Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dasha Kovalenko on welfare

Dasha Kovalenko is number seven on the ACT list. I don't know her. Have never met her. But I thought this piece from the ACT site worth reproducing. Brings a new generations' attitude to the subject. I don't even know who Jeremy Kyle is.

Subsidising failure

I’m new to politics. Until now, I never quite clicked how corrupt politics can be. I’ve learnt that most parties buy their votes. The election has become a bidding war.
Which party can use up the most of our money? Which party can make the most decisions for us? The left often reminds me of an adolescent girl with her mother’s credit card. It’s pathetic and irresponsible. With that attitude – and I don’t say this lightly – it’s no wonder we have inter-generational welfare dependency.
I’ve noticed that certain subjects make politicians uncomfortable. Race is one. Welfare is another.
I want to talk about the latter. I worked out why the left doesn’t want to touch welfare – ‘cos no one wants to be the bad guy, right?
The great Thomas Sowell once said, “Welfare is paying people to fail. Insofar as they fail they receive the money. Insofar that they succeed even to a moderate extent that money is taken away from them. We are subsidising people to fail in their own private lives, and they become reliant on hand outs.” Spot on.
It’s important to have welfare as a safety net – to help people out in their time of need, to help them get back on the horse. But the issue we have is welfare dependency. And it’s an issue that crosses generations. People choose to have children they can’t afford to bring up, both in financial and in emotional terms. These parents expect the state to take care of their children. Let’s think about these kids. What kinds of role models do they have? What kind of expectation and self-esteem do they have? Surely it can’t be a great life. Do they know discipline in work and study?  Do they have ambition to reach their potential and contribute to our community? Or do they resent others who are better off, but who are working hard to succeed because they’ve had the chance to learn how? Do these children then turn into repressed, frustrated individuals who are then likely to become criminals? These are questions we need to ask.
I am a 25-year-old woman, and sometime I would like children. I know and understand that bringing up just one child takes an enormous amount of time, money, emotion, energy and determination. I know that I only want kids at a time when I have these things sorted – because any time otherwise would be selfish. I don’t expect the state to bring up my child. I know how important it is for a young person to have strong parental role models in their lives – childhood is the peak of development, where attitudes are formed and learning techniques are developed.
What Paula Bennett has done is great. We’re moving in the right direction, but we still need strong incentives for people to leave the benefit. If you were receiving $400 a week from the government to sit on your couch and watch the Jeremy Kyle Show, and you were offered a part-time job with an after tax income of $300, would the work really be that appealling?
ACT believes reducing company tax to 20% will create more jobs with more hours of employment, encouraging beneficiaries to choose work over welfare. We understand we can’t change the way people think, but perhaps we can break the cycle of welfare dependency, and live in a country where younger generations will want to be responsible individuals, working in our society and reaching their maximum potential

Welfare dependence is about more than the economy

Simon Collins writes about the contrast between National and Labour welfare policies. He also provides some "context":

Of course the main influence on welfare rolls is the economy.

This is highly arguable. Certainly it is the major influence on the unemployment benefit.

But we know for instance that the rate at which children are born onto welfare (either directly or shortly after) doesn't vary a great deal between booms and recessions.

Not a huge amount of variation. It's hovered around 1 in 5 for the past ten years.

Then the growth in numbers on sickness and invalid benefits has been positive for the past 40 years.

The other main point about "welfare rolls" is that numbers alone do not describe the depth of dependence. People who rely on an invalid or domestics purposes benefit do so for the longest times. Whereas most on the unemployment benefit are only there briefly. So while the economy is visibly affecting numbers on the unemployment benefit, their share of total dependence - or future liability - is much lower.

Monday, August 18, 2014

RNZ: What I should have said

How frustrating. Rung last night by Radio NZ looking for a recorded interview about the Green's child poverty policy, I covered  points made in my earlier post today. But the one line the reporter chose to use was my support for lowering the child age to qualify for early childhood education from 3 to 2 because that enables mothers to move off benefits and into work sooner.

What I should have added is that it's  largely a redundant proposal given extending the In Work Tax Credit to beneficiaries won't see single mothers rushing into the work force.

Why the Green's child poverty policy is a mistake

The Greens are going to give the In Work Tax Credit to parents who are not In Work.

Of course to get around that piece of nonsense they have renamed the tax credit

A new Children's Credit that would give an extra $60 a week to families currently missing out — at a cost of $400 million a year.

Let's remember is was Labour that introduced the IWTC, the rationale being to attract more parents, mainly single, into employment. Clark and Cullen believed that the best way to get children out of poverty was to get their parents into paid work. From Cullen's 2006 budget speech:

The Government believes that ultimately work is the best way out of poverty, and provides the best social and economic outcomes for families in the long run. Making work pay through the In-Work Payment component of the Working for Families package improves people's opportunities to make a better life for themselves and their families.

