Poverty denial

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, December 30th, 2013 - 230 comments
Categories: child welfare, class war, election 2014, health, housing, national/act government, poverty, spin, uk politics, unemployment, wages, welfare - Tags:

I have had one or two little discussions with poverty denialists on the The Standard lately – usually denialists from the right of politics, and some pushing posts from one of the well-known right wing blogs.

They continue with their denialism,

in the face of evidence of people’s inability to either feed themselves and/or their family, or to be able to afford food that is adequately nutritious, adequate housing, health services, etc.

in the face of evidence of an increase in diseases and ailments of poverty,

in the face of evidence of bigger than ever foodbank queues this summer season,  (and that compares with a drop in foodbank queues in 2005).

There are  similar processes of right wing, poverty denial in the UK, and this article in The Guardian exposes the way the UK government avoids facing (or admitting) the truth. The author Nick Cohen visited a foodbank recently.  He considers how he would have expected political conservatives would admire such charitable giving. Cohen ponders,

It would have been easy for the government to say that it was concerned that so many had become so desperate.

[…]

The coalition might not have meant every word or indeed any word. But it would have been in its self-interest to emit a few soothing expressions of concern, and offer a few tweaks to an inhumanely inefficient benefits system, if only to allay public concern about the rotten state of the nation.

But the coalition is not even prepared to play the hypocrite.

However, Iain Duncan Smith, UK secretary of state for Work and Pensions, ignores the evidence of both the levels of unemployment, and the amount of jobs that fail to provide a living wage. Cohen provides some background, of how Duncan smith

refused to face the Labour benches as the Commons debated food banks on 18 December. He pushed forward his deputy, one Esther McVey, a former “TV personality”. All she could say was that hunger was Labour’s fault for wrecking the economy. She gave no hint that her government had been in power for three years during which the number attending food banks had risen from 41,000 in 2010 to more than 500,000. Her remedy was for the coalition to help more people into work.

If she had bothered talking to the Trussell Trust, it would have told her that low-paid work is no answer. Its 1,000 or so distribution points serve working families, who have no money left for food once they have paid exorbitant rent and fuel bills.

And just as with the denialists in NZ, the UK Conservative government would rather campaign for the next election on propaganda, blame-the-poor-smears and mis-information, than admit the realities: that too many jobs pay too little, and that too many people are living either in poverty, or on its insecure edge:

Put bluntly, the Conservatives hope to scrape the 2015 election by convincing a large enough minority that welfare scroungers are stealing their money. They cannot admit that a real fear of hunger afflicts hundreds of thousands. Hence, Lord Freud, the government’s adviser on welfare reform, had to explain away food banks by saying: “There is an almost infinite demand for a free good.”

My visit to the food bank showed that our leaders’ ignorance has become a deliberate refusal to face a social crisis. Of course, the volunteers help working families and students as well as the unemployed and pensioners. Everyone apart from ministers knows about in-work poverty. As preposterous is the Tory notion that the banks are filled with freeloaders.

Watch for the NAct spin machine to intensify their, always-just-around-the-corner, “brighter future” poverty denials and beneficiary bashing as we move in to election year.

paula poverty

230 comments on “Poverty denial”

  1. chris73 1

    Without wanting to get into a flame war part of the problem of people understanding who is and isn’t in poverty is that the description of poverty seems…almost made up (can’t explain it any better sorry)

    For example the living wage touted at $18.40 is as I understand it (and if I’m wrong please let me know) based around an average family of two adults and two children, with one adult working full-time and one working half-time.

    Which seems reasonable to me but when that figure is suggested for everyone (single person, school leaver, solo parent, couple with no kids etc etc) is when the argument starts falls down and its not helped when you have councilors who agree to it when its paid by rates but won’t implement it in their own businesses

    So what is the definition of poverty as it applies to NZ?

    • Sacha 1.1

      An internationally-accepted definition is below 60% of the nation’s median income – which is why the recent Childrens Commissioner report and many others over the years have used that. Not perfect, but it’s the standard.

      • chris73 1.1.1

        Is it possible to use some other way to define poverty? Like for instance if the median wage suddenly increased to $100 000 would that figure of 60% still be used or could there be some other markers used?

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          What kind of sci fi dream land are you in? The median wage is a pathetic $41k pa.

          • chris73 1.1.1.1.1

            Thats why I said “for instance if”

          • Naturesong 1.1.1.1.2

            Median Income is actually $29,900 pa according to NZ Stats.
            I think your $41,000 pa is median household income.

            60% of $29,900 is $17,940 pa

            Someone please correct me if I’ve pulled the wrong stat

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Your figure is indeed median income. Including retired, beneficiaries etc. Median working income is the figure I used.

              • Naturesong

                Yup, I see where I went wrong now.
                Redid the table to exclude those suffereing at the low end (beneficiaries etc).

                Median Working Income 2013

                Looks much rosier if you exclude a ton of people who are suffering extreme poverty.

                edit: bleh, table parameters not in link – if you want to see, you’ll have to choose on the left hand side; “Earnings for people in paid employment”. It’s the 3rd one down.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yep, like forcing unemployed people to move from the provinces to the big cities…makes the median income in rural towns “boom.”

            • karol 1.1.1.1.2.2

              Yes, there are different medians and it’s necessary to compare like with like.

              Median income of approx $29,000 pa includes all people over 15.

              Other stats that give a higher figure just include those in the labour force – employed or actively seeking work.

              The poverty figure is for households and is 60% of median after accommodation costs are deducted.

              • Naturesong

                Thanks Karol, getting a better understanding now.

                To me, even though I have experienced those levels of income (have started from scratch, with nothing 3 times – twice with no support), or worse, just seems frightening that for large sections of society, this is a long term reality.

                In my case, I’ve been lucky. Born white male in a middle class family. One side middle class by culture (can trace back to the Domesday Book), the other newly middle class (4 or 5 generations) by way of money (guess which side are nasty Nactoid assholes).

                I can count on my hand the number of times where that inherent priveledge (appearance, body language, speaking voice, vocabulary) has meant the differece between falling into serious poverty and getting a helping hand, and in two of those occasions people who did not know me actually taking a risk to help me.

        • Sacha 1.1.1.2

          My understanding is it’s about being able to belong fully to your community – the same notion that underpinned NZ’s pioneering social security system until the neolibs got to it in the 80s and 90s. If the median income is $100k we can bet most living costs will have increased too.

          This 1997 Brian Easton article explains quite well the impact of our 1972 Royal Commission on Social Security and other relevant factors:
          http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/1997/12/chapter__assessing_a_poverty_line/

          • chris73 1.1.1.2.1

            I’m just thinking that the definition is (unfortunately) quite arbitrary and that if the official definition of poverty doesn’t match up with what people think poverty is you’re not going to get the overwhelming support needed to help implement the changes needed

            Just my two cents

            • weka 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Have you read any of the reports on poverty that have come out in the past few years?

              What is your definition of poverty chris? I don’t mean by income, I mean by what people can afford to do in their lives.

              • chris73

                What is your definition of poverty chris?

                – Thats the issue isn’t it, I really can’t say. I’ve lived on far less then the 60% definition (at various times in my life) but I never felt I was in poverty.

                • karol

                  The poverty report that gives the definition of poverty said that some people a little below the poverty line don’t experience much hardship, and that some people above the poverty line do: ie re being able to afford necessities. But the people above the poverty line who experience hardship have the means to get out of poverty before too long.

                  The biggest problem is for those who experience persistent and sever poverty (going on for years being able to afford the necessities) – these are the ones most likely to suffer very long term damage to their lives: shorter lives, more diseases, less opportunities for education and jobs…. etc

                  There are also increasing numbers of people in precarious circumstances – one step away from severe poverty, and little control over whether or not that happens.

                • weka

                  “- Thats the issue isn’t it, I really can’t say. I’ve lived on far less then the 60% definition (at various times in my life) but I never felt I was in poverty.”

                  Sorry mate, but then really you need to STFU and listen to the experts on this.

                  And if you have no concept of what poverty is (eg not having enough to eat, not being able to buy necessities like shoes or pay for public transport or go to the doctor when you need to), then why are you even in this conversation?

                  Reread my question. If you can’t answer it, then I’ll take it that you are here tr0lling.

                  • chris73

                    You can take it however you want it (thats your choice) I’m here with some questions which people can answer or not (as they see fit)

                    But yes I’ve lived in what could be considered poverty ie a helluva lot of cheaqpest food when on special (tried to go for baked beans when I could and vege buying on Sunday night), no car, no doctors or dentists visits but it wasn’t poverty to me

                    I guess to lot of people in NZ poverty is like something out of Children of the Poor

                    • weka

                      Am curious, what did you do when you got so sick you needed medical help and couldn’t afford to go to the doctor?

                      What is Children of the Poor?

                    • weka

                      Thanks karol, but that doesn’t tell me what chris was meaning.

                    • chris73

                      Got lucky with genes I guess in that I’ve never really needed to visit the doctor for anything serious but I managed to work out a payment plan with the dentist so that worked out all right

                      As I say by any NZ standards I’ve lived in poverty but I’ve seen people worse off so I never considered myself living in poverty

                      But the real question is how do you convince middle NZ that there is this huge amount of poverty happening in NZ (assuming there is of course)

                      I meant that people who’ve read Children of the Poor might equate that as poverty in NZ so anyone whos living better then that (which would be everyone) isn’t really living in poverty

                    • weka

                      No, chris, you are full of shit and being a tr0ll.

                      I asked you about poverty and you said you had lived in conditions that other people consider poverty and then gave one example of not visiting the doctor. When I ask for details, it turns out you never needed the doctor anyway. So I suggest that all your other examples are equally false, you have never experience poverty, and you are actively trying to deny poverty based on your own false perceptions of your experiences compared to others. Worse, you are wasting people’s time here by asking disingenuous questions, when it’s obvious that you simply believe that hardly anyone in NZ experiences poverty.

                      It pays to remember that poverty is contextual. One person living without electricity might be having fun going feral, another might be desparate to feed her kids or keep them clean. One person might be ok living on $10K/year, because they have a freehold house, another lives in Chch with rising rents and can no longer afford to feed themselves properly.

