The idiocy of those who demonise the rich

August 5th, 2014 at 11:46 am by David Farrar

nbrrichlist

I’ve borrowed this from NBR, as it is so good, it needs more eyeballs. It is written by Chris Keall.

Nigel Latta on his taxpayer funded show moaned about how awful it is that those on the have got richer. I can only presume he thinks their wealth should be confiscated off them and given to solo mums, or some such.

Keall makes the point that the growth in the rich list isn’t coming from people who have inherited wealth. It is often coming from entrepreneurs who have been successful in producing goods or services that people want. They have created jobs, boosted export earnings, and provided great services to families and businesses.

I don’t mind people advocating that we should do more to help vulnerable families. But I almost detest those who think it is a bad thing that people have been successful and got richer, and shock horror, even got richer. They seem to have a mindset that their success has come at the expense of others, and they should be forced to give it up.

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47 Responses to “The idiocy of those who demonise the rich”

  1. Redbaiter (9,598 comments) says:

    The left want us all to be “equal” in misery.

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  2. NeillR (351 comments) says:

    It is only through wealth that we have money to provide the social services that the poor are able to access.

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  3. kowtow (8,762 comments) says:

    “The idiocy of those who demonise the rich”

    Errr,isn’t that what our new darling,kelvin’s been doing?

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  4. Ryan Sproull (7,284 comments) says:

    They’ve made money by creating value with their own work. No complaints about that from this leftist.

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  5. Redbaiter (9,598 comments) says:

    Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.

    Alexis de Tocqueville

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  6. YesWeDid (1,050 comments) says:

    ‘Keall makes the point that the growth in the rich list isn’t coming from people who have inherited wealth.’

    There is still a sizable number of people in the rich list who have had the good fortune to be born into a rich family. A look down the rich list has over 1/2 the list made up of families.

    I’m not anti-rich but let’s be honest about it.

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  7. Colinxy (25 comments) says:

    Somewhat topical are actors, especially the recent publicity of The Big Bang Theory actors wanting a million per episode. How is it that the left are silent on the income inequalities on film and TV shows?

    Using the same analogies, shouldn’t the left be squawking for pay parity between the lowest paid in the production of such endeavours and these peacocks? How much does a Big Bang Theory studio cleaner get in comparison to one of these actors?

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  8. hj (7,066 comments) says:

    Aren’t software companies successful (to a degree) because they replace humans?

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  9. hj (7,066 comments) says:

    Eric Crampton

    Latta claimed inequality in income and wealth inequality were increasing. I haven’t seen great time series data on wealth inequality, and much wealth inequality will have come up through the ramp-up in housing prices from the mid 2000s, in which case the appropriate solution is to expand housing supply.

    http://offsettingbehaviour.blogspot.co.nz/2014/07/whole-latta-derp.html#disqus_thread
    because they say: “90% of millionaires get there through realestate”

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  10. GDMcCallum (2 comments) says:

    Rich people, who are often our employers, politicians, CEOs and sometimes (beggaring belief) our union bosses. They have a way of getting the things they want, especially if they need a law to protect their interests. They frequently get the last word when these matters suddenly enter the public conscience.

    So really, you might think idiots have a problem with rich people for no reason, but only an ignoramus would say that those so-called idiots had no reason whatsoever.

    All people want is to be able to stand on their own two feet, and not to be treated like a servant. Perhaps if the not-so-wealthy felt they were getting that kind of deal from people who are wealthy, you wouldn’t be exposing any ignorance and people with legitimate views about class and society wouldn’t be marginalised.

    You’re quite intelligent, I’ve noticed David. You shouldn’t limit yourself to the left-right spectrum. It’s a fun theme-park ride for a while, but it gets tedious after the turns and twists become predictable.

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  11. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (894 comments) says:

    Tax them to death so that Internet Mana can offer free tertiary education and double the dole and legalise Marijuana….

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  12. hj (7,066 comments) says:

    Companies in the TIN100 and NZTE/Callaghan Innovation list packed on staff and would have added more if not for skills shortage.

    I hope your not suggesting this has anything substantial to do with the immigration debate?
    The immigration debate is about lobbying by the construction sector (etc) and creating it’s own demand for skill.

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  13. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    So, Keall’s point is that Latta is absolutely right about the extent of the rich getting richer. He then offers some arguments for why we should be happy about increasing inequality because rich people are such great guys – personally, I remain unconvinced, but maybe that’s just me. Either way, it’s not obvious how any of the above means Latta is the asshole here.

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  14. dime (10,104 comments) says:

    You mean the gap between those who risk it all and work their asses off and the sacks of shit who don’t try is getting bigger?

    Well thank fuck for that!

