The myth of drug dependancy and poverty

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, January 2nd, 2016 - 304 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, Economy, john key, national, national/act government, poverty, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, welfare, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Banksie child poverty.jpg-large

Remember our beloved leader saying this?

John Key says drug dependency is a major contributor to New Zealand poverty.

The latest Child Poverty Monitor suggests poverty is much worse that it was in the 1980s.

He said issues like drug dependency were key factors that locked people out of the labour market and in poverty. …

Well it appears that there is a slight problem.  He is completely wrong.  Not only does his government’s own flagship programme disprove the notion that drug addiction is a significant problem for beneficiaries but further research suggests that the opposite is true.  From a recent article penned by Jess Berenson Shaw, a researcher with the Morgan Foundation:

In 2016, the Morgan Foundation will release the findings of our investigation into families and children in poverty in New Zealand. In our previous article we discussed our simple conclusion: that we should give them money.

Of course the response from middle New Zealand will be predictable: if we give the poor money they will spend it on alcohol and cigarettes. This is a myth. Instead we know that when the poor are given money they use it to improve their children’s lives.

Firstly, we know that the poor and the wealthy spend their money in much the same way, and all parents try and prioritise their children’s needs.

For example Statistics New Zealand reports that rich or poor, New Zealanders spent the same proportion of their weekly income on alcohol: about 2 per cent. That means rich people actually spend more on grog than poor people do: for the poorest that is $8 a week and the richest around $41. Those in poverty actually spend more of their weekly income on food compared to the wealthy: 18.4 per cent versus 15.3 per cent.

To give context to these figures, we can also look at what parents say about their income and spending. Almost all parents from low income groups in New Zealand who were spoken to in a recent study “mention that their primary motivation is to do the best for their children”  but that they needed to prioritise spending on the basics (food, transport, accommodation). Going without to cover these basics was common.

We all hear anecdotes of a poor person deciding to buy cigarettes instead of bread at the shop counter. Some people will always make poor decisions, but this is not the norm for families in poverty.

She augmented this with research from a UK study that showed extra cash in the grant to low parent single income families was used to close the spending gap on children.  More was spent on clothing, footwear, books, and holidays and spending on alcohol and tobacco was reduced.

Her earlier article suggests that the best way to address poverty was to actually give the poor money.  That this should be contentious speaks volumes about the current political discourse.  In her words:

So like many before us, we asked “what is the single most effective action we can take to improve the lives of families and children in poverty in New Zealand right now?” The answer from the evidence is clear and conclusive: we should give them money, no strings attached, especially when the children are young.

Boost the incomes of the poor with no conditions attached? Cups of tea will be spat onto the newspaper across New Zealand. However, when we brought together the highest quality evidence, the science was clear. Many will claim there is no silver bullet for fixing child poverty, but the evidence suggests they are not quite right. The best evidence we have tells us that boosting the incomes (without strings attached) for our poorest families will close about half of the gap in health, education, and employment between the haves and the have nots.

This is not the first time that right wing prejudice has been used to counter reality for political purposes.  The whole incident reminds me of this apparently satirical column that appeared recently in the New Yorker.  Although aimed at climate change deniers the comments equally apply to other areas of right wing prejudice:

Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.

“These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”

More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”

It is a shame that our political system continues to support the cynical manipulation of prejudice which is at odds with reality.

304 comments on “The myth of drug dependancy and poverty”

  1. Keith 1

    Okay, Key just plain old makes shit up to put out a fire that is troubling National. But no one at that moment called him to account for it, they just accepted the press release for real. It’s as if they have not lived the John Key experience over the last 7 years, they still take this guy at his word!

    This factless and unchallenged headline he made was accepted by his followers and National voters as fact because they think everyone who is short on money is a meth addict or a dope smoker, they think they’ve seen someone just like that at the local shops or even better someone they know reckons their mates neighbours are druggies and they don’t work.

    But here we are, January 2016 and Key has long since moved on, distraction complete and he’s pissing it up in Hawaii!

    So next time he comes out with one of his nose growing statements, whatever it may be and as he does so reguarly, some journalist who is standing there listening to it should say, Bullshit, prove it John. And he won’t be able to and that will become the headline, the clickbait and the seller of more copy!

    • Smilin 1.1

      Well stated Keith
      Its simple Key loves makin public statements which he believes are profound indisputable truths because his conservative political doctrine has always believed that the poor are incapable of the same level of competence in life as his wealthy self constructed class by the facts which are leveraged against the poor in relation to abuse and crime statistics as has been shown this year with the police .
      Weigh up the damage done by white collar crime in all its avenues, if you can get the info, ie: Hager’s attempt to hold these Keyites to account, you’ll probably find the effect on societies underprivileged is far greater by them the Keyites than by any section of those registered below the supposed poverty line which goes up and down depending on how it impinges on Key and his gang’s security
      Yeah Im poor and I can make unqualified statements just as Key does

    • Fred 1.2

      The challenge would be to find a journalist with enough fortitude and integrity to call teflon John out in public. A lost breed I’m afraid!

  2. However, when we brought together the highest quality evidence, the science was clear.

    A social scientist who calls what they’re doing “science” is a liar. And if they lie about the very basis of their work, what part of their work is actually trustworthy?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      A social scientist who calls what they’re doing “science” is a liar.

      No they’re not. They go out, do some research and come up with some facts and figures – same as the physical sciences.

      Don’t say that they’re wrong either as it’s how advertising and political spin has become so successfully manipulative over the last few decades.

      • Psycho Milt 2.1.1

        By your definition I’m doing “science” every time I buy a new phone. Which doesn’t mean I’m a scientist, it means your definition’s wrong.

        • acrophobic 2.1.1.1

          The other problem is that the Morgan Foundation have just been caught out in a major lie here http://lindsaymitchell.blogspot.co.nz/2016/01/morgan-foundation-cant-be-trusted.html. They have zero credibility.

          • marty mars 2.1.1.1.1

            There is no lie there except for your one that there is a lie – and I had to have a good wash after visiting that rightwingsite – reminded me why I cannot stand right wingers so thanks for that agro.

            • acrophobic 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Then you didn’t look.

              Citing this…

              “Unconditional Cash Transfers work better than almost anyone would have expected. They dent the stereotype of poor people as inherently feckless and ignorant”.

              Without citing the NEXT SENTENCE…

              “But Conditional Cash Transfers are usually better still, especially when dealing with the root causes of poverty and, rather than just alleviating it, helping families escape it altogether.”

              is a LIE.

              • weka

                You are asserting it is a lie, but haven’t said how. I think you have spend enough time on ts to know that that won’t wash.

                • acrophobic

                  It’s quite simple really. The author has used a partial quote, out of context, to claim the report authors posit a proposition they don’t. It’s a lie.

              • mickysavage

                Did you actually read the article. It refers to two studies, one Norewegian and another involving Cherokee. And there is a huge volume of academic material, just read the spirit level if you need it.

                But you are saying the writer is relying on study X (not true) and because study X does not say this she is lying.

                You will have to do better with your arguments than this.

                • Lanthanide

                  The author has deliberately cherry-picked a quote that has NOTHING to do with the topic she is writing about, but portrayed it as if it does.

                  It’s dishonest and calls into question the entirety of the rest of the article. Which is a shame.

                  • mickysavage

                    I would not rank it as dishonest. Slightly sloppy perhaps. The comment directly addresses the point that she was making. A more accurate comment would have been that the economist thought that giving untagged money to the poor was beneficial to them which of itself is quite startling.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Yes, but less beneficial than giving them tagged money.

                      Also they were talking about the poor in 3rd world countries.

                    • Sacha

                      When any academic summarises complex policy for public media, it’s bound to involve a certain level of trusting them to reflect the overall evidence they’ve assessed with integrity.

                      Without knowing anything about this author, the responses so far seem to reflect what commenters want to believe about the topic, nothing more.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Without knowing anything about this author, the responses so far seem to reflect what commenters want to believe about the topic, nothing more.

                      QFT

                • acrophobic

                  Yes, I did. The lie is in the the misrepresentation of the Economist quote. It is inexcusable for any academic writer, and has seriously damaged Morgan’s credibility.

                  • mickysavage

                    You are deliberately misrepresenting her and cherry picking her words. In part of her quote above she says this:

                    “when we brought together the highest quality evidence, the science was clear”

                    Obviously she is talking about studies, not one particular study. She is not relying solely on the Economist article.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Yes, but she chose to quote from the Economist article, even though it’s not actually about the same topic she is investigating, and she deliberately cherry-picked the words from the particular quote to fit her own slant.

                      It’s dishonest. It really is.

                    • acrophobic

                      That’s irrelevant. She has blatantly misrepresented the Economist position, and if she can do that, it brings her entire piece into disrepute.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Academics are just like lawyers, and I can show you another who’ll give you a counterview.

                      Lip service to academic standards when it suits though, chaps 🙄

              • Lanthanide

                IMO the bigger point is that the economist article was talking about alleviating poverty in 3rd world countries. That really is a completely different ball game to poverty in a 1st world country.

                Different in kind, and different in solution.

                • Korero Pono

                  I haven’t read the article referred to above but believe one of the studies referred to is likely based on research in North Carolina (1st world country). http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/18/what-happens-when-the-poor-receive-a-stipend/. The evidence showed those receiving the ‘unconditional’ money had better outcomes/improved social circumstances than those who did not receive the cash.

                  • acrophobic

                    Yes, but then the Econimist goes on to say (the part that the Morgan author dishonestly left out):

                    “But Conditional Cash Transfers are usually better still, especially when dealing with the root causes of poverty and, rather than just alleviating it, helping families escape it altogether.”

                    • Korero Pono

                      One quote taken out of context does not tell the full story – according to article the Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) “work better when the poor face an array of problems beyond just a shortfall in capital” – the article highlights how the Unconditional Cash Transfers (UCTs) are more effective when lack of capital is the main problem – recipients in these situations do better – the CCTs can make some ineligible from no fault of their own.

                      The study in North Carolina shows the benefits of UCTs in a 1st world situation – despite significant negative outcomes in all spheres, the injection of cash had an immediate effect on individuals, families and the community – the changes occurred prior to any other interventions being put in place.

                      http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/18/what-happens-when-the-poor-receive-a-stipend/

                      The messages from both articles is that improving the financial situation of poor people is key to improving their lives. Both articles shows that poor people will not go out and waste the money (like many would like us to believe), they actually use it to improve their lives and help their children.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @Korero: The Economist article is about poor people in a 3rd world country. It is not very relevant to talking about poverty in NZ.

                      Now, if she’d used say 3 or 4 other studies and investigated the effects of UCTs in 1st world countries, and used the economist one in addition, then fine. But she didn’t.

                • Korero Pono

                  @ Lanth – As discussed below, evidence from other studies in a 1st world context supports what the author is saying.

                  Jess B-S also used evidence in her earlier article from the study in North Carolina (1st world country) to support what she is saying.

                  Regardless the articles referred to by the author and below show that giving money to the poor are effective solutions, whether people live in 1st world or 3rd world situations.

              • Sacha

                The author has read more than one article about the subject. Quite standard to use a quote from one to summarise a range of them. Wait until the full paper is published to see if it’s a fair reflection.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.2

              The Economist’s article is really quite complex and both sides seem to have over simplified it.

              • Sacha

                An interesting read, thanks.

                Seems unconditional grants reduce immediate income poverty whereas conditional grants reduce longer-term wealth poverty by linking drivers like education.

                Not an either-or in NZ’s current context but we already have plenty of policy focus on education – just not enough on income.

              • acrophobic

                Only one side has misrepresented it.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yeah, the RWNJs.

                • greywarshark

                  acrophobic like a mayfly again darting about with smart, cutting one liners that represent …..

                  google acrophobic – an extreme or irrational fear or phobia of heights, especially when one is not particularly high up.
                  (I suggest you save your breath and climb higher to get a wider view.)

          • Paul 2.1.1.1.3

            Trolling a thread again……

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          By your definition I’m doing “science” every time I buy a new phone.

          Nope because I obviously expect the research to involve going out and finding new facts whereas you seem to think that it only requires reading what’s already written.

        • Korero Pono 2.1.1.3

          What is your definition of ‘science’?

    • Incognito 2.2

      ”A social scientist who calls what they’re doing “science” is a liar.”

      Who’s the “social scientist” whom you accuse of “lying”?

      Is it Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw, a science researcher working for the Morgan Foundation? She holds a PhD in Health Psychology from Victoria University and according to her LinkedIn profile she is a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Health/Medical Psychology and a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Hons, Psychology, First Class. I also note that the School of Psychology is in the Faculty of Science at Victoria University.

      ”However, when we brought together the highest quality evidence, the science was clear.”

      I do agree that the wording is a little unfortunate as science never is clear in absolute sense, especially not in Social Sciences so I think that this was overstated.

      Still, one “lie” doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is a lie, does it? This would be an extrapolation in extremis.

      • Psycho Milt 2.2.1

        Who’s the “social scientist” whom you accuse of “lying”?

        Is it Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw…

        Yes. It matters jack shit that she has a BSc, or that VUW considers Psychology a science, or that the Morgan Foundation calls her a “science researcher.” What matters is whether the stuff she’s doing that she calls “science” in that article really is science, which has a lot of credibility, or social science, which is only one step above opinion. Here’s a handy rule of thumb: researchers using observational studies to harness correlation=causation errors in support of a political agenda are social scientists – they’re not by any stretch of the imagination doing “science.” And the people doing social science are aware it isn’t science, so if you see one claiming it is, assume they’re a liar.

        • Incognito 2.2.1.1

          May I politely suggest that you’re tilting at windmills? Only you labelled Dr Berentson-Shaw a “social scientist”; nobody else has.

          Your reasoning for your rejection of “Social Sciences” as a science remains unsubstantiated bar a few statements such as: ” … social science, which is only one step above opinion.” or ”researchers using observational studies to harness correlation=causation errors in support of a political agenda are social scientists” [sic], which is a new ‘definition’ of “social science” that I had not yet heard of. These seem to be more a reflection of your own thinking rather and seem to suit your view of the world and justify rejecting everything that Dr Berentson-Shaw has written.

          Even when you disagree (!) on the use of the word “science” in this context it does not make Dr Berentson-Shaw a “liar”, does it? But labelling her so it again justifies you in calling into question everything she wrote.

          Do you have a political agenda? If so, you may almost qualify as a “social scientist”.

          • Psycho Milt 2.2.1.1.1

            Only I’ve pointed out the obvious, no-one else has. That doesn’t make it less obvious.

            Your reasoning for your rejection of “Social Sciences” as a science remains unsubstantiated…

            My reasoning for rejection of cats as a type of dog would also remain unsubstantiated, because only someone profoundly ignorant would dispute it. If you think the social sciences are branches of science, look up the definitions for yourself.

            Looking at observational studies of groups of people and drawing statistics-based conclusions from them isn’t, and can’t be, science. That’s why they call it “social science,” not “science.” And the theories of social scientists, based on drawing conclusions from observational studies, remain eminently-disputable claims that can be and often are disputed by people drawing different conclusions from the same studies. It’s knowledge of a much lower level of reliability than scientific knowledge. And that in turn is one reason why a social scientist might be tempted to call what they’re doing “science” – to enhance its claim to reliability and its dispute-resistance. Berentsen-Shaw will know very well that what she’s doing isn’t science – either that or she’s incompetent. Either way, liar or incompetent, “trustworthy” isn’t a word that springs to mind.

            • Incognito 2.2.1.1.1.1

              O.k. I failed the IOT Test 😉

              A cat is not a type of dog although hybrid species are known to us so who knows what might be possible in future. Cats and dogs are both carnivorous mammals, of course, and I think your analogy is flawed in the first place.

