Have you noticed the word 'compassion', or derivatives of it, cropping up increasingly of late?
It's a word that the left loves. But it needs a new definition. Spending other people's money to make oneself feel righteous, perhaps; The state supposedly fixing problems but actually making them worse, perhaps.
The Greens have launched an entire project entitled "A compassionate economy".
By definition if you aren't a Green you aren't compassionate. You are hardhearted, cruel, uncaring.
But do you notice that the Green's form of compassion entails even greater use of force against individuals? Is it compassionate to force people to take responsibility for problems not of their own making? Is it compassionate to prevent people from freely pursuing life, liberty and happiness because others don't understand or care about those things?
Someone called Deborah Russell (a taxation lecturer from Massey) recently wrote a column in the Dominion Post calling for the welfare state to be compassionate. She said she was happy to pay her tax for it to be so.
She said specifically that the welfare system should err on the side of compassion. Rules for eligibility should not be toughened up as recommended by the Welfare Working Group.
NZ has been erring on the side of compassion since the 1972 Royal Commission on Social Policy urged as much. Then around 8,000 sole parents were receiving an emergency benefit and it was considered caring and inclusive to create a statutory benefit that guaranteed welfare to any single parent regardless of the reason for their single parenthood.
Now there are 113,000 people receiving that benefit, along with nearly twice as many children who are often characterised as living in poverty and without the input of fathers.
If that is the result of 'compassion' then perhaps it is time for a little less. The welfare system is in dire need of reform; not the continued application of thoughtless emoting.
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