Why kindness won’t work

Yesterday, our excellent writer Deb wrote a brilliant article about how Jacinda’s commitment to bringing kindness back could actually work. If you haven’t read the article, please do read it, because it makes constructive suggestions as to how people on benefits really could improve their lives and the lives of their children. It is a very interesting and well thought out article. quote.

Ms Benefit goes to MSD with the letter from her landlord stating she is 5 weeks behind in her rent and owes $2000.  This raises a red flag and the kindness plan is invoked.  Ms Benefit will now be wrapped in support.  Her benefit will no longer be paid directly into her bank account.  She will be assigned a budget advisor who will initially take over management of money.  The budget advisor will pay the rent and utility bills.  A food allowance will be loaded on a pre-paid card to buy food from a supermarket.  It will be limited to purchases at a supermarket, and there will be an onus on supermarket staff to disallow cigarettes and alcohol from being included in the purchase.  Likewise, a clothing allowance will be allocated, only to be spent at approved clothing stores.  If she owes money, the debt will be consolidated into a low-interest scheme with repayments made directly from her benefit. end quote.

Deb is suggesting that people who cannot manage on a benefit be ‘wrapped in support’, which takes control of their money, forcing them to live within their means. Privileges will be reintroduced as the beneficiary shows the ability to improve their budgeting skills. If this does not happen, then they never regain control over their finances again. This system would guarantee that they receive the basics of life, if not any of the luxuries, and that is exactly what the benefit is meant to provide.

But I don’t think it will ever work and not for the reasons you may think.

Not because the system would be expensive. It would be, but this is a government that would happily create the structure and the social workers needed to provide this sort of service. It would create a lot more civil servants, and what socialist government ever had a problem with that?

No. It won’t work because no socialist government would ever support it.

That seems crazy, when it is the socialists that always want to control everything – from shower heads to light bulbs, to plastic bags, to straws: the list is endless. But they will not have a bar of this scheme, no matter how smart it is.

Why not?

Because they do want to keep control over everything and the best way to keep control of people at the bottom of the heap is to leave them to make a mess of their own lives. 

Socialists don’t want beneficiaries to do better. They don’t want beneficiaries to lead healthy lives, bring up their children properly or get off the dole. They say they do, but they don’t. Because beneficiaries are much easier to control if their lives are a mess.

So the socialist politician’s response to a scheme like this would be about how it ‘takes away their dignity’ and ‘removes their choices’ when it is the socialists that want to remove everyone’s choices anyway. Beneficiaries can continue to rot at the bottom of the pile because they are less trouble that way.

So all this stuff about ‘kindness’ is just a mantra. Socialists aren’t kind. They will throw money around by creating policies, for sure, but they are never going to help people to improve their lives. But it sounds good, and that is all that matters.

The only way this scheme would ever see the light of day is if National were to run with it.

Beneficiaries wouldn’t vote for it (it would be like turkeys voting for Christmas) although few of them vote National anyway, but it might bring back some former National voters who have become disillusioned that their party has moved too far left, and could give National a big boost.

So, Deb, I think your plan has enormous merit. Time for you to go into politics and make it happen because this is what we need to make New Zealand great again.

You’d definitely get my vote and quite a few more, too, I’d say.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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