More than a little stupid

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, which is stupidest of all?

Strong arming banks and legislation was rightly met with indignation.

Then came 200 bucks for “free”, funded from tax paid by you and me.

And now you want the flag to change by whatever process you arrange.

If you think you’re going to pick it, you know just where you can stick it.

 

March hasn’t been a good month for Andrew Little, the Labour Party and anyone with hopes they might soon be fit to lead a government.

Little’s attempt to get onside with farmers by suggestions of strong arming banks and legislating to force them to reduce interest rates was met with the derision it deserved.

Then he came up with the proposal of a Universal Basic Income which, as the Herald points out is an idea that’s more bad than good  :

. . . The economy would suffer under punitive levels of taxation, avoidance would be rife, and the benefits would be illusory. . . 

The Taxpayers’ Union points out a UBI would require income tax rates of 50% or more:

A Universal Basic Income which avoided superannuates and beneficiaries being made worse off would require a flat rate income tax of more than 50% or drastic cuts in government services to pay for it, according to a new report released today.

The report, Money for all: the winners and losers from a Universal Basic Income, by economist Jim Rose, examines the Labour Party’s “Future of Work” proposal for a UBI and the more modest proposal by the Morgan Foundation.

A more affordable version of Labour’s scheme, such as that proposed by the Morgan Foundation of $11,000 per annum ($210 per week), would cost $11 billion dollars more than the existing welfare system, while making solo mothers $150 per week worse off. For superannuates, a UBI at this level would see their weekly income reduced by $50.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“We find it startling that the Labour Party would be floating the idea of a replacement to the welfare system that would see those most vulnerable in society being far worse off. A UBI replaces helping those most in need with handouts to the middle-class and millionaires.”

“If you take Labour’s assurances that no one will be left worse off under their UBI, the amount would need to be so high that Treasury’s economic modelling suggests that a flat income tax of between 50.6% and 55.7% would be needed to pay for it.”

“Here is a political party which for years has rightly been telling New Zealanders that current superannuation entitlements are unaffordable. Now they want to effectively extend the same scheme to every New Zealander from the age of 18.”

“The Morgan Foundation proposes to pay for its more modest UBI with a tax on those holding capital. Such a tax would incentivise all those modern and innovative industries Labour want to encourage, to shift off-shore.”

Jim Rose, the author of the report, says:

“We don’t believe Labour have fully considered the consequence of a UBI on labour supply and economic incentives. People would almost certainly work fewer hours meaning that the burden of supporting the programme would be borne by a fewer number of taxable working hours, potentially requiring even further tax increases.”

“Even the Labour Party’s own paper concedes that the taxes that would be required to fund a UBI higher than $11,000 per year may be ‘unrealistically high’. The analysis in the report certainly backs that.”

Key points and conclusions:

• The Morgan proposal would cost $10 billion more than the current welfare system but leave those most in need worse off.

• For a UBI to achieve any reduction in poverty levels, or to avoid it costing those in society who most need help, much higher taxes are required. These reduce the incentives to work and economic growth.

• A UBI which allowed those currently receiving benefits and/or superannuation would need to be at least $15,000 per year (equivalent to the current average level of benefits). To pay for this, Treasury estimate that a flat income tax of between 45% and 56% would need to be introduced (assuming other taxes stayed equal).

• Child poverty is not reduced by a UBI less than $15,000 per year because single parents receive no more income support than before.

• A UBI would likely push the New Zealand economy into recession off the back of the reduced labour supply from the windfall increase in incomes alone.

One of the National-led government’s successes is a reduction in number of people in long term benefit dependency with all the financial and social costs that go with it.

A UBI would reverse the good done by that and encourage more people into welfare dependency.

Not content with these two bad ideas, this morning Little has come up with another:

In the wake of the flag referendum, the opposition leader said he voted against the alternative as it “doesn’t reflect anything about New Zealand at all”.

“I’m pleased to say we haven’t adopted it,” he said. 

Mr Little said the country should revisit the issue “sooner rather than later”, suggesting a flag that “genuinely represents who we are, the diversity that is New Zealand”. 

Doesn’t reflect anything about New Zealand at all? Anyone’s views on the merits of the alternative flag are a matter of opinion but there is no arguing that the Southern Cross reflects New Zealand’s place in the world and that the fern is recognised as a symbol of New Zealand here and abroad.

It was used long before sports teams adopted it and they did so for that reason.

That aside, there is a mood for change but Little can’t lead it.

He voted for the legislation which set the process, campaigned for Labour with a policy to change the flag then, after the election put political expediency before his principles by criticising the process, the timing and the cost.

The time to criticise the process was before voting for it.

If the timing was wrong last week, it can’t be right this week.

And if the cost of the process we’ve just gone through was too high, another process “sooner rather than later” is even higher.

The party partisan part of me is amused by the way Little stumbles from one demonstration that he’s more than a little stupid to another.

The rest of me is concerned that the leader of the second biggest party in government keeps showing he’s ill-fitted to lead the Opposition let alone a government.

 

 

68 Responses to More than a little stupid

  1. Andrei says:

    Andrew Little is clearly not a future Prime Minister of New Zealand – in part because he cannot deal effectively with the nastiness and deceit of our political chattering classes

    The UBI proposal has in typical fashion been misrepresented by his opponents who are not interested in building a better society but totally focused on maintaining their high position on top of the dung hill where they can crap on everybody else

    I don’t think the UBI is workable but we could have least worked through it and discussed it as rational adults

    Fat chance in the toxic environment our political elites reveal in like pigs in shit

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  2. Will says:

    It’s not a new idea Andrei, various versions of it have been kicked around here and there many time before. Nobody can get the numbers to work. Little knows he is out of time and is desperate enough to propose pretty much anything.

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  3. Andrei says:

    I know its not a new idea Will – it goes back to Milton Friedman

    My visceral reaction to this post comes from the willful misrepresentation of this concept to sneer at Andrew Little rather than to examine the proposals put forward on their merits

    This post laments the “partisanship” that saw the current NZ flag retained but then indulges in its own “partisanship” over an opposition proposal.

    “Little knows he is out of time…

    He is but he is a symptom of the malaise among Western politicians who are a mediocre bunch to an man and woman

    We are all running out of time Will – there are tectonic shifts in human affairs every four generations or so – expressed in the old adage clogs to clogs from grandfather to grandson.

    The political elites believe they rule by divine right but they are little men (and women) and they have screwed up

    100 years since the last one began we are overdue but its happening

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  4. Gravedodger says:

    Evidence they were “Far Right Hooligans” could be useful, I cannot help but wonder they might be just teed off at what the Islamisation of their society has wrought.

