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Fabian seminar – why not fix child poverty?

Written By: - Date published: 10:20 am, September 7th, 2010 - 33 comments
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The next Fabian seminar will be held in Wellington on Monday 13th September at Connolly Hall in Guildford Street at 5:30pm. Titled “Why not fix child poverty” – Speakers are Sue Bradford from the Alternative Welfare Working Group, and David Choat from PolicyProgress.

This follows the successful Fabian seminar held in Auckland two weeks ago with Susan St John from Child Poverty Action Group and Sue Bradford.

The Government has set up its Welfare Working Group with a set agenda – it doesn’t include fixing child poverty. The Tax Working Group thought that equality meant no change to child poverty – there would be equally as many poor children after their changes as before. The Fabians think that these issues need  debate. Seminars are free and all are welcome.

You can find more information about the Alternative Welfare Working Group here or WelfareWatch, the PolicyProgess site here.

33 comments on “Fabian seminar – why not fix child poverty? ”

  1. zimmer 1

    Why not fix some potential parents, after all we desex dogs.
    Being a parent is a responsibility, not a right if I am to pay for the upkeep as a tax payer.

    • The Voice of Reason 1.1

      I’ve got the knife, if you’ve got the balls.

    • Armchair Critic 1.2

      Why not fix some potential parents, after all we desex dogs.
      Because no government should have the power to decide who should be sterilised, and no government should have the power to compulsorily enforce such a decision.
      Because the solution (sterilise some potential parents) is horribly out of proportion to the perceived problem (parents not being “as good” as you want them to be). That’s a massive over-reaction.
      Because there are more effective solutions than sterilisation. Unfortunately they are more complex, which makes them too difficult for some idiots to understand, even when clearly explained.
      Because people are not dogs, and therefore should not be treated like dogs.

    • nzfp 1.3

      Actually Zimmer – that’s a great idea and finds support all over the world. There was a little country in Europe in the 1930’s and 40’s that did this, they called themselves the Third Reich, some Austrian lad with one testicle named Adolphe really bought into this policy – he took it all the way to it’s logical conclusion. I’m sure John Key thinks it’s a great idea too – his mother (Austrian as well) had a very up close and personal view of this policy. There were 750 Polish children in New Zealand that had a very up close and personal view of this policy too – not to mention Jehovah’s witnesses, Romany’s, Gay’s, European Jews etc… etc…

      Yeah good idea mate – I’ll watch you suggest it to John Key and his family – lets see how long you last!

      Zimmer – almost sounds German doesn’t it (not that I blame Germans for the crimes of their Government over half a century ago – I don’t – but you get the point).

      • zimmer 1.3.1

        British Irish heritage I am afraid.

        • nzfp

          Native “who run around rooting everything that moves” – but you can call me “Tangata Whenua” instead if you like. As for your comment about the natives – “Póg Mo Thón” mr British Irish.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.4

      Now, closer to home Dimmer, it was not so long ago that the socially inadequate and intellectually challenged were considered by some as candidates for sterilisation.

    • Loota 1.5

      The village says where your tithe goes mate not you.

  2. Relative poverty can never be ‘fixed’.

    Having said that, poor children reliant on working parents fare better than poor children reliant on benefits. So there are factors beyond income affecting the negative outcomes normally associated with childhood poverty. Factors that a greater state-enforced transfer of wealth will not ‘ fix’.


    “To summarise, the findings show that poor children reliant on government transfers, when compared with poor children reliant on market incomes, have lower living standards and a number of compounding shortfalls that can be expected to place them at greater risk of negative outcomes.”

    • Blighty 2.1

      “Relative poverty can never be ‘fixed’. ”

      of course it can. Poverty is defined as less than 50% or 60% of the median houseehold income isn’t it? there’s no mathematical reason why any income needs to be that low.

      We have the wealth as a nation to ensure that no household is that poor. If we choose.

      captcha – needs

    • Bill 2.2

      I’ll go with the line that relative poverty can never be fixed….in a market economy.

      Which leaves a fairly obvious solution to relative poverty.

