poverty

Socialist paradise has highest poverty rates

Everywhere around the world where socialists are in control there is increasing not decreasing poverty.

The basic tenet of socialism is that everyone gets to be miserable equally.

Even in wealthy countries the lure of socialism soon turns to disaster.

The State of California, formerly the most powerful economic force in the United States outperforming the economies of all but a very few countries in the world, is now the nation’s leader in a category that the formerly conservative, but now overwhelmingly progressively liberal and Democrat Party-controlled state, has to find embarrassing.

According to a new U.S. Census Bureau report, California, which has been losing jobs to lower taxed, less state regulated states, now sports the nation’s highest rate of poverty, with almost one quarter (23.4%) of its residents living in poverty.

A depressing 8.9 million of the progressive controlled Golden State’s 38 million population are living in poverty in the once prosperous formerly conservative-run state.

Democrat-controlled Washington, D.C. came in at 22.4%

A similar study by the Public Policy Institute of California affirmed the state’s poverty rate at 22%, with some of the highest rates being in the “progressive” San Francisco area.

Los Angeles, which has been hijacked by the far left, had the highest poverty rate in the state at 26.9%.

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TVNZ now gets into Pimping the Poor

pimping

TVNZ have entered the race to find the most deserving poor person to pimp out in the search for ratings.

A homeless family struggling to find a place to live are criticising a Government move to get rid of more state houses.
 
The family have been desperately looking for a home for months now.
 
Finance Minister Bill English today blamed local councils for a shortage of houses.

Jason Howe, his partner and their two daughters are at their wits end, deep in debt and unable to get emergency housing.

“And then I heard last night that they want to sell all the houses. I don’t know what to do. So if they’re going to sell all the houses where are we going to go?” Mr Howe told ONE News, crying.

The builder broke his wrist in July. He has been on ACC ever since, slipping behind on their rent and car payments and now living in a motel.

“We’ve been on the waiting list for Housing Corp for five months now. And it shouldn’t be this way when my partner suffers, cancer, colon cancer and [is a] type one diabetic,” he said.

But the couple say Work and Income has told them they don’t qualify for emergency housing. They’re now on the waiting list for a state house.

[...]

For Jason Howe and his family, the options are grim.

“I’ve got no other choice but to sleep in my car,” he said.

If this couple is genuinely suffering then I feel sorry for them, however I have some questions.

– He supposedly broke his wrist in July which would have healed by now, were there complications? If not why is he not back working? He is on ACC the article says.

– He supposedly suffered a wrist injury but is pictured using a type of crutch, did he have another injury? If so why is it not mentioned?

– If he is going to have to live in a car how is he currently affording a motel? If he can afford a motel he could have serviced his rent supposedly.

– He is a builder, in Auckland they are in demand so he may have been on a decent wage, how would we know the article doesn’t say.

– ACC from memory pays 75 or 80 % of normal wage but I am not sure if that includes overtime but with two kids won’t he get Working for Families allowance?

– Given he has fallen behind in payments for his car is he really going to be sleeping in it?

I am sure readers will have a couple of questions of their own.

 

– TVNZ

Cat fight: Pagani vs St John

Josie Pagani and Susan St John are having a donnybrook over the direction of the Labour party and poverty.

One is an activist and member of the party the other is a lofty academic more attune with lecturing people.

My money is on the activist.

Susan St John accuses me of “visionless pro-work rhetoric” for writing in my blog about Labour’s position on extending the Working For Families tax credit to families not in work.

I’m not sure if Susan St John thinks it would be more visionary to be ‘anti-work’. I’m proud to support the core Labour value of work. The best way out of poverty is a well-paid job. The Labour movement is founded on the entitlement of working people to dignity through work and security when we can’t.

Those of us who have been in and around families needing benefits to live on have experienced the cycle of getting work, getting off the benefit and then getting back into it again. Work is the central security in our lives.

There will always be many who can’t work (or, often, could work but should not have to, such as many mothers of young children and many sick and disabled individuals among others.) Being ‘pro-work’ does not mean giving up on them or failing to represent them.

But my point was that you win the argument about doing more to help families on benefits if you can win the trust of those who are only two pay checks away from being on a benefit themselves.

Susan St John’s position implies the only way to help beneficiaries is by extending the in-work tax credit to beneficiaries. Yet we know that policy is unpopular.

So why don’t we get support to reduce child poverty and inequality? She implies the in-work tax credit for beneficiaries is unpopular because of the way it is framed. Others often say it is because voters don’t care about child poverty and inequality. I disagree.

Most New Zealanders really do care about child poverty. They understand the significance of increasing cash payments to beneficiaries. They’re not sceptical about the goal – they are sceptical about the in-work tax credit being the right tool to use.

It is revealing that, in an extensive quote from my previous column she left out this one:

“Only when we do that job properly (representing working people) do we win the trust of people to increase benefit levels; because another Labour principle is compassion.”

Yet that is the main point I was making: we lost trust. We have to ask why.

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Is it really too hard for people to bother to feed their kids?

Last night in the debate David Cunliffe delivered a sermon about starving children and how was the messiah who could deliver them from starvation.

He ignored the fact that Labour was in government for 9 years before National’s 6 years and that it is doubtful that so-called child poverty is entirely the fault of National.

There is a letter to the editor in the Herald this morning that looks into these so-called starving children that their parents can’t afford to feed.

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Friday morning Mailbag – What do we look like to people overseas?

First, the obligatory “thank but no thanks” Herald letter

Dear Editor

I have now reached the point where I can no longer subscribe to a
newspaper that has sunk to such a low point in journalistic bias as
yours has over the last weeks.

