Generous welfare makes people more likely to want to work

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 am, April 2nd, 2015 - 49 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, welfare - Tags: , , , ,

Interesting piece (ht Ruminator) at Science Daily recently:

Generous welfare benefits make people more likely to want to work, not less

Generous welfare benefit levels make people who are not in employment more likely to want to work rather than less, new research suggests.

Survey responses from 19,000 people in 18 European countries, including the UK, showed that “the notion that big welfare states are associated with widespread cultures of dependency, or other adverse consequences of poor short term incentives to work, receives little support.”

Sociologists Dr Kjetil van der Wel and Dr Knut Halvorsen examined responses to the statement ‘I would enjoy having a paid job even if I did not need the money’ put to the interviewees for the European Social Survey in 2010.

In a paper published in the journal Work, Employment and Society they compare this response with the amount the country spent on welfare benefits and employment schemes, while taking into account the population differences between states.

The researchers, of Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway, found that the more a country paid to the unemployed or sick, and invested in employment schemes, the more its likely people were likely to agree with the statement, whether employed or not.

They found that almost 80% of people in Norway, which pays the highest benefits of the 18 countries, agreed with the statement. By contrast in Estonia, one of least generous, only around 40% did. The UK was average for the generosity of benefits, and for the percentage agreeing with the statement — almost 60%.

“The notion that big welfare states are associated with widespread cultures of dependency, or other adverse consequences of poor short term incentives to work, receives little support. “On the contrary, employment commitment was much higher in all the studied groups in bigger welfare states. Hence, this study’s findings support the welfare resources perspective over the welfare scepticism perspective.”

The actual article can be found here (pdf). The authors have done what they could to make sure that the data used was balanced, to rule out socioeconomic factors, and to check reliability. In the end of course they are left with a correlation, not proof of cause, but it’s a very interesting correlation over a large data set.

This is the sort of data that should be further explored. As if common human decency wasn’t a good enough reason for adequate welfare support; as if the multiple economic, health and educational benefits to society weren’t enough; it may well be that proper welfare support also makes people more likely to want to work – and another nasty right-wing myth is contradicted by the evidence. Reality, as they say, has a well known liberal bias.


Speaking of data and right-wingers, this post by piece posted by David Farrar made be laugh: Why do myths and misinformation drown information, facts and science?. The answer, David, is that so many people work so hard to spread myths and disinformation. Big industry (tobacco, oil), conservative politicians, dirty politics bloggers – those kind of people David (recent minor example).

49 comments on “Generous welfare makes people more likely to want to work”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    It’s common sense that people want to give more to a society that values them. As for the poor righties, is there a single belief they hold that hasn’t been comprehensively debunked?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      As for the poor righties, is there a single belief they hold that hasn’t been comprehensively debunked?

      Can’t think of one offhand.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        I heard that loss growth always means job losses. Like automation growth means job increases. Its nonsense of course, over simplified by the former ACC minister, discredited yet let back.

        Thatcherism caused a massive collapse in growth as a generationwere told their on their own, that in order to become rich they need to keep their cards close less some rich prick laywers up and steals off.

        We dont even house people who could be called up to fight in future conflicts, its just greed that says we cant afford it.

    • And at another level, workers want to give more to an employer who values them!

      It’s almost like when we think about ourselves as part of a community rather than individuals-in-competition we achieve better results. #creepingcommunism

      • tracey 1.2.1

        There were some surveys doing the round when I was a baby Lawyer. They suggested (this was early 90’s) that many employees, especially women, would rather have their work and efforts acknowledged, thanked than a pay rise. I recalls the two partners I worked for expressing surprise. “Why wouldn’t they want more money” they asked me…

        I said I am sure we all would but feeling valued gives people a boost that money doesn’t always, and it is economical. It didnt change their behaviour however…

        so didnt get more money or thanks.

        😉

        • Ah, but being the early 90s before the Employment Contracts Act really began to destroy collective bargaining, people’s pay might not have been such an issue as it is now. (I am guessing. I was a wee thing at the time.)

