Anthony Robins writes at The Standard that Inequality is a choice.
Inequality is a choice. It isn’t a choice made by individuals, it is a choice made by governments.
‘Inequality’ far more complex than that. For a start it depends on how you define inequality.
I choose to make working for a living more of a priority than some, and I choose to put other priorities ahead of accumulating possessions and monetary wealth.
Having kids is costly on money terms but my children and step children and grand children are worth far more to me than a better bank balance.
There is no way a Government can impose and enforce equality. There will always be arguments over what is equal and what is not.
Even the Chinese Government has given up on trying to force equality of single child families, and they could never force women to have that one child anyway.
Robins doesn’t help his argument when he chooses to misrepresent facts.
The last Labour government chose to implement a higher top tax rate and Working For Families, these policies (though arguably too little too late) did reduce inequality. The current National government chose to cut the top tax rate, attack labour laws, and increase GST, these policies are increasing inequality.
Yes the current National Government chose to cut the top tax rate. And Robins chose to omit other pertinent facts, like the Government also cutting other tax rates and increasing benefits to compensate for the increase in GST.
This dishonesty is common from the left.
For facts see Budget 2010: Tax reductions in detail which includes:
Key tax changes
All personal income tax rates will be cut from October 1, 2010.
Income up to $14,000 will be taxed at 10.5%, down from 12.5%.
Income from $14,001 to $48,000 drops to 17.5% from 21%
Income from $48,001-$70,000 down to 30% from 33%
Income over $70,000 will be cut to 33% from 38%.
GST will increase from 12.5% to 15%. Income support and other payments will rise by 2.02% to compensate for the increase. This includes student allowances and supplementary benefits, superannauation, veterans pension and the Working for Families tax credit.
The company tax rate will fall from 30% to 28% from the 2011/12 income year.
While higher income earners will benefit from the government slashing the top tax rate, there is a sting in the tail of the budget that will hit wealthy in the hip pocket beyond just an increase in GST, which is widely considered to adversely affect the less wealthy the most.
Building depreciation tax deductions will no longer be allowed from next year, providing the building has a useful life of 50 years or more. This would include most rental houses and offices.
Robins also doesn’t discuss what effect these tax changes had on employment and the economy that were severely stressed by the Global Financial Crisis.
Honesty is a choice.
There are some choices related to inequalities, both personal and by Government. And there are many aspects of inequality that none of us can do much if anything about.
Inequality is a vague ideal that as far as I’m aware has never be achieved. Perhaps Robins or someone else can point to examples of sustainable equality in any human society.
I think that equality is the wrong goal.