Some fisking

January 25th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Matt Nolan at TVHE fisks Rob Salmond over his claims to be revealing the truth about income inequality in NZ. he points out numerous flaws, including how his figures are not per capita, so as more population enter the highest income band, this exaggerates income growth. Nolan also makes the point:

We have seen median income growth outstrip mean income growth in NZ for a long period of time, implying that static inequality has come down a little bit. 

Another claim which should be fisked is who said:

“Kids don’t leave their lives at the school gate. When kids go to school hungry and one in five doesn’t even own two pairs of shoes, we can’t expect them to achieve.

I’ve looked long and hard for a source for this claim, but can’t find one. Can anyone find one?

What I could find was the latest NZ Living Standards Report which does ask if everyone in a household has two pairs of good or sturdy shoes. And 92% said they did, and only 5% said they did not because they couldn’t afford it.

Now 20% is four times greater than 5%, so that is some exaggeration.

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27 Responses to “Some fisking”

  1. bc (1,332 comments) says:

    Cunliffe has clearly been listening to Hekia Parata.
    She likes to throw around ’1 in 5′ statistics at every opportunity in the hope that if she says it enough, people will start believing it.

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  2. flipper (3,544 comments) says:

    The New Zealand income inequality argument is rather like the world wide poverty argument advanced by Oxfam, the UN wankers and the anti globalisation fools like Kelsey, and all the opponents of free trade

    Sadly, world poverty, as measured by US $1 per day in 1987 terms has dropped fro9m 35% to about 2.5%.

    Some crisis.

    If the numbers are measured by the percentage of world population the drop is from 27% to 6 %.

    Go to:

    http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/12/chart-of-the-greatest-and-most-remarkable-achievement-in-human-history-and-one-you-probably-never-heard-about/#mbl.

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  3. srylands (386 comments) says:

    Thanks DPF for the TVHE link. I was very suspicious of the Polity data for the same reason and have been trying to find its source. It is not even clear whether it is household or individual income data.

    Of course the The Standard was salivating over this chart yesterday. When I questioned some of the data Lynne Prentice called me a “fuckwit fucking munter”. :-)

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  4. Ross Miller (1,661 comments) says:

    David Cunliffe … an sound bite exposed like the Emperor .

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  5. niggly (799 comments) says:

    Well unfortunately we are talking about Cunliffe here, who tends to make up facts and figures and uses mistruths to make his points. Which is a real shame that he demonstrates time after time to the public and media that he lacks honesty, lacks integrity, lacks the ability to reason, lacks the ability to play the ball not the man and is simply downright dishonest.

    Thank goodness I stopped voting Labour once I played close attention to their “message” and the way those amateurs downright lie for the “good of the cause”. They always have, it’s their modus operandi. Fuck that.

    Thank goodness we have a decent Prime Minister in the form of John Key with more integrity and honesty than David Cunliffe could ever dream to have.

    Having said that JK should ease up a bit on the personal attacks on Cunliffe, it’s unnecessary and the pressure being placed on Cunliffe by the media will only escalate as the election draws near (ie. two sides of the mouth talking Cunliffe gets more media exposure) and his own activist base support start to rebel against (the real “right” wing for labour) Cunliffe masquerading as a leftie (in the same way the dopey left have woken up to the fact that DotCom isn’t a leftie). Never mind the Robertson and the H followers waiting in the shadows for their chance ….

    Oh well I’m glad I’ve stocked up on the popcorn, it’s going to be entertaining to watch the Cunliffe farce – pretending there are no daggers being aimed at him from within this election. Bring it on!

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  6. Pete George (22,784 comments) says:

    srylands – that’s lprent on a good day.

    The Standard post and comments (and lprent’s hissy fits, you must not question the message) on Salmond’s claims is here – http://thestandard.org.nz/polity-the-truth-about-the-gap-between-the-rich-and-the-rest/

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  7. RF (1,265 comments) says:

    srylands. 11.21am. Has anyone seen Lynne Prentice in the flesh. Presume such a foul mouth individual is a male. Acts and sounds like a very small man with a very small apppendage. Is his regular job an extra in the Hobbit.

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  8. thor42 (909 comments) says:

    “Income inequality”. Booooring.

    So someone who is utterly useless and feckless should be paid the same as someone with Uni qualifications and who is bright, “onto it” and hard-working? What a crock of sh*t.

    There will ALWAYS be “income inequality”. There will ALWAYS be people who are less intelligent, lazier and have no drive to succeed (for whatever reasons). People will *never* all be super-intelligent or have great abilities. Therefore, people should NOT all be paid equally (or anything near it). You get paid what you are worth. End of story.

    To deny the above facts (laws of nature) is to deny reality. That’s exactly what Cunners and Labour are doing.

