Friday, November 04, 2011

National's welfare policies - time to bring out the accusations of "misogyny"

I was just listening to political commentator Linda Clark on TV3 saying she thinks there is a gender split in the response to National's welfare policy. That even well-paid, well-educated women like her (and she included the interviewer) have trouble juggling children and work and affording quality childcare so (by inference) they empathise with the plight of poorer women. The males she has heard commenting On the policy seem on the other hand to think people will like it.

This is the slant the left are putting on the proposals. That they are misogynistic.

Shallow. Do they really believe that the way the DPB has undermined family and harmed children means more of it is needed? That when all is said and done the DPB has been good for women?

Apart from which, the women I speak to feel somewhat aggrieved that they work, get maligned for putting their kids in childcare and pay the taxes that fund others who get praised for staying home. One, reacting to the idea that a child added to a benefit should get one year of state assistance in line with parental leave said to me, nobody with a job gets a year of paid parental leave.

Also I hear plenty of female callers to talkback supporting a toughening up on welfare.

Clark went on to say she didn't even think Paula Bennett was comfortable with the policy watching her body language. I saw an interview with John Campbell and Bennett didn't look comfortable to be honest. She needs to spend more time enunciating what the problems are instead of defending the details of the policy. She needs to come out and attack the people who would preserve the status quo or extend welfare. Their's - and Linda Clark's - is that 'soft bigotry of low expectations.'


Kiwiwit said...

What do you expect from the Labour Party Communications Bureau (oh, sorry, I mean TV3)?

TV3 made no attempt to hide its blatantly pro-Labour sympathies during the last two election campaigns so why should this one be any different?

Actually, Linda Clark is probably one of the better ones. I have never seen anything as one-sided as John Campbell's treatment of Don Brash compared with his fawning admiration of Helen Clark during the 2005 election campaign.

Eric Crampton said...

I also don't get how its right that we're effectively pushed into having the kids in daycare from 3 months old in order to earn enough, after tax, to give them what we reckon a sufficiently decent start but that it's wrong that those living on the money we're providing cannot countenance leaving the kids even at age 14.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the working mother can feel aggrieved, that they think their job is undervalued, that they don't matter as much as the at-home Mother.

As an at-home Mother who worked hard, saved her pennies, married a good fella who also worked hard, saved his pennies & now earns enough to keep me at home (no WFF for us - we made sure of that...mind you, when our child was born we wouldn't have qualified despite only earning about $40k at the time) I feel aggrieved,.

I feel that there is a real stigma against at-home Mums....the entire world asks me very regularly so are you going back to work, that my job as an at-home mother to a school-aged child isn't enough (I also am the accountant for our business but that's a side issue), that my job is somehow not fulfilling in itself.

And I wonder whether the stigma against DPB has played a part in this reversal in social expectations.

In terms of National's changes - completely agree with them. Honestly, I don't get the fuss with being made to at least look for a job when your youngest is 5.

Beggars can't be choosers and we're you're living off the hard work of taxpayers (as in the ones who do pay all the tax & get no assistance back) then you should expect to have some sort of social & contractual obligation.

Welfare - including WFF is a social contract and should be treated as such.

Eric re "I also don't get how its right that we're effectively pushed into having the kids in daycare from 3 months old" - I am not sure what you mean by this? If you have to work when your baby is 3 months old then that is a choice. You chose to have a baby when finances were perhaps tight. There is no such thing as an accidental pregnancy.

When we chose to get pregnant hubby was on a crap wage & I was on a good one. However, we knew that we had decent options to earn more (with me being at home) and so made sure we adjusted our lifestyle & expenses until the better income came to fruition.

Obviously we can't get it right all the time so there does have to be a welfare safety net that allows a bit of grace when we lack the foresight to make good decisions, but the current Welfare model has encouraged a sense of entitlement we simply cannot, and for families like mine, don't want to afford.

In saying that though I am all about the children - every child deserves to be loved, protected, nurtured, fed, clothed & housed adequately.

So I think we need to strike a better balance and National's steps - while only tinkering, are at least some small steps in the right direction.

Ideally what I would like to see is every single would-be sperm/egg donor treating children as a privilege NOT a right whereby they assume complete responsibility for their own offspring..with a welfare safety net should they be met with circumstances entirely beyond their control (e.g. CHCH).

But of course that is just utopia.

Sorry Lindsay....long rant! Will have a good whinge on my own blog one day...promise! :)

Tribeless said...


Welfare is not a social contract. At least, if you were to get informed on the police state powers of snooping, search and seizure held by IRD, against whom you have no privacy or freedom, then no free man in their right mind would enter a contract like that. In fact, you'd only sign if by force, and there's the rub.

And that's quite apart from the harm that welfare does: look through Lindsay's site. 23% of all babies born over 2010 were born to the poverty of hard benefits to live, their chances in life much reduced. Why would you enter a contract that abused children like that?

