The politics of reproduction

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, June 3rd, 2012 - 236 comments
Categories: class war, john key, national, welfare - Tags: ,

With everything else that the Nats are messing up at the moment, this little gem attracted surprisingly little attention:

Government mulling ways to stop ‘unfit’ parents reproducing

The Government is considering a range of hard-line measures to try and stop ‘unfit’ parents from having more children.

It comes as an inquiry is ordered into the death of a Rotorua two-month-old who was suffocated by his drunk mother. The mother was sentenced to prison yesterday.

RadioLIVE asked Social Development Minister Paula Bennett whether parents who abuse their kids should be allowed to have more children. Paula Bennett says she and her colleagues have had enough and are putting together a White Paper on the issue.

“I can tell you that they are completely fed up with these children continuously being born to completely unfit parents. That’s a step that’s right out there, and I can tell you there is certainly discussion going on around it.”

What’s an “unfit parent”? Who decides? Maybe society as a whole could agree on some extreme cases, but do we really want the National Party doing it? The Nats have a thoroughly unhealthy obsession with the politics of reproduction. John Key “thinks” (despite all the evidence to the contrary) that parents on the DPB are “breeding for a business”.  This proposal, like their earlier plans for free long-term contraception for beneficiaries (only), is the thin end of a wedge, designed to get us used to the political control of fertility.

The problem for the Nats is that they can’t make these proposals credibly because have already let slip their real agenda. Here’s Paula Bennet back in June:

Bennett: No compulsory contraception for now

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is “a big fan” of long acting contraception for solo mums but says her Government is “not quite” at the stage of making it compulsory.

That is where the Nats want to head – compulsory contraception for solo “mums” (not “dads” eh). Social engineering. Eugenics. As a country and as a people we should never go there. And we should be very very wary of proposals like “stopping ‘unfit’ parents reproducing”, because they must be recognised as the thin end of the dangerously obsessive National Party wedge that they are.

236 comments on “The politics of reproduction”

  1. Wyndham 1

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/columnists/7034691/Pay-them-sterilise-them-but-don-t-let-them-have-kids

    Ghastly stuff to read but this article by Michael Laws expresses exactly the same views as Bennett.

    • IrishBill 1.1

      I don’t think Michael should be casting stones about parenthood.

    • Murray Olsen 1.2

      Michael Laws should stick to modelling his SS uniform in front of his full length mirror.

    • Robert M 1.3

      Possibly , but Micheal Laws is far more extreme. What I find extremely difficult to understand is why Laws is so much more hostile to the Maori underclass and low income groups than the far more obviously inbred and low grade while working class peasant and provincial population of much of white NZ. I would have thought Micheal’s experience in Oamaru, Wanganui and Hastings would have displayed to him the huge scale of the feral inbred white population in NZ. The maoris seem to me increasingly confident and handsome and most seem to be doing well. Outside the North Island metropolis I can’t seen any evidence that there are anymore low grade maoris than whites proportionally or in total. In terms of any large race or racial group the safe rule in my view is half the males and a quarter of the females are probably unsuitable to breed.
      Eugenics has always been widely applied in NZ and pharmacutical based psychiatry is in most cases an exercise in Eugenics at least as far as males are concerned because even if they are capable of having sex it is likey the organ either won’t get hard enough or the amount of drugged sperm that will be produced will be too small to have much chance of concieving. Given that quite a few of the mentally ill and alleged mentally ill are intelligent and may even be pretty despite the fattening effect of drugs this is probably more of a crime than denying provincial hayseeds from reproducing.
      The real cause of anger about DPBs and promiscuous solo mothers comes from the lowly paid , burnt out whites and the type of misguided who’ve got married and had children without remotely being able to afford to properly equip and educate the family while allowing themselves the money and space to have money to have a good life. It is for that reason I am conservative and right wing enough to question the merits of family support type schemes, because it basically encourages people who really aren’t up to it , and will never have the money to decently finance a good life for them and their family to do the wrong thing. People should get as much sex as they want , and I don’t even believe in marriage , because its ridiculous to think one partner will satisfy anybody intelligent or good looking. But reproduction and the amount of money the state has to finance wasted lives and families that will never be happy or viable is another.

      • Vicky32 1.3.1

        In terms of any large race or racial group the safe rule in my view is half the males and a quarter of the females are probably unsuitable to breed.

        Thankfully, you’re not in any position to put your sick prejudices into effect. But I’ve already seen that you have serious issues… aren’t you the one who was bleating on about sexy 18 year old girls, and how tasty they are, and how access to them should never be restricted… but that in your opinion women over 45 ought to be euthanased?

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.2

        Thanks for the distraction from National funnelling funds to the top 5%.

        And if you’re so worried about the well being of all these NZ children in poverty, why not lobby for restoration of the ECE cuts that National has enacted.

        Unless you just like moralising and judging others, of course.

  2. ianmac 2

    There was comment this morning on Media National Radio, that Paula Bennett using such a case to again bash solo mums is nasty. The speaker pointed out that the mother concerned was the victim of Domestic Violence. Nothing is simple.

    • ianmac 2.1

      Oops. That was Metiria Turei @ Green Party Conference

      • BM 2.1.1

        Thought the Greens would be pretty keen about compulsory contraception weren’t they floating an idea a while a go about limiting families to only 2 kids.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Were the Greens just targetting the poor and those on benefits?

          Didn’t think so.

          • BM 2.1.1.1.1

            But aren’t the Greens all about population control as the planet is way beyond it’s carrying capacity and peak oil is imminent etc.
            I thought anything that helped towards achieving those objectives would be enthusiastically supported?

            • weka 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Nah, sterilise people that consume the most and do the most environmental damage, that might help. A few bad parents here and there won’t make any difference.

            • fatty 2.1.1.1.1.2

              “But aren’t the Greens all about population control as the planet is way beyond it’s carrying capacity and peak oil is imminent etc.
              I thought anything that helped towards achieving those objectives would be enthusiastically supported?”

              I’m not sure that’s how it works BM. A massive nuclear war that decimated USA and China would help our population issues…so would shooting everyone at the age of 45

            • Shane Gallagehr 2.1.1.1.1.3

              Here is the core bit of Green policy on population;

              “Our Population Policy is about understanding the optimal population for Aotearoa, planning for the future, and enabling parents to make informed choices about family size.”

              The great thing about doing modern research is that we have discovered there are indirect things that bring about a reduciton in the average number of children born;

              – education (especially of girls) the longer you stay in education and the better your chances ar of getting a job, the less likely women will have children especially at a younger age.

              – effective birth control programs (accessibility, education, availability etc. )

              – health care – the better your health care in a country the lower the birth rate. Mostly because your children are more likely to survive.

              – poverty reduction (although this is actually as strong a driver as the others above)

              – inequality reduction – the more inequality you have the higher your birth rates (and other poor social indicators are worse as well)

              So the best way to get your birth rate to a sustainable level is to do lots of good things and make society an egalitarian, fulfilling and safe place to live. No coercion needed.

              • the optimal population for Aotearoa

                Do you have any take on what this is?

                With so many variables with no chance of resolving them completely, you can only work to improve them, who do you hit the optimal target?

                • McFlock

                  Very true.
                      
                  I say we work to improve all those indicators as much as we can and see what happens. What’s the worst-case scenario: that we eradicate poverty and end up with a highly educated population? Sounds tragic. 
                   
                  /sarc
                   

                  • You’re right, we should be doing what we can to work towards all of those. The ultimate goals are likely never to be reached, but at least it’s in the right direction, and also an improvement on our current world population trends.

                    If all of this was a serious priority we would be most effective by sending most of our money to the countries with the worst poverty.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah.
                      ISTR the nats stuffed with NZAID as well. They’re broad-spectrum fuckwits, I’ll give them that.
                                 
                      Unless you were doing the old tory deflection of “there’s poverty overseas, so it’s hypocritical to solve it here first”. But you wouldn’t be such a slippery shit. would you Pete?

                    • I think it’s a valid point to make if we are considering the problems on a worldwide scale, especially if population limitation is also important. There are far more pressing population increase and poverty issues elsewhere in the world. We can still address the issues here, but the biggest problems are elsewhere.

                      I usually donate more per year to overseas aid.

                    • McFlock

                      There are more pressing issues overseas, but we can better solve the ones here because we know more about the circumstances, and have more control over the situation.
                           
                      But the point is moot, because the government is backpedalling on both domestic and overseas poverty relief.

                    • It shouldn’t be all up to the Government, should it? They are not always the most efficient or most fair of charity dispensers.

                      Those who leave too much up to Governments to fix are destined for disappointment. Individuals should take some of the responsibility.

                      There’s nothing stopping many people from volunteering donations to local child support charities.

                    • McFlock
                       
                       

                      Personally, I think it should all be up to the government.
                          
                      Firstly, private charity doesn’t give nearly enough.
                      Secondly, private charity tends to favour “cute and deserving” rather than “need”.
                      Thirdly, private charities competing for aid need to spend more money on marketing and competing for money, rather than actually delivering assistance. So government is more efficient.
                      Fourthly, if private charity were anywhere near sufficient to solve such problems, it would have done so already. It’s not. It’s a band-aid to make the middle classes feel less guilty.  
                      Fifthly, taxpayer-funded assistance means everyone pays in proportion to the benefit they get from living in this country on this planet. Not in inverse proportion to their greed.
                       
                      The very existence of government welfare demonstrates that private charity is woefully inadequate.
                         

                • weka

                  the optimal population for Aotearoa
                  Do you have any take on what this is?
                   

                  Work being done on sustainability in NZ suggests that we are using twice the resources that the country can support over the long term. That’s the good news, because it means that we could probably be ok if we stabilised the population where we are now, and cut back on what we consume.
                   
                  The bad news of course is that the people with power are deluded and will never see the necessity of this, nor the opportunity we still have for a while before things get really bad. The other bad news is that we are likely to have alot of immigration and refugee pressure as things get worse in the rest of the world.

        • weka 2.1.1.2

          That would be limiting child numbers for all NZers, which is a completely different thing. Obviously. No idea what the Greens policy was, but I doubt they were talking about compulsory contraception.

        • Dr Terry 2.1.1.3

          BM. Floating an IDEA about population control is most certainly NOT the same thing as legislating for compulsory contraception. You are putting words of your own into Green Party policy, which makes for serious distortion. The sad problem is that what you happen to have “thought” does not in fact represent “thinking” at all..

      • mike e 2.1.2

        what about Paula Bennett herself solo mum mother of a solo mum who’s partner is a violent abuser who is in jail right now using up taxpayers money !
        one rule for the Nactional Party and the rest have to take responsibility for their actions.

