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Opinion: Inequality in NZ: why wealth is accumulated in a dangerous way

Posted in Opinion

By Neville Bennett

New Zealand households have a lot of catching up to do in the international wealth stakes.

The amount of wealth commanded by individuals is lower than in most OECD countries: for example, Australians just before retirement are more than twice as well off. Moreover, our rate of wealth accumulation is lagging behind other countries, so there is little prospect of catching up unless there are amazing changes.

Perhaps some change can be prepared for by making the facts available.

Wealth studies are few and far between, and there is often apathy towards the subject. But it is incredibly important, as half of the population are so poor, that they can be said to lack a stake in the country. Many Kiwis struggle for a lifetime but leave little wealth behind them.

Contrary to popular mythology, New Zealand is still an unequal society.

The top 10% of the population holds 50% of total wealth, and the bottom half of the population owns around 5%.

The precise amounts have not been surveyed for several very volatile years in which houses, land and shares have boomed and slumped, many finance companies have crashed, and interest rates have gyrated. As houses are an important asset, and their value has retreated, the age of the data is not a big issue.
 
One way of looking at the situation is to envisage a cake which represents the nation’s wealth.

The top decile (that is the wealthiest 10%) claims half of the cake. The bottom 50% of the population gets crumbs only as their share, a mere 3%.

In 2001, the top 10% had an average wealth of $1.1 million, but the lowest 50% have negligible assets; indeed, 16% have negative assets - they are in debt.

Thirty-nine percent of the population had less than $20,000 - that is, 800,000 New Zealanders had less than $20,000 in net assets. 

This wealth distribution is similar to that of the USA, UK, Australia and Canada. In most of them the bottom 30% has less than 1% of the cake. But the proportion of people with negative assets in New Zealand (16%) was remarkably high, comparing with only 4% in Australia. 

Definitions

As wealth is not often discussed, it will be helpful to define it. There is some confusion between income and wealth which we had better sort out. Both are part of a person’s purchasing power.

Income is an increase in purchasing power over a given period of time, while wealth is what you are worth, the amount of purchasing power you have at present (without using credit).

Wealth is a stock, while income is a flow.

To explain further, imagine an individual had a bank deposit of $10,000 yielding 5%. She would have a stock of wealth of $10,000, and an income flow of $500 per year.

The evidence on data used in the article comes from two sources, one was a survey in 2004 by the New Zealand Institute, and more recent material is from the Department of Statistics

Statistics NZ acknowledges that wealth distribution data is useful for policy formulation and for its implications for health outcomes, economic and social well-being, and the ability to withstand life shocks.

It estimates wealth distribution on an empirical basis. It attempts to be longitudinal, so it is not a mere snapshot of the present situation, but will eventually show the evolution of net worth over time. This is important as some groups of people may have few assets today (e.g. students) but is a decade they might be well off, especially if they have inherited wealth.

A study over time is useful for policy research into such questions as: “are tax cuts effective in promoting greater equality?’ The data comes from The Survey of Family, income, and Employment (SoFIE) 2003-4.

Obviously we will be talking a lot about averages. technically, this is the arithmetic mean. A 'mean' is what we get by dividing a sum total by a number. For example, if 5 people have in a street have houses worth $300,000, $320,000, $380,000, $400,000, and $420,000 respectively, the mean in $370,000. But what happens if the next house is worth one million dollars? The mean is now $475,000, which is more expensive than 5 of the 6 houses.
 
The 'median' avoids this problem of extremes. It is the value with an equal number of items with values below as above it. In the case of our 5 houses the median is $380,000, as there are two houses below that, and two houses more valuable. If we add the sixth house, the median value is the mean of the two middle houses: ($380,000 and $400,000 = $390,000.) The median gets rid of some extremes. The 'mode' is also useful. (The 'mode' is the most common value in a set of numbers.) If most houses in the locality were valued at $320,000, the mode would be $320,000 because more houses were worth $320,000 than any other specified valuation .

Some methods of investigating wealth

Some readers might like to skip this section, but other might be interested in methodology.

Some of the breadth of wealth distribution is a function of age.

Thus the median wealth of 18-24 year olds is just $100, but it is $200,000 for 60-64 year olds.

But some people do not accumulate any assets before retirement. A very large number of people are almost totally dependent on national superannuation as the major source of their retirement income.

The New Zealand Institute suggests that it is possible “that people make a deliberate, rational decision not to accumulate wealth because of the existence of a publicly provided pension”.

There is an obvious link between income and asset acquisition. Unsurprisingly, people with higher incomes tend to have more assets.

But the relationship seems to begin at about $50,000 per annum. Below that level, households struggle and live hand-to-mouth.

As the median level of income for individuals is about $30,000, and the median for households is $50,000, half of the population are on incomes that make it difficult to save.

Some incomes advance with age, but many New Zealanders will never exceed the median income.

Household Expenditure data indicates that between 1984 and 1998 about 50% of all savings were by people in the top 10% of income earners. Income seems a more powerful determinant of asset acquisition than age. Nevertheless, income, age, education, family structure, inheritance and occupation only explain about 40% of variations in saving.

What really matters

This means that institutions and individual preferences are extremely important.

Institutions do matter. As recently discussed in NBR the level of wealth of people who participate in employer-based superannuation schemes is substantially higher than those who do not participate.

Moreover, housing plays a huge role in asset acquisition.

Home ownership rates were at 68% in 2001, but the poorer people have a rate of about 50% while the rich have a rate of 80%. There is a very strong preference for housing assets. But a car is owned by 77% and 91% have a deposit account.

But only 21% have private superannuation.

Most financial assets are concentrated in the ownership of the richest part of the population. New Zealanders hold more of their total wealth in motor cars than in shares.

Housing wealth was increasing its share of total assets before the recent price surge. Financial assets have declined as a proportion of wealth holding. This marks New Zealand off from other Anglo countries.

It is important to determine why Kiwis have a relatively low and declining share of financial assets.

Clearly Government policy tends to encourage tax free gains in housing while taxing deposits and dividends. Other countries have policies which encourage both home ownership and financial asset ownership, but New Zealand was late to introduce KiwiSaver. Australia has a compulsory superannuation scheme and the USA encourages savings through tax-advantaged accounts.

The outlook is rather gloomy, with a declining rate of home ownership, an increasing student loan debt, and a general change by the population to less frugal habits with a greater willingness to assume credit-based debt. We can only conclude that it is increasingly difficult for New Zealanders to advance financially.

So "a growing number of Kiwis will be without any meaningful stake in the economy and society".

--------------------------------

* Neville Bennett was a long-time Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Canterbury, where he taught since 1971. His focus is economic history and markets. He is also a columnist for the NBR.
neville@bennetteconomics.com

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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33 Comments

Neville: One way of looking

Neville: One way of looking at the situation is to envisage a cake which represents the nation’s wealth.

Behold, an economist who believes the economy is a cake! I thought that fallacy was only found among certain Labour types or the Greens. I pity your students.

A cake to represent NZ's

A cake to represent NZ's wealth ? Hmmm : Mud-Cake !

Something to represent the NZ Labour party : Fairy Cakes .

The National government : A pudding , she's an ineffectual mess , gotta be : Trifle .

The Greens ? Nut-Bars !

Roger, your funny comments

Roger, your funny comments used to be fun - now they getting stupid. Are you stll living in Loburn ?

........... Thankyou for

........... Thankyou for pointing out the error of my ways , Walter . I am a naughty wee Gummy ! For punishment , back to the beach ( Panay Bay , Philippines ) for cool mango squishys with the delectable Cherry , under the shade of the coconut palms  .............. cheerio Kunzie !

 Sleeping under Coco-nut

 Sleeping under Coco-nut palms could be the reason - how heavy are those fruits - one obviously was full on target - on your most valuable part of the body ? - hmmm ! Wear a P- helmet next time Roger.