                      Poverty is also compounding – don’t eat properly, get sick, can’t afford the doctor, get sick, miss work, cut in wages etc etc.

                      I ask you again: what do you think poverty is? Not what others are saying, what do YOU think?

                    • chris73

                      Weka you’ve demonstrated some of the failings of the left in NZ

                      1. Resort to personal abuse when you don’t like the other persons answer (in other words when it doesn’t correspond with what you think)

                      2. Getting hung up on unimportant details, yes its true I’ve been lucky (good genes and exercise) so I very rarely visit the doctor however I did need to visit the dentist to sort some wisdom teeth out. To you there must be a huge amount of difference but to me theres really not

                      3. If in doubt call the person a tr0ll

                    • weka

                      The only reason I am calling you names is because you refuse to answer my question. You are engaging in disingenuous debate, what do you expect?

                      I’m not giving you shit because I disagree with your politics, I’m giving you shit because of your behaviour in this thread.

                      You claim you have lived a life of what others call poverty and gave a false example, and I’ve called bullshit on that. What’s the problem?

                      You also claim you are genuinely asking for a definition of poverty, but I don’t see you doing that. I see you manipulating the thread to ‘prove’ your belief that there really isn’t a big poverty problem in NZ. You would do better if you were just honest about it.

                      If you think abuse is something the left do, go spend some time on Whaleoil or Kiwiblog.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But yes I’ve lived in what could be considered poverty ie a helluva lot of cheaqpest food when on special (tried to go for baked beans when I could and vege buying on Sunday night), no car, no doctors or dentists visits but it wasn’t poverty to me

                      But that’s just it – it was poverty. It’s not a subjective measure like the RWNJs like to think. If you can’t afford the necessities, whether you need them or not, then you are in poverty.

          • Sacha 1.1.1.2.2

            Chris, in our political system we don’t need everyone’s support to be able to make a change.

            Just as well when people continue to believe poverty is a result of “poor choices”. As if those somehow miraculously increase and decrease en masse over time.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.3

          The 60% would still be used because it would still apply. There’s a reason why we say that incomes have been flat or declining for the lower deciles over the last 30 years despite nominal increases and in some jobs there’s been nominal decreases as well.

        • Frank Macskasy 1.1.1.4

          Chris73, it’s not just INCOME that matters. It’s the cost of living.

          Eg, if a family in the year 2075 earns $1 million a year – but accomodation expensives are $500,000; monthly power bills are $25,000 and a loaf of bread is $1,000 – then we quickly see that the dollar amounts per se are not the issue (This is not calculated to add up to any specific amount). The problem is how much is spent on necessary outgoings; accomodation, food, power, transport, clothing, medicines, etc.

          A clear example is the rise in prescription charges from $3 to $5. For many New Zealanders that $2 increase is bugger all. Especially if you’re in a DINK household with good pay.

          But if you’re on a fixed income and rent, power, food, etc, has taken 99% of your income and you have $4 left by the end of the week…

          Well…

          Here’s the thing…

          That $4 would be a small fortune in a sub-Saharan African nation, right?

          But in a Northland family, that $4 would be insufficient to pick up your medicine from a chemist for your sick child. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/231619/pharmacies-%27carry-cost%27-of-increases

          Or unable to pay for a single apple; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/a-blighted-future-the-price-of-an-apple/

          That’s how a “small fortune” becomes poverty.

    • RedbaronCV 1.2

      FFS C73 – people who go to foodbanks are hungry – not wanting to be entertained. Who would go there if they had other choices.

      As to the UK the answer is simple. Local authorities should assess all home owners for bedrooms they aren’t using and those who have the most unused bedrooms can house those on the Local authority housing lists. Charity to make the rich feel good about themselves.

      • chris73 1.2.1

        FFS C73 – people who go to foodbanks are hungry – not wanting to be entertained. Who would go there if they had other choices.

        – Ok but is that a symptom of poverty, poor choices, mental illness or a combination of all three

        As to the UK the answer is simple. Local authorities should assess all home owners for bedrooms they aren’t using and those who have the most unused bedrooms can house those on the Local authority housing lists. Charity to make the rich feel good about themselves.

        – Not a bad idea but I’d start with council and housing nz first

        • RedbaronCV 1.2.1.1

          It’s poverty and Right wing governments. The rest are distractions. And why not go for those with the most spare bedrooms not the least. Charity begins at home.

          And for your information in the UK they have gone after the lower end with the bedroom tax which is causing devastation and should keep the tories out of power for another 30 years.

        • freedom 1.2.1.2

          ” Ok but is that a symptom of poverty, poor choices, mental illness or a combination of all three”

          A combination of all three obviously,
          as long as you understand what the loaded phrase represents . .

          ; poverty – the only guaranteed by-product of the socio-economic machine called capitalism
          ; poor choices – the stratagems formulated by those in charge of the machine
          ; mental illness – the [overtly psychopathic] state of mind widely displayed by those running the machine

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.3

          Ok but is that a symptom of poverty, poor choices, mental illness or a combination of all three

          None of those and is, in fact, systemic. Poverty is a feature of capitalism.

          EDIT:
          And can you please learn to properly format your replies so that they’re readable.

        • Frank Macskasy 1.2.1.4

          @ Chris73,

          Dr Annabel from the University of Canterbury said,

          “Foodbanks talk about the demand and the problem is that, in a low wage economy and a high comparative cost economy , people cannot keep up.”

          Link: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1312/S00299/inequality-keeps-rising-says-uc-social-research-expert.htm

          That is what is creating poverty in this country.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Most poverty could be fixed in 18 months via

    1) a full employment policy for 25s and under
    2) increasing all main benefits by $30/week
    3) transition to a living wage.

    How to apply mass pressure on politicians to make this happen is the challenge.

    • chris73 2.1

      That will cost a fair bit of money to implement, where will it come from? (Apart from mining and drilling)

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Print it, tax it, borrow it i.e. the usual sources.

        • chris73 2.1.1.1

          I prefer mining, drilling, forestry, fishing and farming

          • greywarbler 2.1.1.1.1

            Drive your bullock back to the 1800s – that’s what we colonial land killers did then. That’s where you belong and stay there you land extractors, crushers and farm-flamers.

            • greywarbler 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I think it’s DFTT time. Unless you have nothing better to do than play wall tennis. On the good side the ball will always come back to you, an automatic, robotic brain ensures that.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.2

            Hasn’t worked any time over the last 200 years so what makes you think it’s suddenly going to start working now?

        • BM 2.1.1.2

          I struggle to believe you’re being serious.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.3

          Well, printing and taxing is viable – borrowing isn’t.

      • RedbaronCV 2.1.2

        John Keys pocket. He’s trousered about $500,000 in tax cuts.

      • James 2.1.3

        By taking it back from those who didn’t earn it; the 1%.

      • phillip ure 2.1.4

        but what to do..?..you fret/ask..?

        1)..a financial transaction tax on the banksters will raise as much revenue as gst now does..

        2)..seriously increase tax rates on the highest-earners..(leave the middle/lower alone..)..in france..any income over $1 million is taxed @ 75%..

        3)..lean in seriously on the sin-taxes..booze/cigs/gambling…(partial-nationalise all three..the state takes 51%/control..)

        4)..tax-free income threshold..first $15,000 tax-free..(this is also a tidy way to raise incomes for the poorest..)

        5)..a capital gains tax on speculation..

        ..how’s that for starters/to be getting on with..?

        ..the word is ‘tia’..not ‘tina’..

        ..eh..?

        ..and the big-picture economics-reality is that any monies redirected to the poorest..will instantly kick the economy back into more life..

        ..as all monies they receive are churned straight back into the economy..

        ..back into retailers tills..spent on the necessities of life…

        ..what’s not to love about that..?

        phillip ure..

        • phillip ure 2.1.4.1

          oh..!..and legalise/tax cannabis…

          ..tax revenue as income + money also saved from not funding enforcement of stupid-law..

          phillip ure..

          • David H 2.1.4.1.1

            For sure Legalising Cannabis alone would save millions in wasted police hours chasing this weed wrapped up in silly little bits of tinfoil.

        • Naki Man 2.1.4.2

          phillip ure
          The first $15,000 of income tax free. The first $55,000 is already tax free for people with two kids under19.
          Most people who earn over 1$ mill will find a way of avoiding a 75% tax rate.
          Cigs tax is already rising but I am all for that
          I think we need to tax more of the people who are working for cash, trading on trade me and collecting welfare to boost their income.

          • McFlock 2.1.4.2.1

            dingdingding and the tory answer for the day is: BENEFIT FRAUD!!!

            As predictable as it is stupid.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.4.2.2

            Most people who earn over 1$ mill will find a way of avoiding a 75% tax rate.

            Which is why the present tax system needs to be thrown out and a new one put in place. One that ensures that people are paying the taxes that they’re supposed to be paying.

        • David H 2.1.4.3

          We still need to have a sustainable revenue and Cow’s and sheep are not it. Tourists are great But you have to have a clean and green country, not rivers that are so polluted that people cannot swim in them.

          Oil: Most are against this. And the Anardarco debacle shows why. drilling 1.5k into the most inhospitable place on earth. We must prospect for this stuff as the rest of the world will pay shitloads for it. But you have to get it out of the ground safely, and Keep a good percentage of the profits and with the minimal damage to the environment. And therein lies the argument.

          Gold and other metals: I don’t know much about mining. But i do know I would never move to Waihi. And strip mining our National parks is not the way to go.

      • “That will cost a fair bit of money to implement…”

        Why is it, Chris, that when it comes to corporate welfare for Rio Tinto, the Rugby World Cup, Warner Bros, etc, there is never any question of WHERE the money will come from.

        Never.

        But the moment we look at addressing poverty; feeding hungry children’ raising wages for the poorest of workers – all of a sudden the question arises?!

        Have you ever thought that, perhaps, we NEED to find that money because the economic/social consequences of not addressing these problems outweighs all monetary concerns? That if we don’t spend $10,000 to feed a child now and get them through school and into a job – we’ll be paying $90,000 if they end up in jail? Or $20,000 on welfare?

        And really, money aside, because it’s simply the right thing to do.

