Should this man teach economics?

Peter Lyons teaches economics at Saint Peter’s College in Epsom and has written several economics texts.

His article for the Herald started like this

On Monday I made several thousand dollars on paper. The share prices of electricity companies surged following the election.

If I had sold my holdings I would pay no tax on my gains because I am an investor rather than a trader.

Meanwhile a worker who spent the day toiling in a warehouse or factory might earn $15 per hour and pay a marginal tax rate of 17.5 per cent. I am a capitalist with a small c.

…This is the growing divide that is playing out in New Zealand and other Western economies. Wealth generally creates more wealth. This is not an expression of middle-class guilt or angst. I am an economist and see the world in terms of efficiency and equity.

Now, I’m not an economics teacher, but that sets off red flags to me.  

Comparing shares versus a waged worker and then seeing who pays tax is ridiculous.  Investments carry an inherent risk:  you don’t know if the shares will perform.  They may go backwards and you’d lose your investment.

In the mean time, the worker toiling all day gets paid even when the company who he works for isn’t making a profit

How can you even compare these two situation?   Risk is a significant factor, and if you think you should be paying taxes on gains, it only follows you should get refunds on losses.

Should this man be teaching economics?


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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