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Does working pay?

Written By: - Date published: 11:02 am, February 29th, 2012 - 72 comments
Categories: benefits, wages - Tags:

Maybe it’s the influence of Bill ‘Guess’ English but National has this strange habit of only doing half the sum. Paula Bennett counts people going off the benefit, but not people going on. John Key looks at normal job creation but ignores normal job destruction. Now, he’s claiming that a mother with a 1-year old is better off working, but he’s not counting the costs of working.

Here’s Key justifying making a single mum with a 1 year old work:

They get the minimum family tax credit, which is $22,204 a year, and on top of that they get the in-work tax credit, which is $3,120 a year— all of which adds up to about $25,300 a year for 20 hours. The domestic purposes benefit for that person would be $15,000. That household will be considerably better off.

But we’re missing something here. Something small but important and entirely dependent on the care of an adult.

Oh, right. The baby.

Putting baby in a childcare centre will cost about $7 an hour – $35 a half day while mum goes and works 4 hours plus travel time. WINZ covers half that. So, that’s net $17 a day, or $3,000 a year. Yikes.

And then there’s travel costs. It costs me $7 a day to get to and from work when I take public transport. Many DPB mums won’t have a car and certainly couldn’t pay parking costs. So, let’s put that at $7 a weekday too. $1750 a year.

Then there’s other work-associated costs: clothes, shoes, food. Let’s be real cheap about that and say just $5 a day, $1250 a year.

So, for 1000 hours of work a year and 1250 hours of separation from their baby, we’re talking about net income gain of $4,000 a year. $4 net an hour, is that worth it to separate a mother and baby for half the day? Are they really ‘better off’?

The problem is that, while wages are so low, the net income from working will always be crap, unless the government cuts benefits, which are already subsistence level.

In general, I have no problem with work-testing – if you’re on a work-related benefit, you ought to be looking, as long as you still get the benefit if there’s nothing going, although it’s an incredibly expensive and bureaucratic way to pick up the very small number of actual bludgers. But requiring a mother to leave her baby for $4 an hour just seems like meanness from a government that won’t hesitate to splash out tens of millions on its business buddies.

72 comments on “Does working pay?”

  1. Karen 1

    Another problem that has not been addressed is what happens if the child gets sick? Childcare won’t look after a sick child. In two parent families this can be shared but not many employers are going to be tolerant of very many sick child days.

    • Vicky32 1.1

      Another problem that has not been addressed is what happens if the child gets sick?

      Or has an accident! I worked part-time when my son was 9 – and I remembered being phoned at midday and having to run (literally – I had no car and no bus went that route) to my son’s school, because he’d had a playground accident involving a swing. Then there was the traipsing to and from a dental clinic in another suburb as the school had lost its own clinic… 

  2. js 2

    Plus the extra care required when a child is sick. Have to hire someone to come to the house as the child can’t go to childcare maybe for a couple of weeks if it is something infectious. And have you tried taking a child on public transport let alone at rush hour – not easy. And the child care is likely to be at another location to the place of paid employment, so may require multiple buses and many hours of travel daily. So a car, with all the expenses, becomes a necessity.

    • rosy 2.1

      And have you tried taking a child on public transport let alone at rush hour – not easy.
      My daughter was asked to leave a rush-hour bus when her 2-year-old threw a tantrum as people got on and she could no longer have her own seat. The driver opened the door and left them kilometres from home/creche. So a car on hire purchase became inevitable, negating any ‘getting ahead’ benefit from working.

  3. DH 3

    James with all due respect it’s not about being better off. I’ll defend the welfare system to the death but it is not there as an alternative to working. It’s for people who need it, not as a lifestyle choice. Working parents are separated from their children for long periods, why should the non-working get preferential treatment?

    This isn’t a good argument, assuaged partly by the Nats proposal being even worse since the extra income will come via WFF which is just a transfer of an expense from one Crown account to another.

    • Blighty 3.1

      for solo mums, who have a duty to raise their children and no partner to do it with, it’s not just about getting back into work as soon as possible. It’s about the kid as well.

      • insider 3.1.1

        Don’t they also have a duty to the public who fund them to be very conservative about having more children or a duty to limit their use of public money? This one year rule is for second children while on a benefit.

        • Vicky32

          This one year rule is for second children while on a benefit.

          I have wondered how often that actually happens? Yesterday I was jumped on from a height for pointing out that during my 16 years on a DPB, I had met one woman who fit that category – 1 out of several hundred in Wellington and Auckland. Today, I saw some figures.