        And no, we don’t need to mine and drill. There are other alternatives. A Capital Gains Tax springs to mind. Increasing royalties on existing drilling of the Taranaki Coast. Not selling profitable SOEs which provide a good revenue stream for the government.

        Just three of the top of my head.

        It’s ironic that our forebears built an entire country’s infra-structure through taxation – and now some people have adopted the mindset that we can’t do anything to solve our current social problems. Rather pathetic, I think.

    • RedbaronCV 2.2

      Passing through child support paid and backdating this to the introduction of the CS act. Why is the state living off children and the poorest single parent families.

    • cricklewood 2.3

      Here’s my contributory idea towards full employment….

      Govt run scheme to fence and plant every single waterway bounded by pastoral land (includes golf courses sports fields etc), partially funded through some sort of levy on milk solids. (I’m sure farmers will be happy to help fund this as taxpayers often come to there aid during extreme weather)… The width of the planting would to a degree be governed by the size of the waterway but say somewhere between three and thirty metres either side of each bank…I’d also try and operate it under some green star type principals which specify how far resources and materials can travel so small companies in the regions get benefits.

      But there will be jobs building fences, collecting seed, propagating and growing on plants, planting said plants then maintaining the planting. Not to mention administration of…

      I see it having multiple benefits and very little down side, water quality is improved, flora and forna has more habitat, will enhance clean green image and there are a range of skills to be learnt and I’d imagine it would keep people occupied for a number of years.

      Better than a cycleway anyway….

      • weka 2.3.1

        Very good cricklewood. You could also apprentice people in many of those situations, across a range of skills, and then expand the work out to other aspects of landcare as the riparian zones get sorted. You could also, where appropriate but without coercion, support the setting up of small businesses that exist beyond the lifetime of the project (eg plant nurseries). Later projects could include things like pest control, where the end products were part of the business plan (rabbits, possums as pet food, fertiliser, fur etc).

        One immediate hurdle is that industrial farming sees riparian plantings as a waste because it reduces the number of stock units the business can have and thus decreases shareholder profit. One straightforward solution to that is legislation, but I’m not sure how that would play politically at this time (esp with Labour still being so timid).

  3. tricledrown 3

    Complicite 73
    Mining and drilling where is the profit there.
    Tax those who are paying no tax capital gaingsters.
    User pays on alcohol.
    Gambling.
    Gst on imports under $400.
    Increasing wages to liveable income will increase tax take as well create more jobs.
    Also increasing liveable wage will reduce the amount of employer subsidy WFF.
    Child poverty is a $6 billion loss to the economy every year.
    Short sighted short term thinking is all you are purveying

    • chris73 3.1

      I’m going to have to disagree with on that except for tax those who arn’t paying but what did you mean by User pays on alcohol and Gambling?

  4. tricledrown 4

    The cost to the economy of alchohol and gambling aprox $12 billion.

  5. tricledrown 5

    Calvinist73.
    Your technology is 100 years out of date primary industries.
    Very cyclical.
    Like your ideology .
    Laissez-faire it will be right the invisible hand will tricle down to the peasants one day.
    Yeah right.

  6. tricledrown 6

    Why be sorry about an infliction you can’t change .
    You should join a support group
    Over on kiwiblog is such an organization.
    Nationals spin machine is not having a holiday this year .
    We johnny is in hawaiiKey while his Minions are trialing election spin to see what flies.
    Carion73.

  7. Ad 7

    No dispute to the post Karol.

    My question is the inevitable political one: will the Opposition persuade the public inside 10 months that New Zealand’s economic growth acceleration is too job-dry to improve the lives of the many poor?

    Cunliffe’s strategy says yes, Opposition victory lives largely in the 800,000 unvoting and likely poor.

    Fran O’Sullivan’s NZHerald column two days ago says the question is in balance. I hope he gets the chance to find out.

    If the economic recovery proposed for 2014 does bring unemployment below 6%, the Opposition’s chances are toast. And the lives of many poor will be greatly improved.

    • Sacha 7.1

      “will the Opposition persuade the public”

      crucial about anything

      • Ad 7.1.1

        Only about winning the next election, on precisely the point of the post.

        So far, despite huge following wind, the Opposition have failed to convince. They are where they started at the beginning of the term, and drifting. So their entire strategy hasn’t worked.

        Poverty is not sufficiently politically saleable.

        • karol 7.1.1.1

          Poverty is not sufficiently politically saleable.

          It’s all about market forces?

          • chris73 7.1.1.1.1

            It is if you want to win the treasury benches and make the changes you want to make I guess

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.2

            Its about electoral forces. If the economy receives a sizeable boost next year, what vision of the future will the Left campaign on?

            • Naturesong 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Building walls and prisons vrs education, jobs and welfare?

              Reclaiming NZ sovereignty?
              Reclaiming democracy?
              Repealing Big Brother (GCSB and TICS) and holding those that broke the law to account?
              Actually fixing the structural issues within the economy?

              A chicken in every pot!

  8. tricledrown 8

    C73 smartphone software on the standard doesn’t have reply option except at the bottom .
    User pays on alcohol and gambling.
    Up to $12 billion a year damage to our economy.
    This money could easily be shifted to solve child poverty and they are also one of the major causes of child poverty.
    So increase the tax on alcohol and gambling spend it on child welfare housing education etc.
    Otherwise you and I are subsidising alcoholics and problem gamblers.
    Child poverty is a $6 billion drag on the economy each year.
    If we moved to do something about thes 3 massive blights on our economy.
    We could all pay less tax and gain huge benefits for our economy.
    Alcohol and gambling related crime using up to 73% of police courts goals resources.
    Time for some party with balls to step up to the plate and deal to it instead of papering over the cracks like this govt is expert at .
    Previous Clark govt was a little better.

    • lprent 8.1

      Reply functionality on mobile is one of my three remaining tasks over the break.

    • chris73 8.2

      “So increase the tax on alcohol and gambling spend it on child welfare housing education etc.”

      – I don’t have any major issues with that though selling an increase in on alcohol is never an easy task for any party

  9. tricledrown 9

    Thank you lprent hope you can find some time out there .

    • Naturesong 9.1

      I change to the “desktop version” when browsing on my mobile.
      But then I bought a note II (151.1mm x 80.5mm screen size) specifically so I could read maps and the web easily on it.

      Might be a bit harder to read on a phone that’s not a brick

  10. aerobubble 10

    Implicitly if in a competitive bid situation, and you fail, according to Boris you’re thick.
    But this assumes perfect rational tenders and bidders, that the item under auction isn’t

    rotten (and so losing the bid is winning), and a whole host of unforeseable coincidences, etc.
    Effectively Boris is saying evolution does not happen, poor people are always stupid people.

    That bigger brained species have never been beaten out by bigger brawned species, that over

    thinking is as much a problem as under thinking. That engineers have never falsely found a

    problem and so in solving a working system caused a problem. Positive negatives, never happen in Boris’s world.

    Clearly those intelligent with their hands, warriors and skilled artisans are stupid people

    but your pen pushing accountant and politician are the highest form of intelligent life.

  11. Tracey 11

    Judith collins says a single mother with 7 children is living in poverty.

    bennett says you cant define it.

    I dont want the line in the sand for children who live in nz to be conditions akin to india or sudan before acting and neither should anyone else.

    watch out for national trumpetting average incomes rather than median next year.

    As for middle nz. I fit into that category chris and I need no convincing

    • chris73 11.1

      All the arguments put out above may well be true but if you can’t convince the wider electorate theres a problem then the issue is not going to be resolved anytime soon.

      This issue has been growing for years (decades?) so the message, whatever the message is, isn’t getting through

      • aerobubble 11.1.1

        Its all about showing that Key’s policies make the wealthy poorer, that his policies hold back the economy, stifle it, and the adherence that poverty must not only exist but that poverty must be endemic for people to get wealthy, is what is killing the economy. Plain and simple, stupid rules at the moment. How hard can it be for Labour to challenge the obvious backward orthodoxy.

        Its as simple as saying that the more people with income, secure more services and products, stimulating the economy, and in limiting economic times means that either the economy stagnates and shrinks as the finite amount of activity is held and used by the wealthiest, or the economy maximizes its potential by a broad bell curve of activity. Which in a funny way makes the wealthy wealthier, as the economy is broader, deeper and stronger… …you see its all about ripping the clothes off Key axiomatic lying, that we need to grow ‘good’ rather than ‘bad’ for the economy, wealth people. The decision makers need to incubate a broadening view of the economy, rather the stagnate shrinking socialism for the rich, privatizing the profits, while fascism for the poor and socializing the risks for the rest of us.

        How exactly does a tax cut for the wealthiest when even the wealthiest recognize it makes them poorer!!! So what if overall revenue goes up after a tax cut, if the money does go to the poorest!!!
        Just look at the USA for stupid capitalism.

  12. Tracey 12

    Agree that somehow someone has to find a way to make some more nzers compassionate. Despite your statements about this the fact that you dont seem able to define poverty and by reference to a situation you dont consider poverty you appear to be a poverty denier. In case you are not and genuinely want the answer you allude to let me ask you this

    what circumstances would move you to think, wow do people in my first world country live like this and how can I change it.

    What do you base your vote on chris?

  13. Tracey 13

    What do you mean by doing well. How do you judge that?. Does that mean you voted labour in 2002? And 2005? If not why not.

    • chris73 13.1

      In comparison to other first world countries we’re doing well and no I did not. Never trusted Helen Clark, always thought she was acting in the best interests of herself.

  14. Tracey 14

    So you dont base your vote on if the country is going well as you said above. You base it on whether you trust the pm. By trust do you mean like?

    in comparison to what in other 1st world countries?

  15. tricledrown 15

    C73 is saying he trusts a liar

  16. Tracey 16

    I am not a liar simply because I exposed your positioning for the vacuuous place it is.

    until today I thought you genuinely wish to engage in dialogue.

    your emperor has no clothes and you dance naked behind him with a supercillious grin waiting for the jewels to come your way.

    • weka 16.1

      “until today I thought you genuinely wish to engage in dialogue.”

      I note that he completely ignored your question about poverty, the topic of the thread. He is both a poverty denialist and not genuine in this thread.

