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jeffnz
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  #900703 22-Sep-2013 15:03
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driller2000: had typed a response and deleted it cos it got long and a little preachy :p

so in summary - imho:

1. govt responsible? - no - but they can help those in need, it's actually part of their job
2. relative vs. absolute vs. no poverty in nz? - don't give a sh#t about definitions and arguments around these - what i know and have seen throughout my life is there are MANY in NZ (and elsewhere) who have a desperate need - and we as a society can do better
3. do i care how they got there? - sort of - but i care more about them not staying there
4. does all of this talking (this thread included) change anything ? - nope
5. what does? - action
6. so what do i do? - counsel whanau towards education, support friends and family in times of need, donate time and cash to causes I deem worthy - KidsCan, Fred Hollows Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, SPCA (don't forget the puppies!) etc and yes one little girl in Africa
7. what are YOU gonna do about it?


very admirable of you. Well what do I do, I'm one many that pay taxes of which a large propitiation goes to those that qualify for the many benefits, should I do more, I don't believe so I work hard enough as it is to survive so I don't believe I need to do more unless its my own family or friends because thats what we do.

I certainly have no issue with  people that are in need of help getting it, what i do take issue with is the ones that have chosen it as a lifestyle/career.

I also take issue with pumping money into something that doesn't fix the issue in fact compounds it. We teach children all their rights but not responsibilities as part of society. We say its ok to be mediocre and that the State (tax payer) is responsible for looking after their children they only need to keep having them.

I take issue with those that try and make me feel guilty because of the colour of my skin or the fact I've managed to not rely on benefits.

So you only "sort of"care about how they get there, maybe that is the problem because if you don't care then you can't fix it just fund and assist it.






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driller2000
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  #900719 22-Sep-2013 15:42
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gidday jeffnz:

I understand much of what you said but only agree with some.

To clarify the "So you only "sort of" care about how they get there"

This was the short answer - because the long answer in terms of how people end up where they do re poverty is often complicated eg. poor parenting skills, crime, lack of education, lack of work, poor health, no role models, alcohol, abuse, addiction, mental health, lack of hope or self belief etc etc - so rather then spiral the thread off in a million directions - i touched on some of the things i believe can help address some of these root causes e.g.:

 

  • encouraging and improving access to education,
  • positive role modelling,
  • providing assistance for basics (eg. KidsCan), and
  • providing hope to those in need by demonstrating that someone actually does care about their plight
And to suggest that any of the above compounds the issue is a clear untruth.

So of course i care about the causes - it's just sometimes you need to deal with the symptoms as well as the cause.

e.g. i am more than happy to support an organisation that gives a kid breakfast, put shoes on their feet and a raincoat on their backs - as it enables them to attend school - and just maybe help them improve their future through education.

The alternative for some seems to involve standing on the sideline going "Why should i help them, their parents are useless and i pay my taxes?"

People have this right, they are not obliged to do anything more - and for many they don't have the means to do any more

However for me, raised poor and now fortunate enough to have some spare, i choose to help where i can. It doesn't make me better than anyone else, but if it helps one person, then I am happy.




alasta
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  #900722 22-Sep-2013 15:56
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1080p: As a solo parent looking after a child (say between 0-4) you'd be after the Solo Parent Support which is roughly $300 a week but you would also be eligible for $108 accommodation supplement and in the case of living in central Wellington probably additional support due to the central city being more expensive.

It is definitely possible to rent a room in Wellington city for much less than $250 a week. You might not be able to get a studio apartment but it can be done. I would probably budget $250 for rent + utilities (power, basic telecommunications)


To 'rent a room' in a flatting situation is fine if you're single, but that would not be appropriate for someone with a child. I rent a reasonably basic single bedroom unit for $310 a week so I would think that $250 a week would be the going rate for the most bare bones option.

You raise a very good point with regard to the accommodation supplement, though. Working For Families is another form of quite generous welfare.



Geektastic
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  #900723 22-Sep-2013 16:03
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alasta:
1080p: A simple example, the job seeking income support provides a perfectly adequate income to meet an individual's basic needs while searching for a job. It may not support the lifestyle that the job you had previously enabled so either your savings would need to supplement or lifestyle adjustments need to be made. However, if that person chooses to spend said income on marijuana instead of food one cannot blame the government for that person's starvation and call it poverty. By all measures the income support is enough to prevent poverty (assuming lifestyle is appropriate) so what more can be done to solve this issue of 'poverty'? (hint: the issue is not poverty but poor decision making and utterly out of the hands of anyone but the individual)


I just had a look on the WINZ web site out of curiosity and the Job Seeker Benefit for a solo parent is $300 a week. Here in Wellington you'd be lucky to get very basic accommodation suitable for a parent and child for less than $250 a week, and the balance of $50 a week wouldn't cover the rest of your expenses.

