Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Just marketing to the base

356 Responses

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  • Che Tibby,

    So that parent had to magically feed, clothe, educate, and raise that child with nothing?

    well.. they're on nothing to begin with anyhow.

    and to be honest, it's the same as a one-income family having to make the $$ go further when they have an additional child.

    having a third child doesn't magically make my salary larger, so it's not entirely unreasonable to assume that the dpb should be assessed in the same way. the only real difference is that a salary is like, "a million" times bigger than the bene.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Well, Tom, I think the only sexual fantasies we're getting any insight into are yours.

    Bloody hell Craig. Are you going to joke about me having sexual abuse fantasies too?

    having a third child doesn't magically make my salary larger, so it's not entirely unreasonable to assume that the dpb should be assessed in the same way. the only real difference is that a salary is like, "a million" times bigger than the bene[fit].

    Indeed. There are a lot of incomes which are pretty damn hard to raise children on, and I have a lot of respect for anyone (my parents included) who does this. Wages need to be higher, and supplementary assistance, such as that which this Government has rolled out in large amounts, should be available.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    having a third child doesn't magically make my salary larger, so it's not entirely unreasonable to assume that the dpb should be assessed in the same way.

    That's specious reasoning. Specious, I say! The benefit is a contribution to keep the child out of poverty, not the parent.

    Besides, while it is true that having a third child does not increase your salary per se, it lowers your taxes if you're on Working for Families, and it increases the services that your household receives for the same income even if you don't qualify for the tax break.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    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?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    it lowers your taxes if you're on Working for Families

    sure, but all these types of assistance are premised on the idea that having children entitles you to increasing state assistance. remove the premise and you have a different line of reasoning, i.e. having children is something you need to be economically rational about.

    which is reasonable.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I wonder if this will galvanise the less motivated Labour voter. It's certainly the first really non-cuddly announcement we've seen. Perhaps the "it's just time for a change brigade" might ask themselves whether this is the kind of change they want.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Bloody hell Craig. Are you going to joke about me having sexual abuse fantasies too?

    I'm not actually joking, George. Then again, there might be one or two small employers out there who'd take exception to any stereotyping of them as sexual predators. But I guess making crass generalisations about the sexual pathology of some groups for rhetorical effect (like promiscuous solo mothers on the DPB) is more offensive than others.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Dexter,

    :sigh: Welfare states....

    End all welfare. End all taxation that powers welfare. End all administration that relies on welfare. Save a few billion and kickstart an economy.

    Simple.

    Taipei, Taiwan • Since Mar 2007 • 256 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    sure, but all these types of assistance are premised on the idea that having children entitles you to increasing state assistance.

    Not you: the child.

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

    which is reasonable.

    Ah, yes, children only to those who can afford to raise them. Very reasonable. How about children only to those who are willing and able to spend time to raise them? I suspect a few professional couples would fall off that particular ferris wheel.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    It is indeed illegal, and will remain so. I'm not accusing National of introducing the 90 Days and Legalisation of Sexual Harrassment Bill. National isn't that bad!

    However, the point as myself and Tom have made is that it increases the vulnerability of workers to exploitation (both legal and illegal), and reduces a worker's sense of being able to challenge conditions and behaviour. Very often (in my experience) the conditions and working environment set down in the first few months are those that become permanent, and difficult to challenge.

    We'll likely disagree on where the balance of power between employer and employee is currently, and where it needs to be, but this shifts it greatly in the direction of the employer.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    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?

    And of course, nobody does anything illegal do they? The point is that the 90 day trial period gives employers the right to sack someone without having to give a reason and complaining that you were sexually harassed would just be put down to you being bitter about being sacked. You would have no right to claim for unfair or constructive dismissal.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • JohnAmiria,

    End all taxation that powers welfare.

    But we'll keep the taxation that funds the Police, Ambulance, and Fire Brigade right? And the Embassies, and the ... no, that's it. Everything else should be__ user pays__. Esp the Prisons.

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

  • Steve Barnes,

    Simple.

    Yes Mr. Dexter, you are.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Craig, I thought I made it clear, but I'll quote myself to make it doubly so.

    Most won't, but don't pretend there aren't people who will.

    Probably the great majority of employers are decent people who want the best for their employees.

    There are however enough out there (a small minority, but not so small as to be inconsequential) who feel justified for what ever reason in exploiting their workers that removing fundamental protections for several months is A Bad Idea.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    heh. enjoying the devils advocate role here.

    Not you: the child.

    i'm not sure that separating the child and the adult conceptually helps. the family is a unit, and despite any rhetoric to the contrary the dpb isn't funding the child itself. it's provided for the support of the family.

    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.

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

    i think that's an extreme of the argument. a better line is "increasing numbers of children will force you to make your dollar stretch further, think about that before you procreate".

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    whose chief function, as George Carlin once put it, is to scare the shit out of the middle class

    I miss George.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    i think that's an extreme of the argument. a better line is "increasing numbers of children will force you to make your dollar stretch further, think about that before you procreate".