  17. tricledrown 17

    Carion73 you are saying Helen Clark was in it for herself.
    John Narcissistic HawaiiKey
    Is not in it for himself.
    I’ll have to Go with your admission about you being so dense.

  18. Tracey 18

    Trickle

    its worse than that. He says he bases his vote on if the country is going well. Then he says he didny vote labour in 2002 and 2005 or presumably in 2008 when the country was by some definition going well.

    apparently though I am a liar for pointing out the contradiction

    ” Resort to personal abuse when you don’t like the other persons answer (in other words when it doesn’t correspond with what you think)”

    Thinking is fine chris. Blindly accepting everything at face value just cos your “team” says it just makes you a dupe.

  19. Ad 19

    The thing I got particularly frustrated with last election was the Labour policy to increase social welfare benefits (sorry I can’t remember which one) was such a voter turnoff. Of course it was anecdotal, but the anecdotes were coming from dozens of Labour canvassers, including myself. It was like the next class calibration up could not bear to see their status eroded. Whatever the reasons, a strong “help the poor through better welfare” message was a political stinker.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      I don’t think that was quite it. The policy was Working for Families for Families who Aren’t Working. Yeah, Labour fucked that one up big time in terms of PR and key messages. I hope all of the people involved with that amateur hour message framing fiasco were fired.

      It could actually have been sold to the electorate quite easily – these are NZ’s most hard up families with children who are trying to live on $400 or less a week. And Labour are going to give them a bit of a break until we get full time jobs lined up for them. It will also help protect those working families who are suffering redundancies at the moment and are expecting hard times for a while.

      Frakin’ easy.

      • Sacha 19.1.1

        “The policy was Working for Families for Families who Aren’t Working. Yeah, Labour fucked that one up big time in terms of PR and key messages. I hope all of the people involved with that amateur hour message framing fiasco were fired.”

        Totally. Munters.

  20. Glenn 20

    Compulsion to vote is the only way that poverty will be overcome. Until the disillusioned and disenfranchised and apathetic are encouraged (by law) to appear at a polling booth and vote (or deface their papers if they feel so inclined) on election day the country will always have a government that is skewed to be far more right wing than what the majority of the population wish.

    The 800,000 nonvoters are a major force for change.

    Why don’t they vote?
    My daughter who lives in Mt Wellington has never ever voted. She is now 40.
    It annoys me but her attitude is “why bother it won’t change anything”.
    She has been at the poverty level and she has struggled but shes brought up two well adjusted teenagers.
    She is left wing in her attitudes and views but will she vote…no way.
    None of her mates do either.
    Compulsion is the only way. (Shit I sound like Paula Bennett).
    May it be on the agenda of the next Labour/Green/whoever Government. Compulsory voting on General Elections.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      I do appreciate your sentiments. But, why should these people vote when they inherently understand that both major parties have fucked over the lower and underclass year in and year out. Who screwed the public sector rail/post office/telecom during Rogernomics? Labour. Who screwed the beneficiaries and those on ACC with endless hoops, medical assessments and cuts? Labour.

      Now you’re going to threaten the underclass and working class with fines and court sanctions if they don’t do what you say? They’ll view this as just another example of the Man finding a way to having another go at them.

      I’ll tell you what the trick is. Not to get those working class and under class people to vote. To get them to join a political party and learn about the political economy of this country. And how to apply peaceful civil pressure on people who count. That’s where the real ticket is.

      Get even 10,000 of them to join Labour, the Greens, or Mana (hmmm or NZF if they have to) and you’ll see action for the bottom 50% of this nation by the bottom 50% of this nation real quick.

      • weka 20.1.1

        “But, why should these people vote when they inherently understand that both major parties have fucked over the lower and underclass year in and year out”

        Because things could be a lot worse.

        • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.1

          Although I agree with your sentiments on a purely pragmatic level, in terms of principle and long term effect, it’s completely disastrous. It allows establishment political parties to campaign on the basis of being less bad and less cruel than the other. Which is what they have actually been doing in real life.

          Also – it doesn’t reflect how people are actually motivated. Given the choice of voting for a political party which will cane you 20 times, and one which will cane you 25 times, you might think – well, the rational thing to do is vote for the former. Save 5 canings. Be better off. Who wouldn’t want that?

          Of course, human beings aren’t like that. They are more likely to say, “fuck this for a joke!” and simply walk. Which is what they have actually been doing in real life.

          • weka 20.1.1.1.1

            If we still had a FPP system I might agree. But we have more choices that being caned 20 x or 25 x.

            And having been caned 25 x, I’ll now take the 20x thanks, because (a) it hurts less, and (b) that extra bit of space allows a chance of change. We’ve had this conversation before: voting on the left at the moment is about holding the line. It’s not about getting one’s needs met or getting an ideal govt.

            “Of course, human beings aren’t like that. They are more likely to say, “fuck this for a joke!” and simply walk. Which is what they have actually been doing in real life.”

            Yes, but I was merely pointing out there are still good reasons to vote, even where people vote out of self-interest.

            btw, people don’t vote for all sorts of reasons. I think lumping the 800,000 together is problematic and unhelpful.

            • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh I think your approach around voting for the ‘least bad possible’ is very rational. But like I said, I don’t think a lot of people make decisions using rational processes like that.

              btw, people don’t vote for all sorts of reasons. I think lumping the 800,000 together is problematic and unhelpful.

              Very true, but that UK study pointed out that disappointment with politicians and the political system not delivering were very common reasons.

              • weka

                What interests me there is what the difference is between someone like me disillusioned with the system who votes, and someone else disillusioned with the system who doesn’t vote.

                What you say about people not voting because they are sick of whatever, and that most people vote for personal reasons, may very well be true. But personal reasons will suck big time when the shtf. We can’t afford to be so self-focused anymore. I suspect you have more empathy for non-voters than I do. I think they are mostly selfish and willfully ignorant, but am willing to concede this is probably largely cultural – I was raised to believe that voting is inherently important, not just about what one gets out of it personally. Not everyone has been socialised with that set of values. But that just brings me back to the end of civ. People are going to have to wake up pretty bloody fast, and then they will understand that voting might have allayed some of the worst shit they are having to deal with.

                “Very true, but that UK study pointed out that disappointment with politicians and the political system not delivering were very common reasons.”

                I’ve had many conversations with Brits about changing the electoral system there, and most of them think FPP is best and won’t consider MMP or a variation of as effective. People who complain about the status quo but are unwilling to change do my head in.

      • Akldnut 20.1.2

        CV : Now you’re going to threaten the underclass and working class with fines and court sanctions if they don’t do what you say? They’ll view this as just another example of the Man finding a way to having another go at them.

        As I’ve posted 2-3 times before, there’s no need to make this issue into a Fine or Courts Threat”.

        Legislate that anyone eligible to vote be (1) cross-matched, and (2) anyone not doing so automatically have an extra $400-$500 (or another substantial figure) added to their end of the year taxes after filing.

        It would be enough for people to (A) get off the couch (B) drop whatever else is so important that they can’t vote or cover themselves by (C) filing an Early or Special vote.

        After a huge broadcasting campaign for it, any reasonable man/woman would see the value in it and get out to vote.

        • Colonial Viper 20.1.2.1

          You’re a nice guy and very smart insightful etc Akldnut, but on this it’s my respectful opinion that you’re nuts.

          You’re just going to fuck up thousands of beneficiaries and young kids with extra taxes that they don’t give a shit about but will take away up to 5% of their annual income. Do you seriously think that these people “file tax returns”, either personally or through their accountants???

          I mean, and this is not personally directed at you, but what the FUCK is wrong with Lefties these days. Personally I think quite a few of those non-voters have figured it out – we really don’t represent their interests.

          • Akldnut 20.1.2.1.1

            I respect your POV and agree with 99% of what you write CV, but humbly disagree with you here. Their interests and the interests of us all are better served by encouraging them to vote by the easiest possible method whilst ensuring an almost maximum possible turnout.

            I believe that upon signing up for the dole, sickness, invalid, pension…….etc that all people be made aware this must happen.

            They don’t need to file a tax return because IRD automatically do the assessment for anyone who hasn’t completed a return. The dread of a negative return should motivate them into action of some sort.

            I also believe that all students be taught this at school, and be registered to vote at Year 10 by the school so it’s ingrained in them before they complete their education.

            Cognitive dissonance here but I can’t think of an easier, faster way of getting the best result possible with regard to voting.

            BTW thank you for your kind words, I really enjoy reading your comments.
            And no, I’m not nuts – yet.

            • Colonial Viper 20.1.2.1.1.1

              hey mate, it’s just that using financial penalties on the poor and the young is not something that I think the Left should be using and especially not because of reasons of expediency. Yes, “our way” is often the tougher, more difficult, slower, uncertain way, because that is what is required to craft and mentor good citizens, and not just enforce wanted behaviours.

              If you can change the law to implement tax penalties, then you can change the law to put in place civics and activism education for both young and old. I could probably stomach a combo approach?

              And you are very welcome. You are one of a number of contributors to The Standard who has taught me things about this fine nation that I may otherwise never have known.

              • Akldnut

                Cheers man

                I agree, in an ideal situation civics and activism education for both young and old but I have a gut feeling that without a good incentive the education will fall on deaf ears like
                Glenn’s daughter and the daughters friends

                • Akldnut

                  A combo approach would make my cognitive dissonance a lot easier handle as well.

                • karol

                  Akldnut. Punitive measures for not voting, is not an incentive. And it would just further alienate the non voters.

                  A better incentive would be for left parties to provide something for them to vote for – practical and clear support for the powerless and those struggling on low incomes. The main reason for the increase in non-voters is that left parties have adopted a neoliberal managerialist approach – treating elections as a game to be won, focusing marketing style on the superficial aspect of how the message is delivered rather than on policy content, and targeting the middle classes.

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      And by the way, you can tell your daughter that you don’t vote to make a difference. You tell her that you vote so that you can raise your voice on one day during the year and defy the pricks who are in charge.

  21. Tracey 21

    Yup to both cv.

    its why my vote is almost certainly green not red.

