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Causes and effects

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 pm, August 30th, 2008 - 47 comments
Categories: crime, economy, election 2008, Social issues - Tags:

A series of graphs from the Social Report. First off, the unemployment rate

When the unemployment goes up or down, the practical effect is a decrease or increase in household incomes

as the country got poorer under National, unemployment rose, incomes fell, and and the poverty rate rose, compounded by National’s cut benefits and its choice to let inflation eat up the minimum wage

unemployment, poverty, and growing social inequalities place a society under stress. That increases the likelihood that people will behave in tragic ways.

These things do not just happen and they are not just the actions of ‘evil’ people who deserve punishment; they are social phenomena linked to the health of a society. Full employment and raising incomes for the poor are the best ways to keep our society healthy and reduce such tragic events. Worth keeping in mind when we come to vote.

47 comments on “Causes and effects”

  1. Steven 1

    [lprent: Threadjack deleted – you are banned for a two weeks. I’m getting a bit pissed with this habit of some people to avoid discussing the posts. ]

  2. Anita 2

    Steven,

    the ETS bill and the reasons for pushing it through with such haste

    Haste?

    Standard process, full select committee and public submissions …

  3. Anita 3

    Look at that unemployment rate – neoliberal policies really did screw over PI and Māori communities 🙁 Why was it acceptable to have policies which disadvantaged some ethnic groups so disproportionately?!

  4. randal 4

    anita…dont spoil the dream…dont you know that in todays world everybody has to be spoon fed or else they will get a resentment. wah wah wah.

  5. randal 5

    steven if you do the research then YOU can do everything you want someone else to do for you..typical tory

  6. Helen wants to push through this ETS bullshit so she can get brownie points on the world stage and get a parasitic United Nations job after she is obliterated at the election.
    It’s not fucking rocket science from a corrupt witch. Duh !

  7. toad 7

    d4j: how is it that you can have this as a permanent quote on your blog:

    Be nice to people on your way up, because you will surely meet them again on your way down.

    But, as in the above post, adn there have been much worse from you, you call someone a “corrupt witch”. That really isn’t very nice and doesn’t inform anyone of anything or argue any point.

    Can you please try to debate the issues d4j, rather than hurl abuse.

  8. Toad, I am getting rather tired of you back stabbing me over at your mental g spot blog and now you try and tell me what I can say on here . Are you a moderator you fuckwit know all dickhead. If the owner of the blog is unhappy with my presence then they can ban me . Your opinion means nothing you washed up deluded loser !!

  9. lprent 9

    Wow – that 3rd graph is the kicker for me.

    I knew that the mother of all budgets really kicked up the poverty levels for families dramatically in 1991 (retail dropped like a stone that year). The ethnic breakdown shows who got hurt because they were unemployed. Also notice the big jump in unemployed in 2001 after the Nat’s fucked the economic policy with the MOYB. A set of measures designed (supposedly) to reduce costs to the taxpayers increased them by paying lower benefits to more beneficiaries.

    But the shocker is how historically high the household poverty levels still are. There is more work to be done – can’t let the Nat’s to have the opportunity to screw things up again for all of us (apart from their Waitemata Trust mates of course).

    BTW: You notice the flattening of the third graph between 1998-2001 with the three period between data points. That was probably due to the rise of yearly unemployment in the first graph with the ‘asian flu’. The 3 year period flattened the spike for that period. A good example of how you can make statistics lie using period selection (probably inadvertent in this case?).

    BTW2: It’d be interesting to look at a graph showing changes in the rate of change in GDP over that period (far easier to read than a simple GDP graph looking at economic effects). I think it’d show a direct correlation.

  10. Tim Ellis 10

    d4j, I know you mean well, but you’re not adding to the debate here. Try putting a sock in it, or at least moderating your own language. I don’t know about other people, but I don’t want to read that kind of abuse.

  11. I am sorry Tim, but I am still recovering from the effects of being called a “feral inbred” by Miss Clark when I lived in Westport.
    I will put a sock in it and let it smoulder away.