          • tracey 1.2.1.1.1

            Gender inequaltiy was a big issue. The survey (I should have been clearer) was from the Women Lawyers Association. I was hired about 6 months before another young (male) lawyer. He and I graduated from the same year at Auckland Uni. He had been on his OE since graduating. I had over 2 years experience. The firm had 2 partners so secretaries and secrets were shared. He was hired on a starting salary $10,000k higher than mine. When I left 2 years later I was earning more but so was he.

            Back then 50% of graduates from law school were women. Even today that figure is not reflected on the bench or in the partnerships.

    • johnm 1.3

      Hi OAB 1000% right! 🙂
      The opposite policy leaves demoralised defeated people unable to contribute.

  2. Olwyn 2

    Generous welfare provisions give people a choice. Not just whether to work or not, but whether to work for this boss or not. Which puts the boss class in the position where they have to meet certain standards if they want workers. However they want to set standards, not be forced to meet them. The myth is a euphemistic rendition of “Generous welfare benefits allow people to do otherwise. If they are asked to work under heinous conditions, there is every chance they will do otherwise.”

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      he myth is a euphemistic rendition of “Generous welfare benefits allow people to do otherwise. If they are asked to work under heinous conditions, there is every chance they will do otherwise.”

      Exactly what I’ve been thinking for the last few years. The bosses need atrocious welfare conditions so that people can be forced to work in atrocious conditions for minimal pay.

  3. fisiani 3

    Generous welfare makes people more likely to want welfare. Self evident. Fixed it for you.

    • weka 3.1

      I think that’s an argument for paying lower welfare rates to neoliberal right wingers such as yourself who believe that everyone is as self interested as they are. Maybe there should be a test.

    • miravox 3.2

      “Generous welfare makes people more likely to want welfare. Self evident. Fixed it for you”
      I guess you didn’t read the report. Let me make it easy for you. It concludes:

      This article concludes that there are few signs that groups with traditionally weaker bonds to the labour market* are less motivated to work if they live in generous and activating welfare states. The notion that big welfare states are associated with widespread cultures of dependency, or other adverse consequences of poor short term incentives to work, receives little support. On the contrary, employment commitment was much higher in all the studied groups in bigger welfare states and social differences were mostly smaller or did not vary across welfare states. Hence, this study’s findings support the welfare resources perspective over the welfare scepticism perspective.

      * e.g. (my words) poor, young, disabled, unemployed, ethnic minorities

      Read the rest here (as linked in the post) if you want to make a more informed comment
      http://wes.sagepub.com/content/29/1/99.full.pdf

      Seems to me the greater stake society has in you, the greater the commitment to that society (fify). [edit: snap OAB]

      • tracey 3.2.1

        This is why you are all too hard on Fisiani. He/She is a lfty, and uses parody as humour to mock the government. By pretending to have not read the facts on which the post is based he/she shows up Farrar’s question for how stupid it is.

    • BassGuy 3.3

      I’m going to draw the obvious conclusion from your statement:

      Poor welfare makes part-time minimum wage more attractive. Fixed that for you.

      Mind you, you need 16 hours before you earn more than the dole. If you’re forced to work two jobs, then one pays secondary tax so many would need even more than that.

    • tracey 3.4

      David Farrar asks

      ” Why do myths and misinformation drown information, facts and science?. ”

      David, study Fisiani. Even when the facts are posted for him/her, he/she ignores it completely cos it doesn’t fit his/her personal belief system and agenda.. But you already know this David, people like Fisiani are your, Slater and Key’s fodder.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    🙄

    Faced with facts, Fisi’s automatic response is deny deny deny.

    People want to give back more to societies that value them: it’s self evident.

    • tracey 4.1

      And people like Fizzy never address why we make those born, or by accident, unable to ever work again, live on a subsistence level until they turn 65 (if they live that long) and then we give them a “pay rise” to 65% of the average wage. And, in this government’s case, take them right tot he supreme court to fight a minimum wage for their carers… and then bring in a law to get around Human Rights.

  5. vto 5

    quelle surprise

    the surprise is that righties do not see the truth of the human character

  6. Speaking of data and right-wingers, this post by David Farrar made be laugh…

    To be fair to David (I know, I know, but let me continue), the post wasn’t by him. It’s clearly labelled “A guest post by John Hughes of The Norwood Resource”.

