Amanda Vanstone warns against the politics of envy, telling us that the top 2% of taxpayers pay 25% of the tax. Why would that be, I wonder? Well, let’s skip the top 10%, for the moment; let’s look at the top 2 – the top 0.000 000 01%. Gina Rinehart and the Pratts, together, have 27 1/2 billion dollars. That’s ever so slightly more assets than the bottom 14% of Australians put together, right there.
Very few people realise how very rich the rich people are in this country. If string cost a thousand dollars a millimetre the poorest 10% of Australians could afford enough to measure the joint of their little finger. The average household would have under half a metre. Gina Rinehart’s allocation would stretch from Federation Square to Tullamarine Airport, as the crow flies. Do the math.
Rich people in this country sit on heaps of treasure like Smaug on his hoard, flying out to attack anybody who wants to diminish their wealth by a farthing. Their influence distorts our politics, our economics, and our media. Politicians, and ex-politicians, compete to lick their boots. And now we are told that we ought to be grateful that in absolute terms some of them pay more tax than I do.
Bring back death duties for estates over, say, fifty million dollars. It’s not as if Gina want to pass it on to her children anyway.
Assets of bottom 14% - ABS Household Wealth and Wealth Distribution, Australia, 2011–12
Top 2 wealth from BRW Rich list
Actually, they have an excuse for binning this one - Richard Deness of the Australia institute makes much the same points at http://www.theage.com.au/comment/australia-needs-to-be-fairer-if-it-wants-to-be-richer-20141013-115bdo.html