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  5. homepaddock says:

    ” . . .willful misrepresentation of this concept to sneer at Andrew Little rather than to examine the proposals put forward on their merits”

    I don’t think I misrepresented the concept but you’re right I did sneer at Little which was unnecessary. I should be able to discuss an issue without being derisive about the person raising it.

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  6. TraceyS says:

    “Andrew Little is clearly not a future Prime Minister of New Zealand – in part because he cannot deal effectively with the nastiness and deceit of our political chattering classes”

    I would say that’s a very small part, Andrei. Andrew Little, with his union background, should be more than effective in dealing with any nastiness he faces because he will have seen an awful lot of it over the years.

    He was involved in a workplace where I was in an advisory role more than a decade ago and he called our offices frequently. Part of my job was investigating workplace “issues” and there I saw some of the worst cruelty (worker to worker) I have ever seen.

    Cruelty and nastiness are not limited by position, class, or socio-economic status. Toxic environments are widespread. It would be nice to think that all of the people at the bottom are good and those at the top are all bad but in my experience this just isn’t the case. The only thing which differs between the rotten apples, wherever they have fallen, is their approach.

    I am sure that Andrew Little would prefer to see the recipients of increased monetary gains earn their rewards (either through work or collective action) rather than be subjected to handouts by the Government – which is patronising and insulting. In the end, I think this is why he won’t become Prime Minister. He needs to really believe this to be best for people rather than a desperate attempt at relevance.

    The UBI idea will, without a doubt, reward some people who absolutely do not deserve it at the expense of others who absolutely do. With his background, I can’t see how he would be able to stomach that. I cannot even understand why Andrew Little has gone along with it this far when surely he knows that, for the good of many, it needs to be ruled out?

    My gut feel is that this idea will die because of the great discomfort it will (or should) cause to the one person who must be right behind it. Either that or he will go and be replaced by the concept’s fervent promoter.

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  7. Andrei says:

    Yes Ele – the concept as articulated set a basic minimum income for all over 18 – $11,000 per annum I believe is the figure given

    This does not mean the Government gives everyone over 18 $11,000 each year

    It means that if you are earning and earn over $11,000 then the first $11,000 will be tax free and you will be taxed only on income over and above this

    If however your income is below this level then the Government will top you up to meet that level

    All benefits under this proposal would be scrapped, including as it stands National Super and the income for people with earning less than $11K become $11,000 per annum which is less than most benefits today even with adjustments

    I personally don’t see this flying but the numbers being tossed about as to its costs to the taxpayer are pure fiction

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  8. TraceyS says:

    You have this wrong Andrei.

    From Labour’s own background paper:

    “A related concern is whether a UBI is unfair, because of the way in which it provides the same amount of money to vulnerable and privileged people alike. Don’t people who face difficult situations, such as solo parents or people with disabilities, deserve greater transfers from the government? And should wealthy people really get a transfer, when they are unlikely to need it? The negative income tax proposal pioneered by Milton Friedman aims to address the second objection – it tapers off support as a person’s wealth increases – but this is a different policy from a UBI (although it is related, as noted further below at 4.4). As for the first question, supplementary transfers could be provided to individuals or families in real need to target this perceived unfairness. In response to this dual challenge, it is also important to recognise the value of ensuring that the basic income is universal. Ensuring that the basic income is given to all entrenches the idea that there is a right to a minimum standard of living, and may be politically helpful in ensuring the middle-class is willing to pay for a UBI (since they, too, will benefit).

    (The emphasis is mine)

    https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/nzlabour/pages/4208/attachments/original/1458272685/Background_Paper_-_A_Universal_Basic_Income_for_New_Zealand.pdf?1458272685

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  9. Will says:

    Are you sure Andrei? I’m too lazy to check but I don’t think that’s the proposed policy at all. UBI is mooted as a possible way to transition to an economy where machines do all the work, but as yet it’s just science fiction.

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  10. Andrei says:

    Yes I was wrong Will – I thought they were proposing the Friedman thing

    It will never see the light of day and that’s a fact

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  11. TraceyS says:

    I think that the word “universal” defines the meaning effectively. As for the numbers “being tossed about as to its costs to the taxpayer” being “pure fiction” – clearly they aren’t fiction in the least. In fact, the costs could actually be much higher than those identified. For example, has anyone calculated the cost of extra funding required for rest homes which rely on pension income for quite a bit of their revenue? If the pension is reduced then so will an important source of revenue (there goes the argument to pay care workers what they are worth).

    More rest homes would also need to be built because many pensioners will not be able to survive well on the UBI at home. We can dream that younger family members who are, of course, also paid the UBI won’t need to spend as much time at work and will therefore have the opportunity to care for their elders. They might even prop their elders up with their own, in many cases superfluous, UBI entitlement. Yeah right! That will not happen for the majority. It may work for the loved and revered, but what about the rest? We still end up with an underclass whom no one cares much about.

    One of the main ideas behind the UBI being universal is that when a person goes in and out of work they will not have to apply and re-apply for an unemployment benefit with all of the shame and difficulty that entails. If you have a well-paying job you get the UBI, regardless of your current income, because the Labour Party doesn’t expect you to keep that good job for long. That’s how much faith they have in you and your employer. And you certainly cannot be expected to invest some of your disposable income in case you need something to live off in unexpected circumstances. Oh no!

    The “future of work” and the ideas expressed are decades old of course. They can be attributed as originating from Charles Handy and Peter Drucker before him (both management gurus of the business world). In this (1991) interview Handy said:

    “I mean that we are beginning to see the end of the employee society. The idea that we can provide a job inside an organization for everyone who wants a job will no longer be possible.”

    Sounds just like Grant Robertson (who maybe missed his calling).

    http://www.amazon.com/FUTURE-OF-WORK-Charles-Handy/dp/0855206896 (Published 1984)

    Click to access GPI%20policy%20paper%20no.27.pdf

    The following Government paper attributes Handy. It’s not dated so I don’t know how old it is. Judging from the sources referenced (most recent being 2002) it is more than a decade old.

    Click to access Fow-stocktake.PDF

    I can’t see any attribution to Handy on any of the Labour documents. Maybe they’re there and I just cannot see them? If not, they should be. It’s no good to simply ignore original sources (perhaps because they once or twice said something positive about capitalism).

    How people can be fooled that there is anything new in this I do not know. It’s old hat. It’s like Labour have been sleeping and just woke up.

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  12. TraceyS says:

    I like this prediction (now reality) from the same interview 25 years ago:

    “Unions face both a problem and an opportunity. The problem, as you rightly see it, is that they are centralized bargaining organizations who like to deal with other centralized bargaining organizations, the employers. And as those employers are more decentralized, unions will have their power seriously weakened.

