Friday, April 10, 2015

The steep decline in tobacco use without prohibition

The steep decline in tobacco use without prohibition

While a certain level of criminalisation has gradually been imposed, ie it is a crime to smoke in certain places, tobacco is still a legal, albeit highly addictive, substance.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Good on David Seymour

Good on David Seymour. And he always manages a touch of humour:

Act leader David Seymour said he raised the issue of such travel soon after entering Parliament, and "I've never seen politicians who are normally so opposed to each other close ranks so rapidly".
"I was basically told that I was having sour grapes because as a very small party I would be unlikely to qualify for one of these junkets.
"These guys are paid three times the average salary. Air travel has never been cheaper and, frankly, if the rest of the world is a mystery to these guys, maybe they shouldn't be in Parliament."

(On relating this piece of information to spouse he replied, of course, if you had got into parliament, and been offered the trip, I would have gone with you. I replied, no. Because I wouldn't have gone. As is normally the case, we usually only disgaree about matters hypothetical.)

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Low on sympathy

Are you ready for an avalanche of these hardship stories?

To some people, this family would be well-off. A net income of over $1,000 weekly. In their own home, receiving a taxpayer subsidy to pay their mortgage. Receiving a taxpayer subsidy to raise their children which they keep having even when apparently already living on a shoestring.

There are going to be lots of these middle-class moanings and groanings as IRD jiggles  child support assessments and payments about.

One comment. It's the ex that is the problem in this particular spat. She's still on welfare while the daughter is 13 years-old. Yes, she may have had more children and more broken relationships in the interim. Whatever, she provides a fine example of the state-run sole parent industry.

Thank you NZ taxpayers. Except nobody is saying thank you. Most just complain. Including people like me who are heartily sick of the whole stupid set-up.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Findings on US welfare reforms

For the second time in quick succession NCPA has referenced Scott Winship's piece suggesting the US welfare reforms will aid upward mobility. This is an OK summation of a much longer piece excepting AFDC was scrapped and replaced with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) as a major part of the 1990s reforms.

Welfare Reform's Relation to Upward Mobility

April 6, 2015
The early 1990s saw the expansion of sweeping welfare reforms that increased class mobility through programs such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation (PRWOR) Act. Welfare reform targeted parental income, which conservatives often see as a way to increase long-term opportunity available to children.
Studies attest to the effectiveness of such a strategy:
  • Columbia University found the rate of children living in poverty declined by 10 percent between 1990 and 2006.
  • The number of employed single mothers rose by 66 percent since the introduction of welfare reform.
  • A fall in the birth rate among unmarried African American women by 32 percent.
  • Reforms were effective at mitigating what could have been a child poverty peak during the Great Recession, with only a meager rise of 2 percent.
The success of the 1990s welfare reform is credited to its emphasis on poor, young and low-educated women who were seen by both the Bush and Clinton administration as serving vital economic and social roles in society. Still, many policy solutions can undergo significant innovation and improvement since past reforms did not target the skills of poor children, which is also believed to be a significant factor in easing economic mobility.
Source: Scott Winship, "Will Welfare Reform Increase Upward Mobility?" Economics21, April 3, 2015.