Welfare Working Group: Submit, submit, submit

It’s great to see the lively discussion continuing on my post last week about the future directions of welfare policy.

There is a view being circulated by some that the Government’s Welfare Working Group’s Options Paper doesn’t deserve much attention; that it follows the Brash 2025 Taskforce formula of misrepresenting the issue as some massive problem; presenting extremist ‘solutions’ that have failed overseas; and that like the Brash reports, the Welfare Working Group’s final report will be binned by the Government, its real purpose being to make National’s proposed welfare cuts seem moderate by comparison.

I beg to differ from that view.  Without any economic achievement to campaign on, another round of beneficiary bashing could well be on National’s agenda to shore up the redneck vote for next year’s election.

Yesterday, John Key confirmed he “wanted final proposals from the welfare working group, due to report in February, translated into policy by the next election”. On top of Paula Bennett’s comments earlier in the year that the welfare debate could get ugly, I think that there is a very real danger the Government will seriously consider implementing some of the more extreme options being put up by the Welfare Working Group, such as time-limited benefits, reducing benefit levels for long-term beneficiaries, and/or work-for-the-dole.

So I think it is vital that people engage with the Welfare Working Group’s Options paper, pointing out the flawed analysis on which it is based, and the failure of many of the options proposed when implemented overseas to achieve anything other than increasing the poverty and hardship of the most vulnerable.

It would be great to submit some positive alternatives as well: ideas that will improve the standard of living of beneficiaries; provide genuine incentives, rather than punitive sanctions, to encourage those who can enter the paid workforce to do so; and above all provide some jobs for them to go to.  I expect some good ideas along those lines will come out of the Alternative Welfare Working Group’s second report due out next week.

The Government’s Welfare Working Group has given a very short timeframe for submissions.  The deadline is 24 December.  You can make your submission through this submission form (note and work around the heavily loaded questions); or by email to welfareworkinggroup@vuw.ac.nz.

Update: As has been pointed out at the start of the comments on this post, there is a campaign led by David Farrar to encourage beneficiary bashers to submit in support of the most oppressive options the Welfare Working Group is putting up.  All the more reason for submissions from a more rational and compassionate perspective.

122 thoughts on “Welfare Working Group: Submit, submit, submit

  1. true…

    ..and labs are hardly the brightest lamps in the lighting shop..

    ..they are the old comfortable slippers of the dog world…

    ..you can almost slip them on your feet…and wear them..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  2. Thanks Gerrit, I’ll pass that on to Adam.
    I met a woman recently who does her own hair (she’s a hairdresser by trade) with a cut-throat razor. I suppose though, she’s unlikely to pick up a back-copy of “NZ Working boats” that way.

  3. BJ,

    Problem with a cat is its load carrying capacity and the need to keep the cross beams out the water (has limited means to turn cargo weight into displacement). Only solution is a wave piercing catamaran and they ride too high out of the water for beach or mudflat landing. Not impossible but not ideal.

    Could see fast catamarans doing the persihable trade in small quantities while the heavier transport and durable goods are delivered by landing craft type ships.

    Horses for courses.

    Problem with a solid wing mast is you cant stop it from working when you dont want it.

    Oracle and Alighi, in the last Americas Cup, had to have full time (overnight) people in inflatables keeping the wing masts pointing into the wind to prevent the cats from sailing around and around their moorings.

    Softsail wing is a possibility though. Chinese junk sail configuration is pretty much a wing and if you can control the full batten shape better (small motors and rigging pulling the ends of the full batten in a tighter curve or letting go for a looser curve to the sail) would make an excellent adjustable wing type sail.

    Back to welfare though.

    This growing Green (black?) economy will impact on the plans of both the Welfare Group and its alternative spin off.

    Simply, the smart people on welfare (be it a gang member on a sickness benefit selling canabis or the mother on the DPB that is exchanging her back yard stone oven baked bread for goods and services) will not go on any job.

    They dont need to. Nor can the state enforce a limit on earnings as the exchange system is not quantifyable in monetary terms.

    This is where the Greens have a real problem. The have a socialist (state control) notion but also want to encourage the Green economy (hopefully).

  4. RobertGuyton,

    Way way of topic (sorry frog).

    While looking through a back issue of “NZ Working Boats” at the barber (who is a reformed alky and wont do a number 2 for any wine – bugger) I see the growing number of landing craft type barge operators in the Hauraki Gulf.

    Can easily see the larger version with the front door opening type becoming a coastal vessel.

    To leave the centre clear for cargo, the mast would be on the both the port an starboars side of the ship and rigged either chinese junk or middle eastern dhow style.

    With the knowledge gained from canting keel technology on very large racing yachts we can see canting keels on the port and starboard side to give lift while underway and be swung out of the way horizontally while beached.

    Keels could be used a stabilisers when beached so that a flat bottom is not a prerequisite. A more desireable shallow V bottom can be utilised for better stability at sea.

  5. I should tell you about the manual seeder my son (an engineer like yourself) has just built. It operates somewhat akin to a can opener, with a disk, shoe and rotating seed drum all in one. His turbine blades are worthy of a mention too, shaped to perfection as they are, with a draw blade (initially). He’s presently writing a ‘street view’ style programme from code that bypasses the usual Flash processes and is designed to showcase his gardens. You’d be interested in his dehydrator also. It’s the size of a fridge and utilizes a fan heater. Works brilliantly.

  6. Gerrit – excellent. Now, if we just had a coastal sailing trader operating I could send up a box of dehydrated Gloria Mundi chips, a bag of Pink Fir potatoes and a jar of Coe’s Golden drop plums in exchange for some of that very fine sounding feijoa wine…

  7. RobertGuyton,

    How’s your garden looking?

    My garden is minimal as I prefer those with green thumbs than mine to grow the vegetables.

    I prefer to make fruit wines (the still is nearly finished so next spirits) and trade these for fruit and vegetables.

    I do a lot of engineering (just finished the centre hub, mountings and bearings for a 2.5 metre water wheel) that I traded for a buthered lamb and a side of beef.

    Four loaves of bakeyard (stone oven) baked bread in exchange of a bottle of sparkling feijoa wine is a fairly normal trade.

    So while I live in the tax paying world in my business and “normal” life, a growing part is actually in the Green Wizards project where I trade what I do best for goods and services other people do best.

    This growing spiderweb of communities outside the normal system will have great implications for the welfare system as we know it as it bypasses the traditional state system of taking taxes (through GST, PAYE and business profit) and distributing to the beneficiary.

    The state will find it increasingly harder to “collect” taxes for distribution as more and more people “barter” directly with each other.

    We bypass the banking system, making these types of ventures warm the heart even more.

    PS, Great fan of the English “River Cottage” programme on TV

  8. BJ; Stay right here – where you are needed most
    That is all a bod can ever do
    Water offa a duck’s back eh?
    ……eh

  9. Your ideas seem to fit with the perception of children as flawed and troubled.

    How so? I never stated anything of the sort and instead made if QUITE clear and repeatedly so, that this was about ensuring that they got to be treated more equally… and if you think that one child’s being able to shop in a top shop and the other being funded through taxpayers to have something distinctly less fashionable, is equality…

    Bit hard to convince the kiddies they are part “human rights community” when they are the only group in society to be deprived of their most basic rights.

    Choosing what to wear to school is a “basic right”? When was that elevated to the right to be secure in their person, fed properly, protected from abuse… treated equally.

    …and against any incitement to such discrimination.

    There is scarcely anything in this that is remotely worth arguing about. I am arguing for equality that is actually strictly in accordance with the UN position, preventing wealth from inciting discrimination, and you are arguing for the inequality… and Green policies that have minor aspects of them that erroneously enshrine such inequality as a right.

    so that they could have input into decisions like school uniform policies. By making uniforms compulsory with legislation you would remove this representation.

    Doesn’t remove the representation… it removes one aspect of the school environment from the school-board’s jurisdiction…

    …are you telling me now that they would have VETO power if they were on the board?

    …or that board’s authority supersedes that of the State?

    As I pointed out above, the expression of individuality, and the requirement for equality, are in natural conflict.

    My opinion is that for a developing child, equality with every other child (so far as is feasible) is more important than this particular form of expression.

    respectfully
    BJ

  10. BJ

    I don’t see the need for a “total” rewrite. Most of those things are reasonable… I am not about telling people that children should have NO rights.

