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Speaker: My People

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  • andin,

    Thought this thread was about children , but OK you want to mention us old farts.
    How about we have a conversation about death. And the dumb arse christian notions which still hold sway over the feeble minded health bureaucrats and all to often disempowers the actual person dying.
    Sorry, I don't shrink in fear from death and if anyone finds that offensive, yes that's my middle digit telling you exactly how I feel about your squeamishness.
    And I am excluding those with dementia.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Like many countries we have a resident demographic bulge on the way as our boomers age - over 65s will double over the next two or three decades.

    Someone else can provide overall detail, but to me it's part of the reason we need to have these conversations about social arrangements now rather than rushing them at the last moment. And there are public discourses happening anyway - like the 'breeding bludgers' ones that seem to be colouring perceptions of what others are saying.

    There's one problem with having discussions about population explosions, and over use of resources, and that is that these phenomena are largely occurring in countries that are beset by poverty and internal strife. It is an interesting discussion, Sacha, but I'm kind of with Gio. It's not really one that NZ needs to worry about on any practical level, unless we are prepared to go into places where these problems occur the most and tackle them head -on. Pragmatically speaking, we can only deal with what's happening in our backyard. We have an aging population that doomsayers predict will be unsustainable in a short period of time. I would think that people - supported, healthy families - would be helping us by having more children. And of course, that's not happening. Most people are still only having two or three kids. And herein lies the rub. This thread was originally about beneficiaries bashing, and in particular the habit of some in this society to blame everything on solo parents. In my little corner of the world - the one where I work, not the one where I live - as I have said, there are a fair number of solo parents. Some send their kids to kindergarten, some do not, so I can only talk about the ones I see, every day. None of them have large families. What they do have, occasionally, is blended households. Families that are related, living together (either in the family home, or with Mum and Dad, or with siblings, or cousins) so that life is more sustainable. There is always someone to look after the kids. This is not your standard nuclear family setup. So you are right - it is all about perception. Because I suspect that this is what people are seeing, if they look. Large numbers of people with large numbers of children. And of course, that perception isn't helped by the MSM who show houses like that where the Kahui twins lived. That was an extended family situation. It's like a mirage. You think you're seeing something that you are actually not.
    In Mangere, certainly, there are young people having children - in fact, I think I read somewhere that in Manukau City there is a baby bulge happening. That's all good. And my interest is not in keeping the population down, but in supporting people, in my very small way, to give their children the beginnings of a great life. So that they grow up to be competent, capable, productive people who contribute their riches to the world in a meaningful way. Because I don't think it's the number of people that matters, but the quality of the people.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Danielle,

    Not who is going to pay

    But mostly how and why.

    Why is because we want the children to actually get what they need.

    How is from us all contributing. And then how is by making what the kids need free.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Pragmatically speaking, we can only deal with what’s happening in our backyard.

    Which is fine. But even then I'd argue that we still need to figure out a smarter way of increasing "wealth" then simply increasing the number of bodies producing wealth. To me the obvious approach is to try and get the smartest most creative most "productive" children - rather than simpler more children.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Well, that's what I meant, Bart. More babies who are going to grow up to be great people.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    To me the obvious approach is to try and get the smartest most creative most “productive” children – rather than simpler more children.

    Perhaps those smartest most creative productive children can be any child.

    Knowledge Is Power Program, or KIPP, founded in 1993 by a couple of frustrated young teachers, Michael Feinberg and David Levin, in Houston’s inner-city schools. By 2008 there were sixty-six KIPP schools coast to coast, with 16,000 students. KIPP takes children who seem headed for mediocrity or failure — who have little or no hope of ever making it out of the slums — and turns them into exemplary scholars with bright futures.

    Taken from here(which was a strange article to find it in.)

    KIPP website is here


    Nice new website. And I'll keep my talk of death to a minimum.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones, in reply to Lilith __,

    Sorry for my delayed response.

    Sally, I know you write in haste, but how does this idea not impoverish all children of larger families? It's not their fault which family they're born into

    Lilith: I'm sorry if my argument gave you the impression that I don't value children - and equally. There is no other way to value them. None of this has anything whatsoever to do with naming and blaming. In my mind there is no fault attached to being on a benefit, certainly not an automatic blame, whether of the father or of the son, or of any of the female family members involved.

    My long-winded suggestion was in response to concerns raised on this thread over welfare dependency being encouraged by the state. It was just a suggestion meant in the spirit of continuing the debate about stuff that worries people.

    In such a system there wouldn't have to be any reduction in overall funding for children or families. It would just be allocated differently to remove any incentive to have more children for the sake of increasing the benefit. If people don't do this now then nothing would change for them. I did say as a caveat to my suggestion that this concern, especially where it intersects with the standard bashing of solo parents, is inevitably overstated. But in any case, it's just a thought - expressed in stupid haste. Sorry for offence taken.

    My politics have always been to the left. I have probably thought for too many years about some of the stuff that seems to win and lose elections, including worry over welfare, and I'm beginning to think certain compromises might be required.

