Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Stuff and Inequality - only half the story

2020 just hours old and that hoary old chestnut is already rolled out. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer!

From Stuff where only half of the story is ever provided:
Rasbrooke said the data that was available suggested wealth inequality had worsened in the past decade or two..."There are very few demands on wealthy people in New Zealand, no meaningful taxes on their wealth."

From New Zealand's official source on household incomes (my emphasis):

New Zealand does not have a robust time series on wealth inequality, so we do not know if there are any changes in this aspect of household resources.

 Household income inequality in New Zealand is a little above average for OECD countries and wealth inequality is about average

New Zealand’s wealth inequality is about average for the OECD, with the top 10% of households holding around 50% of all household wealth.

As for other OECD countries, household wealth inequality in New Zealand is greater than income inequality. New Zealand ranks in the middle of the table, with around 50% of wealth held by the top 10%, similar to Canada, Norway and France. For the USA, 76% is held by the top 10%.

The Gini measure of inequality is a popular one but, because it uses information on all household incomes, it is susceptible to showing large fluctuations because of sampling issues for very high income households. The report therefore highlights the Gini trend for the lower 99%. There is no evidence of any sustained rising or falling trend in the last 25 years for the lower 99%, using the Gini. 

There is no evidence of any sustained rising or falling trend for BHC [before housing costs] income inequality, with New Zealand levels a little above the OECD average and similar to Australia. The share of total income received by the top 1% has been steady in the 8-9% range since 1990, similar to Finland and Norway, a little lower than Australia, and much lower than the UK (14% in 2015) and the US (20% in 2015).


Kiwiwit said...

I expect in 2020 we will see in some fairly desperate propaganda from the NZ mainstream media to keep their preferred left wing government in power, particularly in view of the failures of the fellow travelers overseas.

Jim Rose said...

Max should know better