Friday, January 19, 2018

Interesting silence

Latest benefit statistics show year-on-year decreases.

Should National or Labour take credit for this?

Quarterly benefit data release typically elicits party pressers.

No mention in the media so neither finds a political gain to shout about.

National could justifiably claim credit. Maybe still knocked off for summer.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Make-work Mistakes

Treasury has made a cock-up.

Some sort of coding error related to the accommodation supplement has meant their calculations about the reduction in child poverty are incorrect.

So what? They are probably going to be incorrect anyway because there are so many variables at play. What is going to happen in the housing market for instance. How potential parents are going to react to the $3,000 baby bonus. How unemployment trends, etc etc.

But the number of well-paid boffins studying poverty plebs will swell as Treasury seeks to review and understand where it went wrong.

It's an absurdity.

Monday, January 15, 2018

We aren't all feminist drones

Readers know I am into horses. My last 5 percenter, Everything, did me proud.

My new 5 percenter, Jaktar, is also looking good.

Listening to Radio Trackside's Des Coppins interveiwing another syndicate manager today, I laughed out loud.

One guy has 1 share and another 99 women have the others. The woman 'manager' suggested they call the syndicate Witches of  Westview. The male was hesitant. What if some members took offence at being called "witch"? The woman manager responded, if they take offence, they aren't the sort of women we want in the syndicate.

Me too.


Monday, January 08, 2018

The Hollywood witch-hunt

Why am I so agitated by the campaign against sexual harassment building a head of steam in Hollywood, and elsewhere?

The question isn't a mere opener to a post. I put it to myself in order to write this.

I get some easy answers, for instance, I don't like any collectivism at all.

1/ Individuals should fight their our own battles and 2/ Aspersions should not be cast on non-offenders based on the class they occupy, for instance, all men are not rapists.

But it goes further.

Why are these participating women so hellbent on being victims? Hurt is a private matter for me, rationalised and resolved (if ever) at a personal level. (If ever) is a big deal. Maybe historical hurts should be left in the past, in context, and with regard to one's own contribution to the circumstances.

Contribution? But each and every accuser is a non-contributing angel... surely? If you believe that then you haven't lived.

But above all, feminism - which represented a longing for greater freedom when I was a teenager - has evolved into a grotesque PC witch hunt hellbent on robbing freedom from the rightly or wrongly accused. Contextual 'truth' is irrelevant.

If there is an individual who is exploiting and abusing you, walk away. If you are letting them, to further your own interests, then you are a collaborator. Don't sanctify your capitulation retrospectively.


Sunday, January 07, 2018

Distorted self regard

Reacting to the passing of Jim Anderton, Jacinda Ardern waxed lyrical about how he "gave 40 years service to New Zealand."

Up a ladder painting, I responded to nobody in particular, "He didn't 'give' it. He was paid, quite handsomely."

The notion that public service employees are somehow self-sacrificing needs crushing.

They occupy some of the best paid and most secure jobs to be found.

Politicians exist in a place of privilege.

And it's a long way from up my ladder, or amongst the cat-shit under the renovation house, or sweltering in the attic. Places I have enjoyed this year 'hoping' to earn a living.

We have provided work for numerous people and made a significant contribution to the economy.

But in the private sector none blathers on about giving service to the country. Neither should they.



Monday, January 01, 2018

Shock, horror, UNICEF says something positive about NZ

It's true. For once UNICEF isn't banging on about child poverty levels in New Zealand. Apparently,

"Babies born in New Zealand have access to high levels of care, education and medical assistance, which is reflected in their long life-spans."

Yet in June 2017 they were saying:

 New Zealand has performed poorly in a global report card on children’s well-being, and Kiwi kids will continue to miss out unless there is a massive upheaval in how children’s best interests are served, says child rights organisation UNICEF NZ.

The first statement is accurate. The second is political.

Welcome to 2018, a year when 'feelings' will rule over facts.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

"Let's Undo This"

Signing up to a social media campaign isn't something I've ever done before. I did so because it's one way I can register may protest at the new government.

National policies leave a lot to be desired but they were  better than Labour's.

It'd be satisfying to hear the numbers responding to this campaign reported in the media. That might happen if the numbers are very high.

And it's a well put together site.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Update on sole parent economic situation

An interesting graph from the Briefing to Incoming Social Development Minister:


After the In Work tax credit came in the gap between being on a benefit and working for the minimum wage opened up.

This has undoubtedly contributed to the fall in the number of benefit-dependent sole parents. But anti-child poverty activists want the in work tax credit paid to all beneficiaries. This will be a sticky issue for the new government. Their families package (especially the payment for babies aged 0-2) will effectively close the gap anyway.

Another interesting fact from the Briefing. Maori represent 15% of the population but "48 percent of Sole Parent Support recipients."

Here's a table from my own 2008 paper, Maori and Welfare:


It would appear the employment status of Maori sole parents is not improving as quickly as the general population.

A question remains that I have not had time to properly research. While the number of sole parent support recipients continues to drop...


... it must be remembered that many are now moved onto jobseeker support as their youngest child reaches 14. There may also be some migration onto the supported living benefit positively affecting the drop. The Briefing stresses that "The proportion of clients with mental health conditions has been growing substantially over time."