Key: poverty is your fault

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, February 17th, 2011 - 123 comments
Categories: class war, john key, scoundrels - Tags:

John Key says if you’re having trouble getting by on your income it’s due to your ‘lifestyle choices‘. Key has given himself at least $23,000 in tax cuts and had a $7,500 rise on our borrowed money. He has the worst economic record of any PM in 80 years: 86,000 more jobless Kiwis and falling incomes. And this bastard blames Kiwi families for their poverty.

I was going to do this as a satire. But I’m too fucken furious at the bastard.

PS. As one of our commenters put it, is buying your kids milk rather than the cheaper coca cola one of those ‘poor budgeting’ choices Key is talking about?

123 comments on “Key: poverty is your fault”

  1. Breathtakingly out of touch.

  2. Carol 2

    It was an appalling answer to a question by Key. I shouted at Key in anger… well I guess I actually shouted at the TV. The neighbours must have been worried about my health or sanity.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Ideally your neighbours would also be swearing at Key.

    • gobsmacked 2.2

      I shouted at Key, and then I shouted at the useless opposition, who just ignored his answer. Seriously – read the full exchange here:

      http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/b/4/a/49HansQ_20110216_00000004-4-Vulnerable-Citizens-Number.htm

      This happens all the time. Key tells a porkie or makes a howler, and Labour just carry on with their prepared questions, unable to think on their feet.

      Then around 24 hours later, when everybody else has blogged and tweeted and ranted, they finally catch on, and put out a press release or post something on Red Alert. Big deal.

      It is deeply frustrating, and easy to fix – but only if they recognize the problem. There’s little sign that they do. So … nothing changes, and Key gets away with it again and again. It does my head in.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        You’re frakin on the money. Aren’t there any LAB attack dog MP’s who can scent blood. For gawds sakes!

        As campaign training all Labour MP’s must watch a full season of “Who’s Line is it Anyway!” :mrgreen:

        • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1

          I watched lots of whose line, but it hasn’t improved my witty repartee at all.

          • Vicky32 2.2.1.1.1

            It deffo wouldn’t if you watched the American version! They couldn’t find the **** with both hands, without script directions…
            Deb

            • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Actually the later seasons after Drew Carrey lightened up were a lot better. They also had some unique games like ‘3 headed broadway star’ where they would sing 1 word each in a song, some of those were exceptionally good.

              But yeah, mostly watched the english ones. Note that the first season of the english version wasn’t much better than the american.

        • M 2.2.1.2

          ‘As campaign training all Labour MP’s must watch a full season of “Who’s Line is it Anyway!” ‘

          Absolutely CV, those guys were the ultimate, Wayne in particular – his Prince take-off with Undharma the contortionist will always be my favourite – wonder if he’d be a gun for hire?

          Like Eddie, shitty smearing of people in very dire straits makes my blood boil too and I wonder what the hell is that old pit bull Mallard doing? He doesn’t seems to have trouble using his fists but could it be that he’s been to the political bs rebuttal vet for his neutering as he seems these days to be a mealy mouthed cipher. FFS’s sake Mallard press gang your political cojones into action!

          Anti-spam: knock, leave the battlers alone Key, you spiteful arsehole.

          • mcflock 2.2.1.2.1

            Actually, making the labour caucus do theatresports regularly might be a good idea. Thinking on your feet and dramatically changing direction are learned like any other skill.

            Having members do set roles, rather than sticking to the playbook, might be useful, too – one asks the question, then a point of order from the “bad cop” who drives the point home might be interesting.

            I think people are beginning to sense blue blood in the water – the trick is to hunt as a pack and to be prepared for the chase.

            • gobsmacked 2.2.1.2.1.1

              All they need to do is stand back and hand Key the shovel.

              1) Listen to what he says

              2) Then immediately ask, “Does he stand by his previous answer?”

              Then Key will dig deeper, or try and get out. Either way, he looks bad.

              But Labour MPs probably don’t even hear Key’s answers. They’re too busy making lots of noise, a tactic which no doubt makes them feel good, and in two long years, has not won them a single vote.

  3. MBG 3

    The poor have no choice but to make ‘poor’ choices. Don’t have enough money to make ‘rich’ choices.

  4. Rob 4

    Ironically a Court of Appeal decision came out yesterday confirming that disability support workers should be paid the minimum wage for overnight shifts.

    So guess what John? Your Govt continue to ignore sorting out this issue and my wife earns $34 for an overnight shift, and then have the arrogance to say we can’t get by because of lifestyle choices?

    November can’t come soon enough.

  5. Olwyn 5

    It is hard to tell how successful the old strategy of inciting hatred between those barely keeping their heads above water and those who are drowning will be this time around, but the left ought to be able to drive a truck through the gap between Key’s nice-guy persona and his callous indifference to the plight of the un-rich.

    • patriot_nz 5.1

      I don’t think it will work this time. I think he may be lucky to avoid being lynched. Really, really bad calculation on his part. He and his team must have missed the signs of the rage and anger building out there. If the comments section of the NZ Herald is anything to go by he just poured petrol on a tinder box full of repressed fury and then lit a match,

  6. Wyndham 6

    It’s the old political trick of blaming the victims for their plight.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Same scenario with how victims of sexual assault are viewed in some quarters: *of course* they chose to be drunk slappers and dressed like hoe’s so that’s what they deserve.

      • M 6.1.1

        Yes, that tired old chestnut – it’s her job to control his lust, when the truth is that men who act like this obviously would never have enough charm or attractive qualities to make a woman desitre them in the biblical way.