        • KJT 2.1.2.1

          Pity her mum wasn’t sterilised.

          Unfortunately a prime example of a morally bankrupt child of a single mum. Sarc.

          Our society would be much better off without self seeking hypocrites, like Bennet, and legalised bank robbers, like Key.

          Fortunately there are many children of single mothers who grow up to be productive members of society.

          And many more who could be;

          If we gave them the same chances as the children of better off families!

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.1

            If we gave them the same chances as the children of better off families!

            And the only way to do that is to remove control of our resources from the capitalists, banksters and politicians.

        • Dr Terry 2.1.2.2

          How many of us can deem Bennett a “fit” parent?

        • LilaR 2.1.2.3

          Paula Bennett got married recently – presumably not to someone who’s in prison. However, this doesn’t make her any fitter to tell others how to live their lives.

          • felix 2.1.2.3.1

            I think he’s referring to her daughter’s partner, described in the media as a gang member if memory serves.

  3. BM 3

    If there was a stuff poll, I would predict at least 80% support for compulsory conception.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 3.1

      And, if they were stupid enough to support it, they probably wouldn’t know the difference between conception and contraception either.

      We have finally reached the point when no intelligent people can be found to become National Party MPs, so we have to make do with these cro-magnon knuckle-draggers, all vying to see who can be up in front of the International Court of Justice in The Hague first.

    • Dr Terry 3.2

      BM. What you mean is a “stuffed up” poll. 80% would vote compulsory conception FOR WHOM EXACTLY? You are very careful to avoid this question, of course.

      • BM 3.2.1

        Think is was fairly obvious that I meant contraception unfortunately the edit function seems to be rooted.

        • McFlock 3.2.1.1

          Excellent choice of words all around 🙂
                
          Although it does accidentally lead to the next step – if unfit (i.e. “poor”) parents should be barred from “breeding”, surely society can force “better” parents to “breed” whether they choose to or not? That would definitely lead to a brighter future.

    • LilaR 3.3

      Yes, but judging from comments that get made on the Stuff website, most Fairfax readers are tories who want to tell everyone else how ro live their lives, so that wouldn’t be surprising. However, they’re a self-selecting sample, and not necessarily typical of the country at large.

  4. Kotahi Tane Huna 4

    Neo-liberal economics meets fascism. The circle is complete.

    • muzza 4.1

      Indeed Bloke, the people who are running the global systems, pushing the agendas which become socialised through these media “tests” via our parliamentary system, are F*’scists.

      They never went away post world wars, they simply took their agenda elsewhere, and are redelivering it, using the ultimate facade…Democracy!

      You’re catching on, which is good to see…The more who catch on, the sooner the numbers will be be enough to make a real difference…

      Edit: The Mp’s are not found by us Bloke, they are “selected”, think about it!

      Edit 2: International Court of Justice – Thats a joke eh?

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.1.1

        You see what you want to see.

        Where you see a conspiracy, I see a trainwreck. Fascism is just another form of stupidity.

        PS: the people with the “agenda” from 1945 are all dead, and those that did escape the Nuremberg trials spent most of the rest of their lives hiding from Mossad.

        • muzza 4.1.1.1

          “You see what you want to see.”

          — I see what is obvious

          “Where you see a conspiracy, I see a trainwreck. Fascism is just another form of stupidity.”

          –Nah, no conspiracy, I’m just not a big believer in the “stupidy” of repeated behaviours as they match up against historical events, which are repeating themselves in front of your eyes!
          Is the financial collapse a “conspiracy” in your eyes Bloke, or simply just one of those things that the “neo-liberalists” seems to have lost control of?

          “PS: the people with the “agenda” from 1945 are all dead, and those that did escape the Nuremberg trials spent most of the rest of their lives hiding from Mossad.”

          –No they certainly are not all dead or hiding from Mossad, they are running the alphabet soup of agencies that people know as the UN/EU/ WTO/WHO/UNESCO/World Bank/IMF/NASA/FIFA/IOC/ US Politics/ NZ Business Round Table, and the list goes on…

          I guess all the German names in charge of anything that has global signifigance is purely coincidence, and the reflection of the “superiority” of the German race.

          One thing won’t chime with some of the protesters’ claims: the super-entity is unlikely to be the intentional result of a conspiracy to rule the world. “Such structures are common in nature,” says Sugihara.

          “When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity”

          “the super-entity is unlikely to be the intentional result of a conspiracy to rule the world. “Such structures are common in nature,” says Sugihara”

          –When evidence points to the obvious, to the “conspiracy” fob off has to be used, standard technique that, which is great for stupid people.

          –Just keep wondering why the “evil” keeps rearing its head people, its just “stupidy and coincidence’!

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.1.1.1.1

            “What I see is obvious.”

            Yes, that’s what we all tell ourselves.

            • muzza 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Not everyone shares the same limited abilities Bloke..

              As I have said to you before, only when people have reached a certain level of internal awareness/honesty, can they see/feel what truth is externally. Its not possible to achieve internal awareness, until freedom from bias, predjudice etc, of life experiences of that individual, are no longer an influence on how they view themselves or the world. Being able to take the emotion out, before ever passing thoughts, opinions or advice to another person, group, blog etc, is critical, and can’t be learned from a book or institution, nor can it be taught.

              Narcissism is a key factor in why the world continues its decline.

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                Indeed; your middle paragraph provides a perfect example, but I fear you are projecting.

                Wait a second, though – hidden depths, the ability to see things as they really are, the amazing super power to make comments on blogs, are you sure you aren’t one of them? The Illuminatii, I mean? Or are you merely bestowed with lesser talents? Like Uri Geller?

                Made for television.

                • KJT

                  Research published in New Scientist showed that the worlds economic system is ultimately under the control of less than 20 entities.

                  However I do not believe in a big hidden conspiracy. Nobody is that competent.

                  The political and economic system, favouring those who already have power and wealth, is a natural consequence.

                  Only real democracy is capable of offsetting this concentration of power with the few.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Only real democracy is capable of offsetting this concentration of power with the few.

                    Which is why in the US they have spent years unpicking or preventing “real democracy”.

                    Voting occurs on busy work days, and your voting booth is stationed near your home not your work. The totally unproportional ‘winner takes all’ electoral college system. Unlimited private money in election campaigns. Corporations having the rights of citizens. An MSM which supports only the bankers party and the Other bankers party, without giving voice to any other point of view.

                    • Vicky32

                      Voting occurs on busy work days, and your voting booth is stationed near your home not your work.

                      Oh. I had suspected this but not known it… In 2004, black people were getting phone calls telling them that the election would take place the day after it had been scheduled for… I learned that when a woman whose flatmate was black, mentioned this on h2g2….. Fortunately, this scam’s working depended on black people not checking up! (Which of course they did do)

                  • muzza

                    “However I do not believe in a big hidden conspiracy. Nobody is that competent.”

                    — And this is where people fall over trying to work out just why things are getting worse, and worse. They simply can;t get their heads around the probability!

                    How can you be so sure KJT – Myself, I look at things, and I can’t say for certain there is not, so I go with, what adds up in a holistic sense. There is more than enough that points in the direction of consolidated control, as you concede, and when you have consolidated control, you must to have conspiracy to get to that level of consolidation, its an explicit requirement!..Its continuing, because to get control you have to corrupt, and deceive on any, and every level you have created, yet more conspiracy! Its everywhere we look.

                    So really, they are that competant, and I would say a re-evaluation of what you believe should be on the cards, around that!

                    Rule out nothing!

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Yes! Open your mind so far your brain falls out and you too can waste your entire life seeing non-existent patterns rather than taking effective action.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      PS: “things getting worse and worse”

                      Let’s reality check that shall we?

                    • muzza

                      Bloke, my response was to KJT, yet you responded!

                      Classic narcissism , your ego just can’t stop itself!

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Please note the author of comment #4, you tiresome cretin.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.2

            Its a matter of record that many top German engineers, scientists and industrialists were given sanctuary and citizenship by the US after WWII. They played a key role in the success of the United States through the 1950’s and 1960’s.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Sure, so if you believe the world is ruled by a secret society wearing silly hats, you’re bound to see some sort of terribly important significance in that statement.

              It’s also a matter of record that global life-expectancy and quality of life has improved immeasurably over the last 100 years. No doubt it’s a big plot to lull us all into a false sense of security before sending in the storm-troopers.

              Anyway, while the feeble minded were busy finding out how far they can stick their cognitive dissonance up their nose, something interesting happened.

              See what we can achieve when we don’t open our minds so far our brains fall out?

              • Colonial Viper

                Don’t be a shit. Plus I see you didn’t actually refute the facts of what I said.

                America’s success in their nuclear ICBM programme and also the Apollo programme was a direct result of their move to adopt that German talent post WWII.

                Not to mention the US lead in jet fighter development gained through the 1950’s and 1960’s.

                And who knows what other military and technological fields which aren’t as obvious.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Sorry for being a shit – it is interesting though 🙂

                  I didn’t “refute” your statement I agreed with it – hence the word “sure” at the beginning of my reply. I just attach a somewhat different significance to it than you; I thought I’d made that clear.

                  However, if our information is being fed to us from “the secret office where they run everything from” (FZ), how do you even know there was a second world war?

                  If they faked the moon landings they probably faked Werner von Braun too.

                  I note you took no notice of my argument regarding life expectancy. Oh, and deaths from violence keep decreasing too, at least according to Pinker et al. Haven’t seen that refuted either.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I note you took no notice of my argument regarding life expectancy. Oh, and deaths from violence keep decreasing too, at least according to Pinker et al. Haven’t seen that refuted either.

                    As societal wealth and societal law and order improve, so does life expectancy. Of course it goes the other way as well (see Russia in the first 10 years after the fall of the Soviet Union).

                    I largely ignored your comment however because it didn’t seem to have any relevance (that I could tell) to post WWII conspiracy theories.

                    My point was simply that the US successfully achieved what it wanted from its plans to ‘adopt’ German talent after WWII ended.

                    Today we don’t seem to regard that US action as being controversial or conspiratorial. But at the time it was a top secret plan organised via the top levels of the US government. The harbouring of top Germans who had been actively working, during the war, against the Allies.

                    Some might even had called it, at the time, a ‘top secret conspiracy’.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      I think you may find that top level engineers and scientists are better at furthering science and engineering than fascism.

                      Um, when the global measure of something exhibits a trend, there will still be regional variation. The trend exists nonetheless. According to my secret team of German statisticians, that is.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Um, when the global measure of something exhibits a trend, there will still be regional variation.

                      So, which global measure of life expectancy are you using.

                      The trend exists nonetheless.

                      And you stop your questioning there? Don’t you also want to know what factors underlie the trend?

