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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Lies, Damn Lies

So Australia has $250,000 for every man, woman and child does it? That must mean we are all happy and loaded. But hang on a minute, the top 200 individuals in the BRW wealth index account for $71.3 billion of that which uses up the "average" quoata for a mere 285,364 people (1.4% of the population). In other words, if we discount just 200 people the "average" wealth for each person drops to $246,435. I don't have the figures to hand but can you imagine what the wealth would drop to if we discounted the top 1,000,000 (5%) of the population? Are you getting the picture that these averages don't mean jack howard? The problem with this economic boom is that the distribution is lousy, debt funded and underpinned by inflated house prices (refer to very scary graph and discussion on income growth under Howard). Australia is apparently ranked at number 14 out of 104 countries (a slip of 4 spots in one year) for global competitiveness. Now which bastion of capitalism would be flying the flag at number 1? Finland! The US is second, and another low taxing dog eat dog country is at number 4 - Sweden! Verging on commie countries Denmark and Norway are are 5 and 6. So why is the American system always held up to be the best? Sure, taxes are low but demand outstrips supply for razor wire so you need all the money you can get. Done properly, high taxes, fair distrubution of wealth and quality education all add up to global competitiveness. What more could you want?

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