          Last year there were 63 thousand babies born in NZ. 4000 of them to women already on the DPB.
          That rather puts it in perspective, doesn’t it? Bear in mind, also that we don’t know the circumstances of these women. I can think of many  women who were ‘widowed’ by the Pike River explosion. Except that as they were not married to these men – they would have ended up on DPB in respect of the child/ren they already had – and at least 2 of them were pregnant!
          That situation might be quite common! A woman lives with a man, he dies or leaves, and she has one child and one on the way. She goes on a benefit to support the child she has – and the one she is expecting is born – when she is already on a benefit! Not from a ‘random shag’ as some idiot on Facebook put it today, but from a long-term relationship that has ended.

          • Populuxe1

            This really gets up my nose too. The majority of these women have little choice. Often they are leaving abusive relationships, or their husband/partner has dumped them for a younger model, or simply left them to indulge in his own selfish interests.
            Yes, there are some women who have children on the DPB – a very very tiny minority see it as an income. Perhaps it was a contraceptive accident and their beliefs preclude abortion. Perhaps they lack the confidence and empowerment to take adequate control of their bodies. Perhaps they are misguided and think a baby will offer them all the love lacking in their life. For whatever reason, we should not be judging these women, but helping them to come to terms with whatever their situation is. We certainly shouldn’t be doing things that penalise innocent children.

        • QoT

          Lesson of the day from insider: babies appear magically and instantaneously out of thin air as soon as you decide to have one. Nobody has ever had to go on the benefit to support their eldest child, then discovered they were pregnant, and thus had a second baby while on the benefit. We’re all just irresponsible whores, or something.

    • Bill 3.2

      John Key couched his reasoning in monetary terms…it is he who is claiming it’s all about being ‘better off’, as though ‘better off ‘ is simply a measure of dollars. And even by that shamefully reductionist view of life and people, his argument ain’t that flash.

      • Treetop 3.2.1

        1. Key did not factor in twins or two or three children age under five.

        2. Key did not factor in children with a physical or an intellectual disability.

        3. Key did not factor in creating enough jobs.

        4. Key did not factor in the pressure which he has put on a single parent who has another child while on the benefit being forced to work part-time when the child is 12 months old.

        5. Does Key really think that he is going to reduce woman having another baby while on the DPB?

        6. In the states the employer has to include contraception in the health insurance.

        I do not have an issue with a single parent focusing on their personal development, for some there needs to be the choice that the youngest child is age 5 and no younger before they are required to work/study part-time.

  4. insider 4

    Plenty of mothers are separated from their babies for the same periods but choose to do that and do so successfully. You are really not going to gain a lot of sympathy crying it is unfair that mothers supported by the state should be exempt from the same sacrifice, especially as this is targeted at those who have had a second child while already claiming state funding.

    • Blue 4.1

      Yes, many mothers with babies go back to work right away. But if you look at how they can manage to do that, you see that they either have a partner or a family member who can help with childcare, or they have enough money to put the child in daycare or hire a nanny.

      The DPB is for women who don’t have those advantages.

      Of course there will be no sympathy forthcoming from working women who resent the time that DPB mothers get to spend with their children, but the reality is that there is a reason why.

      Raising a child is a full-time job, and it is perfectly reasonable that if no one else is available to do the job while the mother works outside the home, then the mother has to do that job.

  5. Roy 5

    Key forgets about the baby, because babies don’t vote.

    • aerobubble 5.1

      Cut backs in back office staff often lead to details being missed and perverts becoming teachers.

      A range of cut backs by National will cost us all more.

      What after all was the building code but a disaster for ChCh, leaky homes up and down the country and now third world diseases.

      Key got ahead by cover both up and down sides, he will always come out ahead even when the mining company, school with a sick pervert teacher, or a city wasted by allowing new home on sand.

      Nz does not want to grow up and elect an adult to run the beehive.

      • insider 5.1.1


        “Authorities are frantically trying to work out how the 41-year-old man, deemed twice as likely to reoffend than the average criminal, came to work as a teacher and elude authorities for more than four years.”

        If you want to put a party spin on this, ask yourself who set up the Teachers Council and what ‘adults’ were in power 4 years ago when this guy got through its systems.

        • Colonial Viper

          If you want to put a party spin on this, ask yourself who set up the Teachers Council and what ‘adults’ were in power 4 years ago when this guy got through its systems.

          I’m sure Tolley had a focus on preventing problems like this, right?

          • insider

            AS much focus as her predecessor who ‘allowed’ it to happen. Sometimes criminals try to subvert and outsmart systems and occassionally get away with it…for a time. This should not be party political.

            • Colonial Viper

              This should not be party political.

              Strange that you would point to the party “in power 4 years ago” if you actualyl believed this.

              Bottom line is that there have been failures, and where those occurred and whether they were failures of leadership, resourcing or process we need to find out urgently.

              The thought on everyone’s mind of course is – are there more cases like this out there.

  6. Bill 6

    …unless the government cuts benefits, which are already subsistence level

    although it’s an incredibly expensive and bureaucratic way to pick up the very small number of actual bludgers.