    BJ, you need to look in order to see.

    http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/childrens-policy-every-child-matters


    Children, by right, deserve access to their full entitlement of human rights. It is a matter of justice that we prioritise this, but it is also one of ensuring a sustainable society. Increasingly public discussion of children and young people seems focussed around a perception of them as flawed, troubled, and the rights of children are posed in opposition to the rights of adults/parents. There is a real danger that children and young people will be further marginalised out of fear if our treatment and perception of children and young people is not turned around.

    Children currently have the right to freedom of expression both in the New Zealand Bill of Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. When school boards create bylaws regarding uniforms they are required by the Education Act and the Bill of Rights Act to consider the Bill of Rights Act, and they need to use the Justified Limitations in section 5 of that act in order to negate the right of children to express themselves. Your ideas seem to fit with the perception of children as flawed and troubled. What part of “full entitlement of human rights” do you not understand?


    Each child deserves a secure base from which they can express their creativity and discover life as an adventure.

    Like enough money to give them a reasonable choice in what clothes they wear (no they don’t need designer labels).


    Amend the National Education Guidelines to make human rights obligations explicit, including the right to education.

    Make children’s rights explicit in managing schools.


    Pilot the concept of early childhood centres and schools as human rights communities, places where children and young people know their rights, acknowledge their responsibilities and respect the rights of others. This requires making explicit in legislation, policy and implementation, the human rights values, principles and statements set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Bit hard to convince the kiddies they are part “human rights community” when they are the only group in society to be deprived of their most basic rights.

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#atop

    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


    Work towards the implementation in New Zealand legislation and government policy of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm

    The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, …. in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice.


    Amend the Education Act to require consultation with primary and intermediate age children and adult advocate on school boards, and a requirement that two or more student’s representatives on secondary school boards.

    Children would have representation on school boards so that they could have input into decisions like school uniform policies. By making uniforms compulsory with legislation you would remove this representation.

    What rights do you think children should have BJ?

  11. “..You factored in exponential growth problems when making this assertion?..”

    no…

    ..and i also kept well clear of slide-rules…

    engineers eh…?..

    ..some say they can’t see the forest for the graphs…

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  12. Actually, Phil is one of the people who’s posts I most enjoy.

    Yes Mark, a nutshell IS an appropriate receptacle.

    :-)

    BJ

  13. ..a better future is highly possible..

    You factored in exponential growth problems when making this assertion?

    …and no… I never ever played D & D.

    BJ

  14. Phil – in a nut shell… John Michael Greer describes a view of the future and of the aspects of modern civilization that have brought us to this point, that strikes me as realistic and has begun a process of shared learning that seems practical and do-able, flexible and encouraging. He has a huge following (take a look at his comments sections) and a high proportion of those seem to be very thoughtful and actively engaged people. Greer describes the benefits of collecting how-to books, simple tools, making connections in the ‘real’ community, establishing gardens in which to grow vegetables, and at the same time outlines, very succinctly, scientific principles that underpin the arguments he makes for reforming the lifestyles of his readers. He’s far from perfect but a very good read imho.
    I think he’s on the money.

  15. “..Phil

    Not understanding anything much seems to be your principal mode today…”

    what’s to ‘understand ‘ about plain-sweeping/aggro ‘nomads’..?..whoar..!

    “…The Archdruid is about pessimism, at a sort of “pornography for pessimists” level…”

    is that where/why the bodice-ripper stuff comes into it…?

    “…I am in the category of being an “extreme” pessimist. So I enjoy his writing…”

    ah well..!..gloom/glum on then….!

    “..The current form of industrial civilization is going to self-destruct, one way or another, within in the next 30-40 years…”

    i think we will be seeing massive change over that time..and sooner rather than later..

    ..i don’t necessarily share your dystopian-gloom..

    ..and yes..just continuing on this path is pretty fucked…

    ..but however slowly it may seem…at times..

    …things are a changing…

    ..with seachanges in a range of areas…

    ..a better future is highly possible..

    …yes we are at a crossroads..

    …and environmental pressures will likely force some change upon us..

    ..but i don’t buy into yr survivalist-future nightmare scenarios..

    ..and it seems to me this is what that druid-dude feeds off…

    ..which is why i am so disdainful of him..and others..i’m looking at you..!..b.j..!

    ..who let their addictions to the olfactory/taste-sensations they think they can’t live without..

    …to overcome any rational look at their own environmental-footprint…

    ..eh bj..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  16. just a general question here….

    would a large number of his fans…

    ..be..or have been…

    ..’dungeons and dragons’ ‘players’…?

    ..(not that there’s anything wrong with that…eh..?)

    ..different strokes for different folks/the mosaic/kaleidoscope of society/choose-yr-cliche…

    ..eh..?

    ..(just asking/attempting a stereotype tie-in/link/synergy…!)

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  17. Phil

    Not understanding anything much seems to be your principal mode today.

    The Archdruid is about pessimism, at a sort of “pornography for pessimists” level.

    I am in the category of being an “extreme” pessimist. So I enjoy his writing.

    …without agreeing completely with everything he says!!…

    The current form of industrial civilization is going to self-destruct, one way or another, within in the next 30-40 years. The problems stem from an improper monetary definition, widely accepted less than two hundred years ago, and the growing population. Avoiding this is almost impossible (I know of two possibilities, neither seems to be in the offing)… so the development of an independent economy for NZ (NOT Trade Treaties) is the solution.

    BJ

  18. Samiuela

    I think there are many things that contribute to the worsening statistics for young people, discipline in the old school sense of the word, missing from their lives, is probably not one of them. Traditions on the other hand are a total different kettle of fish. I was 21 before I set foot in a church and I turned out all right… didn’t I? Cuts the head off a chicken and drinks the blood… Ah! Oops! Sorry phil u. Forgot who’s company I was in.

  19. yes…

    no…

    …it was the battle plans of the pastoral nomads sweeping across the plains..

    …five hundred years hence…

    ..that did me in/had me cashing-up..

    ..and yes..free speech = freedom to express opinions…

    …for everyone..

    …but when someone is held up to me as someone i should read/listen to…

    ..a whole new bunch of checks and balances swing into play..

    …and i did read some more of him…

    …and his attitudes on animals both suck and blow…

    ..(and as for his bodice-ripper future-fantasies..?

    …whoar…!

    ..eh…?..

    ..’holy just-like-l-ron-hubbard!..batman..1′..)

    btw..is he the excuse/enabler you use as a conscience-salve when eating animals there…b.j..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  20. Phil – do you think that cannabis smokers who are also meat eaters are qualified to describe their views on smoking cannabis?
    Put differently, does being a meat eater disqualify a person from presenting a valid view on other subjects?

  21. “..and nothing else replaces the vacuum left behind …is it any surprise we run into problems?..”

    aye..!

    cue..the arch-druid/scientology/fill-in-the-blank…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  22. Phil U,

    I don’t actually think meals need to be delivered to sick children; I was just suggesting a way that BJ’s idea could be implemented (which you would have realised if you’d read my posting).

    But here is a question to yourself, Todd et al. Why are there increasing numbers of children drinking, using drugs and so on at increasingly younger ages? Do you think it might possibly have something to do with the break down of traditional structures and institutions in society which “controlled” people in the past. 50 years ago institutions such as the church had a much greater influence, Now days kids don’t receive discipline (I’m not referring to hitting) at home, often because both parents are working, and probably don’t know what a church looks like on the inside. Is it any wonder that we have increasing problems with young people running off the rails?

    Don’t get me wrong; I’m an atheist and not advocating religion. But when traditional institutions such as the church start to break down and nothing else replaces the vacuum left behind, is it any surprise we run into problems?

  23. what really slays me is the ‘foregone conclusion’-claim..

    ..to make such detailed ‘foregone conclusion’s about five hundred years into the future..

    ..shows either that the concluder has thought-process flaws the size of the fucken grand canyon…

    …or is just stark raving/gibbering’barking mad…

    ..(it’s the self-aasuredness that really tips it over into whistle-and-look-at-the ceiling material…eh..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  24. ‘pastoral nomads’…

    ..sweeping across the plains…

    ..eh…?

    …whoar…!

    ‘holy bad fantasy-novel..!..batman…!’…

    ..(rippling biceps and busty whenches…eh..?)

    ..i can’t stop laughing here…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  25. and it kinda puts b.j’s quote into perspective..

    “..Funny how the people I agree with most read the Archdruid…”

    really..?..

