Saturday, October 20, 2012

For The Wowsers 1

US welfare spending

The United States spends $746 billion on welfare. That's just federal spending. States also spend their own money lifting the total to $1.03 trillion. Makes your eyes water but it's still less proportionately than NZ welfare spending.
It's almost impossible to do a direct comparison to NZ because the US figure includes medical assistance. The Washington Times article suggests medical assistance makes up 46 percent of the federal spend leaving $403 billion, and most of the state spend. So my guesstimate is $500 billion all-up.

NZ spends $11 billion on welfare. Doing a straight comparison, we're spending half as much again per capita (11/4.4 x 312). That is, if the US spent as much per person they'd be spending $780 billion - not $500.

But our spending is mostly cash transfer whereas in the US its mainly in-kind assistance:

Mr. Kogan said the cash assistance figure was “a shockingly small amount of money” in the scheme of things.
“Virtually all the rest is in the form of in-kind assistance: Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, housing vouchers, Pell Grants, LIHEAP and child care vouchers; or in the form of direct services, such as community health centers, Title 1 education, foster care, school lunch and Head Start,” he said.
Rather than straight transfers, those other programs provide support for services Congress has deemed worthy of funding. SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that used to be called food stamps; LIHEAP is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program; WIC is the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program; and Pell Grants provide assistance for college costs.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Willie Jackson on Mike Tyson

In the NZ Herald, Willie Jackson asks some pertinent questions about NZ's refusal to allow Mike Tyson to visit:

The hypocrisy of this matter raises several questions. Why is it No to Tyson, but Yes to so many other criminals who have come to this country?
Australia's most notorious criminal, Chopper Read, and the triple murderers the West Memphis Three are recent examples of that. And every second rock band that comes here has someone in it who's committed a crime.
And why was it that a Pakeha organisation, Life Education Trust, got approval for Tyson to come into this country with virtually no questions asked, yet my organisation - which is committed to turning around Maori offenders - wasn't considered good enough to be given a reason for Tyson's rejection.
And why is it that so many people think they know what's best for us and patronisingly tell us who should and should not come on to our marae?
Metiria Turei offered to enlighten us about why we got it so wrong and especially wants to talk to the women in our organisation. I can assure Metiria that they, too, are looking forward to talking to her.

I asked some of my own in last week's Truth column:

New Zealand’s a country that produces advocates for justice like QC Peter Williams, prison reformer Kim Workman and social worker Sam Chapman. They maintain that every man has the potential for rehabilitation into society; that many had childhoods so loveless only belated adult affection and acceptance can heal them.
Redemption has always been an article of faith for the political left. One of the few that strikes a chord with me.
So there’s a surprising and uncomfortable hypocrisy in this country’s attitude towards Mike Tyson. By all accounts Tyson has stayed crime-free since his 1992 rape conviction (a crime he steadfastly denies). Guilty or not, liberal Kiwis would normally celebrate the ensuing absence of reoffending.
But not when the crime was rape it would appear.


Other Truth columns here
(with a recommendation you read the editor's, Joe Lose)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Question for MSD: How is dominance 'diversity'?

The graph below is from the just-released MSD Annual Report. 
It's quite funny really. They state, "We aim to have a diverse workforce that reflects the whole community."

A workforce that is dominated by females reflects the whole community?

The rest of the Public Service is a closer reflection of the "whole community".

Based on their "aim" MSD should be adopting a new policy of only employing NZ European  males.

One in fifty on benefit because of psychiatric/psychological problems

The September quarter benefit fact sheets have just been released. All benefit categories show reduced numbers except for the sickness benefit.

The percentage of people who receive a sickness or invalid benefit because of a psychiatric or psychological condition has gradually increased over time.

There are now just under 2 percent of the working age population (18-64 years) on one of these benefits for psychiatric or psychological problems - 0.91 percent on SB and 0.92 percent on IB.

Around one in fifty. Or maybe someone in every 16th household.

That's very high.

The percentage relying on one of these benefits for any reason is over 5 percent or one in twenty of the working age population.

That's very high too.

The good news is the overall benefit dependency rate has fallen to just under 12 percent of the working age population. Around one in nine.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One in four children at medium or high risk of poor outcomes

Statistics NZ has just released a report into vulnerable children and families. The findings are from a survey of 8,000 individuals aged 15 or more. First they identified risk factors (as they applied to the survey respondent) and then categorised children by the degree they were exposed to those factors.

