The Case against inequality

The library has Max Rashbrooke’s book Inequality : a New Zealand crisis – and what we can do about it on order and it is due to be published in June.

The ARW site has this to say about the author.

Journalist Max Rashbrooke has written for national newspapers and magazines in Britain and New Zealand, including the Guardian, the National Business Review and the New Zealand Listener.  He was the recipient of the 2011 Bruce Jesson award.

Search catalogueIt would be fair to say that as a journalist writing about the growing gap between the rich and the poor and as a recipient of the 2011 Bruce Jesson award “given annually for critical, informed, analytical and creative journalism which will contribute to public debate”, that Max Rashbrooke would have a few tough things to say about the current state of affairs in New Zealand, and he certainly did, with Mark Sainsbury asking the questions. Max gave many statistics, for example the bottom 10 percent have had no increase in income in the past 30 years, at the top it has more than doubled.  Someone earning $14.80 per hour, which equals $490 a week after tax and after having paid for all essentials is left with $50 per week or $5 a day.

His belief is that inequality is not just an issue for those struggling with poverty but  that income gaps are corrosive for society as a whole. To back this up  his book contains interviews of people from all income levels and includes  essays from well-known researchers, who along with their analysis also provide solutions.

He made reference to Christchurch and suggested that we are experiencing inequality in the bucketloads, (not quite his words but that was the gist of it) which is either a good thing to hear as someone is acknowledging our issues, or a not so good thing because we really must be in a bad way!

The audience was right behind him, it was a free event and was jam-packed with good solid lefties.  People stood to ask questions that were ostensibly political speeches.  People cheered, it was like an old-time political rally with Mark Sainsbury conducting straw polls in his booming voice… “How many of you would pay higher taxes if it could help with the problem of inequality”? Every hand in the house went up, a biased audience yes, and depending on your political persuasion a result that is either comforting or downright nuts.  All in all a great free event and I am looking forward to the book.

Have a look at Max Rushbrooke’s Blog to read some of his articles.

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