    ..there..b.j…?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  26. (here he is again..)

    “..”It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion, for example, that the Great Plains four or five centuries from now will be inhabited by pastoral nomads whose raids against the agrarian towns of the Mississippi-Ohio basin will impose the same ragged heartbeat on the history of the future as their equivalents on the central Asian plains did for so many centuries in the past.”

    ..what can i say..?..but w.t.f…!

    ..and..beware false prophets…

    ..eh..?

    ..(especially ones who go ‘woof..!’….eh..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  27. (here he is..)

    “…When people think about animals in the context of rural homesteading or backyard gardening, odds are the earthworms and bumblebees discussed in last week’s post won’t be the first thing that comes to mind.

    The reason for this is simple: they simply aren’t tasty enough..”

    ’nuff said…?

    f.f.s..!

    ..(now i’m getting ‘hostile’..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  28. robert…anyone purporting to have ‘solutions’…

    ..and ignoring that elephant in the room..

    ..just makes a nonsense of their ‘wisdoms’…

    …here’s an exercise for you..

    ..go there and attempt to engage him on that subject …

    ..the environmental/moral equations around eating animals..

    ..it could be enlightening for all concerned…

    ..(and..um..!..sorry to be so boringly predictable..

    ..but if you had offered an advisory/warning…

    ..i may have read further..

    ..and um..!

    ..i have asked (twice) idf any of the druids’ fans can tell the rest of us..

    …in twenty words or less..

    ..just why he should be read…

    …is nobody capable of that..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  29. I’m told nz produces enough food for 130 million people – if we cannot feed ourselves adequately and inexpensively – then there is a massive scam in place and working well. (arch-druids aside)

  30. ‘..hostility..’…?

    i’m feeling positively benevolent…

    and samiuela now wants truancy officers to become lunch-wallahs..

    ..three-wheeler delivery-vans..?…like in india..?

    …pedal-powered..?

    …(you could help control obesity at the same time…

    …if pedal-power…eh..?..)

    ..with these truant-officers/lunch-wallahs to also have the medical qualifications/expertise to verify medical ailments/conditions..?

    ..(will they be allowed to prescribe/dispense..?..)

    ..real rennaisance-people…eh..?

    ..brilliant…!..

    ..barking..but brilliant…!

    ..and couldn’t be a better illustration of the bureauocratic/administrative nightmare being advocated by samiuela..

    ..and as robin to her/his batman….

    …b.j…

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  31. Anyone remember truancy officers? These would be the ideal way of implementing BJs idea of providing meals to sick children (who could also check the children were actually sick).

    I’m not sure I actually think it would be necessary to go as far as providing home delivered meals for sick children; but I don’t find the idea objectionable.

  32. Todd is again misrepresenting (and I am still trying to be polite)

    Because he’s requiring good beneficiaries that look after their children to beg for their food when they are sick.

    …as the only mechanism I suggested to deal with this detail was an automatic provision when the parent calls the child in as sick. Which is required in any case.

    As long as Todd is unwilling to correctly report or represent an idea his comments will fill a much needed void.

    …and as long as he is unwilling to differentiate between “good” beneficiaries and the ones who are irresponsible, his efforts to get people to deliver more support of ANY kind, will fail.

    BJ

  33. http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2010/01/housebreaking-corporations.html

    Anticorporate, peak-oil, civilization as we know it is coming to an end… what is missing from your perspective Phil, is the notion that we should not eat meat and the idea that someone publishing an opinion should allow others to comment.

    Hmmm… I didn’t get the memo that said that was a requirement. It is ignored all the time in our society… just look at ads on TV.

    Try less hostility and conclusion jumping.

    BJ

  34. BJ just let another one rip. Stinky!

    Samiuela

    He’s right that how kids get their meals when they’re sick is just a detail.

    But it’s an important detail.

    In any case, he wasn’t advocating taking away all money from benefits and transferring it into directly providing services.

    Isn’t he? The food element he was purporting to withdraw from beneficiaries is enough of a disincentive to look after their kids when they are well. But what happens when they are sick kids, does the parent beg or do they starve?

    How are BJ’s ideas worse than the status quo?

    Because he’s requiring good beneficiaries that look after their children to beg for their food when they are sick. It’s not about creating further discrimination; it’s about empowering people.

    To my mind, they are infinitely better than what we have now, with just a few details which need to be worked out.

    Work out the details and get back to me.

    Robertguyton

    In the States they flavour it.

    Yuck! Wasn’t there some scandal a while ago where a heap of kids became sick from flavoured school milk in America?

  35. (i just dipped in…)

    ..and it wd appear he is an unreconstructed carnivore…robert..

    ..why should i listen to/read ..let alone pay any attention to..

    …someone who has not even attained that basic level of conciousness/awareness..?

    (that’s one strike..)

    ..he also practises extreme censorship on any comments on his prognistacions…

    ..i have major problems with that..

    ..(that’s two strikes..)

    tell me again..in twenty words or less..

    …why i should pay him any attention..?

    (with those two strikes..dunno if i cd wade threw ten of his (not short) pieces…)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  36. aah..!…

    bj and samuelina are both throwbacks to the crinoline-age…

    …when children knew their place..

    ..which was ‘over there’…and ‘be quiet with it’…

    ..b.j has his victimhood from military-brainwashing to blame…

    …how about you..?..samuelina..?

    …what’s your excuse..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  37. Todd,

    Which of BJ’s ideas are untested or have been shown to not work? School lunches are common in other places (Britain for example). All BJ is proposing is having the funding come from the government (again not extreme, and we’ve already tried such things in New Zealand with schemes such a free milk), and extending it to cover breakfast as well. He’s right that how kids get their meals when they’re sick is just a detail. In any case, he wasn’t advocating taking away all money from benefits and transferring it into directly providing services. Furthermore, you should be well aware that under the current system kids _are_ going to school without eating breakfast and/or lunch, and the reason is that there is no money for the food (for various reasons). How are BJ’s ideas worse than the status quo? To my mind, they are infinitely better than what we have now, with just a few details which need to be worked out.

    You’re question to me “Do you want to pay more taxes huh?” is illuminating (about a number of things, including what your politics are). The quick answer is “Yes”. The longer answer is that I support a more progressive taxation regime with high income earners paying more than they currently do, and reduced payments such as WFF (the difference being made up by lower tax rates for low income earners and more government provided services). The main qualification I would put is that I would like to ensure the money goes to providing services such as BJ proposes, and not to bailing out banks etc.

    Maybe BJ has diverted someones vote with his ideas … but I would suggest that the person referred to probably never intended to vote for the Greens in any case (she said she’d never voted for the Greens in the past). Furthermore, of course a party cannot come up with policies which appeal to everyone; thats just a recipe for standing for absolutely nothing.

    I won’t bother getting caught up in the uniform argument (a lot of hot air if you ask me), but I fully agree with BJ that children should not be treated as adults in small bodies. I would go further and say that children need to “earn” many of the rights and privileges that adults expect. Earn may be the wrong word; “be taught” might be more appropriate. But its important to note that with rights go responsibilities; thats why most societies have some sort of idea about the “coming of age” (often around the 16-21 age in modern societies); its when a child is ready to take on the responsibilities of and adult, and earn the rights and privileges of an adult.

  38. Yes Phil, Talking to myself appears to be more sensible than trying to explain things to you. Far less time wasted.

    Todd – You make assertions that aren’t backed by facts here even on this single thread. Again.

    As you continue to misrepresent things I will stop discussing things with you at all. Truth is really quite important to me, and YOU have an attitude problem that isn’t apparently, something you know how to control.

    You aren’t willing to argue my ideas, so you work very hard to put forward words and ideas as mine that you CAN argue. Which is why your posts are so long. You have to construct strawmen to demolish. My answering point by point simply makes things worse, and a lot longer.

    Many of BJ’s ideas are untested in theory and in practice.

    Which? Uniforms? Feeding and caring for kids as a community? Equality? Seems to me you started making stuff up again. What is a Kibbutz? We have already had school lunch programs… and uniforms.

    Being unable to comprehend the analogies between the schools as prisons and the uniforms as military, as showing up the inherent fallacy in the LATTER, is a rather telling indication of your limitations. Limitations further demonstrated by the assumption that the teachers and school must control all aspects of student appearance with the appearance of uniforms.

    In truth, you understand the things I write so poorly, and paraphrase my points so untruthfully here as to make the argument a dead loss.

