Saturday, February 27, 2021

Reverting to failed policies

 The following is the United States' historical experience and mirrors New Zealand's:

Giving parents money with no strings attached in order to reduce child poverty is an idea that has been tried before. The results are hardly ancient history. These policies became part of the federal government’s scope as a way to support the children of mostly widowed mothers, and successfully prevented severe destitution for many children. But these successes faded in the second half of the 20th century as the programs expanded and societal behaviors around marriage and childbearing began to change. Unconditional cash aid to poor families led to government dependency and non-contributing absent fathers, eventually becoming widely unpopular among policymakers on both the right and the left.

Unfortunately the policy never became unpopular with New Zealand's left, which has been traditionally far more inclined to socialism than America's, and far more in thrall to feminists. 

Clark's government had an inkling though and must have watched Bill Clinton's reforms to turn assistance into the result of work effort. Clark's government did attempt to keep liable fathers responsible and ran the line that the best way out of poverty was work.

But Ardern's government rushed back to the failed policy of  'no strings attached' and let fathers of children reliant on the taxpayer for their upkeep completely off the hook.

Now the US is faced again with debating policies that will set back all that was achieved after 1996 (broadly speaking because many states experimented earlier and achieved earlier.)

Here Labour has been and is working hard to undo Bill English' reforms.

In the States some Republicans want to wreck Bill Clinton's achievement.

But it's all government no matter the hue. All unrestrained power to take the hairbrained failed path yet again.

(If you have the time and interest read the linked article which actually contains practical free market ways to reduce poverty which are all adaptable to this country.)

1 comment:

Hilary Taylor said...

I regard anything less than a social investment approach as a moral failure on the part of the government. It's much easier to hurl money at anyone with their hand out, less bureaucracy, fewer forms & rules to consider, roll up roll up, no pesky questions etc. Much harder to dive down and explore circumstances, invest time & expertise, train people and the like. Filling hands held out is spending, not investing. A tap, not a guided pathway to betterment. This is what we prefer? This is kind?