              Drawing ”statistics-based conclusions” from observational studies is the bread & butter of all (!) empirical sciences and precision, accuracy, and reproducibility are concepts that every scientist (incl. social scientists) is very familiar with. Whether Social Sciences contribute (to) objective knowledge is probably the only real area of contention. Still, it is a bit more reliable (robust) and involved (complex and requiring lots of skill & expertise) than “only one step above opinion” as you stated @ 2.2.1.

              A good (!) scientist is sceptical of claims (and counter-claims though “conclusions” would be a more appropriate word here) and in this sense Dr Berentson-Shaw ticks the right box IMO. I have not seen anything that confirms your assertion that Dr Berentson-Shaw is ”dispute-resistant”; have you personally tried to discuss her work with her directly?

              Being a liar or incompetent are two different things; previously you accused Dr Berentson-Shaw of being the former and now you seem to expand your range of options for rejecting her writings to include “incompetent”. But it is all still based on your self-erected windmills!

              • If you can’t see a difference between science and the social sciences, there’s no point in further discussion. I called Berentsen-Shaw a liar because it seemed ridiculous to imagine a researcher might genuinely be so incompetent as to consider social science research to be “science.” Your comments have given me pause for reflection.

                • Incognito

                  Fair enough, we leave it at that and thanks for the discussion. A pause for reflection in this day & age is becoming more and more like a rare bird: seldom seen or heard, especially by the younger generations.

    • North 2.3

      So c’mon Psycho Milt…….is Key 100% correct or 40% correct or in largest part is it deliberate false attribution and sullying of victims, or what ? If it’s either of the first two options please give us the proof Key can’t/doesn’t. Then maybe you can have a go at the “scientist” or ‘not-scientist’. Until then you’re being silly.

    • Korero Pono 2.4

      If a ‘social scientist’ is not ‘doing science’ then what are they doing? An example of ‘social science’ that has a basis in ‘science’ is attachment theory, which is backed up and evidenced by neuroscience, it also has decades of research and observation behind it, it is an evidence based theory used by social scientists.

      • Psycho Milt 2.4.1

        If a ‘social scientist’ is not ‘doing science’ then what are they doing?

        Well, you know there’s a reason we call it “social science” and not “science,” right? That’s because they’re different things. One uses the scientific method, and the other uses correlation/causation errors and confirmation bias as “evidence” in support of a political agenda. The article in question is in the latter category, not the former.

        North: Key’s opinions are exactly that: opinions. Science or not-science doesn’t come into it.

        • North 2.4.1.1

          They’re dogwhistling before they’re opinions. But still you obfuscate. In defence of dogwhistling. Good on you anyway for making such excellent ‘talking to yourself’ so obvious.

        • Incognito 2.4.1.2

          Dichotomous, dogmatic, divertive, and dog-whistling. Not one solid argument why social science does not equal science. Must try harder.

        • NZJester 2.4.1.3

          If Social Science is a fake field of science because it has the name Social in front of it I suppose the other 3 of the 4 main sub areas of science are all fake to like Natural Sciences the study natural phenomena, Formal Sciences the study of mathematics & logic and Applied Sciences, which applies existing scientific knowledge to create technology or inventions.

          Oh my does Science not exist?

          • Psycho Milt 2.4.1.3.1

            Also, the Nazis were socialists, because the name of the party was the National Socialist German Workers Party. The stupid, it burns!

    • Chris Aarons 2.5

      You just prove the point of wilful prejudice…where do you get the idea of social science being less a science and therefore less valid ?! Try arguing that point with any university .

      • Psycho Milt 2.5.1

        Try arguing with any university that the social sciences are in fact science and should be in the science faculty. As to where I and everyone else who knows about this stuff got the idea that the social sciences aren’t science, we got it from the fact that the social sciences don’t use the scientific method, ie they don’t deal in empirically-falsifiable hypotheses and don’t come up with attempts to falsify those hypotheses. That doesn’t mean they’re not valid, it just means they shouldn’t pretend to be doing science.

        • Korero Pono 2.5.1.1

          So when you talk about ‘social science’, which disciplines are you referring to?

        • Incognito 2.5.1.2

          We’re getting closer!

          We’re talking mainly (?) about Sociology, the so-called Scientific Method, and “empirically-falsifiable hypotheses”.

          Many pages have been written and will be written still about the Scientific Method, which, to me, has taken the status of “urban legend”. In any case, I think it is a contestable yardstick for deciding what is and what is not science – does it really matter?

          A hypothesis can be ‘wrong’ and still be useful. Is that what you mean by ”That doesn’t mean they’re not valid”? But if they can be valid why did (or do) you claim that we must reject all the stuff written by Dr Berentson-Shaw? It cannot be valid and invalid at the same time because it can be labelled (by you, I should add) “social science”.

          So, either you are self-contradictory and not self-consistent or you have not yet given us a proper argument as to what exactly is wrong with those writings.

          • Psycho Milt 2.5.1.2.1

            Is that what you mean by ”That doesn’t mean they’re not valid”?

            No. Sociology can’t be done as a science because the subject matter doesn’t lend itself to empirical analysis, but that doesn’t mean it can’t tell us anything useful.

            • Incognito 2.5.1.2.1.1

              I understand what you mean now. I guess we will continue to disagree on certain points but c’est la vie.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    It is a shame that our political system continues to support the cynical manipulation of prejudice which is at odds with reality.

    I sometime wonder if we need a law, one that can’t be removed, that specifies that all laws must match the scientific consensus. We could make it as part of our written constitution – once we get around to actually having one.

    • One Two 3.1

      Scientific consensus dictating daily human activity on a micro level…

      Scientific/medical dictatorship

      You genuinely harbour such thoughts and are comfortable to publicly share them, behind an anonymous handle

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Scientific consensus dictating daily human activity on a micro level…

        Nope. I’m saying that the laws that the government passes should match the science. Laws are at the general level and not the micro level.

        Scientific/medical dictatorship

        We presently have an ideological dictatorship but I don’t see you crying about that. Would that be because the ideology is the same as yours?

        You genuinely harbour such thoughts and are comfortable to publicly share them, behind an anonymous handle

        Pseudonymous actually and I say them to peoples faces as well. Can’t communicate to people if you’re not willing to say anything.

        You seem to be saying that I should be afraid to say these things. Why is that?

        • One Two 3.1.1.1

          Would that be because the ideology is the same as yours?

          Ideologies are part of the overall problem being faced. They are also for those who prefer to have their imagination moulded by other people’s ideas

          Science driven laws would fall into the category of ,ideology

          Ever consider that such an ideological leaning is every bit as twisted as that the current government represents?

          You’re free to say what you like, just be mindful that such ideological views are juxta to being ‘leftist’

          More aligned with, extremist / eugenicist

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            Ideologies are part of the overall problem being faced.

            Yes, when government is by belief we get problems like increasing poverty, PMs saying things like ‘drug dependency is a major contributor to New Zealand poverty.’ and rich people getting huge subsidies from the government paid for by the government raising GST on the poor.

            Science driven laws would fall into the category of ,ideology

            True but they’d actually be based upon reality rather than individuals beliefs.

            Quote: You can’t have your own facts

            You’re free to say what you like, just be mindful that such ideological views are juxta to being ‘leftist’

            Yes, as I’ve been saying for quite sometime:
            Reality has a radical Left bias.

            Right-wing beliefs, on the other hand, are pure delusion but still idealogical.

            More aligned with, extremist / eugenicist

            Which is your delusional ideology speaking. Eugenicism is pure right-wing.

            • One Two 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Which is your delusional ideology speaking. Eugenicism is pure right-wing

              Quite certain I stated my avoidance of ideolological leanings, so where is it that you make this statement from ?

              Eugenics is pure right wing, same as ‘reality’ based science laws would be. Nothing leftist in that, not one bit

              Because you believe science consensus to be ‘reality’, does not does not make it so. Nor can it , ever

              Pure right wing thinking there Draco, and rather muddled

              • Draco T Bastard

                Quite certain I stated my avoidance of ideolological leanings, so where is it that you make this statement from ?

                Everybody has an ideology. Yours, from your comments here, are right-wing.

                Eugenics is pure right wing, same as ‘reality’ based science laws would be. Nothing leftist in that, not one bit

                Nope, eugenics is an over simplification of the science and authoritarian and everyone who’s ever promoted the idea has been, as far as I could determine, right-wing thus me saying that it’s a right-wing position.

                The science says that we need to be protecting the environment and reducing GHG emissions. Is this a right-wing or left-wing position?

                The right-wing are, of course, actively working to prevent those protections being put in place.

                Because you believe science consensus to be ‘reality’, does not does not make it so. Nor can it , ever

                That’s actually the muddled bit. Science doesn’t determine reality, it observes it and comes to conclusions based upon those observations. By basing laws upon the scientific conclusions, rather than beliefs as happens now, we’d end up with better laws.

                And, yes, we would have to keep updating and changing the laws as we learned more.

                • One Two

                  Because you’re confused within your own ‘labeled’ position, you feel comfortable to label others. This is a flaw in your ‘self view’. A significant flaw which I strongly suggest you spend time assessing on why it is a significant flaw

                  “The science says …”

                  Science is not necessary to identify any of the major issues facing the world. They are perfectly self evident in their own right

                  Think that through ,or better yet try meditating on it

                  Your ideological beliefs are what complel you to propose ideas such as ‘science driven laws’. Your confusion over ‘reality’ and the role of science in it, is why you believe such a proposal could lead to overall positive outcomes for humanity . It wouldn’t

                  The eugenicists (among others) would welcome your proposal with open arms, which makes your position, and proposal, “pure right wing”

                  By your own admission…

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Science is not necessary to identify any of the major issues facing the world. They are perfectly self evident in their own right

                    No they’re not as the list of common myths proves. The fact that you and others like you believe that they are is a major problem because it means that we keep doing the same stupid stuff.

                    Your confusion over ‘reality’ and the role of science in it, is why you believe such a proposal could lead to overall positive outcomes for humanity .

                    Again, the problem isn’t me or science but you, and others like you, thinking that you already know everything.

                    The eugenicists (among others) would welcome your proposal with open arms, which makes your position, and proposal, “pure right wing”

                    No they wouldn’t as science tells us that genetics and evolution doesn’t work the way that that the eugenicists believe. Then there’s the science of philosophy which, of course, questions what we should do and there’s no way that eugenics would be found to be ethical.

                    • One Two

                      The Science says….The Scence tells us….”

                      Seriously , start thinking for yourself. It’s liberating

                      That you believe it’s not possible to interpret and identify the most serious issues faced by humanity, is an indictment on you, and only you. Providing that link as support for your inadequacies serves only to illustrate how blind you actually are

                      That you seek to use ‘ scientific philosophy’ to pretend that ethics would be adhered to if ‘scientificly driven law’ became the norm, is deluded in the extreme

                      Scientific ethics exist in the minds of the delusional, only. Hostorical records, ongoing must take some fortitude to ‘ignore’

                      Ideology has blinded you

                    • mickysavage

                      One two I am struggling to understand your line of reasoning. So we should ignore scientific consensus?

                      Climate change for instance. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that we have a problem. But there are still the die hards and the corporate shrills attempting to minimise and sideline this consensus. If we should also ignore the scientific consensus then all that will happen is both sides will yell loudly at each other.

                    • Paul

                      One two may be a denier, using an obtuse line.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That you believe it’s not possible to interpret and identify the most serious issues faced by humanity,

                      I didn’t say that.

                      What I said was that the way to understand is through science and not through belief.

                      As I’m pretty sure you understood that I can only assume that you’re trying to distract from your delusional position of relying upon belief. Beliefs tell us nothing.

                    • Just a quick note on eugenics.
                      Darwin and eugenics normally comes up because Darwins cousin was a proponent of early eugenics.

                      But, anyone who has read even a bit of Darwin will realise that his primary point is that variation is key to success as a species.
                      Eugenics is diametrically opposed to this.

                    • One Two

                      @ mickeysavage – ‘scientific consensus’ has no place in being the driving force of law, because of the abuse which would permeate down at a micro level. That was my position response to the hypotherising by DTB. Humanity has not developed to a high enough level of collective consciousness leading to genuine altruism for any singular ideology to safely become dominant. This has been repeated throughout history, with predominantly negative consequences for the majority of humanity, and in more recent centuries, at the severe damage to the environment

                      Science is not required to understand that recent centuries of industrial and technological development , has and is destroying the planets capability to support life as we know it. Sure science can substantiate and qualify in detail the problem /impact, and provide possible solutions to problems, but its not necessary to identify the problems which we face. Again, that is the core premise in my responses

                      That my position has been referred to as ‘ denier’ or ‘ belief ‘ is due to interpretational predjudice by those who worship at the alter of science. I am not one who adheres to any ideological belief, which includes science and technology based structures.

                      I understand it enables people to believe that humans have a grasp of our ‘existence ‘ through science,/tech, and at elementary levels this could arguably be true. IMO it depends on ones perspective and need to attach ‘ the self ‘ to the illusion of ‘progress’

                      Humanity have problems which science will not, and cannot solve because the problems are predominantly ego and ideological in nature. Seemingly a symbiotic relationship deeply ingrained in the human psyche, at the expense of our positive natural tendancies of creation over destruction

                      These problems must be initially overcome IMO, then ‘ the science’ might actually be beneficial to the entirety of human-kind

                      The question is, will we make it in time. Science can’t tell us that, but it will have its place

                      Just not as the driver of legislation. That would be disastrous IMO

                      This will be my final response on this tet à tet

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Science is not required to understand that recent centuries of industrial and technological development , has and is destroying the planets capability to support life as we know it.

                      I’m pretty sure that it was science that told us that DDT was killing us and the planet and not some instinctive level knowledge. Same now with GHG emissions and climate change. In fact, the people who rely on instinctive level knowledge (which they pass off as ‘common sense’) are still denying that our GHG emissions are a problem.

  4. Jay 4

    “Her earlier article suggests that the best way to address poverty was to actually give the poor money.”

    Haven’t the government recently increased welfare benefits for the first time since 1977? So that’s got to be good right?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      No as they’ve actually put in place far more hurdles to get the money in the first place, made it easier to take money from the poorest and that ‘largest increase’ only applied to about 1% of people getting benefits and even then the chances were against anyone getting the suggested $25.

      In other words, they’ve spent far more time taking more from beneficiaries than the measly advertised increase.

      • acrophobic 4.1.1

        “No as they’ve actually put in place far more hurdles to get the money in the first place, ”

        There should always be ‘hurdles’ to access other peoples money.

        • Macro 4.1.1.1

          Actually it isn’t other peoples money – it is just as much their money, as it is yours or mine. It is money we all give through our taxes to help those who are in need. It might be that sometime in the future you may have a requirement for assistance. Then you might find just what it is like to make an appointment in a large room with everyone else, provide numerous papers of : identification, your bank account details (if you should be so lucky), and every other piece of information about yourself whether you deem it to be relevant to your situation or not. Hopefully, the person on the other side of the desk will deal with your request in a sensitive manner, but don’t count on it, and you may well find that there are more rules and hoops for you to jump thru, than you expected.

          • acrophobic 4.1.1.1.1

            “Actually it isn’t other peoples money – it is just as much their money, as it is yours or mine.”

            Rubbish. The money I earn is my money, no-one else’s. The money deducted from me for tax belongs to the state. It is still not the beneficiaries.

            People on a benefit are effectively being given other peoples money, because without my taxes (and other working peoples taxes), there would be no welfare.

            If and when I need welfare or any Government assistance, I will expect to be asked plenty of questions.