  22. Tracey 22

    Weka.

    yup and chris left the thread once exposed. But tomorrow he will be back with his version of the brighter future. Perhaps to every comment he makes from now on one of us replies

    chris, the pm has no clothes.

    • weka 22.1

      The PM has no clothes, but he does have a new holiday house in Hawaii 😉

    • Naki Man 22.2

      Do you think Cunliffe will be as generous as J.K. and give his salary to charity if he becomes P.M?
      Think of all the hungry people at the food banks he could feed
      I am sure he could live quite comfortably in his multi million dollar mansion in Herne bay
      on his wealthy wife’s salary.

      • karol 22.2.1

        Where is the evidence that Key gives his salary (all of it?) to charity?

      • McFlock 22.2.2

        JK does not give his salary to charity.
        You’re a fucking piece of shit liar.

        If you can provide evidence to the contrary, I will withdraw and apologise.

      • Sacha 22.2.3

        “Do you think Cunliffe will be as generous as J.K. and give his salary to charity if he becomes P.M?”

        Big difference between $50m and $5m. Work out what the current annual return on investments on both is and let us know.

        • Naki Man 22.2.3.1

          Ok reasonable portion I thought it was all of his salary.
          Considering Cunliffe’s wife is part owner of a law firm that has acted for Fonterra’s coal fired power plants and off shore mining company’s and that their combined income must be over $600,000 per annum, Do you think Cunliffe will donate say $300,000 per annum for the poor starving people of NZ.
          I am sure they could survive in their multi million dollar mansion on the remaining $300,000
          PS calm down Mcfuck did I strike a nerve with facts about your rich prick leader.

          • McFlock 22.2.3.1.1

            Oh, now it’s a “reasonable portion” of key’s pm salary goes to charity?

            I ain’t labour, dipshit, I just hate tory liars like you. There is no evidence, anywhere, that key has so much as put a coin in a poor box, but gullible jerks like you repeat the lie “donates his salary”. Why are you so desperate to pretend that key does anything for the less fortunate – is it because he’s done nothing but put the boot into them as PM, so you need to invent stories about his private life? Key doesn’t give a shit about anyone who’s not a millionaire – deal with it.

      • Will@Welly 22.2.4

        In his first year as P.M. Key did the great firedance about “donating” his salary to charity. Whether he actually did or not, no one was privy to the actual accounts. As a gesture, a nice touch, and even if he did “donate” it, what was the charity of his choice – the National Party?
        Also, all donations attract a rebate to the donor of 30% upto a certain point. Key’s not stupid, any donations would be all smoke and mirrors. I wonder if he claimed his holiday houses as part of the rebate?

        • karol 22.2.4.1

          Didn’t Key just say he donated part of his salary?

          Edit: Yes, he did, in March 2009:

          Mr Key, whose tax cut will be $98 a week, gives a “reasonable portion” of his $393,000 salary to charities and intends to continue doing so.

          “reasonable portion” bwahahahahah

          • RedLogix 22.2.4.1.1

            Many people manage gifting, tithing or some form of donation that’s around 10% of their net income. That’s what most people think of as reasonable.

            If you are going to wax on about Key donating to charity, you’ll first need to define his total income. I’d think it was a great deal more than his salary as PM.

            Then you can decide what’s ‘reasonable’ or not.

  23. Foreign Waka 23

    History will repeat itself. I just hope I am in a grave when the worst part hits as the fallout of this economic disaster will take 200 -300 years to be rectified. For those who say it never will, I trust in nature to take care of the renegade species called human.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      The Earth won’t even remember a single sign that humans were here in 500,000 years time.

      • McFlock 23.1.1

        the earth is sentient?

        • Colonial Viper 23.1.1.1

          Well, even plants remember things and do arithmetic calculations 😉

          • McFlock 23.1.1.1.1

            makes your “so what” about the occasional extinction seem a bit brutal, then.

            • Colonial Viper 23.1.1.1.1.1

              makes your “so what” about the occasional extinction seem a bit brutal, then.

              You should watch a couple of David Attenborough nature docos. The ones where critters like wasps were inserted by parasite eggs and then got eaten from the inside out always made me queesy. “Brutal” doesn’t even describe Mother Nature.

          • karol 23.1.1.1.2

            Elephants have great memories – and various animals can communicate stuff to their children.

            As they evolve to become more intelligent beings, their communicative history will result in myths of a super race of beings, gods, who once ruled the earth, but they became selfish and greedy and eventually destroyed themselves.

  24. ecossemaid 24

    Poverty Denial? Say It Aint So! Yes they have Food banks in the UK and yes we have them here, under the same Tory/National Mantra of “There Are Always Going To Be Hungry People” and has nothing to do with Slash & Burn Govt Policy! Yet we aint seen nothing yet….In the UK they have “Baby Banks” where those in need, receive Nappies, Baby Care Items etc etc….So coming to NZ soon?! and Their reply will be “There Are Always Going To Be Poor Mothers” What’s next Sending Children Up Chimneys? and the usual bile of defending the indefensible National Cak of “There Are Always Going To Be Dirty Chimneys To Clean!”…Wake Up NZ!

  25. ecossemaid 25

    Elephants have very good memories and don’t need food banks, baby banks, child chimney sweeps….Well not until Keys & Ward sell off our Zoos!

  26. ecossemaid 26

    Elephants look after each other……more than can be said for the Kiwi.

  27. ecossemaid 27

    What is the difference between elephants and the national fascists? Elephants look after “ALL” their young!!!

  28. Saggy 28

    Sorry me again Karol. Not looking for another scrap but why do you keep quoting Uk issues?

    • Akldnut 28.1

      TWISI she’s pointing out the similarities between them and us being taken down similar garden paths by “Twin Brother” parties in control, getting exactly the same negative outputs and having almost identical answers to it. (Fuck all)

      Look out Aussie your time is coming “The writings on the wall”. The day is in sight as the political parties of the right hasten your fall from the top into the abyss cluttered with the ragged remains of once wealthy sovereign nations, now controlled and cowering to corporate masters in the guise of Multinationals (Acting for and on behalf of foreign investors) and some locals who make up the top 1-2%.

    • Will@Welly 28.2

      “Where England goes, we go.” Michael Joseph Savage 1939. There was a war about to start then.
      “Where England goes, we go.” John Key, circa today. We cut the apron strings years ago, dear leader firmly reattached them. He still needs nursing – tragic.

    • karol 28.3

      I don’t always. Most of the year I focus more on NZ news media. This time of year the NZ MSM journos seem to go on holiday and we get poor coverage.

      Also, I lived in the UK for many years, and like to keep an eye on what’s happening there.

      Also, there tends to be more in depth coverage in some overseas news media than by NZ media. Often I quote from Al Jazeera reports – like to watch it every morning. Good to put NZ in perspective of what’s happening globally.

  29. adam 29

    Silly question, but who else here works with people in poverty? To chris, it is a trap – that you can avoid if your single, young and healthy with no money. But it is one hell of a trap once your in it, and it takes special kind of actions to get out of it.

    The problem now is, it only takes one or two things to go wrong – a missed payment, a child getting sick or even a death in the family. And people who were doing OK, are no longer doing OK.

    First it’s the shook, why can’t I pay the bills, were is all the money going??Generally this will lead to one or two reactions: either a clambering to find solutions, or a surrender to it all being to hard. Either way the sharks circle – and I do mean literary sharks – money lenders, the cloths vans, and all manor of vermin who pray on the poor come flooding in. Then after a while despair sets in and a cycle begins. The cycle being survival, the days become more important than weeks, getting to tomorrow is a struggle – getting to next week takes to much effort.

    It is getting worse, the last three years it has got much worse, I know because more people have given up, and more and more times rent is not being paid and people are skipping out, and we can’t help them. And no they are not going to jobs, and no they are not going to family, they are going to the streets. If you don’t believe me, go into the city early in the morning – just before the dawn – at dawn watch the homeless arise for the day.

    Can we please do something to stop those bloody nasty cloths vans.

  30. tricledrown 30

    Saggy didn’t you see the photo op of the unidentified idiot with buttface(Camoron).
    What is it with the name Cameron and conservatives they all seem to have the same modus operandi.

  31. tsmithfield 31

    The problem with arbitrary definitions of poverty (i.e. percentage of income) is that it doesn’t take into account individual circumstances that might might affect their ability to cope in life.

    For instance there may be some people on low incomes who have access to low cost accommodation through friends or family. So, they may be able to live quite comfortably. Conversely, another person may have committed to a high mortgage on the basis of say a $200000 per annum salary. Due to a change in circumstances their income might drop to $100000 and their mortgage may become totally unaffordable. So, at that point in time they might be in a situation of poverty.

    Here is a proposed definition for poverty that better accounts for individual circumstances:

    “Having insufficient resources to provide the necessities of life for ones self or ones family.”

    BTW, a lot of comments here about people lining up for food banks. Probably a key point here is that people can line up for food banks. In some countries that would not be the case.

    So, by my definition above, people who are close enough in proximity to a food bank would have sufficient resources to meet their basic need for food.

    • Galeandra 31.1

      people who are close enough in proximity to a food bank would have sufficient resources to meet their basic need for food.

      Twat.

      • tsmithfield 31.1.1

        I think that is an absolutely valid point. The reason is that poverty is then contextualised within the wealth of society as a whole. Low income people living in societies that have sufficient resources to provide foodbanks, welfare support, free health care etc, are relatively much better off than low income people within societies that don’t have sufficient resources to provide these supports.

        • karol 31.1.1.1

          So you start off by saying we need to take individual circumstances into account, then you say it needs to be put into context of the wider society – you are all over the place, bending this way and that in your denial.

          You were more on target when you used this definition:

          Here is a proposed definition for poverty that better accounts for individual circumstances:

          “Having insufficient resources to provide the necessities of life for ones self or ones family.”

          And that is what has been lacking when foodbanks step in. Foodbank use is a pretty clear indicator of the shifts in people’s ability to provide for their household.

          And one of the things showing strongly that some people lack such resources, even with foodbanks available, is the rise in diseases of poverty.