Risk factor Percent
Current cigarette smoker  21 
Victim of crime in last 12 months  20 
Living in a high deprivation area  20 
Feeling isolated some, most, or all of the time  17 
Poor mental health  15 
Victim of discrimination in last 12 months  12 
Low economic standard of living, based on ELSI  11 
More than one housing problem 10
Living in an overcrowded house 9
Limited access to facilities  8 
Poor physical health  8 

Number and proportion of children by risk group
April 2010–March 2011
Number of risk factors Number of children
(aged under 18 years)
Proportion of children (%)
No risk  328,000  30 
Low risk 1–2  482,000  45 
Medium risk  3–4  201,000  19 
High risk  5+  67,000 
Source: Statistics New Zealand

Then they looked at the correlation between benefit income and risk

Households that received benefit income in the last 12 months, by risk group, April 2010–March 2011.

And the correlation between family type and risk

 Household by family type and risk group, April 2010–March 2011.

Remember ex Minister for Social Development Steve Maharey and his claim, "I know of no social science that says the nuclear family is more successful than other kinds."

I don't think the Tui billboards were around then but this absurdity would have been a prime candidate.

The report also looks at ethnicity and age of mother and turns up no surprises.

 "Nearly 43 percent of households in the high-risk group had a Māori respondent, compared with 8 percent in the no-risk group"

Respondents that selected Māori ethnicity, by risk group, April 2010–March 2011.

"1 in 5 high-risk and medium-risk households contain a young mother, compared with 1 in 20 in the no-risk group."

Households with young mothers, by risk group, April 2010–March 2011.

NOTE finally that the report states,  

"The selected risk factors are related to health, housing, income adequacy, neighbourhood, social connections, crime, and discrimination. The measures are not exhaustive and information on other possible risk factors, such as parental drug or alcohol abuse, is not covered by the survey. As some risk factors are linked to the individual respondent, not the household as a whole, this report will understate the number of households and children at risk."

So the actual picture is probably worse. Considerably.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Arse about face

Regular readers know that I monitor the MSD site daily and blog about any interesting new information. But lately - at least over the last three to four weeks - I have been frustrated by their search function not working.  Typically I'll be looking for evidence to support something I'm writing and will remember a certain study and go searching for it. I like to use government research wherever possible to deflect accusations of using "right-wing think-tank propaganda". Government research suits my purposes.

But now this message is appearing far too frequently:

There are too many pending search requests, so the search appliance cannot respond to your query at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.

Can't achieve legitimate access to information. It's all arse about face.

Dane Moeke

I blogged a couple of weeks back that Dane Moeke is back, this time trying his luck on New Zealand's Got Talent. I love this kid. In this performance I don't think he really hits his straps till around half way in and the dancers the idiot producers put behind him are nothing more than an utterly irritating distraction.  But if you like what you hear and want to help him on from the semi-final text 'Dane' to 8981

Political disaffection amongst French young

Stephen Franks has written  about a new French political movement launched in early October. Below is the  'declaration of war' from Generation Identitaire. The link takes you to the video with English subtitles and young French people reciting the declaration. It's deeply disturbing but in some respects totally understandable. And there is a universalism about the themes. Sexual liberation, broken families, over-burdened social security, anti-white racism.

"The Generation of National Identity" – A Declaration of War

We are Generation Identitaire.

We are the generation who get killed for glancing at the wrong person, for refusing someone a cigarette, or having an "attitude" that annoys someone.

We are the generation of ethnic fracture, total failure of coexistence, and forced mixing of the races.

We are the generation doubly punished: Condemned to pay into a social system so generous with strangers it becomes unsustainable for our own people.

Our generation are the victims of the May '68'ers who wanted to liberate themselves from tradition, from knowledge and authority in education.

But they only accomplished to liberate themselves from their responsibilities.
We reject your history books to re-gather our memories.

We no longer believe that "Khader" could ever be our brother, we have stopped believing in a "Global Village" and the "Family of Man".

We discovered that we have roots, ancestry and therefore a future.

Our heritage is our land, our blood, our identity. We are the heirs to our own future
We turned off the TV to march the streets.

