‘Children of the Poor’ 1934 – 2012: Social Security for the Future?

Written By: - Date published: 11:04 am, September 30th, 2012 - 176 comments
Categories: activism, benefits, blogs, child welfare, class war, crime, greens, labour, mana, paula bennett, political alternatives, political parties, politicans, Politics, poverty, Social issues, socialism, welfare - Tags:

As Split Enz once sang, “History Never Repeats”…. Or does it?


With Paula Bennett’s punitive and destructive welfare reforms, many are now contemplating the rise and fall of social security in NZ. They look back to Labour PM Savage and the Social Security Act of 1938 as the benchmark of civilised and dignified support for those who lose their income. Some seem to want to find a way back to those ground-breaking policies enacted by “noble” Labour MPs, still in touch with labour’s traditional values. They simplify history into an uncomplicated story of heroes tackling evils. This can be seen in the first couple of minutes of the Labour Party 2011 election campaign video, which talks about Michael Savage stepping into the political vacuum during the 1930s depression in NZ, and leading the first Labour Government. But the historical record is always the outcome of complicated interacting struggles, and the outcome is never totally certain in advance.  It is often  written from the point of view of the winners.

Back in the 1930s there was a good deal of campaigning from different left wing positions to counteract the devastating impact of the depression on many people’s lives. A Labour MP at that time, John A Lee (1891-1982) came from an impoverished background. His was mother was unmarried, and was often destitute and unable to care for him. He left school with a limited education and eventually landed up in prison for breaking and entering and liquor smuggling. He was decorated for his military service in World War I. “Bolshie Lee” was a bit rough around the edges, was considered too radical a socialist to be a minister, but put a lot of his parliamentary efforts into the development of state housing. He increasingly came into conflict with Savage, and was expelled from the Labour Party in 1940 for criticising the terminally ill Savage. Is there equivalent positioning within the parliamentary Labour Party? The Greens? Mana? Or are are political careers more specialised, with the routes to success, less open to someone from a such a difficult and varied background such as Lee’s?

Can we go back, and begin again, resurrecting comprehensive social security? With hind-sight, can we avoid the pitfalls leading to the current descent into bennie bashing, social control of the poor, and pressures to enter enter low paid, demoralising work? Or does the left need to take a totally new direction?

Like today, many New Zealanders in the 1930s had notions of the ‘deserving’ and ‘underserving’ poor. But does the current dominance of the visual image, brand focus, excessive media scrutiny and the requirement to be always to be “on message” result in all (or most) left-leaning MPs being safely moderate and lacking in personal experience of debilitating poverty? In contrast, in his street and radio campaigning, and diverse writings Lee provided some insight into what it was like to grow up in the care of a single mother struggling to survive in meagre circumstances. He drew on this background in his novel Children of the Poor (1934), which, according to the online Encyclopedia of New Zealand, His mother appeared as a victim; poverty bred immorality and crime; and, as New Zealand Truth proclaimed, frank discussion of such matters produced a ‘sensational book on vice, poverty, misery’. .

In the 21st century, do we have any one person drawing on their experiences of moving between different worlds, such as those of poverty, crime, parliament, literature and political activism like John A Lee? It’s certainly NOT John Key or Paula Bennett, who succeeded with the help of more generous welfare provisions, then pulled up the ladder after themselves. People’s lives have become more compartmentalised.

We have various people and organisations trying to convey what poverty in 21st century NZ is like, while many still respond with disbelief. Recently we have had Campbell Live, with its regular focus on child poverty and empty lunch boxes? On 27 Sept 2012, for instance, John Campbell described the desolate conditions he has seen in people’s homes, where many of the inhabitants said they are too ashamed to go on TV to talk about their experiences of destitution. One young woman, Liz, did go on camera to talk about her memories of growing up in poverty, sometimes unable to concentrate at school because she was suffering from hunger-induced headaches. She said Sometimes we were cooking over gas and seeing with candles because we had no power.

We have bloggers trying to convey the division between the haves and have-nots in NZ today, as seen in Chris Trotter’s recent post. Here he puzzles over the separation between those whjo have not witnessed real poverty, and those, like his policeman nephew who regularly sees inside the desolate houses where many South Auckland children live?

“The first thing we do is check to see that the kids are all right. So, it’s: ‘Where’s the fridge?’ No fridge. You’d be amazed how many houses I’ve been in that didn’t have one. So you look for the pantry. Nothing. No food. And there’s five kids in the house.”

My nephew isn’t judgemental. He simply tells me: “It’s a totally different world. People’s expectations are completely different. If you haven’t seen it, you just can’t imagine it.”

And we have political campaigners and street activists like Sue Bradford: ex MP, never in government, never a party leader, and still out on the streets campaigning?  But her background and early years are different from those of Lee. Her criminal record was gained from arrests on political protests. Nevertheless, she has worked alongside, with, and for, many of those with little resources and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Lee’s Children of the Poor should be a warning as to what life was like for many New Zealanders, before we had the 1938 Social Security Act and other welfare provisions. Crime was seen as pretty inevitable for many who grew up in poverty . Won’t that be one of the results of Bennett’s plans to cut benefits of those who don’t comply with the government’s new bit of social engineering? (Of course this may have nothing to do with the government’s shift to privatising prisons and building new ones?!) Should we return to something more akin to the original 1938 Act? Or do we need a whole new approach to ensure everyone in society (adult and child) has the means to survive without undue hardship?
If you are able to attend this Friday 5 October, why not be part of the current struggle? Join the National Day of Action Against Welfare Reforms. History in the making!

176 comments on “‘Children of the Poor’ 1934 – 2012: Social Security for the Future?”

  1. Shona 1

    Simple on a Soapbox was the first political book I read. I have a large collection ( some first editions) of Lee’s writing. Reading about his life consitutes much of my knowledge and understanding of NZ political history.He has always been a hero of mine. He was afounding member of the amputees association of returned soldiers and instrumental in setting up rehab for these returning soldiers. Sweet fuck all of NZ’s 20th century history is taught in our education system,and even less about the labour movement. We are a politically unconscious society.

    • kousei 1.1

      I read Simple on a Soapbox last week. I agree Jack Lee is a true champion for the people and undoubtably a hero in many ways. The book is inspirational. History would seem to repeat in a political sense. An understanding of history is sadly lacking from the classroom, the somatised public, and the many right wing commentators we breed. Over the last thirty years we have lost much as a people. Can we afford to sit back and watch further theft of our social, economic and environmental capital by the ruthless advocates of a ‘free’ market? The results are consistant. A further concentration of wealth and a degradation of our land and people is to be expected.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Can we afford to sit back and watch further theft of our social, economic and environmental capital by the ruthless advocates of a ‘free’ market?

        No, we can’t and we have to get that message out to everyone.

      • karol 1.1.2

        Yes, Shona, Lee has left an important legacy. He lost part of his arm in WWI, with no limb replacements available back then.

        I appreciate history more the longer I’ve lived, having seen how quickly things can change – less technological capabilities. And today, even with the increase in proportions of people going to higher education, I wonder how many people from similar backgrounds as Lee could make it into parliament.

        Can we afford to sit back and watch further theft of our social, economic and environmental capital by the ruthless advocates of a ‘free’ market?

        Indeed, I think we need to be trying to do what we can to change things, however, oblivious many Kiwis seem to be to the problems.

  2. Bill 2

    Business is the mechanism within the market that serves to enrich some people at the direct expense of others. Therefore, it makes sense that business be taxed at a level that would provide for those who are surplus to current market needs. And the level of monies business taxes would be required to provide should be calculated on a 2/3rds of min waged income or something.

    I’m not talking about the entire welfare budget being raised form business taxes; just the money needed by unwaged citizens.

    And then we could watch unemployment disappear as businesses ‘discovered’ an ability to provide jobs.

    And we could also watch as horrendously demeaning and pointless jobs vanished due to entitlements being set at levels that allowed people to live – rather than at current levels that are set to punish people.

    And did I mention that the demonisation of those on entitlements would disappear overnight because the bullshit claim that ‘my taxes’ are supporting blah, blah, blah just wouldn’t be a factor any longer?

    Not going to happen, is it? Not the way today’s crop of careerist politicians are forever bending over and ‘presenting’ to accomodate the latest market ‘favour’.

    • kiwi_prometheus 2.2

      “I’m not talking about the entire welfare budget being raised form business taxes; just the money needed by unwaged citizens.

      And then we could watch unemployment disappear as businesses ‘discovered’ an ability to provide jobs. ”

      Seriously, you think that’s what the cause of unemployment is?

      The vast majority of business are small outfits struggling to get by, probably only surviving because of various tax breaks.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        The vast majority of business are small outfits struggling to get by, probably only surviving because of various tax breaks.

        I agree in some ways. However, to do well, an SME’s customers and local community need to have spare, discretionary spending money. Otherwise customers won’t even walk in the door, and if they do they’ll spend the absolute minimium necessary.

        A progressive company tax system targetting super-profits would be ideal to address your concerns.

        Tiers could be set at up to $200K pa in profits (helping one person businesses and contractors), up to $10M pa (this would be a favourable tax rate and would cover virtually all small businesses in NZ), up to $100M pa (common for medium sized corporates) and over $100M pa profits (large corporate super-profit tax rate).

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          A progressive company tax system targetting super-profits would be ideal to address your concerns.

          Just put businesses and trusts on PAYE the same as natural people. Then change it so that dividends are tax deductible for the business but are taxed PAYE to the person paid.

      • BloodyOrphan 2.2.2

        Like you say KP unemployment is caused by sickness, lack of ability or lack of will.
        They are all observed facts in NZ if you listen to the unemployed.

        Are we gonna starve them for being sick in the head, body, education ?

        The system fails KP that is the problem, we are trying to find ways too improve it.

        How bout u bud?

      • blue leopard 2.2.3

        “The vast majority of business are small outfits struggling to get by, probably only surviving because of various tax breaks.”

        Why is it assumed that small businesses are the target of a comment calling for higher taxes for those that are being “enriched at the direct expense of others”?

        Small businesses clearly don’t fall under this definition.

        I can think of 4 international fast food chains (probably more; just off the top of my head) and plenty of international corporations which sell their products here.

        These types of businesses create a monopolistic effect creating conditions where small businesses are less likely to succeed such as being able to sell products for cheaper (economy of size), they can afford to have people employed full-time to focus on marketing (creating more desire for their product: an activity not factored into the “supply meets demand” theory-thus warping it) and are able to have their employees fully focussed at manipulating each Governments regulations in a way that furthers their purpose and at the expense of smaller businesses (Years ago I met someone who was involved in such an activity; so please don’t believe this doesn’t occur). They can also apply creative accounting in order to get away with paying less of the taxes that are currently required of them

        Corporations enjoy the “rights” of a person.

        Isn’t it about time such monopolistic activities were addressed? Isn’t it about time that the loopholes enjoyed through corporate laws were thrown in the dustbin where they belong?

        It would be interesting to see the consequences of these issues being addressed. I believe that without even raising taxes this country would become eminently more full of income opportunities.

        It is simply fallacious to say taxes shouldn’t go up because it is hard for small businesses. Such a response completely misses the point.

        • kiwi_prometheus 2.2.3.1

          “Why is it assumed that small businesses are the target of a comment calling for higher taxes for those that are being “enriched at the direct expense of others”?”

          Because he said businesses not larger international corporations. He needs to clarify his position.

          But you miss the point, he makes some bizarre claim about businesses suddenly finding positions for the unemployed, if the burden of unemployment benefits is shoulder directly by them. As if businesses have lots of job positions they are hiding from us and with a bit of prodding they will cough them up! 🙄

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.3.1.1

            Of course (large) businesses have lots of spare positions they could create. They refuse to because that would cut into the profits they are sending offshore to their foreign shareholders.

            And if the private sector refuses to create the jobs our society needs, then the public sector must. After all, there is plenty of work which needs to be done in our communities, especially in the areas of emotional labour, human capability building and infrastructure updating.

            • kiwi_prometheus 2.2.3.1.1.1

              “Of course (large) businesses have lots of spare positions they could create.”

              References for this little factoid?

              Do you mean “make work positions” – stick em in a little cubicle, get them to do a few menial tasks like filing or spell checking?

              Kind of how the Japanese keep the lid on unemployment.

              “emotional labour” – huh?

          • blue leopard 2.2.3.1.2

            @K_P

            So are you trying to tell me that an international corporation is not a business?
            This is not a credible argument.

            I would be interested to know your thoughts on:

            Do you think that there would be improvements in the poverty and lack of job opportunities in NZ if the monopoly that corporate law provides for corporations was addressed?

            Do you think that this monopoly provides benefits for NZ?
            What are they?
            Do you think that this monopoly is detrimental to NZ?

            Do you think that the negative effects of this monopoly outweigh the positive effects?

            I do

            I am involving myself in discussions such as this one because I wish to apply pressure on politicians to get effective political approaches in place to start things moving in a positive direction, which I do not believe is occurring at present; not for arguments sake. How about yourself?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Just to clarify, you are talking about peoples income from work being untaxed?

    • Mike 2.4

      Good post I’ve always thought the unemployment benefit should be completely paid for out of business revenues (not profits, it’s much easier to hide profit as opposed to revenue). It could be a simple annual business tax added on to a company tax return as a percentage of revenue. For small businesses struggling it would only be a tiny amount as it could be based upon total revenue.

      Totally nagree, unemployment benefit would dissolve. You could even offer businesses rebates based upon the number of full time employees hired that tax year and the higher the wage given above the minimum wage, the greater the rebate.

  3. kiwi_prometheus 3

    “No fridge. You’d be amazed how many houses I’ve been in that didn’t have one. So you look for the pantry. Nothing. No food. And there’s five kids in the house.”

    Is that because they aren’t getting enough government money?

    Or are the parents, or more likely solo mother, spending it all on booze and pokies, or is she handing it over to her umpteenth boyfriend while he gives the kids black eyes?

    You could hand out fist fulls of money to people, but what do they do with it?

    Solo mum with 5 kids – how much can she get in welfare, it would be interesting to know.

    I know someone who did budgeting advice for the local church for people in financial strife, would layout a family budget. Often the advice was ignored, one family basically bankrupt and the mother was buying expensive top end meat because “my husband likes it”. 🙄

    Social welfare has to be paid for via taxes. Which means you need a robust economy and a taxation system that effectively captures some of that wealth.

    We know the Nats have sabotaged the tax system with tax cuts for their rich supporters.

    But even more important is the performance of the NZ economy. Long term ( under Nats and Labour ) its been sliding down hill. Bernard Hickey has described it as a housing market speculative bubble with a small economy attached.

    NZ is basically bankrupt. We aren’t so far removed from Greece, those countless billions borrowed international to “invest” in $500 000 shit holes on the Auckland isthmus and maintain the illusion of maintaining our living standard- if the international creditors ever get it in their heads we can’t pay it back and panic it will be crunch time and the IMF will shove a Greek style austerity program down our throats. Watch where the poverty rate goes then.

    Not a strong position for the financing of a comprehensive social safety net and eradicating child poverty.

    • Look bud it’s irrelevant how those people got there.

      THE FACT IS THEY ARE THERE, and those kids need help.

      Have you got something constructive to say too those starving kids M8!

      Or are u harping on about the addictive nature of gambling and alcohol?

      Use that amazing 150(?) IQ to help people, that’s what we are trying to do, is your rhetoric truly expanding thought about child starvation, or as I’ve said before simply expressing ur amazing brain by telling people they r stupid.

    • weka 3.2

      Benefits are intentionally set to be not liveable incomes. You can tell as many stories about knowing x useless bludger as you like but it doesn’t change the fact that we as a country are deliberately impoverishing thousands of people.

      “I know someone who did budgeting advice for the local church for people in financial strife, would layout a family budget. Often the advice was ignored, one family basically bankrupt and the mother was buying expensive top end meat because “my husband likes it”.”

      So? Budget advisory services have been saying for some time now that (a) their client base has increased exponentially, and (b) many of their clients don’t have enough income to budget on (you get that right? that some people simply do not have enough income to cover their ongoing survival needs no matter how careful they are with their money).

      Anecdotes like the one above do nothing useful and just increase prejudice against beneficiaries. How is that going to help? 

      btw, the amount of benefit someone on the DPB with 5 kids gets is somewhat relative to their needs (what their accommodation costs are, whether anyone has a disability, if they are in extreme financial hardship, how much debt they are in etc, and last but not least, what skills they have in navigating a system that often refuses to tell them what they are entitled to). You can look up the base rates in WINZ’s website. 

      • kiwi_prometheus 3.2.1

        “Anecdotes like the one above do nothing useful and just increase prejudice against beneficiaries.”

        That isn’t the intention. I’m pointing out that handing out tax payer money doesn’t automatically guarantee kids get fed.

        And that doesn’t apply just to beneficiaries. There are plenty of families up to their eyeballs in debt with good or at least adequate incomes coming in.

        I know a guy on $39 an hour plus double time if he gets an after hours call out that automatically charges 2hrs even if it only takes him 30 minutes.

        Guess what? He’s nearly broke, struggling to pay big debts. He said to me one day in a gloomy mood, “You know I’ve been getting 100000+ a year for the last 4 years and I got nothing to show for it.”

        • weka 3.2.1.1

          The difference is that he can declare bankruptcy and still be better off than the solo mum with 5 kids who’s been on a benefit for a decade. Hard to argue ‘cos I don’t his circumstances, but what other choices does the solo mum have?  I think you missed my point.

          You said:

          “No fridge. You’d be amazed how many houses I’ve been in that didn’t have one. So you look for the pantry. Nothing. No food. And there’s five kids in the house.”
          Is that because they aren’t getting enough government money?

          It doesn’t matter whether in that one instance the beneficiary is making wise decisions or not. Government policy cannot be made on the basis of individual cases. We know that beneficiaries don’t get paid enough, so quibbling over whether any one bene is being sensible with their money is neither here nor there. If beneficiaries had a liveable income, and had a choice to get suitable employment, then yes we might want to look more closely at how children in those families are doing based on individual circumstances and the choices that the parent is making. But you can’t deride someone for making bad financial decisions when there literally are not good decisions to be made.

          This is the basic argument that the left makes – the solution to the problems of poverty is to reduce poverty (the actual bit about not having enough resources to live on). You don’t try and bandaid the symptoms, or worse, poke them with a dirty stick a la Bennett.

          So, yes, it is about them not getting enough government money. Give people enough money, and then later you can complain about how they spend it. Of course at that point I’ll be obliged to point out that making judgements about someone painting their roof from across the street isn’t a valid way to go about that.

           
           

        • Jokerman 3.2.1.2

          to person receiving 100000+ and nothing to show for it; P.T Barnum

    • millsy 3.3

      “or is she handing it over to her umpteenth boyfriend while he gives the kids black eyes?”

      More like handing it over to her landlord who has hiked up the rent so high that it eats up 50-70% of her income – though this is mainly a result of the housing bubble that you mentioned – and then after that, she has to pay other bills after that, like power, water, etc and after that, she would have bugger all left to buy food.

      Im kinda over people like you who think that if you give the poor more money, they will just blow it on booze and smokes.

      • kiwi_prometheus 3.3.1

        I’m kinda over people like you who want to throw tax payer money down a bottomless pit.

        • Colonial Viper 3.3.1.1

          Yeah bailing out SCF, bailing out farmer irrigation schemes, bailing out top earners, it really is too much.

          Money needs to flow to ordinary people and to local communities instead, KP.

          • kiwi_prometheus 3.3.1.1.1

            I agree with that too.

            We are hemorrhaging money everywhere.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.1.1.1

              And I’m sick of people like you who think money is a resource. We have more than enough here in NZ to ensure that nobody lives in poverty and yet we have growing amounts of it due to the socio-economic system we use. The one based on money.

        • weka 3.3.1.2

          So stop forcing people to live in the pits.

        • millsy 3.3.1.3

          Im kinda over people like you who want to get rid of welfare and force people to live on the streets.

          I bet you want to close hospitals and americanise our health system as well

    • BM 3.4

      Solo mum with 5 kids – how much can she get in welfare, it would be interesting to know.

      Around 1k a week in the hand.

      • kiwi_prometheus 3.4.1

        So she is getting 52k a year after tax?

        And has no money for a refrigerator?

        What’s she got 5 kids for? Has she never heard of the pill?

        So she keeps having kid after kid like a rabbit and I have to foot the bill even though I’m on way less as a worker than what she is getting for doing nothing?

        No wonder the system is broken.

        This is not what the original intention of the 1930s welfare reforms were about.

        • millsy 3.4.1.1

          So you think her and her 5 kids should be out living on the street then?

          A decent society doesnt have single mother and their children living on the street because National voters like you dont like paying tax so she can pay her god damn bills.

          • Colonial Viper 3.4.1.1.1

            So she keeps having kid after kid like a rabbit and I have to foot the bill even though I’m on way less as a worker than what she is getting for doing nothing?

            You little shit, raising “5 children” is a long long way from “doing nothing”.

            And you have an unhealthy fascination with other women’s reproductive organs. Get your head back inside your own vagina, you loser.

            • kiwi_prometheus 3.4.1.1.1.1

              “And you have an unhealthy fascination with other women’s reproductive organs.”

              She can pop out as many sprogs as she wants as long as she pays for them. Don’t see why I should have to.

              This was not the original intention of the social safety net.

              No wonder its a bloated mess.

              • Colonial Viper

                Give potential and actual young solo mums full access to higher education and trade training, home support to be a better parent with better parenting skills, and solid job/career opportunities.

                But that would be too much like actually dealing with the root problem, wouldn’t it, you punitive little prick.

                • kiwi_prometheus

                  I’ve already pointed out an interesting outside the box approach – after all that is the question raised in the original post.

                  As for solo mums with 5 kids, I wouldn’t even think of having anywhere that many and I’m working. I know there is NO WAY I could afford that.

                  So where the hell do those lot get off thinking they can keep on breeding with not a care in the world. And don’t tell me they can’t afford contraception.

                  • millsy

                    DO you think she should live on the streets? Yes or No.

                    Do you think health care should be privatised?
                    Do you think unions should be banned and the minimum wage scrapped?
                    Do you think state housing should be sold off?
                    Do you think homsexuality and divorced should be outlawed?

                    • kiwi_prometheus

                      Do you think health care should be privatised?

                      Absolutely not. But the same guy who came up with the Big Kahuna also investigated the health care system and came up with stuff that neither Left or Right politicians want to face.

                      Do you think unions should be banned and the minimum wage scrapped?

                      Absolutely not. Unions need strengthening but I’m not so keen on mandatory membership – maybe just automatic like Kiwisaver membership.

                      Do you think state housing should be sold off?

                      Absolutely not. We need a massive housing expansion – needs to be done with strong State supervision with private sector competing for contracts, apprenticeships resuscitated.

                      Do you think homsexuality and divorced should be outlawed?

                      Civil Unions fine, marriage – no way! Gays need to clean up their act – drugs and all that circuit party nonsense – in return they get big program in schools to stop bullying and increase safety.

                      Divorce?

                      Happens to easy – counselors say couples come to them too late and the flame is already extinguished.

                      Parenting should require licensing.

                      “DO you think she should live on the streets? Yes or No.”

                      Loaded question don’t have to answer it.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So where the hell do those lot get off thinking they can keep on breeding with not a care in the world. And don’t tell me they can’t afford contraception.

                    You’re a fucking sick punitive puppy. You have an unhealthy interest in womens’ reproductive systems, and a complete disinterest in actually doing anything to help and support young mothers, preferring to cane them at every opportunity.

                    Young women need to be given supported access to tertiary and trade training, and they need to be given meaningful employment making use of that training. That’s the proven way you reduce average numbers of children while boosting household income.

                  • weka

                    “As for solo mums with 5 kids, I wouldn’t even think of having anywhere that many and I’m working. I know there is NO WAY I could afford that.”

                    Presumably you support abortion on demand then. You do realise we don’t have that in NZ?

                    Women’s fertility varies hugely – some women get pregnant at the drop of a hat. Some women suffer side effects from the most effective forms of contraception and have to instead rely on less reliable forms  and ones that require partner consent, like condoms. Some women get pregnant because contraception sometimes fails. Some women are in abusive relationships and don’t get a say in when and how they have sex.  Some women have their children within a relationship they expect to last their lifetime and with financial security that they expect to last a life time (really, how fucking stupid can bene bashers be not to have thought that one through?)

                    • karol

                      Very good responses from CV and weka.

                      Interesting that yesterday, KP was arguing against the need for feminism on the left. Yet today, without any sense of irony, he’s dumping on low income single mothers, showing no understanding of their situations.

              • millsy

                so you think she should be living in a shit hole trailer park or on the street then?

                • kiwi_prometheus

                  Do you think she should have 15 kids and those kids have 15 kids and they all get housed at taxpayer expense.

                  Was that original intention of the social safety net, millsy?

                  • millsy

                    The intention of the social safety net is to ensure that no one goes without, plain and simple, it is so people dont end up living on the street like you seem to want them to.

                    And you call yourself a left winger.

                    • kiwi_prometheus

                      Being a Left winger doesn’t mean I have to turn a blind eye to bludgering. It does exist you know, just because the Right use it and exaggerate it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there or not important.

                      The Left leaves itself wide open to hits on this one, that’s why the Right wingers are always on it.

                      What is that woman’s answer to the question – you don’t have much money but you keep having more and more kids, you have more than double the Kiwi average. Why?

                      We the taxpayer have helped pay for her first child, then has another, and we help with that one, and then another and so on.

                      Is this fair to the rest of us Kiwis, millsy?

                    • McFlock

                       Nice illustration as to why you’re a tory: no thought for the kids with no food, your identification of the problem revolves around how it might not be “fair” for YOU.
                             
                      Fuckwit. 

                    • weka

                      “Being a Left winger doesn’t mean I have to turn a blind eye to bludgering. It does exist you know, just because the Right use it and exaggerate it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there or not important.”

                      How about you present some credible evidence that bludging is a significant issue in NZ?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Its a significant issue for the right wing because they need some small weak minority to blame and scapegoat.

              • fatty

                “This was not the original intention of the social safety net.”

                If you are talking about the original intention of welfare in the 80s/90s when NZs welfare became a safety met, then you are right.
                But you probably assume the welfare state from the 30s was created as a safety net?
                Well, you are wrong, again. The original intention of welfare in the 1930s was to create an equitable society where everyone was protected from an inhumane economic system. ‘Safety net’ welfare was never the intention of 1930s welfare. You are confusing Ruth Richardson’s residual welfare with our previous form of institutional welfare…don’t worry KP, its a simple mistake to make if you get you information from the NZHerald, instead of reading about our welfare history.

                “She can pop out as many sprogs as she wants as long as she pays for them. Don’t see why I should have to.”

                Because you live in a society. I cannot understand why people with those kinds of libertarian values don’t just go and live in the hills by yourself? Our communities would be a much better place if people didn’t hold your views KP. It drags us all down…the only positive of such a self righteous attitude, is that it makes you feel better about yourself….I hope its worth it?

                “No wonder its a bloated mess.”

                No again. There are three key reasons for our current welfare costs. They are unemployment, low wages and inequality.

          • kiwi_prometheus 3.4.1.1.2

            I have NEVER voted National. How dare you accuse me of such a thing!

            “So you think her and her 5 kids should be out living on the street then?”

            So the NZ taxpayer is blackmailed then?

            This is not the original intention of the social safety net.

            • millsy 3.4.1.1.2.1

              Do you think the poor should live on the street? Yes or no?

              • kiwi_prometheus

                Do you think a poor person should keep having lots and lots of babies and the taxpayer will pay for it all?

                • Ever had a one night stand KP?
                  What’s your stance on abortion?
                  Those women can keep those babies if they want too?
                  Imagine making that decision?

                  And u wonder why they are Heartbroken?

                  Paula wants to take the decision away from them, it’s not their bodies anymore …. evil.

                • millsy

                  do you think a poor person should have to live on the streets, or pay 70% of their income in rent?

                  Are you an ACT supporter?

                  Are you a private landlord?

              • BM

                Off course they shouldn’t.
                But neither should it be a career choice either, face facts a lot of women can make the same amount, if not more on the DPB than in paid employment.

                That’s why workers are getting fucked off especially women who would love to stay at home and look after their kids but cannot due to financial commitments.

                The current social system seems to bend over backwards for the slack and useless but provides absolutely no help for anyone else, the one’s that contribute basically get told to fuck off if they need any help.

                • millsy

                  The fucked off workers should get a life. Perhaps they should move to a country that chucks the poor on the street.

                  And perhaps employers need to pull their fingers out and pay their workers a bit more and stop treating them like dirt.

                • weka

                   

                  But neither should it be a career choice either, face facts a lot of women can make the same amount, if not more on the DPB than in paid employment.
                  That’s why workers are getting fucked off especially women who would love to stay at home and look after their kids but cannot due to financial commitments.

                  Dude, you’ve just completely contradicted yourself there. Either women on the DPB earn the same amount as working women, or they don’t. How can working women be earning the same amount but not be able to go on the DPB because they can’t afford to? The reason your statement makes no sense is because it’s all about perception, not reality. There is the perception that living on the DPB is a lark, but if that were true, then all these apparently jealous working women would be doing the same thing. Except for the ones in your head who happen to have partners 🙄

                  Really, do you listen to yourself at all? 
                   

                  • BM

                    A woman who drops out of school and has no education,
                    500 -1000 a week isn’t bad, sure beats going and getting a job.

                    Do a few cashies on the side like cleaning someones house for $25 an hour and you’re not doing too bad, 8 hours a week extra 200 dollars of play money.

                    • millsy

                      At least her and her family would have very high living standards, thats right, you hate poor people having high living standards, same with the wharfies.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      BM you have an avid fantasy life revolving around pregnant solo mums doing cash jobs on the side. What’s that all about then?

                    • BM

                      I thought you socialists were all about the collective? having someone leeching off the back of the working class should be a real no no.

                      If you can work you should, there’s no excuse for any able body person to be sitting around sucking funds out of the state.
                      Even if there isn’t any available paid work, there’s other work that can be done which helps the country like keeping the highways clean, weeding gullies, planting riparian strips etc.

                    • McFlock

                      Now it’s “500-1000 a week”?
                            

                    • felix

                      “Do a few cashies on the side like cleaning someones house for $25 an hour and you’re not doing too bad, 8 hours a week extra 200 dollars of play money.”

                      BM you’re a moron if you think someone with no education can casually earn double the minimum wage whenever they fancy.

                    • weka

                      A woman who drops out of school and has no education,
                      500 -1000 a week isn’t bad, sure beats going and getting a job.
                      Do a few cashies on the side like cleaning someones house for $25 an hour and you’re not doing too bad, 8 hours a week extra 200 dollars of play money.

                      You’re an idiot. Women on the DPB get paid according to how many kids they have, how old the kids are, and what area of the country they live in relative to their accommodation costs.

                      Get this, because you don’t seem to have figured it out yet – the higher your benefit, the higher your outgoings. The only way you can get more money from WINZ above the base benefit is by having higher costs. You seem to think that someone on the DPB has lots of spare cash, but you’re wrong. The only reason they get more money is because they’ve provided proof of extra costs (and those extra costs are limited to ‘essentials’). 

                      Myself, I have no problem at all with someone on the DPB picking up cash work as they are able (the State prevents many beneficiaries from taking taxed paid work because of the harsh abatement policy). Likewise, I also have no problem with a low income earner picking up extra cash work if that’s what they need to do.

                       
                       btw, there are some places where you can earn $25/hr cleaning, but it’s not the norm, so stop pretending. 

                    • weka

                      I suspect too that the working women that BM is talking about have partners. Or other people who help with childcare and running a household. One of the biggest things I see about women on the DPB, and that is invisible in the bene bashing dialogues, is the simple fact women alone have twice the workload. They have to not only raise the kids on their own, but they have to do all the things like house maintenance, gardening, groceries, car maintenance (if they’re lucky enough to have a car), bill paying, cooking etc etc etc. On their own. 

                      The difference between having a parent/grandparent living in the same town or not is immense.

                      Even more invisible – they have to make decisions on their own, deal with things like depression, their children’s illnesses, financial crises, managing the often highly stressful relationship with WINZ, on their own. Many women I know on the DPB also have illness or disability, often resulting from poverty or the stress of being on the DPB.

                      Anyone who thinks that being on the DPB is an easy ride is ignorant beyond belief. Whether that person is willfully ignorant is certainly worth considering. 

                    • Reagan Cline

                      BM, If you rely on investment income you are as much a beneficiary as those who rely on welfare because the profit-making entities that pay you your share are reliant on the State for enforcement of contracts, defense and much essential infrastructure.

                      How can you write contemptuously about women who bear children when your own life depended absolutely on such a woman ?

                  • BM

                    Depends on how many kids, not every DPB’er has the drive to push out 5 kids.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re sorta gross as well as being a vindictive prick.

                    • BM

                      Don’t you agree though, working for the benefit should be a core policy within a socialist party such as Labour, everyone contributing etc.

                      Maybe that’s what David Shearer was on about with the guy painting his roof?

                    • mike e

                      Bloody Mongrel stereo typical right wing abuse where are the misogynist males such as yourself in the equation!
                      Yeah Barking Mad.
                      Bloody Misogynist the Males who get these women pregnant and show no responsibility!

                • blue leopard

                  I think it would be good if women AND MEN taking care with regard to creating more kids if they are in poor financial situation, yet I don’t know whether that is not exactly what they do.

                  It is well and good to create fantasies about another’s situation and make assumptions that “they are not thinking about contraception” or they are just “having babies as a career choice because they might get more on the DPB than working”, and then argue the point, yet it is good to remember that these are fantasies and not necessarily what is going on in the real world.

                  If, for arguments sake, I go along with these favourite memes of anti-welfare types and answer it as if though its not the fantastical thinking of the deluded I would ask them to at least question why it is that someone would make this choice to go on government welfare where they receive lower than the lowest wage, have a constant requirement to supply private details including whom you may happen to be physically involved with and all the denigration that goes along with relating to WINZ and with people who disapprove of your situation rather than have the self respect, confidence and sense of wellbeing that comes from working; not to mention more money?

                  Would this indicate that there is something seriously wrong with working conditions (including wages)?

                  This is the question that people who believe “there are masses of women “deliberately” getting pregnant in order to go on subsistence handout” need to be asking. That is, if they wish this scenario they believe is occurring to clear up.

                  • blue leopard

                    As it stands, someone from another thread a few weeks back supplied information that indicated that it is only a very small percentage of people capable of being in this scenario; painted as it is with young women being the “culprit”. I can’t be arsed going to find it…but if I do I will provide a link to it later.

                • mike e

                  Blind Monetarist if you think being on the DPB is better than paid work you have to be kidding.
                  No WFF most DPB recipients are on the Benefit for less than 3+years!
                  The time they were on that benefit before National came to power averaged only two years!
                  The numbers under labour were 89 thousand!
                  Under national 114,000!
                  25,000 more under National BM!
                  Paula Bene Basher is going to turn those figures around Yeah right!
                  70,000 more on dole plus time on the dole has increased markedly!

            • Zola 3.4.1.1.2.2

              I agree that the original intent was to have a safety net for people when they fell on bad times. After the 1930’s and WW11 this country did not have many bad times for a few decades and not many individuals had to make use of the safety net.
              But we have had bad times for lots of people for well over thirty years now. The jobs have gone; the good times are over.
              What do we do now? Beat up beneficiaries?
              I know it is hard in the lower reaches of the workforce. God knows, some days I wish I was on a benefit again – just so I could sleep in and read all night – but day after day without much money is sheer misery. If you have a job you have to consider yourself lucky. Some people are never going to have a proper job. Scrabbling on a benefit is no way to live – but more and more of us are forced to try and survive this way. Blaming them doesn’t solve the problem. We really have to work out a better way – that’s why I read The Standard. I’m hoping to find the solution – or a least to hear the call for revolution!

              • Colonial Viper

                One key part of the original social security safety net has long been removed by the Right wing neolibs: a policy of full employment enacted and implemented directly by the government.

              • Jokerman

                i do not sleep in, however, i read most of the night. 🙂
                (early to bed, early to rise….)

        • BM 3.4.1.2

          That’s why Key’s getting so much traction amongst New Zealanders with his tough stance on benes.

          • Colonial Viper 3.4.1.2.1

            Yep scapegoat the poor, powerless and vulnerable, while avoiding his responsibility as one of the richest and most powerful people in NZ to create meaningful jobs in communities around NZ.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.4.1.2.1.1

              while avoiding his responsibility as one of the richest and most powerful people in NZ to create meaningful jobs in communities around NZ.

              That’s not his responsibility due to him being rich but from him being the PM. Buying into the former is accepting the idea that we need the rich – which we don’t.

        • millsy 3.4.1.3

          Perhaps you should join a union and get a wage increase, not moan on talkback about how poor people should have their money taken off them.

        • Mike 3.4.1.4

          The solo mum with 5 kids is a tiny, tiny fraction of DPB recipients, yet thanks to the media, politicians that manipulate the media and people like yourself, people think of DPB and automatically think of bludging solo mum with multiple kids breeding and ripping the taxpayer off. This is very wrong.

          As per Werefolf’s “Ten Myths About Welfare” from 2011:

          5. – Most of the people on welfare are unmarried mothers – many of them teenagers – who have extra children so that they can get more money

          This is a hoary old myth that combines the resentment of beneficiaries in general, with prurient resentment of the sexy young having too much sex. In fact, the US and New Zealand evidence is that young people are having less sex, later than their parents’ generation.

          The Salvation Army’s recently published State of the Nation report contains similar positive findings for New Zealand :

          Teenage pregnancies and abortions have fallen during 2009, which is perhaps welcome news that there are fewer unplanned pregnancies. The number of 11–14 year olds giving birth or having an abortion dropped from 122 in 2008, to 108 in 2009….Although this decline is on a very small base, this number of pregnancies is the lowest in at least eight years. For older teenagers aged 15-19 years old, there was a 10% decline in the rate of pregnancies between 2008 and 2009

          Such figures help contradict Key’s scaremongering use of the young as a pretext for welfare reform. More to the point, the NZ figures on DPB recipients do not bear out Key’s specific assertion about ‘significant numbers of very young women going onto the DPB and staying there for a lifetime.”

          In fact, only 3.1 % of those on the DPB are under 20 years of age – and that figure has barely flickered since 2005, when the figure was 2.9 %. Put another way, 97% of the people on the DPB are NOT the ‘very young women’ of Key’s lurid imagination. There are in fact, significantly more people on the DPB over 55 years of age (5.6%) than there are ‘very young women’ receiving this benefit.

          The vast bulk of DPB recipients (nearly 75%) are what you would expect : they are aged between 25 and 54. Some 61% of them are caring for children six years or under – a figure that, again, has barely changed since 2005. Nearly half are caring for two or more dependent children.

          Many of these women are caring for children alone because of a marriage breakdown, which is rarely a lifestyle choice. They have not only borne the opportunity cost of foregoing career opportunities to raise a family but are also now doing the bulk of the parenting alone and – if one can believe the child support payment figures – very often without the financial support that is due to them. Even so, more DPB recipients are engaged in part-time work (16%) than those on the dole. Far from being left at home to look after their children in ways that low income workers cannot, people on the DPB have since last September, faced a regime of work tesing.