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  15. hj (7,066 comments) says:

    Stephen Tindall, all those dirt cheap consumers items. The problem being jobs move offshore and a vacuum is created. We pay with exports we are good at and if the terms of trade aren’t in our favour we buy less. Unfortunately the wheels fell off. Michael Reddells diagnosis.

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  16. iMP (2,422 comments) says:

    This ridiculous myth that if we were all just “equal” financially (ie eradicating any disparties) Peace and Love would break out, is Marxist rubbish.

    The world is far too complex for that, and the default setting for humanity is we come in all $ shapes and sizes, rich and poor, depending on a myriad of overlapping circumstances. It’s called REALITY!

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  17. Chuck Bird (4,924 comments) says:

    I do not have a problem with people on high incomes in private industry. However, I have a problem with mayor, judges and heads of quangos with no accountability on high salaries. Does anyone think Mayor Brown is worth his salary plus perks? Does anyone think Judge Philipa Cunningham is worth $310k?

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  18. hj (7,066 comments) says:

    This post cherry picks. As I pointed out we don’t know to what extent wealth is based on rent seeking behaviour, facilitated through government policies.

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  19. wreck1080 (3,959 comments) says:

    While I think there is an issue with executive pay becoming too high — the cases you mention are all deserving people.

    But you don’t mention the undeserving such as Chuck bird identifies. Although, maybe they don’t quite make the rich list.

    What about the scottish fella who ran telecom a couple of years back — he was way over paid. He is in no way comparable with those people you list.

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  20. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    “Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?”
    – Thomas Sowell

    “We seem to be moving steadily in the direction of a society where no one is responsible for what he himself did, but we are all responsible for what somebody else did, either in the present or in the past.”
    – Thomas Sowell

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  21. trout (944 comments) says:

    Wealthy societies are better placed to protect the environment. The Greens cannot prevent the exploitation of natural resources (unless they convince the populus to go back to the stone age); so they should recognize that enterprise generates the wealth required to be able to make choices and ameliorate the effects of industrialization.

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  22. RRM (10,018 comments) says:

    When the “poverty” people complain about is having to live on the bene in a state house, and the “injustice” people complain about is speeding tickets, the difficulty in obtaining a building consent, gays shouldn’t be allowed to get married like proper people, or the fact that some other people have houses bigger than my house, you know you are living in a great country! :-D

    New Zealand in 2014 is a paradise on earth, compared to what most humans have had to put up with over the last 10,000 years of known history.

    So I think the left’s current obsession with EQUALITY is merely a product of the fact that their historic battles have been won.
    There is no slavery, no 19th century work house, no-one living in the gutter, no-one dropping their babies into a well because they can’t afford to keep them. No summary justice. No cruel torturous punishments, even of the worst criminals. No Flaying alive, no breaking on the wheel, no burning at the stake. And there is precious little racial, gender or sexual discrimination remaining in law. No real poverty. No serious injustice.

    All the things that in the past have given the political left valid causes to strive for, have pretty much been removed from our society, and by and large that is a good job.

    So all the hardcore activist left really have remaining to complain about is “Hey look, some New Zealanders are EVEN RICHER than others!”

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  23. Ryan Sproull (7,284 comments) says:

    “Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?”
    – Thomas Sowell

    Is Sowell directing this question to a landlord?

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  24. Mark (1,491 comments) says:

    Who gives a fuck what other people may be worth, it is not my business and I do not form an opinion on who my friends and acquaintances may be based upon their wealth or lack of it.

    @dime being a sack of shit is not the sole privilege of the poor. I think we all know the odd well heeled sack of shit as well. Equally I know people who live very modestly who are hard working honest people and not sacks of shit as you seem to want to paint the less well off in NZ

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  25. hj (7,066 comments) says:

    Tonight, a pumped de Roos tells his audience that he wants people to invest in property and write to him 12 months down the track and tell him they’ve “made one million or three million, or you’ve got 16 properties, or we’re taking six months off because our cash flow now exceeds our outflow!” He says, “I don’t know any other activity where the rewards are so huge. If you want to invest a million dollars in the sharemarket, you need a million dollars. If you want to invest a million in real estate, you only need $100,000.”

    You can buy one property, get it revalued, use the equity to buy another property and then buy another and another. “And you do it all with OPM. Other people’s money. OPM. It’s like being high on drugs!” What’s more, the wonder of depreciation claims on the building and contents means “the government subsidises your investment! It’s delightful!”

    House of The Rising Sum
    Pamela Stirling Listener Magazine.

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  26. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    hj: if you want to read about de Roos, see here: http://www.johntreed.com/DeRoos.html

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  27. RRM (10,018 comments) says:

    Mark – well said.

