Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Income redistribution is great ... but not by government

The NZ Herald reports the Spirit Level authors are in New Zealand to lecture us about inequality, no doubt to boost the electoral chances of the left. Simon Collins writes:
But in New Zealand, the Labour Party is struggling to get inequality off the ground as an election issue. Professor Hazledine points to a 2006 survey of 32 countries which found New Zealanders were less supportive of redistributing income from the rich to the poor than people in any other nation.

The question asked was, "Do you think it should be the government's responsibility to reduce income differences between the rich and the poor?"

But I notice in Simon Collin's description of the finding he has ommitted  word 'government'. He talks about redistribution with the implicit assumption it's a  function of government. For the left 'income redistribution' and 'government' go hand in glove.

I am all for income redistribution. But not by the government. By unfettered exchange of goods and services and formation of family units that endure, and build wealth.

Government has made people poorer than they would have been through too much welfare, too much employment legislation, and too much taxation.

There must still be some sense of this amongst the population, reflected in NZ's position at the bottom of this table. Let's hope a similar or better response would occur in 2014.


JC said...

At the time of that survey NZ already had WFF, close to if not the highest percentage of the median wage paid to oldies and welfare, the Rich Prick tax plus a raft of other interventionist tools in place.

Rather than a sign of selfishness the survey could be seen as a cry for help :)


James Noble said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

New Zealanders were less supportive of redistributing income from the rich to the poor than people in any other nation.

Then why is every single party in parliament -- including, according to its latest manifesto, ACT -- is openly communist and pushing for even higher levels of redistribution.

The median tax rates in East Germany at the height of the cold war, and hell, even in the USSR (and certainly in Russia today) are much less than individuals pay in NZ. Much, much less.

Looking at median taxes NZ is pretty much the highest taxed country in the world. Even in so-called high-tax "socialist" countries like Sweden or Denmark the high rate cut in at well over NZD100.
Whereas in good old communist NZ the top tax rate cuts in well below the mean wage