        • Foreign Waka 31.1.1.2

          Your overly academic approach and absolute ignorance is shameful and abhorrent to say the least. To look down on people who are in most cases not the initiator of their misfortune and very vulnerable is beyond the pale. I am not sure what kind of person you are if you participate in a forum that is “the voice of the labor movement” and yet you are oblivious that the next big problem worldwide will be the lack of employment to gain income. Robotics is on the increase and you can see many examples right now. Japan has a motor vehicle plant that is tended by 3 (!) staff and has the same output as Ford used to have. This is the future and an issue that will affect us all, one way or another. A solution needs to be found as we are otherwise in a very precarious situation.

    • karol 31.2

      tsmithfield, so far you get the top ward for poverty denial. Congratulations!

      Firstly, have you read any definitions of poverty? It’s far from “arbitrary. And uses household income after housing costs have been deducted. So that negates this part of your comment:

      The problem with arbitrary definitions of poverty (i.e. percentage of income) is that it doesn’t take into account individual circumstances that might might affect their ability to cope in life.

      For instance there may be some people on low incomes who have access to low cost accommodation through friends or family. So, they may be able to live quite comfortably. Conversely, another person may have committed to a high mortgage on the basis of say a $200000 per annum salary. Due to a change in circumstances their income might drop to $100000 and their mortgage may become totally unaffordable. So, at that point in time they might be in a situation of poverty.

      And this is totally redundant, because that is what is done with the way poverty is calculated:

      <iHere is a proposed definition for poverty that better accounts for individual circumstances:

      “Having insufficient resources to provide the necessities of life for ones self or ones family.”

      But the following stands out as total poverty denial:

      BTW, a lot of comments here about people lining up for food banks. Probably a key point here is that people can line up for food banks. In some countries that would not be the case.

      So, by my definition above, people who are close enough in proximity to a food bank would have sufficient resources to meet their basic need for food.

      Well done!

      • tsmithfield 31.2.1

        But yet it is true. As mentioned in my second comment above, low income people in societies that have sufficient resources to provide these type of supports are far better of than equivalent low income people in societies that are unable to provide these type of supports. So, the tendency and capacity of a society to provide additional supports needs to be considered within definitions of poverty. That is why poor people in NZ are relatively much better off than equivalent poor people in Somalia.

        • karol 31.2.1.1

          Oh, great, ts. So we should wait til people are wandering the streets of NZ looking like skeletons til we decide our society has failed its own.

          For an (allegedly) wealthy country to use as a measure of poverty, the famine levels in other parts of the world, indicates a failed developed country.

          ts, you really do deserve the top poverty denial award!

        • RedLogix 31.2.1.2

          It’s the unspoken idea that the only real poverty is the absolute deprivation you see in the worst corners of third world countries.

          Then they construct from this that this kind of absolute deprivation is the only kind ‘deserving’ of help – which makes for a neat rationalization not to do anything for those who’ve fallen to the bottom of the heap in this country.

          • tsmithfield 31.2.1.2.1

            You’re putting words into my typing. I didn’t actually say that. Is there anything you disagree with in what I actually did say?

            • Colonial Viper 31.2.1.2.1.1

              You know, the top 10% in this nation are much better off than the top 10% in Somalia, so they shouldn’t complain about a bit of additional taxation here and there.

            • RedLogix 31.2.1.2.1.2

              You argue that because more crumbs fall off tables in rich countries – those who scrabble for them should be perfectly happy and content with their lot.

              • tsmithfield

                Again you’re putting words into my typing. Where did I say that?

                • tsmithfield

                  In fact I believe exactly the opposite to what you say my view is. I think people should be dissatisfied with their lot, otherwise there is no motivation for them to change.

                  Thats why it is best to deal with what you read in front of you rather than to draw assumptions and inferences from what is written.

                  • RedLogix

                    otherwise there is no motivation for them to change

                    You confuse the motivation to change with the opportunity and capacity to change.

                    Again you imply that the poor in a rich country like NZ are just lazy, lack motivation, and therefore undeserving.

                    If you put a dozen crays in a box with big steep sides they’ll all try to get out, and maybe one or two will succeed. If you lower the sides and construct some ramps, all but the sickest and most crippled will get out.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Again, these are your own inferences, not my own views.

                      From a psychological perspective, dissatisfaction with a current state leads to motivation to improve that state. My personal view is that if society moves too far in providing needs to the extent that people can be satisfied with their situation, then there is little motivation for them to improve their situation.

                      I haven’t made any assumptions about particular people being lazy etc. That is your own inference.

                      I agree with your last paragraph. From a psychological perspective, motivation will reduce if there aren’t available options to improve one’s situation. We need to be providing available and realistic opportunities for people to improve their situation, along with assisting with their basic needs where necessary.

                    • RedLogix

                      I haven’t made any assumptions about particular people being lazy etc

                      The closest you have come to stating your view is:

                      I think people should be dissatisfied with their lot, otherwise there is no motivation for them to change

                      In other words if you make life too easy for the poor then they’ll never bother making the effort to get out of poverty. In other words the poor have to be motivated by poverty.

                      Yet you then go on to say:

                      My personal view is that if society moves too far in providing needs to the extent that people can be satisfied with their situation, then there is little motivation for them to improve their situation.

                      By that logic, what then motivates billionaires to go for that second billion dollars? Or is it just that because they are already rich they find it easy to get even richer?

                    • tsmithfield

                      By that logic, what then motivates billionaires to go for that second billion dollars? Or is it just that because they are already rich they find it easy to get even richer?

                      Not really relevant to the discussion. Do you fundamentally disagree that it is good for people to be motivated to want to improve their current situation? Do you agree that society meeting people’s needs to the extent that they can be satisfied with their current situation will reduce their motivation to become self-sufficient? If not, why not?

                      So far as billionaires go, I think a lot of these people treat making money as a game to win, rather than needing to improve their standard of living.

                    • RedLogix

                      Do you fundamentally disagree that it is good for people to be motivated to want to improve their current situation?

                      Apart from those who have been damaged by drugs, brain-injury or trauma – almost everyone I’ve ever met is capable of imagining a better future and is motivated to achieve it.

                      Do you agree that society meeting people’s needs to the extent that they can be satisfied with their current situation will reduce their motivation to become self-sufficient?

                      No. Because human imagination is limitless. Once their minimal physical needs are met what most people really want is the opportunity to be creative, to excel or to be of service to other people.

                      You argue that the poor need to be poor in order to motivate them to ‘improve their lot’.

                      Yet when we look at those who really have ‘improved their lot’ – those hyper-wealthy billionaires – you suddenly argue that this motivation is no longer relevant. When in fact the billionaires, regardless of how satisfied they might be with their current situation, could always imagine a way to ‘improve their lot’.

                      But you think it’s all just a game to them. It’s a curious thing this is the motivation you ascribe to them. I don’t think you care about poverty in this country, you really don’t believe a word you are saying. It’s all just a game to you – a game you play to justify your own selfishness.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Apart from those who have been damaged by drugs, brain-injury or trauma – almost everyone I’ve ever met is capable of imagining a better future and is motivated to achieve it.

                      In other word “Yes” (at least conditionally).

                      No. Because human imagination is limitless. Once their minimal physical needs are met what most people really want is the opportunity to be creative, to excel or to be of service to other people.

                      But you haven’t dealt with my proposition. In fact, you have described precisely a situation where people aren’t satisfied with having their basic needs met, and so are motivated to higher goals, as is consistent with what I have argued. So, again, I guess you agree with me.

                      I don’t think you care about poverty in this country, you really don’t believe a word you are saying. It’s all just a game to you – a game you play to justify your own selfishness.

                      You’re making inferences about my views again that can’t be drawn from my statements.

                • RedLogix

                  Then WTF are you saying?

                  You clearly argue that the widely recognised standard of relative poverty isn’t relevant because:

                  1. It doesn’t take into account individual circumstances

                  2. In rich countries the poor are better off than in poor countries.

                  And then we get this passive-aggressive implication by your silence that therefore poverty is not a problem in NZ.

                  And now you’re unhappy because karol and I call you on it.

                  • tsmithfield

                    My argument was simply about better defining poverty to take into account individual circumstances and how those individuals are supported within the context of society as a whole.

                    These aspects are highly relevant to poverty but are not captured by benchmarking poverty to the median wage with an arbitrary percentage.

                    All the other stuff you have attributed to me has come from your own prejudices about my views.

                    I think that defining poverty properly is necessary to ensure accurate targeting of resources.

                    For instance, I know someone who is working on a low wage with a family who is probably no better off overall than many benificiaries.

                    This person needed emergency dental care and talked to the Oral Health section of our DHB. Luckily was able to get in due to the fact of the holiday season and other dental services not being available. However, at other times, these services are reserved only for beneficaries. How is that fair?

                    Surely these services should be made available on the basis of objective need rather than arbitrary factors such as whether the person is a beneficiary or not.

                    • RedLogix

                      If you don’t state your actual views – the others are perfectly entitled to make some assumptions about them.

                      So far all you have done is minimise the problem by quibbling with the widely accepted measure of poverty. The measure we have is a bit like GDP, we know it’s not perfect – but it’s good enough to tell us what we need to know.

                      Now is your big chance to say whether you think poverty is a real problem in NZ or not. And if so, do you have any ideas that would improve matters?

                      or instance, I know someone who is working on a low wage with a family who is probably no better off overall than many benificiaries.

                      You know what would be fairer? Better wages.

                    • tsmithfield

                      I had stated my views, within the limited context to which they applied.

                      Rather than leap in with inferences, you would be better to ask questions of me to clarify whether I meant what you were assuming.

                    • McFlock

                      Wow, tsmithfield.

                      You spent half the day dancing on the head of a pin to pretend that right now, in NZ, some kids do not regularly go hungry because their parents cannot afford food.

                      Congratulations.

                      Now go fuck yourself.

          • Colonial Viper 31.2.1.2.2

            Also that the rich in NZ really aren’t that rich. Not compared with the Walton’s and the Koch’s. So why pick on them as a singled out minority group?

  32. RedLogix 32

    That’s an interesting expression of something I was thinking about the other day – how right-wingers almost always struggle with the fundamental ideas of statistics.

    These two statements are both true at the same time:

    If I make one single toss of a fair coin, there is no way to pre-determine the outcome. It will be heads or tails but I cannot predict which.

