Poverty not black and whyte

Poverty in New Zealand is examined again, this time by ex ACT leader Jamie Whyte in Poverty statistics suffer from paucity of common sense (NZ Herald).

There is no poverty in New Zealand. Misery, depravity, hopelessness, yes; but no poverty.

The poorest in New Zealand are the unemployed. They receive free medical care, free education for their children and enough cash to pay for basic food, clothing and (subsidised) housing. Most have televisions, refrigerators and ovens. Many even own cars. That isn’t poverty.

Why then do we keep hearing that more than 20 per cent of New Zealand children live in poverty? Those who tell us this do not mean by “poverty” what most people do. They have a statistical definition: you live in poverty if your household’s income is less than 50 per cent of the national median (after tax and housing costs, and adjusted for the number of adults and children in the household).

For example, the Herald recently published an article by Susan St John, spokeswoman for the Child Poverty Action Group, that claimed 220,000 children live in poverty because they “fall under the stringent 50 per cent after-housing-costs poverty line”.

Alas, the measure is not stringent; it is ridiculous.

Whyte goes on the explain why he thinks the claims of poverty in New Zealand are ridiculous.

Why would anyone use such a preposterous definition of poverty? Interviewed byThe Guardian, British poverty campaigner Peter Kenway defended it on the grounds that “it is a simple and reliable statistic which has played a huge part in propelling poverty up the policy agenda.”

It is far from reliable, and what it “pushes up the policy agenda” is not really poverty but inequality, which, in rich countries, is not the same thing. Poverty statistics based on this measure are misleading anyone who believes them.

Or the so called poverty statistics are being misused by people promoting an agenda with hints of socialism.

David Farrar agrees at Kiwiblog in Whyte on poverty.

And there is both strong criticism and agreement in a discussion at The Standard.

Weka:

Good grief. Couldn’t get past the first paragraph. Since when has there been free ‘medical’ care in NZ? What a dick.

Quite a bit of medical care is free for quite a few people in New Zealand.

Lanthanide:

Looks like a pretty reasonable article, to me. He eventually does at the end say the statistic is measuring inequality, not poverty, which I think he should have mentioned much earlier (short attention spans and all that). Also his sudden overuse of the word ‘pauper’ was strange.

Yes, Whyte’s repeated use of the term ‘pauper’ was odd, it seems as out of place in a New Zealand context as ‘poverty’.

This exchange illustrates part of the problem with the poverty campaigning.

maui:

I think what the poverty campaigners are trying to highlight is the people going without proper housing and proper food (amount and quality). In the 1st and 3rd world’s I would say this is a pretty good definition of poverty.

Lanthanide:

Then they should talk about that, instead of talking about the number of people who live in a household with less than 50% of the median household income.

But even defining poverty as “going without proper housing and proper food” can invite debate over what is judged proper housing and food.

The poverty debate is far from black and whyte.

Leave a comment

59 Comments

  1. Pete Brian

     /  7th January 2016

    It depends how you define poverty. Yes we don’t have poverty where people are dying from starvation, but we do have people with inadequate housing and many earning less than the living wage. New Zealand doesn’t need to be like this we have the resources where everyone can live without struggling. Inequality is increasing each year, that is the gap between rich and poor. If inequality continues to increase than eventually we will see extreme poverty. We need to put pressure on the government to give worker’s better pay, worker’s rights, education for the poor and social welfare for the unfortunate. Basically improve equality to how it was in the 80s.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  7th January 2016

      As I noted before, we have had by far the biggest expenditure and department of State devoted to reducing poverty for some eighty years yet defined relative poverty and inequality has just increased.

      So how on earth do you think more of that “solution” will conceivably reverse that change when it is most probably the major contributing cause of the deterioration?

      Reply
    • “many earning less than the living wage.”

      There is no one level of ‘living wage’, nor is it easy to define what constitutes what financial level is sufficient to comfortably live on.

      “New Zealand doesn’t need to be like this we have the resources where everyone can live without struggling.”

      “We” don’t have those sort of resources. Most people will struggle for at least part of their lives financially. There is no financial utopia.

      “Inequality is increasing each year, that is the gap between rich and poor.”

      If nothing else changes including everyone’s standard of living inflation will cause that, but it would be meaningless.

      “If inequality continues to increase than eventually we will see extreme poverty. ”

      What do you base that on? Even most people at the lower end of the financial heap are better off then many were a hundred years ago.

