Cactus Kate on self inflicted poverty

Cactus Kate gives David Cunliffe a shellacking on the way to eviscerating the faux-poverty story put up by the Herald yesterday:

Every year the Herald seems to run a series of case studies where poor unfortunates volunteer their income and expenditure details to¬†contribute¬†to “struggle street” stories.

The problem is that as I have analysed before the people used are one step short of having no brain matter whatsoever.

I am now starting to think these are the best examples the Herald can find and that in fact there is a perfect positive correlation between stupidity and faux poverty and inequality in New Zealand.

Today’s example tried to play a hardworking UK immigrant man with an idiot of a wife against a pair of breeders. A ridiculous piece by Simon Collins who is old enough to know better.

True to form¬†politicians¬†from the left couldn’t help themselves and we were treated to some David Cunliffe incomprehensible poverty poetry right up there with his fabulous rendition “I am Harvard”. A capitalised allegedly educated attempt at something we have only seen in the blogosphere from the brilliant mangled mind of¬†Phil Ure.

Cactus then goes on to examine the information the Herald dished up to us.

“The Strugglers” are a mis-matched 51 yo with a 29yo. Craig and Carla.

Right away Carla is breaking all manner of female common sense. At 29 yo and a woman if you are to break the half + seven rule and hook up and breed with a man 21 years older then let him be one who is at least self-supporting.

Else you are better off on your own or an underachiever your own age with a chance of changing his future.

…Carla not only puts up with an underachieving bloke dumb enough to be interviewed by Simon Collins, she’s got a SOCK (some other c—-s kid or as the Herald terms it “cinderella syndrome”) on the scene. The good news is she doesn’t have to put up with Craig around the house as he has to work seven days a week.

Sticking the harsh but wonderful Suze Orman test on them we get the following:

1. Two cars of $160 a week. Beggars belief as to what cars they bought/financed.
2. Child support for SOCK of $132 a fortnight. So Craig can’t afford his first child. How on earth did Carla think this would end up?
3. Credit card debt. Go figure. Who gave them a credit card?
4. Petrol of $120 a week. So $280 a week is being spent on cars?
5. Wear shoes til they have a hole in them? Seen my shoe collection? I think most people do this. Even I resole.
6. An old couch? So what most student flats have them and at 29 yo she’s not much past that.
7. Laptop won’t work. Cancel the broadband then.
8. Haven’t had a family holiday. Hardly the biggest sacrifice. The UK immigrant couple didn’t make any money for five years working all week.
9. They eat meat and veges sparingly and eat noodles, risotto or macaroni cheese. Along with most of Italy and their people seem alright.
10. At 51 years old this is as good as Craig is going to get. Carla will have to enter the workforce at some point however with three children the welfare system heavily stakes any advantage to her doing so.

The conclusion is that inequality is created by bad choices. No one forced these two to have three children of their own in addition to a SOCK.

Of course, at 51, Craig only has to wait 14 more years before he can sit on his chuff while Carla will be put to work only to come home to a moaning broken-arsed pensioner with a gold card that is of no use to man or beast unless you like off-peak travel.

  • Groans

    Half plus seven rule?  please elaborate as never heard of it.

    • JAX

      You should never date someone who is half your age + 7 years .  Lots of reasons but the general one being the difference is to large than in most cases it wont work .    So say a 40 year old shouldnt date anyone under 27 with 27 being the lower limit

      Wikipedia even has a nice graph  -

      • Groans

        Thanks, I’m learning all the time.¬† This guy should have found himself a nice 32.5 yo

      • Hakimofphut

        a nice 32.5 yr old  ?
        there isnt a chart for that

  • Vlad

    I see from today’s Herald that Simon Collins is flailing us with a whole series in this Nasty Rick Pricks versus Noble Battlers campaign.¬† Today’s theme is how our tax¬†regime lets the NRP’s live in luxury while the NB’s struggle to buy organic mung beans with the few cents they have left over from GST.¬† Over the next three days we will get Health, Education and Welfare.¬† I could write them now.¬†¬† I think they were meant for The Standard but Simon emailed them to the Herald by mistake.¬†

  • kevin

    That Kate is a great wordsmith… with clear thinking and no bull. Easy as that.

  • Ben Ross

    As I said in another post – no sympathy from me and I am meant to be a Social Liberal (stupid political compass tests :P )

    God you do have to wonder if National’s Individual Freedom, Choice and Responsibility would ever work when our example seemed to have failed the responsibility (or rather consequences part) of the equation…¬†

  • Anonymous

    You go girl! It’s the same sort of story as “House prices way out of reach” – the old chestnut that was around when I bought my first house, in 1978, and the bank wouldn’t lend me the money because, get this, the repayments were more than 1/4 my gross income (and I was a single female, but that’s another story). I guess it sells papers, and arouses mature people to fury, yet again.

  • Hakimofphut

    Wouldnt get KK to do my tax returns , she got it wrong in this part

    “After power, phone and a weekly petrol bill of about $120¬†”

    That is NOT just petrol.
    If you are going to do a detailed analysis and dish the dirt on others foolishness at least get it right

    • Cactus Kate

      Read it again. The words Collins used were”and a weekly petrol bill of about $120″
      If it was all inclusive it should have read “after a weekly bill of $120 for power, phone and petrol”.
      It is entirely plausible living in the sticks with two cars to be spending $120 a week on petrol.

      • Bafacu

        Yip agreed – in fact I use over $120 of petrol a week in my wagon alone so 2 cars¬†shouldn’t be hard to do it!

  • phillip ure

    so just getting away from the savaging of the examples for a mo’..

    ..and trying to look at the topic..poverty..and how/why/how did we get here?/how to end it..

    ..some facts have to be considered..

    ..our richest pay the lowest taxes in oecd..

    ..our richest pay no capital gains tax..(the exception in oecd..) the other end:..

    we have a low-wage economy..

    (our basic income isn’t enough to live those low-wage employers are getting their businesses subsidised by the taxpayers..who have to fund the requires top-ups..

    ..shouldn’t such ‘economic-literates’ as the right claim to be..see the madness of this..?

    ..and if those employers can only survive paying slave-wages..their businesses are not viable..end of story..

    ..but that isn’t the case..’cos those low-wage employers in the main make eyewatering-profits.. really they are in the main just greedy/exploitive-bastards..

    ..given that series of can they not be..?)

    ..our child poverty rates are amongst the worst in the oecd..

    ..(and so many other of those health etc stats tell an equally grim story…)

    ..we pay gst on 98% of what we purchase..(oecd-average 58%..)

    ..we pay gst on food..(many/most oecd countries don’t…) is where we are..

    ..yet we used to be at the opposite end of all those grim stats..

    ..and how we got there was rogernomics/welfare-slashing etc.

    just undo it


    • James Gray

      “..and if those employers can only survive paying slave-wages..their businesses are not viable..end of story..”

      That’s a very idealistic view of things. If somebody accepts a job with wages they consider to be low, then they must not have any better opportunities.

      Are you saying we should eliminate these businesses? Then as a society, we lose the productivity of these enterprises, and the lowly-paid employee no longer has *any* job.

      • Puremedianz

        ¬†i am saying all workers must be paid a liveable-wage…(without needing taxpayer-funded subsides for those low-wage employers…)

        ..that is not an ‘idealistic’ is logic/basic-economics…

        ..and as i noted..they are usually industries that make large profits..that they in turn pay s.f.a in tax on..



      • James Gray

        You are correct in your implict criticism of taxpayers subsidizing low wage employers (indirectly via subsidies), in my opinion… But all that is required to fix that is top stop subsidizing.

        Furthermore, I’d consider $600 per week to be a *very* livable wage.

      • James Jenkins

        Ures an idiot. He thinks all businesses just spring from the ground fully profitable and paying min $20 an hour. If the useless maggot had ever actually tried building one he would know differently.

    • Groans

      I have a suggestion as to how the problem of child poverty can be solved. “Single Woman Please Keep Your Legs Together”

      • bb

        i’m more definitive on my view. bottom line – if you can’t afford to have and raise children then don’t. it is not up to the rest of nz to fund breeders excessive breeding habits.

    • In Vino Veritas

      nice work phil. However, we do have capital gains taxes and they are paid by the richest (whoever they are by whatever measure you use). Even with their tax rates being so high and GST equivalents being so low, how do you reconcile say, Italy, Greece and Spain? Those countries appear to have run out, or are running out of, other peoples money, even with so called higher tax rates.

      • phillip ure

        “..However, we do have capital gains taxes¬†and they are paid by the richest ..”

        unless the law was changed this morning…we don’t have capital gains tax…

        and yr example of greece is a false-one..

        ..that is a very unequal country..

        ..better to look at those countries that are most equal..

        ..and funnily enough..have also been less scathed  than the neo-lib countries..

        ..yet more facts that don’t lie..

      • In Vino Veritas

        Look up the tax act Phil. There are taxes on share traders and dealers in property. These tax laws have been in place for years.

