Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Not stacking up

I am a little perturbed by this front page story from today's DomPost.

Pacific Islanders' crime rates, poor education and low employment are creating an underclass and a drain on the economy, a study says.

Issued last week, the document says Polynesians are less productive and less likely to contribute to economic growth. They have the highest unemployment in every age group....

Not according to the Household Labour Force Survey. Maori have slightly higher rates.

Polynesians are over-represented in crime statistics and have higher rates of convictions and prosecutions.

Assuming Polynesians continues to mean Pacific Islanders, their crime rates are not especially high. In fact the article later disputes this saying,

Statistics NZ crime figures show Pacific Islanders made up 9100 of 112,774 people convicted in 2006 - just over 8 per cent.

8 percent is pretty much in keeping with their share of the population remembering that they are a young population and the age group that most commits crime is around 18-25.

Yes. Pacific rates of imprisonment are higher than European but considerably lower than Maori.

They are more likely to need Government assistance for housing and income.

More likely than who? Of those working age New Zealanders currently receiving a benefit 7.6 are Pacific. Again in keeping with their proportion of the overall population. (Maori on the other hand make-up 31.5 percent).

I would be the first to defend a researchers right to publish an ethnicity study without being subjectively attacked but on the basis of what has been reported I can understand why Pacific communities are angry about the focus on their people as producing an underclass.

AND, as with Maori, it must always be appreciated that many Pacific people are doing jobs that, although not well paid, are crucial to the functioning of our institutions.

UPDATE: Having listened to an interview with the study author I understand that the research is about different immigrant groups and their contribution to economic growth. But now I am even more concerned because the statistics are about ALL PI people, 60 percent of whom are not immigrants. He clearly believes that PI people are a drain and will become a bigger drain on social welfare but when asked specifically about those figures couldn't respond. His conclusion is that more PI immigrants should not be encouraged until the problems are sorted. They shouldn't be taking jobs off other low skilled people like Maori.

Why not? If they are more willing, if they have a work ethic, why not welcome them?


Anonymous said...

Why not? If they are more willing, if they have a work ethic, why not welcome them?

Because we can't send the Maori home?

The real problem with this kind of Lysenkoist ethnosocialist "research" is that it is based on three false assumptions: that there are only a certain number of low-skilled jobs to go around; that people, generally, are bad; and that race is determinative.

These are all socialist assumptions. The facts of the matter are that the only reason there is not enough work is that welfare, the minimum wage, and other restrictive practices (school leaving ages) mean that the coercive power of the state directly prevents people from working, or pays people not to work.

People, of course, are clearly a good thing - every religion, including communism, believes that - except that environmentalism does not. Has the space and resources to support 50 Million people: if we want to compete with Australia and have a valid defense, then we need comparable population.

Finally: there is simply no such thing as society, and no such thing as race. Behaviour is determinative, not race. Socialists are racists, liberal individualists, by definition, are not.

Anonymous said...

Every once in a while you write a post I can agree with, Lindsay. This is one of them.

I wonder if Clydesdale's PhD is genuine? Perhaps he got it at the London School of Enoch Powell Studies?

Anonymous said...

My children went to a primary school which had a very high proportion of Cook Island children. There were children from mainly one family who caused the school a number of problems, as did their parents. The rest were very pleasant and industrious children. I noticed that in several subjects - English, maths, and art - some oustanding results were achieved by a number of students in my children's classes. Parents were very forthcoming with support for school activities and were generous with their time in coaching sports teams, and as helpers at school camps, for example. The Cook Island people were a highly visible, valued part of the large town where they enjoyed high rates of employment and integrated fully. I found them very friendly,happy,warm hearted people and a credit to our diverse community. Certainly not readily identifiable in this research piece.