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Who said I stopped my questioning?

                      What makes you think I have no opinion on “what factors underlie the trend”?

                      I just don’t want to get dragged into a re-hash of some sort of Malthusian apologia is all.

                      Although the fascist tendencies of some who ride on the “over-population” bandwagon have been duly noted.

              • muzza

                “See what we can achieve when we don’t open our minds so far our brains fall out?”

                — Yup, naked exposure of lacking self awareness, and the resulting confirmation of narcissism!

                Edit: Nah, I’m not one of anything of that sort Bloke, just a human being who has learnt much about myself from life. Its in all of us, but only when we have found a level of inner honesty are we able to use it. No surprise you have little comprehension of what I am talking about!

              • KJT

                Life expectancy and prosperity has increased immeasurably for much of the world.

                Not because of unbridled capitalism, though.

                Because of extensive quality State education. Socialism.
                Reduction of overly concentrated dysfunctional wealth. Socialism.
                The rise of a middle class. Socialist redistribution.
                Advances in science, nutrition and public health. Socialism again!

                I am the first to agree that capitalism on a micro level, the corner store, the local builder, the market gardener is probably the most effective distribution mechanism.

                Provided it is regulated so that cheats do not prosper!

                When it is so large that the whole economy depends on its functioning and when the cheats are allowed to dictate the rules, then it needs to be controlled by a democratic society.

                Rule by an overly powerful self interested minority has never worked.
                Whatever they call themselves

                • Draco T Bastard

                  +1

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  “Unbridled capitalism” – whoosh! watch those goal-posts move!

                  Muzza’s fantasy is that a small group of fascists (not capitalists) controls the world. The fact of increased life expectancy and quality of life undermines the thesis.

                  Attempting to attribute the Chinese rise in life expectancy under Mao, for example, to capitalism, would be ridiculous.

                  Please also note what Chomsky says about Capitalism: “show me some!” As in, if you can find some somewhere he’d be interested to see it.

                  “Everybody seems to know this except economists.”

                  • KJT

                    What is the difference.

                    The Fascists support was from capitalists. Hitler was a hero to many in Britain before the war. For how he dealt with the trade Unions.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      And don’t forget that it was the capitalists in the US that tried to stage a fasc1st coup.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Was it all “the capitalists”, or just a tiny tiny few, who attempted the “cocktail putsch” and were ridiculed?

                      It’s a straw, quick, clutch at it!

                  • muzza

                    “Muzza’s fantasy is that a small group of fascists (not capitalists) controls the world. The fact of increased life expectancy and quality of life undermines the thesis.”

                    –Obsessive and presumptive about me too Bloke, lol!

                    “Quality of life and life expectancy”

                    –No mention if inequality rapidly increasing then, well done undermining yourself!

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Rapidly increasing inequality in the short term, in a particular set of countries of which New Zealand happens to be one. Latin America, for example, has experienced increasing equality.

                      KJT, what is the difference? For one thing, capitalism is an economic system, fascism is a political ideology.

                      There are similarities: they are both used as pejorative labels by people who understand neither, for example.

                    • muzza

                      Its not NZ though, Latin America is it Bloke, which is really what I have been referring to. The west in general at a stretch, which still does not include Latin America!

                      In your mind capitalism and f*scism are not linked, and seemingly can’t be in any way other than your little insult above, and this is where you fall on your face, repeatedly.

                      The two can most certainly be linked together, the challenge for your limited capabilities, is to put your narcissism aside, and then attempt to look at issues/events etc, free from your bias & prejudices.

    • Olwyn 4.2

      I think that neoliberalism has always tended that way. The idea of running a country like a business runs into a problem with those who are surplus to requirements. When a business is made lean and mean by reducing the staff to the bare minimum, the surplus staff go away, and become trespassers if they remain on the premises. When a country does the same thing, the surplus “staff” cannot be guaranteed to go away. Then the question that arises is not, “perhaps it was a mistake to try and run the country like a business,” but instead “what are we going to do with these surplus people?”

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        Yep, when a country streamlines the people who have become surplus to requirements are still there and still need supporting. The NACTs will see these people as a drain upon themselves and their rich mates as if they didn’t have to be supported then profits could be higher through cutting taxes. Our socio-economic system is psychopathic and needs to be re-purposed from the goal of profit for the few to actively supporting the society.

        • Olwyn 4.2.1.1

          I agree wholeheartedly. I also think that the challenge is first and foremost a moral one, that neoliberalism replaces common garden morality with instrumental reasoning toward nonmoral ends, in common with the other heinous system mentioned on this thread. After all, that is what market rationality just is, with no modifying features beyond what people will endure or turn blind eye to in exchange for their own relative safety.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.2.2

        I think neo-liberalism asks the question “what are we going to do with these surplus people” – but the question has now become “what are we going to do to them?”

        Rather than buy into the debate about how far to go in adopting fascism, I think we need to be demanding that the focus be on the false beliefs of the neo-liberals, and frame the answers accordingly.

        Q. What can be done to stop people breeding?
        A. Make sure they have strong employment rights and conditions and good wages.

        • terryg 4.2.2.1

          I dont see a problem here. people are both edible and bio-degradable – “KFC double down is people”…….

          perhaps convert them to high-grade petfood like IAMS, that way they will perform at least one useful service for the rich.

          or maybe solo-mum-fired power generation plants.

          /sarc

    • muzza 4.3

      So this is where a reply to #4 would have been posted….

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.3.1

        Just don’t get it do you? If you are going to post your drivel in a thread I started, don’t be surprised that I respond. You tiresome cretin.

        • muzza 4.3.1.1

          Bloke I get you alright, clearly right under your skin. I do hope that I’m not responsible for an increased dosage of your pills, thats really not what I’m about!

          My initial response to “your thread” (shit I thought it was The Standard, but there you go),
          was agreement with your comment…

          As there were no sarc tags, I thought you had made an important breakthrough!

          Guess not!

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.3.1.1.1

            lol, a transparent attempt to recruit my remarks into a delusional world view, with a side order of patronising bullshit, and he calls it agreement. Idiot.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    “That is where the Nats want to head – compulsory contraception for solo “mums” (not “dads” eh). ”

    Because there are very fewer options for contraceptions available to men than they are women. If there were more options available, then probably the government would be looking at them as well.

    Yes, it’s sexist, blah blah blah, but it’s also a fact that most contraceptive measures are produced and aimed at women for a variety of sensible reasons, not least the fact that it is technically a hell of a lot easier.

    • Janice 5.1

      If “dads” were made responsible for their child’s welfare and were libable to a jail sentence if anything untoward happened to the child, whether they were in touch or not, perhaps we might see them take more care about who they impregnate. It might make them take an interest.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Yeah because putting these Dads in jail is going to be so much better for their children. And having a prison record will really help those Dads support their children better going forwards.

        Maybe think it through ok?

    • weka 5.2

      moving comment

    • Actually they did come up with a birth control pill for men similar to the one for women. Unfortunately it never got past testing because men couldn’t hack the side effects, which were… about the same as for the female pill. The reason they haven’t come up with ANYTHING for men except condoms and vasectomies is that men simply aren’t concerned enough with controlling their fertility to accept side effects, whereas women are.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1

        Got a link for that? Sure I’d heard that a) it wasn’t working effectively yet and b) side effects were far worse.

    • Adele 5.4

      The only sure way of enforcing the compulsory to contraception is either through a tubal ligation or vasectomy. Technically, it is more efficacious to perform a vasectomy (a 5 minute procedure performed at a GP clinic) than it is to perform a tubal ligation – which relatively speaking, presents a greater risk to a women’s health.

  6. muzza 6

    Yup, still wondering how long it will take for people to work it out….Its like the game show where the word is complete but for one letter, and the game player just can’t work out the word thats plainly obvious!

    Parliament, and the Government in this instance, are nothing more than the delivery mechanism of the agenda…Don’t go asking me what it is either, because its too bloody obvious already, and if you can’t see it by now, you are a HUGE part of the problem!

    The ultimate domination over a species, is to control its reproductive capacities, thats on top of controlling that species ability to survive at all, which we see through the total domination of lifes necessities through the monetary systems, supported by corrupted political, judicial, legal etc…

    Nah, its not happening!

    • mike e 6.1

      National want to pick on those left holding the baby while their partners get off scott free.
      It would be far better if the country adopted a policy where both parents have equal custody unless there are extenuating circumstances.
      Both parents would be able to work .
      Under National the numbers on the DPB have risen sharply this is just a distraction to avoid responsibility for a poor performing economy.

      • Vicky32 6.1.1

        It would be far better if the country adopted a policy where both parents have equal custody unless there are extenuating circumstances.

        I am glad you mention ‘extenuating circumstances’. In the late 80s, that very thing was being advocated… and it did incalculable harm to people such as my middle son, who fell victim to the custody-for-daddies fad (His dad was an alcoholic moron who after getting custody of my son, palmed his off on ‘Nan’, and wrecked his life.) Other women found themselves starving, as Dad got ‘equal custody’, continued to work, left physical custody with his ex-wife, who couldn’t work because she had to look after the child(ren) but who couldn’t get DPB as Daddy had ‘equal custody’ – which meant financial relief for deserting daddies, and yet, Daddy still had legal control! Best of all possible worlds.

        Both parents would be able to work .

        Why should they have to, of they’re caring for a child under 10? I’m sure Daddy loves that idea, as he doesn’t have to pay liable parent or child support – but when the mother has to pay two thirds of her earnings to have her child(ren) warehoused, to whose possible benefit is that?

        • mike e 6.1.1.1

          Vicky i’m not suggesting full time work.I worked and was a house-husband my wife worked full time and overtime as her income was 2 times what I could earn .Just about every family has to have 2 incomes to get by.
          So she has to stand up for her rights to a dominating partner that’s extenuating circumstances as far as I;m concerned.Thats child neglect as well by not providing the essentials of life on his behalf as he is supposed to be that child’s rock as well as provider.
          Their is know doubt that men are not committed to building a family and its future when they are only interested in self indulgence.
          But where each parent are doing right by their children I believe that these parents can share responsibility.

  7. The simple fact is every parent is unfit, and not one parent will be able to care for their children once the shit storms arrive. You are very ignorant and foolish to have children at this time regardless of how much wealth you may thing you have.
    And now we have the fucking idiot greeds saying a little planet destroying mining is ok …. fuck the kids, we want out flat screen TVs etc. … and as we all know mining and growth are the corner stone of Kiwi Saver.
    I’m just thankful my ‘children’ have a short life expectancy (dogs)

    • Johnm 7.1

      Hi R. A.