    If I make 10,000 tosses of the same coin, I can make a very accurate prediction of the how many tosses will be heads and how many will be tails.

    In terms of poverty it is true that we cannot predict how exact circumstances influence each person’s situation. But equally government policy is a broad tool that affects the mass of people, and if we put millions people into a situation of low income – we can make some very reliable observations about what happens.

    It is important not to uselessly construct false dichotomies around this fundamental distinction.

    • Colonial Viper 32.1

      To paraphrase Mark Twain…its difficult to get a man to understand a concept when his self delusions rely on him not understanding the concept.

    • Harriet 32.2

      “….That’s an interesting expression of something I was thinking about the other day – how right-wingers almost always struggle with the fundamental ideas of statistics….”

      Well yes…..there is one or two idiots about.

      I don’t think that sufficient correlation exists between rich and poor…the “researchers” skim over good versus bad and conveniently substitute “rich” and “poor”.

      Or do you think that all ‘rich pricks’ neglect their kids? And that wealth alone is what nourishes, cares, loves, supports, and directs their children? And that wealth alone could get a positive ‘outcome’ for all poor kids? How well do NRL league players’ kids do – their ‘ol man is a ‘rich prick’?

      And besides, nearly all kids in bad homes don’t do to well, and nearly all kids in good homes do very well – so where is the money to be seen between all good and bad homes there? Is that ‘little bit’ of money between ‘this home’ and ‘that home’ really the differance that matters? Really?

      Anyway, they’re not statistics – just Christian Conservative observations. Thanks. Have a nice day.

      • karol 32.2.1

        Thank-you for that obfuscation, Harriet. You also get a poverty denial award, with special mention for distraction and diversion.

        Now, what do you have to say about families, with the best of parents, that lack adequate food and health requirements?

        What do you have to say about the increases in diseases of poverty in NZ in recent years?

        • Harriet 32.2.1.1

          “….What do you have to say about the increases in diseases of poverty in NZ in recent years?…”

          The sexual disease rates are the ones which have increased most, and they’re not coming of a low base. They are of much concern.

          “….Now, what do you have to say about families, with the best of parents, that lack adequate food and health requirements?…”

          ‘Adequate’ ‘requirements’ ?

          Who’s deciding that – Labour? Woolworths?

          I wouldn’t trap myself into a shopping list if I were Labour. Woolworths will just put the price up…and up.

          Don’t scare the voters.

      • RedLogix 32.2.2

        Quite possibly you’ve been misled about the name of the god you are worshiping Harriet.

        If I can distill your comment down to it’s essence:

        1. The rich are rich because they are good people.

        2. The poor are poor because they are bad people.

        Interesting. The Jesus I read in the Bible didn’t say that. In fact he hung out with poor people, hookers, the crippled and the sick. He healed them.

        He also said a lot of very scathing things about the rich, how it was a barrier to entering the Kingdom of Heaven – and after he overturned the tables of the money-changers in the Temple, the rich were furious with Him and set about His crucifixion. So no I don’t see anything that supports your ideas in the Bible.

        However you might be a lot more at home with the Satanists. Really.

        • Harriet 32.2.2.1

          ‘….However you might be a lot more at home with the Satanists. Really….”

          No I’m anti-abortion. Euthanasia too.

          “…..He also said a lot of very scathing things about the rich, how it was a barrier to entering the Kingdom of Heaven…”

          Yes……it is God who gets to judge those people.
          Do you suggest they become Christians then? Would Mr Craig like that you think?

          “…..If I can distill your comment down to it’s essence:

          1. The rich are rich because they are good people.

          2. The poor are poor because they are bad people…..”

          No. I never said that. Nor do the statistics. Good people are good parents because they are good people. All kids thrive in that enviroment.

          • RedLogix 32.2.2.1.1

            Here is where Jesus tells his followers that they have a duty to take care of children, the poor, and other vulnerable people:

            Matthew 18:6, 18:10, 19:21, 23:14, and 25:31-46; Mark 9:36-37, 10:21, and 12:40; and Luke 10:30-37, 11:41, 12:33, 14:12-14, 18:22, and 20:47.

            Here is where Jesus tells his followers to pay their taxes without complaining:

            Matthew 5:42, 17:24-27, and 22:19-21; Mark 12:14-17; and Luke 6:30 and 20:21-25.

            Here are the passages in which Jesus tells his followers that they should not obsess about other people’s sins, but should leave that to God, and attend to their own moral failings instead:

            Matthew 7:1-5 and 9:10-13; Mark 2:15-17; Luke 6:37, 6:41-42, 7:44-48, 15:2, 18:10-14, and 19:7; and John 8:2-11.

            • Harriet 32.2.2.1.1.1

              “…..Here is where Jesus tells his followers that they have a duty to take care of children, the poor, and other vulnerable people:…’

              It’s hardly a point of view that Labour is making public. What’s the problem there?

              Abortion?

              Euthanasia?

              Not mantaining the Sanctity of Life by going ‘easy’ on murderers – and not deterring others from it?

              And that’s just the VERY FIRST Commandment that Labour’s got all wrong – three times!

              “….Here are the passages in which Jesus tells his followers that they should not obsess about other people’s sins, but should leave that to God, and attend to their own moral failings instead:…’

              Hmm…….well….ok then….I suppose in that case I should take my vote elsewhere then.

              • karol

                “…..Here is where Jesus tells his followers that they have a duty to take care of children, the poor, and other vulnerable people:…’

                It’s hardly a point of view that Labour is making public. What’s the problem there?

                It’s part of the point if view I am making in the post – it is a view of the traditional Labour movement, although parliamentary Labour haven’t been as front and centre on it lately as they could have been. I don’t party vote Labour.

                Where did I or anyone else here mention abortion or euthanasia in the post or comments under it?

                More diversions and poverty denial. And misusing Christianity to do it.

  33. johnm 33

    Also relevant to the discussion:
    “Overthrow the Speculators
    by Chris Hedges”

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/12/30-3

  34. tricledrown 34

    Harriet.
    You are not a christian
    You are a hypocrit.
    What ever happened to the saying its harder for rich person
    to get to heaven than for camel to get through the eye of a needle.
    Colon Craig has gone supporter.

    • Harriet 34.1

      “….What ever happened to the saying its harder for rich person
      to get to heaven than for camel to get through the eye of a needle…”

      Yes I believe that to be true.

      But who are we to moralise – and only over rich people?

      “…You are a hypocrit….”

      You think so?

      • Draco T Bastard 34.1.1

        But who are we to moralise – and only over rich people?

        The people who need to decide what sort of society we live in. One in which the rich own everything and everyone else is effectively a slave to them (the inevitable result of capitalism) or one where everyone lives well, is not a slave to anyone but there are no rich.

        Yes, we actually do have to moralise and make decisions upon those morals.

  35. tricledrown 35

    Got one suporter

  36. tricledrown 36

    Got one suporter

  37. tricledrown 37

    Lookslike tsm is on toiletrOll duty today.

  38. Tracey 38

    National supporters gave two political views

    how much money they or the country is perceived to have is a measure of success

    poverty and any other social injustice wont be improved by more money… which is how the right define resources.

    they need to argue about definitions of poverty because none of them have the balls to say…

    people who dont have enough money didnt pay attention in school and had the same chances as me. Ergo they were lazy and now they reap what they sow. I work hard. They dont. I am not spending more money on them because I already pay too much to the likes of them.

    National must chuckle at how easy they are to manipulate. 50b in debt and rising but national is great with money.

    I am beginning to just feel sorry for them and their victims alike

  39. tricledrown 39

    Harriet just weasling your way around this blog with no conviction.
    Your just a passenger of the colonial christian propaganda machine that Empires use to keep the peasants in their place.
    The Corporate Empire being the latest to subjugate.
    The Romans were the first to use christianity as a form of brainwashing the masses to be compliant.
    No doubt other empires used other religions.
    Greed is the new religion and many christians are subscribing
    to it and helping spread its propaganda.

    • Harriet 39.1

      No.

      I follow God’s moral laws and man’s laws. Society needs both. Individuals too. Both rich and poor.

      “….The Romans were the first to use christianity as a form of brainwashing the masses to be compliant….’

      Well that didn’t work out to well then did it…..the Christians ended up ruling Rome…..to this day they still do. Powerful in most Western Countries too.

      “…..Greed is the new religion and many christians are subscribing
      to it and helping spread its propaganda…..”

      Secular humanism is the new religion – spread by the state. Anything goes…..well it’s going at the moment anyway.

      • karol 39.1.1

        Society needs both. Individuals too. Both rich and poor.

        Are you being satirical?

        • Harriet 39.1.1.1

          No of course not.

          Society needs morality. It’s a standard of behaviour – far above ‘professional standards’.

          If you create ‘professional standards’ then that is what people will then concentrate on; to the letter of the law. Morality then takes a back seat. Go ask a rich prick!

          • karol 39.1.1.1.1

            “professional standrads”? what… further diversion?

            So if it’s about morality, why are you not interested in talking about the morality of allowing children and their families to struggle in poverty, contract diseases of poverty, and have their life chances diminished by poverty? And this is increasing because the system favours the rich siphoning off profits at the expense of the least well off?

            A very convenient morality for the haves.

            • Harriet 39.1.1.1.1.1

              “……….A very convenient morality for the haves……”

              I’ve never even suggested anything of the sort.

              My first post simply questioned why rich and poor are being compared so much, when it is ‘more’ a matter of ‘good and bad homes’ that defines ‘NZ’s relative poverty’.

              But that is only if you understand what ‘relative poverty’ REALLY means! Or care to.

              You have defined ‘relative poverty’ as simply a matter of ‘affordability’. And then you wonder why people compare the ‘poor’ to Etheopians.

              ‘Relative poverty’ is MORE than just a matter of money. And that is ONLY when the public will compare it to NZers.

              No voter is ever going to believe that ‘only more money’ will fix bad homes. It simply can’t.

              Most ‘poor’ people – but certainly not all- are ‘relatively worse of’ in lots of ways – not just ‘affordability’. And you have to include those; they are relatively worse of in ‘personal attributes’. That’s all.