Behold, one who fails to

Behold, one who fails to question 'the economy' in the first place.

Take energy out of it, B de B.

Tell me one thing you've got left, one activity that continues, one good or service tradeable.

There ain't one.

So 'the economy', is entirely dependent on a supply of energy. As are you.

Thus is finite in potential, until such time as an infinite source of energy is tapped, with infinite reproduction capabilities.

So why not represent that limited total as a pie-graph.

or a cake.

You need to think from first principles more, methinks.

:)

We just don’t have

We just don’t have enough jobs to make us rich as a nation, because real production is one- sided and entire, higher wages segments of industries are missing.

The massive Property and Service industry  - pah -  lead into more foreign dependency.

Even when Japan's economy was

Even when Japan's economy was at its nadir it was still much stronger and healthier than that of the USA of late, simply because Japan makes things other people are willing to buy, whereas the Yanks do little more than fax legal memos to each other.

NZ's export sector is also very weak. Agriculture doesn't earn the nation anywhere near as much as many like to say and think it does. What else do we export besides ag products?

Interesting article, but too

Interesting article, but too many socialist imperatives underpinning its themes to make it palatable (or even very helpful) for me I'm afraid.

For example, why should the success of tax cuts only be measured in terms of their ability to be about promoting greater equality? That seems to imply that the purpose of taxation is about the redistribution of wealth and the redistribution of wealth only and any deviation from that is a bad thing. I thought taxation was paid to fund Governments to do work for the advancement (hopefully) and protection of the people on a scale that individuals themselves cannot do, and not to take from the haves to give to the have not’s purely to satisfy the political need of those with a strong dose of hand wringing angst?

Taxation is about making the

Taxation is about making the lowest paid support the highest paid.

Well that's a very glib

Well that's a very glib statement, amalgam, but I don't think this table from Treasury supports your view. http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2009/taxpayers/01.htm

This indicates that the 8% of the population on the highest tax rate in NZ pays 42% of the income tax paid in this country, whereas the 21% of the population on the lowest tax rate pays only 1% of NZ's income tax. Let's hope that not to many of those high income earners go to Aussie, eh?

This is what a benefit

This is what a benefit infested society produces, "dependency" without "dignity and MOST NZders think its perfectly normal to get government handouts for EVERYTHING while paying NO tax or even having a productive job themselves. The likes of Sue Bradford are the worst advocates for this type of thinking (hence her involvement in the 'alternative working income group) This is bankrupting the country via us having to borrow foreign money (billions) to pay for WFF's

NZders lack what I call "life hustle". Many have no aspirations other than babies, a house, fancy car and maybe a boat or some other form of perceived luxury item.

Material things are promoted as the great pillar of 'wealth' , yet REAL wealth is having KNOWLEDGE, being able to use that knowledge without the restrictions or government red tape. Combine that with STABLE DEPENDABLE FAMILY UNITS and FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE.

Many NZders are highly innovative BUT when the product or idea they have created hits a major financial hurdle or  so many legislative hurdles they normally give up OR they sell out early to some foreign IP investor who goes ahead and makes a killing with the idea worldwide. Government do little to encourage real innovation that could help this country. They would rather you be dependent, poor and controllable as then you offer no threat to the status quo. This is why they never did a thing to discourage the property bubble

Ask the average NZder: "would you rather have a decent wage and be working or be dependent on a benefit like WFF's and earning a fulltime wage that just does not actually pay all the bills?

The modern (non classical)

The modern (non classical) "liberal" project claims to advance social mobility and equality. The only way the modern liberal knows to do this, is via "wealth transfers".   

They are incapable of confronting all the following causes of increasing inequality and decreasing social mobility for which THEIR favoured policies are responsible. With all these factors at work, it is a wonder we do not have much worse inequality than we do; and furthermore, efforts to address this inequality through income redistribution are inevitably failures.