    Well, if you want to run a cold cost-benefit analysis over it, having children is pretty close to the most economically irrational thing anyone can do. The benefits are largely intangible; since our legislation and social customs frown on child labour, they're not exactly economic contributors to the household. And they're one hell of a long-term liability.

    And despite what those Family Party folks might think, is it really such a terrible thing that more people are delaying having children; and we don't automatically regard people who can't or choose not to procreate (like our current Prime Minister) as morally or physically defective?

    Still, I'm rather glad the world is full of human beings, not coldly reasoning Vulcans, otherwise The Children of Men wouldn't be science fiction, would it? :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • anjum rahman,

    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.

    and just to play devil's advocate to your devil's advocate, what happens when the contraception fails, as it is bound to do as no contraception is fool-proof? and what happens in cases of sexual violence that result in pregnancy? does that entitle you to increased state assistance, and how would you prove it?

    hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Retailers are still desperately screaming out for more staff; a 30-something relative of mine who suffers from a severe mental illness has a job for the first time in her life because of the dire shortage of workers in the retail sector. There's plenty of jobs out there for people with no skills who want to work.

    I"m not surprised to hear this, the same is true in Sydney and other parts of Australia. It's a mixed blessing but. These are precarious jobs not least of all because, as you note, they're low-skilled. If this is the high-water mark then, they're the first to go when things adjust back to normal levels. I'm not saying having the opportunity of work is not good, just that it might not be much of a long-term prospect unless there's training aligned with it.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    i'm not sure that separating the child and the adult conceptually helps.

    When I buy groceries, I find it of great conceptual help, if only to get the right balance between the whisky and the nappies.

    the dpb isn't funding the child itself. it's provided for the support of the family.

    Well, yes, you can't give money directly to the child; but if children weren't seen as the ultimate beneficiaries, there would be very little policy basis for the benefit in the first place. A lot of things besides children can increase your expenses - developing a drug habit, say. You get no state help for that. And while we cannot be sure that the benefit money will go to the child and not to the dealer, it's just as difficult to be sure in the case of the middle-class family that gets a tax break. How do you make that kind of suspicion the basis for welfare policy?

    i think that's an extreme of the argument. a better line is "increasing numbers of children will force you to make your dollar stretch further, think about that before you procreate".

    I'm not against that kind of message, so long as it remains a message (and I'm not sure about New Zealand, but back home family planning is not the domain of the conservatives, to put it mildly). To limit reproductive rights by threatening economic punishment is appalling.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    The Children of Men wouldn't be science fiction

    i actually got misty when they carried the only baby in the whole world out of a war into the awed looks of a mob of bloodthirsty killers.

    that said, why should i pay for you to have more kids? what i hate about these arguments is the statement "why should only the rich have children?"

    well... if they can afford them, then more power to them. being rich doesn't mean the kids will be better people than the children of the poor. or vice versa.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    what happens when the contraception fails, as it is bound to do as no contraception is fool-proof? and what happens in cases of sexual violence that result in pregnancy?

    do these things happen often enough to base a country's social policies on them?

    and i thought i lived in a country where women had the right to decide choice whether to be pregnant?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    If we're going to be strictly economically rational, might we also ask what economic benefit there is to funding the poor (especially children) out of significant poverty.

    The Danish, the Norwegians and the Swedes are some of the richest countries on earth and who have for the last 60-80 years made social assistance a core priority. But these examples don't fit well with the party base, and I dare say they don't fit well with the class of 99 either.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Still, I'm rather glad the world is full of human beings, not coldly reasoning Vulcans, otherwise The Children of Men wouldn't be science fiction, would it?

    You skirted around one issue: as a society we need children, they are a resource.

    (Although not the chief resource - that, I promise you, is petroleum.)

    (Trying to get more George Carlin fans to come out.) (Although that was Bill Maher, I suspect, but hey, he's a fan too.)

    We'll need somebody to replace the working population when we retire, right? That goes for childless and breeders alike..

    what i hate about these arguments is the statement "why should only the rich have children?" well... if they can afford them, then more power to them.

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

    being rich doesn't mean the kids will be better people than the children of the poor. or vice versa.

    Who said that?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It is indeed illegal, and will remain so. I'm not accusing National of introducing the 90 Days and Legalisation of Sexual Harrassment Bill. National isn't that bad!

    Well, George, you're not that bad either but Mr. Semmens I've got my doubts about. And for the benefit of Mr. Barnes, if you're arguing there's some bloody dreadful employers out there you're preaching to the choir. (And someone who, for entirely prudential legal reasons and to protect the privacy of others, will keep mum on the details.) Always has been, always will be I suspect.

    We'll likely disagree on where the balance of power between employer and employee is currently, and where it needs to be, but this shifts it greatly in the direction of the employer.

    On the first part of that, well sure -- and I think it's possible for honest and honourable people to honestly and honourably argue about it. 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.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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