      “We need to put pressure on the government to give worker’s better pay, worker’s rights, education for the poor and social welfare for the unfortunate. ”

      Most of most of that already happens.

      “Basically improve equality to how it was in the 80s.”

      When mortgage rates were up around 20%, we had price and wage freezes, farmer subsidies and many other financial distortions that nearly led to the country going broke.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  7th January 2016

        I wish that I had kept the bank statements from when our mortgage was in double figures-I don’t remember it being as high as 20%, and think that I would have if it had been. But when I found one some years ago, it was an eye-watering amount-and that must have been at the very end of the 80s or even a bit later, as we weren’t in that house or even married before that. I think it was about 11%. Ouch.

        I remember my stepfather being rung at the height of the 80s crisis by someone (his lawyer, I think, but it may have been his accountant) and it being a very short conversation. He had been asked if he wanted to lend money out as second and third mortgages….at 25% and 33% respectively. He refused, as anyone who needed it that badly would probably never be able to pay it back. 33% !!! You’d be buying the farm every three years with the interest alone, never mind paying any capital.

        It was a great feeling to pay off the mortgage-I thought that it would be more dramatic, but it was just another transaction, ho hum.

        Reply
    • Goldie

       /  8th January 2016

      Pete Brian: “Inequality is increasing each year, that is the gap between rich and poor.”

      This keeps on being repeated, but there is little evidence for that.
      See http://www.stats.govt.nz Income Inequality P80/P20 ratio.

      Pete Brian: “If inequality continues to increase than eventually we will see extreme poverty. ”

      Not so Peter. If inequality rises, it may not lead to “extreme poverty”. Say you and I are both on $50K real annual income. Your income goes to $55K and my income goes to $100K. As a result, we have increasing inequality. However, you are not in poverty – you are actually better off!

      Reply
  2. kittycatkin

     /  7th January 2016

    The %s of people in NZ who don’t have cars and televisions are tiny. I know people who don’t have televisions, but that’s because they don’t want them.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  7th January 2016

      The % of people (or households) with television is 98% +, with cars 92%, with cellphones 84%, with computers for people with incomes of -$20,000 45%.

      I forget what % have two cars, but it’s quite high.

      Reply
  3. Danyl has debunked all this at Dim Post.

    David Farrar also talks about this all the time. ‘Why is poverty relative? Why not have an absolute measure of poverty?’ Well, the reason is that poverty is an intrinsically relative measure. It’s like ‘warmth’ or ‘tallness’.

    Yeah, you can say that if you compare New Zealand poverty to Indonesian poverty, say, then there is no poverty in New Zealand. But you could also just as validly compare us to the residents of Mayfair or the Île Saint-Louis or East Hampton, compared to whom pretty much all of us live in abject poverty.

    Because those are both stupid things to do we don’t actually do that and there’s an official measure of poverty which has broad political consensus.

    Apart from the rest of Danyl’s rhetoric I wasn’t aware we had an ‘official measure of poverty’, nor political consensus on how to measure poverty in New Zealand.

    Reply
    • And a damned good debunking it is too! 50% of median income (with attached provisos), as Whyte quotes, appears to be a widely accepted, if not official measure.

      So aside from your two derogatory points at the end, “official” – which may just be a fluffy on Danyl’s part, instead of “widely accepted” – and “consensus” – “the rest of Danyl’s rhetoric” is, indeed, a damn good debunking!

      The simple reason is because arguments like, “but “they” have cars and tvs and cellphones” and “they’re not poor compared to an African starving by the roadside” and “they’re much better off than they were 100 years ago” are all chronic f*ing bullshit!

      Apart from anything else, why would some New Zealanders advance such views about their fellow New Zealanders? (Ha! I’ll just hang my naivety out here for yous to shoot holes in)
      It’s not like that anymore, is it? Not if you live inside a psychic “gated community”.

      Reply
      • Widely accepted by whom? Greens and part of Labour is hardly widely, it’s less than a quarter of political support.

        We need a way of trying to address social inequities better but arguing over simplistic statistics doesn’t help.

        Reply
        • Okay, so the 50% of median maybe exists in the vacuum created by govt NOT establishing a measurement?

          Regardless, I believe what Danyl was doing was debunking the “relativity argument” in favour of an absolute measure and not only is relative poverty painfully in need of debunking he did it rather well.