            • Macro 4.1.1.1.1.1

              So you are saying that people who are poor have no business being in NZ! Yes that sounds typical.
              You do understand that the purpose of State is to represent all people of the land including those who require financial assistance to live not just you.
              So you see the money that is given to the state through your taxes – is no longer your money – it belongs or is there for everyone – including the poor – the ones who need it most. And by the way – if you are on a benefit you still effectively pay tax. Now -a -days however the benefit is calculated as tax free, previously it wasn’t – the amount a beneficiary receives is reduced reduced accordingly.
              I’m sure you will be asked plenty of questions – you might not like the manner nor the range however – nor might you find the outcome all that satisfactory.

              • acrophobic

                “So you are saying that people who are poor have no business being in NZ!”

                What on earth gave you that idea?

                • Macro

                  You say – “The money I earn is my money, no-one else’s. The money deducted from me for tax belongs to the state. It is still not the beneficiaries.”

                  Your whole response to this question is one of begrudgingly giving as little as possible to as few as possible. Obviously it would be better in your mind if they were not here! Well they are. And it is our responsibility as a community of NZ to care.

                  I’m not sure if you are aware of what NZ society was like prior to Ruthenasia, but there were no beggars on our streets as we have today.
                  People were not forced to live under bridges and in cars. Firstly there was a living wage, and secondly there was a far fairer deal for those unemployed than there is today.

                  You might like to ask someone who is forced into begging – just why it is that they have to live like that in this society? Filling in forms may be simple to you. Having every detail regarding your personal life in a handy folder may be what you have, but for many that is a huge ordeal, something because of dyslexia, or some other personal problem they cannot deal with. I would suggest to you that for many – the questions you may find simple are anything but and rather than suffer the embarrassment and trauma of a WINZ conference they turn to their family, or friends, or the street, or where ever. (In 2008 a study found that up to 90% of inmates in NZ prisons were not functionally literate.)

                  • acrophobic

                    It seems that as time goes on you and other posters are attempting to refute my comments by simply misrepresenting what I have said. So I call you out on this. You said “So you are saying that people who are poor have no business being in NZ!” I ask again, where did I say that? If you can’t cite my comment, you should withdraw and apologise. Anything else is blatant dishonesty.

                    • Macro

                      Oh FFS! You are the one here being dishonest – dishonest with yourself. I never said that you said it – I said that your comments and your entire attitude revealed in your comments here implied it!

                    • acrophobic

                      “I never said that you said it…”

                      Oh really? So you didn’t say…

                      “So you are saying…”?

                      I’m not responsible for your reading deficiencies.

            • maui 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Uhuh, and so if the money you get taxed belongs to the state and provides education, healthcare, the fire service, policing, pensions etc to everybody under the state. You presumably want all of those services means tested from now on?

              • Korero Pono

                Let’s not forget corporate welfare – how many big businesses dip their fingers into tax payer money? McDondalds is an example http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/72983494/McDonalds-accused-of-using-zero-hour-contracts-to-game-Work-and-Income-subsidies.

              • acrophobic

                No, because these services are for the whole community. Welfare is a payment to an individual, and should only go to those in genuine need.

                • McFlock

                  lol
                  When corporations and rich people get money from the government, it’s a public good. When poor people get it, it’s a private good. Tory logic.

                  • acrophobic

                    “When corporations and rich people get money from the government, it’s a public good. ”

                    That depends on why they get it. If it is for the provision of services (eg health services), then yes, they deliver a public good.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, a public good minus a nice slice off the top to pay the investors.

                      Now tell us why pensions (also in Maui’s list) are a public good, but other benefits aren’t just because the recipients are under 65.

                    • acrophobic

                      Investors are entitled to a return. That’s part of the reason they invest.

                      “Now tell us why pensions (also in Maui’s list) are a public good, but other benefits aren’t just because the recipients are under 65.”

                      All benefits are a public good, I hope I didn’t give any other impression. But they do come from public money (yours and mine) and so there should be conditions. Just as there is when public money goes to businesses.

                    • McFlock

                      but as soon as it’s a public good it’s not just a payment to the individual, is it? It’s a payment to the pubic. And the payment shoudn’t then be based on the minimum for the individual, it should be based on what the public needs, as well. And if that’s more than the minimum forany particular individual,then good for them, but it still needs to be paid.

                    • acrophobic

                      “but as soon as it’s a public good it’s not just a payment to the individual, is it? It’s a payment to the pubic. And the payment shoudn’t then be based on the minimum for the individual, it should be based on what the public needs, as well. And if that’s more than the minimum forany particular individual,then good for them, but it still needs to be paid.”

                      No, on most counts. A payment to a beneficiary can be a public good because it reduces the possibility of social dis-cohesion, or because it is part of a greater humanity. That doesn’t mean such payments are made ‘to the public’. Neither does it mean such payment should be excessive or without conditions. It is, after all, charity.

            • One Two 4.1.1.1.1.3

              The money deducted from me for tax belongs to the state. It is still not the beneficiaries.

              Not sure you’re being serious with that statement, ao I’ll assumme you are

              Your income tax money goes to the international bankers to service the ‘national debt’

              GST also services debt, which means the welfare recipients contribute every bit as much as anyone else

              The country borrows what you believe your income tax pays for

              Your position is idiocy

              • acrophobic

                “GST also services debt, which means the welfare recipients contribute every bit as much as anyone else”

                That’s utter nonsense. The benefit is derived from tax monies. The income tax paid by beneficiaries is also derived from tax monies. The GST paid by beneficiaries also is derived from tax monies. It is a merry go round, of which the beneficiary contributes zero.

                “The country borrows what you believe your income tax pays for”

                Not all of it, in fact no-where near all of it. Most comes from tax revenues, of which beneficiaries contribute zero.

                You might want to rethink your position.

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  You do get that many beneficiaries work part time and pay tax, that most beneficiaries are only on benefit for short periods and pay tax when they are working, that a fair chunk of sole parent benefits is paid by the other parent of the children, that benefits are taxed so that some of the cost of those benefits is clawed back through the tax system by lifting the total income for the year – until the late 80’s benefits were not tax and so you only paid tax on your working income not working income + benefit. The effect of taxing and including the benefit was to lift some income into higher tax brackets so the net tax paid by the person was greater than would have been the case.

                  For someone who has pretty entrenched attitudes about welfare you seem to know sweet FA about how it actually works.

                  • acrophobic

                    “You do get that many beneficiaries work part time and pay tax, that most beneficiaries are only on benefit for short periods and pay tax when they are working…”

                    Yep, I know that only too well. So what?

                    “…that benefits are taxed so that some of the cost of those benefits is clawed…”

                    Yep, still a net cost to the taxpayer.

            • Abe 4.1.1.1.1.4

              “The land doesn’t belong to us, we belong to the land”

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2

          The government doesn’t give away other people’s money no matter how much the bludging rich would like you to think that it’s all their money.

          • acrophobic 4.1.1.2.1

            Of course it is ‘other peoples money’. If you don’t work, everything you get is charity. There is no entitlement to welfare. It is a privilege of living in a civilised society, and should come with significant strings attached.

            As for the bludging rich…I’m not rich. But my son didn’t qualify for a student allowance becaue our family income is too high. We have never received WFF. We carry private medical insurance. We pay our taxes that used to permit bludging beneficiaries to enjoy Sky TV, gambling, drugs and alcohol. Thank goodness this Government has cracked down on the level of beneficiary abuse.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2.1.1

              If you don’t work, everything you get is charity.

              Everybody works and adds to the general wealth of society.

              We pay our taxes that used to permit bludging beneficiaries to enjoy Sky TV, gambling, drugs and alcohol.

              Never happened as this whole post showed.

              Thank goodness this Government has cracked down on the level of beneficiary abuse.

              Actually, this government has increased beneficiary abuse – they’re the ones doing the abusing.

              • acrophobic

                “Everybody works and adds to the general wealth of society.”

                Really? I wonder what these people contribute to society?http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/64406798/Kids-to-go-without-Christmas-mum-says.

                Six more mouths to feed and no way of paying for it.

                “Never happened as this whole post showed.”

                Really? The family detailed in the article above have plenty of alcohol na d a new fitness machine in their garage.

                “Actually, this government has increased beneficiary abuse – they’re the ones doing the abusing.”

                No, this Govt is holding bludgers like the example above accountable of their own actions, and stopping the ‘no strings’ handouts. And not before time.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Really? I wonder what these people contribute to society?

                  Well, they seem to have added six more people to the population. Any of those 6 could go on to great things. Even the parents could – if we supported them.

                  No, this Govt is holding bludgers like the example above accountable of their own actions, and stopping the ‘no strings’ handouts.

                  They don’t seem to be bludgers – just people in the doldrums due to this governments policies of increasing unemployment.

                  And the real bludgers, the ones dodging paying their taxes, to the tune of ~$5 billion, still get away scot-free.

                  • Well, they seem to have added six more people to the population.

                    You say that like it’s a good thing.

                  • acrophobic

                    “Well, they seem to have added six more people to the population.”

                    Six more welfare dependents for the next 16 years, at least.

                    “They don’t seem to be bludgers – just people in the doldrums due to this governments policies of increasing unemployment.”

                    Oneis a sickness beneficiary. How is that the Govt’s fault? The other other is unemployed. I wonder how many job’s he’s applied for? Why the new fitness machine, the alcohol? Tough times came alright, by their own hands.

            • Macro 4.1.1.2.1.2

              Thank goodness this Government has cracked down on the level of beneficiary abuse.

              You obviously listen to too much squawk back radio.
              How many people defraud WINZ? Come on give us some figures?
              Now then, how much has National defrauded this country with its “gift” to the Saudi business man – and why isn’t McCully in court?
              How much have tax evaders cost NZ and what sort of penalty do they get?
              I’ll give you a clue:

              Her analysis of court data on the most serious offending from 2008–2011 shows that 22 percent of people found guilty of tax offences received a custodial sentence while 60 percent of benefit fraudsters were imprisoned.

              Dr Marriott’s investigation also shows tax crimes are more costly, with those given custodial sentences committing offences valued at just over $800,000. Benefit fraud averaged $67,000 per offender.

              Benefit fraud cost New Zealand $22 million in 2010, or around $5 for each New Zealander. While it is difficult to get accurate figures for tax evasion, the Tax Justice Network estimates New Zealand missed out on more than $7.4 billion of tax revenue in 2011, or around $1,500 per New Zealander.

              my bold

            • McFlock 4.1.1.2.1.3

              There is no entitlement to welfare.

              “Welfare” keeps people alive. Everyone has an entitlement to life.

              • acrophobic

                Everyone has an entitlement to provide for themselves. No-one has an entitlement to have others provide for them, particularly the able bodied.

                • McFlock

                  Fucking weasel words. Everyone has an entitlement to provide what for themselves?

                  If they do not have the means or ability to provide that for themselves (as evidenced by their failure to provide that for themselves), then social welfare provides those means for them, because that’s their entitlement.

            • Descendant Of Sssmith 4.1.1.2.1.4

              “If you don’t work, everything you get is charity.”

              That’s such a fucked up misrepresentation of our welfare system that you should seriously take some lessons in logic and comprehension.

              We work and pay tax in part for the eventuality that at various points in our lives we will be out of work.

              So of those on benefit in the last twelve months how many have never worked or paid taxes?

              Of those how many were born with severe disabilities and will likely never work in paid employment?

              Of the sole parents how much of the contribution to the benefit rate is paid by the other parent? Is that part charity as well? – probably is in a paternalistic fucked up right wing world view.

              Is the majority of WINZ payments charity ie NZS or does the notion of charity change when you turn 65?

              And the saddest thing about your comments is that you recognise that you’re not rich but despise those poorer than you, not really contemplating you’re one stroke/serious illness/car accident away from joining those ranks.

              You currently pay the lowest tax rates in this country that has existed in your entire life and still you bemoan the fact that you pay it.

              What’s it like to hate the poor so much and to be so angry?

              • acrophobic

                “We work and pay tax in part for the eventuality that at various points in our lives we will be out of work.”

                What utter nonsense. We work and pay our taxes so that the state can provide essential services. That the state in civilised society also supports the genuine needy is a good thing, but it is still charity.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Speak for yourself. You are not “we”. Choke on it.

                  • acrophobic

                    The views I am sharing here are very common, in fact I would suggest they are the majority view in NZ today. If you would enjoy further enlightenment, this article is excellent:

                    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11570087

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      A failed fool from a zero-percent support party, whose opinions are likewise 100% plagiarised from books by a deranged hypocritical crackhead.

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      You’ve moved into proper troll territory now so I’m only going to do this one collated response to you rather than little ones.

                      I’m still waiting for you to show some consistency and lambast all those bastards getting New Zealand Super where most of your involuntary welfare goes. Particularly as many of them are quite capable of working, have sky and use prostitutes, not always after their wife has died either.

                      I’m a little surprised you’ve labelled benefits as charity the normal extreme rightwing troll tactic is to label it involuntary welfare as charity is freely given vs welfare is coercion by the state to take my money and give it to someone else.

                      Of course NZS is the elephant on the room for you isn’t it. It’s non-judgmental, paid to all, has no real restrictions on getting it and has reduced poverty amongst the elderly to one of the lowest in the world.

                      Something that the previous approach via charity simply could not and did not achieve.

                      Everything it should be.

                      You’re were deliberately obtuse in pretending that my Lewis quote was about the state when it was obvious it was referring to you and your do-good but on my terms wanky attitude towards helping people. The sad thing is is that aresholes like you seem to be infiltrating the welfare state and embarking on a crusade to dismantle it. People like Paula Rebstock should never be allowed near it.

                      It was built and developed on Socialist principles with the support of unions and union workers and the support of the poor and infirm – both working and non-working.

                      All those things you despise.

                      Yet it’s still there and it ain’t going away any time soon.

                      People have been pretty clear that Labour returned the $20-00 per week rates to NZS and not to benefits and nor did they reduce the youth rate back to 18.

                      They have been pretty clear that benefit rates have not been increased, and normally the right like to deny NZS is a benefit (see elephant in the room). Labour have been criticised for years for their sell out of that and the right are currently touting that John Key is giving beneficiaries the first increase for years.

                      The quote you used refers to Labour correcting both the NZS rates and increasing the number of public servants. It’s correct in saying part – you using it to convey that Labour increased benefits to reverse those counts is not even disingenuous – it’s a lie.

                      It’s quite clear that well all contribute tax while we are working to pay for assistance in the future if we become out of work or unwell or turn 65. It’s how insurance works, it’s how ACC works and so on. There’s an added contribution in the case of sole parents from the other parent which is an additional contribution over and above regular taxation and is specific for benefits only.

                      Most of the right justify NZS as people have paid taxes all those years. There’s no pragmatic difference between paying tax for benefits and tax for NZS. There’s only a political one to justify ones own agenda when you want to.

                      There’s plenty of people who have worked all their lives who have got cancer, been laid off by unscrupulous employers and so on who are ever appreciative of this safety net.

                      I notice you did move your position from no contribution to still not a net contribution – that’s movement I guess but no more than a bowel movement.

                      For someone who is such a pedantic shit I guess you won’t see the irony in your earlier claiming that what you believe is an inappropriate quote completely invalidates what someone is saying and that if someone lies to you you’ll have nothing to do with them ever again.

                      Yet you used an inappropriate quote to state that benefit rates had increased when it said nothing of the sort, particularly in the context of the actual benefits being talked about and the context that had already acknowledged that NZS rates had been increased..

                      ipso facto (using your own logic) your whole argument is invalid and a lie and cause you lied to me, in my own high horse judgmental world, I shall cast you out and have nothing to do with you. Begone.

