The DomPost today ran the translation of a full page article printed in Denmark's leading newspaper (by circulation) in January this year. It's entitled Kiwi-miraklet, der falmede or The Kiwi miracle that faded, by Lars From
Here's the poster boy, Happy Eli;
According to the author, "His sign says it all: 'No money. No work.' "
Well that more or less sets the credibility level for the rest of the article. No, his sign does not say that. In fact if you can read it, his words suggest he may have been asked to write something and has duly obliged.
From there the report is based entirely on statements from Diane Robertson of the Auckland City Mission, who advises the Danish government not to adopt what New Zealand did - reforms that comprised lowering taxation, liberalisation, privatisation and lowering of help to the weaker.
And to give you a taste of how cruel the effects of those reforms have been , "In some classes, 25 to 30 percent of children do not know when their birthday is because their parents have never told them, simply because they can't afford to buy them a present."
Painting NZ children as incredibly hard done by, three out of ten live today in regular poverty, is one thing.
But this major article then goes on to quote Ms Robertson as saying, "New Zealand is no longer a safe place to be. Circumstances have changed dramatically in the past five years.....A Swedish couple in a campervan were recently attacked. The girl was raped and the couple were robbed of everything."
Such is the ruination of the Kiwi-dream welfare state.
Should I be cheering for this "candid missionary"? After all, I report on what I believe are the shortcomings of welfare - no holds barred.
No. Because A/ Diane Robertson blames a lack of collective responsibility whereas I blame a lack of individual responsibility B/ I want less state intervention and redistribution and she wants more and C/ to paint NZ as particularly mired in poverty and crime does it a disservice. Many developed nations are suffering from exactly the same problems.
But it is fascinating, and sobering, and irritating, to read what other countries are being told about New Zealand.
366 days of gratitude
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