    Of course, David chose to post it on his website, but I’m not sure the maxim “if you host something, you must agree with it” is one that applies? It would mean, for instance, that the various individuals with oversight of the website known as “The Standard” agree with and endorse every single guest post that they have ever hosted on their platform … .

    • r0b 6.1

      To be fair to David (I know, I know, but let me continue)

      By all means be fair to David!

      the post wasn’t by him

      Indeed not (lazy wording in post which I will fix). But in the case of a “one man band” blog like Kiwiblog if the blog owner posts it without disclaimer then I think the maxim applies (unlike anarchic collectives like this one where we frequently argue).

      After all, who doesn’t claim to support facts and science over myths and misinformation?

    • tracey 6.2

      Has he answered the question? David I mean, cos he surely knows the answer?

  7. Kaye 7

    I’m on the Supported Living Payment. Can’t hold down any form of paid work any more. BUT- before the reforms, ie cuts I wasn’t living under daily chronic stress over money and was fit enough give back to the community in the form of voluntary work. The stress has made my medical condition way worse, I’m no longer able to even volunteer, so I can’t give back to the community. Repeat this scenario for many people with long term disabilities who for years have been helping hold the non-profit sector together, as well as giving ourselves a reason to keep going.

    Benefit rates aren’t just an incentive to go back to paid work.

  8. Hateatea 8

    Given that the amount of income that you are allowed to earn before abatement of entitlement kicks in hasn’t changed in at least 10 years, there is actually a disincentive to seek paid employment under the current Job Seeker’s benefit.

    Abatement commences at $80 Gross. A person has to pay either secondary tax on that or get a special tax rate from IRD. By the time you factor in transport costs etc there is little, if any, increase in a person’s disposable income for the effort expended to get and maintain employment.

    We need to look at how we encourage people back to employment, not punish them for the efforts that they make.

  9. Penny Bright 9

    How about decent, full-time, well-paid jobs make people more likely to look for work?

    Penny Bright

    • tracey 9.1

      Well said…

      BUT how would the 1% get richer if that happens?

      • Murray Simmonds 9.1.1

        Good thinking Hateatea, Penny Bright and tracey.

        And fizziassi – er – My reply to you is self-censored.

    • fisiani 9.2

      Agreed. That’s National party policy and it’s working. More people employed than ever before in New Zealand. Record numbers of Kiwis returning from Australia to the better job opportunities here. Wages rising well ahead of inflation.

      • tracey 9.2.1

        Kaloo Kalay

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2

        That’s National party policy and it’s working.

        No it’s not. In fact, no government since 1984 has run with a full employment policy.

        More people employed than ever before in New Zealand.

        Now that is National Party policy and it is working – see your first sentence.

        Wages rising well ahead of inflation.

        Only for the few people at the top of the pile. The rest are either stagnant or going backwards.

  10. Phil 10

    The paper is really interesting, and I’d encourage people to read it themselves.

    Unfortunately, your title for this post overstates both the results of the paper and the other research in the field which it refers to. The paper gives a pretty good summary of the literature both ‘for’ and ‘against’ generous welfare systems, and even notes that we can’t really tell which direction any causality between work and welfare goes (i.e. is a strong work ethic a pre-condition for a generous welfare state?) .

    Anyway, getting to the nitty-gritty in particular:
    As you’ve written, the paper is only able to find correlation not causality. Labour markets are, even at the best of times and with the best quality data, really hard to understand. It’s great to see this kind of study being undertaken and contributing to the field of work.

    but… the correlations aren’t especially strong for welfare generosity.

    Unsurprisingly, Job Satisfaction comes out as the most significant factor – if you’re happy in your job you’re much more likely to keep working even if you don’t need to.
    The next two most significant factors are ethnicity and current employment status; if you’re part of an ethnic minority you’re less likely to be committed to remaining employed and (i think i have read this correctly) if you’re NOT in work, you’re more committed and want to be employed even if you don’t need to be.

    Welfare generosity slots in just behind those two factors in fourth place (of the observed factors only – there may be other factors or unobserved variables that explain more of the difference).

