Today we are being encouraged to speak out about poverty, so I will.
There is no need for poverty in New Zealand. The main reason we have people who claim to be poor, or, more often, are claimed to be poor by others, is the welfare system. It doesn't alleviate need - it creates it. By a long margin single parents make up the poorest sector of society. Nobody forced them to become single parents though some are relatively blameless when compared to an abandoning or abusive partner. They made a bad choice somewhere along the line but it needn't consign them to a future of benefit dependence.
There is an interesting opinion piece in the Dominion Post today which highlights the difference between the approach of private international charities (the author represents Childfund) and the domestic social welfare approach. The first intends to make communities self sufficient whereas the second deals with individuals by giving them handouts on an ongoing basis.
This is demonstrated by the fact that 127,894 people - or 4.9 percent of the working age population - have been on welfare continuously for four or more years.
In this country there is an approach that guarantees avoidance of poverty. It's called individual responsibility. If successfully instilled in children there is no reason they can't look forward to a more prosperous and far more satisfying future than might otherwise be the case.
In Pursuit of Happiness
3 minutes ago