    • Deadly_NZ 6.2

      Then maybe we should all go to the police station and lay charges against JK and BE for theft and economic sabotage, just to give them something else to think about and the papers something else to report. And dont say the Police are too busy because this is not a traffic problem.

  7. Rharn 7

    Words fail.

  8. On the back of the BMW fiasco, this would be a great opportunity for Labour to really get stuck in to Key… pointed and vociferous condemnations not just from Goff, but a coordinated volley from a range of Labour MPs.

    Think this golden opportunity will be capitalised on by Labour?
    Yeah right….

    • kriswgtn 8.1

      Whenever I watch Parliament TV- Key is nowhere to b seen

      Is he ever there?

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        He was there yesterday. That’s how this thread came about. He really did stand up in parliament and say that poverty was a lifestyle choice.

        • pollywog 8.1.1.1

          I said something similar a couple of weeks ago, though i meant for some, ‘being poor’ is a lifestyle choice and a bloody good one too

          poverty as an option is not so good a choice and not one that’s usually made by lifestylers.

          usually it’s one made for them by others

        • kriswgtn 8.1.1.2

          oh must have missed it-Power was answering questions for Keyand to the fat cake sloth ( who prob was @ Bellamy’s eating (piggy noises) and not keeping his cool very well hahahahah.
          I watch p tv during the ads on the other channels.just whenever i do watch it hes never there

  9. r0b 9

    Comments in The Herald feedback make for interesting reading:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10706807

    • Jilly Bee 9.1

      I had a quick look through the comments in the Herald – interesting that the people who say they are struggling on the benefit put a fairly detailed budget, whereas those who ‘said’ they had been or are still on a benefit and were doing quite nicely thank you were very vague about their spending.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    An extract from the article:

    “Now some make poor choices and they don’t have money left.”

    Absolutely accurate. Problem is, for some people, it doesn’t matter how much money taxpayers give them, they’ll just end up making bigger poor choices and still have no money left. Seems the answer is to teach people to make better choices, not necessarily give more money.

    • marsman 10.1

      Know any of those people who ‘make poor choices’ ?

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        Yes.

        • Bright Red 10.1.1.1

          better question: do you think that all people who need to use foodbanks are in that situation because they made bad choices, like Key says.

          Simply asking ‘do you know of one’ is not good enough. There’s always going to be one bad egg, real or imagined, that people like ts can use to damn everyone.

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.1.1

            I don’t think it applies to everyone.

            However, I do think the root of much poverty is ultimately bad choices. Look at it another way, I have a friend who is a multi millionaire who still drives the Datsun 120Y he brought new in 1974. This typifies his lifestyle. The type of choices he made to get rich are still part of his life.

            On the other hand, people who are poor due to an inability to make good choices are likely to continue making bad choices no matter how much money they have. For instance, young people who reproduce when they don’t have the skills to raise a family. Or people who leave school without qualifications.

            Therefore, the answer is to teach these people to make good choices so they can start moving towards prosperity. When they have learnt how to make good choices, the state can invest in their futures. Until then, it is tipping money down the toilet.

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1.1

              FFS ts, people make bad choices all the time – choices which hurt them (eg voting in National), but society has to recognise that we also give people a range of shit choices and then expect them to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

              Not good enough, as a society we have to improve what we offer our citizens, and improve how we help guide people towards better choices.

              Therefore, the answer is to teach these people to make good choices so they can start moving towards prosperity. When they have learnt how to make good choices, the state can invest in their futures.

              And before then, what? Let our citizens rot?

              Until then, it is tipping money down the toilet.

              Sorry mate, I didn’t see that you’d actually answered my question already. Thanks for your clarity.

              And what is the state going to do to help “teach these people to make good choices”? Cut down on ECE and close down night classes? National Govt hypocrite.

              For instance, young people who reproduce when they don’t have the skills to raise a family.

              Yeah you mean those with parenting skills like Paul Holmes and Hine Elder? Guess what its not your call to make or judge other peoples’ families, loser.

              • tsmithfield

                But there are fundamental choices available to all NZrs that are freely available and certainly aren’t shit choices. For instance, the right to an education. So what you say doesn’t follow.

                There are many individuals who, through no fault of their own, are almost programmed to make bad choices. For instance, a 10 year old in Christchurch several years ago, who had been arrested for the umpteenth time that year converting cars. Turns out his brothers (both in jail at the time) had been teaching him to break into houses etc from the age of four. I felt sorry for this boy, because, he really knew nothing else. He wasn’t even aware that better choices were available to him.
                Intervening in these types of situations and teaching these people how to make good choices is what we need to be doing.

                BTW, I never said that poor parenting was only the domain of the poor. I know very good poor parents, and very poor rich parents.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Intervening in these types of situations and teaching these people how to make good choices is what we need to be doing.

                  Good words but where was the Government help then ts? The special educational and social interventions, the night classes, the extra help with ECE? What is National doing to address the points you raise?

                  What I say doesn’t follow in your opinion, only because you don’t want to go where the trail leads. You talk about teaching people to make better decisions, what is the National Goverment’s responsibility there (apart from closing down classes and making university and ECE more expensive)?

                  Like I said: hypocrite.

                  fundamental choices available to all NZrs that are freely available

                  I just picked up on this line you used.

                  You really are full of it today. $5K p.a. to get through some mediocre bullshit course at uni, or an extra $25 pw to get access to ECE = “freely available”

                  You rewriting the dictionary or what.

                  • tsmithfield

                    “The special educational and social interventions, the night classes, the extra help with ECE? What is National doing to address the points you raise?”

                    If people are motivated enough they will find a way to enter into what ever field of tertiary education that interests them. So, I am not too worried about funding at this end. Where I think a lot more resources need to be directed is towards families of young children. This is because those young years are so formative to eventual outcomes.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If people are motivated enough they will find a way to enter into what ever field of tertiary education that interests them.