    In lieu of making this longer I am NOT going to respond to you until your attitude is corrected.

    BJ

  39. Samiuela

    BJ is just proposing a raft of similar ideas (admittedly going a lot further than free milk for school kids); but its not as though the ideas are untested.

    Many of BJ’s ideas are untested in theory and in practice. They simply did not stand up to scrutiny. I would prefer not to reinvent the wheel and travel down a road already worn out.

    If a kid gets sick, no need to worry about finding money for medicines; similarly no need for the rest of society to concern themselves that money intended for children’s health has been spent on the pokies or smokes.

    But how do they get fed… that is the question? Getting rid of pokies and smoking is a side issue. Having control of ones finances will continue until we have a cashless society. There would be far too much “management” otherwise. Do you want to pay even more taxes huh?

    (if I’ve correctly assumed you are a Green party member)

    I’m not a Green member… However I do support most of their policies. I’d prefer to not revisit BJ’s perplexing statements but there is a big difference to questioning him about his apparent happiness that he diverted a vote away from the Greens and somebody who can’t make up their own minds about our debates, which is the category you seem to fall into Samiuela.

    Gerrit!

    I find it “interesting” that so many nay sayers on BJ ideas come up with very frew (if any) ideas of their own.

    We’ve been over this already… You asked the same question in the previous thread. I gave you many examples of my ideas on how to make things better for the impoverished and welfare dependant, they obviously do not include your ideas on creating further deprivation. I’ve made my submission to the WWG, have you? I guess if you keep saying there are no alternative ideas, people might start to believe you, but not many.

    I cant help but feel that relying on a state government to provide sustainable welfare is not possible.

    I’m not sure how this relates to what the Wizard said Gerrit! Do you just throw in a clanger so to speak, once in a while to see if anybody is taking any notice? Stump up your own ideas first fruit loop, before you say nobody else has.

    BJ

    Phil, you loved going to school in your youth? …and it was something you had no say over. Isn’t school like brainwashing? Isn’t it a prison? Why is it we wish to make the schooling of the poorest the equal of the schooling of the wealthy?

    If I may phil u… Did you actually read his last post BJ? Learning is not usually brainwashing btw. Surely you know the difference. One is leaning about facts and correct history and how to interact with other people to best utilize what is left. Brainwashing is changing a persons ability to act independently and form their own thoughts and opinions, the right-wings puppets in other words. I have not seen any inference to making poor and wealthy schools equal in your ideas. What are you talking about? Jails are not schools and vice versa. Did I even have to farkin say? That last post from you was a complete brain fart BJ.

    The notion of uniforms only means that all students have the same clothes within that school…

    Oh! Back to the uniforms again huh! How are they meant to make people equal? As if young people don’t have a personality and complex under that uniform that is not changed by wearing it. In fact I often believe that a uniform hides the true face of discrimination. If you want to talk about brainwashing then uniforms are a good place to start. But I can think of better things to discus re welfare reform.

    …that social differentiation which you all intentionally encourage is purely evil in the school context, and unfortunately it affects teacher’s expectations as well as student social interactions.

    You’re astonished nobody said: “wearing your own clothes is evil”… What the F are you on man? How on earth do you get a “changed-expectations” dynamic? Most teachers have brains and can use them. I’m at a total loss to fathom your cognitive function here BJ. That argument is better used for not having school uniforms.

    Even if the debate about uniforms was interesting, which it is not… don’t discount that it is a fascist ideal to have everybody uniform, in appearance, mind and body. I refer you to Greens policy again…It’s a Green belief to have freedom of choice, hence me not agreeing with BJ Samiuela. Aw! You don’t like my debating style… how sad, never mind.

    The uniform doesn’t have to be a school APPEARANCE code to serve its purpose, it only has to impose uniformity on the materials the kids get to work with in terms of expressing their individuality.

    Now you have completely lost me again… a uniform doesn’t need to be a uniform and can be used as a form of self-expression? Stop talking rubbish man.

    Writes FARCICAL SOCIAL ENGINEERING at the top of the wall.

  40. b.j….yawn..!

    i really think you are increasingly just talking to yrslf on this one…

    ..eh…?

    ..i can’t even be bothered pointing out yr bullshit…

    ..eh..?

    (here’s a task for yr…!

    ..ask those children who wear uniforms if they like them..

    ..and ask those who don’t have to…if they want to..

    ..but hang on…!..you feel they have limited rights..eh..?..

    ..so you wouldn’t really care what they think..

    ..is that yr inner-military showing its’ ugly face again..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  41. Gerrit – you and I don’t often see eye to eye yet both of us are fans/readers of The ArchDruid Report!
    How’s your apprenticeship going?
    Read the Origin yet?
    How’s your garden looking?

  42. Phil

    There are some people who insist on treating children as adults in small bodies. I don’t. The accession to rights and growth to adulthood is a growth process… it is continuous, bumpy and it ends far too soon.

    Phil, you loved going to school in your youth? …and it was something you had no say over. Isn’t school like brainwashing? Isn’t it a prison? Why is it we wish to make the schooling of the poorest the equal of the schooling of the wealthy?

    The issue here isn’t precisely what the uniform is. I should think that there can be some choices offered within that program, that the students can vote on and customize for themselves. The notion of uniforms only means that all students have the same clothes within that school… possibly within that GRADE of that school.

    As for the disadvantage for a child who’s parents cannot afford the latest clothing… that social differentiation which you all intentionally encourage is purely evil in the school context, and unfortunately it affects teacher’s expectations as well as student social interactions. I am astonished that nobody pointed it out before this, but it is of a piece with other policy errors that show up (in things like our prisons policy).

    Kerry –
    Long hair is a fashion choice and anyone can grow it. No need for uniform hair. (This is not strictly true, as my balding pate attests, any child).

    Pulling up socks ? Ah… boys had knee socks ? A light comes on here. I remember those hated things from another uniform I once had, with garter straps too. Explains a lot that… :-)

    The uniform doesn’t have to be a school APPEARANCE code to serve its purpose, it only has to impose uniformity on the materials the kids get to work with in terms of expressing their individuality. It doesn’t need to be impractical. It doesn’t preclude the notion of some choice at the class level.

    respectfully
    BJ

  43. I find it “interesting” that so many nay sayers on BJ ideas come up with very frew (if any) ideas of their own.

    Lets have more interaction between ideas and what will/wont work and when and how viable and sustainable alternatives are better.

    As a great fan and implementor of the Green Wizards programme outlined and promoted by the ArchDruid

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/

    I cant help but feel that relying on a state government to provide sustainable welfare is not possible.

    It simply has to start individually and in local communities, the state then becomes a follower and supporter.

    From the ArchDruids latest posting

    Regular readers may be wondering where among these three options I see the Green Wizards project. The answer, of course, is that it’s a fourth option – the option that works outside the political process, and aims for those projects that can best be pursued at a grassroots level by individuals and small local groups. If it catches on, as it appears to be doing just at the moment, it becomes the flywheel providing stability for the whole process; government programs come and go, one might say, but backyard gardens endure – which is one reason why we’ve still got a viable organic gardening movement thirty years after the alternative scene that launched it crashed into ruin. Furthermore, if green wizardry really catches on, it could become large enough to count as a noticeable voting bloc – in which case we might yet witness the delicious spectacle of politicians pandering to the green wizard vote by supporting expanded tax credits for home insulation and more state funding for Master Composter programs.

  44. Todd,

    I really don’t see why you have such an issue with the ideas BJ is putting up.

    Not so long ago in New Zealand no one needed to pay for prescriptions (pre 1985). Before that there was free milk in schools (pre 1967?). There are plenty of other similar examples. BJ is just proposing a raft of similar ideas (admittedly going a lot further than free milk for school kids); but its not as though the ideas are untested. Things like these are of direct and immediate benefit to all families (not just those on benefits). If a kid gets sick, no need to worry about finding money for medicines; similarly no need for the rest of society to concern themselves that money intended for children’s health has been spent on the pokies or smokes.

    Basically, BJ is proposing ideas that have been and still are bread and butter policies in social democracies around the world. They are in no way extreme.

    Finally, you note that some people are put off voting for the Greens because of BJ’s views. Well heres something; your opposition to such ideas puts people like me off from voting for the Greens (if I’ve correctly assumed you are a Green party member). So it looks like its one all (and maybe a loss of two votes for the Greens?) And whatever BJ is, he’s not a troll.

  45. We are supposed to have a ‘meals on wheels’ system here BJ; a friend of mine exists because of it – I was promised the same last stay in hospital (long and empty silence) – no go – don’t know why. Many hungry days.

    However the last budget shows clearly how much the current Govt. is committed to social welfare. The Poor are to be wholly disenfranchised – and instead of Tourism – there will be a massive ‘For Sale’ sign in it’s place.

    The wealthiest gained the most – and the least, gained the least – can’t call that a balancing act – not by any means.

    Perhaps it’s time we bulldozed some of our northern highlands into Dubai-like isthmus'; into the sea.

    South Seas Paradis’ for sale to the modern wealthy detached and homeless – of course special libertarian laws must be employed, to cater for the amoral – we have the perfect Govt. to bulldoze those sorts of laws…whilst keeping any indigineous culture Contained (literally).

  46. are you still fucken banging on about that..bj..?

    “..freeing them from a particularly vexing problem of childhood, which is that some children’s PARENTS have more money than others…”

    that’s bullshit/psycho-babble/farcical-social-engineering…

    ..some peoples’ parents have more money than others..

    ..um..!..that is a fact of life there..b.j…

    how about just focussing on lifting the boats of the poorest…?

    ..rather than trying to ‘uniform’ everyone…eh…?

    ..gee..bj..it’s not just yr inner-soldier talking..is it..?

    ..i wore school uniforms…and loathed them…

    ..and despite our ‘uniform’ clothes..sheilding us from harsh realities…

    ..most of us had enough of a pulse to realise that indeed…

    ..some parents had more money than others..

    ..eh..?

    …your ‘mission’ is deeply flawed…

    ..in both concept and execution..

    ..give it a bloody rest..!…eh..?

    …you’re driving us all up the fucken wall..

    …eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  47. Solkta

    I don’t see the need for a “total” rewrite. Most of those things are reasonable… I am not about telling people that children should have NO rights.

    Kerry

    I am not expecting Teachers to dictate the clothing standards.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    There is a conflict, always, between the exercise of individualism and the goal of equality.

    Failure to recognize the conflict causes us to take one side or the other of this argument as an absolute.

    It is not that easy.

    What is easy, is to make errors.

    We are talking about arranging equality for children, not imposing uniforms on adults. We are not talking about limiting their freedom but of freeing them from a particularly vexing problem of childhood, which is that some children’s PARENTS have more money than others.

    I fail to see how this is a problem.

    respectfully
    BJ

  48. f.t.a’s should be re-named s.a.s..

    …sign away soverignty…

    george bernard shaw told us we had the unique opportunity to make our own self-contained world down here…

    …our other options were to continue relying on feeding the rest of the world..

    ..for our existance..

    ..subject to all those economic/cyclical-vagaries…

    …or to become a nation of people serving drinks to foreign tourists…

    ..kinda prescient of him…eh…?

    ..and a shame we took his least preferred options…eh…?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  49. Bj. I do not believe it is the function of Teachers to dictate clothing standards to children.

    I hated the constant battle to get kids to pull their socks up or cut their hair in a traditional boys school. It was part of a bullying environment which I left quickly because i did not want to start thinking it was OK.

    It also bought back not to fond memories of getting caned every month in the 70’s as the price for keeping my hair long.

    Schools should only be able to dictate what people wear for genuine safety or hygiene reasons.

  50. Phil. Yes they were very disappointing. Hopefully some in Labour are now remembering what the stand for. Mallard on Red Alert does not seem to have learn’t much though. Still recycling Neo-con hypothesae about “free trade agreements”.

  51. i dunno about you…

    but i find it hard to say ‘new labour’…

    ..without there being an accompanying grimace of distaste..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  52. the 00 labour govt wasn’t any better…

    ..despite it being ‘the good times’..

    they studiously ignored the poorest..

    ..pandering to the oppressors being a hallmark of ‘new labour’..

    ..and all our horrific child poverty/health stats all got worse under them…

    ..they were the govt that did really s.f.a…

    ..being re-elected being their only/top-priority…

    …key has learnt well…

    …like clark…it is govt by focus-groups….

    ..just an aimless fucken wandering in the wilderness..

    ..destination…nowhere…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  53. There is a close correlation between boat building business cash flows here and National Governments. The biggest dip was of course when Muldoon shafted us with the boat tax and the next biggest during Ruthenasia.

    They managed to kill business several times when there was no overseas recession.

    Any manufacturing tough enough to survive was given the final shot by the RBA. A relic of ACT infiltrating Labour.

  54. BJ, don’t forget that you will need to do a total re-write of the Children’s Policy also:

    http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/childrens-policy-every-child-matters


    Children, by right, deserve access to their full entitlement of human rights. It is a matter of justice that we prioritise this, but it is also one of ensuring a sustainable society. Increasingly public discussion of children and young people seems focussed around a perception of them as flawed, troubled, and the rights of children are posed in opposition to the rights of adults/parents. There is a real danger that children and young people will be further marginalised out of fear if our treatment and perception of children and young people is not turned around.


    Each child deserves a secure base from which they can express their creativity and discover life as an adventure.


    Amend the National Education Guidelines to make human rights obligations explicit, including the right to education.


    Pilot the concept of early childhood centres and schools as human rights communities, places where children and young people know their rights, acknowledge their responsibilities and respect the rights of others. This requires making explicit in legislation, policy and implementation, the human rights values, principles and statements set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


    Work towards the implementation in New Zealand legislation and government policy of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.


    Amend the Education Act to require consultation with primary and intermediate age children and adult advocate on school boards, and a requirement that two or more student’s representatives on secondary school boards.

  55. “…None of those were caused by the National Party…”

    gee..!..just for one..

    why don’t you ask some retailers about the recession that followed richardsons’ mother-of-all-budgets…?

    all of that money was sucked out of retailers’ tills..

    ..’cos’..y’see..those at the bottom spend 100% of their income on goods and services….

    ..so..if you kick them in the guts…(out of ideological-zeal…)

    ..it has the unfortunate side-effect of instant-recession…

    …eh..?

    ..q.e.d…

    conversely..of course…the apposite also applies to the opposite-action..

    ..in that the most logical/efficient way to stimulate/revive an economy…

    …is of course by giving more money to those who spend 100% of their income on goods and services..

    …it ain’t rocket-science..eh..?

    whereas..tax cuts for the rich..?

    …they just salt it away..

    …and retail continues to wither…

    …as we have happening now…

    ..go figure..!..eh..?

    ..fucken einsteins..!..aren’t they..?

    ..our political masters…

    ..so..john-ston..key has the power to both attack our dire child poverty statistics…

    …and our economic malaise…

    ..all in the one move…

    …i doubt he has the courage to do that….

    …probably out of a very real fear his reactionary rump will eat him..

    ..so it goes..

    ..as they say…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  56. Thanks Solkta –

    14. Ensure learners have the right to not wear a uniform without penalty from the school, and are able to choose their own hairstyle and jewellery, subject to safety requirements.

    I will keep in mind that this needs changing too. We have enough inequality.

    Ignoring its effects on the the environment of inequality it promotes just doesn’t make much sense to me. Nor does the apparent “justification” provided.

    respectfully
    BJ

  57. What do you call Stink Big & Rogernomics? If Douglas wasn’t Nationals toy boy back then, he sure is now. Are you ready for the recession from phucked-nomics version 2? That toy boy can really get down and dirty.

  58. They do not make the logical connection between the recessions induced by National induced meanness and their own cashflow statements.

    Kerry, since when did National induce recessions? Of the last five recessions, all of them have been caused by outside factors. We had:

    2008-present – Global Financial Crisis
    1998-99 – Asian Crisis
    early 1990s – Goodness knows what, but it was a global recession
    mid 1970s – 1973 Oil Crisis
    mid 1960s – Downturn in Wool Prices

    None of those were caused by the National Party

  59. photonz1 says: “Or are you just spouting stuff of the top of you head with no evidence?”

    I now refer you to chapter 911 of the Book of Lod How to paint pots and kettles.

  60. “Kerry says “It is business at present who demand a level of unemployment…”

    I’ve sat in many Chamber of Commerce and other business association meetings where they have voted to support and pass on recommendations on policy settings to reduce benefits, reduce employment and allow more emigration. Basically to put downward pressure on wages and increase the pool of employees. A couple of those meetings had National party MP’s as a guest and speaker.