          These are the women that the WWG and the Key government want to stigmatise? Even Paula Bennett’s own department doesn’t believe the real problem here is a lack of personal motivation, or an absence of strong incentives. The Social Development Department’s December fact sheet on the DPB blames the economy instead :

          The number of clients receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit at the end of December decreased from 106,000 to 98,000 between 2005 and 2007, then increased to reach 113,000 in 2010. This pattern reflects changes in economic conditions. (My emphasis.)

          One further crucial piece of evidence shows there is no social or economic crisis in the country’s current DPB figures. The ratio of those on the DPB – if taken as a percentage of the working age population – was actually lower in December 2010 (at just over 4%) than it was when National left office in 2000, when the figure was heading for 5%.

      • Colonial Viper 3.4.2

        Around 1k a week in the hand.

        BULLSHIT. That would be a once-off best week with every additional emergency assistance.

        Remember, most women on the DPB are on there for only a couple of years tops.

      • weka 3.4.3

        “Around 1k a week in the hand.”

        Where did you get that figure BM? 

        • BM 3.4.3.1

          Thought this was fairly common knowledge?

          • weka 3.4.3.1.1

            In other words, you made it up.

            • BM 3.4.3.1.1.1

              Not at all.
              I’m not going to go hunting for links though, if you don’t want to believe me, that your prerogative.

              • weka

                It wouldn’t be that hard to pull it out of your browser history. You should at least be able to remember the name of the website you got it from. Do share that. We know it wasn’t WINZ’s website, so where was it?

                • BM

                  Trade me,
                  Treasures message board,
                  Stuff;
                  Herald,
                  and gasp, shock, talking with real people.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    scuttlebutt.

                  • millsy

                    prob. rednecks who voted National because they are willing to see the poor be thrown out on the streets for the sake of a tax cut.

                  • weka

                    Right, so not quite made it up, but you took gossip as fact. And the Herald, that bastion of fact checking around benefit issues (go back and look at the coverage of the Accommodation supplement a couple of months back if you want to see how highly inaccurate the Herald is with its reporting on benefit rates).

                    I don’t care whether you care about what I think, but I do care when people tell lies or spread mistruths about beneficiaries. The reason I know your figure is bullshit is because rates of benefit depend on the age of the child, and where in the country you live. What you get is related to costs. In other words there is no set figure for a single parent with five kids and to make out that there is misleading. Most benefit payments are relative to the individual beneficiary’s situation, and most supplemental payments have conditions on them (you can’t claim AS and then spend it on [fill in perceived vice of choice] if you want to keep claiming it).

                    “and gasp, shock, talking with real people.”

                    Would love to hear some detail on those conversations. Were they beneficiaries? Did they tell you the full story about what they got and why? 
                     

                • felix

                  Pull it out of his browser history?

                  Pull it out of his arse history more like.

        • McFlock 3.4.3.2

          out of his fascist fuckwit arse. 

      • Anna 3.4.4

        About $450 a week, depends on her rent and the average housing cost in her reigion.. So about $100 in her hand after rent and power, presuming she didn’t have a phone, the internet… I suspect if she could afford those things she’d be here telling you to get f*cked…

    • rosy 3.5

      “Expensive top end meat because her husband liked it..”

      Yeah, I well remember my mother being beaten to a pulp because some tough meat was served. We got sausages, dad got steak. Yes, the marriage broke down. There’s your solo parent with half a dozen kids, kp.

      And this solo mum with 5 kids… she has all the responibility? And should drive social security policy? Such power.

      It’d be nice if you thought around your anecdotes before spouting bile.

  4. Blue 4

    I would say that ignorance is a large part of NZers indifference to poverty. One big problem with right wingers is that they tend to completely lack empathy and imagination.

    They can’t put themselves in someone else’s shoes, it’s just too hard for them to imagine how different someone else’s life can be from theirs.

    If a rightie has ever experienced having little money then it is always a temporary thing. They can’t identify with people for whom poverty is not a temporary condition, but a permanent, ingrained, intergenerational and cultural thing.

    Chris Trotter is right – we need to think about what it does to a child who grows up in a cold house, with no fridge, sometimes no electricity, very little food, few educational resources at home and a huge burden of shame. A child who has seen very little of the world beyond their own home and deprived suburb, whose parents and peers are all from the same world as they are, and as they grow older many of those peers fall into crime, substance abuse, sex and pregnancy.

    How is it fair to expect a child for whom those are the horizons to grow up to be a stockbroker living in Remuera?

    If we want to make crass comments about ‘poor choices’ then we need to make sure that every child in NZ gets a good start in life.

  5. Sunny 5

    We are heading back to the days when the poor refused ‘charity,’ if they possibly could, because of the awful degrading constraints placed on the money. Hence the old saying ‘As cold as charity’. My mother used to say that a local (faith based) charity would allow a family one toothbrush on the grounds that they could all share. Mean, spiteful and nasty.

    • millsy 5.1

      That is why I never donate to any charity and never speak of any support for them. Charities only ever pick and choose who they help and then impose rules and regulations on those in reciept of it.

      A lot of people go on about how wonderful Habitat for Humanity is, but the fact is, people have to go through a huge selection process to get a HfH house and they have to jump through hoop after hoop after hoop, and still pay thru the nose for it. Its essentially picking and choosing who gets help.

    • Jokerman 5.2

      regretably, discriminatory charity occurs,
      yet,
      charity begins at home
      (it often appears more difficult to give immediately than place a donation)

  6. kiwi_prometheus 6

    “Should we return to something more akin to the original 1938 Act? Or do we need a whole new approach to ensure everyone in society (adult and child) has the means to survive without undue hardship?”

    We need a whole new approach.

    I think this could be the one:

    The Big Kahuna

    “The Big Kahuna directly addresses a key objective of economic policy – to redistribute effectively from those with wealth and high incomes to the rest of society…

    …Economists (and the politicians they advise) have become obsessive demand managers and, watching them, we’ve all been tricked into thinking that growing GDP is all we should be concerned about…

    …We’ve completely lost sight of the more fundamental purpose of economic policy – to ensure the economic system delivers improvements in well being. And the irony is that in missing this, we’ve created the conditions that have put the economy at risk, making growth more elusive and the economy more unstable than it needed to be…

    …the Big Kahuna corrects for distortions in our tax and transfer system which have not only allowed those with wealth not to pay much tax, but has led to capital and labour being wasted – something which has hampered New Zealand’s growth record and made the economy more unstable (more vulnerable to asset price bubbles for example) than it had to be.”

    http://www.bigkahuna.org.nz/why.aspx

    • weka 6.1

      Why an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI)

       
      Paying universal transfers acknowledges that every individual has the same unconditional right – to a basic income sufficient for them to live in dignity. The Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) provides this.
      With this basic protection in place people are then free to add to that income through paid work if they choose. Equally, they can live on the UBI and pursue other activities – doing the unpaid work of caring for children or others in their community for example, or studying full time, or pursuing new business ventures. The UBI offers the prospect of ensuring everyone has the means to live while giving them the freedom to live their lives as they choose.

      http://www.bigkahuna.org.nz/universal-basic-income.aspx 

      Someone needs to tell the big kahuna about disability access to their website though 🙁 

  7. ordinarybloke 7

    “We are writing to you that your Unemployment Benefit will stop on ..”

    .. tell me about it !

  8. millsy 8

    It looks like KP thinks solo mothers should live on the street.

    • kiwi_prometheus 8.1

      It looks like millsy thinks solo mothers can have kid after kid ad infinitum and the tax payer should pay and pay.

      • McFlock 8.1.1

        How is that different from a UBI?

        • kiwi_prometheus 8.1.1.1

          Because at least tax payers would be getting some too.

          1988 Royal Commission

          “..a further implication is that a highly targeted system will ultimately face considerable resistance from taxpayers unwilling to support a system perceived as rewarding the improvident and providing themselves with no return for their contributions.”

          • McFlock 8.1.1.1.1

            Oh, so “solo mothers can have kid after kid ad infinitum and the tax payer should pay and pay” is fine as long as you get your cut of the action, too.

      • BloodyOrphan 8.1.2

        You have a habit of putting words in mouths bud.
        Your great analytical brain gettin the better of u again?

      • millsy 8.1.3

        It looks like KP doesnt belive in a decent society, and thinks that single mother should have all their money taken off them,

      • Chris 8.1.4

        Do you have any statistical proof of this happening? Have you ever spoken to any woman who has produced child after child just to have an income? If you have you need to produce proof of these women who are rorting the system. Of course if you can you will no doubt find that these are all immaculate conceptions with NO MALE INVOLVED ! There is no way a woman would voluntarily keep having children of her own free will if she knew she knew she could not protect them as a mother would. There is such a thing as coercion. The male faction in all these conversations is never bought up. Why not!

        • blue leopard 8.1.4.1

          @Chris
          One could hear a pin drop the response to your comment is so deafeningly silent.
          Perhaps you just make too much sense.

          It is a shame because I would have been interested in the responses to your question.

          I have heard intermittently the acknowledgement that men are also involved in this process of creating children …and the DPB stats, yet not a whole lot. It is amazing what effect spin mixed with cultural bias does; suddenly it only takes one to have a child! …and it would have to be ultimately Eve…I mean women’s fault after all…if this wasn’t whose fault it was it probably wouldn’t be such a crime and I guess that is what all the spin is about: having some sector to blame. (Anyone, anything so long as it isn’t the failed policies that are criticised) Divide and rule.

          Bring back witch burning I say!

          I have heard comments acknowledging the existence of the fathers behind these DPB stats on Parliament channel at least once, which was excellent!

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.4.1.1

            Bring back witch burning I say!

            You skipped a few steps. First you need to try and drown the woman. If she drowns, she’s not a witch and therefore innocent. If she survives, it proves that she is a witch. Then you burn her.

            • blue leopard 8.1.4.1.1.1

              @CV FYI

              “If she has a child and there is no father apparent, she must be a Witch! Burn her!”

              ~The Hammer of the Witches 21st Century NZ Version
              Chapter 5: The Updated Drowning Test

          • Jokerman 8.1.4.1.2

            good insight leopard and Chris

  9. Jokerman 9

    just before i catch up on the thread; there is an increasing incidence / frequency of men sitting upon the side of the street with their possessions upon their back, in this particular provincial city, bearded,
    homeless and abandoned; Open one’s Eyes and these phenomena are increasingly apparent.

    To paraphrase the ‘Enz; the dream is over

    • felix 9.1

      Don’t know which city you’re in, but I’ve been spending a bit of time in central Hamilton lately and have noticed the same.

      And Hamilton’s a shit enough place to live when you have a home.

      • BloodyOrphan 9.1.1

        God Bless the Salvation Army! and other soup kitchens.

        It’s gotta be a reflection of Paulas’ “POWER” (*stomp**stomp*)

      • Jokerman 9.1.2

        most friends and trolls know i live in Hawkes Bay, do they not?

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.3

        And Hamilton’s a shit enough place to live when you have a home.

        Cripes felix. You got totally swamped by angry comments from Hamiltonians disagreeing with you.

  10. blue leopard 10

    Great post Carol,
    I particularly like finding out about the historical context of political approaches, and you ask good questions, thank you

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    We have various people and organisations trying to convey what poverty in 21st century NZ is like, while many still respond with disbelief.

    Top Ten Banned Books came through on twitter today. One of them was The Grapes of Wrath which was banned because People were shocked by its description of the poor. Steinbeck later revealed that it was a sanitised version of what really happened in those communities.

    Crime was seen as pretty inevitable for many who grew up in poverty . Won’t that be one of the results of Bennett’s plans to cut benefits of those who don’t comply with the government’s new bit of social engineering?

    Of course it will be. If someone has no legal way of feeding themselves then everything else becomes an option. I really don’t know why people can’t see this.

    • ochocinco 11.1

      Well, no. To say “if someone has no legal way of feeding themselves then everything else becomes an option” is to equate humans with animals capable of nothing above the basest needs. To betray the sanctity of the social contract through illegal acts merely because of hunger is barbarism – it’s the very lowest of all human actions, something that comes from the glands and not the brain. To think the same species that gave us someone like Gandhi, willing to starve to prove a glorious point, could give us people who would steal merely not to starve.

      • BloodyOrphan 11.1.1

        Hence bearded men and ragged women living on the streets ochocinco.
        do you judge their life spirit harshly for trying to breathe?
        or accept that life will drive you sometimes,
        even applaud their determination,
        then help them steer?.
        Onya M8! … This way buddy!
        Used ta sit down and give them a cig while I had lunch, one was a civil engineer, life got too im…offered me some meths.
        Naah, Cheers M8, u shouldn’t drink that stuff bud.

        Not many office types in those parks in Auckland.

      • karol 11.1.2

        It’s exceptional people who will starve themselves in protest. There is the guy up north who is disabled and was rejected help by WINZ.

        But most people will just do whatever it takes to survive.

        The problem with “work for the dole” is, that, if there’s work to be done, it should be paid what it’s worth – hence no need for the dole.

        But I think we will get a new version of this – workhouses for the 21st century. They will be called privatised prisons.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.1

          Already happening in the US. Prisoners put to work boosting private company profits.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/06/prison-labor-pads-corporate-profits-taxpayers-expense

        • weka 11.1.2.2

          We had the PEP schemes in the 80s. People were given work, paid the dole plus a top up. And travel I think. I’d love to know the policy decisions around scrapping those. 

          Personally I don’t have too much of a problem with work for the dole in theory, so long as the hourly rate was reasonable and the individual’s circumstances were taken into account. The latter is so overwhelmingly impossible now, NACT are not competent, and neither is Labour probably. Every new bene bashing takes us further from people being able to have meaningful work lives in whatever way they can.

          • just saying 11.1.2.2.1

            I agree Karol. I think it’s been long in the planning. The new workhouses (to be) might, if they are allowed to proceed as planned, appear to just evolve, but places like the US are ahead of us and have been leading the way in making a bigger buck out of the prision poulation. The new, partially empty, private prison shows the forward planning involved

            Part of a “final solution” for the ever-growing numbers of the poor, as the squeeze for resources gathers apace. Others, of course, will increasingly die early or suicide. Services for the sick and disabled are already being stripped back and the public is being primed to harden their hearts against “idle eaters”.

            Godwinism I know, but there is a bit of a pattern, and the analogy is appropriate in some respects. I’m certainly not expecting NZ to invade Oz (or Poland).

          • blue leopard 11.1.2.2.2

            @Weka

            National tried a work for the dole scheme a few years back.
            Rumour had it that it was too expensive to provide jobs for everyone.
            I certainly witnessed some dubious procedures where people were using cutting equipment (for cutting noxious weeds) and no protective gear was provided. They were working in wet weather and having to provide one’s own wet weather gear and safety boots etc. Funnily enough a few of the people on this particular scheme ended up with injuries….

    • karol 11.2

      I haven’t read much successful contemporary fiction for a while. But have we had any novels drawing on experiences of poverty in the 80s? In the 21st century?

  12. ochocinco 12

    We need to move back to Work For Dole.

    WFD is the PERFECT socialist policy: building the country of the future. However, there is no place in a socialist world for shirkers – we need Stakhanovites, or at least people who meet their quotas.

    So, we institute major public works programmes, we also have night classes so those building roads/dams etc. can upskill, we pay them a substantial increase on unemployment (the Community Wage), and we cut the capitalist pig contractors out of the picture.

    If someone on WFD refuses to work, then it is treated as treason. Simple solution.

    Nil unemployment, those currently unemployed get (a) to work, (b) paid, (c) upskilled, and NZ gets major public works programmes.

    Real socialism is COLLECTIVIST.

    • Jokerman 12.1

      u often make some interesting points. i look forward to reading further

    • karol 12.2

      State funded adult education, apprenticeships and WEA initiatives are all important for enabling people to participate in a variety of areas in a democratic society. There are many ways to contribute, not just buy labouring for private profit making entities.

      I agree on the collectivism, but your socialism sounds a lot like the protestant work ethic.

    • BM 12.3

      I totally agree, work for the dole should be a core Labour policy.

      • felix 12.3.1

        No. “Work for actual wages” should be a core Labour policy.