                      Even the titanic survivors deserved a lifeboat without having to swim a mile for it mate.

                      NZ doesn’t have to be a jungle where only the fittest few survive.

                    • tsmithfield

                      It would be wonderful if we had an infinite money supply to fund everything we want. Unfortunately we don’t. I would rather see more at the bottom than at the top. At the moment I think the pyramid is the wrong way up.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It would be wonderful if we had an infinite money supply to fund everything we want. Unfortunately we don’t.

                      What do they say in budgeting classes? Prioritise!

                      John Key Minister in charge of Ministerial Services says 7-series BMWs come first.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Yeah yeah yeah. Just like the previous government that did the same thing.

                      There is undoubtably huge amounts of wasted expenditure in the public service that can be trimmed. The cars are just a headline example of this. Money trimmed in the public service could be funneled back into early intervention, don’t you think.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You just have to watch that this “trimming” ends up cutting fat, not muscle. Who’s going to be left to deliver and monitor these interventions, otherwise?

                      (I should note that S&P rates our public service as amongst the leanest and meanest in the developed world already)

                      Also there is the question of increasing Govt revenues so we can do more in society. Land and capital gains do require taxes, those are huge sources of wealth that at the moment are completely outside the tax base.

                    • tsmithfield

                      The S & P comment shouldn’t be taken to mean that because we are better than many other countries there is no room for improvement.

                      By reducing expenditure on administrative aspects, we are effectively increasing revenue, aren’t we?

                    • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group

                      It would be wonderful if we had an infinite money supply to fund everything we want. Unfortunately we don’t.

                      It’s true – here in NZ we only have enough money for new ministerial BMWs. Can’t have everything, people.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      By reducing expenditure on administrative aspects, we are effectively increasing revenue, aren’t we?

                      I’m afraid this financial logic is as sound as the Christmas sales jingle “The More You Buy, the More You Save!”

                • Bright Red

                  It’s not those 80,000 workers’ fault that the jobs have gone and their government has failed to do anything about it.

                  It’s not the people’s fault that Key is more interested in giving himself tax cuts.

                  Key promised a brighter future, he has delivered, instead, more people to the foodbanks and blamed them for it.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Where the poor choice component is relevant is where those workers have geared themselves toward low/semi-skilled work when they might have had the ability to go much further. These type of jobs are diminishing due to such factors as increasing automation and outsourcing to overseas.

                    • felix

                      Where the poor choice component is relevant is where those workers have geared themselves toward low/semi-skilled work when they might have had the ability to go much further.

                      You mean to Australia? Cos there sure ain’t 80,000 high-skilled jobs vacant here Tim.

                      Speaking of which, this is pretty much a full time job for you these days isn’t it?

                    • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group

                      These type of jobs are diminishing due to such factors as increasing automation and outsourcing to overseas.

                      You missed the last part of the sentence. It should read “these type of jobs are diminishing due to such factors as increasing automation and outsourcing to overseas and incompetent economic management by a lazy government.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “You mean to Australia? Cos there sure ain’t 80,000 high-skilled jobs vacant here”

                      You seem to think it is possible to go from unskilled/semiskilled to highly skilled in a gnats-breath. If people start training to become highly skilled now there may well be jobs for them by the time they have finished.

                      “Speaking of which, this is pretty much a full time job for you these days isn’t it?”

                      I type fast. 🙂

                    • felix

                      Faster than you think apparently Tim.

                      Even at a record wpm you’re still doing this all day.

                      Are you still pretending that this isn’t your job?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      These type of jobs are diminishing due to such factors as increasing automation and outsourcing to overseas.

                      TS says another thing on the money!

                      They are diminishing, and have been for years, just as our population has been growing for years.

                      So either we push for an ever growing economy (DTB has things to say about that) or we start thinking outside the box – wages high enough that people can have 4 day working weeks (meaning that more people can be employed), ways for people to get paid doing non-commercially oriented work for communities etc

                      Oh yeah and more worker owned enterprises, to stem the tide of corporates offshoring our best jobs.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “So either we push for an ever growing economy”

                      We are a small fish in a very big pool. There is no reason we can’t grow the economy considerably. A bit like how it is much easier to double market share from 1% to 2% than it is to go from 20% to 40%.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Do you think we can double the number of cows in NZ without additional destruction to waterways etc.?

                      I certainly think that if we are to grow the productive economy, medium and high tech manufacturing is the only feasible way forwards. But it will have to be combined with new ways of understanding what the economy is about. Not to provide maximum return on capital – but to provide maximum well paid jobs.

                      By the way, I don’t think its possible for every major country to export their way out of trouble. Note the Americans forcing down their own dollar to increase the competitiveness of their industries.

                      Us in the land of the free market, what do we do? Let our exporters wither on the vine of a high NZD.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Don’t worry. All is not lost.

                      The pollution problem will be sorted then we can keep adding cows until we have more of them than sheep.

                      “By the way, I don’t think its possible for every major country to export their way out of trouble. Note the Americans forcing down their own dollar to increase the competitiveness of their industries.”

                      Trying to. But not really succeeding. The point is that although they are printing more money, they are also importing their own inflation via commodities that cost more due to the low currency. This means that long-term yields are going up in the US due to anticipated inflation, making it a more attractive place to park money. Thus, the dollar hasn’t crashed like people have been expecting. Also, it looks like the Fed is getting cold feet about going any further than QE2. So, the USD might not fall much further. Have a look at a few charts on the USD and you will see what I mean.

                      “Us in the land of the free market, what do we do? Let our exporters wither on the vine of a high NZD.”