    It shows how people can keep to several mutually contradictory beliefs at the same time.
    The complaints shortly after National gets in each time about reduced cash flow because the customers do not have enough money.. Then they still talk about National being the party for business despite the inevitable wage and benefit cuts almost wrecking their business.

    They do not make the logical connection between the recessions induced by National induced meanness and their own cashflow statements.

    National is definitely not a friend to small business.

  61. The capitalist free market model operates best where there is a pool of available labour for new enterprise start-ups – Econ 101. The Reserve Bank model we have converges with this, as if there were not such a pool demand for scarce labour would bid up wages (be inflationary).

    Naturally business groups support this approach (which suppresses wage demands and leaves a pool of available labour for their on-call demand) and there is regular comment from them in the media, complaining about labour “scarcity” when unemployment gets close to (free market ideal or systemic) full employment at around 3 to 4% unemployed. Similarly they support the RB primary focus being an anti-inflationary regime as this supports such a status quo.

  62. Kerry says “It is business at present who demand a level of unemployment…”

    Can you tell us the names of the businesses who have made these “demands”, for a level of unemployment, and how they have enforced the “demands”?

    Or are you just spouting stuff of the top of you head with no evidence?

  63. Todd, thanks for the clarification. I was assuming that when you said migrate that these diesel mechanics were migrating from New Zealand.

    Well as long as we have a big earthquake every couple of years we should be OK then.

    I am not suggesting that we have a big earthquake every couple of years, I was just commenting that we might end up with worker shortages again. Irrespective, the baby boomers start retiring in next year, so we will not need earthquakes to create worker shortages – New Zealanders getting old will do that for us.

  64. John-ston

    50 diesel mechanics migrate to NZ. 200 – 100 – 50 = 50.

    Well as long as we have a big earthquake every couple of years we should be OK then.

  65. Question to pose to National in the face of further welfare reform:

    1. Considering a benefit will be cut if beneficiaries don’t work for the dole or attend a prescribed course; If their child becomes ill and the mother has to take time off, does the beneficiary parent have to supply a medical certificate for the sick child every week and go to WINZ to beg for a grant to cover their meals and bills for the unknown amount of time that the child is going to be sick for? Will WINZ cover the addition cost of attaining that medical certificate every week and what will be the process so that the beneficiary mother can meet her obligations?

    2. In terms of benefits being reduced or cut and the negative effect this will have on individuals that are drug addicts, what measures will be implemented to reduce the significant harm caused by drug addicts (in light of no adequate rehabilitation) attaining additional money through crime and the serious consequences this has on impoverished children of beneficiary families and the wider community?

    I’m sure there is more but brain not work today.

  66. BJ

    Yes! The elderly have meals on wheels. It’s probably not very nice.

    That message for instance was intended to be read in one gulp. Contrasting what I have always stood for with some hasty words. Taking it apart breaks the effect.

    Fair enough. Your defence is reasonable so I will not go on the offensive again so to speak.

    The worst is the gambling addiction. It is variable-ratio reinforcement, psychologically the most potent and longest lasting. It is tied up intimately with real risk of real money. No kick out of fake money, has to be the real thing… and there is no way, no matter how much money is supplied, that there can be enough.

    I believe gambling causes crime. It’s a social dysfunction that is easily fixed, if there was a political will to do so. I even include lotto in this analysis to a certain degree; Currently the gambling system is very badly run and full of corruption. It’s a huge problem not only for the victim (the gambler) but also as a negative social dynamic, that nobody seems to want to tackle at the moment. The issue of charities being held up as a defence is very difficult. But the underlying dynamic is social disintegration, not only from the victim’s perspective but also from a corrupt funding process perspective. I have first hand knowledge of such crime, have alerted the proper “authorities” and nothing has been done. Well not to my knowledge.

    Gambling bad; money good! A fool and his money are easily parted.

  67. There are 72,700 young unemployed and 200 new diesel mechanic jobs available each year. Around 100 diesel mechanics become trained already with a further average of 50 migrating each year. So the shortfall is 50 diesel mechanics. Yum! That media propaganda sure tastes good huh!

    Todd, hang on a second – you said that there are 200 new diesel mechanic jobs available each year, with 100 new diesel mechanics becoming trained, with 50 migrating. Would that not mean that there is a shortfall of 150 diesel mechanics per annum? That means that there are 150 positions that we could get suitably qualified unemployed people to train for.

    It must also be noted that the diesel mechanic shortage is but one that has gotten into the eyes of the media – there might be other shortages that we are unaware of.

    If you watched the same news you would have seen that construction has continued to fall. Is Christchurch getting rebuilt?

    As I understand it, only some of the reconstruction work has been able to begin – there are thousands who were waiting for the green light to get their sections repaired (and many of those thousands got that green light in this week).

    The two items (falling demand for construction nationwide and the reconstruction of Christchurch) might net each other out, but if it doesn’t, then we are at risk of shortages once again.

  68. Perhaps posing those questions to the National Government might be appropriate, as I predict a similar negative effect from the WWG recommendations.

    ??? What questions ???

  69. Sarcasm… the Tui commercial approach.

    I suspect that part of our problem is that you tend to take things I say in parts of meaning that are smaller than I am using.

    That message for instance was intended to be read in one gulp. Contrasting what I have always stood for with some hasty words. Taking it apart breaks the effect.

    I have some reason to believe SHE understood it as I meant it as she withdrew what she said. Even if she doesn’t like my ideas (or me) for one reason or another I think we have made peace.

    __________________________________________________
    What exactly does your policy fix in terms of the addicted parent who will do anything to fund their habit… I am still at a loss?

    — Remember, I took the wholistic approach, to give the parent the drugs rather than having them take the kids lunch money. Which is one of the reasons the quick answer that SPC provided was better. However, drug policy is freighted with its own difficulties.

    Relying on something that is NOT strictly speaking a policy related to beneficiaries to solve a problem with drugs… works for me… but your point that it is not CURRENT law and will be hard to change is real. It IS part of Green policy though and I was describing possible changes to policy… not what to do about the opportunistic assault on the poor that NACT is engaged in.

    The worst is the gambling addiction. It is variable-ratio reinforcement, psychologically the most potent and longest lasting. It is tied up intimately with real risk of real money. No kick out of fake money, has to be the real thing… and there is no way, no matter how much money is supplied, that there can be enough.

    I don’t think there is a policy, short of addicting the gambler to something else or locking the poor sod up, that can stop it.

    The question of a sick child is a detail. An extra stop for the “meals-on-wheels” service? Automatically triggered when the parent calls in to the school to tell them. Whatever the answer, it should be the same for every child, not just the children of beneficiaries.

    I think nothing productive can come of continuing. I do NOT have time for the endless posts.

    However, I prefer to focus on what can be done before the election, and I hope that the party goes with what SPC suggested.

    BJ

  70. BJ

    Perhaps posing those questions to the National Government might be appropriate, as I predict a similar negative effect from the WWG recommendations.

  71. John-ston

    Confusing the two negative factors huh! The lack of qualified diesel mechanics is not the same as having jobs available for all unemployed. Shortages of qualified people, is all about proper training; unemployment is about not having jobs. Both dynamics are a direct result of negative policies. Both can be resolved through positive policies.

    There are 72,700 young unemployed and 200 new diesel mechanic jobs available each year. Around 100 diesel mechanics become trained already with a further average of 50 migrating each year. So the shortfall is 50 diesel mechanics. Yum! That media propaganda sure tastes good huh!

    Saying that 72,700 people don’t have to be unemployed because there are 50 jobs available is ludicrous.

    If you watched the same news you would have seen that construction has continued to fall. Is Christchurch getting rebuilt?

    Our growing unemployed flies in the face of promises made by National.

    Source: Statistics New Zealand.

  72. BJ… There’s a couple of things unresolved:

    You cannot fit policy that would rectify the “problems” you pose by implementing it across the board.

    It seems to me I managed to do exactly that.

    So please explain how your system would help this scenario that every family has to deal with:

    If a child becomes ill and does not go to school to get a free breakfast and lunch, what then, do they starve? Or does the beneficiary parent have to go to WINZ and beg for a food grant to cover the meals for an unknown amount of time that the child is going to be sick for?

    And…

    What exactly does your policy fix in terms of the addicted parent who will do anything to fund their habit… I am still at a loss? I spent a lot of time highlighting that negative dynamic your policy would cause to become worse. Accusing me of “demanding money on behalf of the addicted” is not answering the question or acknowledging the dynamic, which your policy is meant to miraculously rectify.