    When we moved to the Wairarapa, the first friend we made was our neighbour who spent a couple of years in Arohata decades ago, because she took a knife with her when going to pick up some purchases from some shady people in Lower Hutt, and ended up using it on one of them in self defense when they proved to be just as shady as she had feared.

    She has never been able to get a job since, because a middle aged Maori woman with ZOMFG A CRIMINAL RECORD goes immediately to the back of anyone’s list of applicants.

    Just the best mate and the friendliest, most reliable, helpful, least complaining, poorest, and happiest neighbour a couple of young white motebhrfuckers like ourselves could ever hope to have!

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  28. Nigel Kearney (1,048 comments) says:

    They are talking past each other. The left genuinely doesn’t believe that high taxes affect decisions to work or invest. Without addressing that, there is no way to proceed. Of course it makes sense to have high taxes on the rich if you assume they will merrily continue investing and innovating to generate wealth for the government to take off them.

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  29. dime (10,104 comments) says:

    Mark – sacks of shit = people who choose to be on the bene

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  30. hj (7,066 comments) says:

    scrubone (3,052 comments) says:
    That was interesting.

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  31. Stack1 (1 comment) says:

    If anyone hasn’t seen the the Four Horsemen documentary, watch it, then comment on whether the current style of capitalism is a good idea. It’s free to view on YouTube and well worth anyone interested in this topic watching.

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  32. lifesgood (15 comments) says:

    My husband grew up in a state house and left school at 16 with no qualifications. He worked hard and conscientiously all his working life, never self employed. A totally honest man too. We would now be considered very comfortable in our retirement with assets and savings over $2m combined. Every bit of it achieved by hard work and careful saving. We never inherited much..a total of $30,000 from our parents and never qualified for any government hand outs, apart from the tiny family benefit ($3 a week, I think) If we could do it I think others can.

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  33. wreck1080 (3,959 comments) says:

    @lifesgood::

    Any chance you were in the auckland property market early?

    My parents made tons of money quite accidentally and not through any particular forecast that auckland house prices were going to explode.

    They too worked very hard but their incomes were eclipsed by accidental profits in the auckland property market.

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  34. Mobile Michael (463 comments) says:

    In North Korea, equality is very evident. And as North Korean media has reported recently, they are truly the wealthiest country in the world (and Soccer World Cup champions, and leaders in space technology)

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  35. Colville (2,300 comments) says:

    Chuck @ 12.27
    I think Judges are paid fuck all and that is a big part of the problem.
    A senior partner (like Cun*liffes Wife) makes north of $500K and can invest in whatever they like.
    A judge makes half of that and has very limited investment options and cant talk about work!

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  36. itstricky (1,881 comments) says:

    Nigel Latta on his taxpayer funded show moaned about how awful it is that those on the rich list have got richer. I can only presume he thinks their wealth should be confiscated off them and given to solo mums, or some such.

    The guys made lots of money. Good on them. I don’t imagine Latta was arguing it should be divided, however, I imagine he was wondering why CEO X is paid $ Y million when the median wage is $30k or whatever I.e. why there is an absolutely massive ratio between the highest paid and the rest of society. These guys, that you’ve picked as examples, are outliers as well – talented entrepenuers – not your average run of the mill CEO. Either you’re not thinking when you make these statements or you’re deliberately trying to light a flame war or write the guy off. I guess it’s the Latta (get it?) as saying gloomy things in Election year doesn’t help your employer’s prospects.

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  37. OneTrack (3,226 comments) says:

    itstricky – “I don’t imagine Latta was arguing it should be divided, …”

    What do you imagine he thinks should be done about it then? When Cunliffe was asked if rich pricks were going to be taxed more under his government the answer was “You betcha”, with a wild gleam in his eye. Latta, no doubt, thinks the same. Tax the rich prick and give the money to the “poor”. We must be “equal”.

    Probably works ok until the rich prick has had enough of being raped, and takes himself, his family and his business offshore, maybe to somewhere where successful people aren’t vilified the way they are here.

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  38. salt (135 comments) says:

    Well OneTrack, you’re always welcome to take yourself off to those offshore havens “where successful people aren’t vilified”, and try your luck. Just be warned that you might find them to be more hostile environments than you anticipate. I’m guessing you’ll probably stay in NZ, where it’s safe, the competition is low, and failure won’t ruin you. Nevertheless, you will continue to complain bitterly about the taxation system that is providing you security. Much easier, right?

    The left may well not believe that higher taxes affect investment decisions. But equally, the right do not seem to understand the crucial role of taxation, especially of the wealthy, and regulation in a functioning society – and have no grasp of just how much that taxation benefits them. Blind spots all round, it seems.

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  39. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    But equally, the right do not seem to understand the crucial role of taxation, especially of the wealthy, and regulation in a functioning society – and have no grasp of just how much that taxation benefits them. Blind spots all round, it seems.