And for the record, because I'm seething still at how blase there politicians are about using force against us, free men and women voting for labour (or National), is like sheep voting for abattoirs .

[That last comparison was from a comment board somewhere, but I love it].

Anonymous said...

Tribeless I am not sure you got my point.

I suspect we are on the same page...well, mostly.

Most people in receipt of welfare including WFF are in need of help because of what pretty much boils down to poor choices & lack of foresight & good planning.

So when such people put their hand out for the taxpayer's help then they should expect that conditions are placed on receipt of that help - such as at least looking for a job when your youngest child is 5.

That is what I meant by a social contract - they are obligated to taxpayers to ensure they are on Welfare for the least amount of time, that they treat the taxpayer with respect & not take the piss.

Snooping etc - I am very familiar with all of big brothers antics....know the public service inside & out. If you don't like the snooping the don't do anything to get their attention. It's that simple.

Anyone with any amount of common sense knows that welfare does not produce good outcomes. But it is a monster we have created and is not going to go away anytime soon.

So the best we can do is ensure it works better.

For the record it isn't welfare per se that causes increased child poverty & is the sense of entitlement and sheer lack of appreciation for the child they have produced, the life they have created that comes with it.

Children seem to be treated by so many as a mere meal ticket.

But this is in the minority. The real issue with welfare is in that farce of a policy WFF.

Tribeless said...


You actually bet me to it unsolicitedious. I was penning a retraction at the same time your reply to me went up on another tab. I'd gone to your blog and become confused because there wasn't a whole lot I disagreed with. Then came back to this blog, read your original post, ahem, properly, and not just the middle of it :)

Yes, there's more we agree on than not. That notion of the 'social contract' always presses the wrong button for me, though. Contract implies two willing partners transacting/relating voluntarily, whereas both Labour and National don't contract with me that way at all: they go for compulsion every time, and the big gun of government.

I've bookmarked your blog. Now I'm off to charcoal some pork :)

Anonymous said...

Tribeless - thanks & yes I can see how it would be a contentious term! As the govt is elected by us & paid by the taxpayer - companies & individuals then I see us as having the control

As you might expect I am therefore in a state of constant disillusionment as they always fail to meet my expectations! :)

I am not sure I find any party or any MP particularly inspiring as they all seem a little heavy handed/'we know better than you'.

Oh well it will be interesting to see the outcome on Nov 26 & what follows in the next 3 years.

Hope you enjoyed that charcoled (sp?) pig!

Tribeless said...


We do have a major point of difference. I can have no form of agreement with your phrase:

As the govt is elected by us & paid by the taxpayer - companies & individuals then I see us as having the control.

We have no control, as a libertarian I don't want democracy, I want a libertarian minarchy, which is a constitutional republic that simply enshrines the non-initiation of force principle as the only real function of the state. Thus no politicians, no elections, no crony capitalism. Just a free laissez faire society that protects the smallest of minorities, the individual, and in which I can do whatever I like so long as I don't initiate force or fraud on any other individual.

The fact we don't have control in our social(alist) democracies, which I also call Gulags of Good Intentions, is shown by the fact that democratic systems are tyrannies of the majority.

For example: consider there are 10 people in a democracy, 7 white, 3 black. The democracy holds a plebiscite on the motion that white people can live off the efforts of black people. The motion is won by a majority vote, 7 to 3, thus, black people are 'legally' enslaved by a democratic process (just as taxpayers now are enslaved by the welfare state).

It's a totally immoral system that I want not part of :)

I want liberty, nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Lindsay, regarding your comment "the women I speak to feel somewhat aggrieved that they work, get maligned for putting their kids in childcare and pay the taxes that fund others who get praised for staying home."

I'm a single mother working full time since my marriage ended when my daughter was 3. I also feel aggrieved, but mostly because of comments from those on the left along the lines of

single mothers can't work, they'll be too tired to look after their children

everything a single mother would earn has to pay for childcare, so there's no point working (forgetting of course that WINZ pays for childcare costs if you earn under $1400 per week)

raising children is the most important job there is (agree with this, but it doesn't mean you can't work as well)

if we force mothers to work they won't be able to spend quality time with their children (although I must admit I spend absolutely no quality time with my daughter while she is at school)

forcing single mothers to work will make them too frazzled and unable to engage with their children (I have never described myself as frazzled or unable to engage with my daughter)

It's all about attitude. We can do whatever we set our minds to. People who keep giving reasons why single mothers can't work actually demean and insult us.

Anonymous said...

Tribeless - I didn't realise you were a libertarian. When it comes to what we each consider to be valuable in a civilised society yes we unfortunately do have very little common ground. :)

Tribeless said...

Oh well. If you see me in a pub one day, I'll buy you a drink ;)

Onward to liberty.