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Breeding for a business?

Written By: - Date published: 9:07 am, August 1st, 2011 - 76 comments
Categories: class war, employment, jobs, welfare - Tags:

John Key infamously stated that parents on the DPB are “breeding for a business”. Over the weekend Stuff ran a piece that seems to agree:

Pre-teens dream of kids and dole

Lots of babies, lots of partners, lots of houses and lots of benefits. Welcome to the career dream of young boys already failing in the education system.

A publication from the Ministry of Social Development? A survey from a reputable research organisation? No, it turns out to be a personal opinion:

Alison Sutherland, who works in Wairarapa schools with children who have behavioural problems, says many of the boys she deals with – who haven’t even reached their teenage years – can only see being the father of children and living with their mothers ahead. “That is their career future,” she said of youngsters who were opting out of education and employment because they saw babies as a source of income.

One person’s opinion doesn’t make it true of course, and the actual evidence strongly contradicts typical stereotypes about welfare. But if, for the sake of argument, Sutherland is correct, and some young males see parenthood as a meal ticket, what do we conclude? The standard right-wing knee-jerk that we need “welfare reform”? No. Dig a little deeper:

“They have a perception that their future is to be unemployed. That is their norm.

These are kids without hope. The underlying problem is a lack of jobs. Unemployment has skyrocketed under National. Add in a moribund economy, stagnant wages, anti-worker legislation, talk of punitive youth rates until age 24, and a general lack of vision and direction, and what is there for the young to be hopeful about? Those that can are leaving for Australia in record numbers. Those that can’t are increasingly desperate.

We don’t need welfare reform. We need jobs, and hope for the future. Then numbers on welfare would fall by themselves. Just as they did under Labour.

76 comments on “Breeding for a business? ”

  1. randal 1

    They (?) say if you hace to explain then you are dead but the thrust of this article and the one in the SST and the crap on mawk shrewsbrewerys show last week is all about arguing from the particular to the general and pretending that one interview with some horny kid is the aim of all kids in New Zealand which is patent nonsense but they keep on getting away with it.

    • Aero 1.1

      Servitude or Starvation, this essentially is what National want but can’t get because it would be unelectable, however it appeases their thick skulled base.

      The problem is the economy, local and global, locally we are too conservative. Siding with what we have and not wanting to take risks. The fact that we have not got a two laned highway, or GST off food or a capital gains tax, are symptoms of a lazy cheap attitude of NZ.

      As one of our cultural forebears would have said, nothing ventured nothing gained. Explains the contradiction on the right, they never venture credible arguments, or new policy, or explain why they hate the idea of a capital gains tax that would stress our companies and individuals to the same levels of their competitors overseas. Well its obvious why, our individuals and companies want a interventionist government that protects them by pushing up taxes on other parts of the economy by not introducing a capital gains tax. As a economy grows it requires better legislation, the fact that we don’t have a dual carriageway from our capital to our biggest city, that we don’t have the legislative infrastructure for a growing economy explains not only why the right fails the economy, but why the left fails the poorest.

      Get used to it, NZ is backwards, by some estimates thirty years behind. I welcome our new chinese overlords.

  2. vto 2

    Of course such a situation is far from the norm. But it does happen. The problem is the DPB which removed responsibility from the ‘family unit’ to the government and allows the males to get off the hook. Sheeting responsibility back home to each parent is where the solutions should be aimed imo. Quite how that is done is the trick tho … seems almost insurmountable …

    • RedLogix 2.1

      I’m not so sure that the DPB ‘let’s men off the hook’.

      In my experience the problem is not so much that they don’t want to be a part of their children’s lives, but that their incomes are so crap and their life is so unstable that they simply can’t make a decent go of measuring up to being the standard middle class, nuclear family father.

      It takes at around $200k or more (hell my figures are way out date), to raise each child to the age of 20. If your earning the minimum wage, or on a benefit of any kind… that kind of cash isn’t ever going to be available.

