Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quote of the day

"Government, in its final analysis, is organized force."

— Woodrow Wilson

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jobs and good news

Good news for anyone thinking about heading off to Australia to work - their unemployment rate has dipped just below 5 percent for the first time in two years. It stands at 4.98% - officially 5 - compared to our most recent rate of 6.4 percent. Ours however is September, not December. The NZ December figure will almost certainly be higher.

Australia is probably a better bet than the UK where their latest unemployment rate (October) was 7.9 percent.

And for those staying put, Trade Me reports a big increase in job listings.

....32,000 jobs were listed in the last three months of 2010, a 28 per cent increase in the same quarter a year ago.

Of course it could be simply that more employers are using Trade Me to advertise.

I am hanging in there with my new job - running a working portrait studio. Just had a call from a lady who is going to make a $1000+ purchase from me today. And the rent is paid to February. And the sun has just come over the hill.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Links from non-English blogs

It is interesting where links sometimes come from.

Here's one from an Asian blogger linking to some comparative stats I produced between various female occupations and the DPB.

I wish I could comprehend the accompanying commentary. Can anyone else? It's quite amusing to speculate. But there may be useful insight into how other cultures view our welfare system.

Stop Press;

Here is an on-line translation provided by cutting and pasting text at this site;

In Taiwan mentioned the European and American advanced countries, the first choice is naturally US, next is Western Europe, Northern Europe or the Australian various countries.Missed as for the New Zealand this far away tiny small country strength.Recently saw talks about New Zealand's social welfare to an article.The welfare good in a big way frightened me one to jump.Therefore my Chen Kyle immediately regarding this barren land, tiny small country change ones attitude toward.

Because is most early saw in mainland " day Uygur network " pastes the article to speak New Zealand's social welfare, but also thought is Chinese Communist Party's united front plot, takes advantage of this reveals difference of the Taiwan social welfare to press up to the third world suddenly, splits up the Taiwan popular sentiment.I spent some time to find the original text source.We also let the numeral speak, you then understood how New Zealand to does nurture has two child's single-parent families is looks after.Below is New Zealand's profession don't with the weekly salary.

Simple saying, you so long as is the divorce also alone takes care of two children, also lives in Auckland, a week may only receive 580 Niu coins.22.48 calculated by yesterday China business silver closing exchange rate that, is equal to the dollar 13038 Yuan.Compares the New Zealand local other professions, the income is not inferior.In other words, the light leads two child's single mothers in the home, what fart class doesn't use, crossed comfortably.But also because the welfare too is just good, New Zealand common people some people eat the taste, some human of vacations divorce, therefore at present planned repairs the law, if the single parents of son or daughter-in-law's child already six years old, the single mother or the daddy had a week to work for 15 hours.

Lives you does not dare in such country to give birth to the child?

The Taiwan government is not does not have the money, but is not uses in a " government enterprise, the enterprise laborer " incomprehensible nonsense subsidy; Or buys the munitions greatly; Or is the government self-enriches, including self-enriches the armed forces Catholicism treatment, the national travels card, remuneration for life and so on skills.Does what as for 1,000,000 bonuses to like giving birth to child's slogan, basic with gives birth to the child to have nothing to do with, is purely deceives the child, shouts makes child's acrobatics.

Asks the Taiwan government to use the dessert, is not does stimulates moves, does the slogan to be possible to promote the common people to live.Entire social need more fair and unjustness.

Not sure I am any the wiser.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Is Maggie Barry to old for politics?

Whale Oil has a post about Maggie Barry seeking the Botany nomination. In my opinion she is mad. But then people said that to me when I stood for ACT and it's just something you have to find out for yourself. Someone suggested to me being an MP would be like taking a shower in shit. Having watched politics for a number of years, and particularly last year, I can see the motivation for that statement. Individuals might think they can rise above it but to me that smacks of the naivety of a female hooking up with a known boozer and batterer thinking she can tame the man.

But what interests me about Whale Oil's post is his focus on her age. He refers to her more than once as being like a Grandma or great aunt. She is only 51, and physically, a youthful 51 at that. Of course it is entirely possible to be both at that age but something more normally associated with being 60 or so, especially among NZ Europeans who tend to have their children older.

Whale Oil specifically states her age will be against her because she won't have time to achieve much. Yet plenty of people work well into their 60s and 70s, especially men. Perhaps a 51 year-old male prospect would be viewed differently.

