Articles on Wealth

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HILDA data shows superannuation will soon overtake the family home as the major asset owned by Australians. Paul Miller/AAP

Wealth inequality shows superannuation changes are overdue

Superannuation changes are sorely needed because recent data shows only a small number of wealthy Australians are accumulating wealth through it.
Though absolute poverty has decreased significantly in the last 15 years, relative poverty has remained stable in Australia. Dean Lewins/AAP

What HILDA has to tell us about wealth and poverty

How has the wealth of Australian households changed over the last 15 years?
It’s unfortunate that demographic shifts mean that young Australians will have to support a large number of older Australians. But it is not an injustice. Shutterstock

Young people’s economic disadvantage is unlucky – not unjust

Young people are not entitled to a life as comfortable as that of their parents, but they are entitled to expect that governments will not hinder them in that pursuit.
Zed Seselja led government members of the Senate inquiry in dissenting from its findings on the impacts of inequality in Australia. AAP/Alan Porritt

Senate report shows why Australia needs to talk about inequality

Bridging our growing divide: Inequality in Australia is an important report tabled without fanfare in the Senate by its Community Affairs References Committee. The report is clearly argued and well-buttressed…
Smile, though your heart is aching. Morgan

Why happiness is not enough to replace GDP

The idea that data on happiness and well-being can be used to guide government policy has steadily gained popularity over the past decade. But as we seek ways to replace, or at least complement GDP as…
A closer analysis of ‘generation war’ debates reveals that inequalities within generations remain far more significant than those between them. shutterstock

Generational war: a monster of our own making

The political debate over generational equity, which has been rekindled in the past week, now dominates discussions over wealth, government spending and fiscal sustainability. But a closer look at some…
Activists dressed as musicians and wearing masks depicting leaders of the members of the G7 protest against wealth inequality in Brussels in June. Reuters

The wealthy suffer from an ‘empathy gap’ with the poor that is feeding a rise in inequality

Wealth and income inequality have many causes, and it’s pretty much beyond dispute that any well-functioning capitalist society will have some degree of disparity between the richest and the poorest. It’s…
Has our use of economics language been a real driver of economic growth? Cau Napoli Collettivo Autorganizzato Universitario di Napoli/Flickr

Speak well of the bourgeois, and prosper

Do the words we use to speak of economic matters, matter? I believe they do, but not by the propagation of textbookish jargon. Rather, the main way they matter is in shaping public ethics. Economics has…
Despite the fact that Australians are getting wealthier, financial literacy is not increasing at the same rate. shutterstock

Millions of households are missing out on good financial planning

The wealth profile of Australian households has changed phenomenally over the past 25 years, according to a recent paper from the Australian Centre for Financial Studies. Thanks to increases in asset prices…
Prior assumptions about the impact children have on wealth may need to be changed. Aletia/www.shutterstock.com

Debunking the ‘cost of children’ argument

Highly publicised estimates of the cost of raising a family in Australia suggest that parents must make hefty financial sacrifices to meet the needs of their children. In a recent paper, we challenge the…
There are a record 168 billionaires in China, according to the most recent Forbes list. Adam Nelson

Communist fat cats: Forbes counts 168 billionaires in China

“To get rich is glorious” – Deng Xiaoping’s famous aphorism has clearly been taken to heart by at least 168 people in China. That’s the number of billionaires identified in Forbes’ annual China Rich List…
The urban civilisation drawn to cities innovates and enriches. Even in Melbourne. melburnian/Flickr

In search of a formula with which to build better cities

When Isaac Newton produced his Laws of Motion in 1687, it led to speculation that his new gravitational force could explain the social forces between people. Thinkers put forward various arguments for…

Travel not so taxing for US millionaires

There is no evidence to support the myth that millionaires migrate to avoid tax changes, according to a joint study by Stanford…
Schools funding is back in the headlines, but what’s needed is a wider debate about equality. AAP Image/Paul Miller

Gonski, inequality and schools funding: what the debate needs right now

Imagine a field of wheat which has been watered unequally. Some parts will grow to their potential, but some won’t. In the end, it’s bad for the whole field’s productivity. Economist James Galbraith’s…

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