Friday, November 17, 2006

How is this not news? (NZ national saving falls to $575 per capita)

Hattip: Stuff

I actually first spotted this as a small side bar in the printed NZ Herald today - but then apparently it isn't even newsworthy enough to post on their website. Fortunately Stuff have deigned to post it - although only as their 21st story within the business section.

Due to how important I feel this really is I have included the whole article at the end of this post. Although given it's not that long that really isn't much of an imposition.

How as a nation we can continue to complain about levels of foreign ownership and poverty while returning appalling statistics like this is beyond me; despite our disposable incomes rising 3.9% our national savings have plummeted to $2.3 billion - or $575 per person. This is reinforcing the
statistic I was initially planning to highlight which is that the median level of share ownership in this country at the moment is only $6000.

Of course most of our companies are owned offshore and return their profits there. As a nation we are too stupid and apathetic to do anything about it. Buying shares just isn't that hard people - and until you do you are abdicating any right to whinge about offshore profits, and morals of offshore conglomerates. There are two main ways that people should be affecting the behaviors of companies; the first to exercise your powers of choice as a consumer - if you don't like the practices involved in providing a product do not buy it and notify the producer why you're not buying their product. Secondly, become a shareholder - when two of the three main stakeholder groups for a company are intrinsically aligned it becomes really easy to mold behavior...

And actually having some real, country generating wealth means we can start to improve the standards of living for the people living here - rather than mortgaging ourselves to selling our land as the only asset we own. It is not real wealth you are sitting on there people, but fools gold maybe.

NZ national saving falls to six-year low
16 November 2006

New Zealand's saving fell in the year to March to the lowest level in six years, Statistics New Zealand said today.

National saving fell to $2.3 billion, from $5.5 billion in 2005, and $7.3 billion in 2004, according to the consolidated accounts.

At the same time, national disposable income for consumption or saving rose 3.9 per cent, following a 5.3 per cent rise in the March 2005 year, the government agency said.

Increased final consumption by households and government – up 6.9 per cent – eroded national saving, on the back of falling agricultural profits and lower export growth.

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