  12. randal 12

    when did she call you a feral inbred…like 1979 or something?

  13. randal not long after the tree huggers destroyed Timberland’s for the Coast.You know 1998.

  14. randal 14

    build a bridge, get over it, move on, youre only as good as your last game, live the dream, accept the challenge, set some goals

  15. Bill 15

    I think you undercall it Steve when you say simply that social inequalities “increases the likelihood that people will behave in tragic ways.” The last sentence (below)in particular is, I believe, more in line with calling a spade a spade.

    From Commission on Social Determinants of Health FINAL REPORT by the WHO (2008)

    ” This unequal distribution of health-damaging
    experiences (unfairness in the immediate, visible circumstances
    of peoples lives their access to health care, schools, and
    education, their conditions of work and leisure, their homes,
    communities, towns, or cities and their chances of leading a
    flourishing life) is not in any sense a ‘natural’ phenomenon but
    is the result of a toxic combination of poor social policies
    and programmes, unfair economic arrangements, and bad
    politics. ”

    and

    “Reducing health inequities is, for the Commission on Social
    Determinants of Health (hereafter, the Commission), an
    ethical imperative. Social injustice is killing people on a
    grand scale.”

    captcha Sarah $1 FMD

  16. Lew 16

    Tim: You know D4J means well?

    I hardly think he means anything. Perhaps he does, but it’s obscured under such great mounds of attack-dog propaganda that it’s hard to see.

    L

  17. Hi D4J,

    What do you think of National’s welfare policies?

  18. “What do you think of National’s welfare policies?’

    Good question insipid Tiger Tea. Under Labour I am still waiting patiently for a job as the State Services Commission wrote it on 21 December 2006;
    “I am pleased to confirm that as a result of the application made on your behalf by AL of Workbridge, you are now eligible to participate in the Mainstream Supported Employment Programme.’

    You reminded me Tiger, I must blog that letter before the election so voters can see what kind of bias creeps Labour are. Like Lew said the propaganda war must be fought. Hi Lew go stew. I foolishly took the government at its two faced word.

    Oh well under National I might be accepted into the work force and hopefully we won’t have a Prime Minister and Children’s Commissioner hell bent on having me arrested and jobless. The feminist cause is certainly having the desired effect regarding my employment possibilities.

    I would like to run boot camps for young unemployed people.Left right left right quick March SIR !We will call the obstacle course Helen’s Hole.

  19. toad 19

    d4j said: Toad, I am getting rather tired of you back stabbing me over at your mental g spot blog and now you try and tell me what I can say on here . Are you a moderator you fuckwit know all dickhead.

    On g.blog, yes. Here, they wouldn’t let me anywhere near moderation. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m Green not Labour.

    One way to convince people of an argument is to pick out its most abusive, foulmouthed, dogmatic and extremist opponent, bait them a little, and sit back and watch the incoherent vitriol spew forth.

    You set yourself up as an easy target almost every time d4j!

  20. Toad the day I listen to you is the day Aunty Helen and not to bright Sue Bradford pass a lie detector test. Talk about hitting a g spot – duh Toady get a grip.

  21. Under national youll get booted off your benifit, how will you like that eh?

  22. sean 22

    What is failed to be mentioned here is that the crapload of trouble that our economy ran into in 1990 was due to the outgoing Labour government bankrupting the country.

  23. higherstandard 23

    And the reversal towards the end of the 90s

  24. “Under national youll get booted off your benifit, how will you like that eh?”

    The benefit stinks – you try bringing up children on $14k a year.The nanny state keeps you broke and controlled. Talk about killing in the name of – go back to school darling and learn to spell you drop kick mess.

  25. Anita 25

    sean,

    What is failed to be mentioned here is that the crapload of trouble that our economy ran into in 1990 was due to the outgoing Labour government bankrupting the country.

    Reference?

    People keep saying that here, but no-one has ever come up with any evidence for it.

