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Polity: Some evidence about welfare

Written By: - Date published: 7:44 am, January 22nd, 2014 - 105 comments
Categories: benefits, child welfare, crime, paula bennett, Social issues, welfare - Tags: , ,

polity_square_for_lynnThe original of this post is at Polity. This certainly adds some grist to the debate on unconditional basic income (UBI) and how to raise kids with fewer problems.

Do cash grants to the poor mainly feed their sinful desires? The Cherokee will tell us.

Almost everyone agrees it is a problem for the community1 when some members of it do not have enough money to live on. The disagreement of over what to do about it.

Some people oppose simply giving people the remaining money they need to live on. That is because they believe people under pressure make terrible choices and must sometimes be saved from themselves. (Which is odd because, in all other aspects of fiscal policy, those same people proudly declare that individuals inherently make great choices and the government should just get out of the way.)

Their fear / suspicion is that a when a poor person receives a cheque, that simply means they are about to become a poor person with alcoholism and a porn habit. That idea is, of course, not often borne out in reality, as evidenced by Paula Bennett’s embarrassing lack of positive drug tests for beneficiaries.

In the NYT this weekend is a superb report on a natural quasi-experiment about this issue in North Carolina. In the 1980s, the Cherokee opened a casino the area and decided to share the profits evenly among their tribe members, whether they worked at the casino site or not. In effect, the casino gave a whole cohort of previously very poor people an unconditional welfare cheque. So what happened after that?

Minor crimes committed by Cherokee youth declined. On-time high school graduation rates improved. And by 2006, when the supplements had grown to about $9,000 yearly per member, Professor Costello could make another observation: The earlier the supplements arrived in a child’s life, the better that child’s mental health in early adulthood.

She’d started her study with three cohorts, ages 9, 11 and 13. When she caught up with them as 19- and 21-year-olds living on their own, she found that those who were youngest when the supplements began had benefited most. They were roughly one-third less likely to develop substance abuse and psychiatric problems in adulthood, compared with the oldest group of Cherokee children and with neighboring rural whites of the same age.

The message from this study, and the experience of the Cherokee2, is very clear. To make a positive difference in the next generation’s life, we have to be generous and act early. Parental incentives aren’t the issue – the issue is getting those kids what they need to thrive.

 

1.There goes my Finlayson Seal of Approval!
2.Who, despite Europe’s prognostications, appear progressively less likely to march on trails of tears.

105 comments on “Polity: Some evidence about welfare”

  1. One Anonymous Knucklehead 1

    Once again reality and wingnut dogma diverge.

    One thing they will hear: casinos make everybody better off.

    *headdesk*

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      +1

    • Tracey 1.2

      perhaps this extract from the UBI thread is worth repeating here…

      As with much of the right rhetoric it is NOT fact based, yet people swallow it. THAT is the problem that needs to be addressed, how to penetrate the embedded myth and lies.

      https://decorrespondent.nl/541/why-we-should-give-free-money-to-everyone/31639050894-e44e2c00
      “‘It Can Be Done! Conquering Poverty in the US by 1976’, James Tobin, who would go on to win a Nobel Prize, wrote in 1967. At that time, almost 80% of the American population was in favor of adopting a small basic income. Here is an interesting article about this episode of American history. Nevertheless, Ronald Reagan sneered years later: ‘In the sixties we waged a war on poverty, and poverty won.’
      Milestones of civilization are often first considered impossible utopias. Albert Hirschman, one of the great sociologists of the previous century, wrote that utopian dreams are usually rebutted on three grounds: futility (it is impossible), danger (the risks are too big) and perversity (its realization will result in the opposite: a dystopia). Yet Hirschmann also described how, once implemented, ideas previously considered utopian are quickly accepted as normal.”

      Encapsulates the empowerment of people inherent in both income security and real democracy.

      “Almost 80% of the American population was in favor of adopting a small basic income”.

  2. weka 2

    What precisely did the income change? Ongoing interviews with both parents and children suggested one variable in particular. The money, which amounted to between one-third and one-quarter of poor families’ income at one point, seemed to improve parenting quality.

    The thing that really gets me is that we need a study to tell us that this is true. How fucking sad is that?

    btw, the footnote links don’t work.

    [lprent: Yeah. They are a problem whenever I pick up posts from polity. I don’t think they work properly there either – they reload the whole page. Will fix when I have a few spare minutes (heading to work) ]

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1

      I don’t think we needed a study to tell us that: I think we needed a study to help refute false narratives and bad faith arguments, roughly organised along political lines.