 
Provision of services, etc, with public money, that primarily benefit the wealthy, and the neglect of infrastructure that was a greater benefit, proportionally, to lower income earners. The neglect of roads, and time wasted in congestion, has a disparate impact on the poor, who tend to depend more on motor vehicle use than middle class people who can choose where they live and can organise their life around public transport. Public Transport routes converge closer to city centres, so that those who live in the higher-priced homes in those areas, find public transport convenient but those who live in lower-priced homes further out, do not.

The subsidy of cultural centres and art galleries benefits the wealthy at the expense of the poor. New Orleans was a classic illustration of the consequences of concentration on trendy cultural vibrancy and the like, by the local administration, at the expense of vital infrastructure that was fought tooth and nail by chardonnay greenies and NIMBY-ists.
 
Worth a specific mention, are "free" public goods like Water (in some jurisdictions). In so far as poorer people use a lot less and yet pay for the resource, and wealthier people use a lot more, the cost burden falls disproportionately on the poor in comparison to politically unfashionable "user pays" systems.
 
 
Background reading: "Back To Basics", by Joel Kotkin
http://www.joelkotkin.com/Urban_Affairs/NAF_GrowthStrategy.pdf
 
 
The “conservation” of land, and restrictive zoning, has a disparate impact on the poor, on the young and those who do not own properties, in favour of the more well-off who maintain their nice views and surroundings, while property values escalate out of reach of all who are not already property owners. An excellent article in this respect, is “Green Disparate Impact”, by Thomas Sowell. (The “poor” population of California is actually being driven out of state by escalating property values).
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2008/01/15/green_dispara...
 
Also, in "The Housing Bubble and the Boomer Generation", Robert Bruegmann argues that this phenomenon has resulted in "the greatest intergenerational wealth transfer in history", in favour of older, existing home owners, at the expense of young, first home buyers. The "boomer generation" benefitted from pro-development policies that enabled them to buy low-price first homes on the urban fringes, while at the same time the price of all houses was kept low. But now the boomer generation has gone along with land conservation policies that result in the prices of all homes being driven up, which benefits them but prices first home buyers out of the market. And when these property price "bubbles" burst, it is the people who bought more recently, mortgaged to the limit, who suffer the most from bankruptcies.
http://www.newgeography.com/content/00452-the-housing-bubble-and-boomer-...

One of the most absurd consequences of these policies, is that while the house prices go up faster than the young can save a deposit, the home owning generation can borrow against the appreciated value of their own home and use the money to buy further "investment properties", which they then rent out to those who are locked out of home ownership by the rising prices. Hopefully now that there has been a major financial crash stemming from these land price inflating policies, they will be reviewed. They were in any case, as the above Bruegmann essay points out, probably the SINGLE MOST SIGNIFICANT CAUSE of widening inequalities in society.

A further related factor, is the trend for developers of new housing, to be required to pay "infrastructure levies" and the like, which add tens of thousands of dollars to the price of every new home. The new homes bought by previous generations, had no such levies imposed and infrastructure was funded out of general public revenue. This gets worse, because all urban growth results in increases in the value of existing land, and the more valuable the land, the more further increase is captured by it (eg CBD land).  "Development contributions"/ "Impact fees" therefore become a wealth transfer from entrants into the property market, to the existing owners of property who always had the most to gain from "growth". Land taxes applied across the whole area always were the most equitable way to pay for growth-enabling infrastructure.

Urban planners have come to favour a "monocentric" urban model, under which these effects are the most marked - that is, property values vary far more dramatically than in mixed-use, multi-nodal type metros. The justification for the monocentric model, is that it creates higher density residential zones that make planet-saving commuter rail more viable. The capital gains captured by owners of CBD properties in a monocentric metro are many times as high as the capital gains captured by anyone in a non-monocentric metro.
 
The recent fashion to insist that roading and indeed all transport infrastructure be financed from petrol taxes, adds to this trend. Most people do in fact travel by car and pay petrol taxes; while the capital gains that result from the infrastructure they are paying for, is captured mostly by the owners of centrally sited property. The lowest income earners who cannot afford the most conveniently located homes, (including homes located convenient to public transport) end up paying the most into this wealth transfer especially via petrol taxes.