        “our richest pay the lowest taxes in oecd.” Your words, not mine. Greece is an OECD country. All I did was made the point that higher taxes are not a panacea for economic performance or equality.
        Less scathed by being “equal” as you say, is a bit like portfolio diversification, diversify down to zero risk means no return. Those countries that are equal, also fall behind over the long term. That would be just like the former Soviet Union.

      • Anonymous

        IVV is 100% correct in saying that capital gains already exist in NZ. Any property developer or builder (or their close relatives) who sells a property which is not their primary residence must pay tax on any gains. It is currently the area to which the IRD are applying the most resources, especially in the Queenstown/Central Otago area. 

        To generalise, the rules surrounding capital gains tax in NZ as they stand at the moment are that if something is purchased with the intention of profiting from resale, a capital gain is charged. Shares and property being the most common. 

    • Inventory2

      ¬†Are you qualified to make a call on the “low-wage economy” Phil’ given that you have opted out of it, and made a conscious decision NOT to work?

      • phillip ure

        ¬†vino says:..”..Look up the tax act Phil..”

        ..yes..tit says there is no capital gains tax..

        ..stop trying to say black is white.. are judy being silly..


      • Anonymous

        Phil РI doubt that you have read the entire income tax act. Check out sections CB6 Р15 relating to land and section CD54 relating to shares. A capital gain which is taxed is a capital gain tax, whether it is accounted for under income tax or other.  

      • jonno1

        Although strictly speaking that is a tax on trading income as distinct from a capital gains tax, ie only applies if the intention is to trade, but with the same end result.

        And then there’s¬†tax on depreciation recovered.

        I had to laugh when Phil Gough was extolling his CGT and it was pointed out that traders would benefit from paying 15% CGT rather than their current marginal rate. Although I think the panel of experrts was going to sort that out…¬†

    • Ploughman

      Phil, may I invite you to come and see how business runs and what prices you can charge and what labour rates you can afford in a highly competitive and hostile (to free enterprise) environment that makes up our fairly socialist and¬†bureaucratic¬†country? ¬†We are in the same state of decline as Britain was in 1945 on when electorally attractive social welfare payments were made out of money that should have gone into economic reconstruction. ¬†Germany did not make that mistake and developed its economy for the ultimate benefit of all its citizens. ¬†And don’t say the Germany got aid from the Marshall Plan when the UK didn’t. ¬†Fully 55% of the total sum in the Marshall Plan went to Britain. ¬†Germany got a tiddling amount¬†¬†
      Sir John Marshall warned us that we had to roll our sleeves up and work hard for with Britain joining the EU there was an uncertain and difficult future ahead. The electorate didn’t like this talk, no matter how accurate, and elected Labour instead who promised everything and promptly wrecked the economy once in power. ¬†I remember the idiocy of MRP and other monumental stupidities.After Kirk and Muldoon had done their darndest to wreck us, ¬†Rogernomics was absolutely necessary – but the reforms did not go far enough. ¬†Bad investment decisions were made and still continue to be made, especially under Helen C, so we continue to slip down the OECD list which is why wages are so low. ¬†It ain’t a conspiracy, just a naive electorate who believe politicians who do anything to stay in power. ¬†Unfortunately, there are more takers than givers in NZ. My advice to you if you¬†want¬†to do something about the things you complain of: Get a job and work hard like all those of us who love this country and want to give our kids a much better future.. ¬†

      • Thorn

        Ploughman, you lost the Phailure talking about rolling up sleeves and hard work. The only thing this parasite will roll up is dope for smoking.

  • JAX

    The other example they used,  the 2 people on 150k  - who sound like they are living like kings,  with all the makeovers and trips to Waihi!  wow,   Р   well I earn more than that alone and my wife also works and have a mortgage free home,  and can tell you that we are not living like kings, sure  its not tough life but we definitely dont live what I consider a rich life.    So that side of the story is equally floored and sensationalist.    Its sad when what is actually 2 x 75k incomes is considered to be the rich side of the equation.  

    • James Gray

      Furthermore, it’s entirely possible to live quite comfortably on $600 per week… It just involves not having more children than you can pay for…

      • James Jenkins

        I currently do just that with no kids and supporting a widowed 80 year old Mother to stay in her own home.

    • phillip ure

       do you think you could be a tad out of touch with the realities of a minimum wage-life there..?..jax..?

      ..having a marie antoinette moment..?..are we..?


    • Phronesis

      Pay a lot less tax on 2 x 75k incomes than you do on 1 x 150k. Apparently the only people allowed to stay at home and raise thier own children are beneficiaries.