      • weka 2.1.1

        Some people do genuinely believe that giving money to poor people makes them lazy and do stupid things (or they are already bad people so giving them money just makes them badder). That so many people believe this says something about our society, way beyond politics.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.1

          Calling it “belief” just helps legitimise it. It’s hatred, envy, with a massive side order of bigotry, and to a large extent can be considered a symptom of income inequality.

          Some politicians deliberately play to this hatred: the National Party leaps to mind. They exacerbate the conditions that reinforce their prejudice, call them part of the natural order and remake society in their own image: desperate, mean-spirited and grasping.

          You may as well negotiate with the Tea Party.

          • weka 2.1.1.1.1

            “Calling it “belief” just helps legitimise it. It’s hatred, envy, with a massive side order of bigotry, and to a large extent can be considered a symptom of income inequality.”

            As per my comment to CV below, I think we have to get more nuanced than lumping all people together like that. There are a wide range of people who don’t think giving money to poor people is a good idea. Not all of that is hatred and massive bigotry. I think for some alot of it is ignorance. I’m thinking of some middle class liberals who have never had anything real to do with poor people and who would just be perplexed by the idea that getting something for free wouldn’t cause problems. They want to help poor people, but they might not see how ongoing gifts would help. That’s not hatred, it’s ill-informed belief.

            “and to a large extent can be considered a symptom of income inequality.”

            Yes.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I think they have to take some responsibility for being lazy and credulous enough to swallow Tory hate-speech (no matter how finely crafted).

              If calling it hate speech makes them a little uncomfortable, so be it.

              • weka

                I think you will find that they don’t ‘have’ to do anything, given that their needs and wants in life are largely being met. Calling them haters is not smart or useful strategy. Neither is lumping them in with the real haters. Better to appeal to their existing liberal compassions, and build on that.

        • vto 2.1.1.2

          “Some people do genuinely believe that giving money to poor people makes them lazy and do stupid things ”

          But look at what the rich do when you give them money….. Tiwai Point runs shoddy operations, hundreds of dairy farmers clog up waterways, the NZX still fails to fire for the people, ……

          The rich most certainly do make bad decisions when given money – and they get given one hell of a lot more than the poor. I guess the difference is that the rich don’t actually need the money so are more blasé, whereas the poor need the money for weetbix and electricity so the decisions are easy and necessary.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.2.1

            It gets worse – plenty of evidence that being wealthy erodes your ethics.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    This is good work by Polity.

    However the last priority of the Left is yet more evidence. The evidence only matters to a quarter or maybe less of the electorate. The majority of the voting, working, earning electorate will NOT accept the widespread distribution of money to people in poverty ‘for free’ without very special circumstances. And until this ingrained NZ culture is dramatically changed, such policies will be as popular as ‘Working for Families for Non-working Families’.

    At the very least, societal and political leaders need to start talking about a UBI at a decent rate e.g. equivalent to 60% of the minimum wage

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1

      Do it anyway.

      And then challenge the bigots to cast the first stone. Get in their faces. Forcefully defend New Zealand against them and stop using their hatreds as excuses for doing nothing.

    • weka 3.2

      “The voting, working, earning electorate will NOT accept the widespread distribution of money to people in poverty ‘for free’ without very special circumstances.”

      What if money/resources are also being given to them?

      The Cherokee study is one of the tools that can be used in changing the engrained attitudes.

      btw I think we have to move past the mass generalisations. The ‘voting, working, earning electorate’ are a diverse group of people, they don’t all think the same.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        There are roughly a million problems with the Cherokee study, and that’s apart from the fact that most people don’t listen to the evidence, they listen to their own prejudices.

        Does this mean that Labour now sees the benefits of expanding gambling?
        Will Labour agree to expand gambling if we distribute more of the proceeds back to the community?
        Is Labour proposing to gift Maori more Casino licenses?
        Is this a policy which works for poor coloured natives only?

        etc

        btw I think we have to move past the mass generalisations. The ‘voting, working, earning electorate’ are a diverse group of people, they don’t all think the same.

        Individual and mass psychology are two very distinct things and are very manipulable. Perhaps messages have to be crafted which simultaneously reach out to different identified groups in the community. The Right has more ability at that because, I presume, of their more extensive PR and polling resources.

        • weka 3.2.1.1

          Does this mean that Labour now sees the benefits of expanding gambling?
          Will Labour agree to expand gambling if we distribute more of the proceeds back to the community?
          Is Labour proposing to gift Maori more Casino licenses?
          Is this a policy which works for poor coloured natives only?

          Yes, I can see that would be a problem if you didn’t know how to answer those questions meaningfully.

          Individual and mass psychology are two very distinct things and are very manipulable. Perhaps messages have to be crafted which simultaneously reach out to different identified groups in the community. The Right has more ability at that because, I presume, of their more extensive PR and polling resources.

