Thursday, October 31, 2019

"Welfare crackdown"

Couple of quick points.

Stuff is reporting that Labour abolished the sanction for not naming the father of a child on a benefit and that National would reverse this.

The removal of the sanction does not kick in till April 2020. Hasn't happened yet.

Also reported is National's plan to apply "money management " to beneficiaries under 20. This already happens. Introduced under the last National government.

The idea to withhold benefits from non-vaccinaters has been proposed repeatedly in the past. The problem seems to be if something untoward happens to a child post a vaccination received purely because the parent needed to retain their benefit, 'enforced' by the state, what responsibility does the state bear? This could be argued much further re what is and isn't a 'choice.'

But from a philosophical viewpoint, anti-vaxers rely on the herd immunity without contributing to it. Should they be allowed to rely on the herd's financial safety net without making that contribution?


Desperado said...

I suggest this is hypocritical - the right being as controlling as the left when the zeitgeist is in their favour.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

I don't disagree Desperado. I suppose a purely libertarian view would be no state assistance and no state coercion. But we are a long, long way from that and all the nuances in between get very messy.

Desperado said...

I hear you. (I think) the trouble is that we shift from principles to pragmatism and in doing so cross a bunch of lines. I don't necessarily have a problem with that, but I do like the idea that all citizens are respected as autonomous beings who have the right to make choices, rather than be forced against their will to obey state imposed rules (whether or not I agree with them). (The argument that they don't have to accept the dole is stupid and should be dropped immediately as two minutes thinking through this reveals all sorts of contradictions). I'm thinking about chapter one of 'On liberty'. If we do this, we have reduced beneficiaries to second class citizens. We have also unfairly disadvantaged their children even more (has no one thought about this??). Not to mention that this whole issue of ow vaccine rates is due to poor infrastructure not anti-vaxers. So we sell out principles for a hyped up vaccine communication campaign. I'm not sure National or Act should jump on this 'talk-back radio' type conversation.