    On the other hand, there is a great opportunity for them. Recently, a senior member of the Trade Union Congress in Britain said that the unions in this country have a great decision to make: do they continue to represent the decaying rump of the manufacturing labour force, or do they represent the work force of the next century. I said, “That’s very exciting. What do you mean by the work force of the next century?”

    He said, “They are all the small groups, all the independents who are outside the organization and who desperately need an association to provide a range of ancillary services, such as education, legal help, protection, and advice.” Of course the question is, Which way will the unions decide to go?

    And he said, “There’s no doubt! They will continue to represent the dwindling rump of the manufacturing labour force because like any impoverished-thinking business, they will try and get a larger share of the declining market rather than going to the new market.”

    And then came the realisation that the only way a decent share of the new market could be assured would be to make each and every adult an ’employee’ of the State!

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  13. Dave Kennedy says:

    Superannuation is a UBI provided to all those over 65 and yet no one appears to be questioning that (despite the fact that it involves well over 600,000 people).

    Hayek also supported a guaranteed minimum income as explained here by a Libertarian website:

    “A basic income gives people an option – to exit the labor market, to relocate to a more competitive market, to invest in training, to take an entrepreneurial risk, and so on. And the existence of that option allows them to escape subjection to the will of others. It enables them to say “no” to proposals that only extreme desperation would ever drive them to accept. It allows them to govern their lives according to their own plans, their own goals, and their own desires. It enables them to be free.”

    “Of course, a basic income would need to be funded by taxation (or would it?), and so would seem to involve the imposition its own kind of coercion. Hayek recognized this fact, but like most in the classical liberal tradition, Hayek did not believe that all taxation was incompatible with freedom. What makes the coercion of the slavemaster, or the monopolist, so worrisome for Hayek is that it involves the arbitrary imposition of one person’s will on another. By contrast, a tax system that is clearly and publicly defined in advance, that imposes only reasonable rates for genuinely public purposes, that is imposed equally upon all, and that is constrained by democratic procedures and the rule of law, might still be constitute interference, but not arbitrary interference.”

    http://www.libertarianism.org/columns/why-did-hayek-support-basic-income

    The UBI needs to be properly considered as Andrei suggested. The current management of benefits is a bureaucratic nightmare and many deserving people miss out on what they should be entitled to because of holes in the safety net.

    I am also interested in how Tracey determines who deserves to have a basic income and who wouldn’t. We spend around $100,000 a year to keep each convicted rapist and murderer in prison and I’m sure a UBI would involve pay that much to each individual.

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  14. Whichever politician touches superannuation will get a nasty shock. It’s not universal either as it’s only for those over 65.

    Andrew Little suffers from the Cunliffe-ism of saying different things to different audiences. Two weeks ago he wanted to look at a ban on irrigation, last week he wanted to support the farmers with a bail out, this week he is back to hating on farmers again by receiving that tourism industry petition on water quality. All the tears and screaming at that event was very ironic given that tourism is getting a tax payer subsidy of $11m to deal with their freedom campers crapping in the environment. That’s on top of approximately $183m of other subsidies the tourism industry gets. And they have the cheek to have a go at irrigation which the govt LOANS money to rather than subsidises. Andrew Little needs to sort his crap out and get some consistency.

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  15. Will says:

    So do the Greens. How about making Air New Zealand pay for their emissions. All of them. Obviously not ALL airlines, just the New Zealand ones. That would be consistent with their Ag policy.

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  16. TraceyS says:

    “Superannuation is a UBI provided to all those over 65 and yet no one appears to be questioning that…”

    Yes, someone here has. You have.

    And now you appear to support extending similar to everyone. Why would you support massively extending something you regard as questionable?

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  17. Mr E says:

    I think the general theme of this thread is interesting.

    As we roll towards another election, polls indicate that National is still well ahead of other parties, and the ‘left right gap’ is still significant.

    How could it be after successive terms that National is still polling so well? Is ‘Teflon John’ a real effect?

    Nah… I don’t think so. Support is there to be lost for the left. And I suspect the weird ideas some keep putting forward are hurting them.

    There was a time that any news was good news. Having your name in the paper was a way of getting some support, regardless of the content. But it seems media commentators are more veracious than what they used to be. It is rare to feel that one promotes unbaised views. And some are known for attack tactics.

    I think Labour needs to avoid this idea that any news is good news. Labour are not trying to appeal to the mindless masses, swing voters swing because of sensible policy.

    Pain can easily be inflicted in these times of social media. Labour needs to tread mindfully. They can’t afford to be promoting anything but sensibility. To me they seem very distant from that concept at this date.

    Support is there to be lost. And lost it seems to be.

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  18. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, I haven’t supported anything apart from suggesting we need a thorough analysis of the idea and this hasn’t occurred. I do question the increasing costs of superannuation when it comes from a shrinking tax take and money to support other areas of society is sacrificed to support it.

    25% of our children live in relative poverty while only 5% of our elderly do. We do more to support those in their twilight years than those who will be our future.

    Given that families with young children are amongst the poorest households perhaps there is a good argument for a family UBI?

    We also need to think of the savings created when we remove the estimated $5 billion annual cost of dealing with the symptoms of child poverty. We could pay for it by doing what Australia is doing to deal with multinational tax avoidance.

    National does not generally do proper cost benefit analysis of their policies (few of the Roads of National Significance were properly assessed for cost benefit) and have not been enthusiastic about the Greens idea of getting treasury to independently cost election promises. Let Treasury look at Labour’s UBI idea and see if it actually stacks up.

    I agree with Mr E that the opposition’s inability to produce a credible alternative to National is what keeps it in power and its standing in polls. When the Greens and Labour worked together in 2014 we had our highest polling results and were ahead of National.

    The other reason for National’s success is its clever Crosby Textor strategies and PR that allows it to deal with negative outcomes. In reality the state of our nation has deteriorated under National. Our environment is more degraded, our public and private debt is higher, our education rankings have plummeted, child poverty and domestic violence is up and so is our prison population. It is purely bad management when our economy was supposedly performing better than most since the GFC and yet this success was only really enjoyed by the top 10% of income earners, who have seen their personal wealth increase substantially while those in the lowest quintile have seen their buying power reduced.

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  19. TraceyS says:

    “I am also interested in how Tracey determines who deserves to have a basic income and who wouldn’t.”

    While I am interested in how Dave determines who should pay for all and sundry to have a universal basic income.

    Because it seems to me that for one person to be freed from the ‘slavemaster’ another must become more beholden to him (or her).

    And for two-hundred or so dollars a week you’re kidding yourself that anybody will be freed anyway.