    • Loota 2.3

      Yeah Lindsay is just spouting that shite about how poor people will always be poor, get used to it.

      And where Lindsay, pray tell, are these “Market Incomes” to be found?

      Perhaps you would break up families so that Mum or Dad can move to ChCh to help demolish houses?

    • mcflock 2.4

      Hmmm – so poorer children are more likely to be the indirect recipients of government transfers. To be expected, given that government transfers are subsistence and the income choice of last resort.

      Let’s finish the paragraph:
      “The findings suggest a need for policies that have a wider focus than just income support. Such an expanded policy focus would incorporate recognition of the multiple sources of disadvantage of many of these children, and would explore mechanisms designed to connect parents and children to services directed at reducing the likelihood of negative child outcomes.:

      I agree entirely Lindsay. Rather than just increasing benefit levels, we should also fund greater access to healthcare and further education for parents.

  3. zimmer 3

    FYI – I have had the chop and have 2 very good sons before hand.
    You guys are so manly with your thoughts, is this a gay site or what. TVOR, I bet playing with other mens balls turns you on ah.

    I am being serious thoughabout rights and responsibilities, why should I pay for some down & out having a child by paying all the welfare charges. Support your own fucking family. And yep, I am thinking of the natives who run around rooting everything that moves and people from other 3rd world nations who we have let infest our once great country and breed like rabbits.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.1


      I reckon we should put a bounty on the head of cracker fuckwits and declare their so called property up for grabs. Cracker reckons he’s tuff, cracker should protect his stuff.

      But nah, It’s all ‘ah wah where’s my police force’, and ‘help mama someone taze the brown man for me’, and ‘oh I do like a man in uniform’.

      • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1

        Cheers, PB, saved me having to make the same point. It’s a small step from selective breeding to selective killing, Zimmer and the intellectually challenged are often the first to be eliminated under such a regime, so shouldn’t you be out buying running shoes?

    • nzfp 3.2

      “FYI – I have had the chop and have 2 very good sons before hand.”

      That was your choice – which you were free to make on your own. However what you are advocating removes the right of free choice for others. It was also the top of the slippery slope used by the Eugenics advocates who’s policies led to the attrocities of the Nazis. We – including you – are not Nazis.

    • marco 3.3

      Easy answer to this one. You shouldn’t pay for the down and outer…you should pay for the child who didn’t choose to be born to a P addicted mother and absentee father.

      The solution lays in the education system partnering with the welfare system to produce healthy, well educated young adults who are able to critically examine their parents as role models. I know this may seem like pie in the sky thinking but this is possible. The investment would mean an eventual drop in spending on corrections, health and policing, coupled with a higher tax take from skilled workers and entrepreneurs it’s win win.

      • Bill 3.3.1

        ‘down and out’. Think about that macro. Where the terminology comes from. Punches. K.O’s. Knocked down and knocked out. Yeah. Stomp on them. Losers.

  4. F.Y 4

    I am thinking of the natives who run around rooting everything that moves and people from other 3rd world nations who we have let infest our once great country and breed like rabbits.

    It’s true, Herne Bay has taken a turn for worse. Myself, I wont got to another party unless I’m told how many Africans will be there. Just the other day there were 3 rutting by the roses and another gave birth under Wilkin’s house.

  5. zimmer 5

    You say I am interlectually challenged, why, because I am not a lefty fuckwit. Got 3 useful degrees (science & busisness) which I use to help customers make money so we can pay you layabouts to blog all day. I bet I am right when I say I have a higher palced job that you idealogues, that’s if you have a job. You lefty activists are so fucking important in your own little world.

    [lprent: And you’re a ignorant dipshit (expressed by my BSc, a MBA, a number of other post-grad papers, and a long career in writing code and running projects). As far as I can see from your pig-ignorant comments in the past, you appear to have virtually no ability to string a coherent sentence together. Certainly you appear to be incapable of avoiding typos, spelling or grammatical errors.

    I seriously suspect that you haven’t managed to do anything with your life apart from sticking your head up your arse and complaining to your intestines.