    Can you see the dissonance in what you’ve written James? If entitlements are at subsistance level (a claim I’d agree with), then what is there to bludge?

    It’s high time the left stopped being so fucking apologetic for the supposed presence of that mythical creature: the bludger.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    James with all due respect it’s not about being better off. I’ll defend the welfare system to the death but it is not there as an alternative to working. It’s for people who need it, not as a lifestyle choice.

    Find me 1000 jobs which pay $14.50/hr and I’ll find you 5,000 punters ready to do those jobs starting next week.

    • DH 7.1

      That’s the point I was making. The jobs aren’t there and that’s what the argument should be focussed on IMO. There seems to be two lines of thinking on DPB, one is that we’re paying people to raise kids & the other is we’re supporting parents fallen on hard times. The former won’t gain mainstream support, the latter will.

      • Bill 7.1.1

        If you are correct in saying that ‘paying people to bring up children’ is a non-starter because (presumably) too many people will say “I work and raise a child, so why shouldn’t everyone else” then there is a simple solution.

        Stop this farcical situation whereby society, through taxes paid by you and me supports people out of work due to action/inaction on the part of business and take the entire welfare budget from a new levy to be imposed on companies.

        • DH

          I think it comes back to the argument about jobs Bill, and the Govts role in ensuring there are enough jobs for everyone. Most solo mums I’ve met over the years would rather work than receive the charity of the state, it just has to fit in with the restrictions placed upon them by parenthood. Generally that leads to part time work & perhaps some top-up from the state but that’s a lot better than no work at all. It has to pay a reasonable wage too of course.

          • Bill

            ..it just has to fit in with the restrictions placed upon them by parenthood

            So, such provisions as unlimited sick leave then? And no pressure to perform a job outside of creche hours? And the right to leave the place of work at a moments notice?

            Okay. I could go with that. And I’d add, that the employer should pick up the child care tab in full either by providing free creche facilities on site where appropriate or through an increased hourly rate for parents or an allowance for them.

            And if I was to think it through, I could probably come up with further additions. But the fact is that business externalises it’s costs and expects society (through your taxes and my taxes) to pick up a tab of their making…to subsidise them. In this case, it’s the child care costs associated with their workers.

            Same argument can be had for those without a job. Why should you pay me if I don’t have a job? If somebody broke my legs (so to speak) I would seek recompense from them, not other people who had, or who may at some point also have, their legs broken.

        • Mike

          That sounds like a bloody good idea on the face of it. Although it would probably end up being paid by employees through lower wages or higher prices.

  8. Treetop 8

    Factor economics (hourly rate, cost of childcare, transport, clothing) and what the liable parent pays the IRD for child support. Every case is individual as a wide range.

    Then the health of the single parent and her child/children and the support the single parent recieves from family/the other parent. Every case is individual e.g. location has to suit.

    I am certain to say that there are MPs who buy food, pay bills, buy clothing for the poorer members of their family. I would put Bennet at the top of the list.

    Like I said yesterday, I would like to hand every minister in cabinet a 12 month old to look after 24/7 for a month and to do a diary. Oh and I would hand them any other children in my care. Out of touch regarding INDIVIDUAL circumstances and think a one size policy fits all.

    Picking on a 12 month old child’s parent is the MOST SICK welfare policy I have encountered in a so called democratic country.

    Useless Dunne has not sorted out IRD payments (child support) by the liable parent or the ones who escape to Aussie.

    The training incentive allowance has not been reinstated.

    Age over 65 working, are impacting on youth entering the workforce. (Some people cannot survive on the NZ super).

    Housing is in crisis.

    Too much corporate fraud when it comes to dodging tax payments.

  9. the benefits to women outweigh the financial gains – think of the networks made and skills learned, and kids welcome other activities in their lives, but I am totally against the implementation of all these changes at once – it’s anti-women baby-factory rubbish. I have blogged:


    • McFlock 9.1

      Kids would no doubt “welcome other activities” like chimney sweeping and selling matches.
      Whatever lets you sleep at night, I guess.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Shining shoes is a good one. And following Christchurch and Auckland’s example, child prostitution is still around.

    • Treetop 9.2

      Monique Watson, have you not heard of play group for children under a year old or music/gym and yes there is still the 20 hours (free – a subsidy charged) ECE for age three. Isolation is not good for children or parents. The government hasn’t even worked out how to get all children into even a few hours of ECE each week when age 3.

      I am against a policy which frightens or erodes any parents confidence or causes attachment issues between parent and child. Some parents do not even know what they are capable of or how to go about starting to educate them selves. Throw anyone into the deep end who cannot swim and they are likely to drown.

      • Treetop 9.2.1

        Monique I looked at the link you supplied in 9.