    You have to free yourself, and if you can’t, then find something to satisfy within the opportunities present.

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  20. TraceyS says:

    Dave at 11:17 am, read Labour’s UBI background paper. If it is not universal then it is not a UBI.

    “Ensuring that the basic income is given to all entrenches the idea that there is a right to a minimum standard of living, and may be politically helpful in ensuring the middle-class is willing to pay for a UBI (since they, too, will benefit).”

    https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/nzlabour/pages/4208/attachments/original/1458272685/Background_Paper_-_A_Universal_Basic_Income_for_New_Zealand.pdf?1458272685

    Entrenches, ensures, and eventually….enslaves (“entrench” and “willing” don’t even belong in the same paragraph in my opinion).

    “Let Treasury look at Labour’s UBI idea and see if it actually stacks up.”

    Somehow I think that “stacks up” might mean something different to you than it does to me.

    Like

  21. Will says:

    I think National’s strength is largely due to the way they try to run the country for the benefit of all, rather than just their supporters. I’m not saying they always succeed, but you generally don’t see them picking on law-abiding groups like you do with the others. The Maori party are blatant about it “our people” but make no mistake, if you belong to a demographic that rarely votes left, then God help you if they get in. You are not really a citizen, just a source of wealth to be stripped, your property used to buy votes elsewhere. Then there is all the hyperbole. When Dave goes on about our horribly degraded environment or the dreadful poverty, we all know it’s not really true. It might get a ready audience over-seas, but we all live here. It does not match the reality.

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  22. Dave Kennedy says:

    “While I am interested in how Dave determines who should pay for all and sundry to have a universal basic income.”

    Tracey you are trying to create an argument where there isn’t one, the only thing I have supported is for treasury to properly assess the value of a UBI. Currently we can’t afford the superannuation National supports when it is actually sucking funding from other areas of social concern as costs increase every year.

    A UBI would work if there are substantial savings in reducing the current benefits bureaucracy and the reduction in the costs of supporting those in difficult circumstances make it worthwhile. There is also the social value of those who are in difficult circumstances not having to be humiliated by the current beneficiary process. The value would have to outweigh the costs.

    I note that you have avoided explaining who you think wouldn’t deserve a UBI. Most of the people that I think that you may believe are underserving are most likely those who have been through abusive family backgrounds and CYFs. It may be cheaper paying them a UBI then paying $100,000 a year to keep them in prison.

    A UBI will probably require an increase in tax income and given the fact that there is around $10 billion of lost income through tax fraud, that will be a good place to start. Given that John Key recently stated that we only collect $29 billion a year in tax revenue, even if $5 billion were recovered it would be helpful.

    We could also pay for a UBI if National reduced its support of corporate welfare. I note it is going to stop subsidising carbon credits for polluting businesses and that is a good start.

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  23. Dave Kennedy says:

    “I think National’s strength is largely due to the way they try to run the country for the benefit of all, rather than just their supporters.”

    Easy response 😉
    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/nbr-rich-list-2015-wealth-creators-shine-brightly-amid-economic-prosperity-db-176346
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/73188974/demand-for-oamaru-food-bank-on-the-rise
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/8830344/Private-schools-snare-special-needs-cash

    Will, I would love to see examples of this Government benefitting all. Private schools are bailed out and receive increases in funding while special needs schools are closed. Whenever those on the lowest incomes get a modest boost, those in the top brackets enjoy substantial pay rises. The top 10% of earners have now captured 50% of this nation’s wealth, while the bottom 50% of earners share only 5%.

    I can link you to many articles that provide evidence to the growing segregation between income earners and the huge differences between schools in different communities. Upward income mobility is less likely now than it has ever been, if you are born poor now you are more likely to remain poor.

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  24. Dave Kennedy says:

    Another interesting article that demonstrates this Government’s support of a low wage economy: http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/politics/govt-accused-of-creating-low-wage-economy/

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  25. Will says:

    That’s what I mean, something for everyone. Even you can’t seriously expect a beneficiary to do as well as a college principle. But at least neither got taken to the cleaners. The thing is it makes people nervous it could happen to them. You know…’first they came for the dairy farmers and I did nothing because I was not a dairy farmer.’

    I’m not trying to convince you Dave, it’s just what I observe. The Left are terribly partisan, that’s why there are so many leftist parties, you’re like the “Peoples’ Front of Judea.” you can’t help yourselves. Goodness only knows what kind of government you lot would form.

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  26. Will says:

    And you target the wrong things Dave. You should pick a few key issues with realistic solutions and work hard on them.
    eg. Everyone knows politicians can’t control the climate, at least everyone out there in the real world. And people just don’t believe much of your negativity. I’ll take your word about the special schools, presumably crippled orphans are out on the street somewhere, but things like that just don’t resonate with the public at large.

    I’d say the government is vulnerable on the plight of first home buyers. It may not be their fault entirely, but there is real concern and it’s widespread. They just seem to be faffing around with it, worried that a decline in house values would scare the boomers. But those boomers are worried about where their children are to live. And the asset sales are still hugely unpopular. If you want to get crazy, threaten to nationalise them. No-one will buy a govt. asset again, which is important to you people isn’t it. Solving housing would require equally radical steps, but it could be done with a bold, broad plan. Bold, radical plans are not easy, but look at the rubbish Little is coming out with. A plan for an era that is not even upon us.

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  27. Name Withheld says:

    The other reason for National’s success is its clever Crosby Textor strategies and PR that allows it to deal with negative outcomes.
    You are just as deluded stupid as Angry Andy.
    But if you combine a sense that people are feeling that life is tougher along with this change in the tone of a lot of communications — some of which are coming from well-paid PR operatives too I might add —

    Sigh…

    Unemployment 5.3%, down 0.5%
    Wages up 2.1% from a year ago
    Inflation just 0.1% from a year ago (down 0.7%)
    GDP up 2.5%
    Mortgage rates 5.77%, down 0.94%

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  28. Dave said: “Tracey, I haven’t supported anything apart from suggesting we need a thorough analysis of the idea and this hasn’t occurred.”

    I don’t know if you are talking about superannuation or UBI but both have been analysed over and over again and then in the case of raising the super age it was put to the electorate and they took it out the back and shot it. End of story.

    “Given that families with young children are amongst the poorest households perhaps there is a good argument for a family UBI?”

    We already have Working for Families which gives free money to families. Obviously it’s a failure if we have too much poverty. We should scrap it right?

    “We also need to think of the savings created when we remove the estimated $5 billion annual cost of dealing with the symptoms of child poverty.”

    You assume that poverty is going to disappear somehow. No one has made that happen before. What makes you think you can do it?

    “Let Treasury look at Labour’s UBI idea and see if it actually stacks up.”

    No one has made the numbers stack up yet. Not even the Labour party who are talking about this policy but simultaneously distancing themselves from it.

    “I agree with Mr E that the opposition’s inability to produce a credible alternative to National is what keeps it in power…”

    This is true – and yet you go on saying National has done terribly which we must agree would have been even more terrible under Labour/Greens which we can all agree are not a credible alternative.

    “Tracey you are trying to create an argument where there isn’t one, the only thing I have supported is for treasury to properly assess the value of a UBI. Currently we can’t afford the superannuation…”

    What’s the point of considering a benefit for people who are working if we can’t afford the pension for those who have finished working and can no longer work. They have paid their dues and deserve a pension.

    “A UBI would work if there are substantial savings in reducing the current benefits bureaucracy and the reduction in the costs of supporting those in difficult circumstances make it worthwhile.”

    Oh so now you DO think it would work. No need for treasury then?

    Like

  29. Dave Kennedy says:

    “No one has made the numbers stack up yet.”
    Evidence? who has done the analysis?

    Will, during the last election the Greens did present well costed practical solutions and policies. The R&D policy met with wide support, so did the school hubs to deal with struggling families. Our tax policy was also well received as practical and we were the only Party to promote tax cuts as well as paying down debt faster than any other.

    New Zealand can’t single handedly reverse the damage to the climate, but we can do our share. We currently have the highest emissions per capita and this Government has allowed an increase of 13% over the last 7 years.

    I agree with you about the issues around housing. I do believe that social housing is best built and managed by the Government. With access to cheap loans and the ability to keep construction costs down through economies of scale it is best placed to do what the Savage Government achieved in building around 40% of our current stock. Instead of reinvesting in social housing and its maintenance National has has been sucking unreasonable dividends from the rental income to top up their depleted coffers.

    NW
    More facts:
    -Those underemployed have grown by over 20,000 in two years
    -Average rental costs have steadily risen well above inflation (over 5% a year)
    -GDP is an indication of economic activity only and so property sales and the Christchurch rebuild is included, neither are sustainable.
    -Mortgage interest rates may be down but Auckland house prices increased by 14% last year.
    -Homelessness in central Auckland doubled in one year.

    Understanding the economy is more involved than what you present.

    Like

  30. Dave Kennedy says:

    Correction-We currently have the “amongst” the highest emissions per capita

    Like

  31. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, for better analysis of the shallowness of GDP as a measure, this is worth a read:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11613468

    Like

  32. Will says:

    Alright, I was wrong. You just don’t get it. What troubles me is that due to MMP some leftist collective could actually form a government of sorts, but if you break that collective into its party units, you will find they are at war with practically the whole country. Seem to actively hate nearly everyone. How did we come to this?

    Like

  33. TraceyS says:

    “A UBI would work if there are substantial savings in reducing the current benefits bureaucracy…”

    Just how much of the pie (of total welfare expenditure) do you reckon that the “benefits bureaucracy” occupies?

    Look at the top 10 welfare expenditure categories. They are all direct or indirect benefits to people. Collectively they represent 90% of total budgeted welfare spending.

    So, based on your suggestion of making operational savings to fund the UBI,10% of the present budget, at the very most, is what there is to play around with without directly disadvantaging someone. Because you can’t achieve anything radical on a 10% saving.

    From your previous comments on this and other threads we know that you consider the sacrificial group should be our elderly.

    Like

  34. Dave Kennedy says:

    “but if you break that collective into its party units, you will find they are at war with practically the whole country.”

    Will, If you look at this Government’s spending priorities it is obvious that the already rich get special support. They got substantial tax cuts (that removed a huge hunk from Government revenue) and their private schools receive a disproportionate amount of extra funding per student. Big business also receive favourable treatment (like Warner Bros and Sky City) and legislation to limit the harm of alcohol or gambling is often reduced due to industry lobbying. Healthy food in schools legislation was removed to favour the processed food industry and now that we have a diabetes crisis there is no interested in taxing sugar. Despite the huge capital gains achieved from property investments (a common contributor to the wealth of our richest) there has been no effective capital gains tax to remove the heat from property markets.

    Who do you believe the Greens are at war with? We certainly have made an effort to support SMEs. families and ordinary working people. We have good relationships with education and health professionals and a past Feds President features on our website. We also support larger companies that have an ethical and sustainable business culture and our fundraising gained support from businesses, unions and a range of ordinary New Zealanders.

    “From your previous comments on this and other threads we know that you consider the sacrificial group should be our elderly.”

    I’d love you to find a quote that supports that. I have only suggested that they elderly get a level of support that is not also available to vulnerable families and children. Why can’t we support the next generations as well as we support our elderly. Investing in our future should ensure that we can continue to afford the current levels of superannuation, a low wage economy with a high level of state dependents won’t allow it.

    Like

  35. “Evidence? who has done the analysis?”

    Tax Payers Union hired someone to do one. NZ Herald did one too. They did an editorial on it.

    I actually laughed at your comment about the Greens offering tax cuts at the last election. I can only remember them threatening unjust taxes on water which the users had already paid to reticulate. I also remember Greens supporting capital gains tax.

    Like

  36. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Tax Payers Union hired someone to do one. NZ Herald did one too.”

    James, Links? I would be interested to know their qualifications and the depth of analysis.

    Just to make sure you are better informed, here is our actual water policy from the last election:

    Click to access env-rivers-20140711-2_0.pdf

    Here’s our taxation and monetary policy:
    https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/green-taxation-and-monetary-policy

    And here is our tax cut policy that provides incentives to reduce GHG emissions:

    Click to access green_party_climate_protection_plan.pdf

    Enjoy 😉

    Like

  37. Mr E says:

    ‘I agree with Mr E that the opposition’s inability to produce a credible alternative to National’

    ‘Our environment is more degraded’

    Dave, we agree. The opposition is not credible.

    How long have I waited for this moment?

    Like

  38. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, enjoy the moment 😉
    It is the public perception of a unified alternative that is lacking, but the potential is there to change that.

    By 2017 what will National have achieved and what hope will it offer?

    It came to power in 2008 promising an economic future based on coal and oil…anyone remember Solid Energy and Anadarko…?

    In 2011 it promised a massive $13 billion worth of motorways (RoNS)…the cost benefit analysis came after the promise…
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11363005

    In 2014 it was all dairy, irrigation, doubling agricultural exports and a new flag…
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/rural/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503421&objectid=11141498

    Notice a pattern?

