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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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    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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