      But the simple unstoppable biological fact is that young women will have babies. Regardless of any other consideration, economic, social or otherwise. If you think about it… you’d not really want it any other way.

      So sure the DPB has it’s downsides… but given the lack of decent father material available to these women… what alternative do you propose?

      • vto 2.1.1

        I don’t know what an alternative would be. It’s too hard. But imo the dpb has broken some connections that previously ran through society.

        Perhaps we could ask that ex-royal Captain Mark Phillips who married Princess Anne? Recall he fathered a child in NZ and has, according to gossip mags, never once made contact with either the mother or the child. On second thoughts, nah, our leaders have never been ones to look up to …

        Or perhaps we ask the young mums who are left on Struggle Street what would work for them? What do they think?

        • Colonial Viper

          vto – dropping real wages to the extent that both parents have to work full time to make a family’s ends meet is what really broke up families.

          Monetary distress is also a leading contributor of relationship breakups (fewer breakups = fewer on the DPB).

          • McFlock

            Let’s also not forget the disappearance of the weekend – some clubs I was involved in noticed that when they used to run weekend events, say 20 years ago, most members would generally be able to attend. Now they lose a whole chunk of members to the workplace. That is also carried over into the families – not everybody has days off at the same time.

            • Colonial Viper

              I’m hearing you. I’m a big proponent of wages set at a level which allow a 4 day 32 hour work week, 5 weeks annual leave a year, and 6 sick leave days per year.

              Reintroducing penalty rates as being commonplace on a Sunday.

              These are things which will allow families and friends to rebuild their connections.

              • Tiger Mountain

                Agree CV,
                • a universal basic income for all citizens would be a good start too, reduce the ‘dirty filthy bennie’ stigma if everyone was a bennie heh.

                • change abatement rates so it is actually a positive gain for DPB recipients to get part time work (when it is bloody available of course)

                • A less ‘flexible’ labour market: The playing field is ridiculously tilted to benefit the corporate bludgers and by extension the kiwi SME end.
                Ease the pathway to nominating parties to MECAs that allow unions to negotiate multi employer collective agreements, Industry agreements too that enable small town workers to be covered, wider legislation to stop freeloaders, provide for redundancy by law and stop the dependent contractor nonsense.

                These are the kind of things that enable people to see a future for themselves other than scratching out a pathetic existence beholden to punitive WINZ systems and staff.

              • TightyRighty

                You are just a walking contradiction. you attack any thing national does that you perceive as hurting the “productive economy” as you see it, yet want to pay people to be less productive? it’s from contradictions such as these and the lies you tell (50% of NZers earn under $28k) that makes terms like “labour party shill” and “working from the goffice” stick to you

                • Colonial Viper

                  Median income in NZ is circa $28K pa

                  And you are right to be scared of that simple fact 🙂

                  BTW paid maternity and paternity leave needs to go out to 26 weeks.

                  • TightyRighty

                    again, how many of those NZers included in your calculation are retired, unemployed, at school, under the age of employment, not counted as being in the workforce etc etc.

                    Basically, how many of those new zealanders you talk about, aren’t earning a wage at all?

                    • Yep – example household: total income $200,000, household consists of 2 adults 3 children, wages/salaries in the household range from $0 to $110,000, average income for the household $40,000, median income… er, $0. Funny stuff, stats.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Median income for all people from all sources $529/wk = under $28K pa

                      Half of all NZers earn less than that figure, half earn more.


                      Basically, how many of those new zealanders you talk about, aren’t earning a wage at all?

                      Ahem. So only working NZ’ers count now eh? Ignore the others because they are not real NZers? Shall we just make the unemployed and the elderly invisible in the statistics then?

                      Bet you would like that.

                    • felix

                      Since when did retired/unemployed/disabled people not need an income to live you dipshit?

                      edit: snap CV

                    • Colonial Viper

                      great minds eh Felix? 🙂

                    • Vicky32

                      Basically, how many of those new zealanders you talk about, aren’t earning a wage at all?