    And we are still paying the price for what National did in the 90s…
    http://www.interest.co.nz/property/74682/leaky-homeleaky-building-crisis-appears-far-over-new-cases-continue-emerging-and

    I agree that the opposition parties need to present a more unified image… but what we have currently is pretty dire…(Crosby Textor’s smoke screens are struggling).

    Like

  39. Will says:

    Greens hate…Dairy farmers, cars and roads, wealthy people (not counting themselves), private schools, oil industry (but they like airlines), coal industry (but not coal miners), John Key, and the elderly. (If you really want a dose of ageism, read something by Generation Zero).

    Labour hate…Sheep farmers (something about 1913), Chinese people, Jews, wealthy people (again, not themselves), John Key, anyone who owns a business, private schools, white heterosexual males, bankers, pretty much anyone with the temerity to venture an opinion that differs from theirs.

    NZ First hates…Asians, immigrants, the Greens, John Key, change and other stuff depending on which way the wind blows.

    Maori Party…anyone not Maori.

    It’s not a good look Dave, no wonder we’re all a bit afraid of you. You’re not good people.

    Like

  40. Will says:

    Here’s a thing. Someone attempted a ram-raid at our local garage last night, stole a ute and tried to drag the ATM away. They have CTV footage. What interests me is that he wore a ‘high vis vest.’

    An oddly law-abiding criminal.

    Like

  41. Name Withheld says:

    It is the public perception of a unified alternative that is lacking, but the potential is there to change that.

    It is the public perception Reality of a unified alternative that is lacking,
    There…fixed it for you.

    (Crosby Textor’s smoke screens are struggling).
    Just keep believing that and your continuing relentless negativity and we will continue to be safe from greens in power.

    Like

  42. Name Withheld says:

    Its called…………..
    Resting ones case.

    Like

  43. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Greens hate…Dairy farmers, cars and roads, wealthy people (not counting themselves), private schools, oil industry (but they like airlines), coal industry (but not coal miners), John Key, and the elderly. (If you really want a dose of ageism, read something by Generation Zero).”

    This is simplistic nonsense. Let’s get all of these in perspective:

    The Greens do not hate dairy farmers, we didn’t like the way the industry was being expanded beyond sustainable levels and agriculture in New Zealand had become less diverse and resilient. If more dairy farmers had restricted their operations to herd sizes that didn’t require imported feed and a greater number shifted to organics then the industry would now be better off. We also wanted great investment in R&D and a focus on added value rather than quantity. This approach is now mainstream thinking.

    We do not hate cars, what we want is a balanced strategy that invests more in public transport and cycling etc that is in line with what is happening overseas. Building more roads is a simplistic and expensive way of reducing traffic congestion. National has finally accepted the need to invest in Auckland public transport, but it has taken a while. We agree with Simon Bridges’ support for electric cars.

    We believe that climate change is a real threat, as does the majority of governments and scientists now. We don’t support a ban on the use of oil but want a clear strategy and transition to cleaner energy sources. Until alternatives are in place we still have to operate in the current fossil fueled transport systems. Oil companies are amongst the richest in the world and yet they receive over $500 billion in subsidies a year and they have huge lobbying power. This has slowed the transition to lower carbon economies. This government refuses to put a strategy in place and take a leadership role. Bill English has openly said that they believe the market will deliver change, while ignoring the fact that the oil industry dominates the market for its own interests.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies

    Coal is the worst contributor to GHG and we don’t believe that opening new coal mines would be sensible. We didn’t support the closing of existing mines when too many workers had no jobs to go to.

    I don’t believe John Key treats the office of Prime Minister with respect. His sharing of personal information (peeing in the shower) and behaviour in the house is appalling and he should be leading by example and not have to be pulled up constantly by the speaker for personal asides and unnecessary comments. His lack of honesty on so many matters and use of gutter press has dragged politics to the lower level than we experienced since Muldoon. I wish National would return to the sort of conservative politics that Brian Tallboys and Sir Keith Holyoake represented and I thought Simon Power represented a level of decency that is currently lacking in the current leadership.

    We don’t hate the elderly, we just wish that our children and young families could receive the same level of support. We have too many children being brought up in unhealthy, substandard homes and in dysfunctional families. 80% of all young prisoners were under CYFs at some stage. Rather than investing in solutions this Government has actually reduced funding from the very institutions that are dealing with social housing and domestic abuse. If we don’t have a capable younger generation that can contribute positively to the economy then we won’t be able to afford superannuation and yet our prison population is about to reach 10,000.

    Based on what you have said about other parties I could say this about National:

    National hates children, beneficiaries, DoC, solo parents, ordinary workers, teachers, academics, scientists, the environment, fair industrial relations, small businesses, the RMA , rural communities…

    Obviously this is very simplistic but there is lots of evidence to show funding cuts and policy that has negative impacts against all 😉

    Like

  44. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, Good Grief, the rise of Cameron Slater again, you guys do love to roll in the gutter 😛

    Like

  45. Name Withheld says:

    The only one rolling in the gutter is your pathetically immature and stupid leader.
    I don’t think Cameron Slater initiated the tweets or took the selfies, did he?
    Mind you your comprehension skills are often in question here.

    Like

  46. Dave Kennedy says:

    For NW:

    Turei’s tweets have won two high-profile fans, with Hilary Barry and Paul Henry both praising them on Henry’s Newshub morning show.

    Speaking about the tweets, Barry said, “I loved it, good on you! That’s my kind of tweeting.

    “She’s fun – she had a low-alcohol cider – or five – and had a bit of fun.”

    Henry agreed, adding: “I love her, I just love her – she’s a bit nuggety, isn’t she?”

    And just to remind you about Metiria’s journey, within ten years she had progressed from being an unemployed solo mum to becoming a successful commercial Lawyer and MP. That takes hard work, determination and real ability.

    I can personally vouch for Metiria’s wacky sense of humour and sense of fun but she is also a very smart woman who made this speech at the beginning of the year:

    Like

  47. TraceyS says:

    “We don’t hate the elderly, we just wish that our children and young families could receive the same level of support.”

    Education expenditure is about $1bn higher than NZ Super expenditure. There will be some retirees who are also students but the majority are younger. There are other child/family related benefits as well.

    Our young have a right to education but so too do our elderly have a right to be relieved from work when they decide the time is right. They still need a means to live when this time comes.

    If NZ Super is reduced then my mother, who is currently living independently with support, will be straight back into a rest home. This is because she would not be able to afford to stay where she is. Her residential care would cost taxpayers around $50k per year.

    When people go into long term residential care the State takes back all of their NZ Super except for $40 per week. So any reduction to NZ Super entitlements means either a drop in funding to rest homes or the Government putting funding back in to bump up the residential care subsidy.