  26. toad 26

    Well, I guess d4j disproves Judith Collins’ theo that Work and Income is artificially keeping unemployment figures down by moving unemployable jobseekers from the unemployment benefit to the sickness benefit.

    If that really were happening,I would imagine d4j would have been one of the first to be moved over.

    Addressing people as “you fuckwit know all dickhead” is hardly likely to enhance your job prospects d4j.

  27. higherstandard 27

    Anita

    Briefings to incoming governements are here

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/briefings

    I think the 1990 one is to the incoming Bolger government ?

    Click to access big90-1.pdf

  28. Look Toad my language is appropriate for the occasion. I am a valuable asset for any common sense government.

  29. higherstandard 29

    Common sense government … surely an oxymoron

  30. HS as the world struggles there is no place for idiots in government.

  31. Bill 31

    Sean and Anita.

    Bankrupted or not bankrupted is irrelevant.

    The neo-liberalism that all NZ governments have practised for the past 20 – 25 years exacerbates the inequalities found in all forms of Capitalism.

    As quoted above from the W.H.O. report, they rightly state that life threatening inequality –
    “is not in any sense a ‘natural’ phenomenon but is the result of a toxic combination of poor social policies and programmes, unfair economic arrangements, and bad politics.”
    and that –
    “Social injustice is killing people on a grand scale.’

    Now, for sure, there are more kids dying as the result of social inequality on the shore of Lake Victoria than in Christchurch or Auckland. But kids are dying. The numbers don’t matter.

    Why are they dying? Because of the ‘toxic combination’ highlighted in the WHO report.

    The NZ Government has released a Social Report that attempts to side step the pertinent underlying facts of the matter. I’d say that is morally and intellectually bankrupt.

    It’s the equivalent of a social report on slavery claiming progress in the welfare of the slave population as an implicit justification of slavery.

    Neither you nor anyone else on this list would accept the moral or intellectual tenets of such an argument, and yet here we are; a capitalist government is justifying capitalism through incremental improvements in the ‘casualty rate’ and it’s basically accepted as okay. Why is that?

    Conditions of slaves did indeed improve over time in the slave system, but you wouldn’t think that a reason for accepting slavery. But the same argument justifies or excuses Capitalism? Why the double standards everyone?

  32. Quoth the Raven 32

    Sean – No left winger would agree with the actions of the fourth Labour government. This government has sought to redress the damage done to this country by two successive neo-liberal governments.

  33. Bill 33

    Quoth the Raven

    The present NZ government adheres to the same neo-liberal orthodoxy as the two successive ones you mention. Did you miss that one somehow?

  34. the sprout 34

    nice data SP, great to see.

  35. Quoth the Raven 35

    Bill – Yeah I did. I can see where you are coming from, but I can’t really agree with you on that one. I don’t think a neo-liberal government would’ve bought back the railways. I don’t think a neo-liberal government would’ve started a state owned bank. I don’t think a neo-liberal government would’ve changed conditions such that unions could start to make a come-back. I don’t think a neo-liberal government would’ve undone the opening up of ACC to competition. I don’t think a neo-liberal government would have introduced income related rents on state houses and so on. All besides the point that neo-liberalism was a movement specific to a time, that’s now passed.

  36. Buy back the rail and spend billions on upgrading the tracks. Expensive train set Dr Caustic.

  37. randal 37

    staying on topic it is easy to see that anomie and social dysfunction began to unravel and increase after National took power last time and even worse we are still feeling the effects of their total disregard for standards and principles. the right wing ideology imported wholesale from the american republicans in the 1980’s had the slogan that ‘ideas have consequences’ and yes they do. this is the legacy of unscrupulous unconscionable hankering for power and neglect of the people.

  38. Bill 38

    Quoth the Raven.

    I’ll go along with you insofar as the current government has somewhat blunted the nastier edges of neo-liberalism. How much that has to do with individual parties within government and lobby groups pushing the Labour party to adopt the things you point out and how much it came off of Labour’s own back is debatable.