      Since 2005 Oil exports worldwide have declined:

      “The fact that world crude oil production has been stagnant since 2005 is now commonly acknowledged. But for all the world’s net oil-importing countries – including South Africa – the crucial oil supply variable is total world oil exports, rather than total world oil production – that is, oil importers must compete for the surplus oil sold by oil-producing nations that is left over after the latter’s domestic consumption.

      According to the US Energy Information Administration, one of the leading providers of global oil data, world oil exports reached a peak in 2005 at 43.4-million barrels per day (mbpd) and have declined every year since then by an average of 1.8% year. World crude oil exports totalled 40.2 mbpd on average in 2009, according to the latest available data. This represented 48% of total world oil production of 82.4 mbpd.”

      Link: http://www.collapsenet.com/free-resources/collapsenet-public-access/news-alerts/item/8129-pool-of-world-oil-exports-dwindling

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Yep. Countries which do have oil are finding that internal consumption is taking a larger and larger bite. Leaving less oil available to export to (generally western) countries. This is occurring at the same time that total oil production is peaking or declining.

        See the ‘Export Land’ model, which has example countries listed.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Export_Land_Model

      • Puddleglum 7.1.2

        That would suggest that conflicts between the ‘have oil’ and ‘have not oil’ states will get even worse than they are at present.

        The geopolitics of this can only get worse (and, as they say, ‘war is politics by other means’).

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1

          That would suggest that conflicts between the ‘have oil’ and ‘have not oil’ states will get even worse than they are at present.

          Wars are expensive and when the most needed resource you need to fight them is oil then the only winners in a war between the ‘have oil’ and ‘have not oil’ states will be the have oil states.

          • Puddleglum 7.1.2.1.1

            Which explains why the ‘have not (enough) oil’ states like US, UK and France have recently made ‘acquisitions’ of oil-producing states.

            It also explains the last 100 years of Western military presence in the Middle East.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes it does. Confronted with fascism, the decision was made to ensure that the democracies would always have more oil than the dictatorships, because military superiority is the only language dictators understand.

              The devil is in the detail.

  8. I don’t think we can have compulsory contraception, ever, for any reason.

    But we have a difficult, complex problem.

    There are a significant (but very small minority) of people that turn out to be very poor parents and probably always will be. And some are a danger to the wellbeing of children.

    But it’s impossible to predict in advance with any consistent accuracy who should be selected for reproduction prevention, if it were to ever be considererd an option.

    There is a debatable case to strongly encourage those who have already proven to neglect, harm and even kill their children to use contraception. Theoretically the longer acting the better. But in practice that is problematic.

    I think the only morally acceptable option is to provide good education and information to as many potential parents as possible on responsibilities, family planning, contraception and parenting, and contraception should be readily available.

    But contraception mustn’t be compulsory. We have to accept that will be some crap parents, and some children will suffer, because the alternatives of compuilsion are worse.

    • fatty 8.1

      “There is a debatable case to strongly encourage those who have already proven to neglect, harm and even kill their children to use contraception.”

      What about those people that neglect, harm or kill other people’s children? Surely we should stop that person for reproducing too?
      The first name that comes to my mind is John Key…considering the tax cuts to the rich, and the poverty/illness/death producing budget.
      (Are we judging and accusing all people…or is it just poor people?)

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.1.1

        You said it, Fatty; the real harm that is actually documented and published – the facts that sooner or later have to be confronted, but by this flock of ostriches?

        They’re too busy figuring out new and exciting ways to hate and fear.

      • muzza 8.1.2

        Actually Fatty, what you refer is simple diversionary tactics aimed at the “middle class”.

        The purpose of the exercise is to ensure there are “class wars”, like the use of military wars, for the major perpetraitors to hide behind.

        Unfortunately with the media being part of the wider problem, it is very easy to spread this vile hysteria among the “middle classes”

        Michael Laws article is quite beyond reproach, and while there are issues to be discussed, his spew should be examined closely, because these are the words of a paid protagonist!

        Still the tactics will work, and I expect the talk “around the water cooler” will be about the “ferels”, and the merits of forced contraception & sterilsation!

        These past few discussions , have been tests of reaction, make no mistake!

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.1.2.1

          Correction, hate and fear and ridicule. Musn’t forget ridicule.

    • KJT 8.2

      We have a very simple problem. Too many people are being kept poor so a few can be extremely rich.

      And a very simple answer.

  9. prism 9

    Limiting fertility is for humans one of our vital duties today. The world is already overpeopulated and keeping numbers of children down is a way of preventing larger tragedies of starvation, border disputes, resource grabbing etc. It will be especially hard because of the obssessed religious groups whose most fervent adherents aren’t allowed to use contraceptives, want a lot of children to mass up their following, or who can’t follow the demanding methods using natural fertility rules

    In Britain at one time 50% of babies died before they were one, and adult average age was 40. Women in early NZ didn’t have the right to have a baby outside marriage, she would be shunned, and Minnie Dean’s baby caring was an attempt to have a business providing a home for unwanted babies.

    Thank goodness things have got better but for women who are on their own it is hard to earn enough to live on and look after the baby and toddler’s needs. Then when at school right through to secondary, there are big responsibilities for someone with only one child, which multiply with multiple children (unless the person is a supremely talented person at managing everything). The more children they have the more they find it difficult to move away from a dangerous, crazy partner who of course would be a shitty role model as a human, as a man, as a father and parent.

    In the large families from older days one of the older girls would look after the younger ones, that’s how they managed, and the boys helped on the farm, while the girls did the needed child caring, helped with housework, and helped on the farm when needed. It isn’t a good life having to do everything so don’t wish this on solo mums and support the move to help with their fertility.

    • bbfloyd 9.1

      you raise a question in my mind……how many women can honestly say that they had recognised the “dangerous/crazy” aspect of their partners personality Before the pressure of child rearing imposed itself?

      Or, conversely, before there had been a loving commitment made to that person at the very least?

      So am I right in thinking that the national government is punishing poor people now for not being prescient?

  10. KJT 10

    One of the biggest indictments of our current economic dogma is the number of people, in the worlds richest nations, living in poverty.

    http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/poverty-in-new-zealand.html

    What comes first is POVERTY.

    Poverty is what makes “breeding” for a living seem like a good option.
    Poverty is what causes all the poor outcomes to the children of teenage mums.
    Poverty is what causes people to be caught in a trap of continuing poverty.

    We are never going to solve problems caused by poverty by making people poorer.

    Social security and minimum wages that are so low, there is almost no chance of climbing out of the poverty trap, causes the problems.

    Abatement rates for those earning a bit of money while on social security are higher than those for millionaires.
    A two tier education system is going to make escape from poverty even harder.

    Low wages are not even good capitalism. “Businesses that cannot meet the costs of the resources they use should be allowed to fail, so others can make better use of the resources/labour”.
    Every business paying low wages means there is little demand. Hurting all business.
    “You should pay your workers fairly because they are the source of your wealth” Adam Smith.

    Three decades of Neo-Liberal meanness is coming back to bite us. And the right want to make the victims lives harder.

    A guaranteed minimum income, national super, has succeeded in practically eliminating poverty in the over 65′s. Less than 3% live in poverty, and that most likely is self inflicted.

    If we are serious in eliminating poverty amongst children, 20% living in poverty, we would extend the GMI idea, that has been so successful with the elderly, to young people.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 10.1

      “…the right want to make the victims lives harder.”

      That’s not how they frame it. They’re too busy telling one another that poverty is a choice, and that wealth is a measure of merit, and any other self-serving charade to keep themselves from confronting the ugly truth: they haven’t got the first clue how an economy works, nor a society, nor any other damn thing for that matter.

      Stupidity generates malice, but it’s the stupidity that’s the problem.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        they haven’t got the first clue how an economy works, nor a society, nor any other damn thing for that matter.

        And they don’t want to know how it all works either as that would require them giving up the wealth that they’ve stolen.

        Stupidity generates malice, but it’s the stupidity that’s the problem.

        Stupidity is part of the problem – the rest is the propaganda that we’ve been fed over the last century about how great capitalism and capitalists are.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 10.1.1.1

          I think most people have a more nuanced view of capitalism: it has its upsides as well as its downs.

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1

            Its upsides are particularly pronounced if you are in the top 1% of world population i.e. in the richest 70M people in the world.

            If you are in the bottom 50% of the world, i.e. the poorest 3,500,000 people, the downsides are huge.

            Everyone else gets a pretty fair to middling deal.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Well, in fact even the life expectancy and quality of life of those in the developing world has improved over the last 100 years too, with some notable and obvious temporary exceptions – modern-day Somalia, for example.

              Yes, the benefits are distributed disproportionately, but the rising tide has floated all boats to a greater or lesser degree.

              Probably serendipity, but nonetheless…

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes, the benefits are distributed disproportionately, but the rising tide has floated all boats to a greater or lesser degree.

                The argument goes that even poorer families in NZ have 40″ flat screen TVs. So they should stop complaining about how much wealthier the filthy rich are getting as they already have it so damn good compared to say, a poor family from 100 years ago.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Um, no, not exactly. The “argument” in the context of our discussion relates to the fact that global life-expectancy has increased, despite the predatory practices and exploitation/extraction colonies of capitalists.

                  The right-wing, in their tiny dark room with scary noises, have still not grasped that the debate has advanced from discussion of absolute measures of poverty to the strong observed relationship between equality and social well-being.

                  I think it’s important to reject their entire frame for the conversation – simply ignore it and return relentlessly to the facts.

                • I’ve never even SEEN a 40″ flat screen tv, to be quite honest.

            • weka 10.1.1.1.1.2

              But if you look at NZ, it’s a bit different. My middle class, liberal, left voting family do very well under capitalism and they’re not in the top 1%. Some of their peers, friends, colleagues and family are the same (I’m the odd one out). Why should they want to change things? (that’s a rhetorical question). They vote on the left because they have a conscience and can see that things are not right for many people, but they’re nowhere close to thinking that capitalism is the problem.
               
              There are also those who are comfortable, do see that capitalism is a major problem, but have no direct motivation to do anything about it that changes it fundamentally, precisely because the benefits of capitalism are so good. Of those people I think many are doing what they can and just waiting until the SHTF.

              • Colonial Viper

                But if you look at NZ, it’s a bit different. My middle class, liberal, left voting family do very well under capitalism and they’re not in the top 1%

                .

                Yep I understand what you are saying. Which is why both are main political parties always rush to placate the comfortable middle class, close to election time.

                BTW your family may not be in the NZ top 1%, but I'm pretty sure that they would be in the global top 10% or top 5%.