    Some of my reasoning is built on frustration over the country's political conservatism, our fear of change and readiness to buy into the politics of envy and fear. Envy of the rich - eg Australia, John Key - and fear of crime, but also fear of poverty and welfare dependency. Rather than feed this fear it might be cleverer to restructure the system by which state funds to assist parents in the raising of children are distributed.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to sally jones,

    Some of my reasoning is built on frustration over the country’s political conservatism, our fear of change and readiness to buy into the politics of envy and fear. Envy of the rich – eg Australia, John Key – and fear of crime, but also fear of poverty and welfare dependency. Rather than feed this fear it might be cleverer to restructure the system by which state funds to assist parents in the raising of children are distributed.

    So, let's appease Mr & Mrs Redneck Busybody by appearing to penalise people who probably aren't having kids to rort the system, but just in case they actually are, what'd be the harm?

    Jesus wept.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Word, Joe.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I think here is where I follow my own suggestion from earlier in the thread and say 'hey, fuck Mr & Mrs Redneck Busybody. They're assholes!'

    It would just be allocated differently to remove any incentive to have more children for the sake of increasing the benefit.

    OK (I mean, I don't think it's OK, personally, but for the sake of argument), but I don't understand how you see that happening. Where does the money go, and how is it 'locked away' from the parents?

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

  • sally jones, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Where does the money go, and how is it ‘locked away’ from the parents?

    ? No locking away. The same amount of money distributed over 3-4 children per family up to a certain maximum amount - a generous maximum to be sure. Plus free quality public health and pre/schooling for all children.

    So, let’s appease Mr & Mrs Redneck Busybody by appearing to penalise people who probably aren’t having kids to rort the system, but just in case they actually are, what’d be the harm?

    Jesus wept.

    There's no penalty in this, only trust in parents to spend their money equally between all their children and a (generous) limit on state funds to help them do that.

    In a democracy the distribution of public funds is always in a citizen's interests. You need to rein in your self-righteous idealism a little.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Rather than feed this fear it might be cleverer to ...

    Pander to that fear? However unreasonable it is? Because perception is reality?

    You need to rein in your self-righteous idealism a little.

    I can sense some self-righteous idealism as well, but it's not coming from Joe.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    ? No locking away. The same amount of money distributed over 3-4 children per family up to a certain maximum amount

    Again: how, exactly, is that *not* penalising the fifth, sixth, or seventh child in a family dependent on state benefits?

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

  • giovanni tiso,

    I don't know, but I bet you dollars to buttons that when the welfare working group reports to us in a couple of weeks the "let's cap the money at four children" suggestion is going to seem lovely and concerned and humane in comparison.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    I can sense some self-righteous idealism as well, but it’s not coming from Joe.

    I'll accept that - and regret that.

    Pander to that fear? However unreasonable it is? Because perception is reality?

    I genuinely don't think this has to be pandering to anything or anyone. No existing family or child would be affected. Such a policy could be brought in gradually over 25 years.
    I don't know.
    I think there are far meaner things happening in the current welfare and tax systems in terms of the distribution of state assets than this would introduce.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    I think there are far meaner things happening in the current welfare and tax systems in terms of the distribution of state assets than this would introduce.

    Possibly, but that's not really a very compelling argument. Besides, it's an argument for introducing a policy to address an issue which simply does not exist. That some people fear that this is an issue does not make it one.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Also, defending a policy on the grounds that worse policies are about to be passed that will make its badness pale in comparison is... a curious way of promoting its benefits.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Besides, it’s an argument for introducing a policy to address an issue which simply does not exist. That some people fear that this is an issue does not make it one.

    If it's not an issue it's not an issue. More research needed - or not - depending on where we as a society want to put our time and money.

    Also, defending a policy on the grounds that worse policies are about to be passed that will make its badness pale in comparison is… a curious way of promoting its benefits.

    Not quite what I said. I think we already have worse policies. Most of our families are underfunded as it stands, benefit or no benefit. Raising children today is insanely expensive. I think we could allocate more state funding overall to the raising of children - because there is nothing more worthwhile a society can do for itself - but just take some of the right-wing angst out of the equation too.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    So we're back to punishing children who have four previous siblings in order to appease the most virulent conservatives? And that's desirable because...?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Heather W., in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Just for the record, there is a baby boom on now and more than just in South Auckland. There will be around 10000 more babies born in New Zealand this year than there was in 2001. http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/births/BirthsAndDeaths_HOTPJun10qtr.aspx

    Since 2007 there have been more than 60000 births each year in New Zealand. Other than brief baby bulges around 1971 and 1991, we are now at totals not seen since 1959-1962. Birth rate has now risen to 2.2.

    The baby boomers have almost finished having their babies or it will be grandchildren (and great+) arriving now. Numbers may well drop again with the echo of the lower number of arrivals in the 70s and 80s.

    I apologise for not doing all the references but this white background gives me a headache.

    North Shore • Since Nov 2008 • 189 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Heather W.,

    Thanks for that, Heather. I did wonder about it - there seems to be an awful lot of kids around. (I notice these things - much as you see thousands of people with red shoes, if you want a pair).

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

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