                      Here’s some final light reading though.

                      http://democracyjournal.org/magazine/32/the-voluntarism-fantasy/?page=all

                    • acrophobic

                      “I’m still waiting for you to show some consistency and lambast all those bastards getting New Zealand Super where most of your involuntary welfare goes. ”

                      Why would I do that?

                      “You’re were deliberately obtuse in pretending that my Lewis quote was about the state…”

                      I didn’t. I just quoted Lewis back to you, seeing as you seem to be a fan

                      “The sad thing is is that aresholes like you seem to be infiltrating the welfare state and embarking on a crusade to dismantle it. ”

                      Oh, on the contrary. I want to preserve it, by ensuring it only goes to those who qualify. Like super-annuitants.

                      “Yet it’s still there and it ain’t going away any time soon.”

                      I am very glad about that. There are many worthy recipients.

                      “It’s correct in saying part – you using it to convey that Labour increased benefits to reverse those counts is not even disingenuous – it’s a lie.”

                      Well yes it would have been if that is what I had said. Interesting that you continue to misquote me.

                      “Yet you used an inappropriate quote to state that benefit rates had increased when it said nothing of the sort…”

                      No, I didn’t.

                      What is interesting is that you have to misrepresent what I say to attempt to refute it. It’s similar to a straw man argument, and very common from the left.

        • Puddleglum 4.1.1.3

          Tell that to marketers and business people. They call those ‘hurdles’ the dead hand of red tape.

      • ropata 4.1.2

        Not forgetting that the Gnats passed retroactive legislation so that WINZ can avoid paying out its legal obligations to people it has systematically underpaid for years

    • greywarshark 4.2

      Jay Yes that is good.
      Questions
      1 How many are going to get this increase in numbers of bennies?
      2 What percentage of bennies is this?
      3 Since 1977 has inflation eroded the value of the $?
      4 How far is the present benefit for a family of one parent and
      three teenage children with average accommodation assistance
      from the theoretical costs of that sized family living with a car,
      or with public transport costs for each member of the family?

      I suggest that the government itself wouldn’t know that. It doesn’t bother to collect statistics on many things to do with welfare, preferring to make statements based on what someone said at a meeting once, what was said during the after dinner discussion last week, plus personal prejudice based on what everyone of any worth knows.

    • maui 4.3

      Massive increase in poverty since the 80s, huge increase in people requiring Christmas help from Auckland Mission, 2.5% gst tax rise for the poor, conversion of state house areas into property investing areas, increased begging and homelessness. Pushing people out of benefits. Our PM, making a difference.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 4.3.1

        The hardest done by since Richardson’s benefit cuts in my view are actually young people. They not only got hit by the $20-00 per week reduction they also had the youth rate for under 18 year olds moved to 24. They have suffered greatly ever since both from the direct lowering of benefit rates, the imposition of student debt and the indirect lowering of young people’s wages, particularly by corporate that occurred as a result.

        • greywarshark 4.3.1.1

          Young people were/are dependents of parents till being regarded as adult when 25 when wanting tertiary study. So they cannot claim to be adults till then, can’t claim as adults for anything and must look to their parents to help them unless those parents are on low incomes. Which can be arranged with a good accountant.

          But when they haven’t got the support and protection of parents and the state assumes in loco parentis they are thrust out on their own into the community?/public arena when they are 17 at present. One young fellow recently on RADIONZ stated that it was very hard to be in that position at this young age, on your own after being fostered or whatever.

          That’s government for you today. Or rather for itself and cronies today. Our Brave New World. Right. We elect people but they have nothing useful to offer the country’s burgeoning underpaid, under-employed, unemployed or those on zero contracts which are tied employment conditions similar to India’s debt bondage https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debt_bondage

          Interesting points of law on work contracts in UK
          http://www.tayloremmet.co.uk/blogsite/employment-contracts-all-tied-up/

      • tory 4.3.2

        if hadn’t you noticed we had an earth quake and the gfc every country has an under class ,nothing can be done the poor need to suck it up ,suck it up ,there poor because they want to be poor, poor life choices .look there is surplus of labour in the world the answer is to put the disfranchised into special camps even sterilization should be considered poor people breed more mouths to feed.

        • Grant 4.3.2.1

          You misspelled your handle fascist.

        • maui 4.3.2.2

          I bet you love the US, lots of vulnerable people for you to prey on in a place where its supposed to be the pinnacle of civilization. Millions who have opted out of your capitalist nightmare, at least they had some sense and got out of a bankrupt system. What a succes s~tory?

        • Korero Pono 4.3.2.3

          Tory there is something seriously wrong with you. Thanks for spelling out (very poorly) why your kind of ideology is so messed up. The sad thing about people like you is…everything.

        • Lara 4.3.2.4

          Oh FFS. The GFC ended in 2009. That’s SEVEN years ago now.

          We have had SEVEN years of a growing economy.

          The GFC and the Christchurch earthquakes are not a reasonable excuse for this governments poor management of the NZ economy.

          And if you think it still is, then how long after these events will it continue to be an excuse?

          They’ve borrowed EVERY SINGLE YEAR and seen low growth rates in one of the longest bull markets in global history. In my book that’s mismanagement.

          • acrophobic 4.3.2.4.1

            The problem with your argument, Lara, is that in 2008 we were not just suffering from a GFC, but from a recession brought on by poor Government spending decisions. This Govt has had to deal with the fall out from crazy decisions such as pouring 1bn into KiwiRail, and other equally poor quality spending. Your point about growth rates is utterly false. The post GFC markets have been extremely cautious, but the more important factor is our terms of trade. About enjoyed 8 years of record terms of trade and squandered the chance to rebalance the tax system. But as an aside, NZ’s post GFC growth rates have actually fared reasonably well compared the other economies.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2.4.1.1

              but from a recession brought on by poor Government spending decisions.

              Bullshit. In fact, Bill English is on record as saying that the previous Labour led government left the economy in a good shape to handle a recession.

              BTW, recessions are a result of our deluded financial system.

              This Govt has had to deal with the fall out from crazy decisions such as pouring 1bn into KiwiRail,

              Rail is the mainstay of future national transport. National is doing its best to make the rebuild of it cost even more and take longer because they believe in cars and trucks which are uneconomic.

              But as an aside, NZ’s post GFC growth rates have actually fared reasonably well compared the other economies.

              And the poverty continues to increase.

              • acrophobic

                “Bullshit. In fact, Bill English is on record as saying that the previous Labour led government left the economy in a good shape to handle a recession. BTW, recessions are a result of our deluded financial system.”

                Rubbish. And there is no economic system that is immune from recession.

                “Rail is the mainstay of future national transport. ”

                You miss the point. The business that Cullen forked out 1bn for was worth NOTHING. Nationalisation, if it was really necessary, should not have delivered a red cent to the previous owners.

                • ropata

                  I wonder what excuse you will dream up for the Gnats selling off profitable public assets, GST tax swindle, and failing to tax corporations and banks adequately?

                  Demand destruction and shrinking the NZ economy is part of their iniquitous class war. People don’t see it because the government has become a PR machine for the corporates.

                  NatCorp™, working for the 1% since ages ago

                  • acrophobic

                    “I wonder what excuse you will dream up for the Gnats selling off profitable public assets, GST tax swindle, and failing to tax corporations and banks adequately?”

                    Are you really still waging this silly war? Partial sales of state assets to fund other capital works is eminently sensible, and a common policy in many developed economies. There is no GST tax swindle. Company tax rates are 28%. All companies pay this rate, unless they have legitimate deductions. If they act illegally, they are subject to the same scrutiny as you and I would be as individual taxpayers.

                    • ropata

                      Asset sales reduce cashflow and make no sense when the govt can get 0% interest loans to fund “other capital works”. This is capitalism 101. Don’t sell your profitable assets!

                      The sales were driven by flawed neolib ideology much like the rest of your drivel.

                      The GST tax swindle was a blatant wealth transfer to the 1%, this kind of tax “rebalancing” is highly regressive and is the main reason NZ suffers from increasing levels of inequality and poverty. Sad that you defend this inhumanity.

                    • McFlock

                      fuck zero percent interest – those assets were producing more revenue than the interest costs of the debt they paid down. Only a moron makes a sale like that.

                    • ropata

                      Either a moron or an extreme narcissist with pecuniary interest, or some other reward pending from his bankster mates

                    • acrophobic

                      “Asset sales reduce cashflow and make no sense when the govt can get 0% interest loans to fund “other capital works”. This is capitalism 101. Don’t sell your profitable assets!”

                      Not sure where you learned you’re capitalism.

                      There is no such thing as 0% interest loans. There is always effective interest. Also it is perfectly legitimate to sell profitable assets if the proceeds are better invested elsewhere.

                    • acrophobic

                      “…those assets were producing more revenue than the interest costs of the debt they paid down. ”

                      That’s only half the story. What about the cost of borrowing for other capital projects? The increased dividends to Govt for having private equity?

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, cycleways return much more than hydroelectric dams /sarc

                      You know what? And decent additional capital investment pays for itself and returns a healthy profit. Like the ones that were sold off did.

                    • acrophobic

                      “Like the ones that were sold off did.”

                      You are either mistaken or dishonest. National’s plan involved the partial privatisation of assets. They were not ‘sold off’. The Govt. retains majority ownership.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Rubbish

                  “I want to stress that New Zealand starts from a reasonable position in dealing with the uncertainty of our economic outlook.”

                  Bill English 2008.

                  So, are you lying deliberately, or are you an ignorant fool who runs off at the mouth as well as a plagiarist who cannot muster an original thought?

                  • acrophobic

                    The ‘rubbish’ was your comment “recessions are a result of our deluded financial system.” But then you knew that.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder’s equity—myself especially—are in a state of shocked disbelief.”

                      No evidence of delusional thinking there, no sirree. Why are your rote-learned reckons always so easy to rebut? Have you tried any actual thinking about them?

        • Macro 4.3.2.5

          Do you have a job tory?
          Or should you be put into a special camp and sterilized?

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 4.4

      Haven’t the government recently increased welfare benefits for the first time since 1977? So that’s got to be good right?

      No they’ve announced they will increase one benefit in the future. Hasn’t happened yet.

    • No one has received that increase, it is not budgeted to start until April 2016. Meanwhile people need that assistance now.

    • Korero Pono 4.6

      The proposed $25 increase to benefits is a farce created by this Government to make it look like they are doing something. The reality is that those supposed increases will greatly reduce other assistance already received by beneficiaries – example Temporary Additional Support (TAS), will be reduced by every dollar of additional money received. Those people will be no better off. Those currently receiving TAS are already disadvantaged because of how it is calculated.

      I feel quite sorry for those who are hanging out desperately for the extra $25, they will be disappointed when they realise just how empty the promise is (another blow to their psyches).

      • acrophobic 4.6.1

        The proposed increase is over and above inflation adjustments made, and represents the first ‘real’ increase in benefits in decades. With inflation running at close to zero, this will be a genuine boost to beneficiaries.

        • Korero Pono 4.6.1.1

          If it helps you sleep at night just keep telling yourself that, in reality you are perpetuating a lie. In 1991 the National Government removed significant amounts from beneficiaries (as much as $50 per week), the supposed $25 will never make up for the last 25 years on inadequate income. The supposed $25 will not have any impact for a good number of families because the TAS they currently receive will reduce by the same amount. This is not and will never be “a genuine boost to beneficiaries”, particularly those struggling the most who WILL lose TAS, they will be no better off (sadly many of them don’t know it yet).

          • acrophobic 4.6.1.1.1

            “In 1991 the National Government removed significant amounts from beneficiaries (as much as $50 per week), ”

            That is 25 years ago! Are you suggesting people who were beneficiaries 25 years ago are still dependent on the state?

            You also fail to mention that much of those cuts were reversed by Labour, and you also fail to take account of WFF, which impacts working beneficiaries.

            • Descendant Of Sssmith 4.6.1.1.1.1

              No much to Labour’s disgrace they only put the cuts back on NZS. Cynical vote catching at best.

              The cuts were never put back on the benefit rates.

              That’s why someone going onto NZS from a benefit gets a great big increase in rate.

              “That is 25 years ago! Are you suggesting people who were beneficiaries 25 years ago are still dependent on the state?”

              No you suggested that when you talked about inter-generational dependency. If they’ve gone off then their isn’t an inter-generational dependency is there.

              And actually a lot of them are – it’s called NZS.

              • acrophobic

                Here’s a lesson for you. The term ‘intergenerational’ refers to descendents of beneficiaries also being beneficiaries. It does not refer to the same person being a beneficiary for a long period of time.

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  So what if I went on benefit for two weeks in the 1980’s, which I did, and my son went on benefit for four weeks in 2011, which he did you would class him as an inter-generational beneficiary.

                  It’s quite clear that when you are using the term you are at the very least inferring long periods of benefit through successive generations.

                  Your condescending “here’s a lesson for you” comment re-inforces that you use the term with little thought about what you mean and certainly not any data that identifies what “inter-generational dependency” actually is.

                  Certainly the mere act of two generations needing a benefit at some period in their lives life is hardly an inter-generational dependency except in the narrowest possible definition of the term.

                  I’ve pointed out elsewhere the problem in taking simple counts such as appear in the media by simply measuring current positions in time ie excluding those who have been on benefit during a period but are no longer when calculating percentages and so go back to the questions you don’t seem to wish to answer.

                  How do you define inter-generational dependency and what are the numbers of those who would fall into this category.

                  What do you count even in terms of benefits? Does the old family benefit count for instance. Many households, and wives in particular depended on that money to feed the children – both working and non-working. Did that mean they were dependent? Does NZS count because most people in NZ have a parent/grandparent on NZS? Do short periods count or only long periods? Does the cost of living in a particular area make a difference? Do you count assistance paid for medical costs or to help pay accommodation costs? Do you count people who are working, do you count WFF, do you count those looking after other peoples children and getting orphans benefit or those with children who have disabilities and getting Child Disability Allowance.

                  I see no reason btw to exclude NZS – we have the lowest rate of poverty in the world among our elderly precisely because we pay that benefit to them.

                  Would you exclude those people getting a benefit because of intellectual disability who the private sector will not provide work?

                  So given you’re the one bandying the epithet around it’d be quite useful for you to explain what you actually mean by it.

                  We just don’t castigate them in the same way.

                  • acrophobic

                    “So what if I went on benefit for two weeks in the 1980’s, which I did, and my son went on benefit for four weeks in 2011, which he did you would class him as an inter-generational beneficiary.”

                    No, and this question and the rest of your diatribe just show how silly you are. Intergenerational welfare refers to the intergenerational transfer or transmission of welfare dependency. This is a common and well understood expression in the field of welfare.

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      No it’s not well defined and not well understood. In fact it’s a concept that is still being defined.

                      Still if it is well defined and understood you might like to tell me how many people on benefit (roughly) fit that well-defined criteria, what the problem is and whose problem is it?

                      And besides it may not be a problem.

                      https://inequalitiesblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/killer-evidence-for-intergenerational-welfare-dependency/

                    • McFlock

                      “welfare dependency” does not exist.
                      What exists is a society and government that fails specific members of its population over years and generations.
                      Victim-blaming is the first step in avoiding culpability.

                    • ropata

                      acrophobic’s prescription literally kills people: /market-failure/

                      An article on Stuff today shows “Social injustice is killing people on a grand scale”. It’s based on research by Dr. Jamie Pearce and indicates that those who live in poor areas are more likely to die early than those in wealthy areas.

                      Dr Pearce said the changing social and political environment disadvantaged poor people and areas, as well as Maori and Pacific people. Healthcare reforms which required people to pay more for their treatment led to poorer people making less use of health services, and unequal rationing of primary healthcare had affected some regions more than others

                      The market has failed and it’s costing people their lives.