          Individual and mass psychology, and sub-group psychology. Yes, addressing those sub-groups in ways that they each can relate to.

          Not sure that psychological manipulation is the right approach, but agree that the right are good at this.

    • RedLogix 3.3

      The majority of the voting, working, earning electorate will NOT accept the widespread distribution of money to people in poverty ‘for free’ without very special circumstances.

      When WFF came along I had a colleague bleat about how it “made beneficiaries of us all”. He genuinely felt shamed by it – even though with three kids it reduced his net tax to about 5%.

      This is why it’s better to frame the UBI as a ‘Universal Tax Credit’ or ‘Negative Income Tax’ – which switches the framing away from decades of conditioned beneficiary bashing, and all the emotional tangle that brings.

      And as OAK and weka said.

      • Colonial Viper 3.3.1

        Indeed.

        Now, is this Labour caucus capable of doing anything this revolutionary and pulling it off with any degree of political deftness…

        I guess we are doing our best to give them clues here.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.3.2

        The shame is a symptom of the pernicious right wing false narrative your colleague has been subjected to. By respecting it you respect the narrative.

        Do you think the Right will stop doing this if we find the correct name for a UBI? They will scream welfare and the media will help them.

        The only way to deal with it is to meet it head on and call it what it is: hate speech. Make the bigots defend themselves.

        • vto 3.3.2.1

          I agree. Ratchet up the rhetoric with the right. Call them hateful. Make them defend their nasty hatred.

        • Colonial Viper 3.3.2.2

          And they will.

          Firstly they will say that it’s hard earned money by decent working NZers being thrown away in waste.
          Secondly they will say that this is symptomatic of a “tax and spend” Left which has no other ideas or imagination.
          Thirdly they’ll position Labour as hating people who work for a living and encouraging bludging, laziness and unemployment amongst the young and the poor.
          Fourthly they’ll say that Labour’s economic incompetence will destroy confidence and economic growth just as it is returning.

          So bloody easy, like fish in a barrel.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.3.2.2.1

            Hit back on the very first sentence. Interrupt. Ask them straight on what they intend to do about infant mortality and infectious disease rates. Point out that their policies have led to the destruction of the value of wages and the attendant social problems, then point out that they think nothing of tax-payer hand-outs to casinos, but only casinos that donate to their election campaign.

            Second sentence: interrupt. Shout them down. Demand to know what they intend to do about child mortality etc…

            Thirdly, interrupt them, say you’re not here to listen to hate speech and bigotry. Demand to know why they espouse the politics of hatred, and what they intend to do about child mortality…

            And if you can’t effectively cite Labour’s record on the economy to refute the last lie you’ve no business being in Parliament in the first place.

            • Colonial Viper 3.3.2.2.1.1

              That’s one approach. But you also don’t want to get stuck in a shouty fight with a political party which tends to command more airtime and typically favourable media commentary.

              Also, nothing turns off the electorate more than a shrill, angry tone.

            • just saying 3.3.2.2.1.2

              I think structural unemployment, the future in which there may be even less traditional paid work, the reality of sickness and disability, and our shared vulnerability and humanity need to be brought into the debate too.

              • Colonial Viper

                +1

                in amongst every definite and concrete policy initiative which overturns the status quo, the Left has to start talking about universal values, civic rights and a duty of compassion to each other once again.

                And how they are more important than ever in a difficult world subject to quickly developing and potentially dangerous mega trends.

                • weka

                  “in amongst every definite and concrete policy initiative which overturns the status quo, the Left has to start talking about universal values, civic rights and a duty of compassion to each other once again.”

                  Very good!

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.3.2.2.2

            PS: “If we try and make policy according to the National Party’s hatred and fear of poor people, nothing will change.”

      • ak 3.3.3

        And point to Super, “aunty Helen’s cheque”; and how it eliminated poverty and misery for the elderly; and how, no, they didn’t all work hard all their lives and thus “deserve” it; and how can it be bad if even tory millionaires put their chubby hands out for it; and how can bennies be lazy when we had the lowest unemployment in the world when jobs were there under Hels; and how Paula and wee Johnny’s mum were bennies, and how every scientific study ever proves inequality is evil…etc etc Come on Labour, step up please.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.3.3.1

          +1

          The only reason we have beneficiaries is because the capitalist system requires and enforces poverty.

      • Molly 3.3.4

        I remember three articles within a week coming up to the election in 2011 in the Herald about a family taking WFF when as business owners – mortgage free – they paid themselves a low wage.

        Take the money back, family says
        Gradual family tax change eases loss
        Editorial: Family fine example of decent Kiwis

        The missing point of these articles, and the comments from your colleague is that Working for Families must be applied for.