    Dave may not have much sympathy for rest homes but they are not all private businesses making a profit. I would predict that any reduction in NZ Super will see a lot more elderly going into care prematurely and non-for-profit homes struggling to survive. Either that or the cost savings achieved by reducing NZ Super would be eaten up providing a much increased level of community-level care and support.

    I suppose one way of looking at it is that the young won’t have to be burdened with helping to support and look after their elders if they are all stuffed away in rest homes. That, along with their $200 a week bonus, should free them up nicely for creative pursuits like weaving, painting and writing books.

    To me this is about values. I value work both paid and unpaid (for different reasons). And I value my parents because they, not the State, raised me. These days some seem to expect that the State should provide for the raising of their kids. These children will grow up to be more grateful to a faceless, unloving, State than their parents. What a future! We are all going to get old, nothing is surer, and we make our beds.

    Like

  48. TraceyS says:

    Dave Kennedy at 12:12pm:

    …turns up at meetings in her community, contributes nothing, leaves early.

    Like

  49. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, you still don’t understand my argument, I do not support the elderly getting less support, I want our children to get more ( I seem to be repeating myself 😛 ).

    The most important, formative years of a person’s life are the first five and yet more under fives are having to live in substandard homes than any other sector. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/275458/'they're-getting-sick

    One of the first things National did was wipe $400,000 from the early childhood education sector and reduce the number of qualified staff that would be funded. It has then forced beneficiary parents to put their children into care after the age of three and yet a recent review of Early Childhood education revealed that almost 50% do not meet the developmental needs of the children. This is not building economic and social capability for the future of our country but crippling it. It will only cost us more as a greater % of our workforce become unemployable and our prison population grows further.

    I support the Children’s Commissioner’s concerns over deteriorating conditions for many children, I’m surprised that you don’t feel that they need more support.
    http://www.occ.org.nz/

    The state is dictating the standards of care for our most vulnerable and setting them low. This isn’t about the state bringing up children but setting the standards for institutions children are forced to be part of and ensuring families have the right support to be able to live independently. For example, by removing support for tertiary education for sole parents it locks them into low paying employment and doesn’t allow them to reach their potential like Paula and Metiria were able to do. This Government is supporting the cycle of dependency not lifting families above it. http://www.salvationarmy.org.nz/support-us/food-banks

    I don’t support your values when they ignore the realities of many children’s lives and results in fewer choices and opportunities not more. You values are skewed when you put the rights of the elderly above children, they both deserve support and investing in children is an investment in our future.

    Like

  50. Dave Kennedy says:

    1:44pm…Tracey you lost me with that comment. Please explain.

    Like

  51. Dave Kennedy says:

    For Tracey, the level of entitlement for elderly has been maintained and inflation adjusted, while the level of support for children and families has been cut in an ongoing way since the 1990s. No wonder we have children in dire need:

    Like

  52. TraceyS says:

    “Tracey, you still don’t understand my argument, I do not support the elderly getting less support, I want our children to get more ( I seem to be repeating myself ).”

    Who wouldn’t want to see children get more if more is put to good use? I want children to have more too but I know that more has to be paid for somehow. One thing that my upbringing taught me was that “more” doesn’t just land in your lap. You have to go get it.

    “It will only cost us more as a greater % of our workforce become unemployable and our prison population grows further.”

    This is exactly what Labour is saying with the UBI suggestion, ie. that there won’t be jobs for people and it will cost more to support them. But does anyone really believe that a $200 per week benefit would stop people from doing crime?

    “I support the Children’s Commissioner’s concerns over deteriorating conditions for many children, I’m surprised that you don’t feel that they need more support.”

    Quote me Dave (bet you can’t).

    “This isn’t about the state bringing up children but setting the standards for institutions children are forced to be part of and ensuring families have the right support to be able to live independently.”

    Independently from whom? I have a family and we are what would be considered financially independent. But in reality we are dependent on our workers and their families, and clients and their families, our suppliers and their families, our local community of families, and our own immediate families (aunts, uncles, cousins etc). Culturally, independent families are not necessarily the ideal, and for most of human history independent families were not a ‘thing’.

    But I think what you mean is that families should be independent from the State. The universal basic income, however, (and I know you don’t support the idea – but that’s the topic of this thread so I’ll keep coming back to it) makes everyone more or less dependent on the State. Universal = everyone. How could that possibly be good?

    “…by removing support for tertiary education for sole parents it locks them into low paying employment and doesn’t allow them to reach their potential like Paula and Metiria were able to do.”

    They both had one child each didn’t they? How many examples are there of solo Mums who have achieved this with three or five kids? Very few – they are too busy. The kind of support needed is different. Not many solo parents that I know have just one child.

    “I don’t support your values when they…”

    I am not asking you to support or approve my values. That is not necessary. But you have no right to criticise them. I do not criticse yours. So why do you feel the need to criticise mine?

    Like

  53. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, what you don’t seem to understand is that when it comes to children, financial inputs are actually an investment in our future. As I said before properly target spending on children in the early years means we are not spending $100,000 a year to keep them in prison later. Considering that our prison population is growing and so are police callouts for domestic violence, effective interventions are obviously not occurring now. This Government is actually restricting spending on special needs in education (41 less frontline staff than in 2011) and yet our elderly get a rapidly increasing proportion of our taxes.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11543818

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/69348442/new-zealand-superannuation-the-facts-and-the-fiction

    This Government is known for making ideological decisions (motorways, privatising state housing) without any cost benefit analysis. Any decision around spending should be based on sound research and good value. We also have to have some long term strategies and not looking at what is immediately cheap to balance the books but will have a greater cost later (like the Transmission Gully PPP).

    One way to ensure more families can survive independently of the state (Working for Families is a growing cost) is to ensure living wages are more common but too many businesses insist that they can’t afford to pay a living wage and that the Government wage subsidies should continue.

    Like

  54. Mr E says:

    “she had progressed from being an unemployed solo mum to becoming a successful commercial Lawyer and MP”

    Progressed?

    Dave, you’ve been outspoken on this blog about the people undervaluing stay at home parents. You have used your own story of going part time to be a parent, as an example.

    Are you now undervaluing stay at home parents?

    Like

  55. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey you are obviously unaware of how badly we are failing our children, here are more examples:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11537102
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11535434
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11531710

    I find it hard to believe you aren’t aware of the growing crisis regarding our children, whether it be the report on CYFs, the cuts to special needs, the growing disparity between schools, the housing crisis, rising hospital admissions, dropping academic achievement… everywhere you look there are children being let down and abandoned.

    It really is appalling.

    “One thing that my upbringing taught me was that “more” doesn’t just land in your lap. You have to go get it.”