                      As mentioned above, we have been doing OK with the USD where it is, and where it might well stay close to. Also, we look good against the AUD, so exports to Australia should go up.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Its a nice thought, but unless this system is up and running on 1000 cow farms today, its obviously still in the prototyping stage and not able to resolve current issues let alone future ones.

                      This is not to say that this firm can’t be part of the answer of course, however its not a great idea to predicate a country’s economic structure on one particular future tech either.

                    • felix

                      So the 80,000 high skill jobs you mentioned earlier, the ones you said would be just around the corner if only the lazy poor would bother to train for them, will mostly involve milking cows.

                      Fuck you’re a moron Tim. Typical Nat though. No ideas, just excuses.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “So the 80,000 high skill jobs you mentioned earlier, the ones you said would be just around the corner if only the lazy poor would bother to train for them, will mostly involve milking cows.”

                      It was CV who made the first mention of our dairy industry, which I responded to. Anyway, you are being very condescending assuming that all dairy jobs are unskilled and limited to milking cows. There are a lot of highly skilled jobs associated with dairy. The Wetox technology I pointed to in my last post is just one example of this.

                      “Fuck you’re a moron Tim.”

                      Careful. You’re starting to throw your toys out of the cot again. Very entertaining when it happens though.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I should add that per $1M invested, dairy farming as an industry employs less than half the staff numbers (directs AND indirects) than std manufacturing.

                      e.g. A $5M dairy farm might have 15 direct employees, a $5M manufacturing business 100.

                    • tsmithfield

                      CV “I should add that per $1M invested, dairy farming as an industry employs less than half the staff numbers (directs AND indirects) than std manufacturing.
                      e.g. A $5M dairy farm might have 15 direct employees, a $5M manufacturing business 100.”

                      Enjoying this discussion with you here. 🙂

                      I see your point. However, its not just the dairy industry. Its the spin-off to all the industries that services dairy. For instance, my company earns $250000 to $500000 per year providing services to one of the major dairy companies. There is another cheese company we do very well from. If all the service industries that service diary it would equate to a huge number of jobs.

                      Long-run manufacturing is dying in NZ due to contracting out to countries such as China. More specialised things can still be made here, and things that are too expensive to freight competitively. For instance, kitchen joinery and the like.

                    • felix

                      Tim you’re a wriggly one, but it doesn’t matter who bought it up.

                      I know you hate this but I’m going to do a quick recap, and because you’re particularly wriggly today I’m not going to quote your exact phrasing which would only give you an excuse to lawyer your previous statements. I’ll just deal with the meaning which is obvious for all to see.

                      You said that sure, we’re 80,000 jobs short but it’s ok because we’ve mostly lost low skilled jobs.

                      You said the problem is that the poor low paid people who used to do these jobs just aren’t trained for better paying high skilled jobs.

                      When it was pointed out to you that there aren’t a heap of high skill jobs for them, you said it’s ok, they’re just around the corner and if people would just train for them then the jobs will be there soon.

                      And now you’re saying all we need is a lot more cows to milk. More than sheep.

                      Which by any calculation means that the vast majority of the new jobs will be literally milking cows.

                      Go on. Tell me you didn’t mean what I said you meant.

                  • tsmithfield

                    And you were the one who implied that dairy is basically limited to unskilled work. Which, clearly it isn’t as I pointed out.

                    So, an option for workers wanting to upskill could certainly be to aim for some of the more skilled aspects of dairy, such as research (e.g. Lincoln University), product development and marketing, project management, engineering, etc etc.

                    Anyway, I certainly believe that dairy is pivotal to NZs economic future. As is some of the other agricultural products we are good at producing such as apples, wine etc. Commodities are on a major tear at the moment. I expect hard commodities such as those that Australia produces are going to decline sometime over the medium term because China has been on a stimulus fueled construction boom that can’t go on forever.

                    However, with more and more mouths to feed in the world, the soft commodities such as food that we produce will become progressively more valuable and more lucrative as an export. That raises other issues such as how we will be able to afford our own food of course.

                    Other areas of the economy are unlikely to grow as fast, and some, such as long-run manufacturing, will probably continue to decline.

                    So, yes. I believe that agriculture generally (including dairy as a major component) is essential to our future prosperity. And there are plenty of skilled jobs available in that industry. Don’t assume they will all be unskilled.

                    And just a correction:

                    “You said that sure, we’re 80,000 jobs short but it’s ok because we’ve mostly lost low skilled jobs.”

                    I didn’t actually say that. That is called putting words in my mouth.

                    • felix

                      “And you were the one who implied that dairy is basically limited to unskilled work. Which, clearly it isn’t as I pointed out. “

                      No you didn’t, you just made up an anecdote.

                      You did nothing to dispute my assertion that:

                      When we’re talking about finding jobs for 80,000 people the yes, the vast majority of the opportunities in dairying are low skilled and low-paid.

                      All you’re suggesting is more of the same. Just like all Nats.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “When we’re talking about finding jobs for 80,000 people the yes, the vast majority of the opportunities in dairying are low skilled and low-paid.”

                      You are starting to show your ignorance, Felix.

                      Have you ever seen a modern milking facility? Its not like Grandma sitting down to milk Daisy anymore. Its highly automated, and computer controlled, and doesn’t require many people to do the unskilled stuff. Thats point of automating it.

                      I would say that most of the jobs in dairy require a high degree of skill. Even the basic farming of cows, especially if you want to be successful.

                      Even going beyond dairy, there’s not that many unskilled jobs now, even for factory workers on the floor. Most machines are highly complex, computer controlled and require quite a bit of nouse to set them up and run them.

