Saturday, August 22, 2020

What a whinger

What a whinger Michelle Duff is. Writing a piece about how hard done by women have been during the Covid crisis she says:

" 90 per cent of those who have lost their jobs post-Covid are women"

 Well that's BS for starters. Look at her own link.

 The shocking revelation – that of the 11,000 fewer people in paid employment, 10,000 of them were women - should be taken with a grain of salt, said KiwiBank economist Mary Jo Vergara, because the level of disruption during lockdown made it hard to conduct the survey.

“But I think the message there is clear - even if you adjust for some anomalies in the data you’d still see over 50 per cent, probably around 60 or 70 per cent of those who lost their jobs, would be women.”

While men were the hardest hit in previous recessions, this time around it’s part-time workers in the female-dominated industries – retail and hospitality – who are losing their jobs.

So let's split the difference and call it 60%. Consider though that part-time workers are not as reliant on their income as full-time workers. It is often a benefit or Super top-up, or a contribution to the main household income. If it were men (who usually work full-time) being harder hit (which it may well yet turn out to be) it's very likely that would impact their female partners more than the loss of her part-time job. In any case the Covid Inome Relief Payment was made available to women who had lost part-time jobs and had partners. Forgot to mention that.

Duff goes on to cite a survey which finds,

Around 76 per cent of women said childcare is holding them back, standing in the way of career achievements. 

Well frigging well don't have children. Don't make it everybody else's problem.

...women wanted pay equity, better laws to combat bullying and harassment, and for paid parental leave to be granted to both parents...improving sick leave to include looking after dependants, and funding daycares to provide more flexible hours.

Oddly enough the more women get in respect of legislated work-life balance policies, the fewer children they have. So maybe it is just complaining for the sake of it.

Almost half of all respondents said they had experienced violence or abuse from an intimate partner. 

Each time I see a statistic about the prevalence of violence or abuse from a partner it has increased from the last (which was BTW when recently at the Warehouse Stationary where signs everywhere claimed one in three women experienced such. I was asked to make a donation to the cause and declined).

Mobilising the women’s vote can win elections, with 2017 showing that women are overall more likely to vote than men.

To capture that vote, political parties need to get serious about improving women’s lives.

There it is. Who does identity politics the best? Who was the PM's biographer?

Duff's whining on behalf of 'women' (an imaginary collective) is no more than a blatant effort to gender-gerrymander the election result. 



Friday, August 21, 2020

Child poverty: failing to make a difference

 “Child poverty was a national crisis before Covid-19 and without urgent action, it risks turning into a catastrophe.” 

Anita Baker, Mayor of Porirua

After all the money she has thrown at the problem (see first link above) the PM has made no difference. In Porirua matters are only getting worse. According to the Mayor, "“Whether it’s school attendance, oral health, hospital visits or social housing waiting lists, the report paints a grim picture. These indicators weren’t looking good even before Covid. The danger now is that they accelerate in the wrong direction.” 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Society's fault too many Maori are in prison?

 Here's a proposition to explore:

"...the extent to which society provides housing, health, and benefits/welfare is a critical factor in whether people avoid the justice system in the first place."

Coming from the current crop of public service apologists this suggests it is the fault of "society" that people are in prison.

It's extracted from a foreword  by the CE of Corrections or  Ara Poutama Aotearoa, a name which has been "... gifted to us after extensive consultation with Māori communities and iwi."

My attention was drawn to this document  after I OIAed Corrections asking why they had ceased publication of Practice: The New Zealand Corrections Journal, a $10,000 six-monthly value-for-money collection of articles penned by those working with prisoners. The answer is the journal has been put on hold while they focus on Hokai Rangi, the new Maori strategy.

But back to the statement. Most people in prison have more than a passing acquaintance with state housing, public health services and the benefit system.

Is it too much or not enough?

Unhealthy health professionals

It is unedifying when one professional attacks another. It might even be described as 'bullying' not that I have much truck with that over-used catchcry.

I listened carefully to Simon Thornley yesterday speaking to Peter Williams on Magic Talk. Williams canvassed the professional relationship between Simon and Rod Jackson, who had a piece in the NZ Herald the same day. At no point did Thornley criticise Jackson but kept firmly on his own course.

Today the Dompost has a lengthy piece canvassing the views of epidemiologists in New Zealand.

[Jackson] has little time for Thornley’s arguments, and says they should not be given any oxygen. “I don't understand why people are pushing these obviously completely wrong messages.”