    Our elderly have their income inflation adjusted, agencies supporting our children are told to do more with less. It is also about priorities and it is clear children are not a priority for this Government. If more money is needed more energy in chasing up the billions of tax fraud would be a good start!

    Like

  56. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Are you now undervaluing stay at home parents?”

    Mr E, my wife and I were able to continue and advance our careers while still being available for our kids. Haven’t you heard of distant learning? Only for a sole parent with limited income the costs of study are actually quite high (around $4,000 a paper).

    Please apply some more thought to your comments before making such claims, they come across as being deliberately misleading.

    Like

  57. Name Withheld says:

    Please apply some more thought to your comments answers before making such claims, they come across as being deliberately misleading moronic..
    Mr E “claimed” nothing……He asked you a question!
    Once again your abysmal comprehension skills reveal your ignorance.
    Were you REALLY a teacher?

    Like

  58. TraceyS says:

    “As I said before properly target spending on children in the early years means we are not spending $100,000 a year to keep them in prison later. Considering that our prison population is growing and so are police callouts for domestic violence, effective interventions are obviously not occurring now. This Government is actually restricting spending on special needs in education…”

    Dave! Did you just imply a relationship between the prison population and “special needs” interventions in education?

    Why single out this group? Are children with special learning needs more likely to end up in prison?

    Literacy and numeracy problems may well be common among prisoners but this doesn’t mean that they have/had special learning needs. It might just mean that their education, their families, and/or their communities did not meet their needs.

    Giving extra money to agencies or to the parents/caregivers won’t necessarily change the situation.

    The problem is targeting funding to the children in a way that is effective – for them.

    I’ve seen lots of special needs interventions which were not very effective. But I never thought either; a. that throwing more money at it would solve the problem, or b. that these kids were more likely than the general population to end up in the slammer!

    Like

  59. Mr E says:

    That doesn’t answer the question. At all.

    You have suggested that changing careers from ‘stay at home parent’ to ‘lawyer’ is ‘progression’.

    I am wondering if that is undervaluing ‘stay at home parents’.

    Like

  60. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, you are defending the status quo in spending and all agencies that are involved in supporting high needs children are pivotal in making a difference for them. Special Education is only one element and, as you would surely know, this group involves children with both disabilities (physical and mental) and those with behavioural problems. Many children who display severe, socially dysfunctional behaviour will have special education support, and yes this group may very well include future adult offenders.

    I do have some understanding of this area as a past special education teacher and one of the writers of the current IEP document 😉

    We both agree that funding should be targeted and effective, but this government has been cutting funding to successful programmes and not providing enough funding to allow those in the field to do their job effectively. Please read the links to see the evidence of this!
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/8583135/Cost-cutting-trumps-education-achievement
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/67120653/Schools-struggle-with-special-needs-funding-squeeze

    Mr E, it is wonderful that you are enthusiastic in your support of ‘stay at home parents’ 😉

    I also support our public education system and once children are attending school it provides an opportunity for parents to further other careers than just being a parent. My dentist worked during school hours for many years and many teachers job share so that they can be at home with their children after school.

    I don’t think you appreciate the flexibility that exists in many workplaces and the family friendly approach that many have.

    The problem at the moment for many sole parents is that they are actually forced to get employment once their children turn three, but unless they have qualifications and well paid occupations they are trapped in low paid jobs. Many end up even poorer after paying for childcare.

    What are your own thought on this? It appears that your main intention is to push me into some sort of corner, but you are just revealing your own ignorance.

    Like

  61. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, Mr E rarely asks ‘innocent’ questions. There is generally a hidden agenda and he loves to drag me down rabbit holes to distract from the points I have made that aren’t being challenged. But you probably know this already, as you haven’t challenged my actual arguments either 😉

    Like

  62. Mr E says:

    “What are your own thought on this? ”

    My thoughts – I asked a straight question and get no answer.

    I am not trying to “corner” you. Nor am I trying to drag anyone down any hole. If there is a hole that you are buried in, it is of your own digging. I say that because I am purely asking about comments you have made.

    Given that you have repeatedly ignored simple questions I am left with the only option but to take your comments at face value. It appears that you have have posed that an at home parent is a lessor career choice than being employed as a lawyer.

    I don’t look at things that way.

    My measures of success are often little to do with career choice, and more about achievement within that career pathway.

    I can think of many stay at home parents that I admire immensely. I admire some of them more than some lawyers.

    I don’t think that people have to make a lot of money or be well educated to be admirable.

    If you have said something that may be wrong – or has dug you into some kind of metaphorical hole – you can always retract, or modify what you have said. I’m not sure why you should seemingly be so afraid of your own statements.

    “I don’t think you appreciate the flexibility that exists in many workplaces and the family friendly approach that many have.”

    Why do you say that? I don’t think I have made any statements that could lead you to this conclusion. It seems like you could be fishing for bites in an unkind fashion.

    Like

  63. Dave Kennedy says:

    Good grief, Mr E, I was referring to income and quality of life, not the job status.

    Also children need good role models that are more than just loving parents. If children see their parents work hard to gain the skills of a worthwhile career that contributes to wider society, that is also important and part of good parenting. I thought that you would support that.

    People should make the most of their abilities whether that be building houses, farming or teaching. Bringing up children involves more than cuddles and food. Occupationally successful parents tend to have children who are similar.

    My wife and I both changed to part time work so that we could keep our careers and also be there for our kids, that requires good careers and good incomes. I don’t understand why you don’t understand…(actually I do, and it is about rabbit holes…you are so transparent).

    Like

  64. Name Withheld says:

    Good grief, Mr E ….Blablablablablablabla….

    I thought that you would support that.
    I don’t understand why you don’t understand…(actually I do, and it is about rabbit holes…you are so transparent).

    A perfect example of using this tactic in blog debate can be seen
    Here.

    Transparent much?

    Like

  65. Mr E says:

    NW,
    We see Dave regularly attributing ideas to people, seemingly mindlessly.

    It’s not a new tactic.

    Nor is unusual to hear apparent faux outrage, through “Good Griefs”.

    Perhaps most common is what I consider obtuse obfuscation.

    Sometimes it makes me laugh. But largely I just find it boring, and predictable.

    Like

  66. “Greens hate…Dairy farmers, cars and roads, wealthy people (not counting themselves), private schools, oil industry (but they like airlines), coal industry (but not coal miners), John Key, and the elderly. (If you really want a dose of ageism, read something by Generation Zero).”

    It’s so true.

    Like

  67. Dave Kennedy says:

    And out of all the aspects covered in the discussion above Mr E chooses to disingenuously challenge me about the status of a parent vs a lawyer… need I say more (rabbit holes) 😉

    Like

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