It’s floor not gap or ceiling that matters

The news that the gap between the rich and poor in New Zealand has widened again has led to inevitable calls for  action.

That action usually means taking more from the wealthy.

Dragging the top down would certainly narrow the gap but it wouldn’t necessarily help the poor.

The problem isn’t the ceiling or the gap between it and the floor, it’s the health and wellbeing of people on the floor.

A compassionate society has a role in looking after the vulnerable. That includes providing or assisting with necessities such as shelter, food, education and healthcare.

It means helping people get to a position where they can help themselves.

The question a compassionate society should be asking is not, how much do the poor have in relation to the rich, but do the poor have enough?

Enough, if someone else is paying, is sufficient for necessities , not luxuries.

The best assistance for the poor is a growing economy which provides more, better paid jobs, not higher taxes and more redistribution.


12 Responses to It’s floor not gap or ceiling that matters

  1. robertguyton says:

    1. Do the poor in New Zealand have enough, Ele?
    2. Is their lot worsening?
    3. Has the John Key Party improved the lot of the NZ poor?

    *1. No
    *2. Yes
    *3. No


  2. Gravedodger says:

    I was challenged by a very lefty mate last night if I wanted to read one of his copies of ‘The Spirit level’, the current flavor of the month for those who think the Occupy movement is a way forward.
    I politely declined and much of why, I print as follows:
    1 You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
    2 That which a person receives from a government without working, must first have been taken from another who is working.
    3 The government cannot distribute largesse it has not first taken from someone else.
    4 You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.
    5 When half of the people get the idea they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when that half realises it is rather pointless working because the government will confiscate their rewards to give to the former group, then that is the beginning of the end for all of us.

    Sadly that simple fact totally escapes the socialists who should repeat every morning, Maggie Thatcher’s quote:
    Socialism will last only as long as other people’s money is available to fund it.

    So, a dumbarse pig ignorant albeit talented footballer such as the idiot Wayne Rooney can command an enormous salary for kicking a bag of air around an enclosed green paddock, that is because many more people want to watch him and are prepared to pay for the privilege.
    It may not seem fair but it is a fact, just get over it.

    As a child growing up in what looking back seems deprived economic circumstance in so many ways, I recall how enthralled we kids were when an uncle of one of us turned up in our little village in a “Studebaker”. He was a God, a King. It was so big, shiny with chrome (silver), the driver sat on the other side, it made an awesome noise, it was more than twice the size of the Morris Eights, the Ford Prefects, the Austin Sevens.
    They were so fabulously RICH.
    The truth was he and his wife lived in Sydenham, a very working class suburb, and ran a 7 day “Pie Cart” out of a Caravan in the City.
    They created their apparent WEALTH by WORKING.


  3. Ross says:

    1. Will the ‘poor’ ever have enough, Ele? (Answer: NO),
    1.a. Do the ‘poor’ have enough? (Answer: YES – NZ looks after everyone extremely well in global world terms)
    2. Is their lot worsening (Answer: NO – in global world terms they do very well, and would not rank as ‘poor’. It is all relative)
    3. Has the New Zealand National Party in coalition government improved the lot of the NZ ‘poor’? (Answer: YES – they have told them the truth that it will not get better, they have continued globally generous programs to assist the so-called ‘poor’ in NZ, and they have changed programs like Whanau Ora to better target the generous money they are already giving)

    The generous NZ National Coalition Government continues to support those who chose not to work using other people money – via taxation ripping money away from the had working and productive.

    What a generous country we live in.

    Meanwhile the lefties froth at the month and writhe in fake indignation ignoring all the facts and realities of life. Nothing new there…….


  4. Ross says:

    *thats hard working and productive, whoops 🙂


  5. Andrei says:

    Robert sometimes I see around me things that make me want to weep for the pity of it.

    Can any Government or Government program fix these things? – not really.

    How will the pitiable creatures I see be helped by taking money from those who are more fortunate?

    Is there anything I can do to ameliorate their suffering? Sometimes

    When John Key said NZers were socialists at heart – for which he was unjustifiably slammed what he meant was that the vast majority of us accepted that tax money could and should be used to try and ensure nobody starved or froze to death in the streets – we are not entirely successful in this regard, close but not entirely.

    These problems cannot be solved by throwing money at them – I wish it wasn’t so but it is

    1 Corinthians 13

    1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

    2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

    3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

    4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

    5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

    6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

    7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

    8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

    9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

    10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

    11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

    12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.


  6. rob Hosking says:

    The report measures inequality, not poverty, which are quite different things.

    Secondly, it shows that there hasn’t been much of an increase in recent years at all. The big gap opened up in the late 1980s.

    Thirdly, it shows that the main cause of the widening gap is those in the top 20% are earning more, not so much that those in the bottom 20% are earning less.

    Fourthly, when you look at it alongside other OECD intra-country reports, (the Better Living Index, for example) it suggests that inequality doesn’t matter all that much.


  7. Ross says:

    rob H, ssshhhhh – don’t tell RG all these facts, it might upset the little fantasy world he inhabits……..


  8. JC says:

    “Fourthly, when you look at it alongside other OECD intra-country reports, (the Better Living Index, for example) it suggests that inequality doesn’t matter all that much.”

    Fifthly, it says that the main cause is that there’s little money to be made if you are low skilled. The better educated are getting the jobs and advancements.

    Sixth, related to the fifth, if we didn’t have inequality we would have a stagnating society. People are getting rich by inventing and using new technology. Surprising as it may seem to some, they are also creating most of the new jobs and most of the high incomes and of course, paying much of the tax.

    Seventh. “inequality” is simply the latest buzzword/phrase.. like “Climate change”. Its developed and polished up to get money out of people. And like climate change, closer examination shows it to be a scam based on weasel words.

    Take China and India, before they got on the technological bandwagon there was appalling inequality, now its even worse, but several hundred million at least are much better off.

    NZ was late to the real world of the 1980s and had to catch up.. thats why we are experiencing greater inequality but why, with a more severe recession now, we only have 6.6% unemployment compared to around 12% in 1988.



  9. Ross says:

    good points JC, well put


  10. Andrei says:

    The better educated are getting the jobs and advancements.

    Now there is a great myth – everyone should know that good looks and good health are the greatest predictors of financial success in this cruel and heartless world.

    Education can help redress the imbalance to some extent but anyone who thinks “education” is the magic genie who will grant wealth, success and happiness will likely be disillusioned unless blessed by nature with the former


  11. JC says:


    Have you noticed that short ugly men with money and/or power are amazingly attractive to would be friends and women? That quite short men are often successful politicians?

    But that tall bronzed Gods from places like Sth Auckland but have bugger all education comprise the bulk of the unemployed and low paid?



  12. Andrei says:

    Have you noticed that short ugly men with money and/or power are amazingly attractive to would be friends and women?

    Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
           – Henry Kissinger

    That quite short men are often successful politicians?

    Putin is a short man but you sure as hell wouldn’t want to tangle with him.

    On the other hand a gentle puff would knock Phil Goff over – which is why his bid to be Prime Minister was doomed!

    I said good looks and good health,/b> mon ami.

    When I was young we had a wages clerk who was in a wheel chair, he had had an accident a week after his final law exams, which he passed and guess what no law firm in NZ wanted a bar of him, not one, so he was a wages clerk – life sucks sometimes


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