                Which is not hard, I'm guessing that having more than NZ$10/day (US$8/day) to live on catapults you straight into the top half of the world population.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.2

            I think most people have a more nuanced view of capitalism:

            I think that most people haven’t got a friggen clue which is why the capitalists keep managing to steal from the rest of us via laws set up to bring about and protect that theft.

            • felix 10.1.1.1.2.1

              Yeah I reckon you’re right. Many people I talk to are sort of vaguely aware that such a thing as capitalism exists, but it’s so normalised that even though so many of the issues they face in their lives are direct consequences of capitalism they don’t really confront it or question it.

              It’s like the air around us. We all know it’s there but most of us aren’t really focused on our breathing.

              • You could say the same about socialism. There’s bits of it all around us. Intermingled with the air. And with capitalism.

                Air will always be a mix of nitrogen. And oxygen. And other stuff. In varying proportions.

                • Indeed.

                  And some gases support life, some gases are inert and some gases are toxic and should be kept in low concentrations.

                  I know where I’d take this analogy one step further … 

                • felix

                  Also some people can’t let any reference to capitalism go by without a direct comparison to socia1ism or c0munism.

                  Sometimes it looks like they’re trying to suggest that you’d better not blaspheme. Or, you know, the devil.

                  That’s not specifically a dig at you Pete, more of an addon to what I was describing above. And yes I get what you mean about our society being not purely capitalist. I don’t think any are, really.

    • seeker 10.2

      @KJT @ 11.08am

      “Poverty is what makes “breeding” for a living seem like a good option.”

      Please don’t perpetuate this myth KJT, the evidence is to the contrary as stated in the post above and here. http://werewolf.co.nz/2011/02/ten-myths-about-welfare/ .
      One cannot ‘choose’ to make a living out of ‘breeding’. It had to be a man that came up with this reasoning that is extremely insulting and undermining to women.
      .
      It is much harder to have children than some think (hence my choice of ‘a man’ as the instigator of such poor reasoning).There can be many complications- from conception (BM,great accidental slip-Freudian?) through carrying to full term, through birth itself etc.At every stage, nothing is certain. It is often not as ‘easy as falling off a log. Nature is strange, and not a reliable enough tool for a ‘business’ model.

      However,copulation is the one thing that we can all do, educated or not, National or Labour, Act or Green, neo liberal constructs or real human beings, blonde or brunette, haves or have nots, and is already used as a business model. Perhaps that is where the confusion arose ie copulation for business and the non starter ‘breeding for business. When copulation takes place (heterosexually) before a woman is 45 or so, it can often result in a child, sometimes even if contraception is used. However, conception and birth, as well as contraception, are not a reliable enough tools and far too ‘high risk’ for a profitable “intentional business option” of a Breeding Business.

      However I did hear a remark from a drama/doco.set in the late fifties in London’s poverty stricken docklands, which made me think. An impovershed,homeless,orphaned, young fifteen year old pleaded to keep her child,which was being taken from her for adoption within 24 hours of the birth. She said that apart from loving her child, having a child was the one thing she could do and had been successsful at.
      It had given her a sense of fulfilment and achievement. Nature and motherhood, a marvellous and complete entity, which speaks for itself.
      Perhaps this says more about self esteem than an idea for a ‘business’.

      By the way, she was not a ‘slut’,as some would have it. She was an innocent who had been impregnated by her pimp who had beguiled and raped her when she arrived in London, penniless from Ireland, having lost her family. When she discovered she was pregnant, she ran away, lest she be forced to a backstreet abortionist, like the other girls in the pimp’s ‘harem’.She was a scared young girl, trying to make sense of a pretty heartless world. And it was a true story.

      *I liked the rest of your comment though KJT.

      • KJT 10.2.1

        Maybe I was being too subtle there.

        “Breeding” for a living was a dig at the Micheal Laws and Paula Bennetts who pretend that the social security system is being overwhelmed by hordes of “feral” teenagers, “breeding for the DPB”.

        Of course if that was the case, and they were really concerned with anything except reducing taxes for their rich sponsors, the logical answer is to give teenagers better options. Like a GMI or decent wages instead of McJobs. Something the right wing always resists because it means they have to help pay for the problems they have caused.

        It is not a myth though. Teaching at a decile one school I talked to many children who thought the DPB, the gangs, or getting/selling drugs were good options, because the ones our society have left open to them were so stink. Those were the only “seemingly” successful models in their world.

        Definitely not the hordes that the Government likes to use as a scapegoat for their poor performance.
        DPB is less than 8% of direct social security/insurance spending. Less than 6% of DPB recipients are under 21. Of those, many would have been in what they thought was a stable relationship or had children for the myriad of other reasons people have children. (As Seeker says above) Accident, Someone to love, biology, etc.

        Hardly the overwhelming drain on tax payer resources RWNJ’s claim.

        It takes a village to raise a child.
        A decent and fair society accepts we all have a responsibility to ensure every child gets the best start in life possible.

        Whatever the failings of their parents.

        • seeker 10.2.1.1

          Hi KJT.

          “It is not a myth though. Teaching at a decile one school I talked to many children who thought the DPB, the gangs, or getting/selling drugs were good options, because the ones our society have left open to them were so stink. Those were the only “seemingly” successful models in their world.”

          Again, not for business, but because, probably thanks to low self esteem and not being able to read, amonst other factors, these are the only areas they can see themselves using to “pay their way” in life. It is so tragic.

          Like you KJT I have worked mainly in decile 1schools, primary,through intermediate to secondary. I have a great desire to see our youngsters succeed, and not dismissed and scorned, as some rather disturbed fellow adults do.

          Was doing quite well at improving the situation for many until 1979 when, in my case, Thatcher got in and first started to cut education. The wonderful educational resources we had painstakingly set up – straight out the window. If the neolibs in New Zealand incomprehensibly hate the teachers, that is nothing to what I felt for Thatcher as she tried to strangle the life out of education and tried to create a business entity out of us.. We were to be economically quantified, but could not understand how teaching and our wonderful developing children could be standardised and reduced to units and ratios. We started to learn. It was the beginning of a fiscal death for all of us, unless we fought back for the children. It breaks my heart to that see we are still doing so.

          Am now retiring a little early, due to an injured head and ill health, yet I still want to get out there and help our kids. Thus, as I can’t get back into the classroom, I am trying to publish a reading prog that will show and enable all those kids and adults who aren’t sure, how to perform reading. Hope I manage it before it’s too late, as I have finally cracked the code for all! Good luck in all your work KJT, it is so important and always worthwhile.

          PS At least you will know that you have lived a worthy and honourable life ,which is more than can be said for the greedy, selfish, cruel neolibs who cannot take their ill gotten dross with them but have stored up for them selves, I am sure, an eternal death even worse than the horror fiscal death they have given and are still giving everyone else. And at the moment I am in a closer position to think about death than that silly, selfish boy John Key and that rather unpleasant, hypocrite of a girl. Paula Bennett.

  11. ianmac 11

    Over-population must be the prime hazard for the World. This morning there was a radio program which outlined the vast problem that China faces with the rapid huge rise in the numbers of the elderly and the disastrous effect the “One child” policy has on the community. Absolutely no services, and no medical support for thousands of elderly who live in tiny apartments. Live and die without help. Also a huge shortage of labour.
    We must have a lower world population but the costs are as bad as having too huge a population.

  12. weka 12

    So how would a govt make contraception compulsory? You can’t do it via WINZ (threat of loss of benefit) because not all ‘bad’ parents are on a benefit, and threat of punishment isn’t a reliable contraceptive. If you identify ‘bad’ parents via CYFS, how do actually administer the contraception? Police escorts to the hospital for sterilisation?

     
    Obviously you can’t rely on people to take the contraception themselves, so you’d have to have a system where they would be required to present themselves regularly. This rules out the Pill, so we’re talking about things like the injection, or IUDs, or tubal ligation. TL for women and vasectomies for men would be easier.
     

    • terryg 12.1

      Weka, I dont think this is actually very hard. because ISTM that its MEN that are by far the worst offenders here. And vasectomies are quick, cheap, and highly effective. they can also be reversed, although its a lot harder (hey, that fits in to a RWNJ world view – if said offender can earn enough money to pay for a reversal, they “deserve” the right to breed again.)

      • weka 12.1.1

        Sterilising men doesn’t stop women from having babies, it just stops some men from fathering. 
         
        If a woman is a single parent, has a child that gets abused, you want to prevent her from having more children that she can’t look after properly (allegedly), then how would vasectomy help? How would you predict who she might get pregnant to next?
         
         

        • terryg 12.1.1.1

          the entire subject is, of course, utterly fucking ludicrous. all of your objections are valid. this is not a problem that can be solved by coercion. the Greens have the right idea.

          ignorance is the problem.

          • weka 12.1.1.1.1

            “the entire subject is, of course, utterly fucking ludicrous.”
             
            Agreed!

            I doubt that Bennett is actually considering enforcing contraception on bad parents. Looks more like just further ammunition to spur on the parts of NZ who are prejudiced against poor people.

            • KJT 12.1.1.1.1.1

              People in NZ do not hate Jews, so that leaves social security recipients.

              Divide and conquer has always been a tactic of repressive authoritarian Governments.

  13. KJT 13

    Conservatives are always obsessed with peoples sex lives.

    I’ve always thought it was their revenge for the fact, that at high school, they were such obnoxious, self centred, shits that the girls, or boys, would not have anything to do with them.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      I’ve always thought it was their revenge for the fact, that at high school, they were such obnoxious, self centred, shits that the girls, or boys, would not have anything to do with them.

      Its definitely something developmental in origin.

    • muzza 13.2

      I’m sure that reason you refer KJT, is why these people are selected in the first place…It makes them very easy to “use” to deliver the policies “wanted”, due to the fact that these types already have damaged personalities!

      Its part of the equation to be sure, but its a mutual acceptance and coersion situation. That being that the types of people who want to “rule” over us, are the types that the system needs to “rule over us”.

      Its why we continue to see the same type of individuals in our politicial landscape….Its not going to change until people force it to. Even if we arrived at that point in time, I would be doubtful that is possible.

      Certainly as long as people want to belive in “stupidity or coincidences”, which allows them to keep endorsing a system that is corrupted and broken, and to stay “on the couch”, then there is no real hope!

    • Kevin Welsh 13.3

      As Felix would say, ‘panty-sniffers and bed-wetters’.

  14. As this thread has evolved it has highlighted one of our biggest dilemmas – how do we control an escalating and unsustainable world population without trying to coerce or control anyone’s inherent right to reproduce?

    Do we just let things naturally escalate and accept that it will reach breaking point and eventually there will be a catastrophic collapse in our civilisation? Any solutions may be in the too hard basket anyway.

