Saturday, January 28, 2012

On Income Inequality

   I was really encouraged to see Brian Gaynor's Herald piece on the doubling of income inequality in New Zealand in the last twenty or so years. I was fascinated to see his lucid explanation of how rocketing salaries and bonuses for the top people have insidiously spread themselves around the global community.
   But, like a lot of sermons in which we clergy have castigated the congregation for some failing or other, I suppose, this interpretation left me wondering what I can do about it. I just am left with a feeling of helplessness.
   Having lived through a lot of tax changes over half a century, I recall the days when even clergy paid 48c on the top dollars of the stipend. So what about returning to a more progressive tax regime, so that the rich make a greater contribution to the public good?
   Brian’s answer is that shareholder vigilance will work better.  The problem is, as I see it, those who are the worst victims of income inequality have no voice for change. 
   They don’t vote at shareholders’ meetings.

1 comment:

  1. The furore over the Christchurch chief executive increase in salary, (sufficient to feed three families) makes me wonder, just where is New Zealand going? Watch out for uncle Newt or Mitt out to our east.
    The fact that corporate sponsorship is such a large factor within, not only sport, but politics as well.Money buys advertising, equals public attention. Add to that the fact that, beneficiaries and those on the lower rungs of the ladder are not very enthusiastic voters.
    We are even going to have to have a resource consent for a sausage sizzle!!!