        The Scott Guy case is very sad as Scott’s dad saw reality staring in his face, six grandchildren without a father.

        There are some benefits which ACC provide to children until age 18 and some widows recieve their primary income from ACC. I have not looked at the entitlements. Work and Income used to abate dollar for dollar (ACC vs Work and Income).

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Maybe it’s the influence of Bill ‘Guesstimator’ English

    Hi James, how about that for a nickname for our DPM?

    • Hami Shearlie 10.1

      CV, the question is, will the Guesstimator be back like the Terminator, or will the goodies manage to exterminate him?

      • starlight 10.1.1

        Some research finds that maybe english is a finance minister ‘stooge’.
        Why would key have a finance minister such as ‘guess’ english when he could
        have one of his closest allies to work with and get advice and policy from.
        Philip Borkin is an economist working at Goldman Sachs ltd in Auckland.
        If only we had some honest and true media reporters in nz.
        English’s vauge rhetoric would explain that he really isn’t the one
        who is in control of the economy,he often is unsure of strategic
        policy areas,the areas he should know like the back of his hand.

        • fender

          Sock-puppet double dipton is out of his depth but he don’t care, he’s mr. “muddle through” after all. He gets his instructions from the “brains” in the org. and he’s cool with that because unlike some MP’s he actually knows he’s out of his depth, David Cunliffe cuts him to shreds every time, and it’s great to watch but doesn’t make up for the results of diptons broken calculator.

  11. crite40 11

    As usual some good points and more rubbish.
    It shows me so clearly once again that the old Left/Right ideas are completely outdated.
    It is very reasonable to make it worthwhile for a solo mother to help support her child that she is bringing up alone. BUT where is the child’s father?
    Why is not he equally responsible for the child’s welfare?
    If he is NOT being made responsible then why not?

    Probably because of our useless bureaucracy that can’t even find a pedophile teacher.
    There are Three main provisos-
    Both Parents are responsible for a child an if this means targetting benifits to food, accomodation then
    this MUST be accepted.
    No more children can be allowed to be born into the same situation. Contaception must be free and must be used or benefits must be cut off or reduced.
    Again and again we hear of children being born into absolutely horrible circumstances at enormous cost both to the child and to society.

    Those fortunate enough to find a useful job must NOT be penalised as so many are now. The whole social welfare system must be streamlined and made more flexible to ensure that willing people are
    really helped. I personally know of a family that has
    debt problems simply because the father was able to find himself virtually a full time job for several months.

    Now I’ll just wait to see how many call me a Fascist,
    I bet there are some sufficiently cut off from reality!

    • Populuxe1 11.1

      BUT where is the child’s father?
      Why is not he equally responsible for the child’s welfare?
      If he is NOT being made responsible then why not?

      Perhaps he has the kids alternate weeks? Perhaps he’s abusive? Perhaps the mother doesn’t want him turning the kids against her? Perhaps he has no money either? If he is paying support, he’s paying it to the Government for distribution – and it’s still probably not enough to run a household. I think you may be missing the point as to why these women are on the DPB in the first place.

      Both Parents are responsible for a child an if this means targetting benifits to food, accomodation then
      this MUST be accepted.

      But what if one of the parents is a child abuser? Or just a flat-out useless waste of space with nothing to offer?

      No more children can be allowed to be born into the same situation. Contaception must be free and must be used or benefits must be cut off or reduced.
      Again and again we hear of children being born into absolutely horrible circumstances at enormous cost both to the child and to society.

      Um, yes, those “absolutely horrible circumstances” are frequently why a parent is on the DPB in the first place. By the way, what happens if that contraception, for whatever reason, fails?

      Those fortunate enough to find a useful job must NOT be penalised as so many are now. The whole social welfare system must be streamlined and made more flexible to ensure that willing people are
      really helped. I personally know of a family that has
      debt problems simply because the father was able to find himself virtually a full time job for several months.

      Yes +1

      Now I’ll just wait to see how many call me a Fascist,
      I bet there are some sufficiently cut off from reality!

      Well I wouldn’t call you a fascist, but I think your take on “reality” is unusually rosy

  12. prism 12

    The problems of sickness spreading around childcare centres has struck my family continually although theirs would match up to any checklist of tidy, bright, well-run centres. They have taken turns to be off work.

    Children are supposed to be easy once they get past helpless babyhood but each age has its particular vunerabilities. Individually the NACTs might feel the stress of childcare but they won’t apply their minds to how the mass of parents particularly single parents on low incomes try to manage.

    The government should be offering businesses that haven’t gone down the s-bend a subsidy for building creches and each solo mother or father with children of any age should carry a subsidy to any employer offering jobs. That would be offering practical funding to positively advance their policies. But no, there is a moralistic 19th century bad girls, lazy sluts, attitude that is so dense that they can’t think of human mothers without this miasma obscuring their views. And I think a lack of love and acceptance of children, apart from family, throughout NZ society. But that is just a thought, a feeling that I have, and I’ve no example to back it.

