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NRT: Kiwis care about inequality

Written By: - Date published: 3:46 pm, August 29th, 2014 - 8 comments
Categories: Economy, election 2014, greens, labour, national, polls, Social issues - Tags: , ,

Reposted from No Right Turn.

Inequality has emerged as the key issue in the election campaign:

The gap between rich and poor is by far the biggest issue facing New Zealand three weeks before election day, a new poll has found.

The Roy Morgan Research poll of 966 people in July and August shows that concerns about inequality and other social issues have increased dramatically as worries about jobs and the economy have waned in the past three years.

Almost a fifth of New Zealanders (18 per cent) now say poverty, the gap between rich and poor or the imbalance of wealth is now “the most important issue facing New Zealand”, up from just 4 per cent in the equivalent poll just before the 2011 election.

So what’s the government proposing to do about it? Nothing, except tease about more tax cuts to the rich. Meanwhile, both Labour and the Greens have credible policies to increase taxes on the rich, tax capital gains, and lift those at the bottom by increasing wages and social support. If inequality is the issue, then they deserve to win.


See also: The Roy Morgan poll results.

8 comments on “NRT: Kiwis care about inequality”

  1. blue leopard 1

    There is a fair amount of graunching incongruence going on for me reading this.

    If these results and this headline was true – then why did we have a million people vote for the Nats in the last election?

    And why are the polls still indicating a lot of support for the Nats this time around?

    Are the polls wrong or are a lot of New Zealanders dumb/ Or maybe their is a fair amount of dishonesty going on?

    I think the polls are skewed – but not that skewed.

    I think there are a lot of New Zealanders who would like to make out they ‘care’ but they don’t actually give a damn about anything other than the details of their own lives.

    Anyone saying they are ‘concerned’ about inequality and voting right are either dumb or are dishonest.

    Perhaps they are both.

    • weka 1.1

      1 millions people didn’t vote at all last time. To my mind that’s more important than the million that voted for Key.

      I think the polls are off. And I think that we are reaping the consequences of 30 years of neoliberalism and socialised selfishness.

      The numbers of people who put inequality as the priority is not that high, certainly way lower than the number of people that voted on the left.

      • blue leopard 1.1.1

        I agree that it is an effect of neo liberalism. Incidentally, I have just read a paper by Wendy Brown that puts forward, amongst other things, that peoples’ morality changes under neo-liberalism and they start accepting all sorts of behaviour traditionally considered immoral (like dishonesty/duplicity) because we all get pushed into thinking that as long as the ends are economically good, then that is all that matters. Hmm, that sounds remarkably familiar.

        Yes, there were 800,000 enrolled who didn’t vote at all (I forgive those who have just recently come into the country, hopefully they are taking responsibility and getting to know a bit about the country and our political system and will vote this time around) and there were a million people who voted for a party that is pretty much guaranteed to ignore the inequality issue. That adds up to 1, 800, 000 people out of the 3 million enrolled that behaved in a manner that indicated they weren’t that fussed about inequality issues. And these numbers do not include those who weren’t enrolled at all. Hard for me to ‘swallow’ that Kiwi’s care about the matter.

        I am simply highlighting that people need to start putting their votes where their stated sentiments are if anyone wishes for me to believe I live in a society that cares about addressing poverty related issues such as inequality. Sentiments are all fine and dandy but mean jack shit if they are not followed through with behaviour. Voting is the very least people can do on the matter.

        [Numbers cited are approximates/rounded from the NZ Election Results website]

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Meanwhile, both Labour and the Greens have credible policies to increase taxes on the rich

    They’d be credible if they were 60%+. As it stands they’re still acting for too scared of the rich.

  3. barry 3

    The Hutt News did a series where they asked high school students about which issues were important and who they would vote for.

    A large percentage named an issue such as inequality or climate change (where National is weakest) as most important but said they thought they would vote for National. So obviously people are prepared to vote contrary to what they say they believe in.

  4. crocodill 4

    In my experience, most people are concerned about inequality and poverty in the same way they’re concerned about any oppressive behaviours. It’s not so much that they are concerned about what oppression does to its targets, it’s that they’d quite like to be the ones doing the oppressing rather than receiving it. So kids saying they’re “concerned” about poverty but would vote National are really just saying that they’ve been told that winners are rich and safe from life’s problems and that they’d hate to be poor. People think in an either/or/opposite (false opposite) frame too often. There’d be very few people around who’d like to see a world where people could more or less mind their own business without any chance of starving to death or being enslaved. If there was, Schools would empty out and businesses close and property would become almost worthless.

  5. locus 5

    if you ‘care’ about inequality what do you do about it?
    how far will you go – what will you sacrifice to level the imbalance?

    • drop an extra coin in a beggar’s hat?
    • give spare time and money to charity?
    • hire someone needy who isn’t qualified?

    no, individual sacrifice isn’t enough

    what i want – dream of – is a party that will really – i mean really – level it up. Give opportunities to everyone that’s lost out in the lottery of life.

    a party with honest generous considerate people who passionately blaze the equality of opportunities message across the NZ firmament

    a party that sets fantastic targets, has courageous policies and rock solid plans to change the world

    for now i can only drop another penny in the hat and wistfully hope to rid NZ of its dirty politickers whose beliefs and desires make the world a meaner and increasingly unequal place

    • Flipnz 5.1

      Anyone who supports unfettered competition (free trade) drives the meaner world. Thereby being mean people. They will do so as long as they think they are ‘winners’.

      Competitions are for games not for survival in a civilised world. That is what it means to be civilised. Ergo people who support unfettered competition are uncivilised.

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