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Geekamouse

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#129579 20-Sep-2013 12:19
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The Gene Pool debate very quickly got mired in the poverty issue.  As usual it was suggested that people can't be held resposible for their lifestyle choices, decisions or behaviour.  The government is responsible.  But is it really?  Let's take it right back to basics and imagine that we had a scrupulously fair government that passed laws that said everyone was equal, couldn't own property and must be paid exactly the same amount of money irrespective of their job or role in society or otherwise.  That would be fair, right?  Nobody would be poor any more or be disadvantaged by societal factors.

We'd all be happy.

Really?

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Inphinity
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  #898936 20-Sep-2013 12:23
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The government is responsible. But is it really?


It isn't a completely clear-cut situation, but for the most part, no, I do not believe the Government is responsible for causing poverty. But I do think there is more they could do (or do differently) to help alleviate it.

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MikeB4
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  #898962 20-Sep-2013 13:12
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Inphinity:
The government is responsible. But is it really?


It isn't a completely clear-cut situation, but for the most part, no, I do not believe the Government is responsible for causing poverty. But I do think there is more they could do (or do differently) to help alleviate it.


The sweeping and in many cases needed reforms made under the Lange Government resulted in a considerable rise in child poverty and general poverty in New Zealand. So Yes a government can cause poverty and some of the changes made
by the current government in the areas of Health, Education, Employment have and will exacerbate poverty.

Inactivity by a Government to address the issue is the Governments fault, not just this one but most Governments since WW2.

kiwitrc
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  #898964 20-Sep-2013 13:14
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It all comes down to the Gene Pool......oh wait....



Klipspringer
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  #898976 20-Sep-2013 13:25
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IMO I don’t believe we have any poverty in New Zealand. Its not true poverty and I think anybody that uses the term in relation to NZ’s very poor is a little oblivious to what real poverty is. IMO its disrespectful to the millions of kids that live and die in real poverty in Africa etc. In NZ we use the term quiet frequently as an excuse for a lot of things.

That said, when it comes to child “poverty” in NZ, I blame the parents first. Parents could do more for their kids (it’s not always a money issue). Parenting is not a right, it’s a privilege. Sadly the only kids that I see living in so called poverty seem to all have parents that don’t know when to stop with the boozing, drugging and smoking. Granted, not all of them, but it sure does seem like most of them. A little while ago we had an episode on Campbell live about kids being sent to school without lunch. What do we do? We start looking at ways to supply lunch for these kids at their schools. We need to wake up as I think we are just further worsening the problem. Nothing gets done about these parents, how much does it cost for a a few slices of bread every day? There is no excuse for this, who the hell sends their kids to school without lunch?! We play the “poverty” card and we allow ourselves to believe that these parents cant afford it, they poor. I know parents in South Africa that are raising their kids on far less than parents here, parents who are far worse off than people living in so called “poverty” here in NZ (parents with access to no social services, no healthcare like we have here, no free education, no state housing). Sad to say it, but a lot of parents in NZ could learn from them.

I also blame the government for not taking action against these lousy parents. After all, we live in a great country, we have access to plenty of social services etc .. (all provided by the government), everyone in NZ has access to it. I feel that parents who don’t take responsibility for their kids and send them to school hungry etc are in a way performing child abuse. We have laws to ensure the safety of our children against violence etc. .. We often read in the news about parents that have been prosecuted for physically hurting their kids. But we allow parents to not feed their kids? In fact things will have to get pretty bad before the child protection system can intervene.

So yes I also blame the government for not taking action. Why is it allowed to continue? Why do we see so much of it? Poverty in NZ is being used as an excuse by bad parents and the media for something which can simply be defined as self-centered.

1080p
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  #898977 20-Sep-2013 13:27
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If we are considering reasonable governmental systems like what we have in New Zealand then absolutely not.

Fair enough if you are living in a country with rampant corruption and none of the money intended to be spent on infrastructure, medicine (etc...) ever makes it but here that is not the case.

There is literally no excuse for someone to be in 'poverty' in New Zealand. We have a great welfare system that will make sure you avoid poverty if you are absolutely unable to avoid it yourself and will work hard to motivate you if it is possible for you to avoid it on your own. It also has all manner of exceptions to handle those in unfortunate situations with their health and so forth. Put bluntly, no one with a genuine need goes without here unless they choose to.

Sure, you can point out horrible statistics about kids and their lunch meals but that is something that a government cannot (properly) fix and should not ever be asked to. Adequate nutrition for children is the responsibility of a parent and that will never change.

If there is a failure on the part of the parents and a teacher notices they should report it. There are systems in place to handle situations like that.

Inphinity
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  #898978 20-Sep-2013 13:31
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KiwiNZ: So Yes a government can cause poverty


Ok, I'm always eager to learn. Can you provide some examples of specific actions by the Government in NZ (not just the current one, but any) that have caused absolute poverty?

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  #898991 20-Sep-2013 13:44
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Lets play spot the logical fallacies:

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com

And lets assess how stupid people really are:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_superiority
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/people-think-stormy-weather-affects-cloud-computing-2012-8

Then lets assess our values:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2007/oct/10/guardiansocietysupplement.voluntarysector

And then it will be time for a conversation about this problem.

Jon



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  #898994 20-Sep-2013 13:46
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Inphinity:
KiwiNZ: So Yes a government can cause poverty


Ok, I'm always eager to learn. Can you provide some examples of specific actions by the Government in NZ (not just the current one, but any) that have caused absolute poverty?


There is a big difference between poverty and absolute poverty.