    I can bring further discrepancies in concerning your “policy” if you think our time is worth wasting on such a debate.

    I would also like to bring your attention back to what Deborah Kean asked:

    What on earth are you doing in the Greens? You’re the kind of person who is the reason why I have yet to vote Green.

    To which you answered: “Good call”.

    Good farkin call BJ… Am I to understand that you’re happy that you’ve affected somebodies vote away from the Greens and then logically don’t actually support the Greens… Am I to also understand that you’re just trolling, albeit subtly. Please explain yourself “fellow Green”?

  73. Highlighting one sector of the work force as john-ston has done is not indicative of the overall fact that there are not enough jobs.

    That is just one of the sectors that has been placed in the media spotlight. Other trade sectors could soon get shortages as well given that demand for builders, plumbers, electricians and so on will be steadily rising as the Christchurch rebuilding effort gets underway. Once unemployment gets below the 5% to 6% mark, then shortages will start becoming acute again.

  74. SSIH also stands for Society for Simulation in Healthcare, an actual organization.

    In terms of our current system and WWG proposals caring and looking after the health of our impoverished, “simulation” seems to be an apt descriptive.

  75. I don’t think the party has any policy that speaks to the issue of uniforms or no uniforms… I’d have to look, but it seems to me that it is something not touched on and it if is, it is as much an error in my eyes as the notion of simply handing out money.

    As to the reason that I find important, it is the equality. Shall we go back to the “and your Mother dresses you funny” jokes. The poor seamstress vs the skilled, or the family with money vs the poor? It is a matter which I find of concern because I have seen how children can find things to pick on, and would seek to give them smaller cause.

    I think perhaps that I weigh the equal opportunity, the right to an equal chance for every child, no matter what parents bring to him or her, rather higher than many here recognize, for I was not shy about subjecting the parents receiving WFF to the same regime of support in kind, not in cash… long before the notion of monitoring the beneficiaries turned up. We reached this place because I am more strict about equality for children.

    It is on the basis of equality that I would make my case to my fellow Greens. It is not of small value to most of us.

    Ach… I have been reading “The Two Towers” to my daughter… the style has infected me. I hope it wears off soon. :-)

    respectfully
    BJ

  76. And why do you think that self expression is only about expressing individuality? Many people show expression of culture and community through their clothing, and a child’s school is not usually primary to their social identity. Some even give expression to their relationship with the environment.

  77. BJ, I know what YOU think about school uniforms. My question was whether you seriously think that the Party would consider a policy u-turn on the matter.

    And also, why do you seem to think that self expression is always about money? Some people do have sewing machines and knitting needles, eh.

  78. Soltka

    Where did we now get “vouchers for beneficiaries”? I am sure I didn’t say that.

    Sigh… I have to wonder if it is at all useful to post here at all since nobody has any slightest interest in doing anything but try to put words in my mouth.

    As for the uniforms, there are several reasons they are a good idea, overall cost to the society, ability to specify NZ manufacture, reduction of gang “colors” in school, students seeing each other as equals to a greater degree, teachers seeing students as equals to a greater degree, more concentration on school interactions than on fashion statements…. weighed against the ability of the student to “express” his or her individuality to the degree his/her parents can afford it.

    respectfully
    BJ

  79. “Greens need to be IN government to get the full suite of measures I want”

    BJ, do you really think there is SSIH that the Green Party are going to support policies like school uniforms and vouchers for beneficiaries?

  80. Gerrit!

    Bring back decent trade and industry based apprenticeships.

    I absolutely agree.

    There is a a dire shortage of good keen skilled workers and the jobs are there for them.

    However the more likely dynamic is that there are many more well trained and keen people and the jobs are not there. Highlighting one sector of the work force as john-ston has done is not indicative of the overall fact that there are not enough jobs.

    Kerry Thomas

    Despite statements to the contrary a successful tradesmen needs a high level of competence and intelligence.

    A high level is required but not always attained. That’s my observation from seeing people chop off parts of their bodies while engineering anyway.

    It really all comes back to education.

  81. Gerrit. True.
    Trade training should be a lot more available.
    Industry need to train people though instead of relying on begging immigration to allow more skilled migrants.

    We are also producing too many graduates for jobs that do not exist or have to be artificially subsidised like law..

    NZ wages have dropped so much that the social wage, education, equality, lack of crime, is the only advantage NZ has in attracting immigrants. With NACT trying to remove that, this source of trained people will dry up also. The job I am doing at the moment you get paid more in India.

  82. JS. Yes there is a shortage of most tradesmen. In my trades the average age is 62. 59 over all trades.

    With the BRANZ estimate of all houses needing an average of $6000 of maintenance work, before you even consider leaky homes, there is plenty of work. Just that home owners are not getting high enough wages to pay for it.

    There should be more trade training, but it is not going to mop up those who would have been labourers or clerks in the past.

    We are going to need many more technicians, engineers, builders and so on in future. But if we do not start to value them most will still disappear offshore.

    Despite statements to the contrary a successful tradesmen needs a high level of competence and intelligence.

  83. Kerry,

    Was it not you that said in a recent comment that there were very few tradesman under the age of 59?

    Bring back decent trade and industry based apprenticeships.

    Not just in the trades but in nursing amongst a myriad of potential job opportunities.

    There is a a dire shortage of good keen skilled workers and the jobs are there for them.

    We cant get any good people that can properly design using SolidWorks solid modelling software, operate a CNC machines, or simply fabricate (cut, bend and weld) in the engineering field.

    Good trained people are hard to find.

  84. Not much point in skills training if the jobs are not there

    Kerry, did you not see the piece on One News a couple of nights ago about the shortage of diesel mechanics? That is one area where the unemployed could be trained.

  85. It is business at present who demand a level of unemployment to keep their costs (Wages) down. As they have imposed this cost they should bear the cost of unemployment benefits.

    In the first instance we should not be patronising and dictate to beneficiary ;parents where they spend their money. You do not refuse a pension to an elderly person who spends it on meths.

    In general if you treat people as irresponsible they will react accordingly. (An employer who micro-manages his employees because he believes they are unthinking and un motivated will get unthinking and un-motivated employees).

    There are other ways of addressing the few, less than 1% from CYFS figures, parents who cannot or will not look after their kids.

    I’ve met many people from dysfunctional backgrounds who care deeply about their kids (Including teenage solo mums)and still try and make sure their children do better. And some from very wealthy backgrounds who pack their kids off to boarding school as soon as possible.

    Not much point in skills training if the jobs are not there.

  86. Of course the government needs to ensure funding for basic skills training for those unemployed who require this and also restore the TIA or allow interest free borrowing in lieu of.

  87. What welfare policy should be, within current wider labour market and economic policy settings (which suit the neo-right), is however presumably all that the government wishes to consider in this review.

    So ones first criticism here – is that they cannot do any real welfare review without admitting collective responsibility for the problem existing as it does. Otherwise we would be simply targeting the conseqiences of policy choices in isolation. The second criticism is that the sole policy guide should be to ensure we maintain a just and humane approach.

    Policy Changes

    Helping CYF Improve Performance

    CYF – as above. Generally making the home environment work is best. In some cases, having the child component of welfare with-held (the adult part covers the rent and power and where it does not this can be managed by a supplement out of the child component for this purpose). This means the discretionary component is utilised for family purposes that ensure child well-being – medical visits/nutrition etc. The hope is that the stick being available would ensure more successful family home visits to resolve problems more quickly. The term trial programme comes to mind.

    Investment in Addiction Programmes

    A part of some employment problems (and associated welfare dependency and or crime and imprisonment) comes from addiction problems. Our lack of investment in this area is holding back the economy and exacerbating the welfare problem. The longer the problem is not managed the more likely people are to end up on SB and even the IB.

    Healthy People/Nutrition

    We suffer a rising SB and IB welfare problem as a consequence of salt, fat and sugar intake. There needs to be limits on salt levels in processed food and a strong consideration of either a saturated fat tax (to encourage change to other fats) or regulatory moves. We should intensify public health campaigns warning about the diabetes problem resulting from fat and sugar intake.

    Healthy Homes

    Make a regulatory change requiring rentals to have basic insulation and heating capability standards.