                    • acrophobic

                      I’ll make this really simple for you DoSS.

                      There is a significant amount of work that has been done on inter-generational welfare in NZ. Google it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Right wing trash, devoid of personal responsibility, just like you, put a lot of effort into blaming the victims of right wing economic incompetence.

                      Yeah, loads of work goes into it.

            • Korero Pono 4.6.1.1.1.2

              Acrophopic, there you go again with your alternative reality – spreading misinformation. It is hard to tell whether your attempts to mislead are genuine ignorance or simply a state of mind that will make up stories to justify why some people should be treated like second class citizens – even worse, perhaps if you tell the falsehoods often enough people will eventually believe you.

              Yes it was 25 years ago that up to $50 per week was cut from benefits (the impact of which has lasted across the board, including an increase in poverty, demand for food banks, people unable to access medical care or services that others take for granted. It is not to say that people have remained on benefits for 25 years but the cut backs have impacted on every person receiving the woefully inadequate financial assistance since that time, particularly the 305,000 children who now live in poverty (50% of whom come from working families).

              Moreover, Labour did not reverse the benefit cuts back then, I am not sure if you dreamed that up or that is part of your agenda to spread false information.

              It was the National Government who removed the universal Family Benefit in 1991 and introduced the CTC the same year but was only available to working families. As to WFFTC – introduced in 2004, this was designed more for working families than beneficiaries, which is evident when you consider the IWTC. (In my opinion this is nothing more than an employer subsidy). I have personally witnessed some very wealthy families take advantage of WFFTC – with the help of some very good accountants and their ability to filter income via trusts, partnerships and various companies but that is another story all together but one that reflects the mentality of those with wealth. These issues were explored by the Tax Working Group back in 2009/10 and they recommended that the National led Government close the loopholes that the wealthy were taking advantage of in order to access subsidies designed for low income families (as well as the various methods to reduce their tax obligations) – the Government did nothing.

              The real bludgers in society, the real people needing your ‘investment’ are those with significant assets and means to hide their incomes in order to dip their fingers into money that was never intended for them – these are the ones who do not pay their fair share of tax (if they pay any at all) and then dip into other money – all the while increasing their net worth and living a life of luxury courtesy of the tax payer.

              • acrophobic

                “The real bludgers in society, the real people needing your ‘investment’ are those with significant assets and means to hide their incomes in order to dip their fingers into money that was never intended for them…”

                What money? Where is this ‘money’, and how do they get it?

                “…particularly the 305,000 children who now live in poverty (50% of whom come from working families).”

                THERE ARE NOT 305,000 CHILDREN IN POVERTY. It is a nonsense statistic that does not withstand any serious scrutiny.

                “Moreover, Labour did not reverse the benefit cuts back then, I am not sure if you dreamed that up or that is part of your agenda to spread false information.”

                I didn’t say they did. I said that ‘much of those cute’ were reversed by them. Another left wing poster who can’t read for comprehension.

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  Much of those.

                  You mean all of those on NZS and none of those on benefits.

                  They also removed Special Benefit and replaced it with the much more limited Temporary Additional Support.

                • Korero Pono

                  Acro you are truly a sad individual – semantics and straws seems to be your forte, anything to hold onto the lies you keep telling yourself and others.

                  “What money, Where is this ‘money’, and how do they get it”

                  Regardless of how someone gets their money, if it is a taxable activity then there is a tax liability that should be paid.

                  Up to 6 billion dollars in tax revenue is being evaded by corporate bludgers – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10871292

                  Despite personal wealth of over 50 Million, a majority of these people declare incomes of less than $70,000.

                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10887756

                  As to the 305,000 children living in poverty, again you will use semantics (or refute measurement of such) but based on information from the Child Poverty Monitor this is the case – http://www.nzchildren.co.nz/#toc_6 – regardless of measurement used, even you cannot refute the existence of child poverty in New Zealand (or maybe you will just so you can continue with a lie).

                  If “much of the cuts were reversed by” Labour,

                  Where is your evidence because NONE of the cuts were ‘reversed’ by Labour – yet there you go with your diatribe. I am not sure if this is genuine ignorance or simply a reflection of your mendacious personality. Either way, people like you should not be allowed to ‘invest’ time with any vulnerable person, it horrifies me to think of the damage you are doing to vulnerable families.

                  • acrophobic

                    Korero you continue to misrepresent what I have said. I’ve called you on it twice now. I’m happy to debate, as I have shown, but I will not tolerate blatant dishonesty.

                    As to your question…”Where is your evidence because NONE of the cuts were ‘reversed’ by Labour…”

                    “The impact of these changes was particularly pronounced as the unemployment rate was high due to the 1987 stockmarket crash and the cost-cutting programmes of the previous fourth Labour government, which had reduced the staff of many state services. The cutbacks have been partially reversed by the fifth Labour government…”

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_in_New_Zealand#Cutbacks_of_the_1990s

                    • Korero Pono

                      @Acro, there is a difference between misrepresenting you and correcting your lies.

                      You have taken a quote from wikipedia and presented it as ‘evidence’, which is dishonest when applied as ‘proof’ to back up your original response to a comment I wrote. This shows the level of desperation you experience.

                      At post 4.6.1.1.1 in reference to my statement ” In 1991 the National Government removed significant amounts from beneficiaries (as much as $50 per week), ”

                      You wrote:

                      “You also fail to mention that much of those cuts were reversed by Labour”

                      I responded that none of those cuts were reversed –

                      http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/feature-archive/710128/Clark-a-victim-of-her-own-competencehttp://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/09/19/benefit-cuts-designed-to-help-cut-wages-as-well/http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2002/02/http://www.cpag.org.nz/assets/Presentations/Benefits%20and%20Barriers.pdf

                      Yet you call me a liar and refer to wikipedia to prove your point, yet either fail to understand or choose not to understand that the information you produced is not related specifically to the benefit cuts as per my original statement.

                      You are either intentionally dishonest or stupid, I am not sure which one it is. I suspect, dishonesty is your primary objective, particularly given your mendacious spirit.

                      What is really laughable you write:

                      “I’m happy to debate, as I have shown, but I will not tolerate blatant dishonesty” – Goodness me, you call it a ‘debate’, what you really mean is ‘dictate’ and ‘lie’ that is what you have shown. I may as well throw in sanctimonious too “I will not tolerate” people who do not present the facts but instead uses deception, misrepresents information and continues in the lie when caught out. That is what you call a blatant liar, given your level of intolerance of such I am not sure how you can look at yourself in the mirror.

  5. greywarshark 5

    I was just thinking of unintended consequences from black market use of vouchers. If one looked at the black market as people trying to arrange their opportunities to help raise their own particular lower living level, then one could see that it could help to make for a more vital society.

    So say there were food vouchers and some people traded them for cash so they could buy other things than food sometimes, it would still result in say 60% getting more food and ultimately better health. With the relief of stress other parents would feel ready to improve their lives with a small step that helped them, and ultimately it could turn out to be 70/30 or 80/20 helped. Which would be effective assistance. What about running a five year pilot.

  6. Tautuhi 6

    We are fortunate JK has got friends at the Bank of America we can borrow money from to pay for the tax cuts and continue to pay the welfare benefits.

    Interested to hear JK’s economic growth plan and solutions to improve the lives of the less fortunate in society.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 6.1

      Though not everyone thought the lending of money to us was OK. There were some questions asked in Congress.

  7. Ad 7

    Great to see you vacuuming up the Morgan Foundation stuff Mickey. It’s the activist think tank we’ve always wanted.

    As for Key’s politics on this, it’s exceedingly smart, if dark. The easiest way to get the support of NZ’s working poor is to remind them that they are a better sort of people than the truly depraved below them.

  8. acrophobic 8

    “Her earlier article suggests that the best way to address poverty was to actually give the poor money.”

    Regrettably her earlier article was based on a total lie. Berentson-Shaw totally misrepresented the Economist article by 1> conflating 3rd world poverty with 1st world poverty, and 2> ommitting this part of the quote “”But Conditional Cash Transfers are usually better still, especially when dealing with the root causes of poverty and, rather than just alleviating it, helping families escape it altogether.”(http://lindsaymitchell.blogspot.co.nz/2016/01/morgan-foundation-cant-be-trusted.html)

    Berentson-Shaw is dishonest, and the entire article a nonsense.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      See my comment above. She was clearly not relying on one study alone when she reached her conclusion.

      • acrophobic 8.1.1

        Doesn’t matter. Her dishonesty has been exposed. I wouldn’t trust anything she publishes.

        • mickysavage 8.1.1.1

          It does matter. And your superficial judgment speaks volumes about you and not her.

          So let me get this right. Her text was not quite pristinely perfect, yours was worse, yet you are vindicated and she is a liar.

          Did I get that right?

          • acrophobic 8.1.1.1.1

            No. You may be happy with justifying blatant dishonesty as “text was not quite pristinely perfect” but I for one am not. The author used a partial quote, out of context, to claim the Economist took a position they didn’t. Are yu not comprehending this?

  9. acrophobic 9

    “Not only does his government’s own flagship programme disprove the notion that drug addiction is a significant problem for beneficiaries…”

    What an incredibly poorly worded article. Apart from the fact that it is based on commentary from a discredited organisation, you conflate beneficiaries with those in poverty. There are plenty of beneficiaries who are not in poverty, just as there are people who live in poverty but are not beneficiaries because they chose to live where there is no work (and are therefore ineligible for the dole).

    The data referred to in the Stuff article does not contradict Key’s position at all because it only included people seeking work. How do you know these people are in poverty, or are even representative of people in poverty? The simple fact is you don’t, and you’r lazy misrepresentation of the data is shameful.

    It is almost certain that there is at least some correlation between substance abuse and poverty in NZ, and if you want some international research on the matter try this http://alcoholrehab.com/drug-addiction/poverty-and-substance-abuse/.

    • mickysavage 9.1

      “The data referred to in the Stuff article does not contradict Key’s position at all because it only included people seeking work. How do you know these people are in poverty, or are even representative of people in poverty? The simple fact is you don’t, and you’r lazy misrepresentation of the data is shameful.”

      Well considering that even people suffering from cancer were required to seek work and thousands of tests were conducted I thought the sample was a pretty good one. But hey knock yourself out. Point to some data that actually proves what you claim.

      • acrophobic 9.1.1

        So now you’re arguing everyone suffering from cancer is also in poverty? The sample is irrelevant because unemployment and poverty are not axiomatic. Simple.

        • greywarshark 9.1.1.1

          Suddenly you fill this blog as a fount of all wisdom acrophobic. Why don’t you try breathing through your nose and concentrate on what the experienced people are saying here. and read links provided, and ask about things you don’t understand instead of wildly swinging out when you get an idea. It might be a new experience for you.

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.1

            To be fair, I’m impressed that acrophobic is hard at work on the weekend, and a stat hol no less. Quite the diligent spinster.

            • greywarshark 9.1.1.1.1.1

              I see that acro has been interacting with Lindsay Mitchell’s blog. To a sensitive person of naive disposition, that could be a shock and demand immediate response to save NZ from accelerating decadence of the masses and waste of taxes, two Very Important Rallying Calls to the conservative mind..

          • acrophobic 9.1.1.1.2

            Who are the ‘experienced people’? Let me tell you I have a significant ‘investment’ in helping the needy in this country, which is why I take the time to expose misinformation as being written by the organ Foundation, and spread by the author of this blog.

            • Incognito 9.1.1.1.2.1

              I strongly support you in wanting to dispel misinformation but you come across as a perfectionist who judges everything by your own standard and discards it and everything associated with it if it does not meet the highest standard. You seem to be saying that one hole does sink the entire ship, which is obviously not true, not even for the Titanic.

              In other words, you’d throw out the baby with the bathwater.

              By your reasoning the entire peer-reviewed scientific literature would be decimated (which is not necessarily a bad thing given the recent proliferation of junk journals & papers alike) purely because they contain mistakes, errors of judgement, poorly designed experiments, poor statistics, etc. Whether you’d label these “lies”, “incompetence”, or “blatant” is irrelevant because the algorithm is clear and black & white: one mistake/strike and you’re out. Even Judith Collins gave ’criminals’ three strikes!

              • acrophobic

                “By your reasoning the entire peer-reviewed scientific literature would be decimated (which is not necessarily a bad thing given the recent proliferation of junk journals & papers alike) purely because they contain mistakes, errors of judgement, poorly designed experiments, poor statistics, etc.”

                Not so. My concern is the existence of blatant dishonesty. The case I am highlighting involves such dishonesty by a supposed academic who uses a deliberate selective quote to misrepresent. That is not a mistake, an error of judgement et, it is a malicious act of deception.

                • Incognito

                  Please provide evidence why this was ”a malicious act of deception”, an intentional act to deceive, and not a genuine mistake or error of judgement?

                  I am not asking for the motive because that has already been covered by another commenter who also accused Dr Berentson-Shaw from having a political agenda and nothing else.

                  Pretend I am in the Jury and you’re the Prosecutor (not the Judge).

                  • acrophobic

                    The ‘evidence’ is in the act. The author knew the full quote and it’s context, yet failed to divulge it. That is either professional negligence or dishonesty. I say dishonesty, because the author has since had the time to correct their error and has failed to do so.

                    Case closed.

                    • Incognito

                      O.k. thanks and time now for some role swapping.

                      The Economist article indeed leaned towards CCTs over UCTs but it was not so clear-cut as you would like or seem to make out it was, in the context of those studies, and it clearly qualified the conclusion in your and Lindsay Mitchell’s favourite end-quote form the article. In other words, it put the statement in a certain perspective, which you failed to do.

                      Was Dr Berentson-Shaw deliberately dishonest and deceptive by leaving out the possible and apparent benefits of CCTs over UCTs according to the Economist article? I don’t think so. She took the relevant information, the principle if you like, and transferred it to the NZ problem and situation.

                      Could she and should she have included the statements about CCTs? Well, it depends on whether health and education issues are relevant and thus apply to the NZ problem of poverty and particularly child poverty. I think they are not directly related; we have free (semi-compulsory) vaccination and free healthcare (for children, incl. the semi-compulsory free B4 School Check) and subsidised ECE and compulsory schooling from age 6-16.

                      So what other conditions did the Economist article mention that directly apply to the NZ situation? None, as far as I can tell. So, I think Dr Berentson-Shaw was correct to say that UCTs are the single most effective action we can take. Although CCTs might tick a few other boxes such as reassuring the “middle-class taxpayers that the poor are not getting something for nothing” but they will come with higher administration costs, etc.

                      I will leave you with a paragraph from the same Economist article in which the bold emphasis is mine:

                      ”Moreover, CCTs can focus on something which UCTs leave to chance: helping the next generation. Healthier, better educated children earn more throughout their lifetimes, so the requirement to attend school or clinics should cut future poverty. UCTs aim to reduce poverty now. So conditional and unconditional schemes are not always comparable. That said, a lot of effort has gone into making comparisons, and the results are now emerging. CCTs have their drawbacks but—at least where governments are concerned, and if you take a broad definition of poverty reduction to include health and education—they usually do a better job.”

                    • acrophobic

                      “Was Dr Berentson-Shaw deliberately dishonest and deceptive by leaving out the possible and apparent benefits of CCTs over UCTs according to the Economist article? I don’t think so. She took the relevant information, the principle if you like, and transferred it to the NZ problem and situation.”

                      1. The ‘relevant information’ would have been the entire quote, which put a completely different perspective on the view the Economist took.
                      2. The transfer was also dishonest. The Economist article was about the 3rd world, not the 1st world, which Berentson-Shaw failed to disclose.

                      This is blatant dishonesty, combined with a dose of intellectual laziness.

                    • Incognito

                      @ acrophobic at 10:05 pm.

                      I disagree with you on your first point; she could have given the complete quote but the first part was the relevant part because the conditions (i.e. improved health and education) for the usual advantage(s) of CCTs over UCTs do not apply to the NZ situation or at least not in the same way as to 3rd world cases cited in the Economist article.

                      This brings me to your second point. If the first part of the quote is invalid, as you seem to think, because it applied to the 3rd world situation and not to the 1st world, then surely the second missing part of the quote is also invalid!?

                      However, this is inconsistent with the data from (the) other studies!

                      In addition, you have not explained why you think it is a cardinal sin, scientifically speaking, to take knowledge gained from studies on problems in the 3rd world and apply or transfer this to 1st world situations. What exactly makes it so specific and context-dependent? People are people, aren’t they, and the laws of economic behaviour are universal, aren’t they?

                      Lastly, you do realise, I hope, that this was an article written for a general audience, undoubtedly with a certain word limit, and not a paper for a peer-reviewed scientific journal?

                    • acrophobic

                      “…the first part was the relevant part because the conditions (i.e. improved health and education) for the usual advantage(s) of CCTs over UCTs do not apply to the NZ situation or at least not in the same way as to 3rd world cases cited in the Economist article.”

                      I think you’re missing the point. You’re arguing whether or not there was some academic merit to her article. That isn’t what we are discussing. This discussion is about dishonesty. Leaving out part of the quote, and thereby mispresenting the author, is dishonesty, whatever other point is trying to be made.

                      ” If the first part of the quote is invalid, as you seem to think, because it applied to the 3rd world situation and not to the 1st world, then surely the second missing part of the quote is also invalid!?”

                      Again I have made no claims about validity only about honesty. I dismiss her integrity becasue of her dishonesty, and therefore I bring into question HER conclusions, not the validity of the quote.

                      “…you have not explained why you think it is a cardinal sin, scientifically speaking, to take knowledge gained from studies on problems in the 3rd world and apply or transfer this to 1st world situations. ”

                      This is secondary to the key point…the author did not declare that the study was about the third world.

                      “Lastly, you do realise, I hope, that this was an article written for a general audience, undoubtedly with a certain word limit, and not a paper for a peer-reviewed scientific journal?”

                      That’s a poor excuse. This is an academic with the attendant responsibilities. We have a right, surely, to trust academics to represent the whole truth, not cherry pick quotes to suit their intended conclusion. This was not a minor ommission; the lack of completeness fundamentally misrepresented the Economist, and the lack of disclosure fundamentally changed how one interprets the data.

                    • Incognito

                      @ acrophobic at 12:04 pm.

                      You’re twisting and turning this into a circular argument and thus an exercise in futility.

                      You and others attacked Dr Berentson-Shaw because she failed to meet certain scientific criteria and her article thus lacked scientific merit.

                      I asked for you to provide the specific argument(s) and provided counter-arguments but you have been evasive.

                      It is not dishonest to reach valid conclusions based on valid research without full disclosure and proper citations if upon careful scrutiny these conclusions indeed appear to be valid or at least plausible. This was an article for general consumption in MSM and, like it or not, proper citation or even linking is usually absent in such articles. This is not meant to be an excuse but a simple observation. Again, it illustrates that this was not a scientific paper as such but a lay-man’s summary of the research conducted by Dr Berentson-Shaw et al.

            • Chris 9.1.1.1.2.2

              “Let me tell you I have a significant ‘investment’ in helping the needy in this country…”

              If that’s true it’s my guess it’s because you can afford to give money to charities traditionally supported by the conservative right and held out nowadays by neo-liberals as the panacean response to a rights-based welfare system that has participation in the community as its objective.

              • acrophobic

                I placed the word ‘investment’ in inverted comma’s because much of my investment is time, not dollars. The organisations I support are wide and varied and none of your business, but I will say this…any organisation that claims welfare is a ‘right’ will lose my support immediately. Welfare is a societal good, it does indeed have community participation as an objective, but it is a privilege that is to be earned and for which the recipient must comply as a worthy member of a civilised society.

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  Ahh the cold cold heart of charity.

                  The moral vacuum of the deserving poor vs the undeserving poor.

                  It why we moved from a charity based support system to a no-fault welfare system.

                  It’s why prostitutes and alcoholics were declined superannuation in New Zealand’s past, it’s why women were given choices about giving up their children or going to live in the poorhouse with them.

                  I look forward to your expose on the number of people in NZ who don’t deserve to get NZS.

                  Your’e just an simplistic authoritarian really. Your kind has been around forever.

                  “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

                  – C.S. Lewis

                  http://www.herinst.org/BusinessManagedDemocracy/culture/wealth/fear.html

                  • acrophobic

                    The circumstances Lewis was referring to were so far removed from NZ’s welfare beneficiaries as to make your post risible. More than that, Lewis wrote about the need for greater personal responsibility, and his concern for the rise of ‘statism’. Here’s an extract:

                    “The increasing complexity and precariousness of our economic life have forced Government to take over many spheres of activity once left to choice or chance. Our intellectuals have surrendered first to the slave-philosophy of Hegel, then to Marx, finally to linguistic analysis.

                    As a result, classical political theory, with its Stoical, Christian, and juristic key-conceptions (natural law, the value of the individual, the rights of man), has died. The modern State exists not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good—anyway, to do something to us or to make us something.

                    Hence the new name “leaders” for those who were once “rulers.” We are less their subjects than their wards, pupils, or domestic animals. There is nothing left of which we can say to them, “Mind your own business.” Our whole lives are their business.”

                    From God in the Dock, “Is Progress Possible? – Willing Slaves of the Welfare State.”

                    • ropata

                      Lewis forgot this basic principle of Jesus: “love thy neighbour” and his missives on this topic were peculiarly muddled
                      https://ropata.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/lewis-muggeridge-gnosticism/

                      See also
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_socialism

                      You also sidestepped the point of DOSmith’s comment, nicely done! 🙄

                    • ropata

                      Here’s Tom Wright on C S Lewis’ malformed view of politics:

                      But on some key issues, I have to say: He didn’t actually understand how the first century world worked and he didn’t understand the role of Judaism and Israel. In The Screwtape Letters, at one point, he dismisses all of historical Jesus research. When he summarizes what he thinks he knows about this historical record, it turns out actually to be low-grade stuff. He had a highly attuned mind on so many other issues and so many other areas of scholarly research. But he wasn’t a scholar in this area. Because he didn’t understand this important context, I don’t think he understood some of the key points that the Gospels are making.

                      On the subject of the Kingdom coming into the world, I think I would sharply disagree with Lewis. Lewis was allergic to the idea that there might be ways that Christian leaders should actively engage with what is happening in the world today. In Mere Christianity, he argues that political questions should be left to political leaders and, in the Church, we should stick to issues of salvation.

                      …In the ancient world, there wasn’t any healthcare system. It was the Christians, very early on, who introduced the idea that we should care for people beyond the circle of our own kin. Christians taught that we should care for the poor and disadvantaged. Christians eventually organized hospitals. To hear people standing up in your political debate and saying—“If you are followers of Jesus, you must reject universal healthcare coverage!”—and that’s unthinkable to us. Those of us who are Christians in other parts of the world are saying: We can’t understand this political language. It’s not our value in our countries. It’s not even in keeping with traditional Christian teaching on caring for others.

                      http://www.readthespirit.com/explore/nt-wright-interview-why-left-right-lewis-get-it-wrong/#sthash.Zr6ChAYF.dpuf

                • Chris

                  Money, time…it doesn’t matter. And I don’t give a fuck which organisations they are. The point’s exactly the same.

                  • acrophobic

                    But Chris you used the expression “you can afford to give money”, so yes it does matter. One day you might address my main points.

                • Korero Pono

                  Acrophobic, just stop with your ‘investment’ already, your ‘investment’ is nothing more than a chance to judge others, treat them like second class citizens and for you to pat yourself on the back because you think you are making a difference. People like you are the problem, it is not the beneficiaries that are the problem, it is the people that benefit from keeping others in poverty, keeping people constantly on the back foot and then making them justify their existence to the likes of you. People like you do more damage than good. You believe that your privileged position and supposed civility gives you the right to degrade others, perpetuate inequality and justify it along the way. Your opinion speaks for itself, any organisation who knowingly allows you to work with people with your attitude is an organisation that in my opinion is not there to support people in need.

                  • acrophobic

                    I don’t judge anyone, but I am in a position to assess others. If you disagree, critique my arguments. Ad-hominem just shows your argument is weak.

                    • Korero Pono

                      Acrophobic – you do judge, your words speak for themselves – your supposed civility allows you to use words like ‘assess’ to hide what you are really doing, you are judging every time you ‘assess’ anyone.

                      You would like to think my ‘argument’ is weak, what is really weak is when people such as yourself think they have the right to ‘assess’ others and tell them how they must be fixed. I am not sure what your ‘investment’ toward these poor people is but I am sure they would be much better off without your ‘investment’ – your attitudes and opinions toward any person you deem to be an inferior, someone not as ‘civilised’ as yourself shows exactly what kind of person you are. You have, throughout this thread spread misinformation in order to justify your arguments. Does that make you dishonest, mistaken or a liar?

                    • Chris

                      Do you think that basic benefit rates are enough to live on?

                    • acrophobic

                      Korero when someone is the recipient of scarce resources for free, they should demonstrate merit. Society has a right to assess, because welfare is a privilege.

                      “You have, throughout this thread spread misinformation in order to justify your arguments.”

                      Example?

                    • ropata

                      So children should all be ‘assessed’ before they are deemed worthy of a pair of shoes? FFS

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      Korero when someone is the recipient of scarce resources for free, they should demonstrate merit. Society has a right to assess, because welfare is a privilege.

                      Four questions yes/no answers

                      1. If I’ve worked and paid tax to the state for times when I am unwell or unemployed in order to get a benefit is my benefit free?

                      2. Do these scarce resources for free include NZS?

                      3. Should we assess NZS recipients?

                      4. Are you or will you ever get NZS yourself?

                      5. Can we assess you as meritorious or not if you choose to get it?

                    • acrophobic

                      “So children should all be ‘assessed’ before they are deemed worthy of a pair of shoes? FFS”

                      No. But theirparents should be assessed as to why they can’t provide those same shoes without us paying for them.

                    • acrophobic

                      “1. If I’ve worked and paid tax to the state for times when I am unwell or unemployed in order to get a benefit is my benefit free?”

                      You have not paid tax for these purposes specifically. All state assistance should be needs based, otherwise the system becomes unsustainable.

                      “2. Do these scarce resources for free include NZS?”

                      NZS is in a different category entirely. NZS is paid to people with a lifetime of paying taxes and contributing to society. NB…NZS recipients who have been able bodied but are lifetime beneficiaries are lucky.

                      “3. Should we assess NZS recipients?”

                      That’s a very good question. My current view is no, however I do wonder about the sustainability of NZS.

                      “4. Are you or will you ever get NZS yourself?”

                      No, not yet. I would be eligible one day, but I am planning to be financially independent by the time I qualify, because I highly doubt it will be universal by then.

                      “5. Can we assess you as meritorious or not if you choose to get it?”

                      I don’t understand the question.

            • D'Esterre 9.1.1.1.2.3

              Acrophobic: “to expose misinformation as being written by the organ Foundation..”

              The organ Foundation, eh? They’ve got some gall, haven’t they. They should just pipe down…. or get some guts, even.

        • tory 9.1.1.2

          all the poor need to be put into camps where they can be housed at minimal cost at the moment they surplus labour units and are not adding to GDP and because they reply on income instead of capital they don’t have any value anyway

          • Gangnam Style 9.1.1.2.1

            They should wear little badges too, on their am, so we know who they are & where they should be. You sir, are a genius! But I reckon you just a wind up merchant trying to rile up some progressives.

    • Paul 9.2

      Of course, acrophobic.
      Just like there’s no such thing as climate change…..

    • Expat 9.3

      acrophobic

      “Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

      The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.”

    • Chris 9.4

      “There are plenty of beneficiaries who are not in poverty, just as there are people who live in poverty but are not beneficiaries because they chose to live where there is no work (and are therefore ineligible for the dole).”

      Should read: ‘Some beneficiaries aren’t in poverty because they’re lucky enough to have a reasonably strong financial base whether that’s a mortgage free home before hitting hard times or a supportive family network so can get by despite being income-poor. There are also many people in poverty who aren’t beneficiaries because of a casualised labour market obsessed with an inadequate minimum wage.’

      Your analysis is as brain-dead as Lindsay Mitchell’s.

      • acrophobic 9.4.1

        You clearly have zero knowledge of how beneficiaries live. Some have come from generations if welfare dependency who broken those shackles and live, as beneficiaries, but well above the poverty line. There are others who have become beneficiaries but have not had the good fortune to have accumulated much at all, but still lead productive and poverty free lives. There are actually very few people in poverty who do not chose to live exactly as they do, or who are incapable of making the right decisions to ensure they escape the traps. I work mostly with that very few.

        • Chris 9.4.1.1

          “I work mostly with that very few.”

          Hence your lack of understanding about how most beneficiaries live.

          • acrophobic 9.4.1.1.1

            No, Chris. On the contrary. I wrk with that few because I am all to familiar with the mendacities of the many.

            • Descendant Of Sssmith 9.4.1.1.1.1

              Really people you “help” lie to you – well fuck me. They should just open up to you and tell you everything.

              You know like how they were raped when they were 8, like how the mongrel mob prick next door comes in to their house and takes their food, like how they smoke marjuana cause it’s the only cheap pain relief that works, that they slept with a guy last night because they were lonely, that they thought of committing suicide because of the judgmental prick helping them “budget” just made them feel worse, that the father of their child was their own father, that they have bi-polar, or depression, or whatever.

              You’re a sanctimonious prick aren’t you. Don’t you get your help is just a means to an end for most people. You aren’t their friend and their lives are not your business.

              You seriously need some training about boundaries.

              And you’re seriously deluded if you think you know anything about the many. You only really know about those you’ve come across who depending on how that get to your agency will be both a small sample and not even close to a random or representative sample.

              Here’s Otago University’s data on child poverty. 305,000 kids making bad choices.

              And have a think about the choices people make who are now invisible – like all the males who bugger off when their partner/wife has a child with a disability. The choices men make so often limits the choices women can make.

              Anyway answer my question below – provide some data to back up your assertion that there’s a big problem with inter-generational dependency. How many of these people are there? What is your definition of inter-generational and dependency?

              • acrophobic

                “Really people you “help” lie to you…”

                Not to me. There is a level of dishonesty in accessing welfare, as an example, that is alarming.

                “305,000 kids making bad choices.”

                No. 1. There are not 305,000 kids in poverty, this is a nonsense stat that has long ago been debunked. 2. This discussion is about welfare beneficiaries. Children are not beneficiaries, adults are.

                “…your assertion that there’s a big problem with inter-generational dependency.”

                If you’re going to engage with me on this, at least have the intelligence to quote me accurately. I never said there was a ‘big’ problem; here is my precise quote “Some have come from generations if welfare dependency”. Some.

                Most of the rest of your post is just the usual leftist ad-hominem diatribe. Brainless waffle. Come back with some reasoned critique, stop misrepresenting me, cut the personal attacks, and I might just engage.

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  You also said this:

                  “I work with that few because I am all to familiar with the mendacities of the many.”

                  So inter-generational dependency is not a big problem then. Cool.

                  There is a level of dishonesty in accessing welfare,

                  I’ll look forward to your posts about the thefts by business people who do not pay their tax which amounts to much more than benefit fraud does.