    Stupid and lazy people often make poor decisions too (like having children while on a benefit and spending money on booze and smokes).
    It is up to *those* people to improve themselves.
    We *can’t do it for them* – nor *should* we.

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  9. Pete George (22,784 comments) says:

    RF – he’s male. In the late 80s I worked with Lynn in Dunedin. His regular job is being (by his own admission) New Zealand’s best blog manager and he seems to do a bit of coding too going by his claims.

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  10. srylands (386 comments) says:

    “Has anyone seen Lynne Prentice in the flesh[?]” Not me. He is certainly very bitter and angry.

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  11. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,791 comments) says:

    RF

    It takes one to know one.

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  12. Duxton (581 comments) says:

    While I also find the usual whinging about ‘unequal distribution’, gaps between ‘rich and poor’, etc to be variously annoying and amusing, I think it’s only far to point out that DPF’s interpretation of what Silent T said is also flawed.

    While just 1 in 20 households did respond that they couldn’t afford a second pair of shoes for everyone in the household, it would seem perfectly reasonable to assume that the households concerned had a higher than average of children, which may in part explain the inability to afford a second pair of shoes. (The alternative is that all households have the same number of children, which is clearly incorrect.) As such, the actual figure would be higher than 1 in 20, although certainly not 1 in 5.

    Incidentally, did the survey ask about smoking? It would be interesting to see how many of the ‘can’t afford two pairs of shoes’ claimants have smokers in the household.

    Em tasaol

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  13. Yoza (1,530 comments) says:

    Tthor42 (644 comments) says:
    January 25th, 2014 at 11:47 am

    “Income inequality”. Booooring.

    The problem being for the right is the massive increases in wealth and income of the rich are almost directly proportional to the losses in wealth and income experienced by everyone else. Children live in impoverished conditions precisely because the wealthy do not understand the concept of ‘enough’, their insatiable greed drives them to demand more and more from people who do not appear capable of stretching their income to cover their costs of living.

    People, like David Farrar, pontificating about the level of poverty to which children in this country should be subjected are doing so from a platform of privilege that shields them from witnessing the practical consequences of the rapacious behaviour they champion.

    If the wealthy are making more as a consequence of a policy agenda they have fought to have imposed on everyone else and if, as a consequence, children from poor backgrounds are suffering as the wealth is being extracted from their communities, then obviously the wealthy are directly responsible for the suffering of those children.

    No amount of sophistry or quibbling over pairs of shoes is going to change the fundamental reality of an economic paradigm carefully designed to strip wealth from the bottom tiers of the economy and redistribute it to the highest tier. Most of what Farrar does is a smoke and mirror act arranged to distract the observer’s attention from the ugly truth.

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  14. srylands (386 comments) says:

    “the rich”

    Yoza there are a mere 20,000 or so taxpayers with incomes above $150,000. And $150,000 is not rich. New Zealand has a tiny number of true rich people.

    “Wealth stripping” is just a fantasy.

    What is true is that the returns to people with no or low skills are declining. There is a lot we can do about that – hence this week’s education announcement. But, as you do, crying “wah wah he is richer than me” will get this country nowhere except down the Argentinian road.

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  15. thor42 (909 comments) says:

    @Yoza – “…the wealthy are directly responsible for the suffering of those children.”

    Bullshit.

    “The wealthy” don’t force someone on a benefit to have children (thereby hugely worsening their already-perilous finances).

    “The wealthy” don’t make poor people buy booze and smokes with their benefit money.

    “The wealthy” don’t make bad lifestyle choices for poor people – the poor people do that to themselves.

    Oh, but many of “the wealthy” DO support charter schools (which have been shown to help the most hugely disadvantaged children in the inner-city slums of New York City).

    Gee…. isn’t that *awful* of the wealthy to support something that HELPS poor people! Isn’t that just *shocking!*

    If some of the poor DO help themselves and then become “wealthy”, will you start to hate *them* then (for the “crime” of being wealthy”?)

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  16. kowtow (7,599 comments) says:

    Any boy growing up with a name like “Lynn” has a good excuse for being nasty, bitter and twisted.

    Acknowldegement to Shel Silverstein.

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  17. Paulus (2,499 comments) says:

    srylands

    Of the 20,000 people above $150,000 very many are Public Servants – i.e MPs, Departmental Managers, both in the National Government and Local Government levels.
    In Tauranga the figures in the Council have 23% over $100,000 and a large number over the $150,000.
    Most Councils are the same – look at the Auckland Council salary analysis.
    Then there are the Union Leaders – of whom many “get” over $150,000 – whether they are paying the correct income tax is another matter. How could Helen Kelly live on only say $150,000 ?
    DotCon is another one – whether he earns it is another matter but his lifestyle is well into the millions per annum.