        If they truly don’t want it – they don’t have to apply for it – alternatively they can stop it.

  4. mickysavage 4

    Interesting stuff. Perhaps in our effort to create an alternative dialogue, and one based on reality, we need to create a new theme.

    How about trickleup? When we help the poorest in our community the benefits spread to everyone?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      It has to be a strategy which brings key players in the community and the economy in behind it.

      – The working class and precariat.
      – Median and middle class households concerned not for themselves, but their childrens’ employment prospects.
      – Contractors and independent tradespeople.
      – Small/family farmers.
      – SMEs.
      – Exporters.
      – Local chambers of commerce.

      Academic and union voices must also be brought in strongly behind the initiative.

      • vto 4.1.1

        How on earth will you get all those groups at once?

        Mickysavage is on the right track. Frame it around strengthening the base of society, the foundations, the bed from which all else rises. Frame it so the richer can make their money after the cleaners have been looked after and left a good place for the business to be done in, after the workers have built the office, after the mothers and teachers have taught the future business peeps to read and shit properly.

        It is a foundation-up exercise.

        And it makes the utmost sense. A solid and well functioning foundation (that can handle earthquakes and other disaster) is necessary. Without a solid base we are nothing.

        Build it from the bottom up.

        Plus, you know of course, the pyramid has more voters at the bottom…

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          MS has an excellent overarching approach. But those groups have to be engaged, persuaded so very specific policy/message nuances must be developed in order to do so.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.1.1.1

            Developed?

            Being able to speak passionately about your core values and policies is in the job description. There’s an election in ten months. It’s a bit late to start figuring out how to sound like you’ve a fire in your belly.

            • vto 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I suspect Cunliffe would nail a foundations-up rallying cry.

              Be good to see him do such in a one-on-one with Key

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Yeah, because CV is the most sedate and soporific of commentators on the Standard.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.2

      How about: defend New Zealand children from the National Party.

    • Arfamo 4.3

      Trickleup? – Yes. I like that. It encapsulates the alternative approaches discussed here beautifully. And there’s plenty of evidence around internationally to show that it works in improving more people’s lives than just the rich predators’. This is the kind of counter meme that needs to be simply defined and constantly repeated by Labour, IMO. Simple messages are going to be better than complex ones.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.3.1

        “Trickle-up” was originally coined as being a more accurate characterisation of policies sold as “trickle-down”. It’s a euphemism for “wealth transfer to the 1%”. Other than a good way to attract attention to right wing lies I don’t think the phrase has much practical use.

  5. greywarbler 5

    I thought this item could go in this thread. It’s about how the jobs you are forced by poverty to take, can be destructive to your health.

    An interesting piece of news for labour supporters from Radionz – heading –
    Night-shift work severely damages body – study
    Updated at 8:26 am today

    British sleep researchers say night-shift work throws the body into chaos and could cause long-term damage.
    Shift work has already been linked to higher rates of type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and cancer.

    Now the Sleep Research Centre in southern England has concluded it has profound effects on the body at the deepest molecular level, affecting everything from athletic ability to brain function.

    Researchers at the centre say the body has its own natural rhythm or body clock tuned to sleep at night and activity during the day.
    They admit to being surprised at the scale, speed and severity of the damage caused by being awake at night.

  6. shorts 6

    I’m not convinced many (most) within Labour would support this free money notion/evidence given they often talk national lite with regards to them not working and those without

    It’d be a nice place to start if Labour moved past the everyone deserves/needs a job rhetoric – for evidence suggests thats not been the case for many decades

  7. bad12 7

    Lolz, How dare Polity provide evidence to proove the wing-nuts continual knee-jerk over ‘welfare’ is just that, an overly large ongoing knee-jerk,

    Although i find it denigrating of the average solo parent to deny them the income which would allow their kids to attain levels of social interaction that those with higher incomes take for granted such poverty is simple to at least alleviate,by,

    (1), a comprehensive food in schools program including breakfast and lunch with perhaps a good look at the provision of ‘homework’ clubs in schools where a teacher is available to help those who attend and an afternoon tea is provided for the kids,

    (2),where a lot of kids from low income families miss out is in areas that are not strictly educational, sport,arts etc WINZ should be partnered with sports clubs,theater groups,music lesson providers etc etc across the whole spectrum where mum or dad can enroll the kids in whatever area they show talent in and WINZ can then provide the fees and funds for any uniforms and equipment needed to such organizations,

    Like i said at the start of this little rant, my view is the benefit level,or as of right special benefit payments should specifically cover these areas and be paid directly to the parents concerned, But, in order to get ‘buy-in’ from a larger slice of the population ‘a different’ system of delivery may have to be devised…

  8. Some people oppose simply giving people the remaining money they need to live on. That is because they believe people under pressure make terrible choices and must sometimes be saved from themselves.

