Showing posts with label 1950s. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1950s. Show all posts

Is Australia More Equal Than Other Countries

Class in sociology is based in income - low, middle and high income earners, plus wealth. This is in conflict with assumed class by the ordinary person who believes that class is based on status. In England, for example, one's position in society can be inherited. An English earl will remain high class even though he has little income and lets the paying public into his home to pay for its upkeep. Anyway, let's get back to the issue, "at large", which is how income and wealth inequality has changed in Australia.
Income and wealth equality in Australia
Egalitarianism is an Aussie "thing". There is a strong belief that all Australians are equal, in daily interactions at least. An Australian can have a drink with the CEO of the business where he works. In England this is unthinkable. It simply will not happen because the boss will not allow the lowly employee into his/her circle.

In the 1950s income in Australia was relatively level. It was far more equal than in other Western countries. It even got more equal until the late 1970s. There has been a widening gap in income since then.  The Gini coefficient which measures income differential rose from 0.27 per cent in the early 1980s to 0.34 in 2011 (when one household has all the income the coefficient is 1.0).

Wealth inequality has, unfortunately, not been tracked over time. This is an unfathomable situation. After all, this should be a thing of great interest for sociologists. We do know the present state though. The wealthiest 20 per cent have A$2.2 million dollars in assets. The poorest 20 per cent have an average of $31,000. Of course, some people do not have any real assets at all.

How does Australian stand in regard to other nations? Of the 34 OECD countries, Australia is number 23 on the measure of income equality. On wealth Australia does much better. The Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report puts Australia as the second most equal country of 34 "advanced" nations, after Japan.
 Sociology by Ty Buchanan 
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