    I think the argument you’re trying to make is that regulation can’t exist without taxation. That’s bogus, as regulation usually comes with fees, and most tax goes towards general welfare programs like the dole, public health and education.

    Frankly, the left have much bigger blinds spots than the left. It’s quite common for the right to understand exactly how the left thing, actually fairly rare for the opposite.

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  40. salt (135 comments) says:

    No, the argument I’m making is that taxation pays for a lot of stuff that benefits everyone, whether directly or indirectly. And I think there are equal numbers of utter idiots on both the left and right; but the intelligent members of each camp understand each other quite well, I think. The left think those on the right are selfish and heartless, but that isn’t the same as not *understanding* them.

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  41. itstricky (1,881 comments) says:

    What do you imagine he thinks should be done about it then?

    So you’re accepting there is a problem then, unlike DPF?

    When Cunliffe was asked if rich pricks were going to be taxed more under his government the answer was “You betcha”, with a wild gleam in his eye. Latta, no doubt, thinks the same. Tax the rich prick and give the money to the “poor”. We must be “equal”.

    They call it a progressive tax system. It’s what we use. It has a principle. You’ve been hanging around KB for too long, rote learning a “tax the rich prick” mantra yourself that belies the actual theory behind the system. And I think ‘salt’ has just explained that. I guess, if you don’t like the system you can always try to change it, I suppose.

    Probably works ok until the rich prick has had enough of being raped, and takes himself, his family and his business offshore, maybe to somewhere where successful people aren’t vilified the way they are here.

    Vilified is a pretty strong word. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a case of that here in little olde NZ. I do think consumers might realise one day that they have the power to change these things, though.

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  42. JamesBlake (62 comments) says:

    I always love it when people say that it is buisness owners who put everyting on the line and take all the risk when operating a buisness. Try telling that to anyone who was made redundant during the GFC so that a buisness owner could save the buisness.

    Now I am not saying those redundancies were not needed. They save the buinsness so that other workers and the owner can keep going and are for the greater good. However those workers who are made redundant are actually the first casualties should a buisness start to go bad. Workers take as much risk on when they choose their employer as the employer does starting the buisness. They have mortgages to pay and families to feed as well. Workers go bankrupt and loose everything as fast as an employer does in the current environtment.

    It would be far better if people could find a reasonable middle ground. Not every one who starts a buisness is a wealth sucking parasite who inherited their money and advantage. Some are. Not every worker is a layabout who has to be beaten to get any prodcutivity out of. Some are.

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  43. deadrightkev (516 comments) says:

    “I’m not anti-rich but let’s be honest about it.”

    Well you can pick your friends but not your family. What you are suggesting indirectly is that those born into rich families do not deserve the wealth that has been accumulated. A big call.

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  44. JamesBlake (62 comments) says:

    By extension Deadrightkev are you suggesting that those who are born into low income families don’t deserve the same advantages and oportunities as those born into wealthy families? Big call.

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  45. burt (8,316 comments) says:

    It’s not fair we are not all equal. Lets pretend socialism works and give it one more try.

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  46. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    @JamesBlake “I always love it when people say that it is buisness owners who put everyting on the line and take all the risk when operating a buisness. Try telling that to anyone who was made redundant during the GFC so that a buisness owner could save the buisness.”

    Having started a business from scratch and having several friends and acquaintances who have done the same then actually for most smaller businesses it’s exceedingly common to work exceedingly hard, be forced to take serious risks and have set backs that have large personal financial consequences. If it works you usually end up with a significant financial reward but it’s unusual for any real rewards to occur in the first five years. It takes on average about 4 startups to get a surviving business.

    The business I was involved in was badly hit in 2000 by the dot com flop and I personally spent 6 figure sums out of the business in order to try and keep staff on. In hindsight, we did them a disservice as we still had to let them go and if we let them go earlier it would have been easier for them to find employment elsewhere.

    I always love it when people talk about business when they obviously have no idea.

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  47. salt (135 comments) says:

    Burt – you are already living in a socialist country. In fact, I’d be willing to bet you’re pretty darn glad that you’re living in a socialist country, rather than a straight-up capitalist one. When was the last time one of your mates was bankrupted by medical bills? When was the last time you discovered that your wife, having had uterine problems following a pregnancy, is now no longer covered by her health insurance (which she’s paid diligently for years) for any gynaecological condition – and that if she wants to so much as get a test done next time she has abdominal pain, it’ll cost you five grand (not including the tens of thousands for any required treatment that follows)? When was the last time a university asked you for $100,000 to cover the “costs” of your son’s basic undergraduate degree? Are you intending to claim NZ Super (which is a benefit, no matter how much people over 50 would like to believe it isn’t)?

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