A reader emails about Oxfam, wealth and welfarism

Yesterday’s article about the wonky Oxfam claims about wealth and income inequality prompted a reader and commenter to email his thoughts.

Hi Whaleoil Team,

Just some thoughts on the Oxfam article.

This latest effort from Oxfam got me thinking about big picture Social Welfarism. For example we know in New Zealand that our (Social welfare) hand up became a hand out and in short order we had inter-generational welfare recipients in the same family/households.

The lesson they had learned was that personal actions carried little or no consequence and the taxpayer would pick up the tab and pay for their housing, food, raising their kids, schooling etc.

I know that the National Government’s drive over recent years to target the recidivists among them is starting to pay dividends in forcing them to work and take care of their kids or else.

Taking that lesson out to a macro level, I wonder about the “aid” that goes to the islands in the Pacific and third world/developing countries and if it actually does any real good?

Not in terms of saving immediate lives etc. And I’m not talking about the emergency type stuff where cyclones come through and flatten everything. To me, this is where you should be helping out your neighbors and mates.  

It just strikes me that of the billions of $$$ of aid given or gifted over the years in various development programs has not really advanced the countries that much or has it?

For example we know that much of the UN’s effort get pilfered by corrupt officials in many of the so called starving countries where the aid gets distributed. Yet nothing ever seems to happen to those responsible.

I don’t know what the answers are – I merely pose the question. Have we done too much and now created an expectation that the West will save everyone? In effect, do we now have countries not doing enough for themselves? Have the West created a welfare dependency culture that has made the problem of developing countries doing enough to sort their own problems out.

It’s a rhetorical question and I’m not advocating abandoning aid programs etc but I think its worthy of discussion.

To talk specifically about one of his points…the aid to the Pacific nations.

I know a bit about this…especially with regard to Fiji.

After the Bainimarama coup the government places so-called “smart sanctions” on Fiji and that including preventing aid to Fiji. same with Australia.

I spoke with the then Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum about this. His reply stunned me. He said it was the best thing to ever happen to Fiji. It meant they had to find their own solutions, and look at growing the economy in their own ways rather than rely on aid. It meant that Fiji grew up…it also meant that New Zealand’s aid blackmail was no longer effective and could no longer be used as a weapon against Fiji.

Aid is just a fancy word for welfare. It actually disables recipients and rarely enables them.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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