Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Children's Plea has it back to front

The Children's Plea is a renewed collectivist push for the state to reduce child poverty via greater wealth redistribution.

The NZ Herald reported on it today with the headline

Parent at home vital, says ex-judge

A retired judge says families need more financial support so that one parent can stay at home for the first three years of each child's life.
Graeme MacCormick, a Family Court judge for 16 years until 2005, has paid for full-page advertisements in the country's four main newspapers yesterday and this weekend asking people to sign a "children's plea" to MPs "to accord urgency and priority to all issues impacting the wellbeing of children"...he says "no real progress" has been made on financial support for the 260,000 children in poverty - "more than five times a capacity crowd at Eden Park".
"It is respectfully suggested that all child-related welfare benefits need to be reviewed to ensure that economic assistance to enable a positive start for every child is not only adequate but equitable between children."
He warns against pressuring solo mothers into work because placing children in daycare too early could inhibit their attachment to primary caregivers, the basis for a secure and responsible personality.
You can read the judge's paper here.

He notes,

Few, if any, will agree with everything in this paper. That is not the objective. It is hoped that in areas of contention it will promote further debate and, in some areas, re-consideration.

I can agree with very little bar the recommended free access to long-term contraception and tubal ligations.

The judge talks about breaking the "cycle of dependency" but his major suggestion is more welfare so a parent can stay home. Yet that was a major reason for introducing the DPB.

The only way to break the cycle is to stop welfare. That won't  happen unless people who can, are expected to work.

This 'plea' utterly fails to recognise the damage welfare has done to the family. Strong families - poor or rich - care and provide for their children. They do it in ways that are innate and commonsense. They don't need to be under a microscope. Their children don't belong to the state. They are not economic units that all must invest in.

All the fashionable  brain science is trotted out but marriage - an institution that demonstrably continues to nurture and  protect children - doesn't rate a single mention.

The problems the judge identifies have worsened as the social-engineering state grew. As less and less individual responsibility  is required of parents, the more incapable and immature they have become.

More cash hand-outs will not improve the prospects of  those children who are really in trouble. But believe me, there are not 260,000 of them.

If you are libertarian(ish) I recommend you don't read Mr MacCormicks paper. Intead try this offering from the Freedom Foundation:

The end of poverty may come around yet, but it won’t be due to the machinations or grand plans of colluding elites; instead it will be from the adaptability that inheres in a society built on the principles of individual sovereignty and free, competitive exchange.


JC said...

Here's a strange thing.. the vast majority of deprived children who go on to become long term problems are raised by solo mothers who are unemployed and the vast majority of children who are not poor and pose no problems for society have mothers who either work and/or have a stable relationship with a partner who earns enough for the mum to stay home.

You need do only one thing to halve or way more than halve child poverty.. ensure the parents are in a stable relationship.. sometimes called marriage.


Jigsaw said...

That's the problem-the majority of the population consider such solutions to be 'old fashioned' and 'unfeeling' and the whole concept that welfare is the problem not the solution continues to elude most people. How otherwise apparently intelligent people think that simply doing more and more of the thing that caused to problem in the first will make it go away is incredible.

Brendan McNeill said...

Thanks Lindsay

I was sent this youtube clip today, a six minute discussion on the institution of marriage from the former Chief Rabbi of England, Lord Sacks. It pretty much says it all:

Let's keep the common sense dialog in front of those who will listen.

Kind regards

tranquil said...

"The Children's Plea" - yet another (what seems to be) socialist group.

Since when has more socialism solved a problem that was created by socialist policies in the first place?

Frank Davis said...

All the fashionable brain science is trotted out but marriage - an institution that demonstrably continues to nurture and protect children - doesn't rate a single mention.

Got it in One Lindsay

Hamish said...

@Frank that's because marriage itself doesn't make a good relationship or good family life.
Definitely agree a strong family unit by any name is something we should be supportive of though, marriage or other.

Jamie said...

Does that Commie judge have a name or what???