Some consumers of course were once producers - pensioners. Other consumers are people who will grow up to be producers (hopefully), like school kids and so on. But let me just rant for a minute about those who decline to join the workforce on a fulltime basis when they are capable of doing so, and spend their life taking food from my table - food that I work to put on my table for my family.
The ATO has released a swag of tax statistics for 2005-06. Come, be a nerd, and examine the stats with me.
I grabbed a spreadsheet of tax information for NSW, and sorted it to show which postcodes paid the least amount of tax and which paid the most (mean taxable income). This spreadsheet also included two useful columns showing the number of taxpayers in that suburb and the number of non-taxpayers. I used those two colums to calculate a Ratio of Bludgers. Norfolk Island comes out as the bludging capital of NSW - there are 60 individuals paying tax and 80 not paying tax. It is the only postcode with more consumers than producers.
There are just over 20 where two taxpayers are supporting one bludger.
Of the 605 postcode areas in NSW, 316 have a bludger ratio of less than 4. We've heard about the looming pension crisis - where there will be too few workers to support the growing horde of pensioners. We should dump that idea. What we should be worried about is not a shortage of workers, but a shortage of taxpayers - since they are the ones paying for the pensioners.
The interesting thing is that when you graph the two sets of numbers, you get this:
I put a trend line through it. Don't ask me for the R-squared etc; I didn't calculate it. But there seems to be a reasonable fit to the idea that in areas with a lot of bludgers, incomes are low. When you reach a level of about 6 taxpayers to each bludger, incomes suddenly explode upwards.
There are many explanations for this, but let me put forward a starting point:
Work is rewarded. The more workers you have in your suburb, the richer your suburb will be.
And here is a table to contemplate. This is calculated by postcode area. I sorted it using my bludging index. The bottom 100 postcodes in the bludging index paid a total of $733 million in tax.
The top 100 by comparison (those with the fewest bludgers) paid $13.5 billion in tax.
- Bottom 100 - $733 million
- 2nd 100 - $2.13 billion
- 3rd 100 - $4.32 billion
- 4th 100 - $6.81 billion
- 5th 100 - $11.05 billion
- Top 100 - $13.58 billion
The short answer here really is this - if you don't want to be poor, the best place to start is to get a job.