    Some, no doubt. Others are well aware that the ability to waste money and do stupid things is pretty evenly distributed. There are a few principles involved in not wanting to just dish out money as necessary to the poor:

    1. Having useful and productive work to do is a social good.
    2. Having plenty of money but no work to do is corrosive of human ethics and behaviour, and therefore not a social good.
    3. Paying people who do nothing beyond turn out children on a regular basis is a recipe for an increasing number of people to pay.

    Those mean that you have to focus on getting the poor into work and ensuring that having work means you’re not poor. If you’re handling that side of it, you open up room to dish out a useful amount of cash to the people who can’t work or are just too fucked up or incompetent to hold down a job. Don’t handle the jobs part and giving more money to the poor will just increase the number of people you need to give money to. Which is why “Labour’s rhetoric is more about good jobs for everyone – paying a fair/living wage, with good workign conditions.”

    • karol 8.1

      who do nothing beyond turn out children

      “turning out” children and caring for them IS work! And a very necessary one for society. More necessary, than say, turning out loads of bottles of coca cola ot Big Macs.

      • Psycho Milt 8.1.1

        It’s work in the same sense that cleaning your teeth or buying your groceries is – labour, but not labour you should expect someone to pay you for carrying out. In some cases, it’s not even at the teeth-cleaning level, it’s just shit that happens to you when you fuck people without using contraception. And if what you’re turning out are more people who’ll need society to hand them a dole every week so they can do nothing more than create the next generation of paid reproducers, it’s not just unnecessary for society, it’s decidedly counter-productive. At least people creating bottles of Coca Cola or Big Macs are creating food and drink.

        I suppose in theory you could declare children a social good and the production of them a form of public service employment, but in that case society would be very much owed a say in who gets the job and who’s considered unsuitable for the role. Doesn’t sound very pleasant to me…

        • karol 8.1.1.1

          Of course to the capitalists domestic labour and caring work does not count as work – but they are much more necessary to society than many paid jobs. And your understanding and dismissiveness of doemstic and child care work just repeats the way society undervalues such work – and is happy for it to be largely relegated to women.

          • Psycho Milt 8.1.1.1.1

            I’m not remotely dismissive of professional childcare workers, they’re generally well-qualified and do a great job for too little money. What would be dismissive of them would be equating them with domestic purposes beneficiaries, as you do.

            As for it being largely relegated to women, if we’re paying people to be sole parents, is it any surprise the takers are mainly women? I wouldn’t want to be a sole parent even if someone actually was bunging me loadsamoney for it, and I’m not a particularly unusual male of the species. If you’ve got a husband littering the place, it’s easy enough to make him useful – not so if the kid’s dad is some waster you’d prefer not having in the same town, let alone the same house.

            I’m interested in how you might imagine society making the production of children lucrative paid work, as befits a job so necessary to society – more to the point, how you imagine it doing so and then not giving a shit who gets the job and how they go about it. Because if it was to give a shit about those things, leftists would be quoting Aldous Huxley at us left, right and centre, and rightly so.

            • McFlock 8.1.1.1.1.1

              PM, I’m not sure what your point is.

              Society already attempts to ensure that parents do a reasonable job of raising educated, healthy, stable children. If someone beats or starves their child, it gets taken into care. If the child is denied medical treatment through neglect, it gets taken into care.

              If anything, the indictment on society is that it does not provide enough support for good parents who do not have the economic requirements to raise a child. Which is foolish, because it costs less for society to help raise the child than it does to imprison or provide healthcare to an adult.

              • My point is that Karol’s view of creating children as being work done for society that society should be paying the creator for has a few flaws, the most significant one being that an employer gets to decide who they employ and the extent of the work required, which isn’t an approach we really should take to parents and children.

                • karol

                  Parents do what’s necessary. People in poverty tend to have a lot of children – its a widespread and hsitrical pattern.

                  Good social support networks tend to stimulate better parenting. Parents and communties, given adequate resources and community circumstances will make decisions that are beneficial to society.

                  Employers often make decisions about the work to be done that harms society: pollution, destructive to humans and communties in various ways.

                • McFlock

                  Nice straw man.

                  The work done by parents is not an “employer/employee” relationship.

                  The fact is that competently raising children is a public good, regardless of who does it, and regardless of the “extent”. If people are currently incompetent at raising children (i.e. don’t meet an acceptable standard of parenting), that issue should already be addressed, regardless of who gives the parents money.