  13. In a two parent home if both are working there is a choice of who is going to take care
    of a sick or needy child,solo parents dont have that luxury unless extended family is close by.
    What is glaringly obvious in nz is that the family unit,whether it be two parents or one is
    being denigrated to its lowest levels with emphasis put on the almighty dollar.
    In 20-30yrs time, kids of today wont remember how much mum or dad made,they will
    remember whether they had full bellies,a warm comfortable home,a close family bond
    and a respect for their parents or parent.
    Take those away by fair means or foul and govt authorities are playing russian roulete
    with childrens lives and hopes for the future,i call the above ‘future focus,’ bennett
    and the nats style of ‘future focus’ is dotted with doubt,challenges can be made towards
    the intentions and the need to target single parents in today’s world,when the job market
    is next to non existant,so why bother right now? why not put the support work in
    without demanding work orders,this would be better for parents and for kids,a closer
    collaboration between a couple of departments could support those single families
    until conditions in the work arena improve,in the meantime access to the internet
    would provide training courses to improve job prospects for the future,there are on-line
    courses that would prove to be valuable,or even to finish their high school studies.
    If the big push in nz is having fibre in schools then there needs to be a different way
    of supporting the young parents to finish schooling from home, while looking after their dependants.
    The reward would be much more educated solo parents, it would also provide the
    personal satisfaction of achievement and therefore lead to great prospects that would
    not have been possible if more hardened govt paths are taken.

  14. crite40 14

    Well! How odd to hear that I apparently wear rose coloured specs, I always thought I just wore he plain kind.
    As to what happens when contraception fails on the DPB and social conditions are bad. Isn’t that what abortion is for and in multi pregnacy cases sterilisation?
    Or do all the bleeding hearts here really prefer that a poor little kid has its head bashed in or is left to die from neglect?
    What the original Labour party indulged in was “social engineering” including many policies like Plunket’s support of Eugenics.
    Its about time we got to understand the real facts of life and stopped pretending we have the luxury of choice when we don’t.
    Apart from WW2 do you know how the world got out of the 1930’s depression. The working and middle classes had fewer children especially in Europe and the US and each child became individually more valuable.
    Just like things got better for peasants after the Black Death in the 1340’s, shortage of labour and skills.
    Why do you think the extreme Republicans in the US are all against all forms of birth control?
    They are rich and want cheap labour.

    • QoT 14.1

      Aw, lookit da babby. ‘E finks abortion and sterilisation are super-easy to access! Isn’t dat da cootest fing?

      [Note to other readers: I figured basic human rights principles, bodily autonomy, and the actual necessity of the underclass to raise new workers since the affluent don’t even tend to replace themselves would be wasted on this audience.]

    • Colonial Viper 14.2

      Just like things got better for peasants after the Black Death in the 1340′s

      This is pure gold.

      • QoT 14.2.1

        Let me tell you, CV, peasants in the 1340s were all “Fuckin’ sweet! Three in ten people died so the value of my labour could rise from “minimal” to “slightly less minimal”. WOOHOO! I’mma go negotiate me some sweet individual employment contract.”

        • Colonial Viper

          Yep. Just look at how sweet AIDS has worked for employment terms and conditions in Africa.

      • Mike 14.2.2

        Hehehe yep ya beat me to it.

  15. Hami Shearlie 15

    Strange how the fathers of the children are hardly ever mentioned. Don’t they contribute 50 percent to the fact that the children are born at all? This refusal to attach the same opprobrium to the fathers as is dished out to the mothers probably stems from the fact that the majority of MPs are men!! When men walk out of relationships, which seems to be very prevalent, or cause women to leave because they, the men, are violent, why is the wrath of Social Welfare not descending on them? Why don’t they look after the welfare of their children instead of leaving it all to the mothers and, finally the State. In times past, society would have frowned so much on this type of behavior, that they would have been social pariahs!!

    • fender 15.1

      All good points Hami, and same goes for woman who also abandon the family leaving the father with the kids, quite common too sadly.

  16. crite40 16

    Whoever said sterilisation and abortion are easily got!
    I certainly didn’t. What however did give the so-called
    “right to lifers” so much ammunition was the use of abortion by some few as the only form of contraception back in the late 70’s and 80’s.
    They were very few actually but the religious leapt on it like hungry vultures.

    Abortion should only be used as a backup when other birth control or social conditions require it. BUT then it should be easily accesible and free.
    The same applies to sterilisation except it has obvious uses in control of some criminal elements who do (Oh dear! that stepped on a few liberal toes)
    tend to propagate themselves from generation to generation. Guilt or innocence? Now we have DNA.

