Green’s Utopia: The fastest way to achieving equality is to make everybody poorer
The Green Party’s attempt to increase the welfare state in their policy launched over the weekend, is not only an unnecessary burden on taxpayers but also founded on a misunderstanding of the economic realities facing New Zealand.
Firstly, the Green's claim that inequality has been increasing in New Zealand. This is quite simply not true. Two recent reports by the New Zealand Initiative and NZIER, respectively, demonstrate that inequality is unchanged in over two decades.
Secondly, the Green's policy to increase the minimum wage by $2 an hour, and eventually index it to 66% of the average wage, comes in spite of New Zealand already having the highest minimum to average wage ratio in the OECD. As it currently stands, the minimum to average wage ratio in New Zealand is approximately 0.52. This is significantly higher than other comparable countries such as Australia (0.44), the UK (0.41), Canada (0.40), and the US (0.25).
The irony is that indexing the minimum wage to the average wage may become self-fulfilling under a Green Government. Their combination of policies deters growth, innovation and productivity, as well as pours away taxpayer money. It is therefore quite possible that the average wage will fall – achieving their 66% average wage policy without even having to increase the minimum.
The Greens do not seem to grasp the concept that New Zealand can only get wealthier and increase living standards if we become more productive, innovative, and increase output. The Greens seem to think that disincentivizing the productive and rewarding the unproductive will make us better off.
The Greens are the only party to date who has proposed a tax increase, in the form of a new 40% top tax rate. Not only is this envy politics, but it is quite alarming that when the Governments books project enormous surpluses into the foreseeable future, the Greens still don’t think New Zealand taxpayers are parting with enough of their money.