                      Which is part of the point! Define ‘not counted as being in gthe workforce’, what the fuck does that mean? The unemployed can’t get jobs, and so their lack of income should be counted!

                • mik e

                  Its an overall view, not a narrow bean counters business bottom line BS.Its about allowing families to flourish , therefore looking out for the future of kids that they are brought up in stable environments,So they do get a good education and find good well paid employment.Ask any teacher what they think when they looking at the parents of the children in their classroom who,s going to succeed and they will tell you.Without National standards or any BS like that.That its the environment they are brought up in that going to dictate their future.

      • Deadly_NZ 2.1.2

        I’ll say they are out of date lol, I think it’s about 200k to about 13, then 500k to 18,then they leave home and your wallet can take a breath, and you can then concentrate on all the bills.

      • mik e 2.1.3

        They could all join ACT jump into bed hopng Brashs bed and he could afford to look after them with out the DPB. Some might choose to marry him it won,t be for to long so they won,t have to put up with the boring old fart.

  3. tc 3

    We also need a media willing to do some work not push the govts CT spin via opinion pieces dressed as if it’s a factual piece. Who’s a good MSM then, now roll over and play dead….good boy.

  4. ak 4

    Guide to NZ Journalism 2011: Recipe #37: take anecdotal musing based on the unsubstantiated opinions of unidentified undisclosed “troubled” children under 13, add NACToid salt, lazily whip till frothy, submit and await promotion to editor. A favourite.

  5. JS 5

    So before the DPB males took more responsibility? Or the family unit did? What actually happened before the DPB is that women and children suffered a lot more because they were often forceably separated, or struggled on in even more poverty or deprivation than now.

    • vto 5.1

      Yes I realise that. What I was referring to was the old-school shotgun wedding or simple societal pressure to look after your own children. Of course it didn’t always work like that and the results at times were quite horrendous. However, pressures on the men to support were much greater. Today it is easier for men in every strata of society to walk away and let the government pick up the reins.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Today it is easier for men in every strata of society to walk away and let the government pick up the reins.

        Government is incidental to this kind of widespread and deep societal change. Men have always walked away from women they got pregnant, for better or for worse. You should examine the reason why the DPB was brought in, in the first place, the awful child/maternal poverty it alleviated.

      • Vicky32 5.1.2

        Today it is easier for men in every strata of society to walk away and let the government pick up the reins

        I can assure you that’s not true. I got pregnant before the DPB, and ended up in a ‘home for bad girls’, where I stayed for almost the whole time… (strictly speaking it wasn’t meant to be that way, but I had no parental support to tide me over until I qualified to be there.) 
        I met more than 30 women and girls, and there were precisely 3 guys who hung around. One case was Romeo and Juliet, they were just waiting for the parents to come around, they were in their early teens and married as soon as the parents gave in. But there were 30+ children who ended up adopted out, and who now, 38 years later are probably wondering who on earth they really are, unless they’ve been lucky enough to find out in the meantime. Given that Australians came here and New Zealanders went there, some of these people have their work cut out.

    • mik e 5.2

      And they all turned out like John Key and lived happily ever after

  6. eh !… the rantings of ignorant pre teen scrotes should only be proof that the rantings of pre teen scrotes to do goody counsellors can’t be trusted as fact and reported as such.

    naturally theres a bit of monkey see monkey do with kids, especially pre teens, but you’d hope it’s a phase they grow out of and eventually see past the present to create a future for themsleves that doesn’t revolve around being a no hoping dropkick on the dole.

  7. alex 7

    Hmm, I agree the article was utter rubbish, but you are sort of trying to have it both ways with your criticism, on the one hand it is just one person’s opinion and that doesn’t make it a fact, on the other hand this opinion shows kids have lost hope, which is a fact. Bit inconsistent.

  8. One person’s opinion doesn’t make it true of course…

    But the opinion of someone who works with these kids carries more weight than the opinion of bloggers, perhaps?

    The underlying problem is a lack of jobs. Unemployment has skyrocketed under National.