          Reply
          • kittycatkin

             /  8th January 2016

            A problem is that there can never be equality of income between those whose income comes from WINZ and those whose income is the average income of $80,000 +. The economy couldn’t support it-I doubt if any economy could-and those who were working for that income would rightly be incensed that other people were on the same income at the country’s expense. For many people, working would not be an option if they could have a much higher income by not working.

            Reply
            • @ kck – I’m not talking about “equal incomes”, never have, never will.

              However, there exists a perfectly legitimate issue or ‘subject’ named “equality” and it is arguably quite closely related to the subject “poverty” despite Whyte’s magnificently intellectual deduction that in rich countries these are “not the same thing”. [End of story]

              It’s plainly obvious WINZ won’t be paying beneficiaries $80,000 and nor would I want them to. What I want them to consider is that benefits are a right and privilege available to those not working, not a punishment for supposedly “refusing to work”, in an economy that systemically depends on not providing work for everyone.

              “Between 1982 and 2011, New Zealand’s gross domestic product grew by 35%. Almost half of that increase went to a small group who were already the richest in the country. During this period, the average income of the top 10% of earners in New Zealand (those earning more than $72,000)[45] almost doubled going from $56,300 to $100,200. The average income of the poorest tenth increased by only 13% from $9700 to $11,000.[46]

              – Wiki – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_New_Zealand

      • Widely promulgated not widely accept PNZ regarding the 50% of the median wage meme, just like the widely promulgated living wage BS…

        Reply
  4. @ Alan – I can’t prove it, I can’t find adequate ‘poverty’ figures for pre-1984, but nor have you done so, but I don’t believe poverty and inequality have increased for eighty years regardless of government policy and state departments. I believe they have been increasing since 1984 and for nearly 50 years prior they were being mitigated and/or decreasing.

    http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/apfail.htm

    http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/69087/bernard-hickey-looks-how-generations-and-after-rogernomics-and-ruthanasia-revolutions

    http://www.childpoverty.co.nz/flow-infographics/child-poverty-trends

    Reply
  5. None of this really matters though, does it. We’re having another highly polarised discussion about what constitutes poverty and ignoring even Whyte’s assertion, “what it “pushes up the policy agenda” is not really poverty but inequality”, which he then dismisses with, “which, in rich countries, is not the same thing”.

    So I’ll repeat my position like everyone else is doing –

    1) We need a definition of “poverty” applicable to a First World or Tertiary economy and a prosperous Western nation – arguably with an ethos of social justice still capable of being retrieved or resuscitated – or what I’ve also called “tertiary human rights”.
    2) If we’re not going to talk about poverty let’s talk about equality, shall we?
    Since they are “not the same thing” and perhaps not even significantly related?
    This croc needs debunking along with many other.

    Cracks are appearing in the neoliberal, capitalist-minimal-welfare ‘total economy’ wall, I reckon. Some pretty big cracks. I don’t want the wall to crumble. I want to live in a prosperous country, but not at the expense of even First World poverty for a significant portion of the population and absolutely not Third World poverty.

    “So 30 years on from Rogernomics and Ruthanasia the “Baby Bust” generation face high student debts, low home ownership rates, very high poverty rates and slower wage growth than those who can remember the Douglas moustache and the Muldoon cackle” – Bernard Hickey.

    Reply
    • @ PG – Bunch of basic System Justification in your point-by-point reply to Pete Brian I reckon. Neither ‘side’ really knows. I doubt the information exists to base real knowledge on, ie what do the “poor” think? So the sides just form into camps and sling off at each other and deny any validity in each other’s positions. How can we complain about our adversarial Parliament while doing this!?

      So that I can’t be accused of not recommending anything. Regards your assertion ““We” don’t have those sort of resources. Most people will struggle for at least part of their lives financially. There is no financial utopia”. I assert –

      1) We may have some, most or all of those resources if we i) altered our priorities somewhat, and ii) shared what resources we do have more equitably.

      2) I firmly believe, have experienced and observe that most people appear happy to struggle for at least part of their lives, especially if doing so is financially rewarding in the medium-long term. Especially if it allows them to feel good, support loved ones, acquire “the symbols of wealth” and, in many cases, shoulder their share of society’s responsibilities.

