Most of the wealth in New Zealand is owned by a tiny fraction of the people because our political/economic system makes it that way.
10% of people have more income than 50% combined.
That’s just income. The inequality of wealth distribution is far greater. The net wealth of 10% of people is 20 times the wealth of 50% of us combined. In fact, the wealthiest 10% have more wealth than everyone else put together.
These aren’t just numbers. That tiny amount of wealth the lowest 40% have is poverty, the cause of so many of society’s ills – crime, suicide, violence, obesity, social alienation, poor health, poor education are all linked to poverty.
We allow a tiny portion of the population to control the wealth of this land. This isn’t some natural state, an inevitability. It is the result, the purpose, of the capitalist economic system, which is only possible because of the legal framework that exists to create and support it. Our company law, our land law, our tax system are all set up to enrich those few at the expense of the rest of us.
My question is: ‘why do we let it be this way?’ We have a democracy, we have a relatively uncorrupted political system. The people that capitalism steals from far out-number the people it serves; we can out-vote them. Another way is possible. We can easily create a fairer, and ultimately more successful society than this without drastic reform, just sensible changes.
So why don’t we do it? Why won’t we vote for it? Why don’t we demand change?
Is it the endless pro-capitalist propaganda in the corporate media (not just the news, the ‘entertainment’ too)? Is it that the promise of some income growth blinds us to the greater injustice? Or is the reason that the capitalists have won and are still winning is that they are the most aggressive and greedy members of our society, while we are too weak and subservient to fight back?