Trickle Up Effect Makes One in Fifty Filthy Rich

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The Irish Independent and Irish Times on Thursday, reported on a new study showing that more than one in fifty people living in Dublin are millionaires (in US dollars, and not counting the value of primary residence). Both articles quote an analyst for WealthInsight as saying, "For Dublin itself, an abundance of millionaires could help the city claw back its financial prowess from 2008's collapse."

Presumably the much lauded trickle-down effect is supposed to come into play and make life better for all of us. But with the "Consistent poverty rate" in Ireland standing at 7.7% in the CSO's most recent Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC), or one in every thirteen people, we can see how many people are trying to live off the same trickle. The "At risk of poverty rate" is much higher, roughly one in six, which means potentially many more could be trying to sip from that trickle. With "favourable tax" given as a criterion for attracting millionaires, Dublin's high density of millionaires (13th highest in the world, 9th highest in Europe) is clearly no accident.

Having more millionaires around might be nice for Dublin's image on the world stage, but it does little for anyone else, especially those living below, or near, the poverty line. More rich people opens the door to price increases, notably in housing - as reported in an earlier post. It would surely be better for the citizens of this city, and this country, to focus on increasing equality rather than increasing the concentration of rich people, which only serves to decrease it.

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