We painted our slogans on the walls. Cried through loudspeakers for "youth in power" and flew our Lambda flags high.

The Lambda, painted on proud Spartans' shields, is our symbol.

Don't you understand what this means? We will not back down, we will not give in.
We are sick and tired of your cowardice.

You are from the years of post-war prosperity, retirement benefits, S.O.S Racism and "diversity", sexual liberation and a bag of rice from Bernard Kouchner.

We are 25 percent unemployment, social debt, multicultural collapse and an explosion of anti-white racism.

We are broken families, and young French soldiers dying in Afghanistan.

You won't buy us with a condescending look, a state-paid job of misery and a pat on the shoulder.

We don't need your youth-policies. Youth IS our policy.

Don't think this is simply a manifesto. It is a declaration of war.

You are of yesterday, we are of tomorrow.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Unbelievable (updated)

I went to the Work and Income website to see if there was any media release about the Kiosk catastrophe. But look what I found:

Don't give too much away

09 October 2012
Find out how to keep your information safe so you don't become a victim of identity theft.
Have you ever thought about how much information about yourself you freely give away and what could be done with it?
Dig into someone's wallet, look at their Facebook profile, or go through their rubbish and you will find a wealth of valuable information. Simple personal information, like your name, address, date of birth or bank account number is all that is needed for someone to pretend to be you and do harm.
Identities may be stolen to commit many different crimes, such as obtaining credit, false proof of age, IRD number theft and tax avoidance or to evade police. It varies from false Facebook pages, which can seriously damage people’s reputations, to organised crime syndicates using false identities to perpetrate serious crimes. In the past, New Zealanders have not had to worry so much about identity crime, but it is a growing problem around the world and is likely to affect more of us in the future.
The most unfortunate fact about identity theft is that the victim not only suffers, but also ends up being the one who has to clean up the mess. As many details about you don’t change much over time, victims can continue to have problems long after the initial theft.
You may think that identity theft is a problem on the Internet, but it happens in the real world too. There are some steps you can take to keep your identity safe.
  • don’t give out personal information unnecessarily
  • don't be afraid to ask why the information is needed and how it will be used
  • don’t write down PIN numbers, or give them to people,
  • don’t throw out bills or statements (shred or burn them)
  • be wary if you receive unusual mail.
For more information, or help if you may have been a victim of identity theft, visit

Talk about adding insult to injury.

UPDATE: The press release headline and link was on the front page . Not now. I tried searching the release title and source and found this. "The page you are trying to access doesn’t exist on the Work and Income website. It may have been moved or renamed."

I suppose we should take comfort in the fact they acted, albeit belatedly.

Ramifications of MSD leakage

Just wondering what the ramifications of the MSD leakage will be in light of other current activity

"ACC sent apology letters in June to sensitive-claims clients and offered to pay them $250 if they agreed to stay silent, after one of New Zealand's biggest privacy breaches in August last year.
The "insulting" offer came after ACC mistakenly released the names and details of 6500 claimants, including 250 sensitive-claims clients who are victims of sexual abuse and violent crimes, to claimant Pullar.Wellington lawyer John Miller, a specialist in taking on ACC, said more than 100 claimants affected by the massive Pullar breach had approached him to take the case. He said those wanting to pursue ACC were sensitive claimants who generally had long simmering feelings of being poorly treated by the ACC system. "

Who knows what MSD information is now at large? Will the Privacy Commissioner advise MSD that clients will have to be notified that their information may no longer be private? How does this stuff work?

And how many aggrieved clients out there would happily accept an apology from the Minister? The relationships between WINZ/CYF and their clients are often far from hunky dory as it stands.

I do not think I am overstating this situation as a nightmare for the government. Do you?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

New portraits

The first is philosopher and Austrian School economist, Ludwig von Mises. A life-size oil based on the following black and white photo:

 Then economist, Milton Friedman,

They're now on sale in the US at a relevant conference. Not actually sure what the name of it is. I was drawn to these particular shots as they portrayed men with warm and intelligent faces and the lighting on the subjects was perfect. A deadline meant I had to leave them a tad under-worked. A couple of things I'd like to slightly adjust but then I am never 100 percent happy with my paintings. The main thing is that the painting conveys what I was getting from the photograph.