Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Won't someone please think of the childless?"

So said "libertarian" senator David Leyonhjelm from NSW supporting legislation to remove welfare from parents who won't immunise their children.

The central issue aside, what a difference to NZ discourse:

"To the childless people of Australia, I want to say, on behalf of this Parliament, thank you for being childless.
"You work for more years and become more productive than the rest of Australia. You pay thousands and thousands of dollars more tax than other Australians. You get next to no welfare ...
"But you pay when other people get pregnant, you pay when they give birth, you pay when they stay at home to look after their offspring ..." Senator Leyonhjelm said.
The Liberal Democrat said that he was sorry than instead of receiving thanks, Australians without children were "often ignored, pitied, considered strange, or even thought of as irresponsible".
"For your sake, I hope the children you are forced to support don't end up as juvenile delinquents, and I hope that they get immunised so that you don't end up getting sick. Because you'll pay then, too." 
I suppose the immediate objection is that a "libertarian" senator would not support the state forcing parents to immunise their children. But the state isn't. It is withdrawing other people's money from those who refuse to.

Further dumbing-down at RadioLive

The only remaining reason I listen to RadioLive is disappearing.

Image result for sean plunketVeteran broadcaster Sean Plunket has been axed from RadioLive's morning talkback show – and it is believed he could be replaced by long-time colleague Mark Sainsbury.

When MediaWorks sacked John Tamihere they killed the intellectual bite from the afternoon show. Now they are going to purge the pithy wit and humour that is Plunket.

Just what sort of audience they are seeking is a mystery to me. That stands to reason though, because I'm not it.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I wish I'd never read this

Don't read this story of child abuse and murder if you don't want to start your day depressed.

Throughout I felt angry until the last line:

It is understood she has now had a baby with a new partner since her release from prison.

Then I just felt very sad.

Remember this one next time you hear some feminist bleeding-heart lecturing about the sanctity of female reproductive rights.

Friday, November 20, 2015

DomPost at it again

The DomPost is a highly manipulative paper. If they publish a piece that is in conflict with their own editorial viewpoint some trick will be employed to twist it.

Today's prime example is the appearance of this headline in BusinessDay:

Living wage good for singles

Naturally I look first for the author. Eric Crampton. Well there is no way Eric Crampton would be plumping for the living wage.

The guts of his column deals with how the living wage is not an effective tool for lifting the living standards of those with dependent families because of the commensurate loss of WFF assistance. The majority of council workers are not supporting families so the living wage fails in targeting those most in need. He says central govt is better placed to design income support via the tax system. He then works through some of the negative but "logical" effects of the WCC imposing the living wage on contractors (ruling pending in the courts).

The implication can be drawn that the living wage is good for singles despite not helping the partnered-with-children.

But is isn't good for the ratepayers (everyone directly or indirectly, including singles) if it leads to "higher rates, fewer services, or more debt" .

It also won't be good for singles, particularly the young, if it drives up unemployment.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

KidsCan talk up a problem they can't solve

A brief piece in today's DomPost describes how a "crisis" at KidsCan is leading to nearly 600 Wellington school children going without "basic healthcare, food and clothing from the charity".

Chapman said it cost about $8000 a child each year to provide the support. 
That is a staggering sum which poses the question, how much does it take to operate KidsCan?

The report then goes on to say that 260,000 children are living in poverty; 180,000 children are living without the basic needs of food, clothing and warmth.

To attend to all the need, KidsCan would require over $2 billion.

No wonder they had to get into the business of child sponsorship. Unfortunately they have over-promised and under-delivered. Which says something about what potential donors think about the cause.

I'll stick with funding the most-basic education of a  Nigerian child whose family is being provided with a hygienic toilet to prevent sickness and death.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"...being a beneficiary is a type of servitude"

Over a month ago I wrote about Tuhoe's desire to be paid out benefit money up front to invest in job creation. Today the NZ Herald has finally written about it. 

This post is simply to draw attention to a stunning statement from Tamati Kruger. He echoes what I and many others have come to believe. It's long been behind my opposition to welfare. I've hated being labelled a' beneficiary basher' for attacking welfare, though you can get used to anything. A white middle-class, middle-aged woman presents an obvious target for derision and denigration, but how does the leftist, pro-welfare lobby deal with the same expression of frustration when it comes from the heart of a subjugated community?

Tuhoe chief executive Kirsti Luke said a majority of Tuhoe people in that area were on benefits, and tribal leader Tamati Kruger said the iwi aimed to change that.
"We are declaring war on dependency," Mr Kruger said. "Our motivation is that if we want to be a vibrant people, to be a productive people who live up to their beliefs and to their faith as to what life is all about, and the honour that has to be part of humanity, then this is clearly what we have to overcome - because being a beneficiary is a type of servitude."