    I see that we don’t have many historians around here.
    In fact it appears that the standard of living of English peasants was actually (relative to other contemporary classes) better after the black
    death than at any time until the 19th century.
    Hasn’t anyone ever heard of the enclosures and the Highland clearances.
    Where do you think the King got all his archers who could draw a 100 pound bow?
    If you think thats easy, tryit sometime!

    • McFlock 16.1

      The eddies in your stream of consciousness are known only to you.
      Although it does look like you are suggesting a novel combination of the heel prick test and preventative detention from birth.

    • Vicky32 16.2

      Whoever said sterilisation and abortion are easily got!
      I certainly didn’t. What however did give the so-called
      “right to lifers” so much ammunition was the use of abortion by some few as the only form of contraception back in the late 70′s and 80′s.

      Speaking as one of those “so-called” as you insist, “right-to-lifers”, why shouldn’t we express our sorrow at the people who used abortion as contraception?

      The same applies to sterilisation except it has obvious uses in control of some criminal elements who do….
      tend to propagate themselves from generation to generation. Guilt or innocence? Now we have DNA.

      If you think that criminality is inherited, then you’re a bigger idiot than I had assumed.

      • Populuxe1 16.2.1

        Vicky, just to be clear, are you ok with contraception? I don’t think anyone particularly likes the idea of abortion (though I recognise the need for it to be available as an option), but most of the conservative groups who are “pro-life” (as if freedom of choice advocates were, somehow, absurdly, “anti-life” or “pro-death”) are anti contraception as well.
        The way I look at it is no force on earth is going to stop humans having recreational sex, so it’s either abortion, or contraception – you can’t nix both. Before you bring up the adoption option, most of the adopted people I knew have serious issues about it even although raised in happy homes – it’s far from an ideal solution.
        At least NZ’s pro-lifers aren’t the vicious psychopaths in the US who paradoxically slaver over the death penalty, and in the worst case, murder doctors and blow up clinics.

        • Vicky32

          Vicky, just to be clear, are you ok with contraception?

          Yes, I am. Of course!

          I don’t think anyone particularly likes the idea of abortion (though I recognise the need for it to be available as an option), but most of the conservative groups who are “pro-life” (as if freedom of choice advocates were, somehow, absurdly, “anti-life” or “pro-death”) are anti contraception as well.

          My dear man, many “freedom of choice” advocates are in fact pro-death. They favour euthanasia, often involuntary, and are keen proponents of eugenics. (Margaret Sanger, “heroine” of many ‘pro-choice’ people, is a very good example.) I am opposed to the death penalty, and I am fervently anti-war, to the point of being accused of being an “appeaser” during the lead up to the illegal invasion  of Iraq. It’s called the ‘seamless garment’ approach, usually Catholic, but contrary to a lot of the scrreching testerical abuse I’ve had on the Standard, no, I am not Catholic, sorry boys! 
          BTW, I have come across “freedom of choice” advocates who turn back flips of ecstasy at the idea of abortion – and have recently read two books/articles by women who are deeply concerned about abortion for sex-selection purposes but who both invoke the largely fictional “religious right” in order to say “go ahead, commit as much female foeticide as you like, after all, we don’t want to lose our “right” to abort! Crazies.

          • Vicky32

            Opps, I nearly forgot – I am the last person to be promoting adoption! My oldest son had his whole life wrecked by it.
            So – what does that leave? Let’s see – self-discipline! But oh, we can’t advocate that, can we? My observation has been that young straight kids want romance, sex being a lower priority. Middle aged or old men, however, are another thing – sex is their god, and any suggestion that people delay sex makes them apoplectic with rage! 😀

            • Populuxe1

              You can advocate self-control until you’re blue in the face – but unfortunately for the majority, the flesh is weak

          • QoT

            My dear man, many “freedom of choice” advocates are in fact pro-death.

            [citation needed]

            Also, it’s entirely possible to be anti-sex-selective abortion but also concerned that sex-selective abortion is used by the religious right not because they actually give a shit but because they have an incrementalist approach to eroding reproductive rights.

            But you kinda have to not have a hair-trigger defensiveness about anyone saying anything even vaguely mean about Christians to understand that.

            • Vicky32

              not because they actually give a shit but because they have an incrementalist approach to eroding reproductive rights.

              First, why should they not have such an approach? It’s what they do, and many of us applaud that. (Note – it’s a myth that all the ‘religious’ are right wing. As I’ve pointed out before, in NZ and even in the USA, by and large Catholics are not right-wing, and as Andrew Greeley, the sociologist-priest showed, in the USA they’re much likelier to vote Democrat than other religious people. Not that Democrats are left by non-American standards, but still…)
              Second, what makes you think they don’t give a shit? That’s a totally unwarranted assumption. I certainly do and enough people here – most of them in fact, have defined me as a RWNJ – which I consider a vile insult, it’s as if I defined you as a Randbot, because you espouse “freedom” in areas where community of interest is more important.
              As for citation needed – I’ve given you one example which you ignored – Margaret Sanger. For someone more modern, and I thought of him just today, when I heard on Radio NZ about the mobile ‘euthanasia vans’ in the Netherlands, Peter Singer.

