Thursday, August 11, 2011

Men failing

A quick cut and paste from NCPA this morning. Written about the US but entirely relevant to the NZ situation.

As Girls Excel, What Happens to Boys?

Women today are entering adulthood with more education, more achievements, more property and, arguably, more money and ambition than their male counterparts. This is a first in human history, and its implications for both sexes are far from simple, says Kay Hymowitz, the William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

You can see the strongest evidence that boys and young men are falling behind in high school and college classrooms.

Boys have lower grade point averages and lower grades in almost every subject, including math, despite their higher standardized testing scores, and they are 58 percent of high school dropouts.
In the mid-1970s about 28 percent of men had college degrees; since then, that number has barely budged.
Meanwhile, the percentage of women with a college degree increased from 18.6 to 34.2 percent and women now earn 57 percent of college degrees.
Male earnings have come to reflect their educational disadvantage -- childless twentysomething men now earn 8 percent less than their female counterparts in 147 out of 150 of American cities.

So what explains this stunning shift between the sexes? The deepest roots of women's current success lie in economic and technological change.

In the early decades of the 20th century, a "household revolution" dramatically eased the domestic burdens primarily borne by women.
Women's release from household drudgery coincided with the emergence of the postindustrial labor market, meaning a growing number of service and knowledge-based jobs -- all areas where women have excelled.

The second and related theory about why men are falling behind is that today's labor market prizes female strengths more than male strengths.

Hymowitz adds a third, more existential explanation, for the male problem: The economic independence of women and the collapse of marriage norms have deprived men of the primary social role that incentivized their achievement. What this means is that boys today are growing up in a culture that, unlike any before in civilization, is agnostic about their future familial responsibilities.

Aside from school reforms that could help keep boys more engaged, the new gender gap has no obvious solutions. The profound economic changes that have led to female success and male stagnation have also transformed our culture and its expectations for men.

Source: Kay Hymowitz, "What's Happening to Men?" Cato Unbound, August 8, 2011.

For text:

I disagree that there are no obvious solutions. Mine would revolve around getting the state out of areas it shouldn't be. Reforming or discarding social policies that have interfered with the formation and endurance of relationships for instance. Some policies might have been justified as corrective (although foreseeing the unwanted consequences could also have acted as a brake) but they have now outlived their usefulness.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"NZ Classical Liberal"

Here's a new blog that looks promising. Added to my blogroll for your convenience.

Separatism in the City

Another example of different laws. But this one may not work to Maori advantage.
Wellington bar owners say drunk Maori will be specifically targeted during the World Cup, by a 50-year-old law that has been pulled from the archives by police and the city council. The law allows Maori wardens to enter bars and remove drunk or violent Maori.

It'll be interesting to watch the response from Maori politicians. No doubt this form of 'privilege' - having their own, additional security force - will be labelled as discrimination. That's what the bar owners appear to see it as. In practice the whole idea looks utterly fraught.

The law means Maori wardens can stop the bar selling liquor to any Maori who appears to be drunk, violent, quarrelsome or disorderly or likely to become so.

"Likely to become so." That is a licence to turf anyone drinking.

And just how do Maori wardens go about identifying Maori? Isn't ethnicity now about self-identification? The mind boggles.

Meantime overseas visitors will be given the impression that NZ has a problem with Maori drinking similar to that seen with Aboriginal drinking in some Australian cities. Great image to carry away with them.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

God-awful excuses for UK rioting

(I lived and worked in London for four years and it is the only other place in the world I have ever regarded as home or would want to make my home again, entirely because of the people who live there.)

Right on cue the socialists start to recount the reasons why young men in London, Birmingham and Liverpool are rioting. But before we read the excuses let's remember what these rioters are doing. Destroying private property and invading private homes. Thieving from and terrorising private individuals.

This isn't some sort of intellectual response to material deprivation directed at the state. It may be a subconscious, base response to emotional deprivation. That is the most generous response I can summon.

It certainly jars with the idea that the welfare state would prevent such malcontent.

Hell, these guys don't even have the balls to chance their arms at real crime with real risk. No. They create a contrived circumstance whereby they can loot and assault without consequence. Cowards. Creeps. And there is another word beginning with 'c' I have never uttered in my life. I hope those who are detained feel the full contempt of the already incarcerated in due course.

In recent months the government has tripled the cost of university tuition and abolished the Education Maintenance Allowance, paid to some 640,000 16-18 year olds to help them continue in higher education.

Areas like Tottenham, amongst the most deprived in the country, have been particularly hard hit. Unemployment officially stands at 8.8 percent, but will be much higher amongst young people. Claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance have risen by 10 percent in the last year, while Haringey Council has cut £41 million from its budget, reducing its youth services by 75 percent.

This is the social reality that underlies the London disturbances. It is replicated in working class areas across the country. It is the reason Cooper anticipates “repeated” disorder in the coming months.

Bad haircut

A Northampton garage owner was apparently sick and tired of thugs breaking into his garage shop to steal tools, etc. So he came up with an idea. He put the word out that he had a new Mexican Lion that would attack anyone that tried to break in or climb his fence.

Would-be thieves saw the "Lion" from a distance and fled the scene.

Monday, August 08, 2011

What's behind Paula Bennett's 'good news'?

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says Future Focus changes implemented last September have saved taxpayers more than $6 million.

The changes implemented last September as a pre-cursor to major reforms introduced clear obligations and greater fairness to the benefits system.”

Future Focus changes include requiring:
• Unemployment Beneficiaries to reapply if they remain on the benefit after a year and prove their eligibility to continue receiving assistance.
• DPB recipients with children over six to look for part-time work.

“This common sense approach has seen 7,400 people go off Unemployment Benefits and taxpayers have saved more than $6 million,” says Ms Bennett.

About half of the 7,400 didn’t complete the process, more than 2,000 were in work and 1,400 had left the country, were studying or just failed the work test.

“This simple policy change alone is expected to save a further $3.5 million by October,” says Ms Bennett.

Since September last year, more than 10,800 people have gone off the DPB into work.

“The number of people who’ve found jobs and gone off the DPB since last year’s welfare changes has gone up by 20 percent, that’s significant”

Prior to Future Focus changes there were 13,700 people on DPB doing some part time work and now there are 15,300.


DPB statistics

Sept 2010 112,765
June 2011 113,429

Doesn't matter how many go off when more come on.

And those going off most likely represent short-termers best capable of gaining employment while those coming on most likely represent young unskilled and uneducated types quite likely to stay for years.

In earlier years (granted they were years of lower unemployment) MORE people were leaving the DPB and going to work with NO work-testing regime.
2004 12,773
2005 13,484
2006 16,132

One other thing. $6 million represents about 0.03 percent of the $20 billion MSD budget. Big deal. They could easily save the equivalent by dropping some of the highly paid bureaucrats.

Having just been reminded about our $300 million a week borrowing here, that also makes $6 million look skinny; not even worth the iou it was printed on.

ACT list

Naturally enough I am interested in who is on the ACT list this year. According to the NZ Herald:

On Friday it issued its list of 47 candidates, with only one identifying as Maori.

Anyone know where the list was published?