Furthermore, the capital gains resulting from the proximity of properties to new commuter rail lines and stations, are always highly concentrated; whereas the capital gains resulting from road expansion are much more diffuse. Subsidies from gas taxes and general taxation, for commuter rail projects, represent a wealth transfer from these "payers" to the owners of conveniently located properties. (Economist Colin Clark described this effect authoritatively in one of his seminal works, "Regional and Urban Location", 1982).

Infill development" closer to the city centre requires expensive upgrades of old and inadequate infrastructure; while the beneficiaries of this development are invariably wealthier people. If the political fashionability of infill development results in special levies not being made, or minimised, this too throws a disproportionate cost burden onto the land taxes paid by young households closer to the urban fringes.
 
Increases in regulatory expense and the costs of obtaining licenses for commercial activity and the like, tend to inequality. A major food canning business began a few decades ago in its founder's garage. These "rags to riches" stories, are no longer possible, except perhaps in the entertainment industry. In a hard-hitting open letter, successful  Silicon Valley entrepreneur T. J Rodgers argues that California has now destroyed the conditions under which Silicon Valley was able to begin, especially cheap land and cheap small business premises.

http://www.fcpp.org/images/publications/Cyprus%20letter.pdf

This phenomenon is well covered in the book “The Mystery of Capital” by Hernando DeSoto. Interestingly, well-established larger businesses are often supporters of this phenomenon, as it keeps competition to a minimum, hence the little-publicised support of many wealthy people for regulatory, socialist politics.

More recommended reading: “Intellectual Class Wars”, by David Horowitz, "Freedom of Opportunity, Not Equality of Opportunity" by George Reisman, and “Scratching By: How Government Creates Poverty as We Know it”, By Charles Johnson:
http://www.fee.org/publications/the-freeman/article.asp?aid=8204

California is probably the outstanding illustration of all these effects of misguided policy of "Liberal Left" government on poorer people, which the same government and politicians claim to care about more deeply than "free market" politicians. A recent article made this comment:
 
"....As recently as the 1980s, Californians generally got richer faster than other Americans did. Now, median household income growth trails the national average while the already large divide between the social classes—often bemoaned by the state’s political left—grows faster than in the rest of the country....."
 
http://www.american.com/archive/2008/november-december-magazine/sundown-...

The trend towards greater levels of immigration, and relaxed criteria for language, qualifications, and wealth of immigrants. Immigrants in the past tended to be fewer in number, of high qualification, and socially mobile. Our political culture now demands less discrimination, and what is more, does not require the immigrant to assimilate. Large numbers of modern day immigrants merely swell the ranks of the immobile underclass.
 
The subsidy of tertiary education with public money. Tertiary education itself, tends to increase inequality, due to the higher incomes commanded by graduates. To use taxes, which remain unnecessarily high on low income earners, to subsidise this, only worsens the situation. An outright free market situation with all students paying fees, and a broader use of direct student-based “scholarships”, would actually produce less inequality than the system we have now, and would produce much better results in terms of relevant qualifications. I suggest that many of the poorer folk who do make it to Uni under the current system, could be tending to make poorer choices of qualification, which would be eliminated by better guidance under a scholarship-based system especially scholarships funded by private enterprise which best knows of its needs for people with certain qualifications.
 
The fully socialised public schooling system, actually increases inequality because the numbers of people who can afford to pay taxes AND pay private school fees is obviously going to be low; in contrast to any system where parental choice is at least partly subsidised with tax breaks or "vouchers". This is why 3 times as many Australian schoolchildren, proportionally, go to private schools, than in NZ.

Breakdown in traditional marriage. The obvious thing is the disadvantage to children brought up without a father, or with a string of perverse male role models in their lives. But also, marriage across socio-economic boundaries, and subsequent “inheritance”, were powerful reducers of inequality. Declining religious observance and churchgoing is also a factor in a lower rate of marriage occurring across socio-economic boundaries.