                  “Not to me.”

                  Really. Do you actually work with people or do you work with people who work with people? How do you know before you work with someone how truthful they are so you don’t get to work with someone who lies. Or do you just stop working with someone as soon as you think they lied to you?

                  Your help stops as soon as someone lies – you’re not very helpful then are you?

                  I’m pleased you’re a volunteer. I’d had to think someone was paying you to help people.

                  • acrophobic

                    “So inter-generational dependency is not a big problem then. Cool.”

                    It is a significant problem. I just won’t work with all of those impacted.

                    “I’ll look forward to your posts about the thefts by business people who do not pay their tax which amounts to much more than benefit fraud does.”

                    You’ll be waiting a long time. I don’t work with those people, because they don’t need my help.

                    “Really. Do you actually work with people or do you work with people who work with people? How do you know before you work with someone how truthful they are so you don’t get to work with someone who lies. Or do you just stop working with someone as soon as you think they lied to you?”

                    I work directly with people. I have worked with people who have been blatantly dishonest to non Government and Government welfare agencies. When that is the case I/we give people one chance to fess up. If they don’t, I won’t work with them. Simple.

                    • lprent

                      “…your posts about the thefts by business people who do not pay their tax which amounts to much more than benefit fraud does.”

                      …I don’t work with those people, because they don’t need my help.

                      Agreed. They need to be closely assisted by the IRD into jail.

              • Korero Pono

                DOSSSmith + 100. I am seriously disturbed that someone like Acrophobic thinks they are ‘helping’ with his/her investment – the minute someone walks into the same room as Acrophobic, they are being ‘accessed’ on their ‘mendacities’ – because he/she claims to be so familiar with the type of person he/she deals with. With a broad brushstroke everyone is labelled as liars and when Acro is called out on his/her attitudes/judgements and dishonesty reverts to labeling those who disagree with his/her ‘assessment’. I find it very concerning that someone of this nature is allowed to ‘invest’ their time with any vulnerable people. I imagine the damage caused to vulnerable people is considerable.

                • acrophobic

                  You seem very naieve. I give everyone one chance, but if a person who has knowingly been dishonest will not put that right, I will not work with them. Welfare is a privilege. It is not a gravy train.

                  • mickysavage

                    Welfare is the minimum expectation that a civilised society should offer to its citizens. Your comment that it is a privilege confirms that you think that welfare beneficiaries are somehow living it up and people like you are doing it hard. Time to rethink.

                    And for the record my children also did not get student allowances because of my income. And my family has never received WFF. But current welfare levels are inadequate and our society is suffering because of it.

                    • acrophobic

                      “Welfare is the minimum expectation that a civilised society should offer to its citizens.”

                      I agree!!

                      “Your comment that it is a privilege confirms that you think that welfare beneficiaries are somehow living it up and people like you are doing it hard.”

                      Whether beneficiaries are ‘living it up’, and whether welfare was a ‘right’ or a ‘privilege, have no bearing on one another. The former is a matter of fact, the latter a matter of ideology.

                      For the record I know of no beneficiaries who are ‘living it up’. But beneficiaries are receiving state assistance, and that is a privilege for which it is entirely legitimate strings are attached. If I claim ACC, strings are attached. If I put in an insurance claim, apply for a grant for a community organisation, strings are attached. Why should welfare be any different?

        • Descendant Of Sssmith 9.4.1.2

          Seriously how many generations and how many?

          There used to be in NZ 100 people on unemployment benefit during Muldoon’s era.

          The majority of benefits were what was then Invalids and sickness benefit which was short-term.

          Domestic Purposes Benefit came in in 1973 but the real growth didn’t happen until the 80’s with the Douglas era as families were destroyed by the creation of high levels of unemployment and the lowering of wages.

          Growth in benefit numbers came along at the same time.

          The average age of women on DPB was generally quoted by government as 32 and the average duration 2 years.

          Well over half the current unemployment benefit population has come on benefit in the last twelve months. In some parts of NZ many are in seasonal work.

          So if you took the total number of individuals who have been on benefit the last 10 years how many would you class as being say third generation or higher who are in your words non-productive- I’ll give you a clue – it’s a very, very low percentage.

          And of that percentage how many have serious illness or disability, how many live in rural remote areas with few jobs, how many do work that you don’t value eg raising their children as best they can (cause clearly you don’t see that as work), sitting on the local marae committee, ensuring that when there is a tangi the food is cooked and the dishes done, how many are working part-time?

          You make the mistake so oft used by the both the media and the right that you never count those that go off benefit in your understanding – you think of the numbers as a percentage of the current recipients and you compound that mistake by thinking that those you work with truly tell you what is going on in their lives, in their health conditions, and their past.

          You only get told what they want you to know and with the moralising attitude you show I’d be pretty sure you don’t get told quite a lot.

          • acrophobic 9.4.1.2.1

            You speak of a time when the NZ economy was cosseted by mother England and her commonwealth. Those days have gone forever, and we now have to make our own way in the world. NZ can not afford to carry able bodied people who will not work or who are content to live on welfare and pass that attitude on to their children.

            “Well over half the current unemployment benefit population has come on benefit in the last twelve months. ”

            If that’s the case, then I would suggest half the ‘unemployed’ are simply between jobs, because he economy has not stopped creating employment over that time.

            “You only get told what they want you to know and with the moralising attitude you show I’d be pretty sure you don’t get told quite a lot.”

            Moralising? No, simply practical. I know what works, and I know when people are taking advantage.

            • Descendant Of Sssmith 9.4.1.2.1.1

              Bullshit – we produce more GDP per head now than we ever did – it’s how it’s distributed both in terms of work and income that is the issue.

              The big lie of course is that wage increases follow growth in productivity.

              The productivity growth by workers has gone into shareholders pockets and executive salaries and profit.

              So productivity has increased while workers wages have slipped.

              That has nothing to do with dependency on mother England – besides it wasn’t so much the workers cossetted it was the farm owners who got big fat subsidies – in some cases for producing dead sheep.

              • acrophobic

                And you see no correlation between export income and the wealth of NZ’ers generally? You see no correlation between NZ having to compete in a competitive global economy and the economic challenges we face? Boy we’ve really got one here.

              • acrophobic

                “The big lie of course is that wage increases follow growth in productivity. The productivity growth by workers has gone into shareholders pockets and executive salaries and profit. So productivity has increased while workers wages have slipped.”

                Actually that is more left wing mythology.

                “It turns out that the LIS has fallen in the measured sector of the New Zealand over the past 35 years in no small part because of sharp falls over three short periods. Aside from these falls, results also show that growth in real wages has been closely aligned with productivity growth and that there is no systematic relationship between strong productivity growth and falls in the labour income share. Indeed, the important message from the paper is that strong productivity growth sustains strong growth in real wages.”

                http://www.productivity.govt.nz/sites/default/files/research-who-benefits-from-productivity-growth.pdf

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  The whole paper points out it has fallen. So we agree it’s fallen. Strong productivity growth sustains strong growth in wages is not the same thing as saying the growth in productivity has resulted in the same growth as wages. The fact is that more of that productivity growth has gone to the owners and less to the workers.

                  I would also suggest the higher levels of executive salaries and benefits also disguise the fact that much of that growth has been converted into capital within the managerial class.

                  This capital flow in this way to the managerial class further exacerbates the increasing income generation from capital.This isn’t something that the paper considers and nor does it consider the plight of those who have lost their employment who of course have had a significant reduction in income.

                  “There is international interest in changes in the labour income share. In part, this reflects concerns that in a number of countries, real wage growth has not kept pace with labour productivity growth in an environment of rapidly changing technology.”

                  “Over the full observation period of 1978 to 2010, the LIS in the
                  measured sector of the New Zealand economy fell by 8.5 percentage points, indicating a tendency for capital income to grow more quickly
                  than labour income. ”

                  And as for the personalisation – you’re full of it – you just disguise it through labeling stuff as leftist muddled thinking or describing beneficiaries as liars. Do you think those comments aren’t personal?

                  Labelling is a powerful way of personally attacking people by denying their individuality and ability to think for themselves.

                  • acrophobic

                    I quote (again)

                    “Aside from these falls, results also show that growth in real wages has been closely aligned with productivity growth and that there is no systematic relationship between strong productivity growth and falls in the labour income share. ”

                    “– you’re full of it – ”

                    You seem to be disguising your own personalisation by labelling me. Seems a bit irrational.

                    • McFlock

                      So, just to recap, you do agree that the LIS has decreased over the last 30-odd years, while productivity has increased.

                      The revenue from that increased production – where do you think that’s going? Because it’s not going to the people who actually produce.

                    • joe90

                      Aside from these falls, results also show that growth in real wages has been closely aligned with productivity growth and that there is no systematic relationship between strong productivity growth and falls in the labour income share.

                      Yes, lets forget about the three times workers wages were cut.

                      Anyhoo, I quote –

                      The LIS has recently been the focus of considerable international concern that growth in real wages has fallen behind growth in labour productivity. When this occurs, the LIS falls as the share of national income going to labour decreases and capital receives a bigger slice.

                      http://www.productivity.govt.nz/sites/default/files/nzpc-wp-who-benefits-from-productivity-growth-cttc.pdf

                    • acrophobic

                      So, just to recap here’s what was claimed by DoSS:

                      “The productivity growth by workers has gone into shareholders pockets and executive salaries and profit. So productivity has increased while workers wages have slipped.”

                      That is what I have shown to be clearly untrue. Not all of the productivity growth has gone to shareholders, and workers wages have most certainly not slipped.

                      “The revenue from that increased production – where do you think that’s going? ”

                      Much has gone to workers. Some has gone to business owners, who put their capital on the line. That’s quite reasonable.

                    • acrophobic

                      “Yes, lets forget about the three times workers wages were cut.”

                      When?

                      “The LIS has recently been the focus of considerable international concern that growth in real wages has fallen behind growth in labour productivity. When this occurs, the LIS falls as the share of national income going to labour decreases and capital receives a bigger slice.”

                      Yes, but then the quote continues…

                      “For example, if productivity growth is fast enough, real wages could still be rising at a reasonable pace even when the LIS is falling. To the extent that income has an important bearing on wellbeing, this may be preferable to an economy in which the LIS is constant
                      because real wages and productivity are both stagnating. ”

                      Interesting eh.

                    • joe90

                      When?

                      The LIS has declined within the measured sector of the New Zealand economy since the late 1970s. Much of this decline occurred in three short periods and can be traced to the influence of government interventions and the distortionary impact of high and volatile inflation.

                      http://www.productivity.govt.nz/sites/default/files/nzpc-wp-who-benefits-from-productivity-growth-cttc.pdf

                    • acrophobic

                      Those are not wage cuts, they are times when wages failed to keep pace with productivity improvements. Productivity improvements that could have come from technological investment. When were the three wage cuts you claimed?

                    • McFlock

                      lol
                      “much” has gone to workers, while “some” has gone to the capitalists. With the LIS falling, in your universe “much” is significantly smaller than “some”. Be honest, more profits go to the owners of capital for less work on their part, and they get to recyce that for even greater proportions of the profits using the capital that they did less to earn.

                      Meanwhile, real hourly wages were static (even falling slightly) until 1996, and have since still not increased at the rate of productivity growth.

                    • joe90

                      When were the three wage cuts you claimed?

                      A fall in the LIS isn’t a cut in real wages, really?

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      I need to break this down in simple terms.

                      What I said was that the big lie was that growth in wages would result from growth in productivity.

                      This is what employers and the government have been telling us for years. We will increase wages when workers increase productivity.

                      (They also say we’ll increase wages when we pay less tax but that’s another story though it is another area that the report fails to take into account – whether some of the pay increases that have occurred were as a result of decreased employer tax rates).

                      What your (quoted) report shows is that productivity has increased faster than the rate of wages.

                      There’s no thought in that paper at all about the distribution of those wages (managerial vs worker) and even you have to be aware that workers wages have reduced as a result of the removal of penal rates in many contracts, the offloading of public service work to the private sector who employer people at much lower rates in order to maximise profit, and so on.

                      The meat industry and especially Affco is a good example of increased productivity not being reflected in either workers wages or conditions.

                      “Statistics NZ calculates that the volume of meat exported per person employed has increased from 23 tonnes in 1980 to 37.8 tonnes today, a productivity gain of 64%. Last year alone, the Talley’s Group made $20 million profit.”

                      The paper also disregards aspects such as unionised work forces versus non-unionised. It’s quite clear that in the main unionised work forces have made larger wage gains.

                      The relationship between average and median wage to some extent reflects the fact that more workers are being paid less.

                      In 1998 the median wage was $518 and the average $584, in 2015 the median is $880 and the average $1031.

                      That’s a really significant shift over a large population. Clearly the average is being lifted through fewer people being paid more.

                      Apart from some key specialist areas much of that increase is in the managerial class.

                      Nearly every person I know has seen managers wages and salaries grow at a much faster rate than workers – yet in the main it’s workers productivity that has increased.

                    • acrophobic

                      “A fall in the LIS isn’t a cut in real wages, really?”

                      A fall in real wages is not the same as a wage cut. If I need to explain this to you, I’m wasting my time.

                    • acrophobic

                      “What your (quoted) report shows is that productivity has increased faster than the rate of wages.”

                      The report shows that there were three periods that accounted for all of the statistical change, but that overall there is little correlation. There is also the significant issue of how much productivity gains are due to labour v’s technology (paid for by capital investors).

                    • McFlock

                      accounted for all of the statistical change

                      that’s you lying again

                    • acrophobic

                      Sorry, I misspoke. Not “all”.

                      “It turns out that the LIS has fallen in the measured sector of the New Zealand over the past 35 years in no small part because of
                      sharp falls over three short periods. Aside from these falls, results also show that growth in real wages has been closely aligned with productivity growth and that there is no systematic relationship between strong productivity growth and falls in the labour income share. Indeed, the important message from the paper is that strong productivity growth sustains strong growth in real wages.”

                      There remains the matter of the technology gains that no-one seems to want to address. In other words, how much of the productivity gain is actually down to workers anyway?

                    • acrophobic

                      I also noticed this from Joe90’s cite above:

                      “The LIS has declined within the measured sector of the New Zealand economy since the late 1970s (Figure 1). Much of this decline occurred in three short periods and can be traced to the influence of government interventions and the distortionary impact of high and volatile inflation. The price and wage freeze led to real wage falls and a sharp increase in the return on capital, causing the LIS to fall. This fall proved to be partly temporary. Strong productivity growth, coupled with real wage restraint, led to strong returns on capital and the LIS fell markedly. Increased product price inflation was not anticipated in nominal wage setting and the return on capital increased. This was also largely temporary and the LIS rose on average over the remainder of the 2000s. Outside these three short sharp falls in the LIS, there is some evidence of a more general decline, consistent with the impact of new technology and globalisation seen in other countries. Although cross-country comparisons are difficult, this trend decline in the LIS may be less marked in New Zealand given that much of the fall occurred over three short periods. New Zealand’s LIS has also increased on average since 2002, in contrast to the ongoing fall in some countries. ”

                      So, the large falls in LIS coincided with interventionist policies, and high and volatile inflation, neither of which we have today. Well done Bill.

        • Korero Pono 9.4.1.3

          “There are actually very few people in poverty who do not chose to live exactly as they do, or who are incapable of making the right decisions to ensure they escape the traps. I work mostly with that very few”

          People living in poverty do not choose an existence where they find themselves awake worrying about how they will feed their children, how they will pay exorbitant rents, or how they will replace the broken fridge/washing machine or even provide for their children’s school needs. You act like every person has choices to choose a different life…go tell that to the women who find themselves and their children starting again because of violence, where there is no work that pays enough to support their children or even has hours to suit the needs of those children. Every ‘poor’ person I know struggle day in and day out, constantly juggling to make ends meet, constantly worrying about how to do that (it is not because of drugs/alcohol or gambling either). If you “work mostly with that very few” then I feel sorry for them, I feel sorry that every time you show your face they know the judgements that you cast over them.