MikeB4
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  #898996 20-Sep-2013 13:48
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For those genuinely interested in poverty in New Zealand there are various Government agencies that have considerable data and information on this. 

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  #899008 20-Sep-2013 14:02
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KiwiNZ: For those genuinely interested in poverty in New Zealand there are various Government agencies that have considerable data and information on this. 


My personal perspective is that it is much nicer to live in a country where our children grow up safe, warm, fed and educated and blaming and punishing our children's parents for their circumstances usually doesn't make things better for the kids.

I can and do try to help our community make things better and given my privileges (my education, income and family), it is my obligation to humanity to do so.

This might help you see the benefits of this approach:

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4000-better-give-receive.html

Jon

Inphinity
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  #899010 20-Sep-2013 14:04
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KiwiNZ:There is a big difference between poverty and absolute poverty.


Presumably you're talking about relative poverty, then? There's always going to be some level of that, as it's (typically) defined based on a percentage of the median income. Arguing relative poverty also takes the discussion in a different direction, because you start to get away from "can't afford food and housing" towards "can't afford the latest smartphone and games console" which, imo, does not constitute poverty in a real sense. 

That said, you can of course reduce the occurrence of relative poverty, based on a given rating, and that should always be a goal. However, there are destructive and non-destructive ways to do this, and too often I see the people who believe they are in poverty, expecting destructive approaches (those that cause undue negative impact on others, including those not currently in relative poverty).

Even if there was some magical way to level the playing field, and forced everyone back to a universally-standardised financial position, you would find within a few short years, the distribution of wealth would begin to tip back towards a normal distribution. Some people simply make financially-better decisions than others.

So, do you a) take away some individuals right to make their own choices, and force decisions upon them, b) punish those who have made choices that improve their situation, or c) Underwear Gnome Profit?

I'm very interested in c). Not because I used a silly placeholder, but because I don't know what the actual option is, and would be keen to hear and learn. How do you lift people out of relative poverty, without cutting others down, or removing the freedom to choose?

Obviously, for starters, you can provide more state-funded services (health, education etc), but we already have many of these available. Yes, they could do with more funding, but what state-funded services are not currently available here that should be to help with this situation?

Build more homes. But where? It is not cost-effective to do it within existing major urban areas. So do you pick somewhere a bit further afield? Then there are the complaints of lack of amenities. There are so many things to take into account.

Klipspringer
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  #899014 20-Sep-2013 14:12
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Interesting that 66% of voters in this opinion poll define poverty in NZ as:

"Having a job but not being able to afford basic goods"



Does anybody know the actual New Zealand definition for poverty?

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  #899021 20-Sep-2013 14:17
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Geekamouse:   Let's take it right back to basics and imagine that we had a scrupulously fair government that passed laws that said everyone was equal, couldn't own property and must be paid exactly the same amount of money irrespective of their job or role in society or otherwise.  That would be fair, right?  Nobody would be poor any more or be disadvantaged by societal factors.

We'd all be happy.

Really?


welcome to communism :)




helping others at evgenyk.nz


toprob
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  #899022 20-Sep-2013 14:19
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Is poverty the Government's fault?

That's kind of a leading question, assuming that someone is at fault in the first place. Industry has always needed a reliable working class, educated just enough to do the work. These days this means we've already had a shift from rural to cities, because that's were most of the jobs are. As industries grow, the workforce normally goes were the work is. If industries die, or develop ways to do without so many workers, the workforce can be stranded, sometimes in areas which were originally plenty of low-cost worker's housing.

The Government aren't to blame, but as the voice of the people, they are in a position to help, by supporting industry, supplying infrastructure, and making is easy for workers to relocate.

What can you do with whole suburbs left behind, with no support from growing industries? You can't just abandon them, although that was the way things used to happen. If a particular workforce was no longer needed a few hundred years ago, the young men could be sent off to fight, and the rest succumb to poverty and disease. Problem solved.

Individuals can change their own prospects sometimes, but you can't possibly imagine that everyone from a poverty-stricken part of your city are suddenly going to get up and shift to where the jobs/success are. Most of them are stranded.

And that's when you get other industries -- both legal and otherwise -- stepping in to offer a short-term solution, which involves keeping them happy, such as alcohol, gambling and drugs. Making it much harder to escape.

The Government is working hard to find ways to increase employment, but they are fighting a losing battle. Industry really have all the power, all the solutions, but none of the responsibility to support a work-force beyond their usefulness as a worker.

For those of you here who are educated, have a valuable skill (at the moment) and have never had to go hungry, it might be easy to look at everyone else the same way. Not everyone is, or could possibly be, well educated, or even clever enough to overcome a lack of education.

I've been through two different industries in my lifetime, both no longer needing anywhere-near the work-force that they used to. I've spent the last decade working for myself, but even that no longer has much of a future. I've been trying to find work since the beginning of this year, but it just isn't as easy as people here seem to think, especially for someone who has just a decade to go before I'm an OAP, and never went to university. Luckily I've already raised a family, who have all been able to go to university.

Blaming individuals for being poor is far too easy, and completely bypasses any of the real causes or solutions. It seems to be the next big thing now to see education and innovation as the answer to everything, but that can still only work for a small percentage of the population.

Inphinity
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  #899025 20-Sep-2013 14:26
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Klipspringer: 
Does anybody know the actual New Zealand definition for poverty?


The OECD defines 'relative poverty' as having an income less than 50% of the national median (standardised for household size). 

But in terms of 'poverty' - the UN define it as a 'lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society' - unable to afford food, clothing, housing, education and healthcare

And therein lies part of the issue with simply discussing poverty - you have to specify whether it is absolute or relative. 



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