The obvious contrast between single parent families and double income families. In previous eras, there were less of both these things. Obviously, if we progress from a societal model where most families have 2 parents, with one working; to another model where there are a large proportion of double income families and a large proportion of solo mothers, either working or not, we will experience an increase in inequality.
 
The trend for wealthier people to have "planned families", and the poorer not.

Lastly, there is simply more selfish attitudes, the "me" generation, with more childless "singles", who are relatively well off, than at any other time in history.

Alot to try and fix there

Alot to try and fix there Phil. Unfortunately we have a lack of REAL leaders willing to take on these issues or even explain these issues to the wider consumer property obsessed public
 

..and here we go again and

..and here we go again and again around the circle talking about side issues – adding to our “NZPatchwork economy”.

We just don’t have enough jobs to make us rich as a nation, because real production is one- sided and entire, higher wages segments of industries are missing.

The massive Property and Service industry  - pah -  lead into more foreign dependency

Brownlee on

Brownlee on mining

http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/brownlee-pike-river-coal-mine-officially-opened-today/5/5898

I’ll finish by saying that the future for coal seam gas in New Zealand is a bright one. We have a considerable in-ground coal resource with some interesting developments occurring already. I’m sure they’ll grow as the years go by and as we learn more about the exact size and nature of the resource in New Zealand. There would be numerous benefits to New Zealand from the environmentally responsible development of coal seam gas, and so as a government we will watch and support it with interest. I wish (Brownlee said) you all the best for the conference today, and I look forward to coming to many more in the future.

 Yeah, Mr Brownlee and there you are !!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://brownlee.co.nz/index.php?/archives/133-Address-to-Inaugural-Coal-Seam-Gas-Industry-Briefing.html

We Must Unite Against The Review of Schedule 4. Labour stands firm against the review of Schedule 4. We’re against the idea of mining in our national parks and conservation areas. As proud New Zealanders, we consider it our responsibility to look after our country for future generations. We know there’s money in mining. But our biggest treasure is far more precious than gold.

http://thestandard.org.nz/labour-on-mining-brownlee-on-bullshit/

 

Comment to Brownlee/ Joyce

Steps towards a civilised,  prosperous and  proud country – away from modern slavery !

When do we start thinking about real production in New Zealand, manufacturing quality products we need for our daily life’s (infrastructure needs) ? This guarantees full employment, supports skill and higher wages, creates job opportunities for the younger generation, research and science and reduces our account deficit – the list is endless.

Why are you two not listening to experts - the real creators of a prospors economy, the private sector Manufacturing ? 

----

 Bernhard - can you talk to Paul (Q&A) - to make their site more userfriendly - thanks.

Here is more for our

Here is more for our ministers:

The current economic system seeks to maximise labour productivity, to produce more output from each hour of work. There is an implicit assumption that increases in productivity are in the best interests of society, but this is not always the case. In a service-based economy, for example, chasing labour productivity makes little sense; it simply leads to job losses. Instead of seeking to maximise productivity, the economic system should work towards optimising it. We should pursue productivity gains to minimise unpleasant work, but not use them to displace work that brings joy and meaning to people’s lives.

As E.F. Schumacher wrote: “If a man has no chance of obtaining work he is in a desperate position, not simply because he lacks an income but because he lacks this nourishing and enlivening factor of disciplined work which nothing can replace.”

 

The economy is a human construct.

Economic “laws” are not like the law of gravity. They can be altered. But at the end of the day, if we want to change the economy, then people must also change their behaviours. This may sound like an intimidating task, but it’s not impossible.

All we need to do is look at the inspiring ways in which culture and behavioural norms have shifted over time. In today’s hyper-connected world, changes can happen faster than at any point in history.

 http://www.neweconomics.org/sites/neweconomics.org/files/EnoughIsEnough_FullReport.pdf

19.April 2010 Big Mr Brownlee

19.April 2010 Big Mr Brownlee said mining had a range of benefits for everyone "from the time you get up in the morning until the time you go to bed at night".

 http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1004/S00204.htm

With that kind of crap from a political leader – obviously the majority of voters have to live with. When will we ever learn not vote for parties, but for capable politicians - in case there are any. Shrink the government !

