Jacinda Arden and wealth inequality: is change going to come?

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Presented by Max Rashbrooke

Lectures, talks and seminars

26 Jun 2020 12:00 pm to 26 Jun 2020 1:00 pm

The event is on zoom: https://vuw.zoom.us/j/99039710701

Wealth inequality is, and probably always has been, much higher than New Zealand myth suggests—but does Jacinda Ardern have a plan to fix it?

Data about wealth inequality in New Zealand is sketchy and partial but what data we do have suggests it has consistently been higher than an 'egalitarian' nation might expect.

This raises questions about participation in the economy, power relations, inter-generational inequality, and people's ability to plan for a good life. In a world where the poorest 50 percent of adults (approximately 2 million people) own just 2 percent of all wealth, and many have negative wealth, how can we speak of people having a ‘stake’ in their society? What are the drivers of this wealth inequality and how does New Zealand’s level compare internationally? What questions does this raise about notions of equality of opportunity, and equality between generations? More broadly, what does the latest data show, how might we think about it, and is there any prospect of wealth inequality being reduced under current policy settings? Can we expect any proposals at the forthcoming election to significantly address wealth inequality?

For more information contact: Alexander Maxwell

Speaker Bios

Max Rashbrooke is a Wellington-based writer with twin interests in economic inequality and democratic participation, and is currently the 2020 J. D. Stout Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington. He is the author of Government for the Public Good: The Surprising Science of Large-Scale Collective Action, published by Bridget Williams Books (BWB) in September 2018. He is also the author of Wealth and New Zealand, and edited the best-selling work Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis.