Breeding for a business

Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, July 14th, 2017 - 23 comments
Categories: act, benefits, john key, national, radio, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

Day two and ACT is still obsessing about people’s breeding habits.  Apparently trying to make sure that kids don’t starve is creating us all into bludgers.  And you don’t use the forces of the state to help kids because hell someone might think that it an economically viable thing to do to breed for the benefit despite all the evidence to the contrary.

There was this excruciatingly good interview involving ACT deputy leader Beth Houlbrooke and Kim Hill on Radio New Zealand this morning.  Dang Kim is good.  Like a chilled out spider she coaxed Beth into her lair then it was all over.

Houlbrooke had created a social media splash by posting this comment on her facebook page about Labour’s policy for increased support for children:

This is an election bribe. It does nothing to address the real causes of child poverty.

When we pay people to have babies, it encourages them to grow their families when they might not be financially prepared or properly mature. In other words, Labour’s baby bonus could extend the misery of child poverty and even child abuse.

The fact is, parents who cannot afford to have children should not be having them. ACT believes in personal responsibility, meaning we stand with the majority of parents who wait and save before having children.

Clearly she believes that if you want to do something about poverty you have to studiously avoid the one thing guaranteed to solve the problem.  Under no circumstances is their poverty to be alleviated.

During the interview Holbrooke claimed that an Australian study showed that the baby bonus, introduced by the Government in 2004, caused all sorts of licentiousness and indiscriminate breeding.  The fact that the increase in fertility rates had become evident two years previously would tend to refute that assertion.  Unless indiscriminate breeders have the ability to accurately predict the future.

In any event the change was said to be modest.  I have not seen any analysis to suggest if the increase occurred in god fearing nuclear families where one partner was engaged in full time work or not.

Holbrooke then tried to say the scheme was bad because it cut out after three years.  This would in her view perpetuate reliance on the system.  Hill’s response that it would protect the child was the perfect response.  Why do right wingers think it is right to hurt children’s prospects by punishing their parents for supposedly bad decisions.

ACT does not care.  It will bash beneficiaries at every opportunity because there is a political advantage in doing so.  Unfortunately enough voters are motivated by fear or hate and by the desire to feel superior that they buy into this branding.

And they talk about intergenerational welfare.  According to them it is always the family’s fault.  The fact that there has been a rush of resources away from ordinary people to the very wealthy over the past 30 years has nothing to do with it.

Of course National also engage in beneficiary bashing on a regular basis.  John Key once claimed that women were engaged in breeding for a business.  Hate and dissent are standard fodder for right wing populist parties.

Expect more of this type of publicity to occur.  Hopefully there will be reporters as good as Kim Hill to hold them to account.

23 comments on “Breeding for a business”

  1. Sacha 1

    Brilliant example of a well-prepared interviewer not letting lies go uncorrected in real-time. Wish more had that level of skill.

    • Heather Grimwood 1.1

      I agree was such a lift on a very cold day to see Kim’s brilliance….no other word describes it.

  2. It does nothing to address the real causes of child poverty.

    She’s right there. It won’t do anything to address the cause of poverty but she’d be screaming blue murder if we actually did do anything to address the cause – capitalism and rich people.

    • roadrage 2.1

      ACTs role is for wealthy losers to get a chance to holdback change. Consider the maxim, nothing ventured nothing gained. Act routinely venture negatives, policy vacuum designed to muddy debate, stymie govt via ignoring existing regulation and demand its removal out of principle. Loser wealth likes ACT, it wants to keep the current regime, wealth streams going, even as they buildup social, economic and environmental harms. That’s the point of a blanket unprincipled principle of remove regulation. Wealthy winners understand losers stagnate and holdback the economy as others will innovate, and shouldgovt over or under incentivize via regulation inefficiency will produce wealthy rent seeker loses who vote for ACT irrelevancies.
      I.e act MPs target stupid wealthy people. Coz obviously giving money to ACT advertises your industry is ripe for a real regulation shakeup. Pragmatically minded wealth looks to the next competitive fight, not guarding and entrenching their position. Economies are not rational, idiots believe that their luck and unusually rewarding endeavors are god given, most success comes from being at the right place, with the right means, at a time when nobody was looking else they would of duh. And by this we need to maximize everyone’s life potential. ACT bizarre attack to keep poverty alive suggest a really big loser has money to waste on ACT.

  3. red-blooded 3

    It was a great interview. I bet Bill E doesn’t go anywhere near Kim while she’s filling in on Morning Report.

    • Johnr 3.1

      Kim Hill should be honoured with the title “National Treasure”.

    • RedLogix 3.2

      Kim Hill is a hero. I’ve admired and loved her work for decades. Truly one of the all-time great New Zealanders ever.

  4. Andre 4

    The perspective from someone that’s voted for 5 different parties in the last 6 elections, and works a lot with people on manufacturing floors:

    This piece comes across as denial that breeding for a business even exists in any way shape or form, and by extension gives the impression that there’s a desire to coddle the feckless. That’s an emotional reaction that’s very very hard to counter with any subsequent facts about how tiny the problem is, or how enormous the fiscal and social crimes and misdemeanors favoured by Nactoids are in comparison. At least in part, because most people know of examples that at least come close to fitting the description of breeding for a living (I’m aware of 2 examples, and no, the fact financially it’s extremely dumb wasn’t enough to overcome the attraction of the illusory extra cash in hand).