                  I guess my confusion arises from the fact that you seem to think that only the people giving parents money are permitted to intervene if the child is being harmed. I would argue that everyone in society has an obligation to intervene. That is, after all, why we legislate education to a certain age.

                  • In that case, we’re both confused, because the comment wasn’t about intervention in cases of child harm, it was about the view that society should pay people to produce children.

                    • McFlock

                      …and you seem to think that this would somehow incorporate increased control over how children are raised and by whom.

                      It doesn’t, because we already set the minimum required standards for parenting, regardless of where they get the funds to raise children.

                      And frankly, having thousands more well-funded DPB recipients reproducing around now would really help the country with its supposed 2050 pensions problem.

                    • …and you seem to think that this would somehow incorporate increased control over how children are raised and by whom.

                      Well, yeah – unless you’re envisaging some blank-cheque arrangement in which the government offers unlimited funding to all comers. Good luck to the government that goes to the electorate with that for a policy.

                    • McFlock

                      …and you seem to think that this would somehow incorporate increased control over how children are raised and by whom.

                      Well, yeah – unless you’re envisaging some blank-cheque arrangement in which the government offers unlimited funding to all comers.

                      Well, there is a middle ground where the current restrictions apply. And the human 9-month reproductive cycle is hardly a “blank cheque” arrangement, even if the vision of a moderate income proves to be irresistible to some women.

                    • Again with the women. There’s always a sperm donor, one way or another.

                    • McFlock

                      women are usually the last one with it.

            • Molly 8.1.1.1.1.2

              PM – You readily equate domestic purpose beneficiaries with poor parenting.

              Poor parents exist through the demographics in the population.

              There are studies that indicate the benefits of ECE are mostly lost by first grade, and removed by the end of primary. (Impacts of Early Childhood programs from the US for example)

              And when you look wider than the standards of pre-literacy and pre-numeracy the negatives start to add up.
              “Behavioral and Socio-emotional Outcomes:
              Kindergarten teachers reported higher rates of classroom behavior problems among former participants in state pre-K when compared to children who were solely cared for by parents, even after controlling for many differences between the two groups of families in the ECLS-K sample.”

              There is merit in allowing a mother to take care of her child and bonding with them during early childhood, and not requiring a parent to return to work when that child is only one year old.

              • Brevity here because I find it hard to treat this stuff with politeness. I dislike the fundie/conservative argument that a mother belongs at home looking after her children, and I dislike it even more when people who really should know better take it up as a defence of sole parent beneficiaries.

                • Molly

                  You are right to chastise me. Only commented on the “mother” because of the changes in MSD requirement – and was involved in a some submissions on that a couple of years ago – mostly from single mothers. But you are right – there are fathers impacted by those changes too.

                  I wasn’t saying that it was necessarily better – because I think many things frame that – the standard of care and continuity at the ECE and the family environment a child has at home.

                  But I read your comment as a blanket disapproval of early childhood parenting while on a benefit. I responded to that perceived bias.

                  • It’s not a blanket disapproval – the DPB exists for a good reason and must continue to exist for that reason.

                    • Molly

                      “I’m not remotely dismissive of professional childcare workers, they’re generally well-qualified and do a great job for too little money. What would be dismissive of them would be equating them with domestic purposes beneficiaries, as you do.”

                      This is the comment that made me think you were chastising all DPB parents. Reading through your other comments ( the DPB exists for a good reason and must continue to exist for that reason.) makes me think this was not the point you were trying to make.

                      So, I responded out of context.

                      But fail to see how considering the well-being of all children (the study reported on the benefits for any child attending ECE), is a “ defence of sole parent beneficiaries.”.

                      It is just an observation that if this is true, then beneficiary children are further disadvantaged by the requirement that their parent has to seek work when they are very young, and they must attend ECE. The opportunity for the best choice for those children is taken away.

        • greywarbler 8.1.1.2

          Psycho Milt You are a bigoted fool. Bringing a new life into our intelligent/stupid world of humans is a major event.

          Trying to provide guidance and suitable role models to grow a healthy mind and body with an understanding of some of the philosophical thought that has been preserved for us is a major task. It may take decades and some never learn much beyond doing the one job suitable or available after training, swigging alcohol in their lighter moments, running round a field with a ball or trying to get one, cleaning their teeth,and how to steer a car. The highest accolades often go to such people who are focussed on the least complex of the human activities.

          • Psycho Milt 8.1.1.2.1

            For an individual it’s as major as an event gets. At the population level, how “major” can an event that happens nearly 2000 times a minute be? Face it: reproduction is about as ordinary as it gets – any single-celled organism does it on a routine basis.

            • karol 8.1.1.2.1.1

              PM, on that basis, I’d say going to work for the boss is an even more ordinary daily event.

