Systems and dollars rigged to favour the poor

Mr Cormack (Opinion, December 12) complains that being poor is compounding - which is true. It is true in the natural world too - in other words it is a natural state of affairs.

But is the system really "rigged" in favour of the wealthy?

We have a progressive tax system in which high earners pay a third of their income in tax whereas low earners pay nothing. Those earning bank interest can find themselves in effect paying more than half. Our public health, education and welfare systems are all designed to deliver according to need, not means. Nearly 40 per cent of the economy is made up of state spending, dominated by those big three. We get to spend only 60 cents of every dollar we earn. We are already a long way down the path to socialism.


The problem is not that the system is rigged to favour the rich. Perhaps the problem is that all those systems and dollars rigged to favour the poor, consistently fail to deliver. As they did in East Germany, the USSR and now Venezuela. Maybe going further down that road, as we currently are, will only make matters worse.

Stuart Pedersen
Mt Maunganui

'Bubble Up effect'

I so agree with David Cormack (Opinion, December 12). As a country we were fed the "Trickle Down effect" line years ago. The only people espousing and agreeing with this theory are the well off and big business.

The majority of the rich are where they are because they know how to hold on to their money and make it grow. Giving them tax breaks just means they are better off to make more and they are not likely to spend it frivolously, allowing it to go back into the money chain to trickle down. Term deposits and investments tie up massive amounts of capital that is not available to the everyday Joe Bloggs trying to get by.

Give the same money to low and middle income people and they almost immediately have to spend it to just to keep surviving. This could be called the "Bubble Up effect" because they are supporting the small business community who in turn pay the next up the ladder for their supplies and so on right to the top where the rich can skim off the cream but without as much resentment from the have nots.

France's President Macron has provided us with a clear picture of what can happen when the rich get the tax breaks and the poor see no future from their everyday drudgery.

Every company needs profit reinvestment to grow but directors and shareholders should not only be responsible for growing the company but also consider the welfare of their employees. I'm sure the government would like to pay their department employees a fair wage so if private business is doing well with more people earning a living wage then the more funds from taxes the government has to pay them and the money keeps bubbling to the top.

When even the hard working middle income families are struggling you know there has to be something wrong with the existing theory.


Barbara Baldwin
Te Puke

Commuter train

Regarding the letter from A Palmer (Letters, December 12) suggesting a train to Auckland. Why spend money on a scenic train to Auckland when a morning and evening train to and from Katikati to Tauranga with stops along the way for workers and general public then buses running from The Strand to take workers to their places of work.

This idea has been talked about for quite some time between friends when the subject of road congestion crops up. The rail is already there and surely a deal could be done with NZ Rail to make this happen. Come on Tauranga wake up its under your nose - do it. Take a trip to Perth in Australia and see how a fantastic train system works AND it works in conjunction with freight trains.

Carol Yaxley

Scarcely the stuff of nightmares

I would like to comment on the article by Dawn Picken (Opinion, December 6) about screening for breast cancer. Like Dawn, after a mammogram I was recalled for an ultrasound and biopsy. It was unpleasant, but scarcely the stuff of nightmares, and to my relief, the results were negative.

More than a decade and more mammograms later, I had another recall. This time a cancer was detected, removed and I made a complete recovery. Without the early detection, I might well have faced prolonged chemotherapy – or be dead.

While Dawn agrees that early detection saves lives, she makes much about the "emotional distress'" which may come with breast screening.

Some temporary emotional distress is much preferable to being dead! I really appreciate the preventative policies offered by our health system, and would encourage everyone to make the most of them.

Ann Graeme