5 Ways to Talk About Inequality
Did you know…
how big the gap is between rich and poor?
- Did you know that the gap between rich and poor is nearly twice what is was a generation ago/30 years ago?
- Did you know that child poverty is twice as high as it was 30 years ago?
- Did you know that the CEO of ANZ Bank earns more than $4 million per year? That is $2,000 per hour or about 140 times the amount the person who cleans his office would earn on the minimum wage of $14.25 per hour.
…how it got to be the way it is?
…the harm it is doing?
- Did you know New Zealand has twice as many people with poor mental health than similar countries with low inequality?
- Did you know that New Zealand has three times as many people who are very overweight (obese) than Sweden?
- Have you heard that children in New Zealand get sick and die of diseases like rheumatic fever that are usually only found in very poor countries?
- New Zealand puts twice as many people into prison as other more equal countries do, even though the level of crime is not very different from those countries.
- Leaving 285,000 children in poverty costs us all as a country up to $8,000,000,000 each year (6% of GDP)
…it doesn’t have to be this way!
- How about we choose that those on higher incomes and with more wealth should pay more tax to fund better welfare, health care and education?
- Did you know only $800 million is the ‘total poverty gap’ or amount it would take to lift everyone out of poverty in New Zealand?
… the kind of benefits greater equality might bring?
- Did you know that countries that are more equal are better places to live?
- Imagine a future New Zealand where these kinds of changes could happen:
- we all live on average 2–3 years longer
- 100 fewer children die before their first birthday
- hundreds fewer children are disabled by disease
- thousands fewer people end up in prison
- with half the level of depression and other mental illness
- fewer teenagers getting pregnant and needing abortions or struggling to bring up their children.