                      My company is highly involved in automating factory systems, so I actually know what I’m talking about.

                    • felix

                      Yawn. I’ve spent a lot more time on the farm than you Tim.

                      Of course there are a small number of highly skilled jobs in agriculture. Who said there weren’t?

                      The fact is you were talking about retraining and employing the vast numbers of unemployed low skill workers and getting them high-paying high skill jobs.

                      The vast majority of agricultural work is low paid work Tim, and no-one’s buying the trickle down approach you’re selling.

                      “That is called putting words in my mouth.”

                      I told you I wasn’t quoting you but anyone can scroll up and read your comment in the context of your reply to Bright Red and see that as usual you’re trying to weasel your way out of some stupid position you’ve taken.

                      I don’t believe for a moment that you’re involved in the industry either. You wouldn’t have the time.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Although TS quite clearly outlines one of the issues of the modern economy – higher productivity year on year (from new tech/automation etc.) means fewer and fewer people are needed in the workforce.

                      So what do you do? Under this model, you need to keep growing the economy year on year. Or you will have a lot of surplus unemployed.

                      Or you need to find away for people to be employed for fewer hours in a kind of job sharing (but still make a decent wage) so that more people can have a job.

                      Or you create new kinds of work that people can make a living from. Community work, social work; work which helps society but isn’t aimed at growing financial capital.

                      What is happening now? None of the above, so we have high levels of unemployment in most sectors of most economies.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “I’ve spent a lot more time on the farm than you”

                      Sorry Felix, a farm visit then show and tell the next day at school doesn’t count. And this must be the level of your knowledge and experience because you said:

                      “Which by any calculation means that the vast majority of the new jobs will be literally milking cows.”

                      As I pointed out, most milking is automated, so relatively few jobs are actual milking.

                      “The vast majority of agricultural work is low paid work Tim, and no-one’s buying the trickle down approach you’re selling.”

                      This is a totally unsupported assertion. At least I have given examples of jobs in both dairy and support industries that are highly skilled.

                      “I told you I wasn’t quoting you but anyone can scroll up and read your comment in the context of your reply to Bright Red and see that as usual you’re trying to weasel your way out of some stupid position you’ve taken.”

                      Ha. In no way could you get your interpretation from what I said. In fact, I have been banned before for very similar behaviour. Pity there wasn’t a moderator on deck with the balls to do the same in this case.

            • mcflock 10.1.1.1.1.2

              “I have a friend who is a multi millionaire who still drives the Datsun 120Y he brought new in 1974. This typifies his lifestyle. The type of choices he made to get rich are still part of his life.”

              Funnily enough, I know of a multimillionaire who didn’t notice – or simply allowed it – when ministerial services spent $7mil replacing 3 year old luxury cars when they weren’t contractually required to. Just goes to show that lifestyle choices might not be as important in determining wealth as just plain luck and self-delusion.

        • bbfloyd 10.1.1.2

          well woopdedoo ts, so you know one wastrel…that, of course, gives you the right to generalise about beneficiaries in total.. are you too stupid to see how idiotic that approach is? no need to answer, i wouldn’t want to tax your intellectual facilities too heavily.

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.2.1

            Where did I say it was only one? And I was only asking a question asked of me. I didn’t make any particular point about it. You read too much into a one word answer. Interpret tea-leaves as well?

            • felix 10.1.1.2.1.1

              How does that change bbfloyd’s point?

              What if you know 10? Or 50? Or 1000?

              You’re still making a massive, throbbing generalisation based on a tiny, flaccid anecdote.

              • tsmithfield

                Did you actually read what I just said?

                I wasn’t attempting to make any point when I answered that question earlier on. All I did was answer what was asked of me. I agree, its not particularly relevant, and I never said it was.

                • felix

                  Did you notice I was referring to bbfloyd’s point, not yours? The one you attempted to deflect by claiming the number he quoted might or might not be accurate?

                  Pay more attention, Tim. It’s not always about you.

                  • tsmithfield

                    His entire point was that I was generalising to all beneficiaries by answering “yes” to a question about whether I knew people who had suffered through making bad choices.

                    It is clear if you read the actual discussion relating to that above that I wasn’t. So the premise of bbfloyd’s argument, for what it is, was invalid. So, the conclusion he drew was also necessarily invalid.

        • Vicky32 10.1.1.3

          How well do you know them? Do you mean that you sometimes see them in the street, or do you actually know their circumstances?
          Deb

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Seems the answer is to teach people to make better choices, not necessarily give more money.

      Oh, in that case I’m real glad the NATs are doing just that. Expanding access to ECE, adult night courses, growing polytech and university reach into the community, expanding the availability of courses into prisons and marginalised communities.

      /sarcasm

      NATs are wreckers and haters. Yes there probably are two or three thousand hard core bludgers in the system but you are happy to stigmatise hundreds of thousands of other NZ’ers just to serve as a political diversion.

  11. marsman 11

    Now all we need is for John Key to take the media to a supermarket to show us how to shop, just like the vile Shipley did when she and Bill English had wrecked the economy.

  12. B 12

    I’m on a benefit(dpb) at the moment while studying full time. After rent (lower than average), travel to uni, power and phone I am left with exactly $80 per week to feed me & 2 children (half what I should be spending for basic nutrition according to annual food survey).

    Then there’s school stationery, compulsory fees, uniforms, doctors, clothing, rego, wof……all goes on the credit card.

    No matter how good at budgeting you are – a benefit will not cover the basics if you live in Auckland. Average rent in my area is $370 and going up – that’s $50 more than the entire DPB before addons.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      Congratulations for making it work. I don’t think I could.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        I know people on the DPB who make it through only because extended family members or parents top them up with an extra $100-$200 now and then. School uniforms, unexpected medical bills, etc. Going grovelling to WINZ on occasion helps too. Marginally, but at the cost of having your self esteem further trashed.