    And at the end of the day, a few policies does not amount to making them ‘not’ neo-liberal.

    Not wanting to get into a compare my shopping list to yours type argument, but the Labour Party which is the dominant voice in Government still advocates ‘free trade’ and also, I cannot believe that the give back to parents being limited to those in employment was not driven by ideology.

    I’m interested in your assertion that neo-liberalism was ‘specific to a time that’s now passed.’ I’d like to agree with you and wish it were true, but the guys in Washington and the international financial institutions they control don’t seem to have heard the word.

  39. Quoth the Raven 39

    Bill – I’m not saying that the ideals have gone. What I mean is that neo-liberalism was something of the seventies – nineties. A label for governments with similar policies. Similar to New Left. It’s not an idealogy in the way that marxism is. You probably know more then me on the subject. To me the whole politcal spectrum is a confusing mess of labels that seem to mean different things to different people.
    D4J – Who’s the MP for west coast tasman? Yes he’s from Labour. Seems the coasters don’t hold the grudge that you do.

  40. Anita 40

    Quoth the Raven,

    D4J – Who’s the MP for west coast tasman? Yes he’s from Labour. Seems the coasters don’t hold the grudge that you do.

    Actually Damien O’Connor voted against the Forests (West Coast Accord) Bill (with agreement from the Labour caucus). This is the best reference I could find in a hurry.

    Wow even on a Sunday afternoon my brain is full of useless trivia 🙂

  41. Greg 41

    Sean – “What is failed to be mentioned here is that the crapload of trouble that our economy ran into in 1990 was due to the outgoing Labour government bankrupting the country.”

    I’m sorry, but you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. The bankrupting the country thing was done by the previous National government under Muldoon with his ‘Think Big’ plans. The fourth Labour government that you refer to helped pull us out of that hole, whatever your views on their policies they certainly lowered New Zealand’s debt during their time in power – look at the figures. Hardly bankrupting the country eh? Bolger’s 1990 National government was actually relatively similar to the previous Labour government in ethos – lowering government spending, privitisation etc.

  42. Dean 42

    LP:

    “I knew that the mother of all budgets really kicked up the poverty levels for families dramatically in 1991 (retail dropped like a stone that year). The ethnic breakdown shows who got hurt because they were unemployed. Also notice the big jump in unemployed in 2001 after the Nat’s fucked the economic policy with the MOYB. A set of measures designed (supposedly) to reduce costs to the taxpayers increased them by paying lower benefits to more beneficiaries.

    But the shocker is how historically high the household poverty levels still are. There is more work to be done – can’t let the Nat’s to have the opportunity to screw things up again for all of us (apart from their Waitemata Trust mates of course).”

    I’m not sure which is less surprising – your inherent racism as defined by equating economic reforms with higher unemployment because of racial extraction – or your blatant, feigned ignorance over the lack of measures taken by the government of the last nine years to reverse anything meaningful in this regard.

    It is this very attitude – treating different racial groups as somehow victimised by any New Zealand government – which contributes to their continual decline. Anybody would think you’d been living in some sort of confused, 80’s era South Africa the way you go on about it.

    Besides, you can talk all you like about various statistics but we all know where the crime is happening, don’t we? You can attempt to racially profile people as being somehow victimised by successive governments but any grouping of them who seeks change gets called “haters and wreckers” by your party. I would point you towards the increase in spending in this regard the current government has made and would invite you to compare and contrast that to the increase in violent crime the same groups of people and suburbs have experienced.

    As for trusts and donations, I know you want to try hard to ignore the trusts and donations Labour and it’s cohorts have recieved, but taking a stab at the Waitemata trust when you and your own have been so guilty of the same thing just smacks of radical fundamentalism. You need to stop making exuses for Clark knowing and ignoring, because it’s destablising your own argument amongst anyone with any kind of critical eye.

    You need to think a little more about what you post in relation to those you seek to attack.

  43. Bill 43

    Quoth the Raven.