I'm not advocating that this should be increased, but some targeted assistance to directly provide the kids with school lunches or shoes or whatever would seem appropriate if the parents are stuck on that sort of income long term.

I am a social conservative so I'm very uncomfortable with people having children at the taxpayers expense, but the reality is:
 - You can't use brute force to stop people having children even where they clearly shouldn't be.
 - You can't punish the children for the bad choices of the parents.
 - If you let the kids go off the rails due to them being under-provided for then it perpetuates the inter-generational cycle of financial struggle.


You most certainly CAN use brute force to stop people having children. It's just that NZ is a bit politically wet and has a big red stripe so everyone (well almost - I'd be very happy to see it done) thinks it is too nasty.







Fred99
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  #900733 22-Sep-2013 16:37
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Geektastic:

You most certainly CAN use brute force to stop people having children. It's just that NZ is a bit politically wet and has a big red stripe so everyone (well almost - I'd be very happy to see it done) thinks it is too nasty.



A question about your childhood - did you ever ask why you had to kill all your friends to get to the next level in Wolfenstein?

JimmyH
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  #900743 22-Sep-2013 17:03
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I had a look at the rates, they are certainly tight but shouldn't be un-liveable. Assuming central Wellington is area one (does anyone know what the areas are?) The Sole parent with a young child to which you refer should be eligible for a base benefit of $295, plus accommodation supplement of $225, plus a family tax credit of $93. More stuff if the child is disabled and/or older etc. So $613 per week, which isn't absurd.

Anyway, coming back to the core questions here:

1. Is the Government responsible for poverty?

No, there would be poverty even if there wasn't a government.

2. Are people themselves responsible for poverty.

Sometimes. There are the feckless who failed to work hard in school, don't want to work now, who drink like fish and smoke like chimneys. They are the authors of their own misfortune. Then there are others - lack the basic skills and/or intellectual aptitude (lets be honest here) to earn a decent market income, have been hit by misfortune (redundancy, accident etc), or have other factors (disability) that mean they can't earn much. They can't usually be reasonably "blamed" for their circumstances. So it depends. The argument can, and probably will, keep going round in circles on this as you can find numerous examples of all of these circumstances.

3. Does the Government have a role in alleviating poverty?

Yes. And on a pretty major scale it does. Progressive taxes. A benefit system and ACC to provide a safety net. Free education to ensure the children of poor families have a chance at acquiring skills. Free and subsidised health care. Housing subsidies, etc etc.

4. Is the Government doing enough?

This is the tricky bit, and it depends on your perspective and "values". You also have to recognise that there aren't any free lunches, and anything you do both has to be paid for and has consequences. For instance there options around benefit levels, assistance payments, taxes and legislating pay rates, but:

- push taxes too high and people spend most of their effort minimising them rather than activities that generate wealth, capital leaves the country, skilled hard-working people get tired of being soaked and emigrate. France is discovering this at the moment. Ultimately, if people aren't working and generating wealth, then you don't have the resources you need to relieve poverty - there is nothing to tax and redistribute.

- legislate wages that are higher than productivity and people lose jobs - and it's typically low skilled people on the margins of the economy, and young people without experience and references who bear the brunt. France is discovering this as well. Plus, if young people don't work in the first few years out of education, there is a real risk that they will never get a foot on the ladder and work at all.

- Push up benefits and you weaken work incentives, both in terms of what you can earn compared to being in work, and effective marginal tax rates as assistance is withdrawn when you work.

- Wreck the budget with payments you can't fund and eventually you face economic consequences that make poverty far worse. Greece is discovering this.

So the whole thing is a balancing act with trade-offs. I'm not sure what they right balance is. But I get annoyed at people who pretend the whole thing is simple, and could be easily fixed if only the "gummint cared".

DarthKermit
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  #900774 22-Sep-2013 18:46
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Geektastic: You most certainly CAN use brute force to stop people having children. It's just that NZ is a bit politically wet and has a big red stripe so everyone (well almost - I'd be very happy to see it done) thinks it is too nasty.




Only a couple of years ago there was an idea tossed around about paying people a couple of grand to get themselves fixed. All the do-gooders raised a stink about this, let alone making it compulsary.