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  18. lolitasbrother (470 comments) says:

    Above is
    Srylands (157 comments) says: January 25th, 2014 at 11:21 am
    quote

    Thanks DPF for the TVHE link. I was very suspicious of the Polity data for the same reason and have been trying to find its source. It is not even clear whether it is household or individual income data.

    Of course the The Standard was salivating over this chart yesterday. When I questioned some of the data Lynne Prentice called me a “fuckwit fucking munter”. :-)
    unquote

    Srylands this shame to the left Lynn lets leash his violent keyboard at anyone who differs, The guy is a disgrace to himself, and I heard Cunliffe is embarrassed by this violent moron.

    just for the record, Srylands, I am a bigger munter than you.
    Prentice called me a
    ‘ fucking idiot munter troll cun# ‘
    now thats really pushing it to the limit, even for a violent nutcase, he really is bad news,
    and I would expect Labour will cast him away soon.

    He makes Martyn Bradbury look like only a minor psychopath.

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  19. RF (1,265 comments) says:

    Prentice and his sad sack followers. Bullies & cowards…

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  20. Rob at Polity (8 comments) says:

    @DPF: Would help if you read the two comments at TVHE. *All* single measures of inequality are fallible, including my chart, the Gini coefficient, and Matt’s mean / median comparison you quote above. Ask yourself this: If the poorest third of income earners gave all their money to the richest third, what would happen to the mean and the median? Nothing. But would inequality be worse? Yep.

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  21. Kimble (4,378 comments) says:

    Then dont label your chart the “truth”.

    How would you like it if every climate skeptic blogger decided to post a chart showing temps from the last 20 years and said it revealed the truth about climate change.

    And before you try to point out that some have done that, realise that you would be admitting to being just like them.

    Also you might want to consider providing the data on the website. I reckon it is something EVERYONE should do if they want their analysis to be taken seriously. The treatment srylands got at the blog of you fellow travelers is the sort of thing that chills debate and leaves everyone happily sitting with their priors.

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  22. JC (908 comments) says:

    So what is it with income equality moaners?.. all it means is if it increases then more money/resources is transferred to those worse off so that their income is not as unequal as it might have been.

    And what the hell does having two pair of shoes indicate.. round our neighborhood our son went barefoot to school because his shoes were stolen when he took them off to play sport. I doubt he was unique in that.

    The only reason the term “income inequality” has been introduced is because people aren’t as poor as they were and are enjoying many if not most of the luxuries that only the rich man could afford in decades past, eg, an affordable, safe and reliable car, TVs, computers, games, brilliant communication tools, cheap clothes and footware and a million other necessities and fripperies at affordable prices.

    JC

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  23. Rob at Polity (8 comments) says:

    @Kimble: I reserve the right to have a provocative headline, just like everyone else. Data went up on Polity yesterday – see update to post.

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  24. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    Ah yes, Cunliffe has lots of facts and figures about shoes, and how it leads to poverty. As I said on The Conservative blog, amongst the 4 Yorkshiremen quotes:

    I only had one pair of shoes. Well I say “pair” but one was black size 6 and the other was brown size 7.

    I went to school with one jandal once, my other foot bare. Teacher said “lost a jandal, Zen?”. I said, big smile on my face – “nah, found one!”. It was a good day.

    When I was in Kindy, the teacher spent a good 5 minutes getting a pair of gumboots on, and I had to admit they weren’t mine. Sighing, she pulled them off and said “All right Zen, whose are they then?”. I said, “my sisters, but mum makes me wear them when it rains.”

    Gee, I hope Cunliffe nationalises the electricity companies so everyone can experience what I went through. It will do them good :)

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  25. Bad__Cat (137 comments) says:

    Kowtow, sorry for the accidental down tick on your 2:52 comment – combination of IPad and fat finger.

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  26. Bad__Cat (137 comments) says:

    Duxton said: “Incidentally, did the survey ask about smoking? It would be interesting to see how many of the ‘can’t afford two pairs of shoes’ claimants have smokers in the household”

    And live in a state house and can afford to feed (but not register) a couple of pit bull cross mongrels

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  27. Kimble (4,378 comments) says:

    I reserve the right to have a provocative headline, just like everyone else.

    Then dont complain about the reaction it provokes.

    I guess this inequality canard merely exists to further your own readership. Surely if you really cared about it you wouldn’t be putting something up that is so superficial and easily destroyed that it couldnt ever convince anybody other than those who’ve already drank the inequality kool-aid.

    No surprise. It is a recognised characteristic of those on the Left to place more value in appearing to care than actually helping. And another to view themselves as brave dissidents speaking truth to power, necessarily placing anyone (including those who do help, but fail to “think correct thoughts”) as some great malevolent, evil force.

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