A number of parliamentarians

A number of parliamentarians are just not up to their jobs.

Key members obviously have the luxury of playing Kindergarten in stead of concentration on real issues.

Have a read questions and answers – just pathetic !

 http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/Debates/9/b/a/49HansD_20100505_00000001-Questions-for-Oral-Answer-Questions-to-Ministers.htm

 The nation needs to be educated – politically and economically - at least – urgently - HA!

Is this a government money

Is this a government money over people’s health policy ? – Shame on you !

It seems to me the allowance of Pike River operation is another act from the government in desperation to generate revenue in order to lower the massive account deficit –  yes a sad tragedy,  but classical example of our “Patchwork economy”

 Coal mines seem to be hurting the very people who are supposed to be gaining the most economic benefits from their presence. “We know that in West Virginia we have high rates of poverty and illness, and we’ve been led to believe by government and industry that the coal companies help by creating jobs. But that’s not true,” says Hendryx. “Premature mortality is strongly linked to socioeconomic conditions where people live, and the evidence is that those areas of West Virginia that do not have coal do better. They develop economic alternatives.”

In the study, Hendryx calls for more diverse career opportunities that won’t pollute drinking water and air, including energy from wind, the sun, small-scale agriculture, outdoor tourism, or sustainable timber operations.

http://www.rodale.com/health-problems-coal-mining-areas?page=0%2C1

A profile here :

http://www.abnnewswire.net/companies/en/32805/Pike-River-Coal-Limited

 While this milestone was a significant boost for the company and its investors, the fact remained that the geological challenges we had been facing for some time, continued to have a negative impact on our production forecasts, affecting the rate of underground mine development and ultimately progression to full production: a frustration shared by both us and you. This, of course, has a roll-on effect and, inevitably, net cash-flow is impacted. As a result, the company embarked on a $50 million capital raising exercise to provide working capital to help complete the underground mine development. That was successfully completed in May 2010. A pro rata rights issue that raised $40 million of the package saw more than 6,100 investors take up their rights entitlements for 43.4 million shares - 95% of the total offer of 45.45 million shares. Prior to that, a $10 million placement was completed with New Zealand Oil & Gas, Gujarat NRE and institutional investors.

My last comment to the sad

My last comment to the sad Pike River tragedy.:

 We must change course and abandon striving for traditional goals of growth.

  Mr Brownlee/ Joyce what a NZeconomic performance to turn the NZproduct - the cleanest NZwater in the world - into the dirtiest ?

New Zealand, particularly “The Westcoast” could and deserves do so much better.

 Structuring our economy is all about sustainability with a national long term NZ100% pure philosophy behind, creating full employment with decent NZjob opportunities for our citizen.  Sustainable NZproductivity yes, but towards a solid NZmanufacturing culture to cover our daily needs in life and business.

Please, read and understand this comment in context with many of my other articles. 

pip and John Key Mr

pip and John Key

Mr Brownlee/ Joyce what a NZeconomic performance to turn one of the most potential NZproduct -  the cleanest NZwater in the world - into  the NZdirtiest ?

How much responsibility the

How much responsibility the government has in the Pike River tragedy needs to be seen. Safety and health issues definitely failed.

The question still remains why does the government not push for jobs , which serve the workers and the country's overall performance much better – manufacturing ?

"NZ's export sector is also

"NZ's export sector is also very weak. Agriculture doesn't earn the nation anywhere near as much as many like to say and think it does. What else do we export besides ag products?"

 

Harcourts are selling $800m of "products" at Shanghai (God Bless them).

http://static.radionz.net.nz/assets/audio_item/0011/2385074/mnr-20100824-0842-More_than_800-million_dollars_worth_of_property_on_display-m048.asx

As a small, remote under-

As a small, remote under- populated nation and considering the world environment, why does the government not adapt a structured “NZ100%  Pure” economy – with a great prospect of reduction of our massive account deficit ? The list of more advantages, as I described many times - not only for our economy, but society is almost endless.

