problem with wealth distribution. The rest of your assumptions seem to flow from that.

Link goes to pdf, not available on my mobile platform.

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  Reply # 1045314 15-May-2014 08:50
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ajobbins:
alasta: It would be really interesting to know what proportion of national wealth is controlled by the top 1% in NZ.


Some stats here.

Top 1% hold 16.4 percent of the wealth.

Bottom 50% hold only 5.2% of the wealth


That is really interesting - thanks for sharing.

One problem I can see with this representation is that NZ has an aging population, and people tend to accumulate more wealth as they age due to the need to support their retirement. The report that you linked to notes that people aged over 45 make up 45% of the population and hold 65% of wealth. In contrast the graph that you provided shows that the most wealthy 45% of the population control about 90% of total wealth.

If my reasoning is right then I think this tells us that the aging population explains some but not all of the skew in overall wealth distribution.

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  Reply # 1045317 15-May-2014 08:56
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Stats will show any picture the drawer so desires.




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  Reply # 1045319 15-May-2014 09:02
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Charles Stross - sci-fi author - has an interesting post on the topic of changes in wealth distributions especially as it relates to age differences. Obviously he's based in the UK, but many of the same forces are at work all over the west: children starting their adult lives with a massive debt load simply in order to be able to get in on the bottom rung of the employment ladder, and little or no chance of ever owning their own house.




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  Reply # 1045380 15-May-2014 11:16
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That graph is an unusual way of presenting the data.

If everyone had equal wealth then the line would run at 45 degree up the middle of the graph

Wealth should be equity - property, savings shares etc.  Income is meaningless unless you also look at costs.  It's possible to have a high income but low wealth simply by spending too much.

Very difficult to acquire wealth on low income because you spoend most/all f whta you earn to get by.  S cary fact in that a number of NZrs have negative wealth - e.g. they have no savings or assets but have car loan or HP.

I wonder if these people are included in the graph.

I'm not in a position to dispute the pattern, but I seriously question how they would collect this data.  You would have to cobble together a lot of info to figure out a person's wealth - house value, mortgae, loan, credit cards, kiwi saver, shares.




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  Reply # 1045456 15-May-2014 12:02
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MikeAqua: If everyone had equal wealth then the line would run at 45 degree up the middle of the graph


Yes, so the graph should be slightly bowed if we accept that to a reasonable degree some people should legimiately have greater wealth. Slightly bowed is probably what you get if you adjust for the aging population as I referred to above, so I'm still really doubting whether we have a wealth distribution problem.


Wealth should be equity - property, savings shares etc.  Income is meaningless unless you also look at costs.  It's possible to have a high income but low wealth simply by spending too much.


Yet we tax people mainly based on income rather than wealth. This is why I am more motivated to manage my costs and take care good care of my assets than I am to pursue more income.

I think Gareth Morgan has proposed a wealth tax which is something that probably should be looked at. I also like the idea of a capital gains tax in principle, although the jury is still out regarding the complexity and administrative cost.

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  Reply # 1045500 15-May-2014 12:35
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The trouble with wealth tax is that wealth isn't always liquid. 

If someone owns substantial non-cash wealth but has low income how do they pay their tax?  They would have to borrow to pay it, or sell those assets.





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  Reply # 1045552 15-May-2014 13:35
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MikeAqua: The trouble with wealth tax is that wealth isn't always liquid. 

If someone owns substantial non-cash wealth but has low income how do they pay their tax?  They would have to borrow to pay it, or sell those assets.



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  Reply # 1045556 15-May-2014 13:58
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MikeAqua: The trouble with wealth tax is that wealth isn't always liquid. 

If someone owns substantial non-cash wealth but has low income how do they pay their tax?  They would have to borrow to pay it, or sell those assets.



I thought the government was actively trying to discourage having lots of wealth tied up in non-liquid assets, like, for instance, having 5 rental properties, because it would be better invested in something that generates benefits to the economy. So in that respect, such a tax would move things in the direction our nominally right-wing government wishes things to go, no?




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  Reply # 1045567 15-May-2014 14:27
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We are firmly off topic!




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