    In which case this attitude would clearly be something very new, given that unemployment was low under Labour as recently as 3 years ago. However, it’s not new. What we’re actually looking at here is nothing more than children growing up to be like their parents, an entirely unexceptional and unremarkable phenomenon. Parents are role models for their children regardless of unemployment levels or welfare policies. At issue really is how comfortable we are with facilitating and encouraging this kind of parenting.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      At issue really is how comfortable we are with facilitating and encouraging this kind of parenting.

      And what are the options? Letting mothers and their children exist in even deeper poverty?

      The majority of women who use the DPB are off it again within 4 years. That shows that for the most part it does what it is supposed to do.

      To my mind it is very easy to turn this into yet another NACT attack on vulnerable beneficiaries, on vulnerable young NZers, on vulnerable women. It really is a NACT fun house.

      Really simple answer is giving young people a vision of the future and a role in society. Get unemployment < 3% and get youth unemployment < 10%. Give young people entry points into being part of wider society.

      And stop saying that the work they do in the economy is inherently worth less than if it was someone else doing the exact same job (youth rates).

    • pollywog 8.2

      The ultimate aim of the individual is to resolve the conflicting philosophies of their parents so as not to pass them on to their kids.

      I learnt how to be a parent by doing pretty much the exact opposite of what my parents did (uhhh…yeah they weren’t the greatest eh). I dealt with it, I’m happy with that, my kids are fine. My lady thinks it’s not enough to be a better parent than my own. She thinks i should be the best possible parent i can be.

      I don’t think it would make me any happier nor would it neccessarily advantage the kids even more. Comes a time when irrespective of what sort of a parent i am, they’ll choose to be the adults they want to be. Not really into tiger parenting eh.

      As much as i’d like the kids to adopt my ‘do as i do, not as i say’ approach to life. Sometimes i have to break it down and tell ’em exactly how it is.

      FWIW, in my time i’ve worked with damaged kids in the system and wouldn’t read too much into what they say. They will tell you exactly what you want to hear just to suck up, if you frame your question a certain way, or give you a bullshit answer just to fuck you off.

      kids are funny.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    Anthony: “These are kids without hope. The underlying problem is a lack of jobs.”

    Does that mean you’d agree with National’s plan to reintroduce a youth rate then?

    Before anyone bleats that lower wage rates don’t make any difference to unemployment, I would point out that Labour plans to cut GST on fruit and vegetables with the hope of increasing consumption of these products. So, if the price of labour reduced for this age group, then why shouldn’t employment increase for this group by the same argument?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Hey yeah paying young people less for doing exactly the same job is going to really make them feel like they are valued as part of society and that we appreciate their contribution.


      • tsmithfield 9.1.1

        Does that mean you’re happy to see young people languishing on the dole, if it means wages stay up where they are, yeah?

        • Colonial Viper

          Now tell me how much you would need to cut youth wages by in order to halve youth unemployment.

          • tsmithfield

            Here is a link showing unemployment trends by age group.. Notice the recent up spike in unemployment amongst young people that seems to coincide with Labour removing the youth rates.

            Answering your question isn’t really possible because it depends on the elasciticity of demand in labour pricing. When the economy is booming and labour is in short supply then labour pricing is probably quite inelastic, in that increases in labour pricing probably doesn’t affect demand that much. However, in times of recession then labour pricing is going to be a lot more elastic because firms become a lot more sensitive to their costs.

            • Colonial Viper

              So you’re full of theoretical shit in other words. Cut real pay, and promise no decreases in youth unemployment.

              The only sure thing: proportion of GDP going to wages drops yet again.

      • Spam 9.1.2

        Its rarely the “same job”, or at least, the “same job performed with the same level of productivity”.

        I have 15 years experience in a reasonably specialist field. Part of my role is to train graduates. Should they be paid the same as me, given that it takes them ~ 1 week to get up to speed and complete something that takes me ~ 1 hour?

        Of course, there is also union resistance to having people paid based on output measures, so you get ‘age’ as a poor proxy.