“He [Thornley] is the only dissenter in the epidemiological community,” he says.

“It’s not like this is a discussion like a boxing match with two equal partners. What you’ve got is every experienced epidemiologist in the country supporting the Government’s elimination approach.

“We are all advising the Government, and we speak with one voice. And you have got a junior epidemiologist who is presenting a different case.”

He uses the word "silly" twice to describe Thornley's views.

For mine I am always glad when someone who has doubts expresses them. Again we are seeing this creeping pattern of thought-supression playing out with Covid 19. 

It's very unhealthy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Babies taken into care

Two new evidence papers were released by Oranga Tamariki this month. The first calculates the risk of mothers who have a history of care and protection having their own child removed. I've run the numbers through a different calculation to assess population likelihood of a baby being removed based on the following data:

1,050 mothers out of 58,730 means 1.8% - or almost one in fifty 20-28 year-old mothers has a child removed.

If for argument's sake 18%* of all mothers are Maori (10,571) 536 removals means 5% - one in twenty 20-28 Maori mothers has a child removed. 

That's pretty high. One in every small class group.

The second brief looks at reasons why babies are removed:

"A random sample of cases for babies who were aged under 30 days when they were taken into care under s78 of the Oranga Tamariki Act was analysed to determine the reasons they were taken into care

In the sample:

• In cases of maternal alcohol and drug use, 59% involved methamphetamine and 44% involved alcohol

• Overall methampthetamine was a factor in half (49%) of entries to care in the sample

• Substance abuse was present in 65% of cases, and family violence present in 64%

• Neglect/deprivation and emotional abuse were present in over 50% of cases"

* According to the last census 16.5% of the population is Maori. But it is a young population and Maori women tend to become mothers earlier so 18% may be too low. If I entered 23% the percentage of mothers with a baby removal would drop to 4% - one in twenty five.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

On equality of opportunity vs equality of outcome

Back to basics, I very much enjoyed the following timeless piece written by John Mendzela after the 2015 Rugby World Cup:

"We’ve won the Rugby World Cup again! But now it’s time for a resolution to make 2016 better than the year before. Something that matters. Here’s what you can do.

You’ve been hearing that the greatest economic and social problem of our time is inequality. Until now, you might have dismissed that notion. You might have said it was enough to give everyone a fair go – a reasonable chance to compete, and succeed through persistence and hard work. Just create that equality of opportunity.

But think harder. That’s not enough. It can’t be. Life teaches us some people will take those equal opportunities and do something with them, while others simply won’t. In fact, equality of opportunity just encourages individual differences to shine. What we need is equality of outcome – making sure everybody ends up the same.

It’s a big challenge. Where to start? How can Kiwis show we really care, and inspire others? It’s obvious. Start where we’re known best globally – on the rugby pitch. Take the All Blacks – a grotesque example of inequality. They score lots more points than opponents, win almost all their games, and collect far more international awards than other teams. It’s an unequal outcome, and so it’s unfair. A national disgrace!

It’s time to put that right. Please join KAURI – Kiwis Against Unjust Rugby Inequality.To start, KAURI will tackle inequality of “income” – the points that get scored in rugby.To ensure the teams have equal outcomes, we just need to total up the points scored in a game and share them out evenly at the end. 25-15 becomes 20-20. Simple!

Achieving equal outcomes for players will be harder. Luckily, we have all those TV statistics. Take the 20 shared points for the team, divide them up in proportion to the time players spent on the pitch, and credit each one with scoring that many. It gets complicated. We’ll need computers. But it’ll be equal – maybe 1.17 points per hour.

That will ensure equal outcomes going forward. But KAURI can’t stop there. There’s inequality of “wealth” to deal with too. New Zealand can set an example to combat injustice and achieve equal outcomes for all. It won’t be easy, but let’s find a way to hand back those Rugby World Cups – especially the latest - and equalise World Cup outcomes for all teams everywhere. And then we can re-write all the record books…

KAURI needs your support. Please join us. These famous Kiwi rugby names have:

“It felt good at the time, winning all those games. But it was wrong. I know that now. I’ll dedicate my new career to equal rugby outcomes with KAURI.” (Richie McCaw)

“When I think back to all my World Cup tries, I feel really ashamed. Opponents tried hard too, and never scored any. KAURI can redistribute all mine.” (Julian Savea)

“KAURI will lead rugby into a fairer future. Things will change, but we’ll still have challenges. Future All Black teams will be famous for kind tackles.” (Steve Hansen) "