Friday, February 26, 2016

"Poor decisions" lead to poor lives

The NZ Initiative released a report into poverty this week. Co-author, Jenesa Jeram has a piece in this morning's DomPost explaining the various measures used to gauge poverty and how they can show very different things. She also points out that various parties are motivated to cherry pick to suit their purposes. That's fine but there needs to be transparency around exactly what the numbers they use mean.

The report is a good summary and a great reference source. Unfortunately the overriding message  taken from the report (in part because the NZ Initiative chose to highlight it) was that high housing costs are making some people poor. That is undeniably true. It is a fact. But armed with the facts people continue to expose themselves and their children to that reality.

Take a step back. Those now three famous ways to steer clear of poverty are; finish your education, have your children after you marry, and stay married. Life's expenses are manageable if people make sensible choices, and most do.

The report does allude to this in the executive summary:

Benefit levels and conditions presumably reflect public opinion about the causes of hardship. The more than four-fold increase since 1970 in the proportion of the working age population on a benefit other than the unemployment benefit could be influencing public perceptions. One survey of public perceptions suggests that many might not be accepting the most exaggerated claims of the extent of child poverty and consider poor decisions to be a material reason why some people of working age are experiencing hardship. 
Poor decisions lead to poor lives. I have made some shockers in my own but I did learn from them.

This isn't about being judgmental or on a moral high horse. People need to think ahead, take seriously the consequences of the choices they make especially about forming relationships and having children. Unfortunately welfare has relieved them of the worst outcomes and diminished that ability.


Anonymous said...

Poor decisions lead to poor lives.

well no, they don't. that's the problem.

Unfortunately welfare has relieved them of the worst outcomes and diminished that ability.

Right. That' why the only solution to this problem is to abolish welfare --- including govt, health, education, and above all Super.

The more I think about it - the super is one of the largest single contributions to the so-calling "Housing Crisis" (which isn't really a crisis, but that's another story)

Jigsaw said...

The left will NEVER accept that-even though it obviously true. In their world - or at any rate their admitted world people just make decisions-they are not good or bad just different. I recall advising students about to leave school that they should aim higher, that they had ability etc. Almost always a total waste of time because the attitude from home was against ambition - they were just getting 'smart' and needed knocking down a peg of two. The local car assembly factory would never shut down..... Sad.