Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Just marketing to the base

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  • George Darroch,

    How do you make that kind of suspicion the basis for welfare policy?

    Quite easily, from experience.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2134 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    and families decide whether to have children, or not. your choice to have children shouldn't entitle you to increased state assistance in and of itself.

    So, instead of forced labour , how about, one child per family? I'm sure that would work eh?:)
    And if a nanny is paid to look after children, what is wrong with a solo parent being paid to look after their own children?
    Of the casual jobs out there(better to have casual than part time for employer benefit), hospo was mentioned. Two people I know recently had situations where their jobs were on the line. one booked one five hour shift off work for an annual function one month in advance, only to be threatened with being fired if he didn't show, when the boss forgot and rostered him on. One guy was a coach for a sport and although he could split shifts to accomodate his job on Sunday, the boss wanted him to decide which was more important, job or the wee children that he coached. He chose the children.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6135 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Did anybody here suggest that rich people shouldn't be allowed to have children?

    well, not really, but you did state

    Ah, yes, children only to those who can afford to raise them

    as an argument that assistance should be given to the poor.

    my line slipped a little, but i'm struggling to find value in funding the poor to have more children than they can afford, when the wealthy are busy breeding like flies. like flies i tell you!

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    But I don't think it actually helps if, as Tom seems to do, you come in assuming that employers -- or employees for that matter -- are automatically trying to fuck people over, in any sense.

    I don't think that it's necessary to assume that employers are trying to fuck people over to consider that a situation where people can be fired at will and are required to keep their jobs in order to keep their benefit is extremely likely (if not inevitably) going to lead to those people being preyed upon. No-one is saying that employers as a group are sexual predators. But there's absolutely no reason to increase the chances for predation to happen. I don't assume that all drivers on a given stretch of road are potential rapists, but I still wouldn't hitchhike by myself. It's about vulnerability and opportunity.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    __Judith Collins .. had no proof, just that scowl she always seems to have on her holier than thou face.__

    It takes a lot of concentration, channelling Ruth Richardson.

    And I always thought it was Jenny Shipley she was channelling. Especially the "Code of Social Responsibility"Jenny Shipley.

    Did anyone else think when National released its delightful policy yesterday: "Nine years in Opposition, and that's the best you can do?"

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    my line slipped a little,

    A little? A little?! You equated protecting the rights of the poor with taking rights away from the rich. I'm cognisant of your devil's advocacy here, but Reagan would have been very proud of that particular gambit.

    but i'm struggling to find value in funding the poor to have more children than they can afford, when the wealthy are busy breeding like flies. like flies i tell you!

    I insist: firstly, you're funding the children of the poor, not the poor themselves; secondly, first-world societies need children, so you're investing in the taxpayer of tomorrow; thirdly, you could make a reasonable argument that in order to raise children you need both time and money. The poor may be short on the latter, but they have plenty of the former; the rich may have plenty of the latter, but in some cases not quite enough of the former. So your investment in the children of the poor may not be such a bad one even in those narrow utilitarian terms.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7358 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    I don't think that it's necessary to assume that employers are trying to fuck people over to consider that a situation where people can be fired at will

    my cousin got a job waiting tables at a restaurant in melbourne. he worked the christmas period and was then told, "things aren't working out".

    there's a simple example right there. no evil involved. fairness? now there's an issue that will have to be policy-wonked.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Could be when they role out the Industrial relations policy.

    They rolled it out last month. It's all about screwing over unions and allowing employers to fire at will for 90-days. No commitment to increased workplace flexibility __for employees_ at all.

    otoh, housecleaners are frequently in demand in hi-income households. and perhaps nannying.

    So we'll be forcing poor parents to neglect their own children and households in order to support thoseof the rich. That's just wrong.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1640 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    first-world societies need children, so you're investing in the taxpayer of tomorrow

    Wouldn't it be cheaper to educate children in a developing country, and then bring them over when they're of working age?

    There's some tongue cheek irony in there, but to an extent that's what we already do (although our foreign aid is pitifully low, so we're not holding up the first half of the bargain very well).

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2134 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    (Trying to get more George Carlin fans to come out.)

    “When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat.”

    George Carlin

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4820 posts Report Reply

  • JohnAmiria,

    Did anyone else think when National released its delightful policy yesterday: "Nine years in Opposition, and that's the best you can do?"

    No, but I thought it an odd policy given that Nats all know that when given the choice of doing 15 hours a week work/training once your child turns six, or having another baby, a teenage DPB mum will always choose to get herself knocked up again. And then claim not to know who the father is, which is probably true, because they ... y'know ... are quite free with their favours.

    hither and yon • Since Aug 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    policy-wonked.

    Yep.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6135 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Wouldn't it be cheaper to educate children in a developing country, and then bring them over when they're of working age?

    Are you daring me to make an argument in favour of immigration? It's like knocking on an open door, come right in.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7358 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    otoh, it would increase supply enough to drive wages down.

    Which is, I suspect, the real point. This isn't a welfare policy - it's a labour market policy designed to benefit employers. Again.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1640 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    you're funding the children of the poor, not the poor themselves;

    it dawned on me that the dpb is in excess of the dole, therefore the children are the issue. i concede and withdraw on this point. :)

    you could make a reasonable argument that in order to raise children you need both time and money

    sure, and i agree. the question starts to slip into questions of values. the unemployed have more time to raise children (the working poor do not), but do i really want a society brought up thinking that the answer to resource scarcity is redistribution?