 In stead of risking health and life’s of NZcitizens by private overseas investments, why does the government not invest money in a “NZ100% Pure” long term economic strategy/ philosophy ?

 In stead of constandly importing, why not manufacturing NZinfrastructure it would provide many more decent, skillful jobs for Kiwis ?

E.g. - developing  NZFresh water NZcompanies along the NZWestcoast = multi billion dollars NZbusiness. (read my comments above) 

 http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/business/story.html?id=60e8a4c1-b733-4f96-a85c-d723c1f4e221

 http://wwf.panda.org/?uNewsID=196956

 Please, read and understand this article in context with many of my others.

Some incentives are already

Some incentives are already in place by the government. It is now a matter to use the potential sustainably to generate ideas and start up businesses providing good decent employment along the Westcoast.  

http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/water/freshwater/index.html

We had a world's best

We had a world's best practise industry on the West Coast , lauded by the scientific community , sustainable logging ! The previous Labour government abruptly shut down the industry .......... not after any consultancy , but simply because Helen Clark was personally opposed to any logging of native trees . .......... Somewhere between 180 - 200 jobs were immediately lost ........... And NZ began importing Quila hardword from Asia , to fill the market gap which was created .

You don't get sustainable

You don't get sustainable logging, particularly of fragile humus forests like Beech.

You get nutrient extraction, and by the time you've accounted that and the transporting properly, you get no profit.

To profit, you have to be drawing-down.

It was never a goer - if folk want to profit from timber, they have to account for it properly.

The best way to do so, is to plant the resource you harvest, and to return enough nutrient to balance your extraction.

That never happened.

Yes, Quila imports are a nonsense.

Jobs?  Too many folk treat the word as something concrete - the same mistake made with 'the economy'. Both are man-thought-up artificial constructs. Just part of an unsustainable rate of extraction/production/consumption/pollution.

Time to think differently about 'jobs'.

It’s not only about

It’s not only about job’s do think differently - the entire NZeconomy should strive for “NZ100% Pure” – a unique philosophy/ strategy as a model for the rest of the world - with a brilliant future.

Walter, forget being a model

Walter, forget being a model for the rest of the world -let's just do what is right for NZ. NZ is not, and never will be 100% Pure.

I find this much more interesting: "The money that I receive personally goes into my [angel investor] business K1W1. We've invested in 110 small start-up businesses. A lot of those are now becoming large businesses and they're all export-orientated and so my goal I hope, before I'm my dad's age, is to see that I'm responsible for exporting more products than The Warehouse imports."

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4396308/Warehouse-founder-to-...

CO - I’m not blinded by

CO - I’m not blinded by the “Cheap China Warehouse Plastic - Boss”.

 Sooner or later the world is moving to a tipping point and when developed economies are not adopting a 100% pure approach environment/ societies collapse. The fact is that symptoms for such developments are already visible, some not easy to avoid and some out of control. As many example already demonstrate here in NZ we have to implement steps to get rid of cowboys in many fields of businesses anyway, so why not make it right in order to become “NZ100%pure” – right now ?

 In today’s very competitive, even self destructive world, the hunger for purity is unmistakable. This is good for the planet, good for us and of huge potential to become a multi billion $ business including many more positive advantages.

 So why not be the frontrunner and brand New Zealand’s economy as “NZ100% pure” ?

 We don’t have another chance.

As a minister not performing

As a minister not performing to a high standard Mr. Browlee should be sacked. Other ministers importing of infrastructure in the billions in stead of supporting our own NZworkforce with decent, skilful jobs, reducing our account deficit - etc. should go too.  (please read 21.10. 10:04am also)

A number of changes need to be done on top – urgently - for a better performing NZeconomy.

 Please, read and understand this comments in context with many of my other articles.