            • greywarbler 8.1.1.2.1.2

              PM
              Again – I despair. Having a baby isn’t the end of it. We aren’t set up so that women abandon babies at birth, neither are our babies. There is a bird in Indonesia I think, that lays its eggs in warm volcanic rock and leaves them to hatch in its warmth. They split their shells, eat the remainder of their yolk and dry themselves and fly off.

              How does that compare with the travail of having a baby, and how dependent it is for months, walking at about 12 months. And so much to learn in the meantime.

              First you were having a go at women as individuals – shouldn’t have a baby blah. Then when it suits, you go off on to the macro economics of it and the world statistics. These just measure all the individuals to get an idea of what is going on.
              It’s no use giving a mother who has to feed her baby, a book or CD of stats.

              Humanity is needed and understanding of what it is to be born a human, and how people become human adults, and how they can guide their children so they don’t turn into selfish shits, or bullies, or wimps, or find what to do if they they are actually fully fledged psycho, or sociopaths. Apparently it can be diagnosed at nine years of age.

              There is a lot to do and think about in growing and guiding children. From your attitude, it would be unwise for you to even contemplate keeping hens, a cat, a dog, or a pet rat.

              • First you were having a go at women as individuals – shouldn’t have a baby blah.

                Why is it that so many of the oh-so-right-on commenters on these threads seem to struggle with the idea that it takes a member of each sex to make a baby?

    • bad12 8.2

      Psycho milt, your (2) is easily seen in the behavior of our elites although where you get your ‘wing-nuts attitude’ to in relation to this supposed ‘breeding’ for money from is beyond me,

      You would if you believe your large and ongoing knee-jerk to be correct then have to believe that every child born in the current era of Working for Families has been bred simply to gain a sum of extra money,

      While there are a minority, usually those you have catergorized as being so fucked that there is little employment opportunity for them, that have another child while in receipt of the DPB, but i would suggest to you that in terms of the total number of mostly woman who have accessed that benefit in all the years that it has been available those who go on to have another child while receiving it are a small minority,

      i might get a spanking from the feminist cadre here at the Standard for making this point but make it i will, some woman are hard wired to produce babies, take for instance places of absolute starvation, you would think that in such places women would think i cannot bring another baby into this world because i definitely know that it’s fate will be starvation, yet reproduce en masse they do,

      While also agreeing with you about the provision of well paying employment you must realize that anyone offering that or ‘full employment’ in the current climate is either a fool or a liar, i believe you have wrapped such leftist thinking around what is essentially an elongated ‘wing-nuts knee-jerk’ in a not very intelligent effort to sweeten your attack on those receiving the DPB,

      My one question, possibly too personal, is what happened, did she pack the kids up one day and tell you your ugly attitude was intolerable, choosing instead to eke out an existence on the DPB’s miserable amount…

      • karol 8.2.1

        bad, I generally agree with your comment.

        Not a spanking, but this:

        some woman are hard wired to produce babies, …. you make it sound as if women produce these babies all on their own, and as if they always have a choice in the matter.

        • bad12 8.2.1.1

          Karol, the matter of ‘choice’ is a discussion better had at another time in a more appropriate post, and, i gotta say it is more than obvious that it takes more than the hard wiring of a woman to reproduce, mostly this is achieved by finding a suitable male, also hard-wired, but not necessarily with an on-going program of nurturing attached…

          • karol 8.2.1.1.1

            Yes, but you make it sound like sex is always intitiated by women, and in order to have children. And in some of the most poverty striken parts of the world, especially those in or near war zones, rape happens pretty frequently.

      • Psycho Milt 8.2.2

        My one question, possibly too personal, is what happened, did she pack the kids up one day and tell you your ugly attitude was intolerable, choosing instead to eke out an existence on the DPB’s miserable amount…

        Er, yes it is, and no she didn’t.

        You would if you believe your large and ongoing knee-jerk to be correct then have to believe that every child born in the current era of Working for Families has been bred simply to gain a sum of extra money.

        Even if that did follow from my comment (which it doesn’t), it would be a reductio ad absurdum.

        …your (2) is easily seen in the behavior of our elites…

        It’s interesting that you can identify that point as justified immediately if you envisage it in terms of the idle rich, but are equally-immediately outraged at the suggestion people who aren’t rich might be subject to the same failing.

        …you must realize that anyone offering that or ‘full employment’ in the current climate is either a fool or a liar…

        I’m not imagining a government can just magically make large numbers of well-paid jobs appear overnight, but the fact is there are things a government can do to create jobs or encourage the private sector to create them, and things it can do to help make sure people who are in work aren’t poor unless they’re making a real effort to be (for instance – Labour could have tried not destroying the union movement, or not using the social welfare system to subsidise low wages).