    Yep – and you’re one of the people on the permanently banned list who has never managed to contribute anything to the debate in the past apart from boring bile and bullshit. Go away pj and don’t come back. ]

    • The Voice of Reason 5.1

      “You say I am interlectually challenged”

      You say it so much better than I ever could, Zimmer!

      • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1

        I like the part about how he’s got a smoking hot wife but we can’t meet her coz she lives in Canada.

  6. Jum 6

    Seriously, would anyone be silly enough to let the people who control this country have a say in who lives and who dies. They’re already killing off people who aren’t providing them with money or power through reducing home help, forcing women out to work because cleaning someone’s toilet is more important than being there for your child.

    I can see the scenario played out now. Solo mother ends up with boyfriend because she has been brainwashed into thinking that her son/daughter needs two ‘parents’; then the abuse can start and who gets blamed for that? The solo mother of course because she let someone other than the father into her life. If we’re really lucky we have good marriages; if we’re lucky we have okay marriages; if we’re unlucky we have the marriages from hell. Yet this government is working its way to forcing these women living a hell to stay in it and raise the children to repeat the process.

    Zimmer escaped from Kiwiblog didn’t he. Shame you’ve banned him. He is so good as an example of what the right wing is comprised of.

  7. Kleefer 7

    The irony of the ‘poverty’ measurements used is that wealthier countries may end up with a higher poverty rate than poorer ones if their median income is higher. For instance, according to some measurements the USA has a higher rate than New Zealand, even though it is clearly much wealthier.

    However, while the nominal income gap may be higher, in wealthy, capitalistic societies the actual gap in living standards between the rich and the poor is much less noticeable than in poorer, socialist countries. Even relatively poor people in New Zealand live in houses and have cars, TVs, computers, iPods and, it seems, Sky TV.

    The way to eliminate poverty is to remove minimum wage laws that discriminate against young people, Maori and Pacific Islanders and those without skills or qualifications, while making welfare the temporary safety net it’s meant to be and not a lifelong poverty trap. But I bet Susan St John and Sue Bradford would wail in horror at such an idea, while advocating policies that will make the current situation worse. Sorry guys but I care about the disadvantaged, I just want policies that will give them a fair chance rather than consigning them to the scrapheap.

    • F.Y 7.1

      First part true, second part not.

      The argument that our poor aren’t really poor begets the idea that until people are starving to death we shouldn’t persue an order to society any better than dog eat dog. When people should act for the greater good, or if such a thing exists, has been an ongoing discussion since people could form ideas.

      Removing minimum wage doesn’t assure an end to poverty. Examine the history of any country older than NZ and see if you can still defend that idea. There is no such thing as a “fair chance” in life. Communism came closest and we all know the practical pitfalls of that system. Claiming that paying someone anywhere from 5c an hour to give them a fair chance in a society that has a basic living cost of $15/hr is delusion on a grand scale. It’s a Let Them Eat Cake, approach. All they would have to do is work in excess of 2000hrs per week. Just work harder, that’s all that’s required. And if they can’t do that, they can band together in slums, 12 to a bed; or on the street. But as long as they stay out of New Market, they won’t have to be shot on sight. Like in Brazil or Bolivia. You see, rationality is a bitch. Has nothing to do with left or right.

  8. Lindsay 8

    Kleefer, Thank you for explaining ‘relative’ poverty. Unfortunately these guys will never concede that someone who isn’t a socialist can care about the disadvantaged. They invented and monopolise ‘social justice’ which only the state can deliver.

    • F.Y 8.1

      Anyone can care, not many people have the individual resource to act. Care all you want, but caring wont put one mouthful of food in one child’s mouth. Caring is nothing. Acting is what matters. Difficult to act on social issues when you’re busy importing BMW’s all day. Just not enough time. And since the house is so large and empty, it takes a lot of money just to heat it, not much left to donate to charity. And that working class family that moved in down the road. What were they thinking? Bit outside their realm isn’t it? They drive a Toyota. People should know where they belong… excuse me, have to take this call, important client…

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