25 July 2012

Why I won't be buying shares in state-owned assets

Buying shares in state-owned assets is an appropriation of assets, presently owned in trust for all New Zealanders, by individuals for their private gain (dividends and likely gain in share price). Those with savings will effectively be profiting at the expense those who are unable to buy shares. The latter will subsidize the sales process as taxpayers, and will also contribute to the income streams of the power-generators through their power-bills. Thus, the sales of these shares gives effect to an upward reallocation of wealth and income from the poor to the rich (or at least from those with no spare savings to those with savings and a willingness to buy the shares). We've seen too much of this kind of inequality-producing policy, and the long-term social and economic damage should be painfully obvious by now. So, I believe it's unethical and socially irresponsible to participate in this sale.
Further, the sales do nothing for economic growth. They are not adding any new productive capacity or employment to our economy; they are only hocking off an existing set of productive assets. This will set off a feeding-frenzy for the wealthy to gobble up shares and profits. But it won't result in lower power prices for those left behind, as the shareholders will demand their dividends! This sets the interests of one class of New Zealanders against another, and deepens the divisions in our society.
So, I won't be in the market for the shares personally.


Post a Comment

<< Home