              • QoT

                Vicky, your eternal capacity to assume bad faith in others, while being incredibly precious about anyone criticising your own utterances, is as impressive as ever.

                When I refer to the “religious right” I mean the religious right. You’re right, pumpkin, plenty of Catholics aren’t conservative – because plenty of Catholics are actually pro-choice.

                And the reason I know they don’t give a shit is because after years of observing antichoice woman-haters at work, I have maybe once or twice, total, encountered one whose “pro-life” beliefs actually extended to being anti-war, anti-death penalty, whose personal behaviour or policies showed they cared about what happens to a foetus once it becomes a baby (protip: the religious right, since they’re rightwing and all, tend to be kinda downers on the whole “social security net” and “living wage” fronts).

                You said, “many “freedom of choice” advocates are in fact pro-death.” You have not established this. Your best try is Margaret Sanger – really relevant to modern prochoicers’ views – and Peter Singer – because, what? Because he favours the ability of people – born, conscious people not dependent on others’ bodies to survive – to choose their own time of death?

                Boy. I’m so impressed at your shocking revelation about how “many” prochoicers are really AWFUL BABY MURDERING KILLING KILLERS. Maybe one day you can graduate from Antichoice Dogwhistling 101.

                • Vicky32

                  You said, “many “freedom of choice” advocates are in fact pro-death.” You have not established this. Your best try is Margaret Sanger – really relevant to modern prochoicers’ views – and Peter Singer – because, what? Because he favours the ability of people – born, conscious people not dependent on others’ bodies to survive – to choose their own time of death?

                  Wow, where do I start? By you, the world is divided into those who are pro-abortion (sorry, you’d say ‘pro-choice’) and conservatives? How does that work? IMO, it’s an insane assumption on your part. Your ‘pro-choice’ Catholics are, I’d say, well lapsed, just using the label for political convenience.
                  BTW, sweetie, you can shove your shouty scare capitals. They merely show that you have not got an answer. 
                  I read something interesting in today’s Herald (the paper version, but i am sure you can find a link). Under the heading “Killing Babies the same as Abortion” was a story about a paper written by a group of medical ethicists in Australia. These people ‘theorised’ that infanticide is morally the same as abortion, and that there’s no reason not to kill a born baby, as it has not got personhood any more than an unborn one has. I assume you’ve never borne any children, (and further never will, even if you are a woman, and I don’t know that) but i have and I assure you that a mother has no doubt about the personhood of her unborn baby…
                  However, these men say that there is nothing to be said against “parents” (in practice fathers, I assume) killing their born children even if said children were not disabled. Here is an appropriate time to remind you that NZ law doesn’t allow abortion on demand though in effect that’s what we get.
                  So where do you stand on that? Too late for an abortion? Never mind, wait until she is born, then wring her neck like a chicken? Or is that a bit too much even for you?

                  • QoT

                    You’re such a fucking idiot, Vicky.

                    We’re discussing abortion. An area in which “conservatives” are “pro-life”.

                    As soon as the Catholic Church revises its membership numbers way down? You’re going to have to accept the existence of prochoice Catholics.

                    The article about “post-birth abortion” is an antichoice beatup of a high-level philosophical thought experiment.

                    The capitals were an attempt to highlight how much your argument boils down to basic, overhyped, antichoice propaganda.

                    Keep throwing out insults about how anyone who dares assume people should be able to control their own bodies is unfit to be a parent. It really shows your priorities and attitudes up.

                    (BTW, I am also capable of pointing out that your personal insults are deeply revealing while calling you a fucking idiot. I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that a prochoice feminist would consider you a fucking idiot.)

                    • Vicky32

                      Calling me a ‘fucking idiot’ simply shows that you haven’t got a logical answer.
                      Ever heard of pro-life feminists? Or do you believe we’re fakes? Susan B Anthony was a pro-life feminist, have you ever heard of her?
                      Beat up? Don’t think so. I asked where you stand on that issue. Both birth ‘abortion’, yes or no?
                      BTW, what personal insults? Have I called you a foul-mouthed angry bitter cow? No, I have not. I have not insulted you at all, whereas the insults you’re throwing at me might make you feel good, but do nothing to further the discussion. Which is over now, no matter how much you curse and swear.

                  • Mike

                    Jeez you guys are getting nastier and nastier at each other!

                    I’m anti abortion and very much pro life, however I also support a woman’s right to choose. I am evolved enough to be able to support something in principle without that meaning that I have to like it. The problem which needs solving in regards to this issue occurs before conception and that is where energies should be focused.

                    I’m also anti-catholic (not catholic people, except the really catholic ones, just the catholic religion and all other organised religions which are a blight on humanity IMO.

    • QoT 16.3

      Whoever said sterilisation and abortion are easily got!

      No one “said” it, cretin40 (can you spell “implication”, liddle pweshus?), but if it isn’t “easily got” it’s a bit fucking rich for you, or anyone, to say “well if you get pregnant on the DPB, isn’t that what abortion and sterilisation are for?”

      Might as well say “well no one needs to be late to work, isn’t that what instant matter transmission is for?”

      But I realise I’ve used words of more than one syllable so that probably doesn’t help your comprehension.

    • Mike 16.4

      The medieval warm period probably had a lot to do with that. Regardless, think about your plague comment a bit, it was pretty dumb…..(rotflmao)

  17. crite40 17

    Two quick answers.
    First CV. I don’t know whether you have ever studied history academically or not. But you certainly don’t have any trouble with your knees, as I do, they are jerking very well lately.
    AIDS in Africa!! Are you kidding, or don’t you know very much about the situation in that basket case of a continent.
    AIDS spread faster for the same reason that people are NOT better off with a lower population.
    A TOTAL breakdown of society in a large part of Africa. An AK47 is the only effective argument.

    Who is going to set wages,when there is no government or even an organised society?
    Medieaval Europe never broke down so far.
    BTW you didn’t consider my remarks about the
    archers either.

    Who said anything about a heel prick?
    My own 2 children were among the first in the late 1960’s to have a heel prick test for one genetic disease. The idea is to reduce the need for preventative detention and improve society’s standards.
    We are not talking about the child, so much as the environment it is raised in.
    Too many children, not enough care, is a pretty good basic assumption.

    In todays news we have the sentencing of the Turangi child rapist. Have a look at what the judge said about his Whanau’s responsibilty for him and his actions.

    • McFlock 17.1

      Africa wasn’t a “basket case” before AIDS?

      God you’re not worth it. And normally I’m the easiest guy on the planet for trolls to bait.

  18. crite40 18

    Of course Africa was in an big mess before the AIDS epidemic hit on a big scale from the 1980’s onwards.
    Broken up into inappropriate “nations” by European colonial powers without regard to ethnic, tribal and language barriers, what else could it be.
    Then along came the new disease that slowly killed the most productive groups in society.

    However many of Africas problems stemmed from overpopulation and given better organisation of African societies the end result after 2 or 3 generations
    could have been a much better continent.

    However the loss of so many younger adults meant that the older generation (Mugabe is in his mid 80’s)
    stayed in power and still had no real idea how to run
    their nation.
    SO you get chaos and total breakdown both legal and economic of society.

    • McFlock 18.1

      So just to summarise – the Black Death was good for European peasants because it created a labour and skill shortage, but AIDS is bad for Africa because it led to a shortage of governance skills?

  19. crite40 19

    Well summarised McFlock.
    You see the Black Death (whatever the actual disease
    as that is still argued over) tended to kill badly nourished and housed peasants MORE (not exclusively) than better fed and housed aristos.
    AIDS on the other hand selectively (and slowly) killed sexually active young adults of all classes. Indeed those who were a bit better off (like truck drivers and others who could afford to travel) were MORE likely to contract it than stay at homes.

    So it seems clear to me that future leaders (local or national) are more likely to come from this “upwardly mobile” class in society. In some parts of Africa they were much more than that misused word “decimated”.
    More like 3 or 4 times that. In other words up to 40% of this group in the worst areas, got HIV.

    FYI Decimation was an old Roman punishment where 10% of a legion (chosen by lot) were beaten to death by the other 90. Typically Roman!

  20. crite40 20

    Just having a look at some other posts and I see someone there who I can only regard as an enemy.
    That oddly enough is quite unusual for me, most folks have some good in them.

    BUT as an oldie I simply cannot abide extreme “right
    to lifers”.
    Do they perhaps think that everyone is immortal unless
    subject to human intervention?
    Or more dangerously, do they think that a caring God
    will send someone to hell who takes control of their own life?

    Pre Christian religions were much more sane on these matters. “Life will have Death” is always a truism.
    As an old man there are still comforting things about death. Just imagine an immortal Rupert Murdoch, Pope or Stalin.
    When the time comes, and for me that will not be far away, I have already made plans to end my life on my terms.
    If there was justice of course all “right to lifers” would be reborn to work on a Korean fishing boat
    or live in a 3rd world slum.
    As someone with a severly handicapped sibling who has never had a decent life they disgust me with their arrogance or stupidity (or both).

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