        • BM 12.3.1.1

          Everyone contributing seems like a vote winner to me.
          For the collective,for victory!!!

          • McFlock 12.3.1.1.1

            So much stupid in so few words. Good job.

            • BM 12.3.1.1.1.1

              You can go gargle my balls.

              • felix

                Present them.

              • … (*squirmy-leggy-thing*) …. really? 😛
                Mistress McFlock is here too! (*blush*) 😛
                ….(*sigh*)… Whats “Gargle” Mistress? 😛
                She wants you too wear these “Restraints” first (*pout*) 😛

                • McFlock

                  BO, in the interests of accuracy I should probably advise you that a more appropriate mode of address to me would be “mister”.
                     
                  Sorry. 🙂 

                  • Yes Mister McFlock …. (*sigh*) …. Thanks 😛
                    I’m not sorry ….. (*sigh*) ….. I like you Mister McFlock 😛
                    (*sigh*) …. Please Restrain me …. Sir? 😛
                    (*sigh*) …. I like felix too Mister McFlock 😛
                    I’m dizzy (*deep-sigh*) 🙂
                    What does does “Present Them” mean Sir? 😛
                    I think BM ran away Sir? 😉

              • McFlock

                Nah, I don’t gargle tictacs.

                • BM

                  I don’t think so.
                  BM = Big Member.
                  Hope you have a flip top head otherwise you’re in trouble.

                  • McFlock

                    “big member” was the stripper’s description of you, not your appendage. The fact that you don’t know the difference between your dick and your balls says a lot.

                    • BM

                      What are you, some sort of freak show?

                      It’s should be all proportional, big schlong, big balls, then again I didn’t do a degree in mens dicks with honours in hands on experience, so I could be wrong.

                    • McFlock

                      But then you have such a small brain that if the rest of your body was in proportion you’d be a gnome.

                    • Does he want to compare them like last time Mister McFlock? 😛
                      (*boing*) …. 25 centmeters ….. Beat That 😛 …… Pleeeaase?
                      Am I doing it right Mister McFlock? 😛
                      Is that what “Present” Means? 🙂

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The Standard has taken quite a turn in the last day or two 😈

                    • Allright then , sorry , cyas

                    • My Twisted Imaginary Mistress by BloodyOrphan (*sigh*)
                      It’s all the rage in the UK apparently 🙂
                      Just trying too practise my swing 😛
                      Thanks Qot, great idea.

          • felix 12.3.1.1.2

            Interesting that you think providing jobs ought to be Labour’s policy.

            Why shouldn’t National be doing it?

            • BM 12.3.1.1.2.1

              Of course it should be, Labour and National just different sides of the same coin.

              No doubt people will tire of National and vote in Labour again, hopefully they’re up to the task and move the country further forward.

    • Colonial Viper 12.4

      ochocinco:

      We need to move back to Work For Dole.

      Not exactly, the state needs to create actual employment, conforming to all the characteristics of employment including the minimum wage, holidays etc.

      If someone on WFD refuses to work, then it is treated as treason. Simple solution.

      Ah, no. That’s not quite the way to do it. Treason is reserved for those who deliberately undermine and sell out our country.

  13. kiwi_prometheus 13

    1988 Royal Commission

    “A further implication is that a highly targeted [Welfare] system will ultimately face considerable resistance from taxpayers unwilling to support a system perceived as rewarding the improvident and providing themselves with no return for their contributions. The longer run consequences could thus be an even more targeted system that provides continually falling benefit levels.”

    Seems to be what is occurring if the scrap fight on here is any indicator.

    [lprent: Mostly it is only you and BM being noisy – it is about as popular as Act supporters are in campaign debates. A few vaguely amusing fools being loud

    But you have been getting perilously close to trolling with a repeating a unlinked quote and without an argument to go with it. It is a familiar tactic, as is claiming a popular movement when it is a merely a fool being noisy.

    And since you just claimed a pwned logic, you get a warning. The next time I see you use any of these tactics, you will get a involuntary holiday from the site.

    Your behaviour has been pretty good to date. I mostly haven’t needed to notice you when moderating. You’d be wise to continue that way. ]

    • karol 13.1

      kp, as far as I can see, most of the scrap fighting here (on this thread) has been initiated by you.

      Other people are looking at things from different angles and looking for positive solutions.

    • kiwi_prometheus 13.2

      “repeating a unlinked quote and without an argument to go with it.”

      The quote is in the Big Kahuna site that I linked to, which I linked to because the op asked:

      “Should we return to something more akin to the original 1938 Act? Or do we need a whole new approach to ensure everyone in society (adult and child) has the means to survive without undue hardship?”

      I only repeated the quote in expanding it, realising it got to the pith of this thread:

      ME: I work hard for a modest income and pay taxes but get sweet FA back from the State. Why should I pay and pay for some irresponsible idiot who keeps having more and more babies thinking I will pick up the tab?

      “A further implication is that a highly targeted [Welfare] system will ultimately face considerable resistance from taxpayers unwilling to support a system perceived as rewarding the improvident and providing themselves with no return for their contributions. ”
      http://www.bigkahuna.org.nz/universal-basic-income.aspx <- there, linked!

      +

      YOU LOT: You evil fucking MONSTER!!! Throwing babies out on the street!!! Baby murderer! The benefit is already at starvation level! You have no idea how much I HATE you!!!

      "And those eligible for income support should not be subject to unnecessary and stigmatising procedures to establish what is theirs as a basic right.” <- see link above.

      =

      “The longer run consequences could thus be an even more targeted system that provides continually falling benefit levels." <- see link above.

      As far as I can tell on here "fool" means someone who is "not on board".

      [lprent: there, linked! – Thank you.

      In all likelyhood you have and will pay a damn sight less in taxes than I already have. In the last 20 years I got a stent out of it. Doesn’t worry me because unlike you I feel responsible for more than my own selfish arse and I observe what happens to my family and friends – which is obviously more than you have ever done.

      It is quite evident that you have fuck all actual experience of the inevitable chances and screwups of life. You sound like a whining child focusing on a single imagined grievance (like the myth’s of DPB’s) rather than reality. By far the most common usage of the DPB is caused by marriage breakups by couples who have been together for more than 5 years. The particular type of problem you are referring to (I notice that you never define what you are objecting to – too stupid to think past the myths perhaps?) is likely at its worst to to be less than a few percent of the DPB recipients. And it is extremely hard to distinguish from actual accidental pregnancies which are rather too common.

      But I have a solution for your particular grievance. Mandatory castration of males fathering children who go on the DPB. I think that would solve your problem rapidly and will help extend the individual responsibility to where it needs to go to. Are you ready to submit to a DNA test or two on the suspicion that you may be burdening the tax system? After all you are a youngish male – which can be roughly be defined in as being a stupid dick on legs and inherently guilty of procreating without discrimination by definition.

      Not to mention acting like a dick on my site and making me waste time on you….. ]

      • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.1

        Just go take a look at the Big Kahuna website.

        It’s all there. The current system is a big FAIL.

        http://www.bigkahuna.org.nz

        • karol 13.2.1.1

          Morgan says it’s a fail because it’s strayed from its roots (ie the 1938 act). And his main idea is a universal income, rather than going back to the 1938 Act.

          But rather than saying that is what Morgan argues for, why just throw in parts as bombs without fully explaining, or giving your critique or explanation of Morgan’s views.

  14. captain hook 14

    kp thinks that its all a doddle.
    dont give people money and they will relocate.
    I dont thnk so.
    we all depend on each other and trying to dress selfishness up with stupid pseudo darwinian philosophy is a very false trail to go down.
    there is plenty of money if you stop spending it on stadiums, hardlee davisons, trips to makkoo pikkoo and other inane divertissments for the rich.

    • kiwi_prometheus 14.1

      “here is plenty of money if you stop spending it on stadiums, hardlee davisons, trips to makkoo pikkoo and other inane divertissments for the rich.”

      Well actually that is all debt driven too. So no the money isn’t there.

      Borrowing for things like a huge public housing expansion would be a good idea though.

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