Open mike 13/06/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 13th, 2010 - 13 comments
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13 comments on “Open mike 13/06/2010”

  1. just saying 1

    We’ll be seeing a lot more bene-bashing spin like this in the next few months. Don’t you love how they really just want to help. We are going to need effective opposition, but Labour is hamstrung – note the clever use of David Caygill in making the argument.

  2. rainman 2

    I read the article and it doesn’t sound too much like classical bene-bashing to me. Sure they are excluding lots of the social costs and as usual don’t seem to have too much of a handle on ultimate causes, but quite of lot in there is sensible.

    WINZ is not trying to find ways to get people back into work, they are under-resourced (and hopelessly inefficient to boot), our approach to welfare is unsustainable (and we don’t deal to the causes properly), NZ does have a poor grip on mental health issues, which can be helped through work and community involvement, there is too much focus on the individual and immediate gratification in our culture, the fairness of the DPB is a big issue in our political dialogue (whether it is fair or not in reality is debatable), and sadly, when out of work for 50 days or longer (particularly beyond a certain age) one’s chance of employment does tend to zero.

    And I am a beneficiary.

  3. just saying 3


    This is the spin that goes with the bene-bashing – the rhetoric. Dismantling the safety net is good for those dependant on it.

    I completely agree that the agencies such as WINZ should provide help don’t.

    I think it’s great that the women featured was able to find her way back into the community with some help.

    How does helping people entail privatisation, and the rest of the slash and burn the committee member is advocating?

  4. ianmac 4

    Just Saying: Thanks. That is a very important issue. And there is a lot of truth in the points she made regarding, support needed, loss of community support, role of agencies and the state and so on. The withdrawl of funding which might have helped the “front loading” of support for a return to work is a blow.
    My problem is what they do about it next. If it means bashing the benes, and slashing benefits, I will be angry.
    The problem she says, is that the numbers are unsustainable. I wonder what that will mean? Draw a line on who? Cut the benefit when?

    One option open is to increase taxation, so that help is affordable.

    • rainman 4.1

      Another option is possibly to have a real job-creation focus so that those out of work can get jobs.

  5. Descendant Of Smith 5

    It would also be useful if they considered the impact that low wages, and in particular the inability to raise a family on one income, had on the rates of seperation.

    The big growth happened during the 80’s as interest rates were high and incomes reduced and the baby boomers dismantled the supports they themselves enjoyed such as income splitting and universal family benefit. Almost everyone I know who seperated during that time did so because the financial pressure was too great.

    Since then wages and hours have continued to decrease relatively – particularly as the baby boomers have invested in rental properties to make capital gains and pushed the prices up of home purchasing and rent.

    It’s not just about work – it’s about decently paid work on a sustainable wage.

    We reap what we sow and it should be no surpise that those reforms led to a situation where people cannot afford to raise a family on one income.

    The sad thing for women is that their choices about going to work have become limited. Access to jobs and equality went up at the same time as wages came down meaning that going to work became a necessity rather than an option.

    Shit I remember when many employers paid allowances to married men with families to support.
    It’s just another thing like redundancy that has been shifted from the private sector to the public – you now gwet a benefit instead of redundancy, you now get Working For Families instead of a decent wage.


    Humm dinger of a comment over at NZ Conservative. One of their posters got sucked into the HIV does not cause AIDS wack job theory, being conservatives though they feel the need to finish the post with this little peice, “The upshot is that many people who have been diagnosed with HIV have been given this drug and killed by it”

  7. prism 7

    Experienced commentator on criminality with also comment on the morality or not that drives politicians and people presently. A retired Australian judge has things to say that equally apply to us. Talks about drugs and Dutch approach and refers to Portugal which has turned its approach to them to a medical one not a punitive offence. And also refers to important psychology difference affecting the young vulnerable between these two approaches. The man speaks soundly and compellingly.

    He has written a book and talked this am about it to Laidlaw on RadioNZ.
    Book – ‘The Quest for Justice’, by Ken Crispin, is published by Scribe.
    Link – 10.06

    • I would recommend this as well. A highlight for me was his presentation of statistics that showed that crime in Australia had dropped but the perception was that things have become worse.

      Remind people of anywhere?

      He also said that there were 2.4 million people incarcerated in the US and that the vast majority were because of drugs.

      We have a drug problem, we do not really have a crime problem.

  8. Nick C 8

    The lefts beloved economist Rod Oram has another column out today. I wonder what he has to say:

    • ianmac 8.1

      Thanks Nick C. I think Rod Oram may be right but the first para:

      “The government’s failure to create and execute coherent economic policy is vividly demonstrated by John Key’s decision to keep Kiwibank 100% government-owned as long as he is prime minister.”

      This confirms what we all know about the lack of philosophy, and lack of management in the Key Government. We all know that Key is Populist driven and rather than present a coherent policy with which to agree or disagree, they just wobble and go with any change of wind. So thanks Nick. Perhaps you can see the key weakness?

  9. prism 9

    I think that NACTs approach to policy is to follow policies on which they have emotional attachment and expected financial return to them and their supporters but to throw bits of policy away here and there to distract the public while they press ahead in chosen areas. We’re just a lot of wild animals to be kept placated while our environment is destroyed.

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