    Neo-liberalism is very much an ideology in the way that Marxism is. It is based on a particular economic theory that advocates free trade and private enterprise, a diminishing (and eventual disappearance)of state activity – beyond promoting and protecting private enterprise – and elevating individualism on the premise that society does not exist in any concrete fashion. The theory goes, that left alone, the market will naturally produce the beneficial outcomes we all want.

    Utter bollox of course and with the exception of here in NZ was imposed solely on the back of massive violence and in spite of serious grass roots resistance.

    It’s what the ‘Washington Consensus’ is all about…conditionalities attached to loans that ensure the neo-liberal programme is adhered to and violent repression of resistance when required, including the use of an internal puppet regime’s military and where that is not available, NATO.

    It’s not a thing of the past, but it is under pressure (particularly in S. America at the moment). It’s barely questioned in NZ though…certainly, strangely, not on this blog.

    Conversely, the ‘New Left’ was not an ideology..merely a label attached to, well, a lot of disenchanted one time authoritarian Marxists and others who saw calamity and defeat in the collapse of the USSR rather than an occasion for celebration and an opportunity to reclaim the initiative lost in the failed revolution of 1917 and the subsequent establishment of Bolshevik totalitarianism in the USSR.

    The ‘New Left’ were and are a hodge podge of so-called leftists who accepted the rights assertion that There Is No Alternative (TINA); who drew new horizons for themselves that were totally within the parameters of capitalism.

  44. lprent 44

    Dean:

    Most of your comment is ridiculous.

    In medical terms what you’re saying in that you shouldn’t treat people with a vaccine for a disease that they may become exposed to. By your reasoning, because there is a possibility that they will not contract the disease, they shouldn’t get the vaccine in case that they had natural immunity. That does ignore the problem to the wider population of having a rampant epidemic in a smaller population.

    Of course you look at any correlations that show where there are variances in the population. You do it to make sure that you target resources for disease, crime, social problems, etc as effectively as possible. To do otherwise would be a gross waste of resources. This happens when you’re looking for melanomas, cervical cancer, teenage theft, educational dysfunctions, or whatever.

    In this case there is a distinct difference showing up in population segmented by ethnic origin in unemployment rates. Of course you target resources that way.

    On the other matter.

    The Labour, Progressives and the Greens donations have largely had names attached. These are not being anonymous donations.

    The Nat’s pushed more than $2.3 million through anonymous donations in 2005. Act did a lesser amount in 2002. This was legal, but totally immoral. It was impossible to see what corruption was associated with those donations.

    Personally bearing in mind the nature of these two parties, I’ll assume that the donations were for favours past or future until proven otherwise.

  45. Talking about support and money – don’t the Unions prop up Labour with large amounts of money?They clearly did when I was a Union delegate.

  46. Dean 46

    “Most of your comment is ridiculous.

    In medical terms what you’re saying in that you shouldn’t treat people with a vaccine for a disease that they may become exposed to. By your reasoning, because there is a possibility that they will not contract the disease, they shouldn’t get the vaccine in case that they had natural immunity. That does ignore the problem to the wider population of having a rampant epidemic in a smaller population.”

    Very well.

    Explain why South Auckland is undergoing a surge in criminal activity. Compare and contrast that to the effort and money that have been spent there, and come up with a conclusion that isn’t race based or involving throwing more of the same at the area.

    Because it’s not working. Shame you can’t see it. Talk about ridiculous. Even the Maori party agree – remember them? Helen’s haters and wreckers.

  47. lprent 47

    Low income, inadequete education, and low expectations.

    You can see the low income in the top graph. When you see the group unemployment drop to the averages, you will start seeing the crime stats change. To do that you need to increase the education level people get. To do that you need to change the expectations.

    It takes time (decades) to turn around communities. The majority of the people in those communities are hardworking people working for their families to have better chances in the next generation.

    What is your alternative? Create ghetto’s?

    The area I live in had the same kinds of problems a century ago – then it was “The Irish”.

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