New pre-tax income stats out

Data on pre-tax incomes for New Zealand in 2013 have just been uploaded to the World Wealth and Income Database. So what do they show? In 2013, the richest 10% got about 30% of pre-tax income, and within that the richest 1% got 7.7%. In both cases that’s about the same as in 2008, or…

Our link to poverty in America

A reader has just emailed in with a link to something she’s been working on: this amazing graphic on poverty in America, and how it’s changed over the past 50 years. One thing that stands out for me is how much more educated people are (especially going by high school graduation rates), yet poverty levels…

Keeping up the pressure on child poverty

Catriona Maclennan (barrister, journalist and social activist) has started a series on Face TV about child poverty in New Zealand. This is a huge part of the inequality story – 285,000 children in poverty (as defined as living in families with less than 60% of the average household income) – and a national embarrassment, frankly….

The fallacy that most wealth is earned

Today’s Morning Report interviewed Oliver Williams from something called Wealth Insight, a consultancy, arguing that the world’s first trillionaire would be created within 50 years. Predictably, Williams tried to claim that to get that rich “you would have to invent something or create something”. But as Thomas Piketty’s new book Capital in the Twenty-First Century…

Response to Living Wage criticism

Following recent criticism of the Living Wage calculations by Brian Scott, Charles Waldegrave, one of the principal creators of the methodology, responds here. To quote his summary: This paper addresses the conceptual basis and evidence of Scott’s critique. It demonstrates the critique lacks an informed understanding of the definition of a living wage, confuses…

The reality of unemployment

It’s sometimes said that people living in poverty just need to try harder, but I’m not sure how much more Amy Scott, profiled today in The Press, could be doing: Amy Scott and her two children have moved houses five times since the earthquakes. Scott lost her job after work as a bartender “dwindled off”….

Talking in Napier

Here’s a shot from Thursday night’s talk in Napier – a full house at Beattie and Forbes bookshop. Thanks to James Landon for the picture. James notes that in the crowd “were 3 prospective Regional Councillors, one City Councillor, various Health Professionals, a PWC Partner and the Children’s Commissioner no less”.