    • mike e 14.1

      pg it would be a good start if you stopped reproducing other peoples ideas and being boringly obvious

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      how do we control an escalating and unsustainable world population without trying to coerce or control anyone’s inherent right to reproduce?
      Information about the resources available (get rid of the stupid not a zero sum game fallacy) and let people make up their own minds. If they can see that having a child will ensure that the child will be in poverty no matter what then they will probably decide not to have that child.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 14.2.1

        In fact, poverty leads people to have more children, not less. Hence the birth rate in the developing world.

        • terryg 14.2.1.1

          povert and mortality. there was a good article in New Scientist a year or so ago, which examined “chav” birth rates (ooh, nasty term) from an evolutionary perspective. chavs die young, in their 50s and 60s (smoking, obesity, shivved by chavs (see what I did there)), so it makes evolutionary sense to start having kids asap.

          like so many thigs, education is the key. thats why we must fire teachers, increase class sizes and make higher education unaffordable….wait, WTF?

          • Vicky32 14.2.1.1.1

            “chav” birth rates (ooh, nasty term) from an evolutionary perspective. chavs die young, in their 50s and 60s (smoking, obesity, shivved by chavs (see what I did there))

            I see what you did there! Dying young is always the fault of the dead person…
            I suppose I can see the ‘sense’ in New Scientist’s assertion. (though I’ve learned from reading it, that all associated with it are pretty much Tories). My parents were dead by 54 and 60, I had my first child at 18… The only problems with the beautiful theory are that people are not animals, and are capable of making choices – that, and that at least in the case of my parents, neither blame, nor socio-economic factors have anything to do with their deaths! 
            Trying to fit ‘evolution’ to everything leads to incredible stupidity, such as the above.

            • Puddleglum 14.2.1.1.1.1

              Hi Vicky32,

              I think this article was the one that terryg was referring to. It’s beyond the paywall, but the preview suggests that the point of the article is that the choices made by the so-called ‘underclass’ are actually perfectly reasonable. When circumstances are dire, the choice not to put off having children is sensible (if children are desired).

              I have my criticisms of evolutionary approaches to explaining human behaviour.

              But I think that, understood and applied well, it is one way of salvaging our humanity (including the sense of ‘agency’ you value – the ability to ‘make choices’) from the jaws of the simplistic notion that people are (or should be) some kind of hyper-rational, economic decision makers (and having a society that punishes them when they don’t ‘measure up’ to that condescending standard).

              Evolutionary explanations don’t (or shouldn’t) reduce people’s behaviour to that of other animals. Far from it. They help understand why we don’t behave like other animals. I don’t act like a dog, shrimp or chimpanzee largely because I belong to a species that evolved a distinct way of being. That ‘way’ involves all of the reflective, cooperative, altruistic, compassionate and – it has to be said – deceptive, cruel, lying and ignorant behaviours that humans exhibit on a daily basis.

              We are, for example, set up to cooperate

              • In New Zealand there’s also the fact that Māori are disproportionately poor, and in Māori culture children are highly valued. (Whether they’re treated as such or not is another matter.)

                • McFlock

                  Yup.   
                     
                  And I think it’s indicative that the rate ratio of children being admitted to hospital because of assault is lower for Maori against European than it is for poorest quintile against richest.
                      
                  Not conclusive by any means, but a candidate for cause does look a bit better than some others.

                  • weka

                    McFlock, can you please explain that? I don’t have a good head for stats. Does that mean that poverty is significantly more of a factor than ethnicity?

                    • McFlock
                       
                       

                      It’s not causal proof by any stretch of the imagination.
                         
                      It just means that poor kids are much more likely to be hospitalised because of assault than rich kids, whereas Maori kids are a bit more likely to be hospitalised because of assault than European kids.
                         
                      (the Asian stats are lower than European, but it gets muddied because deprivation is measured in fixed population proportions  – mostly fifths or tenths – while ethnicities make up different proportions of the population e.g. Maori 20%, Euro 66%, Asian 7 or 8%, and so on. Clear as mud? Right. 🙂 )
                              
                      It just seems to me that the people (tories) who tend to say that “oooh what culture were the kids, it’s just pc nonsense that stops liberals admitting the common factor” would be better off asking “hmmm – how can we end child poverty?”        
                       

                    • KJT

                      Poverty is way more of a factor than ethnicity.

                      We had a look at the stats in detail a few years ago. And had them explained by a Uni Statistician.
                      I am sure someone here can present them in a way we can all can understand.

                      Maori are overrepresented in the poor end of the population, hence their over-representation in the problems of poverty.

                      It is skewed even more because many Maori who are better off do not identify themselves as Maori.

                      Because poverty is the prime factor I have always thought we should target poverty instead of ethnicity.

                      It avoids stereotyping any one ethnicity and shuts up the rednecks.

                  • rosy

                    This type of data needs a meta-analysis to bring together all sorts of negative outcomes by ethnicity alongside outcomes by deprivation. One of the frustrating downsides of reporting outcome by ethnicity is the negative stats get reported without comparison with deprivation stats – leading to the all so familiar awful stereotypes.

                    I question whether this type of reporting reduces Maori opportunity – always fighting the negative stats and related negative impressions. And without the deprivation stats, whether it leads to resources for Maori improvement being taken from other deprived groups rather than from the well-off. Divide and conquer tactics visited on the poor.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m a data junkie. My bias is that there’s not enough data, rather than too much – my ideal social measure would be a multidimensiona chart of dep by ethnicity by gini, and so on.
                              
                      My belief is that without data, the tories will limit the argument to whether or not there is a problem beyond anecdotal stories. Population level stats demonstrate there is a problem beyond anecdotal oddities. Lifecourse research helps identify causes of the problem. And so on.
                           
                      We need research across the spectrum to spell out, in big letters (and with pictures for ACT supporters) that poverty is a social problem with social solutions – not shit just happening to people who don’t deserve any better.

                    • rosy

                      By ‘this type of reporting’ I meant reporting limited to ‘by ethnicity’ – should have been clearer. Social stuff needs to be reported by as much as makes sense, not limited to pre-defined ‘problem’ areas.

                      So I’m absolutely in agreement with your comment McFlock – especially the bit about the pictures for Act supporters ;-). I’d love to see that multi-dimensional chart… I wish I could do stats well, my focus is the qualitative stuff.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      We need research across the spectrum to spell out, in big letters (and with pictures for ACT supporters) that poverty is a social problem with social solutions – not shit just happening to people who don’t deserve any better.

                      NO WE DON’T

                      You are fundamentally mistaking what the problem is.

                      Even more data and even more research is going to do fuck all to convince Tories who do not want to know, nor Tories who care only about their own position in the hierarchy at the expense of others.

                      McMillan, Davidson and Nordmeyer designed the most powerful and long lasting socialist reforms this country has ever seen, and Savage enacted them. Without the mountains of data and academic research that you are talking about.

                      What they did have is a mass movement of citizens who backed the changes with their values, with their politics, with their heart and with their soul.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah we do.
                                  
                      Have you not noticed how the dialogue has changed over the last ten years? How it has gone from one-off incidents or debating whether child poverty exists, now it’s how best to deal with it?
                                
                      Only the worst tories are fuly aware of the problem, can put a face to it, and still don’t care. And fewer still don’t care that other people know this about them.
                               
                      And even then, from a pophealth level it always helps to know what works and who it should be targeted towards.

                    • rosy

                      What they did have is a mass movement of citizens who backed the changes with their values, with their politics, with their heart and with their soul.

                      Which is the point, really. Nordmeyer & co didn’t have the cult of individualism going without. Before the 1980s there appeared to be an idea that everyone deserved a fair go (not that I’m pretending it was universal). Now the narrative is about deserving what you get and marginalising those least like ‘us’ as the least deserving of all. To change that it needs to be shown that these issues are widespread. It’s not to change the ideas of the powers that be – they know very well what they’re doing – it’s to put a little doubt in the minds of their supporters about the absolute views they hold.

                • Absolutely right.

                  The fact is that children have been ‘highly valued’ across the vast majority of cultures and time.

                  Of course, there’s also the difference between valuing children for their sake or for the sake of something else (e.g., continuing the family name, showing how wealthy you are, providing labour for the greater family, etc., etc.). There’s many ways to value something and those ‘valuations’ can get pretty blurred together so that it’s pretty hard to disentangle them.

                  So-called modern societies are famous/notorious for having unusually low birth rates. Children become economic ‘liabilities’ rather than ‘assets’ and that tips the scales toward deferring, reducing the number and not having children at all – the endpoint of the demographic transition. (Then again, the wealthier sub-sets of those societies may well start to have bigger families again because they can afford to. It would be interesting to look at that to see if it’s happening.)

                  Every culture has to balance the requirements of production and reproduction. I think so-called modern societies massively overvalue production and massively undervalue reproduction. Of course, you wouldn’t know it by the rhetoric about children used by politicians and in the media. (I have a rule of thumb that the more something is talked about as being ‘really valued’ the less it actually is.)

                  And, by ‘valuing reproduction’, I don’t mean valuing the quantity of children, I mean the extent to which we organise our society to ensure the quality in how, structurally, we support children and child-rearing.

                • KJT

                  Anyone noticed data has been disappearing from MED, Stats NZ and University websites?

                  Went looking again for the table of ages of those on the DPB to find it has gone.

            • terryg 14.2.1.1.1.2

              puddleglum’s reply has the right of it (and that is the article). hir summary is far better than mine and was what I wanted to say – that the choices made by the so-called ‘underclass’ are actually perfectly reasonable.

              evo-blahblah indeed often appears entirely full of shit. and of course stats are meaningful only in relation to populations.

              thanks all, interesting thread.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.2

          The birth rate in the developing world is a result of many things: Lack of information/education, culture (large families still seen as being good/indicator of social status), high births as a prerequisite to have any children actually live to adulthood, large families to look after you in your old age, etc, etc

          The Eskimos also seemed to have less regard for human life. Infanticide, for example, was common. Knud Rasmussen, one of the most famous early explorers, reported that he met one woman who had borne 20 children but had killed 10 at birth. Female babies, he found, were especially liable to be killed, and this was permitted simply at the parents’ discretion, with no social stigma attached to it. Old people as well, when they became to feeble to contribute to the family, were left out in the snow to die.

          The Elements of Moral Philosophy, 5th ed, p 17

          People, confronted with limited resources, are more than capable of making hard choices. Fortunately, we have contraception and abortion (especially once we get the religious idiots to shut up about using them) and so people won’t be killing their newborns. Unfortunately, we’ve become acculturated with the idea of being able to have everything we want.

          • terryg 14.2.1.2.1

            indeed DTB. add in the idiocy of the so-called “right” to breed.

            Hmm….. how about this for an idea. instead of forced contraception (jesus will be angry and stop making puppies if that happens) why not encourage homosexuality? I’m sure the RWNJs will be ok with that.

            I’ve done my part – got the snip at 28, and boy did I have to argue a lot to get it done. three doctors refused outright as I was “too young”.

            or maybe making infanticide legal? up to, say, the age of 36?

            ah fuckit, roll on AGW. or perhaps a dinosaur killer. humans are a fucking plague, and the sooner Earth rids itself of us the better. hopefully before we export ourselves into space, and begin to infest the universe.

          • weka 14.2.1.2.2

            “The Eskimos also seemed to have less regard for human life.”
             

            Or more regard. I don’t know Rasmussen’s work, but I’m guessing this is another example of 19C European anthropologists unable to get passed their own cultural conditioning. His words are hopelessly devoid of understanding and make my blood cold.
             
            Many pre-industrial cultures have/had the resources to abort foetuses. But it’s not always necessary to do so. You don’t know what the seasons ahead will be like, and you don’t know the gender of the foetus. If you wait until the baby is born, the perhaps it is clear by then that there will be enough food that year to warrant keeping the child alive. Or not. And while as a feminist, the idea that boy babies are “more valuable” than girl ones is hard to take, I also know (from listening to the words of native women) that some societies value stability and have distinct gender roles (not necessarily patriarchal ones) because that gives their society stability. So the need for boys who can do the hard manual work is great, especially where you lose so many boys later in life due to the risky nature of their work.
             
            “Old people as well, when they became to feeble to contribute to the family, were left out in the snow to die.”
             
            And yet from another (more real) perspective, look at the great honour those elderly people do to their whanau by choosing their death appropriately so that their children and grandchildren might live.
             
            We might also suggest that cultures who refuse to kill any foetuses and infants, or let their elderly die, are incredibly selfish, and it is other life that pays the price. 
             
            I can’t speak to infanticide as I’ve never had children. But as someone who is unlikely to have family to take care of me when I am so old I cannot take care of myself, and am faced with the horrors of state funded aged care, the idea of walking out into a snow storm seems very attractive.

             
            Unfortunately, we’ve become acculturated with the idea of being able to have everything we want.
             

            Quite. Where I disagree is that I think there will come a time where we need to choose who will die and who won’t. There is alot we can learn from Inuit and other polar peoples in this.

             

            • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.2.2.1

              I don’t know Rasmussen’s work, but I’m guessing this is another example of 19C European anthropologists unable to get passed their own cultural conditioning.

              Actually, by the time that Rasmussen did his work anthropologists were well aware of their own cultural lenses and were working towards keeping such bias out of their work.

              Where I disagree is that I think there will come a time where we need to choose who will die and who won’t.

              Possible, especially if we keep the necessary information away from the people and keep telling them that they can have everything that they want.

      • mike e 14.2.2

        education is the best birth control the better educated have less children.

    • burt 14.3

      Pete George

      Do we just let things naturally escalate and accept that it will reach breaking point and eventually there will be a catastrophic collapse in our civilisation?

      Naturally escalating and reaching catastrophic collapse is our civilisation! It’s what human populations have done for millennia – it’s why people built boats and found new territories… We are a product of that adaptation over time – what gives us the right to try and freeze in place a status quo just because it’s the time we are living in and we like it just like this?

      • Draco T Bastard 14.3.1

        We’re not trying to freeze in the status quo and thus collapse, NACT are. The rest of us are pointing out that we don’t have to go through collapse if we start living sustainably.

        • burt 14.3.1.1

          The rest of us are pointing out that we don’t have to go through collapse if we start living sustainably.

          Right, so you are saying we can change the natural order that has been in place for millennia while accusing the Nat’s of eugenics….

          How’s that working out for you?

          • Draco T Bastard 14.3.1.1.1

            Unfortunately, we have idiots like you getting in the way.

            The ability to think and take into account the world around us is a natural ability that you seem to think we don’t have.

    • Pete how did the assumption ever come about that the world population is unsustainable? It’s absolutely crackers and anti family. There are billions of grains of sand on just one beach and billions of stars in the sky. Yet as soon as we talk about human population in “billions”, everybody nods wisely and says there are too many people on this earth.

      • Colonial Viper 14.4.1

        There are too many people on the Earth.

        • muzza 14.4.1.1

          “There are too many people living on the earth”

          — Not there is not!

          What there is, is systems which are decimating the planet, and seemingly no desire to change from the present trajectory, by those making the decisions, and an inability of the peasants to see they are already an endangered species, and going to be more so, if only they looked up from the tv, iphone or some other distraction long enough to see whats going on..

          So what we have is too many stupid people on this planet….

      • Draco T Bastard 14.4.2

        That’s because there are. Estimates of maintaining the entire population at the living standard that NZ has is between 4 and 6 Earth’s – we have 1.

      • felix 14.4.3

        Oh Monique that’s precious. Did you ever notice that water is all over the planet?

        And that it’s an ingredient in almost everything we eat and drink?

        But for some reason as soon as people’s lungs fill with the stuff they get all sooky and drowny.

  15. acting up 15

    There can be some interesting choices of languange around this issue in the media. It generally seems that nice, middle class parents “give birth” or “have babies”.

    The poor working or beneficiary class, on the other hand, “reproduce” or “breed”.

    Spot the linguistic dehumanisation?

    • terryg 15.1

      what about our rulers? do the lizard people produce live young, or are they hatched from eggs? given the similarity of their policies, I suspect cloning vats, a-la Uruk-Hai

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        I suspect cloning vats, a-la Uruk-Hai

        No doubt Peter Jackson was pleased to help them out.

  16. If you kill two kids or neglect two kids to the point that they die or or are killed by others let into your household that pretty much makes you unfit and you should never be allowed to have kids again. Any future kids should be removed at birth and there should be a financial incentive to ensure you direct your energies into finding a job instead of producing cannon fodder. Simple really.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Do you think that your “simple” rules about forced sterilisation and forced adoption should apply to parents who have a child who has commited suicide?

      How about the parents of a child who drives drunk and ends up as a road fatality, killing either themselves or other children?

    • KJT 16.2

      If you introduce policies that result in thousands of kids living with poor health, nutrition, housing education, then you should not be allowed to breed.

    • burt 16.3

      Monique Watson

      The problem lies in the definition of when/how/on whom it’s valid for the state to enforce those powers. But I agree with the sentiment of your comment.

    • mike e 16.4

      Misery Warmedup Stereotyping.Most Dbp recipients spend less than three years on the benefit.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 16.5

      Monique Watson, you shouldn’t be allowed to breed or vote – your hateful ignorance and prejudice renders you unfit for citizenship, let alone parenthood: the brainless fantasies you intend to inflict on the country are the problem.

      • Lol. I’ve got five kids. And am having a very happy life, thanks for asking.
        You seem to have a problem with me saying that baby killers shouldn’t be allowed to have more kids. Do you think that they should be allowed to inflict hate misery and torture on innocents? I will never agree with that worldview.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 16.5.1.1

          Monique one day, perhaps someone will explain to you exactly where and how your opinions diverge from reality.

          Does the fact that your “solutions” make these problems worse not give you a clue as to the source of my contempt? But then let’s face it, they’re not “yours” at all are they? You’re just regurgitating Capillesque distortions. I should be more tolerant of dupes.

  17. Treetop 17

    1. Those who have a history or a strong tendency to neglect children have to be targeted.
    This is about an individuals behaviour and their background and how they cope under stress.

    2. Children have to be protected from falling victim to not being properly cared for.
    This is about having a living wage and the input of the child’s parents, the state, (health, education, housing, employment, social workers/mentors) family and neighbours.

    When it comes to WHO is doing the neglecting of children, the WHY has to be worked out.

    The government are as much of the who and the why as an individual is. The government have to provide the resources to prevent the neglect of children and to remove children when they are being cared for by unfit adults.

    Bennet would be better off were she to really think about the type and shortage in services which are required to prevent neglect of children from occuring. Targeting vulnerable single mothers is just adding more anxiety to an already financially grim situation and/or feeling unsupported.

    I do not know what Bennet is going to do with single fathers who take on more children while on the DPB. I expect the numbers to rise regarding single dads and I need to look up what assistance is available for them. It is going to backfire pushing a mother of two out to do part time work when the second child is one year old. Time has been wasted on this policy, a bit like the no brainer recent education policy trying to save 43 million.

    • There is never any excuse for neglecting children. It’s not the state’s fault, it’s not the cop’s fault, it’s not Michael daft prick Laws fault.

      Every individual has a choice and one people are just badasses who torture, maim and rape just because they feel like it. If you think all that needs to happen is that the state needs to provide more support then you’ve not met any evil arseholes in your time. Google Delcelia Witika.

      • Treetop 17.1.1

        “If you think all that needs to happen is that the state needs to provide more support then you’ve not met any evil arseholes in your time.”

        I don’t know what has given you the impression that children being harmed falls solely on the state to prevent. Look at my first point about targeting an individual. I did not mention what the HOW was in keeping children safe.

        When it comes to choice, any rational, empathic person is not deliberately choosing to cause harm to a child. One male in a hundred is psychopath and one female in a hundred is psychopath; psychopaths are not always easy to spot. No doubt there are degrees of psychopaths.

  18. prism 18

    At the back of all the ethical rhetoric here is the fact that the world is over populated and that each child born deserves the right to a childhood in a peaceful and stable background with caring, interested, moral parents who have some time to spend with their children, especially having food and water for meals together.

    All the theories of how everything will turn out right when. this or that is done…are just ideas. What is a fact though, is that it is harder to bring up numbers of children and especially so for someone on their own. If women want to be liberated and have children and not have partners, it is necessary to live up to that intention and learn to be largely self-supporting.

    All the arguments for solo parents with numerous children go right back to the dependent female model women have worked so hard to get away from. The model should be of a strong, responsible, resilient mother who has a plan for her life, and is easily able to receive help when she wants it. This would happen at certain vulnerable times of her children’s life, and the job of bringing up the child well should be regarded as the major employment, but not become the only one.

    • weka 18.1

      I disagree prism. The model should be of stable whanau and community systems, so that if a parent ends up on their own in terms of partnership there are still plenty of other people in place to support the parent in the raising of the child/ren. You can’t have emancipation of women and then have nuclear families as the only option, it just doesn’t work. And you can’t expect women on their own to solve all their problems, or to be able to plan out everything perfectly. The issue isn’t whether the woman has a mate or not. It’s about who is responsible for raising children, and that is for the wider family and community to support. Once that model is in place, issues of single parenting disappear.
       
