Financial transaction

MEDIA: Chloe is right – polluters and plutocrats are a threat to democracy

Chloe is right – polluters and plutocrats are a threat to democracy…

Chlöe Swarbrick: Climate change has arrived as politicians defend the status quo

I’m going to let you in on a bit of an open political secret. The exaggerated debate we have on wealth taxes and the prevailing political disinterest in the scary news about climate change are driven by the same forces: a long-standing status quo bias for the rhetoric of “responsibility”. individual” versus collective responsibility.

In the event of a flood, you could have 10 people working together to build a boat big enough for everyone. Or you might have a person hoarding needed materials, chiding others that they just haven’t worked hard enough to survive. The boat would not be built. These rising waters won’t care who held the most status or the most money.

While the usual characters were busy attacking the possible future of an economy that could rebalance grotesque wealth inequality this week, groundbreaking scientific research from Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington, GNS Science, Niwa, University of Otago and the Antarctic Science Platform told us that without immediate action, in less than 20 years, “once in a century” floods will be knocking at the door of our capital every year.

One such question is whether we have the courage to do anything about the fact, as renowned inequality researcher Max Rashbrooke discovered, that 70% of the wealth is held by 10% of the inhabitants of this country. The bottom half – 2.5 million New Zealanders – own just 2%. The top 1%, meanwhile, own 25%, or one in four dollars of wealth.

National and Act say there is nothing wrong with this slide towards aristocracy and want to supercharge it with a series of tax cuts paid by low-income people and potential cuts to public services. Labor does not yet know if they are ready to do anything about it.

… Chloe is right.

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In 2010, the 388 richest people owned more wealth than half of the entire human population on Earth.

In 2015, this number was reduced to only 62 people

In 2018, it was 42

In 2019, there were only 26 people who owned more wealth than 3.8 billion people.

And in 2021, 20 people owned more than 50% of the entire planet.

Last month, the richest man in the world bought one of the biggest social media platforms.

The Big Tech Czars have manipulated our collective fear, ego, anger, and insecurities through social media in ways that have led to the greatest psychological civil war ever launched against each other.

Meanwhile, the planet is burning and every aspect of our existence is being monetized so big data sells us more things we can’t afford. We are alienated and anesthetized by a consumer culture that keeps us neurotic and disconnected. Our work, our existence, every move we make is all designed to suck money from a minority class that sits above us while under neoliberalism, globalization, financialization and automation, our existence as individuals has only become more disposable.

This is not progress.

The Greens must articulate a different economic vision that reinforces solidarity and universalism rather than the pure political aesthetics of temple identity, otherwise the Greens will lack real leverage when negotiating with Labor to form the post-2023 elections.

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