          You clutch on to a single quote (misrepresent it and take it out of context) to support your ideology, your behaviour is self-righteous and dishonest. You continue to perpetuate a myth and a lie for your own ends. You have not provided any evidence to support your assertions. Not only do you have no credibility, you are also a deceitful individual with no ability to comprehend reality.

          • acrophobic 9.4.1.3.1

            “People living in poverty do not choose an existence…”

            Actually many do. Perhaps not consciously, but nonetheless many living in poverty do so because of poor choices.

            As to your ad-hominem attacks on me, please answer this:

            1. What is the quote I have misrepresented and taken out of context?
            2. What have I said that is ‘dishonest’?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.4.1.3.1.1

              What have I said that is ‘dishonest’?

              many living in poverty do so because of poor choices.

              This, and most of the other plagiarised opinions that you parrot, are lies.

              • acrophobic

                Are you seriously suggesting there is no-one living in poverty because of poor choices? Let me tell you I have met many such people. They have babies they can’t afford. They marry spouses they shouldn’t have. They gamble, smoke and drink when they can’t afford to. I could go on and on.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  “These people” are certainly the poorer for your acquaintance.

                  I note that you offer nothing of substance, just more anecdata which amount to your twisted projections and lack of original thought.

                  Even if your borrowed opinion had any substance, you’d have to explain why the National Party is a poor choices factory. You score an own goal in your personal fantasy game. 😆

                  • acrophobic

                    You haven’t addressed the question. You said that my comment “many living in poverty do so because of poor choices” was a lie. Do you still contend that?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I addressed the question: your twisted fantasies about people say something about you, and nothing whatsoever about people: you have no evidence for them.

                      Your opinions and anecdotes are evidence of the hatred that motivates you and nothing more.

  10. Petertoo 10

    For heaven’s sake acrophobic, you clearly don’t have any context for the quote you commenced with, the link at the end does nothing to support your thesis and you haven’t provided any credible evidence to support your assertion that the Morgan Foundation has been discredited. It is hard to work out from your comments if you have a literacy and logic deficit, or, since you have trawled commercial addiction treatment websites, have a serious addiction problem that interferes with your mental processing facilities.

    • acrophobic 10.1

      The context for the opening quote is clear. It claims that the linked to article and data contradicts Key’s assertions about poverty and addiction. It does nothing of the sort.

      On Morgan, I have indeed posted evidence…refer to the Lindsay Mitchell blog.

  11. Descendant Of Sssmith 11

    Giving people money:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/04/givedirectly-cash-transfers_n_7339040.html

    Does giving cash help? Cash transfer programs have an extensive research record, including dozens of peer-reviewed studies spanning at least 13 countries in four continents. The UK’s development agency calls cash transfers “one of the more thoroughly researched forms of development intervention”; a gold-standard charity evaluation group GiveWell (not affiliated with GiveDirectly) says transfers “have the strongest track record we’ve seen” for a non-health poverty program.

    And a nod to good quality public schools and medical services in rural areas.

    Also, money alone cannot always overcome a lack of basic social services. Cash recipients spend more on education and health, but if there are no quality schools or healthcare in their area, then try as they might, they do not necessarily end up healthier or better educated.

    Of course we already do this in New Zealand – it’s called New Zealand Superannuation. Remember the miracle of turning 65 – transforms you from being a bludger to a worthy recipient.

    • Craig H 11.1

      I was going to mention NZ Super as well – one of the most powerful anti-poverty measures in the last 100 years.

    • Macro 11.2

      “Remember the miracle of turning 65 – transforms you from being a bludger to a worthy recipient.”

      QFT

    • greywarshark 11.3

      Descendant
      Remember the miracle of turning 65 – transforms you from being a bludger to a worthy recipient.

      Very noticeable. The sun comes out almost straight away, and never goes behind a dark cloud again. Suddenly you are a citizen of worth, no matter how many duties and responsibilities you earlier struggled with and faithfully attempted to carry out before the magic passing over. There should be a bar mitzvah celebration held for it.

  12. Incognito 12

    Good post, thank you.

    I’d like to comment on the article in The New Yorker on “fact-resistant humans” because, as far as I know, they are the only human species in existence, i.e. Homo repugnans [double-pun alert].

    In 2002 Onora O’Neill, a Professor of Philosophy, gave a series of lectures in the Reith 2002 Lectures entitled ”A Question of Trust”. The 4th lecture was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (a printable version is also available in the same link).

    In short, she argued that increased amounts of information & knowledge and more transparency & openness can have the counter-intuitive effect of actually worsening spirals of distrust and dialogues of the deaf. Her words have not lost any of their meaning and relevance and perhaps even gained – it is worth a read (or listen, unless you’re “deaf”).

  13. NZJester 13

    It is funny that a lot of these people who say they have seen poor people do this and poor people do that tend to be very rich people who never actually interact with the poor at all and would no nothing about what they actually spend their money on. How is it they saw the poor people do those things when they never interacted with any and have no idea what their financial costs are?
    All the real evidence always seams to point to the exact opposite of what these people tend to say they have seen with their own eyes.
    Donald trump claimed to have seen large numbers of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey after the attack on the twin towers with his own eyes. Non Muslims who live in the area as well as all the law-enforcement and government officials in that area say no such event ever occurred.
    Right wingers keep spouting all this the poor do this and that rubbish when every bit of real evidence points to the fact they are just making it up. Just like Donald Trump and John Key’s statement that have booth been proved false with facts.

    • Gangnam Style 13.1

      ‘tory’ up above had the a wonderful idea they should be inferred into little camp, I (sarcasticaly) suggested they should wear badges or armbands, then we could see what they spend their money on. Sheesh, some dumb rightwinger probably actually thinks its a good idea.

    • Reddelusion 13.2

      typical leftie arguement, there is no objective reality. Treat exceptions, or outliers as the overriding reality ( ie Donald trump reflects all rich people, jk indicted a drugs plays a part in poverty, miraculously becomes all beneficiaries are druggies ) that suit your narrative, ignore anything else. Your post more describes your myopic beliefs which you should not confuse with truth or what reality is . As a matter of interest what is your definition of a rich person ?

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 13.2.1

        Really the only people on this site who regularly reference “all” rich people are those who extrapolate what the left are saying in order to diminish the left arguments.

        The use of the added superlative is a nonsense. (What is it with right wingers and superlatives a la Wayne the other day).

        What the left object to is those that are rich who implement policies that deliberately take more for themselves, who are sexist, who are racist, who blame the victims of their policies and who use the power generated by their wealth to keep things that way – and indeed make it worse.

        There’s plenty of objective reality because there’s plenty of evidence the rich do this. From the lobbying of governments, to the advice given from their bankers, to at an individual level the conversations we have with some of them.

        The drug argument is another example where you’ve said the left have said that John Key says all beneficiaries are druggies.

        Most of the left commentators on this site (myself included) have pointed out that drug use is less likely in beneficiary households than the normal population, that the cost of drugs is a factor, that alcohol is a drug that isn’t being considered in the same way but is more harmful, and there are several reports backing up that this type of regime is not successful for the low incidence of drug use and that the drug testing regime put in place for beneficiaries is pretty much a dead duck.

        That’s a far cry from saying that John Key said all beneficiaries are druggies.

  14. Tautuhi 14

    Admittedly some people in lower socio economic groups partake in drug taking however most can barely afford to pay the rent or put food on the table. This is another red herring thrown out by John Key and the Natzis.

    Unfortunately there is little compassion for the less fortunate under Neo liberalism and the Natzis “let them eat cake philosophy” if they are lucky?

    • NZJester 14.1

      The National socialist Party members seam to be full of people with no empathy and the ability to lie with a straight face.
      A lot of them claim they are self made people and no one gave them anything, when in reality most got free educations, help to get cheap mortgage loans, lots of other state aid to keep them healthy and feed or had rich parents that paid for everything and helped them out with the old boys network to get them to where they are.
      One of the biggest lies of the current National socialist Party is that they are a centrist right leaning government when in fact they are only center of the hard right.
      Any real right of center members of their party got purged out of a lot of positions by people who used Slater and his dirty tricks mates to force them from party positions.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 14.2

      The well off have always taken drugs. When I played rugby in the 80’s it was the lawyers, accountants and opticians in my rugby team who had stashes of dope in the fridge and black spoons in the sink.

      The Mr Asia syndicate floated around in he upper echelons of society.

      In more modern times we’ve seen the Cliff Lyon saga play out as well, Hine Elder and many others from the well off parts of society.

      Mate of mine had a local doctor in his shop recently who was away with the fairies – he decided he should come back and look to buy something when the dope wore off.

      The gangs can’t make much money off those with not much income.

      Part of the demonising of beneficiaries as drug users is of course racism.

      This was true of the opium wars and it’s true of the US penalties for crack cocaine vs powdered cocaine.

      • NZJester 14.2.1

        The history of pot becoming illegal in the US had more to do with racism against Mexicans than any real science. Back then it was also way weaker in THC content than the modern version and was actually way less addictive than alcohol.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 14.3

      It’s probably more likely that some people have become poor through their drug taking ie before they became addicts they had businesses and jobs, and families and assets.

      These things disappear quite quickly when you’re an addict.

  15. Chooky 15

    ‘Poverty’

    “Vanessa Caldwell of the National Committee for Addiction Treatment talks about the PMs claim of drug dependency being a major factor in unemployment.”

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/thepanel/audio/201783094/poverty

    • North 15.1

      Unless you told me otherwise I’d be sure that useless Jim Mora on that panel discussion is actually reasonably respectful of Key’s latest dogwhistle, viz. he’s ‘inclined’ to embrace it.

      Devil’s advocate merely ? Not a bit of it. As evidenced by his opening comment referring to a notably high level of drug taking “in New Zealand”. Which blames ALL drug taking on those in poverty. While he knew and later acknowledged that significant drug taking is spread across the whole of society.

      Dishonest prick ! Can’t say dumb prick. It’s Mensa Mora allegedly (very allegedly given his generally poor performance). Has to be dishonest prick then.

      Maybe he sees himself as an august titled gentleman.

      • Chooky 15.1.1

        +100..totally agree North…and don’t usually listen to Mora ….but Vanessa Caldwell was emphatic refuting jonkey

  16. North 16

    All common sense has departed here. Key’s throwaway line dogwhistle followed by trolls branding those who contest, liars. But no proof of the truth as asserted, from Key or his trolls. Gutless bastards !

    • Have you considered the possibility that both Key and his opponents are offering misleading information in pursuit of an agenda? There’s no obligation on the thread’s commenters to pick a side and be a partisan for it.

      • Incognito 16.1.1

        +1

      • reason 16.1.2

        Key and the Nats have many agendas when they lie and mislead …….

        All the nasty actions of the nats like booting the poor when they are down need some fig leaf of justification.

        Calling beneficiaries druggies and blaming them for their own unemployment absolves the Nats of blame………….. but only for the shrinking number of people stupid enough to still believe what comes out of john keys mouth.

        The highest proportion of drug takers would be rich young people at gigs/partys
        like vulgar ya ya club gigs …….. where the vulgar young max key is a dj

        And lets not forget New Zealanders spend approximately 75million per week on the drug Alcohol ……….”The Vinegar Hill campsite near Hunterville had four visits from police on New Year’s Eve, while the Manakau Campground south of Levin has required a police presence four times in two days.

        There were reports that up to 20 people were involved in brawls at each campground.”

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/75578356/multiple-violent-campground-incidents-in-manawatu-have-police-concerned

        • ropata 16.1.2.1

          biggest beneficiaries of NatCorp™ policy are the 1% and Auckland property speculators and dairy farmers.

          everyone else pays for their skimming/gambling/polluting

  17. North 17

    Ha ! Key troll settling for an equivalence. How TVNZ / TV3 / Jim Mora of him. In this “PM Dogwhistles !” moment.

    At dawn Psycho…..choose your “possibility” ! Instead of obfuscating, still.

  18. Kay 18

    Well I wouldn’t mind partaking in a bit of illicit drug use to escape all this bashing but there’s the slight problem of barely being able to afford the prescribed and very legal drugs I need to stay alive. Not just with the $5 surcharge, but the unsubsidised meds which a lot of people with chronic conditions need. I suppose I could choose not to take the unfunded stuff, that won’t kill me, but it’ll cost the hard working taxpayer a hell of a lot more in avoidable hospital admissions. And btw- Invalids benefit was increased by all of 64c/week last year and if we’re really lucky, it’ll be about that this coming April Fools Day. $25/week would go a long way to pay for my legal drugs- would you bashers approve of that?

    I never used to wish my condition on anyone but in recent years I think there are some nasty people around who deserve it, especially certain politicians and people who comment on blog sites, including certain ones in this thread. The illness may or may not kill you in the end, it’s permanent, you’ll lose your licence automatically, probably your job, have a nigthtmare ever getting a job again, discover who your friends really are, have to live with debilitating drug side effects and injuries, have literally no idea one day to the next what’s going to happen, no health/life insurance company is going to want to know you. if you’re a multi-millionaire the best doctors in the world won’t be able to fix you and the only advantage you’ll have is you won’t have the financial stress and having to deal with winz on top of it.

    I know the tr olls employed to do their t rolling have no concept of empathy but it is really upsetting for anyone on a benefit for any reason reading this crap and knowing that even if the writers are only following orders, there’s a significant sector of the public happy to go along with it. Ok, if I had any sense I wouldn’t read it in the first place and I often don’t, but I do appreciate the very rational and reasonable (if futile) attempts to challenge said tr olls.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 18.1

      There’s plenty here – and plenty of past commentators – that actively resist the trolls.

      Many of us have worked with, have spouses who work with or friends who work with vulnerable people and understand how much luck, genetics, opportunity, connections and starting point make a difference to success as measured in right wing terms.

      We favour not victim blaming entitlements over charity and equity of opportunity over equality any day.

      There but for the grace of god go any of us.

      You’ll find plenty of good thought here over time and the occasional right-wing person who will argue their case rather than repeat tropes.

    • ropata 18.2

      Sorry but you are the political football du jour, used as a scapegoat and a divisive factor to keep “middle nz” voting for NatCorp™ and against riffraff such as benes/ immigrants/ detainees.

      The message is austerity for the poor, free capital gains for the propertied middle class, and gradual transfer of public wealth (and governance) to the 1%.

      Politics of fear and class warfare.

      • Incognito 18.2.1

        “political football du jour

        May I suggest that this not a good choice of words anymore?

        Reasons: politics and sports don’t always mix, especially when there’s big money involved.

        Example: Fédération Internationale de Football Association.

        OTH, some striking similarities with the points you make in your comment, actually …

        So, I take back this entire comment and wholeheartedly agree with you 😉

  19. One Anonymous Bloke 19

    One thing’s for sure about the myth of poverty and drug dependency: the sociopathic author of these right wing fantasies was addicted to amphetamines. You might as well ask Charlie Sheen.

    Acrophobic and other morons lap it up, of course.

  20. It is actually quite obvious that the rich would spend more on booze and drugs as compared to the poor. This is because when finance is not an issue to you, you would have a higher tendency to not spend wisely as you know you do have more than what you need. Whereas for the poor, they are well aware of their financial standing, so they appreciate what they have and reduce their wastage to save on more important things.

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    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    5 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago

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