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.3

        i might get a spanking from the feminist cadre here at the Standard for making this point but make it i will, some woman are hard wired to produce babies, take for instance places of absolute starvation, you would think that in such places women would think i cannot bring another baby into this world because i definitely know that it’s fate will be starvation, yet reproduce en masse they do,

        In those situations it’s usually because the women don’t have control over their own bodies that causes them to continue to have children.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      Ah, the typical to incentivise the rich you give them more while to incentivise the poor you take away from them BS.

      • Psycho Milt 8.3.1

        Take what away from them? The discussion here is about whether to dish out more cash, not take anything away from anyone.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.3.1.1

          Your arguments fit the profile. Specifically:

          Those mean that you have to focus on getting the poor into work and ensuring that having work means you’re not poor.

          This bit refers to keeping the poor as poor as possible so that they’re incentivised to work. Basically, you’re opposed to giving people enough to live on even when the evidence shows that it produces far better outcomes.

          Don’t handle the jobs part and giving more money to the poor will just increase the number of people you need to give money to.

          And this bit is about if we give them more then they still won’t do anything except multiply like rabbits.

          All of which is a load of BS. All you’re doing here is propagating the RWNJ meme that poor people are lazy and need to be punished for it.

          • Psycho Milt 8.3.1.1.1

            This bit refers to keeping the poor as poor as possible so that they’re incentivised to work.

            In your imagination, maybe. Outside of your imagination it would only apply if there was also a goal of keeping wages as low as possible, which is kind of ruled out for a government focused on “ensuring that having work means you’re not poor.” Ensure that there’s enough work, that it pays well and that people who can work are working, and you can afford to pay a lot more in social welfare benefits to the people who actually need them.

            And this bit is about if we give them more then they still won’t do anything except multiply like rabbits.

            Well, we implemented a programme of paying people to be sole parents, and saw a massive increase in the number of sole parents. And yet it’s “BS” to conclude that a policy of paying people more to be sole parents would see a further increase? It seems a logical enough conclusion to me.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.3.1.1.1.1

              Outside of your imagination it would only apply if there was also a goal of keeping wages as low as possible,…

              Which actually is the goal of maintaining high (6%+) unemployment.

              …which is kind of ruled out for a government focused on “ensuring that having work means you’re not poor.”

              Which also means that people out of work are poor.

              Ensure that there’s enough work, that it pays well and that people who can work are working, and you can afford to pay a lot more in social welfare benefits to the people who actually need them.

              That’s one option, the other is that we tax correctly. We already produce enough to pay those out of work better.

              Well, we implemented a programme of paying people to be sole parents, and saw a massive increase in the number of sole parents.

              [citation needed]

              There were solo parents before the DPB. The question is if the number has gone up in relation to population. Also, there are other factors at play:

              The introduction of the DPB was blamed for “creating a shortage of babies for adoption”. However, the extent to which the DPB contributed to the shortage of babies available for adoption is unclear. The number of births outside of marriage fell between 1971 and 1976. The numbers of ex nuptial children being adopted had started to fall in 1962, before the introduction of State financial support. Else notes that a number of other factors were at work, such as a “softening” of attitudes towards illegitimate children and their mothers, the removal of the stigma of illegitimacy by the Status of Children Act 1969, the increasing availability of contraception and delays in the placement of babies.

  9. JonL 9

    “I’m thinking of some middle class liberals who have never had anything real to do with poor people and who would just be perplexed by the idea that getting something for free wouldn’t cause problems”

    Unless you’ve lived there, I’ve found it’s often like talking to a brick wall! They just don’t have a real clue – nice, intelligent people and all, a lot of them….but….it’s all in the world of theory, abstraction and external semi aware, superficial observation – coloured by a dose of personal prejudice!

  10. Its absurd to promote gambling as a solution to social problems.
    It is well within the capacity of even a capitalist society to pay a UBI or living wage to all those who want to work at meaningful jobs and at reduced hours. Mr Morgan proves it.
    The First Labour Government did it during a depression with public works.
    The only think stopping this is a small coterie of capitalist parasites and their greedy hangers-on.

    • bad12 10.1

      red rattler, i do not believe that either this post or the study it is based around are in any way extolling the virtues of gambling, that is a very shallow view of this posts content,

      What the study is showing in real life and real time is the effect on young people of what is essentially ‘free money’ and it is simply a matter of being able to find a ‘real’ example of this as to why the casino owned by this Cherokee tribe has been used as it appears that even small children as of right share in the profits of this casino thus giving those conducting the study a perfect example…

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