The top 2 per cent of taxpayers, 58,000 of them, pay 17 per cent of the tax total.

An average of $65,000 each, and that doesn't include what they pay in GST or company tax.

And when these citizen-heroes open their newspapers on a weekend they read that, despite paying vastly more than their fair shares of taxes and their money going to feed a bottomless welfare pit, we are facing rising levels of inequality and declining competitiveness.

Why? Why is it that despite hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on beneficiaries, free education, free health care and subsidised housing, we are going backwards?


The answer was provided in stark relief in recent weeks in the sudden appearance of Tania Wysocki, not very reluctantly, on the national stage.

Despite receiving the equivalent of a $43,000 salary to sit at home with her two children, she wants the state to give her even more money so she can learn how to be a vet nurse.

We have instilled a culture of entitlement.

Wysocki is threatening to get her kit off in protest at not being given access to enough free child care.

The idea of working for a living seems not to exist for her as a possibility.

The real inequality in New Zealand is that people earning money are forced to give it to those who are not.

I do not wish to give my money to Wysocki.

I do not want to pay for sea views for Housing New Zealand tenants and I'm not excited about paying for pensions for retirees who have more assets than me.


In his book he never ceases writing about, The Big Kahuna, Gareth Morgan writes about the dark days of New Zealand, when there was no social welfare and obtaining a meagre pension required an inquisitorial process before some flinty-eyed magistrate.

This, he seems to imply, was an appalling state of affairs. But was it?

Bryan Gould was griping last week that we are falling behind nations like China, India and Korea.

He pointed out, correctly, that our problem is that we are uncompetitive and the state continues to spill red ink.

His solution was inflation, which is no solution.

I suspect he knows but lacks the courage to say that the reason for our uncompetitive state is the mindset of Wysocki and her ilk - that the world owes her a living and that she should not have to work for her money, even if that work involves little more than lying down and thinking of England.


We face rising inequality and declining competitiveness because too many people have failed to develop productive skills, and why should they?

We will not become a richer nation nor solve rising inequality by punishing those who are working and rewarding those who are not.