    There’s also a really interesting point toward the end of the paper; Welfare generosity is highly correlated with ALMP’s (alternative labour market policies), which is no surprise in-and-of-itself. ALMP’s, like training schemes, employment subsidies etc aim to lower the costs of finding employment. The paper acknowledges that those alternative policies may be just as large a driver of the results as welfare generosity.

  11. adam 12

    It all comes back to the Myth of Dolism.

    The core of this Myth is – intergeneration and ever increasing dependence on welfare. That left to grow, dolism will mean a shrinking tax base, so that eventually the rich will pay for everything. All this, whilst the poor sit at home all day and play, PlayStation.

    “add you favourite cliché about working people here…”

    Ironic, that many people who grew up with welfare, are the exact ones – who on obtaining wealth, want it removed.

    “add you favourite hypocrite here…”

    Dolism, a fantasy to scare middle-class white people. Because middle-class white people ‘ant scared enough.

    “add- something to scare the middle-class white people in your neighbourhood…”

    • Phil 12.1

      Here’s the paper from the OP on that matter, noting that plenty of literature exists which concludes “dolism” may very well be real.

      The predictions of the welfare scepticism approach are the opposite of those of the welfare resources perspective (e.g. Heinemann, 2008; Lindbeck and Nyberg, 2006). A basic assumption is that if individuals can obtain sufficient levels of well-being (economic, social and psychological) from living off public benefits, compared to being employed, they would prefer the former. When a ‘critical mass’ of individuals receive public benefits rather than engaging in paid work, the norms regulating work and benefit behaviour will weaken, setting off a self-reinforcing process towards the ‘selfdestruction’ of the welfare state (Heinemann, 2008). The more people are recipients of benefits, the less stigmatizing and costly in terms of social sanctions it is to apply for benefits (e.g. Heinemann, 2008: 240). Accordingly, as a consequence there will be spillover effects from benefit recipients to other people, between generations (Lindbeck and Nyberg, 2006), as well as at the company level and locally (Lindbeck et al., 2008; Rege et al., 2009), which in the end will undermine employment commitment and lead to the emergence of ‘dependency cultures’ (Murray, 1984).

      Similarly to Algan and Cahuc (2009), Michau (2009) argues that a high work ethic is
      a precondition for a generous welfare state. Once established, however, the generous welfare state will undermine its own normative base through parents’ adjustment of parenting style in anticipation of an enduring generous welfare state, making them less likely to teach their children to work hard. According to Michau (2009) and Lindbeck and Nyberg (2006), the drop in work ethic will only occur with a time lag of a generation after the introduction of generous benefits

      • tracey 12.1.1

        Phil

        Is the stuff in highlights a developed theory or an observation/conclusion from studies of actual welfare recipients?

        • Phil 12.1.1.1

          I haven’t read any of the studies I copy-pasted, but the modus operandi for a lot of this kind of research is to use ‘macro’ data (like GDP, unemployment rates, inflation, demography etc) first, where it exists.

          I.e. they’re studies of actual welfare data, at a macro level.

      • adam 12.1.2

        Source, please.

  12. Gosman 13

    Is this study supported by statistics that show that countries with higher benefits have lower ;levels of unemployment or at least lower levels of people leaving work for a benefits? That would be interesting if it was the case.

    • tracey 13.1

      You could find out and share it with us?

    • Phil 13.2

      I’d also love to see them dig into the data on company-creation and self-employment.

      My ‘prior’ would be that countries with more generous welfare systems provide a safety net to entrepreneurs; this reduces the net-risk of creating a company or embarking upon their own enterprise and then suffering the financial costs of failure.

  13. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 14

    The researchers, of Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway, found that the more a country paid to the unemployed or sick, and invested in employment schemes, the more its likely people were likely to agree with the statement, whether employed or not.

    They agreed with the statement? Whoo!

    Did they go and get an actual job?

  14. Michael 15

    Thanks for posting this Anthony – and for the link to the research. I hope the Labour MPs who voted for National’s latest beneficiary-bashing legislation in the House today all get to read this.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 hour ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    11 hours ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    12 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    20 hours ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    21 hours ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    23 hours ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    2 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.