So I am utterly at odds with Cameron over this point. But an otherwise interesting read from someone close to the party and process.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Response to 'stargazer' at The Hand Mirror

I need to respond to a blogpost/comment at The Hand Mirror so, having limited time, will make it my post today. Stargazer, another anonymous blogger, linked to Donna Wynd's Herald article describing it as "a reasonable response " to something I wrote which she had not had "the stomach to read". I queried how she could know that it was a reasonable response to something she hadn't read. Her reply:

apologies lindsay, i should have said it's a very reasonable piece (actually a damn good one), written in response to something you wrote. it stands alone as a good piece of writing regardless of anything you've had to say.

given what i've read of your views on this issue, in comments here & on other blogs and the couple of posts on your blog i mistakenly read a couple of years ago, i can't imagine you said anything too different from what you normally said. but go on, surprise me. tell me that you've discovered some empathy for women who leave abusive unhappy relationships, or whose husbands leave them for someone else, or who had a contraceptive failure, or who were never given enough accurate sex education to keep themselves from getting pregnant, or who were raped. tell me you think these women and their children, and male sole-parents who may be in that situation for any number of reasons, deserve our collective support so that they can get back on their feet and so their children can also have the opportunity to succeed. tell me that you mentioned that most sole-parents are on the DPB for 4 years or less, and that an economic recession & high unemployment make it harder to find part-time work that is compatible with parenting duties. tell me you supported child-care subsideies and training allowances that would make it possible for these parents to improve their situation and get off the benefit. tell that you think parenting is so valuable that we should support parents to be able to do it when circumstances are difficult for them, and that you think financial investment in parenting and families (regardless of structure) will pay back to the society that so invests, many times over - at the very least because good parenting should produce a generation of taxpayers rather than a generation of "bludgers".

go on, lindsay, surprise me.

I have always maintained that the state should support people in the situations described above, but in general, for a limited period. There are exceptions - as there are exceptions in the US under time-limiting whereby 20 percent of cases can be exempted - for, example, caregivers of children who are severely physically or mentally disabled.

The statement that most sole parents are on the DPB for 4 years or less is inadequate, which is why I do not use it. To grasp the degree of dependence on the DPB one needs to understand the difference between point in time statistics and over time statistics. The DPB population turns over constantly and many people use it temporarily with which I have no problem. The short-termers bring down average times. Also the statement made by stargazer ignores that almost half of the people who leave the DPB will return beginning a new period. She can check that the period she refers to is 'continuous' - not 'cumulative'.

Latest research from MSD actually covers these distinctions;

On average, sole parents receiving main benefits had more disadvantaged backgrounds than might have been expected:

• just over half had spent at least 80% of the history period observed (the previous 10 years in most cases) supported by main benefits
• a third appeared to have become parents in their teenage years.

This reflects the over-representation of sole parents with long stays on benefit among those in receipt at any point in time, and the longer than average stays on benefit for those who become parents as teenagers.

Had the research considered all people granted benefit as a sole parent, or all people who received benefit as a sole parent over a window of time rather than at a point in time, the overall profile of the group would have appeared less disadvantaged.

I do support child-care subsidies if that is what it takes to enable women to work but as I have mentioned previously, there is ample child-caring capacity within the existing DPB population with around half of caregivers being paid to care for just one child.

Treasury has shown that the Training Incentive Allowance leads to people being on benefits longer. Student loans are interest free so why should a parent get advantage over a non-parent when it comes to education?

Of course parenting is valuable but it essentially comes from motivated individuals. It isn't the prerogative of the state to pay for and regulate. Unfortunately the adults that end up costing society the most are also the most likely to have had subsidised upbringings.

And there isn't much I can say to prove that I do have sympathy for individuals whose lives fall apart through no fault of their own that doesn't sound self-serving so I'll leave that.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Overlap between CYF and WINZ clients

The re-ignition of the debate about child abuse and association with welfare has reminded me about the lack of recent statistical evidence assessing the overlap between between beneficiaries and CYF clients. The only reference source is now 15 years old. And MSD has no plans to repeat the research. I know this because I asked them last year when submitting a number of questions (4,5,6 and 7 below) attempting to establish what the degree of overlap is. According to their responses they have no idea.

How bad is that?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

More facts about the abuse of children

Extracted from the US National Incidence of Child Abuse 2010;

* children whose parents are unemployed have about two times the rate of child abuse and two to three times the rate of neglect than children with employed parents

* children in low socioeconomic families have more than three times the rate of child abuse and seven times the rate of neglect than other children

* living with their married biological parents places kids at the lowest risk for child abuse and neglect, while living with a single parent and a live-in partner increased the risk of abuse and neglect to more than eight times that of other children

Taking just the last one, there is another reason why Maori children experience more abuse than others.

The Maori marriage rate is much lower than that of the general population - according to the Census 2006, 29 percent compared with 49 percent of over-15 year olds, while the Maori cohabitation rate is only slightly higher than the general population’s (31 percent compared with 27 percent.) Yet Maori still have a higher fertility rate. In 2004, however, 76 percent of all Maori births were ex-nuptial or unmarried.

All of these life decisions about tenuous partnering and having children are enabled by welfare.