In Social Developments author Tim Garlick wrote

The decision to strengthen work incentives by not increasing the income of non-working families was strongly criticised by some academics and community groups...

 But they stood by their conviction.

And the courts have upheld the policy's legitimacy against multiple challenges from the Child Poverty Action Group.

Yet the Greens see no value in paid work. No value in children growing up with working role models.No value in actually earning an income; participating, contributing and producing.

All they see is a quick cash cure (with no gaurantee the money will be spent on the children) which comes with the almighty risk that more children will grow up welfare dependent as the financial rewards of working, as meagre as they are, disappear.

I must have said it hundreds of times. Welfare made families poor. More of it is not the answer.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Labour's flagging support

You will already have read about the latest Stuff Ipsos poll showing Labour support down to 22%.

What stood out to me is their flagging support amongst the 65+ demographic. At 19 percent they are the lowest-polling Labour-supporting age group.

I believe this is because the age group in particular does not want an Internet/Mana - Green - Labour government. As Internet/Mana build support amongst the young they reduce  it from the left block.

Also noteworthy, The Conservative Party has leapt to over 3 percent. Garth McVicar?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Nicky Hager: The Left blogosphere is as pure as the driven snow

That's the conclusion you would have to draw after reading Nicky Hager's introduction to his new book at the Dirty Politics website.

Hager's earnest one-eyedness is quite pathetic. Quite Chaplinesque. On Campbell Live he got more cringe worthy the longer it went on.  The lack of communicative credibility was overwhelming. But I wouldn't shoot him down on that shortcoming alone.

So I went to look at his on-line evidence of nasty attack, social media politics somehow unique to and especially sinister on the Right. Yet the activity of Left blogs rates no mention.

Of course Hager would protest their relevance.

But it beggars belief that Labour Party connections to The Standard and The Daily Blog don't exist.

The degree of involvement between Whale Oil and National is unknown to me. Sometimes Cam runs a submission from me for which I am grateful. I am not a cheer leader for National.

But right now Hager is religiously hell bent on making it look like the Whale Oil/National relationship is ugly and unique. That's the flaw in his assault.


David Farrar has understandably taken an interest, given a chapter is devoted to him:

Cam does not work for anyone, or even take guidance from anyone. He is his own force of nature.

The Left just doesn't get individualism. Their deep-seated superglued-stuckness to collectivism cultivates conspiracy at every corner.

Large majority think National should have done deal with Conservatives

A NewstalkZB poll surprises me. I'm one of the few 'no' votes. My preference is for ACT and a deal with the Conservatives might weaken that option:

Electorate deals Results

Should National have cut a pre-election deal with Colin Craig?

  • Yes 94 %
  • No 5 %
  • Undecided 1 %

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Zealand's war on poverty is the same failed story

Jerry Newcombe marks 50 years of the US War on Poverty:

Rather than alleviate poverty in America, the War on Poverty helped increase it in the long run.
How so? It broke the back of the urban family. They chased dad out of the house. They subsidized illegitimacy and got more of it as a result. Some ghettos resemble a war zone.
Even liberal commentators, like Juan Williams, have said that the rates of children born to unwed mothers has been disastrous for everyone, especially the children.
President Reagan delivered his “Radio Address to the Nation on Welfare Reform” (2/15/86).
The 40th president said, “In 1964 the famous War on Poverty was declared and a funny thing happened. Poverty, as measured by dependency, stopped shrinking and then actually began to grow worse. I guess you could say, poverty won the war. Poverty won in part because instead of helping the poor, government programs ruptured the bonds holding poor families together.”

Last week from NZPA:
  • According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 72 percent of black children are born to single mothers.
  • Fifty-five percent of black children live in single-parent homes, in contrast to 21 percent of white children that live in single-parent homes.
If those numbers are "staggering" consider these:

New Zealand's war on poverty is the same failed story.

SNP promises jobs through cutting corporate tax

The Scottish National Party are promising "full employment" if Scotland becomes independent. How believable  that is matters not. What interested me was their measures to achieve it:

The plan sets out measures such as cutting corporation tax, boosting international exports and productivity, as well as getting a generation of women back into the workplace to create a jobs boom after a Yes vote...Full-time childcare for youngsters from the age of one is also proposed which could see a generation of women return to work and mean up to 35,000 more Scots in employment. Mr Swinney admitted independence “is not a magic wand”, but said few countries had Scotland’s economic potential.

That perhaps partially explains why fewer women want to become independent form the UK:

A BATTLE of the sexes is emerging in the debate over Scotland’s constitutional future, as women snub the Yes camp amid uncertainty about the consequences of leaving the UK.
Women have always been less supportive of independence than men, but the gap in attitudes between the sexes has doubled in the past year and now stands at a 15-year high, according to ScotCen research.

