Thursday, April 24, 2014

Absolutely the same applies in this country

NCPA again  highlights how much single parent families ahve contributed to inequality. Then they ask the question, why don't politicians talk aboiut it?

How much do single-parent households matter?
  • University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox determined that children in high-income households who experienced family breakup fared less well emotionally, psychologically, educationally, and ultimately economically than their peers in two-parent families.
  • Children of single or cohabitating, but not married, parents experience abuse, behavioral problems and psychological issues at higher rates than children of married couples, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Just 2 percent of children raised in two-parent families experience poverty long-term, while more than 20 percent of children in single-parent families live in long-term poverty.
  • Penn State sociologist Molly Martin estimated in 2006 that 41 percent of economic inequality generated between 1976 and 2000 was the result of changed family structure.
  • According to researchers at the Brookings Institution, the U.S. poverty rate would be a full 25 percent lower today if the U.S. family structure resembled that of 1970.
While the mainstream media and research groups have been focused on inequality, they have largely ignored family breakup. Why? Maranto and Crouch point to three reasons:
  • First, leftists do not want to side with social conservatives, despite the plethora of evidence.
  • Secondly, minority families have experienced the worst family breakup, and bringing up the issue leads to fears of charges of racism.
  • Lastly, because there is no immediate or quick fix to the family breakup problem: such a societal transformation will take decades.
Source: Robert Maranto and Michael Crouch, "Ignoring an Inequality Culprit: Single-Parent Families," Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2014.

Regarding the second reason I remember getting it in the neck from Tau Henare when the NZBR released my paper on Maori and Welfare in which I pointed out the correlation between the high rate Maori welfare dependence and ex-nuptial births. He wrote me a letter saying I was Maori bashing. In other words, racist.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Let's just blame the perpetrator

Conservative Perspective blogs about ACT's Three Strikes for Burglary policy. He remarks about 'Gavin' who has been burgled 5 times.
"I’m sure Gavin represents a good percentage of the population when he suggests that the causes of burglary are ‘poor education and the wealth gap between rich and poor.’  But is that really the case?"
People who blame burglary on poor education and the gap between rich and poor are often equally quick to highlight white collar crime - theft via solicited dodgy financial investments, corporate fraud etc.

Can't blame those on poor education.

There's a perversion or rejection of values at all levels of society.

Remedying problems would be much simpler if we just started blaming the perpetrators - period. Let's proceed from that position and then, maybe, permit mitigating factors.

As it is, too many look first for the fashionable, extraneous causes of crime because they've been - and continue to be -  well-versed in them. Right from school.

An American guy rang Sean Plunket yesterday and said that NZ is a great country but we are too nice to our bad people. Not like you Yanks, went through my mind, thinking large-scale imprisonment for drug offences and capital punishment.

But he has a point. Our Kiwi tolerance (and Christian forgiveness) sometimes extends into damaging excuse-making for deeply immoral, unacceptable behaviour.

What I do like about any 3 Strikes philosophy is the inherent expression of clemency and redemption - TO A POINT.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Questions about Jones' successor

Excuse my ignorance about  Labour Party developments and electoral law.

I do know that Shane Jones was a list MP and assume  his departure requires a replacement for the months between June and September. But I may be wrong, in which case the rest of this post is redundant.



labour-party-logo.png
Labour Party List 2011 General Election
1 GOFF, Phil
2 KING, Annette
3 CUNLIFFE, David
4 PARKER, David
5 DYSON, Ruth
6 HOROMIA, Parekura
7 STREET, Maryan
8 COSGROVE, Clayton
9 MALLARD, Trevor
10 MORONEY, Sue
11 CHAUVEL, Charles
12 MAHUTA, Nanaia
13 ARDERN, Jacinda
14 ROBERTSON, Grant
15 LITTLE, Andrew
16 JONES, Shane
17 SIO, Sua William
18 FENTON, Darien
19 MACKEY, Moana
20 PRASAD, Rajen
21 HUO, Raymond
22 BEAUMONT, Carol
23 DAVIS, Kelvin
24 SEPULONI, Carmel
25 BARKER, Rick

So, I know Prasad is still an MP because of his Easter outburst over Nigella Lawson.

I had to wiki-search the next too. Yes, they are MPs.

But I do know Kelvin Davis is not. One of the few that should be.

He has been selected for the Te Tai Tokerau but somewhere I read he isn't available for campaigning yet? So will he be available to make a swift trip south to replace Jones in the House?

And how will that affect Hone's chance of keeping the seat? Will Davis find himself in parliament for just a couple of months if he doesn't win Te Tai Tokerau,or will Labour sensibly push him up the list this time?

Or can he turn it over to the next party-lister, ex MP Carmel Sepuloni?

Who would think a sane person wanted a bar of Labour but he has put up his  hand for candidate selection. Good Guy in my opinion.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Cell phones for ex-prisoners and misplaced outrage

I cannot believe the naysayers on the business of equipping released prisoners with mobile phones that have "pre-programmed numbers for police mentors and other support services."

The Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesperson is "outraged".

 "This is like giving a reward to offenders for completing their sentences," she said. "If free mobile phones are being handed out to anyone, it should be to victims, not criminals."
First, they have served their sentence. Second, it isn't victims who need rehabilitation assistance. Help and support yes, but not mobile phones. Thirdly SST should be supporting attempts to rehabilitate. Their attitude increases risk.

And Jacinda Ardern is just as loopy. She believes "...Vodafone should provide offenders with jobs or training rather than cellphones."

Well that's a slap in the face. It would be great if any potential employer takes on a released prisoner but they do not have an obligation.

I think it's a great idea (still only a pilot at this stage) and couldn't agree more with the sentiment expressed by Serco's director of operations Scott Nairn

"If it prevents just one person from becoming a victim, it will be worth it."


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Now for the bad news

NZ is in a precarious position according to Forbes Magazine:

12 Reasons why NZ's economic bubble will end in disaster

 Concluding with:
Here is what to expect when New Zealand’s economic bubble truly pops:
  • The property bubble will pop
  • Banks will experience losses on their mortgage portfolios
  • The country’s credit boom will turn into a bust
  • Over-leveraged consumers will default on their debts
  • Stock and bond prices will fall; the New Zealand dollar may weaken
  • Economic growth will go into reverse
  • Unemployment will rise

Also reported in Stuff



More good news - fewer sole parents on welfare

Simon Collins, writing in the NZ Herald, provides an analysis of latest benefit numbers:
Numbers on sole parent support have plunged by 8600, or 10 per cent, in the year to March. It is the biggest drop in a single year since the benefit - previously known as the domestic purposes benefit, or DPB - was created in 1974. Sole parent support is now being paid to 75,844 sole parents, fewer than in any year in the DPB's history since 1988. About 22,000 people with no children under 14 were moved to other benefits when the DPB was abolished last July, but even if they were added back in, the total number of sole parents on any kind of benefit is the lowest since 1993.

Not sure where he gets the data to make the last statement though. Did he add back the 22,000 to the 75,844, arrive at 97,844 then go back through the DPB historical numbers? Looks like it because in 1993 there were 96,335 people on the DPB and in 1994 there were 100,256.

But he wrote "any kind of benefit". He hasn't accounted for the Supported Living Payment/Invalid benefit which grew from 35,000 in 1993 to 87,000 in 2012. In 2009 over 5,000 single parents were on an invalid's benefit.

Anyway I guess I'm being pedantic. Maybe the info was provided to him by MSD because he has other data (eg the specific reasons why sole parents are leaving benefits) which isn't publicly released

Good to see him talking about 'net' reductions. Many journalists forget that there are also people constantly going onto benefits.

