Friday, November 23, 2018

Relationship breakdown most common reason for homelessness

Thanks to Bob McCoskrie who sent me this Australian research which finds that relationship breakdown is  the most prolific cause of homelessness. While public perception is that drug taking is the major cause, when people who have actually experienced homelessness are asked, the reasons given are quite different:




"....this research ... shows that people who have experienced homelessness have a more reliable sense of why they found themselves in that situation than the general public.
They cited ‘relationship breakdown and conflict’ as the main cause for homelessness six times more often than substance use (64 per cent vs 10 per cent). In contrast the general public cites ‘marriage or relationship breakdown’ as being the main cause for homelessness less often than that of substance use."
(Naturally public perceptions and research findings are predicated on the definition of homelessness.)

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Are talk hosts like politicians?

This personal question arose on the back of my comments regarding the demise of Radio Live.

Hosts I like and listen to are genuine. Others are taking a pay cheque to be a mouthpiece and channel the chat. It's not hard to discern the difference.

Which led me to reflect on a parallel with MPs.

I aspired to the House of Representatives twice (with less enthusiasm on the second occasion).

My action was driven by my convictions about how destructive the welfare state is.

But many successful aspirants are purely concerned with the machinery of governing and representing. They are practitioners. It's comfortable (though not for the lazy) to assume this role. These aren't troubled questioners. They are cogs in the machine.

But what happens when we have too many cogs and not enough questioners?

Worse, what happens when the questioners turn into cogs overpowered by the sheer size of the machine?

I fear that would have been my fate if I had become an MP.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Link between poverty and marital status

This graph is from the US. NZ likes to think it is 'classless.' It isn't.


I have to say though, this graph raises questions. The labeling is confusing.

On further investigation I found it is a conglomerate of three separate graphs.

The blue column is  'Share of Adults Age 18–55 Who Are Currently Married, by Class'

The green column is 'Share of Adults Age 18–55 Who Are Currently Cohabitating, by Class'

The red column is 'Share of Children Born out of Wedlock, by Mother’s Class'

Personally I wouldn't have graphed them together because it presumes a relationship between the columns. Labelling 'Children born out of wedlock'  as 'Baby first' implies their mothers (and fathers?) went on to marry or cohabit. Also, some of those currently married or cohabiting will be childless.

But sticklers for accuracy don't necessarily make great communicators - visually or otherwise.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

I'll miss Mitch Harris

Radio Live is kaput

Haven't listened to them during the day for a long time. Not since Sean Plunket departed.

Back in the day Paul Henry was a great morning host (or was that when they were Radio Pacific?) Anyway, before he made the transition from normal human to over-weening human

JT and Willie was listenable when JT was steering but when Willie was in control,  an air of flippant insincerity prevailed.

When JT departed and Alison Mau joined Willie she brought an ugly element of female bullying to the afternoon. Opinions she cared not for were loudly talked over.

Why they picked up Nissen Windell (correct me please for I have never paid enough attention to remember) is unfathomable.

But Mitch. Mitch Harris combined a compelling mix of humour, self-deprecation, true two-way communicative skills and great musical appreciation and knowledge.

By no means a religious listener, many a night I have drifted off to sleep to his thoughtful utterances and  dulcet tones. I'll miss that.

Update: The idea of a radio station that combines talk and music - in this case Magic Talk - is doomed IMO. If I want to hear how people are reacting to something topical I'll tune in to NewstalkZB; if I want music, I tune into Coast. And even Coast irritates when the hosts start prattling. Most music stations like to boast they have more music and less chat because that's what the punters want. A talk/music channel is a hair-brained idea.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Making light of a serious subject

In my recent paper about  Imprisonment and Family Structure,  I touched on the phenomenon of multi-partner fertility and how it increases prison populations.

If you don't know what multi-partner fertility looks like...


Friday, November 09, 2018

Updating artist blog


Just updating artist blog with this pastel of Wesney, who is now the grand age of 15.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Unemployment numbers that don't stack up


The unemployment rate has dropped to 3.9% - a great result for the government.

But since the non-publication of latest official child poverty data due to "uncertainty" and a "lack of confidence" in the Statistics NZ  Household Economic Survey sampling, I am wary. More wary than I was anyway.

The unemployment data comes from the Statistics NZ  Household Labour Force Survey.

I had a dig into the tables looking for any stand out development.

Here's one.



In the Manawatu-Wanganui region, the unemployment rate (2nd to last column above) between June and Sept 2018  dropped three whole points from 6.6 to 3.6 percent.

This should be reflected in benefit statistics, no?


It isn't. The number on Jobseeker Support rose.

I checked out the number for the Manawatu-Wanganui region - a different stat which slightly more closely matches the region surveyed in the HLFS.

In June 2018 there were 8,352 people on a Jobseeker benefit: in Sept 2018, 8,532.

The Taxpayer's Union has also questioned the broader opposing trends.

We can measure unemployment three ways: through the HLFS, through the numbers on unemployment benefit and via the Census. Obviously the last count is too infrequent and time-lags terribly.

Just be aware that the positive HLFS result is not mirrored in the benefit data result.

The HLFS result is probably a facet of the growing working age population and labour force. The denominator is increasing faster than the numerator. But it could also be a 'rogue' result.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

No beneficiaries will be forced into jobs

The aged-care sector is asking government to change rules to allow more immigrants to fill the shortage of care-givers. Apparently some beneficiaries are being trained but according to MSD Minister, Carmel Sepuloni:
"...no one would be forced into jobs."
"First and foremost it's about making sure that MSD clients are going into work that is sustainable and meaningful to them. We know that that makes the difference with respect to how long they stay in that employment and whether they end up back on benefit. This is not a situation, and we won't be getting into a situation, where we are forcing people to take up particular work," she said.
So beneficiaries won't been "forced" to take available jobs, but the taxpayer will be forced to keep them.

There are over 70,000 work-ready JobSeeker beneficiaries and another 58,000 on Sole Parent Support.

While the Greens love this indulgence of the lazy,  how does the NZ First/Labour coalition deal with the conflict? Labour doesn't want to force New Zealanders to take the jobs and NZ First doesn't like immigrants taking the jobs.

What a shocker of a government.