      • Argon

        Was it United Future who were pushing a tax rate per household rather than a tax rate per individual to address this?

      • Pete George

        ¬†@9813198097ee05690acd7b10ffe75568:disqus – yes, Income Sharing for couples legislation has already been introduced by United Future but it doesn’t look like it’s on a fast track through.

  • Hakimofphut

    No need to get all depressed about hearing about the less fortunate.

    Check out the life ¬† of “Bubbles” Rothermere who Cactus Cate seems to model herself on¬†

  • NEIL

    No comment from me – too much dyed in the wool shite here. Other than to say the needy aren’t there by choice but usually through lack of intellect and that your level of intellectual capacity is not equal in everyone.

    • James Gray

      Call me a social Darwinist, but a lot of stupid people have been quite successful at reproduction. I think, to balance it all out, life needs to be harder for them or the stupid will spread.

      Maybe I’m being a cunt here but the consequences of too much stupid are very real.

      • phillip ure

        ¬†that’s just what yr mother was saying to me about you the other


    • Cactus Kate

      People who lack intellect generally do okay in the workforce and are necessary to maintain low level jobs serving managers above them.

      It is the ones who cannot use contraceptive and expect taxpayers to foot the bill that cause the problems.

      I guess the left don’t want their supporters to be hit with a cold dose of reality, they will always be at the bottom if the heap. The bottom of the heap in NZ still do ok.

      • Peter Wilson

        “People who lack intellect generally do okay in the workforce and are necessary to maintain low level jobs serving managers above them”

        Another one with poor grammar….shouldn’t that read:

        “People who lack intellect do okay in the workforce, and are necessary to serve as managers to those with interllect beneath them”

    • pidge

      Consider “unprotected sex eventually leads to parenthood”.¬† Is it really that hard to understand?¬† Though the trailer for “Idiocracy” beautifully illustrated the problem.

      • Cactus Kate

        Gee Peter I don’t know how I’ve managed to live without corrections like that.

    • Bunswalla

      The needy ARE there by choice Neil, a thousand small, and large, choices made over the course of a lifetime. And it has nothing to do with intellect, however you measure it. Take a guy like Peter Leitch and measure his “intellect” against what he’s achieved in life through determination, hard work and figuring out what he needed to do to succeed. You get what you settle for in this life, and sadly hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders settle for being what you and others term as “needy”.

      • James Jenkins

        Exactly. And I’m the first to confess that I am where I am in life through my own choices…or failure to make them when I knew I should have. “This “through no fault of their own” bullshit mantra that prevails in this country can only really apply to a few. Most Kiwis have made the choices that have got them where they are and did so with¬†their¬†eyes wide open.

  • Mother of 2 boys

    Groans – how about “All Men – wear a condom”

    • Anonymous

      Groans soulution = fence at the top of the cliff
      You solution = ambulance at the bottom :)

      it’s not fair or right that so many males shirk their responsibilities, but maybe thats something for the girls to consider before thet party naked?

    • James Gray

      How about both genders take responsibility? As the old cliche goes, it takes two to tango…

      • Anonymous

        Oh, absolutely. Only problem is one party carries more risk in the equation than the other (why that is is a different debate:)).

      • Anonymous

        I just don’t understand the people who don’t use contraceptives – they are cheap, easy to obtain and simple to use, both for males and females. As far as I’m concerned, 5% of unplanned pregnancies happen to unlucky people and 95% happen to lazy and/or stupid people. There is just no excuse for not using contraception.¬†

      • Groans

        I think they way it was for thousands of years up to 1969 (in NZ) was that if you weren’t married when the baby was born then the male was considered a bum with no claim on the child.¬† The female was considered a slag with no right to claim on the male or society.

      • Anonymous

        Groans Рlike it or not, society and its standards have evolved to the point where pregnancy outside of a committed relationship is deemed acceptable. Maybe not to you, maybe not to me Рbut to society in general it is. Make it economically difficult and I guarantee that we will see less pregnancies outside of committed relationships. When it starts occurring with a lower frequency then we will see it become less socially acceptable. And ban programs like 16 and Pregnant, or Teen Mom. 

      • James Gray

        Pregnancy outside of a committed relationship is fine so long as you have the resources to raise the child yourself, as are TV shows about being a¬†teen-aged¬†parent… If you don’t like them, don’t watch them.

        Just stop giving them money!

