Friday, January 01, 2016

Morgan Foundation can't be trusted

An article appeared in this morning's DomPost from one Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw of the Morgan Foundation. Apparently the first of three.

My response by way of a letter-to-the-editor:

Dear Editor

Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw of the Morgan Foundation (DomPost, Jan 1) argues that giving families cash with "no strings attached" is the best way of reducing child poverty. To support her argument she quotes from The Economist, "Unconditional Cash Transfers work better than almost anyone would have expected. They dent the stereotype of poor people as inherently feckless and ignorant".

This is only part of the quote. The next sentence is, "But Conditional Cash Transfers are usually better still, especially when dealing with the root causes of poverty and, rather than just alleviating it, helping families escape it altogether."

That immediately conflicts with the idea of "no strings attached."

Additionally, The Economist feature was about aid in the developing world. Not alleviating family poverty in the first world where employment, social housing, highly effective contraception, low-cost health services, 'free' education and  access to credit, etc are all available.

Lindsay Mitchell

There is far more that could be said but why credit any validity to the rest of the piece when it starts with a deception.


Anonymous said...

Not alleviating family poverty in the first world where employment, social housing, ..., low-cost health services, 'free' education and access to credit, are all part of the problem, not the solution!

Mark Hubbard said...

Is that Gareth Morgan?

Lindsay Mitchell said...


Mark Hubbard said...

Oh God. First face you see :)

I've had one dealing with him in the past: nasty chap in my humble opinion (called Mrs H a dropkick - he wouldn't do it to her face though, if he wanted to keep it.)

Anonymous said...

One of the other offensive things about the article was how she self-styles herself as a "Scientist"! I've always thought it's a terrible stretch to refer to the whole school of "social science" as anything resembling a true science at all. After all there is no way to observe the scientific method when you are dealing with opinions and in this case - personal bias.

But to take the giant leap forward and describe oneself, being a mere social scientist, as a "Scientist" is just plain dishonest. Once again - proof that everything Morgan touches or is involved in is less than credible. Money doesn't alter his status as a dyed in the wool libtard.

Psycho Milt said...

Yes, the dishonest misrepresentation of the social sciences as being part of science really annoys me. She's quite blatant about it too: "However, when we brought together the highest quality evidence, the science was clear." No it wasn't, because no "science" was involved at any point in the process.

It didn't surprise me to find out her background is in health research. They're the worst offenders for pretending that they're doing science.

Rodney Hide said...

Well done. What we have here is yet another example of advocacy science where predetermined conclusions are given a scientific gloss by quoting published "research" and selective data. By spotting the shocking deception that the column starts with you demonstrate the assembling of quotes, facts and theories to support the initial position. That's not science.

Rodney Hide

Anonymous said...

*snort* I very much doubt you'd have the balls

Brendan McNeill said...

What does a dishonest article say about the MSM that published it?

Anonymous said...

Of course it is possible to do "social science" experiments - it's just that the left don't have the guts.

Such an "experiment" - albeit on very small scale - took place in NZ in 1991 - benefits were slightly reduced, and some small amounts of state support were removed. There results were of course dramatically positive, the budget was balanced pretty much overnight, and have been followed all around the world: Thatcher, Clinton, even Blair, Howard, Germany, Sweden, and of course all of Asia never started on the disaster that is welfare in the first place. Even Helen Clark never raised benefits (and she was in the reforming Labour cabinet and never really undid any of those reforms)

Except in NZ under John Key it seems. Raising benefits. Paying $20 Million to prop up a FULLY UNIONISED, fully Labour voting smelter, or $6 to a Saudi princeling, or goodness knows how much to a milk company. Even Helen would never have done any of those things.

There is far more consensus between reputable social scientists and economists than there is with climate scientists over global warming

We need a real social science experiment more than ever: and we know what it is: simply end all the patronising progressive paternalistic schemes for employment, social housing, ..., low-cost health services, 'free' education and access to credit. End it all as quickly as possible, overnight if practicable --- and with NZ's parliamentary sovereignty, it is practicable.

This is the ONLY rational, the only scientific government reform programme - nothing else is based on the evidence and nothing else will work. Not a single New Zealand politician or party will advocate that line in 2016. Not one.

Jim Rose said...

Poverty could be solved by giving people more money, that solution would have been seized upon long ago.

In 1987, Bob Hawke promised that no child need live in poverty in Australia by 1990. He was going to increase the family allowance to $1 above the family poverty line.

A proud man, even Bob Hawke was willing to admit that this is the promise he regretted most his public life.

huepix said...

Well, when it comes to dishonesty, you are an expert rodney. Lol

huepix said...

That's not dishonest. The additional seance in no way negates the original statement.