    (i had this exact discussion - not argument - with a colleague this morning).

    surely we want a society of individuals who "expand the pie", not just expect to be handed some of someone else's share when they find themselves in an economic bind?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • JohnAmiria,

    But seriously ...

    I'm straddling both sides of the fence here. As I said earlier I like the idea in principle, but I can't see how it would actually work. But even those One News deems opposed to the idea also think training would be a good thing:

    Alexi O'Brien reports

    You have to scroll to the end of the first chapter, but the DPB mum interviewed says "if somone's been on the DPB for a while they may need some training to get back into the workforce".

    Well, isn't that exactly what National are proposing?

    hither and yon • Since Aug 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Which is, I suspect, the real point. This isn't a welfare policy - it's a labour market policy designed to benefit employers. Again.

    There's room for both however. Some work I was involved in a few years back in NSW estimated the costs of training long-term unemployed and people with disabilities to a sufficient level for them to be employable. The costs were significantly higher than training school leavers but not prohibitively so. If welfare, labour market and education policies can be clustered to enable disadvantaged people to obtain/retain meaningful employment, there's nothing wrong with that surely? It's far from clear that National's policy will do that however which is why I challenged Danyl's comment earlier about work in the retail sector.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2230 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    BTW, I'm sure Mr Edgeler will correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it totally illegal for an employer to say 'fuck me or fuck off' to an employee or applicant, and nothing proposed by National (or any other party) will change that?

    The second case has alliterative attraction, It involved Mr Futty – a fish filleter. Futty was told by his foreman:
    “If you don’t like the job – fuck off!”

    which Futty duly did. He then brought proceedings for unfair dismissal. Other fish filleters gave evidence concerning the meaning which should be given to the expression and after hearing these explanations the Tribunal found that the foreman’s words were no more than “a general exhortation to get on with job”. There had been no dismissal. (Futty v P & D Brekkes Ltd [1974] IRLR 130)

    http://anthonygrant.com/badlanguage.html

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    surely we want a society of individuals who "expand the pie", not just expect to be handed some of someone else's share when they find themselves in an economic bind?

    My great-grandfather was a very simple guy, a seasonal farm labourer with very little if anything by way of formal education. When his wife died, he had six children; the oldest was twelve. In his old age his chief reason of pride was that he had never walked up the steps of the town council - he had never put his hand out, we'd say over here. And that's fine, somehow the family managed. But let's not kid ourselves that he expanded anybody's pie, and that everyone is equally well-positioned to advance what Leopardi called 'our magnificent and progressive fate'. That kind of thinking is so 19th century.

    I would also quibble with the idea that the money I earn is mine and mine alone, and that I part with some of it in the form of taxes because I'm such a good guy. Work is a product of the individual but also of society; and we (I) need people to do all sort of work. If there wasn't somebody willing to clean the toilets for little pay at my son's primary school, and we'd have to take turns doing it, that would eat into my ability to make my precious money. And that's the crudest of examples. We also need the unemployed, as I tried to say earlier. But this takes us too far and ultimately my answer to the following

    do i really want a society brought up thinking that the answer to resource scarcity is redistribution?

    is yes, of course, but it's not as if I can't see how other people might see it differently.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7358 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    it's not as if I can't see how other people might see it differently.

    indeed. the product of the discussion with colleague was an agreement that homosapiens only got to the current level of sentience because of social cooperation. without it, we'd still be on the same level as chimpanzees.

    the actual issue for us thinking types is how much is too much to share without hamstringing oneself.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Some work I was involved in a few years back in NSW estimated the costs of training long-term unemployed and people with disabilities to a sufficient level for them to be employable. The costs were significantly higher than training school leavers but not prohibitively so.

    Judith Collins just mentioned on the Wire (bfm) that it wont cost anything for training as there is room to help the front line staff at Winz once they get rid of the bureaucrats. She also mentioned that most working people had figured out what to do with their sick children so that wouldn't be a problem because... oh yeah, she is a working mum. I didn't know she was a solo parent;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6135 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    do i really want a society brought up thinking that the answer to resource scarcity is redistribution?

    Three words: Diminishing marginal utility.

    In a society of scarcity, making sure that those who have a very small slice of the pie (of whatever size) is a priority. They are able to generate much more good from that small amount than those with more.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2134 posts Report Reply

  • Maxine Campbell,

    remove the premise and you have a different line of reasoning, i.e. having children is something you need to be economically rational about.

    Would that be short term economic rationality - children are the preserve of the rich? Or would that be long term ? You know, support in your old age? Parents are selfish by either scenario in that accounting. Are we talking public economics? Renewal of the workforce; taxpaying workers. To provide for the childless elderly.

    Let's stop pretending that the public and private domains don't interact. BTW, if my memory serves me well, if you're over 30 and childless in Germany, you'll pay what amounts to a penalty tax.

    Hamilton • Since Dec 2006 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    the actual issue for us thinking types is how much is too much to share without hamstringing oneself.

    I suggest we keep doing what we're doing, spending our days at 'work' ruminating about policy and devoting the occasional free hour or two in the middle of the day to a blog discussion, without for a moment letting on to the people who grow our food, fashion our clothes, mend our streets and clean our toilets that perhaps they ought to get paid as much as we are.

    Not uncharacteristically, Carlin said it best:

    Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that...

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7358 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    I suggest we keep doing what we're doing, spending our days at 'work' ruminating about policy and devoting the occasional free hour or two in the middle of the day to a blog discussion

    the value i add to society is my ability to think! can i help it that this pays better than my old job washing dishes?

    otherwise, touche.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

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