       
       

      • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1

        You can’t have emancipation of women and then have nuclear families as the only option, it just doesn’t work.

        For most of history humanity has been formed into extended family and clans. We seem to do very well in that sort of environment. The nuclear family is a fairly recent invention and, IMO, one that’s done us considerable harm.

      • prism 18.1.2

        weka
        I can’t understand you weka. Did you read my whole comment?

        The model should be of a strong, responsible, resilient mother who has a plan for her life, and is easily able to receive help when she wants it.

        This doesn’t say that whanau and community can’t help, it just gives respect to the woman who has to cope with her responsibilities and understand that all parents need help and that she is a respected part of the comunity who will be nurtured along with her child.

        Maori have a term for strong woman I think when they say ‘Kia Kaha nga wahine!’ I think they would find my thinking acceptable: a capable woman receiving help and support from family on a regular basis, but particularly when needed and requested..

        • weka 18.1.2.1

          Hi prism. Yes I did read your whole post, and the one earlier. I was getting the impression that you think single parenthood is a failure unless the woman takes responsibility for making sure it’s not. What I’m saying is that there is nothing wrong with single parenthood in the sense of a woman not having a sexual partner to parent with. The problem is the lack of stable whanau/community structures. When those in place ‘singlehood’ doesn’t exist. If we have a problem with single mothers currently, it’s the community that has failed, not the individual women.
           
          I guess what I saw in that bit of your comment was you placing responsibility onto single mothers. eg
           

          If women want to be liberated and have children and not have partners, it is necessary to live up to that intention and learn to be largely self-supporting.

           
          I think that’s the wrong focus and I certainly don’t believe that single mothers should be largely self-supporting. That is anathema to community and whanau.

          • weka 18.1.2.1.1

            Futher, many women who are single parents didn’t choose to be so. Their relationships ended after they thought their lives were stable. Your statement “If women want to be liberated and have children and not have partners, it is necessary to live up to that intention and learn to be largely self-supporting” seems to imply that they should have forseen that situation. The other option is that they stay in unhealthy relationships, where men grant them that choice.

            • Treetop 18.1.2.1.1.1

              “Their relationships ended after they thought their lives were stable.”

              It is a big shock when you have a child to someone you are married to and have been in the relationship for seven years, then you discover that when you have a child that the child’s father is unstable, a thief, a liar, (not paying bills, cleaning out the home ownership account which had matured) and that they are dragging you down, (unreliable and cannot be trusted).

              There is really only one thing you can do, that is to save yourself and to save your child.

          • Draco T Bastard 18.1.2.1.2

            If we have a problem with single mothers currently, it’s the community that has failed, not the individual women.

            QFT

            And it’s failed due to the socio-economic system we use, the expression and reward of greed.

          • prism 18.1.2.1.3

            weka
            I think that I am wanting the best for the parent and child. I think you are too. I am concerned that women aren’t encouraged to be dependents and non-earners all their life or they can only have low paid jobs when the children are older. At the same time I don’t think parents should be forced out to work a certain number of hours that a desk jockey orders. The wellbeing of parent and child together is important.

            But I don’t have rosy ideals that family is all. It may be really good, but government help with training for the mother should be on tap, perhaps through a marae program. Then she doesn’t fall behind others, the child would be happy in childcare provided or near.

            Many things can be done to help and support and the parent should be able to choose what hours they work, and this be volunteer even. Getting money while parenting shouldn’t be a worry and be insufficient or held back as a punishment. What a disgraceful mean class, puritan approach that is. Good parenting should be the main focus and this should be facilitated by society.

      • Vicky32 18.1.3

        You can’t have emancipation of women and then have only nuclear families as the only option,

        FIFY! Sometimes it happens (immigration, and/or early death) and has nothing to do with the choices of society. Therefore provision must be made for the occasional nuclear family that is only a nuclear family, and has no other choice.

        • Vicky32 18.1.3.1

          As the edit function won’t work on dial up, I just want to add that other causes of a family stuck with being nuclear only, include family breakdown and poverty. (It’s naive to think that all poor people live in a strong community!)
          I know of a family where a woman married a non-New Zealander, and her large and wealthy New Zealand family ‘cut her off without a penny’ as the saying goes. The children of that family grew up without ever knowing their extended family – the father’s family were 6000 miles away and the mother’s didn’t exist as far as they knew!

  19. Generally a good and interesting comment, but…

    each child born deserves the right to a childhood in a peaceful and stable background with caring, interested, moral parents

    In the whole scheme of things no one deserves anything. Nature is very unforgiving and eventually everything ends up destroyed. Many living things survive far short of their species potential.

    Until very recently high proportions of children died before the age of five. Nature didn’t see them as deserving of anything special.

    Now knowledge, medical assistance and drugs have increased the odds considerably in some countries.

    But no life deserves anything, nature is a fight for survival, and that’s a fight none of us win, sooner or later. Any extension of life beating Nature’s intent is a mostly modern but temporary bonus.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      You may not have noticed but we no longer live in the hard scrabble that was life in the 19th century. We do know more and our productivity (even without oil) really has sky-rocketed. The only reason why we have poverty today is because a few take all the wealth through writing laws that benefit them and then blame the poor for being poor.

      What all this means is that we can give the children a good start in life and we can make sure no one lives in poverty. Sure, we’d have to live within the limits still set by nature (most notably, population limits) but we really don’t have to go back to the 19th century.

    • mike e 19.2

      Darwinism pg

  20. seeker 20

    @KJT @ 11.08am

    “Poverty is what makes “breeding” for a living seem like a good option.”

    Please don’t perpetuate this myth KJT, the evidence is to the contrary as stated in the post above and here. http://werewolf.co.nz/2011/02/ten-myths-about-welfare/ .
    One cannot ‘choose’ to make a living out of ‘breeding’. It had to be a man that came up with this reasoning that is extremely insulting and undermining to women.
    .
    It is much harder to have children than some think (hence my choice of ‘a man’ as the instigator of such poor reasoning).There can be many complications- from conception (BM,great accidental slip-Freudian?) through carrying to full term, through birth itself etc.At every stage, nothing is certain. It is often not as ‘easy as falling off a log. Nature is strange, and not a reliable enough tool for a ‘business’ model.

    However,copulation is the one thing that we can all do, educated or not, National or Labour, Act or Green, neo liberal constructs or real human beings, blonde or brunette, haves or have nots, and is already used as a business model. Perhaps that is where the confusion arose ie copulation for business and the non starter ‘breeding for business. When copulation takes place (heterosexually) before a woman is 45 or so, it can often result in a child, sometimes even if contraception is used. However, conception and birth, as well as contraception, are not a reliable enough tools and far too ‘high risk’ for a profitable “intentional business option” of a Breeding Business.

    However I did hear a remark from a drama/doco.set in the late fifties in London’s poverty stricken docklands, which made me think. An impovershed,homeless,orphaned, young fifteen year old pleaded to keep her child,which was being taken from her for adoption within 24 hours of the birth. She said that apart from loving her child, having a child was the one thing she could do and had been successsful at.
    It had given her a sense of fulfilment and achievement. Nature and motherhood, a marvellous and complete entity, which speaks for itself.
    Perhaps this says more about self esteem than an idea for a ‘business’.

    By the way, she was not a ‘slut’,as some would have it. She was an innocent who had been impregnated by her pimp who had beguiled and raped her when she arrived in London, penniless from Ireland, having lost her family. When she discovered she was pregnant, she ran away, lest she be forced to a backstreet abortionist, like the other girls in the pimp’s ‘harem’.She was a scared young girl, trying to make sense of a pretty heartless world. And it was a true story.

    *I liked the rest of your comment though KJT.
    Click to EditDelete

    • Hi seeker,

      I tried to make the same point in one of my own recent posts. You made the point far more powerfully, compassionately and eloquently than I did.

      Thank you. 

      • seeker 20.1.1

        Cheers Puddleglum,
        Always appreciate your comments and consider them to be high value, thus I really valued your reply.

        Particularly agreed with what you wrote here by the way:
        “And, by ‘valuing reproduction’, I don’t mean valuing the quantity of children, I mean the extent to which we organise our society to ensure the quality in how, structurally, we support children and child-rearing.”

    • Vicky32 20.2

      An impovershed,homeless,orphaned, young fifteen year old pleaded to keep her child,which was being taken from her for adoption within 24 hours of the birth

      That was ‘Call the Midwife’, right? The child was being taken from her ‘because a child can’t look after a child’… not because of any (alleged) sluttiness, and it was achingly sad.
      If she could only have returned to her family, with her baby… but from what I remember, she had run away for good reason!

      • seeker 20.2.1

        Yep, glad you saw it too Did not say the chilld was taken away for alleged sluttiness Vicky, was trying to deflect the ‘slut’ callers of today using this term to dismiss this unfortunate girl’s story. As you saw she was, in fact, a principled young lass, as opposed to the ‘slutty’ pimp who caused her downfall.

        Yes, she did have difficulty with her family, can’t quite remember what, but it had made her effectively an orphan. Loved the series.
        Spoke to my sister just recently who trained as a registered nurse and midwife at King’s College Hospital in London 1970-73, and she said conditions in the 70’s were just as those portrayed in the late 50’s. Things did not really begin to change until the late 70’early 80’s. She said there were queues of women in the ‘halls’ when she did her obstetrics training- and green cloth screens only, no doors.

        • Vicky32 20.2.1.1

          Did not say the chilld was taken away for alleged sluttiness Vicky

          Oh yes, I know you didn’t say that, sorry, I expressed myself badly… 🙂

  21. seeker 21

    Apologies, think I have posted this comment twice. Tried to delete the first one as it was in a ‘reply’ slot far too long ago and I did not realise until posting. Delete did not work

  22. seeker 22

    Have just gone off the words ‘Politics of reproduction’ as I have reproduced them far too many times accidentally in the comments listings -apologies.

  23. Kotahi Tane Huna 23

    While we watch in amazement as the National Party descends into ignorance and idiocy, the world changes. Here’s Hans Rosling on population growth.

    “A serious possibilist.”

    • prism 23.1

      KTH
      A great clip. 18 minutes by a specialist on a topic every week. I’m going to catch up with some more of those.

      • seeker 23.1.1

        TEDs are great Prism. Inform one of the latest thinking and ideas of different paradigms and one has the chance to witness when a new paradigm may be formed or has just formed.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 23.1.2

        Rosling certainly helps make sense of population trends, presenting solutions without glossing over the problems.

  24. prism 24

    And Rosling is good at presenting the visual as well as the verbal description of the situation – without being patronising. Very energised also convincing.

  25. tracey 25

    Are they trying to curtail votes against them even from the womb???

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