        • Colonial Viper

          If you do a more advanced job or you do it more productively, then yes you should get paid more.

          But for flipping burgers, stacking shelves, scanning at check out or vacuuming offices? Which are very common minimum wage jobs.

          Bullshit you can do it any faster.

          • Spam

            My daughter was let go (eventually) from her job at Pack ‘n’ Save because she was too slow at scanning. Apparently other people could do it faster. So go figure.

        • Vicky32

          ~ 1 week? What’s your problem then? If it was ~ a year, then you’d have a complaint.

          • Spam

            Ummm. I don’t understand your point. I am ~40 times as productive on certain tasks as a graduate. Are you suggesting that I shouldn’t be paid any more until I am ~2000 times as productive?

            • Vicky32

              My point is you were whingeing that the graduates take a squiggle week to catch up with your brilliance. Frankly, your issue seems to be ego and status – oh noes, people might think these n00bs are my equals, but I am better than them. But if they paid well, who can tell? Boo fucking hoo.

            • hazel

              False analogy.

              You’re completely correct that if you’re training grads you should be getting paid more than them.

              But this isn’t a debate about what grads get paid when they enter what sounds like a reasonably specialised profession. Grads entering a profession can expect to start at the bottom (or near to it) of the pay scale, but more importantly they can expect to be able to work their way up it through negotiation.

              People in minimum wage jobs are rarely, if ever, able to negotiate for an individual payrate above whatever it is the employer is offering.

              And the comparison we should be making is that of an 18 year old as against a 26 year old hired at the same time, with the same trainer, who picks up the job at exactly the same speed. Is it fair for the 18 year old to be paid less?

              • Spam

                People in minimum wage jobs are rarely, if ever, able to negotiate for an individual payrate above whatever it is the employer is offering.
                And that would be because minimum wage jobs are usually bound up by union-enforced collective bargining, where the unions won’t let people negotiate individual contracts.

                And the comparison we should be making is that of an 18 year old as against a 26 year old hired at the same time, with the same trainer, who picks up the job at exactly the same speed. Is it fair for the 18 year old to be paid less?
                The flaw in your argument is who picks up the job at exactly the same speed. They don’t necessarily. Generally, teenagers in employment have different motivations for wanting to work than older people, and this affects them. Eg. my daughter who was more interested in socialising and hence was too slow.

                Age is a poor proxy, but it is used nevertheless.

                I personally would like to see eg. checkout workers being paid more for higher productivity, but of course unions won’t allow that. As I said, go figure.

                • felix

                  Pure fantasy.

                  I have never seen a union negotiate a contract with a maximum rate for it’s members.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Rubbish, spam. Most union agreements are minimum rate documents (ie the rates are the least a worker can be paid). The law allows employers to pay above those minimums and many better employers do just that on merit. Rather than stop that happening, unions actively push for regular workers’ assessments and bonuses to reward the more productive workers.
                  Any other myths you’d like busted, spam?

                • hazel

                  “An 18 year old who picks up the job at exactly the same speed” was the main point of my argument.

                  Minimum wage laws in New Zealand already allow employers to pay new entrants into the workforce less than the full adult minimum wage — see here: http://www.dol.govt.nz/er/pay/minimumwage/ Employment law already allows a trial period for all new employees (of small businesses), regardless of age. There are very few jobs at minimum wage that require three months of training. The trial period allows an employer to get rid of anyone who is utterly useless (or in fact anyone they don’t like).

                  I realise that some 18 year olds are not speedy or particularly inclined to work. And, yeah, I suspect that having to worry about paying the bills provides motivation to work that part-time school students don’t have.

                  But age isn’t a substitute for merit. As I’ve said, employers do have tools available to them to get rid of bad employees; and large employers (who probably employ the bulk of minimum-wage employees in this country) should have fairly robust employment and HR processes to assist in that.