    In contrast, when I talk about programs like feeding kids in schools (using the US as an example) or other assistance that goes directly to kids, the pushback is much less and usually limited to grumbling about “that’s the parents’ responsibility”. It’s much easier to argue that it’s not a kid’s fault they have parents that can’t or won’t provide, and that providing something directly to a kid helps give the kid a fair go without risking a situation of rewarding feckless parents.

    • red-blooded 4.1

      Andre, you don’t have to be “feckless” to end up spending time on a benefit. Plenty of parents lose their jobs and spend some time on the dole. Plenty of mothers need support to escape violent or abusive partners and spend some time on a benefit. Your comment suggests you see these people as feckless.

      I’d also invite you to think about this issue through a gendered lens. If we don’t give extra support to people who have children while on a benefit, which gender do you think becomes more impoverished (and more stressed, responsible for another child without the means to support them)? How many fathers get left “holding the baby”?

      I sure as hell don’t know anyone who “breeds for a business”, and even if I did I wouldn’t deny their children support. Do you really see the harms of giving the support as exceeding the harms of withholding it? School lunches are fine, but kids need three meals a day, and warm homes, and clothes, and transport, and… etc.

      • Andre 4.1.1

        I agree with all your points. Because I make a point of trying to check whether my emotional reactions are actually validated by the facts. Usually the facts paint a very different picture to the emotional response easily evoked by the RW dogwhistling. But it requires a lot of work and conscious awareness that someone is probably trying to manipulate me. Most people don’t have the inclination or awareness of attempted manipulation to spend time and energy finding out the facts and then using their heads and the facts to over-rule their emotional reaction.

        So every time I’ve had the discussion and attempted to show that money spent on possibly feckless parents is a negligible problem and the huge benefit to society of supporting vulnerable kids by giving extra support to their parents, I’ve got nowhere. It’s harder than trying to turn around a climate denier. But when I argue for directly supporting vulnerable kids in a way that by-passes their parents, I seem to make much more progress.

      • marie 4.1.2

        + 100

    • “voted for 5 different parties in the last 6 elections”

      wtf? really? Are you talking about you there Andre?

      edit: this breeding for a business is untrue imo – a right wing talking point with zero credibility even with anecdotal stories.

      • Andre 4.2.1

        Yep, that 5 parties in six elections was me. If TOPs proposed Comprehensive Capital Tax wasn’t such a crap idea, and they hadn’t brought on board Sean Plunket, there’s a chance that would become 6 in 7. I’m very much a swing voter. Y’know, the kind of person that needs to be given solid reasons to vote for a particular party. The person that spends a lot of time on shop floors as well as in admin and engineering offices hearing a wide range of opinions is me, too.

        Breeding for a living exists, it’s just a question of how big the problem is. In one of the instances I’m aware of, I overhead the solo mother desperately trying to persuade her daughter what a bad idea it was with plenty of reference to the difficulties in their lives to that point, with the daughter entirely fixated on the extra little bit of income she would get when the sprog arrived. Nothing her mother said about how the extra expense of the sprog would be a lot more than the extra income got through to the daughter.

        Outright denial that the problem even exists simply closes minds to any further argument that might get made for supporting the kids in that horrible situation.

        • marty mars

          Are swing voters ‘left’ or does that distinction not really matter and is irrelevant?

          I think there is a big difference between saying you will do something for a reason and then doing it and saying that the reason you did it is the reason you stated. In other words people say shit about lots of things and that doesn’t mean they are talking truth or even that they mean what they say – in my experience.

          Funny how this breeding for business ties into your reduce the number of kids meme.

  5. “Think; Pause; before you (vote) ACT.

  6. “People can freeze their eggs, is that what you’re saying?”

    People can freeze… goodness, what a scything Kim Hill delivered!

    Mind you, easy target.

  7. Sacha 8

    Tangential point – what are Act implying putting that slogan on a condom? #ew

  8. Michael 9

    Beneficiary bashing should pay off for the ACTards – after all, it has whenever Labour resorts to it.

  9. Keepcalmcarryon 10

    The latest installment of backbenches featured the youth wing of the various parties, it seemed to me there was some real talent on display, and then there was the young act leader.
    What an awful small bunch of awful small people they all are.
    Frankly who cares what they think about kids, ACT is a great argument for targeted compulsory desexing.

  10. David Mac 11

    Getting pregnant is a worse business idea than vegan hotdogs at the stock car track. I’ve met many young mothers that have never had an employer or long-term relationship. Generally they are intimately aware of the fortunes they can anticipate.

    They’re not in their predicaments because they like being in the business of wearing secondhand clothes and using roadkill for bait.

    They seek the same things we all do. We want to feel valued, appreciated. We want a purpose, a role. We want a slap on our backs from our peers. We want to love and be loved. We want to be a crucial cog in a loving family. Money has little to do with it.

    Of course we need money and high five Labour. Money is a tool, a device that should be assisting us all in chasing those things we’re really after. The money is the easy bit. The big and most satisfying job for all of us to do is to create a loving path for all people to follow that leads to those things we all wish for without finding solutions in falling pregnant, joining a gang, a P pipe.

    We are all individually special, we all have a quality contribution to make, we need to get better at tickling that spot.

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