        Key and the rest of his merry band need to go. Now.

        And expecting big things of LAB once you get in. No frakin half hearted measures please.

        • B 12.1.1.1

          Very true – although WINZ have tightened up a lot on giving extra help this year thanks Paula Bennett.

          I’d love to see the TIA brought back if Labour gets in

        • Lanthanide 12.1.1.2

          I used to work at The Warehouse on the service desk. We’d get people in doing “winz quotes” where they’d grab a whole bunch of stuff, usually childrens clothes, and get a quote for it to take to winz, who would then approve the sale or not. They took huge amounts of time to process and usually comprised of at least 3 bags crammed full of clothes, often $200-300+ worth.

        • just saying 12.1.1.3

          This is the real story CV – not “choices”. The only ones I know making it work, with reasonable health, nutrition and basic living conditions, have help from others who care. Otherwise it’s sheer hell over the long term and makes those ‘survivor’ programmes look like a walk in the park.
          The lucky ones often have other major advantages too.
          And believe me, I’m glad for them. It’s the majority I worry about.

        • Vicky32 12.1.1.4

          When I was on the DPB, we would never have survived if not for my late brother, who helped with all sorts of things!
          I am so thankful for him and for everything he did for us, including being a male role model for my son. RIP Garth!
          Deb

      • B 12.1.2

        Cheers, requires creative use of student overdrafts & credit cards thats for sure!

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Notes towards a Special Theory of John Key

    Almost every time we see Key he’s the exact opposite of the person Labour tells us he is.

    Unless you watch question time in Parliament.

    John Key really is massively out of touch. He really doesn’t understand that when you don’t have enough money (ie, being in poverty) you can’t make viable choices.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Yep its all about choice. Either pay the power bill so the lights don’t go out, or buy $100 worth of groceries so the children have something to eat this weekend.

      See, these people in poverty have plenty of choices!

      Strange thing is, with all this stress and lack of control, poorer people get more sick, use the health system more for worse outcomes and burden society in many other ways. But apparently, National is OK with that choice too.

  14. Rob 14

    I can’t believe all those people in the Herald suggesting to make a veggie garden. Don’t they know it costs $300,000 to grow a pumpkin?

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      More to the point, you need:
      1. Land
      1a. Land that is actually suitable for growing (eg not already a lawn)
      2. Tools and fertilisers/pesticides
      3. A lot of time
      4. Experience, knowledge, or good luck

      1 and 1a are difficult, especially if you’re renting. #2 is a problem if you can’t afford food already. If you’re on the dole, you should theoretically have #3. If you have #4 as well as 1-3, then you probably already have a garden.

      • Mac1 14.1.1

        Good points, Lanthanide. There are other factors, too. If I may add to your numbering.
        5. Enough time to be living on the same property to see a crop to fruition.
        6. Build up impoverished soil into a good vege garden and yet have to walk away from it.

        Transient workers are much disadvantaged. Renters are disadvantaged. People who move frequently are disadvantaged.

      • Zorr 14.1.2

        Lanth, you couldn’t be more wrong about veggie gardening.

        For the cost involved it is actually a fairly positive undertaking and if you want to grow one, you can always just rip up a corner of lawn – dirt is dirt. You don’t have to own the land, just make sure you get permission from the landlord (I have done it and many friends of mine have too).

        As to the later points:
        2) You only need 1 spade, 1 fork and some seeds. And maybe not even the fork though it is a very useful tool.
        3) Lots of time? Only for the initial setup. As long as you invest small amounts of time at regular intervals it doesn’t take much at all.
        4) You only need a little of this to start with and usually you can ask around people who are more experienced and willing to share their knowledge.

        Only reason I am responding is because I see this answer to why people don’t grow their own veggies everywhere and the assumption you need fertilizers or pesticides is ridiculous.\

        • Lanthanide 14.1.2.1

          Depends how much food you’re talking about, doesn’t it? Enough to save you $5/week, or enough to save you $25/week?

          If you’re just talking about ripping up “a corner of the lawn”, then you’re probably not going to be saving huge amount of money from buying vegetables, simply because you aren’t actually growing huge amounts.

          Because you aren’t growing huge amounts, it doesn’t take a lot of time, and you may not need fertiliser or pesticides.

          As soon as you increase the density of your gardening, both fertilisers and pesticides become important – to support the amount of plants on your limited land, and to fend of disease that comes from intense growing (and to stop pests from wiping out you hard-won crop). More plants = more time spent tending them at all stages.

          I’ll also point out that gardening can be very fickle. A couple of days of very hot or very wet/cold weather can ruin all your plants, unless you know what to do to save them and are able to. Having a crappy spring/summer can significantly reduce your crop size.

        • Deadly_NZ 14.1.2.2

          Yep I have done it and have permission to rip up more lawn and it only cost about 30 bucks and a lot of hard work. Hey JK I got a tomato plant thats full of toms whats that worth??? 500k please. Oh and ask around on how to do it??? GOOGLE it.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    What would be good would be for councils around the country to make available land to communities for community gardens.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Agreed. And perhaps lend a gardens staffer for a couple of hours a week to help give people advice and show them how things can be done correctly.

    • Mac1 15.2

      Agreed, too, though see the points above that Lanthanide and I both make.

      I am a ‘co-owner’ of a community garden plot. The kaupapa of the gardens includes education, tool provision, a chance to develop a garden even if the ‘owner’ moves house, neighbourly advice and assistance. (I can’t do physical work as I’m recuperating, so others muck in.)