                  You’ve agreed with me that most minimum-wage employees can’t negotiate an individual contract. (In my experience, that’s because you’re handed a contract to sign, whether you’re a member of the union or whether the workplace is unionised at all or not.) The flow-on effect of that is that it’s very difficult, as an employee, to negotiate higher wages down the track: payrises are sort of things that happen to you.

                  I don’t see what’s unreasonable with saying that, okay, everyone we hire will start on $X, and everyone who after 3 months meets a certain standard will earn $Y. That may mean that older employees get the payrise on average more often than younger employees; I don’t know (and I don’t think it matters: age is not a substitute for merit).

                  The only way that won’t work is if the employer is somehow unable to see merit. And that’s not the fault of the youth employee.

    • felix 9.2

      “So, if the price of labour reduced for this age group, then why shouldn’t employment increase for this group by the same argument?”

      Because it’s only in your market theory that everything conforms to your rules.

      In the real world, there is either work to be done or there isn’t.

      • burt 9.2.1


        I think you completely oversimplify this. I’ll give you benefit of the doubt and assume that as you would take any work you can get rather than bleat about not having exactly the job you want so you need to go on the dole. The problem is felix the rest of the country isn’t as pragmatic about the connection between work and income as you appear to be.

        There are hundreds of jobs that people don’t want and would rather have the dole. These are also part of the “work to be done” in the real world that you mention – just getting people to do them for a reasonable price is near impossible. I had a neighbour a while ago who had a list of 160 names from Work & Income. He called them all and they all turned him down because the work required an early start (5:30am) and was physically demanding (Sheering gang rousy).

        He put an add in the paper and got 45 calls the first night – he only needed 10 workers.

        • Colonial Viper

          As a business owner and employer I’d love to dump my older staff and replace them with cheaper younger wage serfs. Looking forwards to pocketing a whole extra 10% of payroll for myself. A winter holiday to Raro sounds bloody good now.

          • burt

            These were seasonal workers CV, a Sheering Gang also moves from place to place – do you know nothing about employment in the real world?

            • Colonial Viper

              Hey burt, in the law of supply and demand, if there are jobs that no one wants to do, aren’t you supposed to increase wages for the job until people do?

              That’s how “supply and demand” price curves match, right?

              • burt

                It’s supply and demand for sure CV, but you do realise that as long as sheep are being shorn a deal has been reached between the farmer and the sheering gang. If not the sheep are not being shorn or the farmer is doing it himself with free labour from his family.

                So look at what I said; he had people who’s names were supplied as ‘looking for work’ turn down the job – then hired the workers from a newspaper ad. Clearly he wasn’t paying so little nobody would do the job.

                Socialists… let me guess – he should have had individual negotiations with each person on the list supplied until they agreed on a price. Then he should have taken the highest price and paid that universally using a collective contract to all workers irrespective of their value to the sheering gang.

                • Colonial Viper

                  collective bargaining with an employer is not a socialist approach, it is an approach which works purely within a capitalist system.

                  In a democratic socialist system, the workers own the farm.

        • felix

          Funny how you guys talk free market all the time, but then you want to dictate what a job is “worth”.

          Suck it up and pay living wages you fucking leeches.

          • burt

            Are you deliberately being a dumb ass?

            It wasn’t that he couldn’t find workers for the wages he was paying… he hired the staff he needed within a couple of days from a few newspaper adverts.

            However none of the names supplied as ‘looking for work’ by Work & Income wanted the job.

            Now sure you are right, the price wasn’t high enough for them so they were perfectly in their rights to turn it down. That is the market. But the real world also dictates that when you turn down a job (paying more than your benefit) that you can’t moan about your situation and say there are “NO JOBS!”. You could be honest and say you didn’t want the job offered because it wasn’t paying enough to make it worth your while….. but that would require some self responsibility for being on the benefit.

            A lot of people do jobs they hate felix, almost everybody I know thinks they should be paid more for what they do. Thankfully I only know a handful of people who are prepared to make the sacrifices required to live on the dole and choose that as a lifestyle. It’s their kids I worry about though felix, and that’s what this article is all about. The outlook for the future.

