Friday, November 23, 2018

Relationship breakdown most common reason for homelessness

Thanks to Bob McCoskrie who sent me this Australian research which finds that relationship breakdown is  the most prolific cause of homelessness. While public perception is that drug taking is the major cause, when people who have actually experienced homelessness are asked, the reasons given are quite different:

"....this research ... shows that people who have experienced homelessness have a more reliable sense of why they found themselves in that situation than the general public.
They cited ‘relationship breakdown and conflict’ as the main cause for homelessness six times more often than substance use (64 per cent vs 10 per cent). In contrast the general public cites ‘marriage or relationship breakdown’ as being the main cause for homelessness less often than that of substance use."
(Naturally public perceptions and research findings are predicated on the definition of homelessness.)

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Are talk hosts like politicians?

This personal question arose on the back of my comments regarding the demise of Radio Live.

Hosts I like and listen to are genuine. Others are taking a pay cheque to be a mouthpiece and channel the chat. It's not hard to discern the difference.

Which led me to reflect on a parallel with MPs.

I aspired to the House of Representatives twice (with less enthusiasm on the second occasion).

My action was driven by my convictions about how destructive the welfare state is.

But many successful aspirants are purely concerned with the machinery of governing and representing. They are practitioners. It's comfortable (though not for the lazy) to assume this role. These aren't troubled questioners. They are cogs in the machine.

But what happens when we have too many cogs and not enough questioners?

Worse, what happens when the questioners turn into cogs overpowered by the sheer size of the machine?

I fear that would have been my fate if I had become an MP.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Link between poverty and marital status

This graph is from the US. NZ likes to think it is 'classless.' It isn't.

I have to say though, this graph raises questions. The labeling is confusing.

On further investigation I found it is a conglomerate of three separate graphs.

The blue column is  'Share of Adults Age 18–55 Who Are Currently Married, by Class'

The green column is 'Share of Adults Age 18–55 Who Are Currently Cohabitating, by Class'

The red column is 'Share of Children Born out of Wedlock, by Mother’s Class'

Personally I wouldn't have graphed them together because it presumes a relationship between the columns. Labelling 'Children born out of wedlock'  as 'Baby first' implies their mothers (and fathers?) went on to marry or cohabit. Also, some of those currently married or cohabiting will be childless.

But sticklers for accuracy don't necessarily make great communicators - visually or otherwise.