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Five people versus a billionaire

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, April 30th, 2019 - 36 comments
Categories: Economy, International, tax, uk politics - Tags:

UK Labour has released a stunning advertisement on what happens if you give ordinary people more resources compared to if you give a billionaire a tax cut.

36 comments on “Five people versus a billionaire ”

  1. It may be 'just common sense' but it's reasoning which makes no impression on the greedy!

    A brilliant ad – oh how I wish out left-wing parties were similarly innovative and bold.

  2. millsy 2

    In Napier there is a hill where a perfectly good hospital used to be. It was closed thanks to the then-National Government's desire for tax cuts.

    • Craig H 2.1

      That seems to have been a trend…

    • Tiger Mountain 2.2

      On Whangarei hospital grounds there is a large, empty, two level hospital ward building in good condition, just down Maunu Rd a little, is a recent Hospital Admin and Executive building, loaded to the gunwales with the bloated DHB admin layers that would not know a patient if they tripped over one.

  3. Rosemary McDonald 3

    Sorry to be pedantic, but is it really "verses" as in poetry, or "versus" as in competing or opposing?

    • In Vino 3.1

      You are quite right Rosemary – I find it a jarring, glaring error. There are many on the Right who will scorn us if we leave such glaring errors in big headlines.

      Pedantry if about a normal comment – not when it is an embarrassment as a headline.

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        Perhaps it was a deliberate mistake so that people notice. That could be a feature for signs in protests, just some will take notice of the one that says ten people have died from ….the fever du jour today, but if you spell it dye, all the tut-tutting will add a 1,000 clickbait effect.

        Perhaps in this case the learned and humorous could make up a limerick about verses and versus. Brighten us up. Maybe this.

        There is a difference between verses and versus

        But school only drove me to nurses.

        So sick I became

        I had to go hame

        And my spelling just got even worsus.

    • Incognito 3.2

      I believe the error was unintentional and I’ve changed it.

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.1

        But, but, it could have been either! A talking point at the very least, and it inspired Greywarshark to wax lyrical. smiley

        (And the new editing thingy appears to lack spell assist. I have got very lazy, utilising autocorrect. Having to think about correct spelling has made me grumpier…)

        • Incognito

          Sorry to spoil the fun; if it was intentional, it will be reverted to its original.

          Anyway, I’ve got a thing about waxing wink

        • greywarshark

          oh nos.

          • Incognito

            You prefer the previous version of verses or versus rather?

            • Rosemary McDonald

              The verses version or the versus version?

              Whatever provokes a limerickial response from a clearly talented greywarshark.


  4. joe90 4

    26 V the rest of us. It's soak-the-rich, or pitchfork time.

    A sobering new report by the charity Oxfam has laid bare the stunning levels of global wealth inequality.

    According to the report, published Monday, billionaires have never had it better. The combined riches of the world’s 26 most wealthy billionaires equals $1.4 trillion — this is equal to the total wealth of the bottom 3.8 billion of the world’s population.

    Billionaires have increased their wealth by 12 percent this year, the report states, while at the same time the wealth of the poorest half of the world has fallen by 11 percent.

    This consolidation is happening at a rapid rate even for the billionaire class, which according to the report has doubled in size since the 2008 financial crisis. In 2016, 61 billionaires controlled half of the world’s wealth, then in 2017 that number was 43, before becoming 26 in 2018.


    • gsays 4.1

      Makes me wonder which will tip us, the great unwashed, into combined action: the rising inequality or the rising waters…

    • Drowsy M. Kram 4.2

      Thanks Joe90 – could any 'ordinary' person/politician resist a billion dollar bribe?

      Just imagine the good one might do with all that lovely money!

  5. vto 5

    Yep, or as I put it at times:…

    Push wealth to the top and society weakens and fails

    Push wealth to the bottom and society strengthens and prospers


  6. Stuart Munro. 6

    I think it's reasonably well understood, though often deliberately ignored by economists, that the marginal utility of money decreases according to how much one has.

    Some related stuff on UBIs here:


    Results of basic income experiments have been quite positive.

    • greywarshark 6.1

      I think that is good to remind us Stuart M – the marginal utility of anything is an economic rule? that should be taught at primary school. Kids need to learn certain at present advanced things, early on, and others can wait for later. Another social affect that responds to marginality is women and education pushing a country forward. Naturally when you start with 1% who can read, write and do formal sums, and you take that to say 80% it's a steep climb in advancement, then after that other factors need to be considered – like do we need so many university trainees? Or should we all have a little tertiary training that stretches our minds and encourages curiosity not conformity.

      • Stuart Munro. 6.1.1

        It really comes back to Liebig, I think, and his law of the minimum.

        He derived it from plant growth, in which the least available nutrient constrains the growth rate of the whole, and its obverse – that supplying the restricted nutrient produces the greatest possible improvement in growth. But he came to recognize that he had (like Murphy) discovered a universal principal – the same phenomena are observable in chemical reactions, but also in complex processes, and in things like education.

        In an environment with abundant education, it is not likely to be the growth restricting factor, but where education access is restricted small improvements produce exceptional results. So too with money supplies in struggling economies, or technical knowhow or materiale in environments that lack them.

        Unfortunately, out models of tertiary education have not been developed in the enlightened best interests of society for some time; managerialism and bureaucratic convenience have snuck in under the neoliberal model. The whole sector needs a bit of a rethink: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=288423555100778

        Going back to money, poor people are reliably restricted by their lack of it, so small improvements for them produce disproportionately positive results. And in the UBI experiments, also have serendipitous effects, reducing things like domestic violence.

  7. UncookedSelachimorpha 7

    Excellent stuff! Hope Corbyn becomes PM and sets a great example of government for the many and not the few.

    Robert Reich recently released a video debunking the typical lies used to defend low tax on the rich:


    [struggling with this new comment editor a bit…]

  8. Aaron 8

    Wow! I've been waiting so long for someone in the mainstream to make the very obvious connection between government spending and economic stimulation. We've been talking about taxes for decades now as if the money just gets poured into a hole in the ground and lost whereas it genuinely stimulates economic activity for people at the bottom of the ladder.

  9. Pat 9

    lol…it is indeed a very good ad…..and its theme is great…except it promotes growth, bugger

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 9.1

      Good point! Still stuck on the falsehood that growth is in itself a virtue.

      When the real point is – if wealth is distributed, you can have a vibrant economy and society – with much less growth required.

  10. Jeremy 10

    Wow, that's 2.40 of my life I won't get back.

    It's completely ass backwards. Consumption, whether via Government largesse on not, does little for economic growth. Over time, productivity increases are all that really matter for growth (apart from simply more people) and it comes from private savings and investment (at least with a modicum of efficiency).

    Not to worry though, I'm sure UK Labour have plenty of people who don't understand simple economic realities to vote for them.

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