Equal rights vs equality

September 19, 2008

The Research NZ survey  has generated debate at No Minister  and The Hand Mirror  over equal rights and equality and a post on the issue at No Right Turn.

The discussion reminded me of this Garrick Tremain cartoon which I cut out of the ODT several years ago.

My memory of what prompted the cartoon is a little vague but it had something to do with whether women would be admitted as members.

I don’t know what the upshot was then but am fairly certain membership is open to women now.

NZ First seeks student vote

September 19, 2008

New Zealand First is setting its sights on younger voters  with a promise to introduce a universal student allowance. Winsotn Peters made the announcement in address to University of Otago students today.

A universal student allowance would encourage more students into tertiary education,” he said.

“It would reduce the dependence of loans and the cycle of huge debt that many of our graduates face, especially those who seek the highest qualifications or choose careers in areas such as medicine.”

Do we need to encourage more students into tertiary education?

There are shortages of some skills, including trades which don’t require a univesity education, but I wasn’t aware of a shortage of students or graduates, in general.

As for reducing the dependence on loans, students do have some choices. They can take a gap year (or more) to earn money before they start university or part way through their studies; they can work full time in their holidays and part time during term; and they can take a strict approach to differentiating between necessities and luxuries to reduce the amount they need to borrow.

But regardless of what they do their education won’t be free. If students pay less for their education then taxpayers will pay more.

And paying more for the relatively short time they’re students and less for the long time most will be tax payers, is better for them, all taxpayers and the economy.

Wyomin’s Gone and Done It

September 19, 2008

This Friday’s poem had to be about women’s suffrage and I found Wyomin’s Gone and Done It here.

While we celebrate that New Zealand was the first country to give women the right to vote, in 1893, New Zealand women weren’t the first to vote. The Territory of Wyoming passed the Women’s Suffrage Act in 1869 and when Wyoming became a state in 1889 it retained the legislation.

  (State of Wyoming , 1889)
Wyomin’s gone and done it!
Why, they must be plumb insane.
There’s gotta be a reason….
maybe water on the brain.
They gave the vote to women.
They done it, God forbid.
God save our noble country
from the dastard deed they did.
They gave the vote t’ women.
They can vote just like the men.
That state’ll never prosper
or be the same again.
Them western states have always spawned
a crazy kind a’ breed.
I’ve long suspected Western folk
were smokin’ loco weed.

Wyomin’s gone and done it-
such a vile and devilish deed!
The pity is they ever taught
them females how t’ read.
Them cowboys ain’t the brightest.
Why couldn’t they at least
learn to keep their women
in their place, like men out East.

A female’s place is in the home
a’ carin’ for the men;
a’ cookin’, cleanin’, tendin’ kids.
That’s how it’s always been
Women just ain’t like us men.
They lack our common sense.
They ought t’ leave the vote to men…
it takes intelligence.
Wyomin’s gone and done it…..
passed a Suffrage Act somehow.
Them Suffragettes are all stirred up.
God help our country now!

Bette Wolf Duncan
copyright©2001 All rights reserved


Shiver me timbers

September 19, 2008

Since Homepaddock is an equal opportunity blog and I’ve mentioned women’s suffrage day several times I feel duty-bound to point out that it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

If you want to know more me hearties you’ll have to weigh anchor and yo, ho, ho, over to Life from Right Field, with or without the bottle of rum, for more details.

Choice beats compulsion

September 19, 2008

Labour’s school plus policy  will require everyone under 18 to be at school or in training.

National’s youth guarantee policy gives 16 and 17 year olds the choice of school, training or work. They can also choose to do nothing but won’t get a benefit while doing it.

Labour’s policy takes no account of the real world where there are some young people who don’t fit in the school system, can’t wait to leave, will buckle down and work but don’t want any more formal learning.

National’s policy recognises that one-size doesn’t fit all and that some people will learn better outside school and some are better in work than in a classroom.

We see quite a few of these on farms.

They’re sick of school, not interested in any other form of formal learning but they’re happy to work. Some of them will take up the opportunity to gain AgITO qualifications later and do well because they can see a point to what they’re learning but if they were forced into the classroom earlier they’d have dropped out.

Choice versus compulsion? No contest.


September 19, 2008

Another reminder that it’s the 115th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand.

It may add something to the discussion about equality a couple of posts back 🙂

Bonds better than universal allowance

September 19, 2008

National’s plan to bond some graduates who work as health professionals in areas of shortages is good but a universal student allowance would be better according to Auckland University Students Association president David Do.

If he looks at the short-term interests of individuals students he’s right. But if he looks at their long term interests and weighs up the costs and benefits to wider New Zealand he is wrong.

Bonding graduates who stay in New Zealand and use the skills the taxpayer has helped pay for them to acquire in areas of shortages is far better use of taxpayers’ money than throwing more money indiscriminately at every undergraduate.

Almost all students will be better off in the long run if they pay a bit more towards their education for the few years they are at university than if thay have to pay more tax for the rest of their lives.

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