            • felix

              Oh sorry, was I supposed to pretend that was a true story?

              • burt

                No, think what you like. I’ve worked on a sheering gang before I can understand why they turned it down. I was living in the same neighbourhood as most of them on the list, I don’t blame them for not wanting to miss the front lawn couch parties that erupted most sunny days either. I worked though, I sure enjoyed some days in the hood, but it wasn’t my chosen long term lifestyle.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          I say bullshit that Work and Income gave him a list of 160 names for 10 jobs.

          You’re trying to say that Work and Income handed over the private details of all those people to an employer for 10 shearing jobs. Gave them their phone numbers and asked him to ring them and he rang all 160 and they all said no. 160 people who were fit and healthy in a presumably rural area that indicated an interest in or had experience in rousing.

          Can’t buy that. Unless something has dramatically changed since my advocacy days I can’t see that happening.

          Methinks some exaggeration is evident here to make a good benny bashing story.

          The “add in” is in the story, the “ad” is in the paper.

          And of course by a strange co-incidence none of the 45 people who called were on the list of 160 – despite being unemployed in the same area.

        • mik e

          Burt not every body has acar or is in physical shape wants to uproot and leave their set up as its expensive just to move flat . The contractor had no problem in the end he found 10 out of 200 odd unemployed people he was obviously glad he got 10 workers who wanted to do that type of work , the rest of what you have said is just bigotry .I know people who are putting out lots and lots of job applications there are very few jobs even flipping burgers.I also Know many people who have gone to the rural sector for jobs and are getting ripped of seriously once they get young families out onto farms and isolated they turn these workers into bonded labour making false promises of plenty of family time only to be worked into the ground under paid and abused. that is very common!

    • mik e 9.3

      Spain has a youth rate it has 65% youth unemployment the countries that have the lowest unemployment have the best youth training policies.Starting wages determine life long wages so if someone starts in a low paid job they stay in low paid jobs thats really going to get us up the oecd ladder tsm

  10. Oligarkey 10

    These are surely all well understood points here vto. But all you do is say that things used to be worse for mums and kids, and there was more pressure on males to “man up”. That doesn’t really point a way forward for us now though, does it?

    Since 1985, the share of economic surplus going to labour has gone from 60% to 50%, and vice versa for capital, whilst the portion of adults in employment has increased from around 50% to over 60%. That means lower wages, and less time spent at home parenting kids. More stress. Parents were prioritised in the labour market, and there was the expectation that one full-time working class job would be enough to involve a 2 child family in mainstream society.

    The problem isn’t parents who can’t see a way forward, it’s the right-wing economic blitzkrieg that tore the guts out of our communities and families. That’s the problem, and it needs to be reversed.

  11. prism 11

    In a country with failed economic policies being repeated (practice makes perfect, or pretend to try, try, try again till the public lose hope that there is an alternative), it is surely positive to think of having babies and getting the dole. Better to think about getting the dole and having babies than future visions of ‘holding up the local dairy’, getting wasted on marijuana, getting wasted on alcohol, staying up all night and sleeping in all day, racing around in someone elses car at unsafe speeds, or having sex every day. Which of the above doesn’t our society actually facilitate in some way?

    If youngsters can use the dole to underwrite themselves while they gain an NCEA general credit till they work out what they should study that offers a job with living wage and more after, and getting the DPB and learning how to do the important job of ushering a new young person into a confused and confusing world with proletarian ethics and understandings. gaining NCEA credits that apply to child care and adult parent psychology that can lead to further study. Wouldn’t that be good!

    Building competence, confidence, and adult problem solving skills could be done if there wasn’t the reluctant, sneering attitude that prevails about social welfare today so many years after 1938 and ensures that it fails dismally to provide the positive uplift that sensible, supporting, character building assistance would do.

    Give young people something interesting to do, with a commitment to helping them get a job and also being able to apply for further assistance on low-interest loans if they are working and want to advance themselves following a plan they think is achievable for themselves.

