Saturday, January 02, 2021

The economics of unskilled work versus benefit

 Straight from the horse's mouth. Harry Tam long-time Mongrel Mob member on why more young people are joining gangs:

“Their parents and grandparents have never worked, they've been on the benefit because they're either unskilled or low-skilled. The economics doesn't make it worth their time,” he said.

This situation has only been aggragvated by our stupid Labour government which has linked benefit rates to wages. 

MSD 2014:

Nine out of every ten gang members have received main benefits.

Ninety-two per cent (3,627) of the total 3,960 known gang members received main benefits from MSD at some stage between 1 January 1993 and 31 December 2014.

The 3,627 gang members spent on average 8.9 years on a main benefit (not necessarily continuously). Over half the time was receiving job seeker-related benefits and nearly a quarter of the time was receiving health or disability-related benefits.

Eighteen per cent of all gang members had received a main benefit for a total of over 15 years, whereas 13 per cent received main benefits for two years or less, and eight per cent had not received main benefits at all.

Add to this that benefits have disrupted family life by fuelling a sole parent industry. Young men joining gangs are either following in  their father's footsteps or don't have one.

Gang expert, Jarrod Gilbert:

“These young people are often raised without the presence of their fathers or other positive male role models."

 The state has actively created and cultivated conditions whereby gangs will grow in numbers.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Kiro made Dame Companion - And didn't she deserve it!

A prophetic post I wrote just under 12 years ago. 

(The petition referred to would have been that opposing the criminalisation of smacking).

Where America goes...

 The saying used to be "Where Britain goes..." but with identity politics paramount NZ is just as likely to follow American thinking and practice. Here's an article from the New York Post. Doesn't take much imagination to draw the parallels with this country and recent political developments in the child protection arena:

"Child-welfare agencies’ rush to go woke is terrible for the kids"

How do we prevent child abuse? First, we have to stop racism. That message has lately invaded the child-welfare system. The triumph of today’s fashionable ideological nonsense in this particular field carries exceptionally high costs — and abused kids will pay them.


Monday, December 28, 2020

Holiday quiz

Here's a holiday quiz for you.

Read the following article to identify what is 

1/ Factually wrong with the headline and;

2/ What is the missing statistic?

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Another taxpayer-funded talking head

 If I have a New Year's resolution it is to stop using the word 'we'. I was about to start this post with the sentence, "We appear to employ some very woolly thinkers in highly paid roles." But I am not part of the 'we'. I disagree with the existence of the role and I have nothing to do with selecting the incumbent.

But I was reacting probably to her use of 'we' constantly. 'We' seems to mean NZ as a country. Today it is the Equality Commissioner who has made statements that don't stand up to scrutiny. 

“The aftermath of the Covid-19 lockdown had been a chance to improve society in terms of equality, she said, and the country blew it.

“We all talked about the recovery being the recovery for everyone. Well, that’s not happening now and unless there’s some significant intervention, we’re moving into a more unequal New Zealand, and that’s not the New Zealand we want. 

We made that decision during Covid to pay people who had lost their jobs a different rate to those people who were already on the benefit. It’s kind of like we had this moment in time, we went back to who’s worthy and who isn’t worthy.

“We’ve got to somehow get rid of that, we’ve got to somehow move on from that past thinking to considering every person to be equally worthy of life and of dignity.”

A higher payment rate was based on the outgoings of those who became unemployed during Covid. It was also temporary in nature. So if the Commissioner's framing was sound, people were more worthy for 12 weeks and less worthy thereafter.

Secondly the welfare system moved on from the 'deserving' and 'undeserving' under-pinning decades ago after the Royal Commission on Social Policy of 1972 that embraced everybody's right to participate in society in a meaningful way. New Zealand then started financially supporting people whatever the cause of their inability to support themselves. Those who rendered themselves unemployable would be carried indefinitely. Those who made themselves unmarried, unemployed mothers would be carried indefinitely.

That has not changed.

New Zealand is a country that prides itself on this fact: everybody who cannot support themselves will be supported by the collective by law.

The 'deserving' and 'undeserving' premise under which the welfare state was initially designed (hence dependents stayed low for many decades) was long ago abandoned.

The Equality Commissioner is wrong in her belief that it's alive and kicking. I accept she could provide some sketchy examples eg different rates for different ages, but these distinctions are largely pragmatic. The benefit system is a no fault - and no blame - security system (which continues to cause controversy and political division.)

What she is actually calling for is the philosophical status quo with much higher payment rates. No need to dress it up in sentimental sermonising.