The National Business Review has replaced its 'The Rich List' with 'The List'. The editor of 'The List', Maria Slade, wants us to know about all the good work the rich are doing...
CAPITALISM has no loyalty but to itself and it will play both sides when it suits its interests. So in these increasingly troubled days of pandemic, climate change and general economic and political disrepair, capitalism doesn't want to be seen as part of the problem, it wants to be seen as part of the solution. It wants to be our friend. Woke capitalism wants us to know its on our side. Really.
So its hardly coincidental that a business publication like the National Business Review should decide that it might be a good idea not to highlight the fact that the rich continue to get richer, especially when everyone else continues to get poorer.
Because of the coronavirus the NBR did not publish its traditional Rich List in 2020 but its back this year and its been revamped. Its now just called 'The List' and while it still records who is coining it, the NBR also wants us to know about all the good work our local rich elite are doing.
The editor of 'The List', Maria Slade, told RNZ that the NBR wanted to look 'more holistically' at New Zealand's wealthy elite and show 'how they are building enterprises, giving back to the country, philanthropic endeavours, all that kind of thing. And so the idea of the NBR list was born'.
Although Slade says that the 'celebration of wealth for wealth's sake has had its day' that isn't the philosophy that the rich themselves are following. According to Inland Revenue and Treasury figures, New Zealand's wealthiest individuals pay just one percent of their total income in tax. Treasury says that 42 percent of the country's wealthy elite pay less than ten percent in tax.
There's not much 'giving back to the country' going on here and it comes as no surprise that Treasury says that the top ten percent own 70 percent of the country's wealth while the top one percent own approximately 25 percent of all the wealth.
Its also not coincidental that in the midst of a poverty pandemic, the NBR should want to downplay that the wealthy continue to prosper. Indeed it was reported in January that New Zealand's richest man, Graeme Hart, had made nearly $3.5 billion since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time food banks were reporting record demand on their services and the number of homeless continued to increase.