      It is totally a good idea. Not many poor have taken it up though. Most of us are ‘middle-class’, but with our stage two expansion, I hope that changes. At least, our excess produce goes to the local food kitchen for meals for the poor. There is still a great need for this, in Godzone.

      • arandar 15.2.1

        Tried to get such a thing set up in our town. Neighbours at all the available vacant sites didn’t want ‘those sorts of people’ hanging around. Kicked up big time – might be scoping out our homes for burgs. Gardens would probably get ripped off – people not doing the work, inputting, others pinching the produce. What about at local school? Ditto, plus what would happen in holiday time – who’s going to take responsibility? Who pays? Who benefits? Yadayada… So sad.

    • Deadly_NZ 15.3

      They used to do it in petone

  16. Sanctuary 16

    Grow a garden but also…
    Look for a job but also…
    Wait for the bus but also…
    look after your own kids but also…
    bake your own bread and cakes but also…
    Budget on power but also…
    shop around and buy in bulk but also…
    Walk to the shops and also…
    lie awake worrying all the time.

    “The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all of your time”. – Willem de Kooning

    • M 16.1

      Good one Sanctuary.

      Yes, those on benefits and low incomes do spend a lot of time trying to “balance” the books – in fact it becomes a sick kind of entertainment to see what you can swap around from week to week to get by or if you can do with a little less food, power and money for transport to afford money for school trips and modest activities for your kids.

  17. Richard 17

    I think Key is absolutley spot on with this comment and its good to see him (finally) representing the view of the people who put him in office.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Ah the school yard bully from a wealthy family who likes to pick on the weaker vulnerable kids who don’t have the money to hire Mai Chen to fight back 🙄

  18. Carol 18

    This is surely John Key’s “Let them eat cake” moment.

    • patriot_nz 18.1

      Yes, indeed Carol. The definitive moment in his political career. Politicians have for decades relied on NZers apathy to get away with selling us down the river. I think apathy may be replaced by action in the not too distant future.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    Next:

    Key says people struggling on superannuation have made “poor lifestyle choices”. Should have saved more.

    But of course he won’t say any such thing. He needs those votes.

    I can (almost) respect a consistent right-wing ideologue, who preaches “self-reliance”, across all sectors of society (like, say, old people who made a “poor choice” to invest in finance companies. No bailout for you!).

    But Key’s target is highly selective, and purely political, therefore … worthy only of contempt.

  20. Mac1 20

    I am reading “Deer Hunting with Jesus” by Joe Bageant, subtitled “Dispatches from America’s class war.”

    He goes to the nub of this neo-conservative view of the world, ‘personal responsibility,’ which he says unfortunately the underclass have bought into.

    “What sort of personal responsibility is possible in this neo-conservative environment? A wage earner’s only asset is…. a day’s work for a day’s pay, the price of which he does not determine. So where does he get the wherewithal to improve his circumstances? He gets that wherewithal from the wages he earns. But in the new neocon environment, that wage does not support savings….higher education. It only allows the wage earner to survive from paycheck to paycheck, hoping he doesn’t lose his job, and feeling like a loser down inside. Another beer, please.” Page 31.

    And the point that Bageant makes is that not only the beneficiaries of the neo-con view, “a local network of moneyed families, bankers, developers, lawyers and business people in whose interests it is to have a cheap, unquestioning, and compliant labor force paying high rents and big medical bills” hold these self-serving views, but also the underclass buy into this , “held in bondage” through education, religion and generational reinforcement.

    He adds, “It’s going to be a tough fight for progressives.”

  21. Treetop 21

    Key is in denial about the Wongs.
    Key is in denial about the cost of dairy products and the health benefits of these.
    Key is in denial about long hosptial waiting times even for an urgent appointment/procedure.
    Key is in denial about what selling SOE shares will do.
    Key is in denial about how people need a job.

    Key cannot be trusted.

    Key choses not to investigate the Wongs after Preest has confirmed the Wongs are dishonest.
    Key choses not to remove GST from dairy or regulate dairy prices for NZers.
    Key choses not to pay hospital clinicians more.
    Key choses not to sell SOE shares.
    Key choses not to offer apprenticeships, or bring back the TIA, or offer a fully funded loan for new designs.

    Key is so out of touch with how hard the struggle has become for at least 50 % of the population in NZ

    • Treetop 21.1

      Key choses not to NOT sell SOE shares. Forgot a not.

      • Oscar 21.1.1

        Helen was right. It was all about trust.

        • Treetop 21.1.1.1

          At least Clark achieved and lasted 9 years. What has Key achieved?

          My 82 year old neighbour recently told me that 50 years ago it dawned on him that everyone is a Jekyll and Hyde. I agree but there are degrees.

          I want to see the auditor general look at the Wong case, no way would Clark have done what Key has done, buried his head in the sand like an ostrich.

  22. randal 22

    if bing bong says its true then ipso facto it must be true.

  23. bbfloyd 23

    bing bong? so jk’s missus prefers a water pipe to rolling joints then?

  24. NX 24

    worst economic record of any PM in 80 years: 86,000 more jobless Kiwis and falling incomes. And this bastard blames Kiwi families

    With posts like this sometimes I wonder if TheStandard.org.nz is part of the VRWC.

  25. Draco T Bastard 25

    Poor Choices? or just poor?

    Well, here is the news: Some people have unexpected bills, Mr Key. Some people’s cars break down, because cheap, old cars are all they can afford – seen a repair bill lately? Some people need dentistry – seen a dentist’s bill lately? Some people need to pay the rent, which they can’t afford even with an accommodation supplement – seen the news on Auckland rentals recently?

    I don’t think those are poor choices. I don’t think those are choices at all.

    People living in poverty aren’t poor because they choose to be but because we force them to be with our choices, our greed. We fail to pay people enough to live on and then wonder why they happen to be poor.

  26. Tel 26

    This Keystir comment is yet another pre-election divide and rule propaganda announcement.

    He’s getting busy creating or encouraging bitterness and resentment which will cause distrust amongst voters. It’s all aimed at creating abstention in voters in my opinion. Kiwi’s can be an apathetic bunch when it comes to voting and getting borderline voters to resign to the fact that there’s nothing anybody can do, (it’s a worldwide crisis blah blah blah) and if you can pump enough happy drugs in the form of the fucking Rugby into the populace, people might just turn a blind eye come voting day to the row of bank henchman about to strip mine the nation.

    The Nat’s are obviously hoping enough middle ground voters aspire to be a rich cunt just like the Keystir and they’re making hay forming and courting alliances and aspirations with Australia and banging the drum for asset sales claiming it’s in the interest of aspiring middle income NZ “mum’s and dad’s”. We’ve had the frivolous expenditure of BMW’s biffed at us and the blame foist on Labour, and noises of how that leaves very little money for expenditure in other areas like… oh yeah, welfare! As a side point I’ve heard no mention in the media how the running costs and resale value of the BMW deal over the contracted period will pan out. I’m no expert, but I suspect in the past that the gas guzzling Aussie pieces of junk our politicians have been cruising around in have massive devaluation, and running costs, so all we’re left with again, is conflicting propaganda.

    Since the election announcement we’ve had nothing but innuendo, slur and reasons to be suspicious of people we otherwise trust, and it sickens me to see the public played like this.

    There’s two things Keystir will never buy (or divide) and that’s poverty and my vote.

  27. Chris73 27

    “And that is true because the bulk of New Zealanders on a benefit do actually pay for food, their rent and other things. Now some make poor choices and they don’t have money left.”

    How exactly is this a bad statement? He makes two points: Most beneficiaries pay for the things they need and some make poor choices

    Are you people suggesting that all beneficiaries, without exception, are saintly and never make poor choices? Never smoke, drink alcohol, gamble, take drugs, eat fast food, have sky or even worse not have a veggie garden?

    Personally, I think its refreshing to have a PM that says what he thinks and doesn’t use weasle words around potentially difficult questions

    • Deadly_NZ 27.1

      I’m on a sickness benefit

      I live in the Manawatu it’s Cheaper
      I have a vege garden
      I gave up smoking to expensive
      I drink Home made alcohol
      My prescription bill is enough thanks
      fast food?? Oh thats the quick meal.
      I have sky basic ( at half price for 6 months) and if you know the Manawatu it’s needed to actually watch the tv.
      I have a partner
      She is Pregnant
      We have a teen as well
      We have internet for school and sanity
      and yes we have to rob peter to pay paul too. I did not ask for this life but i was made redundant in the recession and now I have medical problems.
      All my bills are paid before the food not much left but at least, I can hope for something better because if key gets back in then we are screwed, as we cant afford to move.
      SO to all you RWNJ’s out there if you think I am bludging then Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on. I paid my taxes. and now the government wants to fuck me over again. Oh I am ever so grateful.

      • Colonial Viper 27.1.1

        Hold on in there mate, we’re gonna be working hard on your behalf in 2011 😉

      • M 27.1.2

        Deadly

        I echo CV’s sentiments – gonna get my flyers, don the black clothing and go out just before dark to drop some flyers tomorrow.

        Good on you for having the Internet for sanity – same here – as there are so many RWNJs or apathetic people around I come to TS for something real.

        I’ve always maintained: never trust a wo/man who doesn’t have at least one vice.

        You are not a bludger but someone that is experiencing hardship at this point in your life and I don’t begrudge you support at all and neither would any decent person.

        Key doesn’t have a heart – it’s just a swinging brick.

      • Rosy 27.1.3

        Keep the hope alive Deadly_NZ some people extrapolate all the worst they hear onto all people on benefits. Not all of us do… some of us understand only too well and we’ll be voting for you, not against you.

  28. kultur 28

    it seems to me that whether we like it or not – New Zealand as those of us old enough to remember – has GONE. Whether it has gone for good – is up to the voters this year. My belief is that Phil Goff and a rejuvenated Labour Party can bring it back to where it needs to be. I think everyone got fixated on the “big idea” and one big thing “that put us on the map” … now we’re all descending to reality – its just that Key and the Nats and their sycophants are still on planet finance fantasy. They want anyone below the middle income line to pay for their ideals, suck it up and take it up the ass.

    Phil Goff was involved in the Government that started this mess – he realises it and admits it – there is a lot of retained value in someone at the top who REMEMBERS. Prof Niall Fergusson in his doco “the ascent of money” makes the comment when examining the Quants – the nobel prize winning boffins / Maths geniuses who arrived at a pristine probability maths system for trading in “options” on the financial markets and then went totally tits-up and had to have a Govt bailout in the USA … he said and i quote – “they knew a lot about maths and economics … but they didnt know anything about history….” What goes up – does come down – its been happening for decades and centuries. Phil Goff REMEMBERS – and we need a PM who doesnt hide from or try to rewrite the past. And we DONT need a money man who participated in meaningless paper transactions that produced nothing of any real value – running this country. Give Key a free BMW and tell him to bugger off and dont come back again.

    Rugby World Cup – spare me – its just another opportunity for smile and wave and his sycophants to seek a temporary reprieve from growing public discontent. As for Poverty and disenfranchisement – Key doesnt give a shit about the middle class and they are becoming the new poor …

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