    • Anonymous

      Am I the only who should point out that, unless you’re in a committed relationship, you should always use a condom? Imagine all the disgusting diseases and infections you could get from someone – it makes my skin crawl…herpes, warts, syphilis, HPV – jeezo, some of those are a life long affliction for crying out loud. I don’t personally understand how anyone, male or female, could disrespect their body so much that they would expose it to that risk.¬†
      I wonder what the cost to the health system is for treating all these breeders for STD’s is.

      My point? Oh yea, condoms probably are the best option for keeping pregnancy and STD’s at bay. Personally, my partner and I (being in our late 20s/early 30s) still opt for both the pill and condoms.

      • Anonymous

        unless you’re in a committed relationship, don’t fuck.

        wouldn’t that sort most of it?

        Actually maybe it wouldn’t, as a lot of young folk wouldn’t know what one looked like…

      • Anonymous

        I think preaching abstinence right now is pretty much shutting the stable doors after the horses have bolted. Abstinence is the fence at the top of the cliff, everything else is the ambulance at the bottom. But an ambulance at the bottom is better than nothing – it’s something we have to manage more effectively.¬†

      • James Gray

        A fence at the top of the cliff makes life difficult for bungee jumpers and abseilers.

        Say no to fences, but make sure the ambulance is paid for out of their pockets

      • Phronesis

        STD’s are our friend, they are the leading cause of infertility in the western world.

        Option 1: Compulsory contraceptive implants for all beneficiary’s. Wont happen because the whinging will be unbearable.

        Option 2: Stop treating STI’s (they are infections not diseases these days, also prevents any confusion around Standards as clearly you haven’t got any…)

        For James Gray- a fence at the top of a cliff is very handy when abseiling, have to tie the rope to something after all.

      • James Gray

        Oh sorry, was trying to make a metaphor. Imagine it’s some kind of special anti-abseiling fence?

    • Peter Wilson

      What happened to women being in control of their own bodies? If you want to take all the benefits of getting pregnant……..shouldn’t you take responsibility for getting pregnant in the first place……;)

  • Agent BallSack

    Stop paying DPB past the first child. I never used it, I just worked harder and scrimped more and our child was unplanned and unexpected. However we were in a committed monogamous relationship, something no one under the age of 30 knows about.

    • Boss Hogg

      Stop WFF now.  Notify Zero DPB in nine months from completion of nation wide add campaign providing warning and just do it.  In 10 years time we will see the good news.

  • Monique Watson

    I don’t think the mismatched couple were whinging tho, can’t understand the fascination with their contraception. Unless there is objection to sucking the taxpayer teat, via WFF, but so were all farmers until recently. Own goal for talking to the Herald, with the angle all fleshed out; they just needed the poor suckers to interview.¬†

    • James Gray

      If you take the literal meaning of the article, you’re absolutely correct, if you ignore the WFF. There’s nothing wrong with roughing it like that, if that’s how you want to live, and while I hate whingers, Whinging should be ignored, not banned.

      But the subtext of the article is that we’re all terrible people for doing nothing about this.

      Also, if they’re whinging to everyone else about problems that are their own to deal with, is it unreasonable for everybody else to whinge that they didn’t take advantage of obvious solutions¬†available¬†to them?

  • Anonymous

    No sympathy whatsoever for these whining pricks.
    I have depression. It resulted in a breakdown while I was at uni. After a year or so in boarding-houses and 18 months in a halfway house, I went back to uni and finished my degree.
    After that, got a full-time job programming and have gone on from there (including paying off a mortgage on my own – only 4 years to go with that).
    These pricks should stop whining about what they can’t do, and be grateful for what they CAN do. FFS – it’s all in the mindset that you have.
    Gawd – a guy working 7 days a week at age 50, and they’re spending $280 pw on cars and petrol. Sounds like a loan-shark saw them coming.

  • jay cee

    love will conquour all, as the saying goes and that is why people go into these relationships.i doubt many of us sit down with a calculator and tally up our gross earnings before we embark on a life journey with another person. with all the best intentions in the world sometimes contraception fails,¬†yes even vasectomies, (e.g. a friend had more than one vas deferens tube and his wife became pregnant again) i know some people are either lazy or stupid when it comes to family planning but its a bit of a gross generalisation to claim that every struggling parent is on the make and became a parent in the expectation that the state would pick up the tab. as for age differences again go back to the top of this,why do women marry so called losers? the reasons again defy cold logic my theory is that probably¬† they don’t fancy being left on the shelf. yes, that attitude is still prevalent among the lower educated and those with low self esteem.

    • Thorn

      Jay cee, tell us more about your claim you are a JP.