Pensioner policy - as bad as each other

The NZ Herald rightly describes Labour's bribe to pensioners:

It is too easy for political parties to promise handouts in election year. No rival is going to say senior citizens do not need it. The election becomes an auction in which all parties put up their bids at public expense. If the party wins power it is obliged to carry out the promise no matter how cheaply it was made. And once enacted, the benefit becomes almost impossible to remove. Taxpayers bear the waste and the economy loses the investment. It is one way that nations get poor.
But didn't their major rival, National, say "senior citizens do not need it"?

Not really. Their line is to highlight the hypocrisy of Labour saying 65-67 year-olds don't need Super but do need 'free' health care. This is just an opportunity for National to keep promoting their own stubborn  largess with taxpayer money.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Money management extended as expected - not far enough though

TV3 reports:

The Government will extend its money management welfare scheme to all teenage parents and many 18 and 19-year-old beneficiaries if it's re-elected.
The scheme was introduced in 2012 for 16 and 17-year-old beneficiaries and teenage parents up to 18.
Under the scheme, their rent and power is paid and they're given a charge card for other essentials.
They come under the guidance of an adult from a community organisation and have $50 a week spending money.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett announced the extension today, confirming it was a National Party election policy.

This is timid. Some 19 year-old teen parents are already on the money management scheme because they entered the benefit system shy of 19 but must enrol with a  youth provider for at least 6 months.

Money management should be extended to any beneficiary who is repeatedly turning up at Work and Income needing extra hardship assistance. It's an especially justifiable policy to all those voters claiming to care about children experiencing hardship.

Assistance-in-kind is superior to money. It guarantees provision for basic needs and avoids the negative incentives that come with  'free' cash.

Independent individuals should be the ultimate aim, but in the interim, and by way of progressing that goal, a money management/assistance-in-kind regime is hard to argue with for any political party.

Cunliffe's poverty propaganda

In his campaign launch speech David Cunliffe said,

And we’ll tackle child poverty by increasing the minimum wage.

In the Child Poverty in New Zealand book by left-leaning Johnathan Boston and economist Simon Chapple there is a lengthy discussion about lifting minimum wages, implementing a living wage and the effect on child poverty. They summarise:

In short, the living wage proposal, whether implemented via an increase in the statutory minimum wage or through voluntary actions in particular sectors or industries, will do little to solve child poverty in New Zealand.
When we discussed this on Radio NZ Boston talked about the unemployment risks associated with raising the minimum wage, and I made the point that most people on the minimum wage aren't parents.

Yet Labour keep on rolling out this pointless anti-poverty policy.

Cunliffe concludes with another cherry-picked claim:

 We’ve seen more children in poverty...
Here are the official figures. By the favoured, highlighted measure there are the same number of children living in poverty as in the first year National was the government.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

ACT on track to win Epsom

Like many voters who read this blog, I am watching Epsom. Here is the result of Q&A's Colmar Brunton poll released today:

Who would you vote for with your electorate vote?
National Paul Goldsmith 44%
Act David Seymour 32%
Labour Michael Wood 10%
Green Julie Anne Genter 9%
Conservative Christine Rankin 4%
Internet Mana Pat O'Dea 0.8%
Independent Grace Haden 0.3%
Don't know 8%

Were you aware John key is encouraging National Party supporters to give their electorate vote to the Act Party candidate?
Yes 70%
No 28%
Don't know 2%

With this in mind, who would you now vote for with your electorate vote?
National Paul Goldsmith 31%
Act David Seymour 45%
Labour Michael Wood 9%
Green Julie Anne Genter 10%
Conservative Christine Rankin 4%
Internet Mana Pat O'Dea .08%
Independent Grace Haden 0.1%
Don't know 13%

Do you support or oppose arrangements like the one John Key has made with the Act Party in Epsom?
Support 47%
Oppose 37%
Don't know 16%

Which political party would you vote for?
National 60%
Green 16%
Labour 14%
NZ First 3.3%
Act 2.7%
Conservative 2.1%
Internet Mana 1.5%
Maori 0.6%
Don't know 6%

The important revelation here is that a significant percentage of Epsom voters don't know about Key's endorsement of ACT. Without that knowledge they will vote the wrong way. That is, they won't be voting for the outcome they want. A National-led government.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Example of Metiria Turei being untruthful

Earlier today I referred to Metiria Turei "making stuff up" but there is no transcript or recording of last night's debate available. On two occasions I remember saying out loud, That's not true.

The Standard has helpfully summarised the debate between Paula Bennett and Metiria Turei and included this comment:
Bennett did the line about less teenagers giving birth and taking some credit for it. Turei said that trend started before the Nats came into government.
Here is the teenage (15-19) birth rate per 1,000 females over the past 20 years. The data comes from Statistics NZ Infoshare.The trend changed from  2008: