‘Transfer of wealth’ fallacies

In a Fairfax/Ipsos poll article Pulse of the Nation: How we see Ourselves a Sociologist and Victoria University lecturer, Mark Lloyd,  is quoted (it’s not clear if he was interviewd for the article or was a participant in the poll).

Dr Lloyd says some of that sense of “us and them” has been fuelled by worldwide events and the growing transfer of wealth to just a few, which has spawned the likes of the Occupy movement. But National’s asset sales plan is the sort of issue that also helped drive that feeling.

How much of the this generated by political campaigning? Greens in particular keep promoting terminology like”the growing transfer of wealth to just a few”.

It’s ironic that those most adversely affected by the wealth gap don’t have any wealth to transfer, in fact it’s tax paid by the more wealthy that enable them to receive state assistance.

The “transfer of wealth” term is used to criticise ‘the rich”, the Greens, Labour and Mana promote transferring more wealth from rich to poor by raising taxes.

What they really mean is they want to transfer more wealth from those earning money to those earning no money or on low incomes.

Dr Lloyd is also quoted repeating common anti-asset sales talking points:

“The irony of the fact that the nation owns these assets collectively – and is now being forced to buy them back, but it’s only the wealthy who can do so . . . it’s very in-your-face.”

No one is being forced to buy shares, there is no “buying back”, and it’s not “only the wealthy who can do so”.