The biggest net reduction (13 per cent) was for parents aged 40 to 54, whose children were most likely to have turned 14. The next biggest reduction was in the 18-24 age group (down 10.4 per cent), with a smaller reduction for those aged 25 to 39 (down 9 per cent).
The number of Europeans on sole parent support also dropped sharply (down 12.5 per cent), as did Pacific numbers (down 11.5 per cent). But Maori numbers fell 7.9 per cent, so Maori increased from 44.9 per cent of those on sole parent support to 46.1 per cent.
Michelle Neho, who runs the Pikorua community centre in Papakura, said she had seen little change.
"Not many have gone off the benefit round here," she said.
The most employable people leave first welfare first. We will see how effective the reforms are when the harder cases, the intergenerational types, start leaving.

I note too that another important reason for the reduction isn't canvassed (the official line from MSD is economic trend.) That's the falling number of births, especially teenage. This will definitely be having an impact.


Here's the overall 5 year trend picture.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Good news on Good Friday: Labour/Greens down in favourite poll

According to Chris Trotter at the Daily Blog in a post he's titled "That Sinking Feeling":
THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since Roy Morgan’s previous survey in late March. Roy Morgan has long been the Left’s favourite polling agency: a source of good news when the Colmar-Brunton, Reid Research and Ipsos agencies could offer nothing but ill-tidings. That “our poll” has begun to deliver ill-tidings of its own is bad news indeed.

Go read Trotter's explanation.


Does anyone know the whereabouts of that stalwart and courageous David Cunliffe who bore every insult that his enemies could hurl at him. The David Cunliffe who sat stoically on the back benches while his party fought for his return. The David Cunliffe who campaigned up and down the length of New Zealand for a rededication to Labour’s core values. The David Cunliffe who promised to rescue New Zealand from John Key’s “crony capitalism”. If anyone does know where he is could they please advise Moira Coatsworth and Tim Barnett immediately – he is sorely missed.
And sorely needed. Because, if that David Cunliffe is not found – and soon – the pallid and oh-so-timid fellow currently masquerading as the leader of the Opposition is going to lose the election. Not just for Labour, the Greens and Mana, but for every other New Zealander seeking a radical change in their country’s direction.
Odd because I haven't seen the timid version. But I can find him the smarmy, arrogant, nasty man. That's the real turn off.

See results poll here
Does anyone know the whereabouts of that stalwart and courageous David Cunliffe who bore every insult that his enemies could hurl at him. The David Cunliffe who sat stoically on the back benches while his party fought for his return. The David Cunliffe who campaigned up and down the length of New Zealand for a rededication to Labour’s core values. The David Cunliffe who promised to rescue New Zealand from John Key’s “crony capitalism”. If anyone does know where he is could they please advise Moira Coatsworth and Tim Barnett immediately – he is sorely missed.
And sorely needed. Because, if that David Cunliffe is not found – and soon – the pallid and oh-so-timid fellow currently masquerading as the leader of the Opposition is going to lose the election. Not just for Labour, the Greens and Mana, but for every other New Zealander seeking a radical change in their country’s direction.
- See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/04/18/that-sinking-feeling-labours-urgent-need-for-persuasive-words-and-courageous-deeds/#sthash.pXqs59db.dpuf

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One in four Maori baby boys won't live to 65?

A similar headline appears in today's New Scotsman:

One in four baby boys in Glasgow won’t live to 65
A QUARTER of boys born in Glasgow between 2010 and 2012 will not live to see their 65th birthday, according to research which shows the city has the lowest life expectancy in Britain.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal public health problems continue to ail Scotland’s largest city, at a time when it is preparing to host the Commonwealth Games.
The findings show that only 75 per cent of boys and 85 per cent of girls born in the city will reach their 65th birthday.
The average life expectancy of babies born in Glasgow between 2010 and 2012 was 72.6 years for boys and 78.5 years for girls.

In 2010-12, the Maori male life expectancy is 72.8 - pretty close. So if the methodology stacks up here, so will the finding. (Of course it might not. Conceivably  the extremes may be greater. For example, a third of Maori baby boys might not make 65 but the survivors have longer life expectancies than the Scottish cohort.)

The good news is Maori are catching up.