Whatifthespacekeyhadneverbeeninvented?




surfisup1000
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  #900792 22-Sep-2013 19:05
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It is impossible to eliminate poverty according to the definition of poverty being 60% of median income . As incomes increase, the 'poverty' threshold simply increases along with it.

Poverty in NZ is a corruption of spirit by upbringing/drugs, as opposed to anything our government can control.

Sure, bad governments can cause true poverty. But, here in nz we have a good government and any 'poverty' is self induced.

Geektastic
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  #900891 22-Sep-2013 22:44
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Fred99:
Geektastic:

You most certainly CAN use brute force to stop people having children. It's just that NZ is a bit politically wet and has a big red stripe so everyone (well almost - I'd be very happy to see it done) thinks it is too nasty.



A question about your childhood - did you ever ask why you had to kill all your friends to get to the next level in Wolfenstein?


No. What's a Wolfenstein? I have no idea.

I can envisage that killing them may have been a logical necessity in some circumstances if a Wolfenstein is a game of some sort?





Geektastic
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  #900892 22-Sep-2013 22:45
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DarthKermit:
Geektastic: You most certainly CAN use brute force to stop people having children. It's just that NZ is a bit politically wet and has a big red stripe so everyone (well almost - I'd be very happy to see it done) thinks it is too nasty.




Only a couple of years ago there was an idea tossed around about paying people a couple of grand to get themselves fixed. All the do-gooders raised a stink about this, let alone making it compulsary.


Kind of my point.

Personally I would licence it. Seems mad to me that you can procreate to your heart's content without proving fitness for purpose but if you want to drive a car you have to pass tests!





PaulBags
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  #900901 22-Sep-2013 23:30
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Geektastic:
DarthKermit:
Geektastic: You most certainly CAN use brute force to stop people having children. It's just that NZ is a bit politically wet and has a big red stripe so everyone (well almost - I'd be very happy to see it done) thinks it is too nasty.




Only a couple of years ago there was an idea tossed around about paying people a couple of grand to get themselves fixed. All the do-gooders raised a stink about this, let alone making it compulsary.


Kind of my point.

Personally I would licence it. Seems mad to me that you can procreate to your heart's content without proving fitness for purpose but if you want to drive a car you have to pass tests!

Are vasectomies & hysterectomies free now? If not, they should be. And no "your too young to get one" or "it should be your choice even if your a poor ***t" bollocks. Also abortion should be at will, and free. Again, no "but you could have it and mooch of the state! Go on, have an unwanted baby!".

But then there are all those stupid poor women who think that having a child is going to be eighteen years of loves and cuddles. They need to be slapped hard with reality before their even old enough to consider hitching their skirts up, instead of breeding the next generation of disinterested drop kicks.

6FIEND
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  #900988 23-Sep-2013 09:17
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Geektastic:
Fred99:
Geektastic:

You most certainly CAN use brute force to stop people having children. It's just that NZ is a bit politically wet and has a big red stripe so everyone (well almost - I'd be very happy to see it done) thinks it is too nasty.



A question about your childhood - did you ever ask why you had to kill all your friends to get to the next level in Wolfenstein?


No. What's a Wolfenstein? I have no idea.

I can envisage that killing them may have been a logical necessity in some circumstances if a Wolfenstein is a game of some sort?


...I think you'll find that was Godwin's Law being invoked after a record 7 pages of discourse!  :-)

(I'm assuming that you weren't being sarcastic in your response)

Geektastic
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  #901306 23-Sep-2013 15:54
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6FIEND:
Geektastic:
Fred99:
Geektastic:

You most certainly CAN use brute force to stop people having children. It's just that NZ is a bit politically wet and has a big red stripe so everyone (well almost - I'd be very happy to see it done) thinks it is too nasty.



A question about your childhood - did you ever ask why you had to kill all your friends to get to the next level in Wolfenstein?


No. What's a Wolfenstein? I have no idea.

I can envisage that killing them may have been a logical necessity in some circumstances if a Wolfenstein is a game of some sort?


...I think you'll find that was Godwin's Law being invoked after a record 7 pages of discourse!  :-)

(I'm assuming that you weren't being sarcastic in your response)


No not at all. Of course there are logical circumstances where so doing would be the obvious outcome.

I still don't know what a Wolfenstein is though.





Inphinity
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  #901308 23-Sep-2013 16:02
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Geektastic: 

I still don't know what a Wolfenstein is though.


Really? Here ya go then...

sidefx
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  #901311 23-Sep-2013 16:05
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Is there a way to prevent threads from showing up on your "New forums posts" list? This thread really makes me wish that there was...




"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman


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