    We wouldn’t know ourselves in NZ if we took such positive steps (without requiring each person helped to pass everything or else classing it as failure, and a waste of taxpayers’ money etc etc.)

  12. Afewknowthetruth 12

    Economic arrangements that prevailed for four centuries are now coming to an end.

    People locked into mainstream culture are incapable of seeing the truth -that the game is nearly over and that there are no solutions to the predicament within the present economic framework.

    Many will suffer horrendous losses as a consequence of their refusal to accept that the economic system is a huge Ponzi scheme and that Peak Oil changes everything.

    There is plenty of work to be done, i.e. permaculture and powerdown, but it is not the kind that most people want to do.

    Education would be a good starting place -that is real education, not what goes on in most ‘educational’ institutions .

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Might still have another 4 or 5 years pretending things are OK. Sit back, have a drink mate. Check you have fresh batteries and that the wetback is in good shape.

  13. Robert M 13

    I’ve never agreed with this thesis. Any attractive young women can easily find employment. Numerous retail business’s like a pretty young face at the counter. These days it much easier to preserve your looks for long. In the sex business its always obvious that the beautiful and heavily surgically modified prefer to be strippers rather than go all the way as call girls. The more attractive you are the less you have to slave and do for your money.
    In most nations they want lots of healthy babies. Nothing would thrill the conservative side of politics in Australia, France or Germany if your an 18 year old healthy slim single mother having children for your nation. Even the recent visitor the ex major Tory cabinet minister did not seem to object to solo mothers breeding ( enjoying recreational sex) as much as the very ugly Paula Rebstock or the average and hyprocritical Paula Bennett. The real objection of the Act and conservative types in NZ to solo mothers is pure racism. And for the views of redneck 9-12 Radio Live host- I oppose censorship, but on Laws I’d pull the plug because as with the sort of columns Rosemary Mcleod used to write it may be intended to promote working class cohesion, order etc-but actually the solo mum bashing is purely destructive provincial racism.

    • grumpy czeching in 13.1

      Funny comment but the more I read it the more sensible it was. Here in Czech Republic there are no end of nubile young eurohotties that would lend credence to your position.
      However, it’s not racism that slags solo mothers in NZ, nor that most of them are not as easy on the eyes as in other countries – it’s the grinding poverty that most of the children are born into in NZ and the sheer hopelessness which leads to cyclic beneficiaryism.
      CV earlier commented on our median income of $28,000 – that is ridiculous. There is no reason it is not at least $34,000 with our current exchange rates.
      That is the major failing of NZ.

  14. Yup…as it stands it’s not worth working for peanuts when the DPB pays only slightly less. What extra you make gets swallowed up in childcare and transport costs.

    Of course the answer isn’t then to cut benefits. It’s barely liveable what money you get these days as is.

    There needs to be an incentive of higher wages to make it more attractive, for especially youth and single parents, to seek employment.

    goes without saying really…

  15. prism 15

    Education for the masses is agreed by informed academics to be a vital spark in powering a upwardly moving country in the prosperity and useful (not land speculators) business stakes.

    MOE and Anne Tolley have screwed ed funding down further by re-assessing the pupil-based funding each quarter. Schools organise themselves within a known budget, pupils go away causing a dropping roll, their funding is withdrawn quickly from the school and the curriculum and services planned and in place for the year may be suddenly unaffordable. It’s similar to how actual bennies are treated, having to report every new dollar earned, and having cuts made in their benefit leaving them worse off because of the extra costs that arise when working.

    Tolley is from the complacent, selfish class whose motto is – I’ve got to where I want to be, those who want similar success can go ……(your choice of action). If they’re deserving they’ll just have to work hard to achieve and hope for a lucky chance.

  16. The political Right have always used this blaberous nonsense.I do not believe a word of it. Tories have always balmed the poor and unfortunate for their misfortunes.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Time to get rid of the “Burden Class” of society altogether.

      Shame the RWNJs promoting that theme don’t get that one day they’ll be there as well.

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