Not content with publicising a left wing orchestrated media campaign
and actually setting aside a full page interview with Mr Hager, a
self-confessed user of stolen material, you have today allowed a
political campaign by the New Zealand Council of Christian Churches to
appear as an editorial item in the on-line issue under the spurious
headline of a survey on “How Well Off are You”.

Where is the balanced reporting that shows other statistics
demonstrating there has been no increase in the income gap since the
mid-nineties if this was indeed editorial? No, it is a political
advertorial that you have allowed on your “front page”.

Regards.
Graham [redacted]

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Photo Of The Day

“Unemployed men queued outside a depression soup kitchen opened in Chicago by Al Capone,” February 1931.

“Unemployed men queued outside a depression soup kitchen opened in Chicago by Al Capone,” February 1931.

Al Capone’s Soup Kitchen during the Great Depression, Chicago, 1931

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The Number One Driver That Keeps People Trapped In “Poverty”

The Auckland City Mission has put out a report in election year (surprise surprise) titled “Speaking for Ourselves”.  They have asked 100 high users of their services about what keeps people in poverty.

I have read the report and if it wasn’t for deep breathing and that I have a pilates class for relaxation tomorrow I would require medical attention from the rise in blood pressure.

The problem with the report is that even those of you less prone to outbursts against this sort of narrative will read it and face palm.

Apparently the eight key drivers that keep people trapped in poverty are:

1. Debt

2. Justice

3. Housing

4. Employment

5. Health

6. Food insecurity

7. Services

8. Education

However reading the report I will add a ninth that is I believe the most important driver keeping these people trapped in poverty (whatever that actually is).    Read more »

Lindsay Mitchell – The Greatest Risk

Lindsay Mitchell has written a fantastic piece and has asked me to publish it so it gains a wider audience. I am very happy to do so.

As Rodney Hide said in the comments, this should be pinned to every wall in Treasury.


Growing up in 1960s New Zealand, houses were smaller and families bigger. Paradoxically, overcrowding and child poverty weren’t a major issue. Most families had two parents and many could even afford a stay-at-home mum. A very small percentage of families experienced financial hardship associated with an absent father.

What changed?

In 1973, influenced by the Royal Commission on Social Policy’s urgings, the government introduced a statutory benefit for sole parents regardless of the reason for their single parenthood. In the following 20 years unmarried births with no resident father more than quadrupled from around 2,500 to 12,000 – 22% of all births – annually. The relatively generous DPB saw single mums dropping out of the workforce. (The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society partially attributes this development to the eventual non-viability of Karitane hospitals which had provided live-in employment for unmarried mothers.)

These births accumulated in the statistics. By the early 1990s around a quarter of a million (mostly) mothers and children were dependent on the state for their survival. But the benefit still kept them above the poverty threshold.

When the incoming National government of 1990 opened Treasury books, the news was bad. This is where the authors ofChild Poverty in New Zealand pick their story up. They describe “benefit cuts of between 10 percent and 30 percent for many beneficiaries supporting children.” In fact, for a lone parent with one child, the cut was 10.7%; for those with two, 8.9 percent. The universal family benefit was abolished, but half of the savings were reallocated into increasing Family Support for beneficiaries and low-income families.

Nevertheless, the drop in income was enough to push beneficiary households below the poverty threshold (though they had probably been barely over it prior). Compounding this was the high number of partnered jobless parents created by an unemployment rate exceeding 11 percent in 1992. From that time the proportion of children in poverty, measured at below 60 percent of median disposable household income after housing costs, has been flat to falling slightly.

Sixty nine percent of children in sole parent households are poor compared to 15 percent in two parent families. Today, a lone parent heads around 30 percent of all families with dependent children. Long-term dependent sole parent families aren’t typically the result of a marriage breakdown. They hail from very young mothers with no educational qualifications, work skills or regular partner.

Every year around one in five new-born babies will be reliant on their caregivers benefit by Christmas. This pattern has persisted from at least 1993. For Maori the number jumps to over one in three.   Add to this Treasury’s advice to the Ministerial Committee on Child Poverty,

“…around 1 in 5 children will spend more than half of their first 14 years in household supported by main benefit. This group is at the highest risk of material hardship and poor outcomes across a range of dimensions”.

The worrying aspect of this pattern is its persistence through good economic times. In 2007, when New Zealand had record low unemployment, the percentage bottomed at around 19%. Over three quarters will rely on a sole parent benefit, the remainder on either an unemployment or disability benefit. While some of the reliance will be due to unforeseen circumstances like are job redundancy, most could have been predicted by the parent.
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In a recent Listener column Jonathan Boston wrote “…it is worth pausing and considering how easy we would find it to raise children under such circumstances.” The same counsel should be put to those people who can actually change the pattern. Though too much emphasis on “personal responsibility” would give less weight to “fairness and compassion” according to the book. Why these societal attributes would be mutually exclusive is unclear. Read more »

Oh no, another of Labour’s mantras of misery destroyed

Labour continues to run a mantra of misery about New Zealand, despite their claims of a positive campaign.

I think they think that if they say it enough it will become a truism rather than the Nasty party reputation they have built.

Unfortunately for them their campaign is built upon problems that are slowly coming right as the economy grows and their mantra of misery is becoming tiresome in teh face of facts.

One area that they have harped on about, inequality is also coming right according to latest reports.

Child poverty has dropped back almost to pre-recession levels, as New Zealanders’ jobs and incomes finally climb out of a five-year downturn.

The Ministry of Social Development’s latest annual report on household incomes says the number of children in households earning below 60 per cent of the median wage fell by 25,000 to 260,000 last year, the lowest number since 2007 when there were 240,000 children in poverty.   Read more »

Clare Curran prepping for pimping the poor

It looks like Clare Curran is recruiting some poor for a pimping the poor story soon about damp houses with flood risk.

pimpingpoor Read more »