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

If best attack is hypocritical statistical manipulation, Labour's stuffed

From Question time today:

Grant Robertson: Is it correct that the 46,000 long-term unemployed is the highest level since 1999, other than two quarters in 2012?
Hon BILL ENGLISH: I would certainly want to investigate the number, because, as the member will be aware, in the welfare reform process there has been a lot of reclassification of people, and the product of that reclassification is that a lot more people are now regarded as available for work. They used to languish on the sickness benefit under the Labour Government, which decided they were hopeless and gave up on them. We do not give up on people like that. Even if they cannot get a job immediately, we try to help them get ready to get a job.

It was National that put a definition on "long-term" unemployed. In fact, long-term on any benefit was defined as 1 year plus.

There were 65,652 Jobseeker claimants who had been on a benefit for more than a year at September 2015. A substantial drop from 82,006 in September 2010.

Labour never officially defined long-term dependence on a benefit. Not until Robertson - in Opposition - decided it was 26 weeks or more....well, at least for the unemployment benefit.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Chris Trotter's feminist phonyism

Pompous prat Chris Trotter is parading his feminist solidarity by scolding Michelle Boag for not exhorting National women MPs to join the parliament walk-out earlier this week.

It's a feeble, non-factual play from the willfully ignorant Marxist.

Rather than pouring scorn on the women from the Opposition, Boag should have been upbraiding her sisters in the National Party for not having the courage to join the Opposition women’s protest. Then again, perhaps the National women were happy to go along with their party leader’s cynical exploitation of such emotionally-charged words as “rapist”, “murderer” and “child-molester” to distract the nation from their government’s failure to adequately defend the rights of New Zealanders detained in Australia’s concentration camps.
Perhaps, if New Zealand was blessed with a Women’s Minister who was happy to describe herself as a feminist, a mass walk-out of all women MPs might have been the result. Perhaps, if the last two Ministers for Social Development, both of them women, had been willing to educate their male colleagues about the endless, wearing, anxiety of being a woman without resources or influence, with two or three children to house, feed, educate and keep healthy on a Sole Parent Support benefit of $295.37 per week, there would have been no need.
This idiot arrogantly calls for "male" National MPs to be "educated", yet can't even educate himself.

The income he cites as causing "endless, wearing, anxiety" is under half of the actual average income a sole parent receives.

Not a sentence he writes is worth serious consideration when the substance behind them is so wanting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Desperate to be victims

Several female opposition MPs declared that they are victims of sexual abuse, presumably to stake their credentials for a parliament walk-out today.

The day I declare myself a victim is the day I lose control of my life.

These are not "courageous" women. They are politicians doing what politicians do best - theatre.

How beneficiaries have experienced the welfare reforms

Left-wing beneficiary advocates have constantly criticised the use of sanctions (cuts to benefit payments)  to enforce work and social obligations. The CPAG has written entire papers about them. (Even Carmel Sepuloni jumps on the band wagon periodically despite Labour being the government that instigated the regime.)

Here's a typical example:

 Lisa Woolley, the president of the Council of Christian Social Services, said the numbers were shocking.
She said the first thing to go when budgets were cut was food, but some may also be struggling with rent, which could lead to overcrowding.
"The impact on the health for children on overcrowding is huge and also when you think of the children being moved from house to house, it's their education that gets impacted," she said.

MSD has now conducted some  qualitative research into how beneficiaries have perceived and experienced the welfare reforms. From the findings comes this:

Clients who had been sanctioned said the experience had encouraged them to swiftly visit their case manager, and had not impacted on their wellbeing
The few clients interviewed who said that they had been sanctioned reported that they had quickly fulfilled Work and Income requirements to restore their benefits.
While they did not feel that the sanctions had impacted their work search or their wellbeing, receiving notice of the sanction had encouraged a swift visit to their case manager.[My emphasis]

Granted the sample is very small. "Only five of the 140 clients spoken to in the evaluation remembered having their benefit suspended or reduced." But their actual experience is counter to the what anti-reformists want us to believe.

Generally, the overall responses are a mixed bag. There are misconceptions about changes (formed by listening to the media apparently), and adherence to old benefit names. However, a broad understanding that there's a much stronger emphasis on finding work has developed.

If your views of WINZ were formed solely on the negativity pushed by the left, the positivism and even appreciation among interviewees would surprise. The over-riding impression I am left with though is the case manager relationship is all important to beneficiaries experience of  and attitude to the reforms. The beneficiaries take on the reforms should not be discounted or downplayed. There is wisdom in the old adage, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. I am a great believer in persuasion over force.