    Work and Income and Employers

    The old wage subsidy idea works well with the 90 day rule – in reducing both cost and risk in trying out a longer term unemployed person as a worker. I would suggest the wage subsidy occur in the 6 months after the 90 day period (after a work for the dole work experience or work for the dole work training placement) completes. They try the person being able to “fire” them at any time within the 90 days – and at the end of that time they have a worker available at a lower cost than any alternative (I would require a minimum 12 month contract to receive the 6 month subsidy). The question is eligibility. Possibly a scale of subsidy based on the length of time unemployed.

    Work for the dole

    The problem here is working for less than the minimum wage. A breach of ILO regulations (working fewer hours is the limitation)

    So where is this a viable concept? Where work experience is of itself of value – for those who have not been in work. And where the work comes with on the job training. Where there is value to the worker on top of the dole they are receiving.

    Work for the dole – Work experience for those under 20.
    Work for the dole – On the Job Training for those over 20 (including graduates as “interns”).

    However the problem is that both can result in paid employment position displacement (which is why public work programmes are generally preferred in practice).

    This problem can be mitigated by multiple placement candidacy positions – arranged between WINZ and employers). Where there is a paid position available the employer can try more than one candidate for it – 2 to * working (part-time?) for the experience or on the on the job training over the 3/6 month period before someone is hired permanenty into paid work. The advantage for the employer in hiring the right person is obvious and there is little cost managing the work experience/on the job training for the taxpayer. The sliding scale for wage subsidy could impact on the choice of worker.

    Part-Time Positions/Job Sharing

    To improve the chances of women on the DPB being able to work and more of them being able to work – set up a programme where Work and Income operate as a Personnel Service to provide multiple workers for employment positions.

    While the women would still be on the DPB, abatement would reduce the cost. They would be better off and still be able to have the time to be a sole parent to their children. Of course someone from the UB to cover holidays would be available from the pool of unemployed.

    But unless child care was available for those pre-school, this would have to be for those with children of school age and where after-school programmes were available.

    The same could be done for longer term unemployed on the SB unable to work full-time or regualrly for health reasons – Work and Income fill the work position by sending a number of avaible workers on a part-time basis. Their income and well-being improves and the abatement is where the welfare cost saving is made.

  88. Part 2 The Economics of the Labour Market

    Part of UB welfare problem that we have is because of (apart from educational failure at school level) under-investment in training (transfer from on the job training to institution training at public expense). The cost of training falling on the state places budget pressure on the affordability of carrying a spare pool of unemployed workers to enable the market to perform at optimum levels (let’s be blunt hold down wage levels to reduce business unit costs).

    For the same reason that business holds down wage levels to be more competitive in the now global market (which has added competition pressures to all tradable goods and services) government carrying more of the cost of worker training and the spare pool of unemployed does the same for budget reasons. Thus we continue to under-pay skilled (in global demand) workers who deliver important public services and have by necessity imported (economic and lifestyle) migrant workers to ensure they can still be delivered (primarily health care). This has enabled business to avoid any need (evade responsibility) to train graduates on the job (or increase pay to retain workers) and now they do the same.

    Thus the welfare end-cost problem results from insufficient government investment and choice of economic labour market policy.

    If it was the more efficient economic option for the country it would be generating the productivity that the country needs to afford the consequent welfare costs. Well is it?

  89. As part of the unemployment results from economic policy settings these should be referred to in submissions.

    Part 1 The Politics

    The capitalist free market model requires a spare pool of (skilled) unemployed available to take up new positions (allow economic supply transformation to market opportunity demand). So unemployment is maintained even during the “inflationary” peak of the economic cycle. Of course it it then grows to worrying levels (unaffordable as government tax revenue falls). This results in these welfare reviews.

    This can be managed by saving (as we have via the Cullen Fund for futrue Super costs) money when unemployment is low to provide for the budget cost of the higher unemployment. This would end the apparent panic the right use as the premise to crush the weak under foot to make “their nation” stronger. In a sense this was done in paying down debt – but placing money into an unemployment cost provision fund may prove more the more effective budget planning option.

  90. “..Have you considered that this a possible explanation for the widespread popularity of gumboots and jandals?..”

    can i just note that i have spent most of the past year wearing a pair of crocs..?

    (black..of course..!..)

    slip-on/off/comfortable-as/vegan-as/last forever..

    ..and..looking good/stylish…!

    ..what’s not to love…?

    ..tying shoelaces..?…bah…!

    ..a past/waste-time of luddites/fuss-pots/wearers of dead animal-skins…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  91. Ha ha ha! Yeah no hard feelings BJ me old mate. As you might recall, your critical analysis of my Direct Representation idea was justified because “it needed testing to iron out the kinks” so to speak. Whereas the debate there was around function and perceived public ability, your welfare reform ideas are exactly that, which is a lot harder to argue a case for being that they’re speculative in nature and emotive in their social context. The former being mainly concerned about how software and hardware work together, which has a somewhat preset form and is thus easier to find common ground on. Water under the bridge me old gumboot wearing digger!

  92. Phil

    :-)

    I am working on forgive-and-forget so I ain’t going there.

    “a redneck voting base of inbred hicks that can’t tie their own shoelaces”

    Have you considered that this a possible explanation for the widespread popularity of gumboots and jandals?

    }}:-)

    …and I have made my submission

    BJ

  93. No Phil

    I put you “through all this crap” because someone was making false claims and inferences about me and my ideas…

    …and you were among the first to uncritically pile-on as I recall.

    …so you can reflect on the fact that I was never about reducing any actual benefits to anyone.

    …and if I had not fronted and defended my idea, would SPC have had this one?

    …this is politics Phil. My way is better but requires more change… and I never disputed the difficulty of getting change. Greens need to be IN government to get the full suite of measures I want (including drug-legalization). This can be an amendment to current law, even under this government, and it pulls the teeth of our worst detractors. I don’t like it for a lot of reasons, but I won’t argue… because real engineers adopt acceptable answers when resources don’t permit pursuit of perfection.

    (Sheesh… that’s pretty bad, even for me).

    … and it doesn’t change the way I think our policy on children should read at all.

    BJ

  94. “..I agree with this and prefer it to my original idea for an immediate submission…”

    so you’ve put us through all this crap..for nothing..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  95. SPC

    Brilliant!

    I agree with this and prefer it to my original idea for an immediate submission.

    It doesn’t take nearly as much change so it leaves us with some undetected problem families (the ones not yet known to CYF) and the mechanics are a bit difficult and the children affected will feel singled out, but it would do most of the job and I can hear jaws hitting floors all over NZ.

    respectfully
    BJ

    (( who knows that a good answer applied immediately is vastly preferable to a perfect answer that is never ready to be applied))

  96. Perhaps the Green Party should submit that when CYF makes home visits – they can carry a stick – short of taking the children out of the home. That is recommending that WFF tax credits and the child credits paid to beneficiaries being withheld and used in direct support for the child until there is an improvement in parental responsibility.

  97. Catherine – what is the Green solution for people who spend their mmoney on themselves and neglect their children to the point where they are sick and malnourished?

  98. “Its real purpose being to make National’s proposed welfare cuts seem moderate by comparison.”

    Excellent observation. It’s an effective ploy that National have used on many occasions to further undermine our rights and civil liberties (Reminds me of a certain part of history that I’m apparently not allowed to talk about anymore). Not to mention the Natz implementing further plundering and polluting policy of our cherished environment. All the while looking like a moderate and centrist government that takes the middle ground. Yeah right!

    Let’s hope you’re not correct Catherine in your observation that the Natz might swing further towards the fascist right-wing regime because of a redneck voting base of inbred hicks that can’t tie their own shoelaces. Could someone get me a vomit bucket please? The Natz certainly employ clever psychological processes, to trick the populace; lets hope people start seeing through their lies.

    Alternatives are a bit difficult, considering most positive change requires further funding and so will most likely meet a brick wall. Maybe instead of bickering, we should work on some actual policy that could help those that are impoverished or at least protect them from becoming further entrenched into the poverty cycle. Which although used is not the actual reason for Nationals welfare reform. Bloody bean counters!

    Quick! Gag me with a frog… I’m being completely unreasonable.

    [frog: Hey, Todd, I think your comments, including this one, are usually well informed and rational. I just think you went a bit too far with the "fascist" stuff on the other thread, so you got a mild reprimand, which is far less chastisement than a formal warning or a temporary or permanent ban. Please don't take it personally, I enjoy and am informed by most of your comments, but better if you try to comment on the issues being debated rather than on the personalities of other commentators imo.]

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