              Voters have now had on 40yrs of this ‘more money request for the poor’ but the poor have never been requested to do anything -not for the money- but requested to do anything at all. and their lack of personal attributes then manifests into their children and now grand children.

              Welfare is better of being performanced based – kids of beneficeries do well at school then mum & dad gets a few extra dollars. No drugs, no trouble with police, ect. a few dollars more.

              Most voters will go with that. But only if it is funded by a reduction in some government budgets and in some departments. Not through taxation. The public don’t believe the rich prick garbage because they themselves are aspirational. They don’t want to be taxed further. And they expect the poor to be aspirational too – at least to the minimum standard; survival by their own efforts. It’s all about personal attributes and that is what poor homes lack.

              “Children are better off in the loving arms of Mum and a Dad, than the cold hard arms of the State.” – Margret Thatcher.

              A very convenient morality for the have-nots.

              • karol

                so much unsubstantiated misinformation Harriet.

                I do know what relative poverty means. It has to do with social and economic inclusion within a given society, and the way it impacts on life chances – you fail to deal with that.

                they [the poor] are relatively worse of in ‘personal attributes’. That’s all

                Citations needed. And how does that account for the increase in measured poverty, food poverty, and poverty related diseases in the last few years?

                Voters have now had on 40yrs of this ‘more money request for the poor’ but the poor have never been requested to do anything -not for the money- but requested to do anything at all.

                Oh, dear, Harriet – so much misinformation and outright lies in one sentence. Labour and National have been falling over each other since the 1980s to be the party toughest on beneficiaries.

                And what are Paula Bennett’s social responsibility measures – of parents needing to be seeking work, job seeker tests, cut backs on benefits, etc been if not cutting spending while asking more (often the impossible) of beneficiaries.

                So much for morality! secular or Christian. isn’t Thou shall not lie one of the Bible commandments?

                • Harriet

                  For the worst of homes their defining characteristic is poor personal attributes.

                  For the rest of the poor it is a matter of opportunity – or lack of.

                  Concentrate on the worst and the rest will get by soon enough. Then they’ll get further ahead.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So when were you going to start moralising about the greed, avarice and gluttony of the top 1% in society?

                    Waiting.

                    • Harriet

                      Well I’m not.

                      They’re charitable enough with the amounts of tax they pay.

                      Why don’t you just legislate instead against people being that wealthy……….since it is so bothersome and unfair that is……….rather than repeating all the bullshit about ‘tax rates’?

                      It would be a bit more honest of you.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Ahhh right, you’re the kind of Christian who likes to wail on the poor while sparing kind thoughts for the wealthy. Says a lot about what you actually think of your Saviour that you completely invert his gospel.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      They’re charitable enough with the amounts of tax they pay.

                      They don’t pay between $1b and $5b that they’re supposed to. That makes them thieves and last time I looked the word thief doesn’t mean charitable.

                      You’re the type of person who blames the poor for being poor while congratulating the rich for stealing from everyone else.

                      Yep, no morals there at all.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Anyway, fuck the shills and apologists for the corporate elite and their framework of upwards wealth transfer; looks like the Left will simply have to come up with a clearer and stronger alternative vision for NZ’s future political economy.

                    • Harriet

                      ‘….looks like the Left will simply have to come up with a clearer and stronger alternative vision for NZ’s future political economy…..’

                      political economy……with words like that you may as well just use a past one………Soviet comes to mind.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey Harriet, you know that unlike the US, the terms “socialist” and “Soviet” aren’t swear words in NZ? We actually have a single payer government provided public health system in this country?

                      Anyhows, there’s no country which is more socialist with tax payers resources than the USA. As long as you are in the top 0.1% or a big bank, that is.

                      And read your fucking briefing notes.

                  • karol

                    Still no citations Harriet. Where is your evidence of the (allegedly) deserving and undeserving poor? Or that focusing on the (allegedly) undeserving poor, will solve the problem of poverty?

                    PS: Thanks for acknowledging that poverty DOES exist.

      • RedLogix 39.1.2

        I follow God’s moral laws and man’s laws.

        Generally people who find the need to make that claim out loud – don’t.

        Secular humanism is the new religion – spread by the state.

        Sourced from with the fundamentalist conservative churches. Look at what they actually teach – it is most emphatically not much about what Jesus had to say.

        For instance the three issues you have made a priority of mentioning so far; abortion, euthanasia and sex, barely get a mention by Jesus. While the things He really did bang on about, care for the weak and needy, compassion, generosity, and withholding judgement – so far you haven’t thought worth a mention.

        • Harriet 39.1.2.1

          “…..I follow God’s moral laws and man’s laws….
          ….Generally people who find the need to make that claim out loud – don’t…..”

          Huh? So why do the Courts take it seriously when one swears on the Bible then?

          “…..For instance the three issues you have made a priority of mentioning so far; abortion, euthanasia, and sex – barely get a mention by Jesus…….”

          It’s the very first Commandment……thou shall not kill…….which was bought down by Moses btw!

          “……..fundamentalist conservative churches. Look at what they actually teach – it is most emphatically not much about what Jesus had to say……..’

          You mean the evangelical Churches – the conservative Churches are the complete opposite.

          However you are right about the evangelicals – businesses really – who would want to ‘offend’ customers while building mega churches? – it’s all feel good stuff .

          • RedLogix 39.1.2.1.1

            Still no mention of anything Jesus actually said.

            Still sure you really are a Christian Harriet? I realise that’s what you were told – but it’s not all that apparent from your words.

            • Colonial Viper 39.1.2.1.1.1

              Sounds like Satanism to me…thanks again for pointing out that Archdruid post RL, I would have missed it otherwise.

          • Naturesong 39.1.2.1.2

            As a true christian, were you part of the occupy movement?

            I’m assuming you wouldn’t want to miss out on the biggest prostest against usury since the 1930’s.

          • Colonial Viper 39.1.2.1.3

            It’s the very first Commandment……thou shall not kill…….which was bought down by Moses btw!

            Are you a pacifist? Did you protest against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Do you oppose the death penalty?

            Lastly: government policies entrenching poverty kill millions of people every year. Where do you stand on that?

            PS just one more repitition of what RL said – you still haven’t mentioned anything about the teachings of Jesus. Interesting you like the Old Testament so much though.

  40. tricledrown 40

    Harriet Berlusconi to you
    Off to gone of his bunga bunga parties to spread some STD’s
    You know what they say
    When in Rome
    You have been subjugated.

  41. Harriet 41

    I think you have Rome confused with Italy.

  42. tricledrown 42

    Harriet
    Your hypocrasy knows no bounds.
    Rome is not the capital of Italy.
    I can see why you are subjugated
    To the Creed of Greed.

  43. Tracey 43

    Poverty makes bad homes or bad homes make poverty harriet?

    Heaps of middle class and above bad homes… they just dint show in crime and health stats. But they are still rearing poor citizens. Morally speaking.

  44. Lloyd 44

    Why should the state worry about the exact economic circumstances of any one family? If there is a recognised minimum income level, below which a family IS LIKELY to be in poverty, then the state should organise things so that no family is likely to drop significantly below that level. Simple.

    Minimum wage levels should provide for the single income family.

    Benefits should be universal and prevent those on the minimum wage sliding into the poverty trap. If those above the poverty level receive a benefit the chances are that those persons receiving the benefit will spend that money quickly and help the economy. Counting out cents to the poor is demeaning and minimum income should be seen as a right. If you can do well on a minimum income that should be seen as good luck rather than a reason to cut back on benefits.

  45. Will@Welly 45

    Harriet, you’ve been watching way too much right-wing, fundamentalist, Pentecostal American television, where the preachers are telling you child, you must redeem you soul, and the only way you can do that is by offering God, and his almighty church, the very foundations of his beliefs and his wisdom. Harriet, like every other God fearing daughter of the Lord, you must give, child, you must give, every penny, every cent you owns, to the church, to the Minister who promises you salvation, redemption, and ever-lasting life. Harriet, you must rush down to the bank and empty your bank account and give, give it all to the church, and then, and only then will you find true happiness.
    The lord loves you Harriet, but he will love you more, the more you can afford to give. Imagine the Lord faced with a poor man and a rich man Harriet, who is he going to love more Harriet, the man who gives him so much, or the man who turns up with nothing? Why we all know the answer to that Harriet, the Lord loves the rich man. He loves and loves the rich man.
    One day, hopefully in a long, long time Harriet, when the Lord calls on you, he will have a place reserved just for you, so you can sit right beside him, and he can worship you as you worship him. He will speak to you tenderly and show you just how great God’s love can be. In his heaven, you’ll never have to encounter the poor, the sick, the bedraggled, the haggled, the old, the infirm, the needy, the diseased, the unkempt, the ill-at-ease, the out-of -sorts, the malcontents, the impoverished, the orphaned, the widowed, the abandoned and all the others who for one reason or another don’t quite fit your category of who is rich, as opposed to who is poor.
    As you can see Harriet, there are good men around like John Key who want to replicate the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth, They want this land to be fill of people who can only offer up large tidings to the Lord, the rest, well, we all know, simply Harriet, they just have to go. There is no room here in Godzone for poor people, the sick, the needy, or the infirm, and if they don’t want to work, well we all know the best thing for bone-idleness is a short, sharp shot at redemption, that’s why Paula Bennett wants to cut the benefits.
    Harriet, sweet, innocent Harriet, what a joy it must be for the Lord to behold you in his sights, knowing full well you hold his teachings so well. The rich will inherit the earth, the poor will return to serfdom, and these fair isles will return to being a colony once more, just not England’s. Welcome to the vision that is John Key’s once and future destiny for New Zealand.

  46. home help 46

    Dont people take note of the increases in prices in the supermarkets and the insatiable greed of the money controllers or does everybody believe that fascism and social genocide are just words with no meaning
    The easiest way to get rid of the poor is to starve and kept them ignorant and for the rich to smile a pack of lies every time they are asked to justify their blatant engineering of democracy to kept the numbers in their favour

  47. dave 47

    government dept under JK IS 100 BILLION TOTAL NATIONAL DEPT INCLUDEING all those mortages is a basket case of around 450 billion or 336 percent of gdp source http://www.johnpemberton.co.nz/html/total_debt_.html
    scary

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