      It is an absolute croc in my opinion to think that if a few people, a tiny percentage of the population, are or appear to be unwilling to work, the “work ethic” of the whole culture has gone out the window. An absolute croc but maybe a convenient one?

      Reply
  6. Nelly Smickers

     /  7th January 2016

    Goodness gracious me – is there anyone else here that finds all the colunm inches dedicated to ‘Poverty in New Ziland’, to be a complete and utter boar?

    UPTICK for YES – DOWNTICK for NO

    (PS: vote also applies to Jamie Whyte)

    Reply
  7. Pickled Possum

     /  7th January 2016

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11570604

    jamie whyte has written this same story 4 times over the last ten years and just changed the names of the countries. he admits to “self-plagiarism”.

    Reply
    • He should be a “greenie” then? That’s excellent recycling.

      Reply
      • Pickled Possum

         /  7th January 2016

        imo jamie whyte will be what ever he wants to be when he is seeking relevance.
        Recycling is his business when it comes to writing what he really thinks.
        He is a pretentious twat and his writings should never be paid for.
        Pauper pfffff …. of this own mind.

        Reply
    • artcroft

       /  7th January 2016

      The Greens repeat their tosh day in day out. Self-plagiarism?

      Reply
    • I quite often write similar posts here, and sometimes just repost an old post. I doubt that it can be called plagiarism.

      Newspapers repeat similar type stories frequently.

      Reply
    • self plagiarism… bejesus. he is debating the same mindless % of X income is poverty meme that the left have been pumping for ages….. reusing the same logic based arguments to debunk it is not plagiarism in any sense

      Reply
      • @ Possum – some (paraphrased) words from a song by Creedence Clearwater come to mind – “I think they missed it” !?

        @ dave1924 – care to offer a different measurement? Absolute or relative, either will do?

        Reply
        • Material hardship – the stats are gathered and published and are more reasonable way of defining poverty.

          NZ already takes large sums of money from its population and via the agency of the government spend 56-58 BILLION dollars on providing healthcare, education and social welfare support to its population of 4.5 odd million people. That’s approx 12.5K p.a. per member of the population on average…..

          Inequality is an entirely different matter altogether. My 25 year old self earnt shite money, my older current self earns very very good money but that’s the result of adult uni study, working horrible hours and taking responsibility for my own situation.

          Most people, removing chronic illness and mental illness from the discussion, can improve their own situation by making a plan, accepting the challenge of implementing that plan and then working bloody hard.

          Reply
          • Dave1924 – Okay, I agree with an absolute measurement of poverty. However, I would rather catch my fellow New Zealanders before they reach “material hardship” if this is humanly possible. It won’t be possible for some but that doesn’t stop me wanting to try. Also, healthcare, education and certain welfare provisions are everyone’s entitlement. A whole bunch of the $56-58 bill you cite is not being spent specifically on the poor. I know you don’t say so but I sense an implication in your placement of the figures.

            If you think I’m only talking beneficiaries you’re wrong. Agreeing to “material hardship” to me is like agreeing to a less than living-wage for one’s labour, e.g, above the miniumum wage. I simply can’t go along with it.

            Why? Because we live in a prospersous nation which could be just as prosperous with decent living wages for today’s low-paid and underemployed workers with the added advantage of much reduced social costs.

            Why has “work to live” been replaced by “live to work”? Why is it so admirable nowadays to work “horrible hours” and so “bloody hard” in a society that is arguably in a position and I reckon should be offering its people the same or reasonable earnings for less work with more leisure time if they want it?

            Its a good theory the “self improvement” theory but what you’re really saying is everyone needs to “play the game”. The same competitive individualistic game. The neoliberal free market capitalist-minimal-welfare game. Well, some people don’t want to, they want to “work to live” or they want to be cooperative or creative rather than fiercely competitive or perhaps they may not have the constitution for “working bloody hard” and horrible hours? Some people are actually too sensitive for the grotesque personal dynamics of most workplaces. (That’s one specially for KG to jump on)

            Somewhere along the line, as a society, we’ll need to ask ourselves fundamental questions like: How many people would do their ‘jobs’ if they didn’t absolutely need to for the money? How many people are happy and fulfilled in their work? How many people are doing work they don’t even want to do? The real question is: Are we wage slaves? And if so, is this a suitable state of being for a species who arrogantly consider themselves the pinnacle of creation?

            Your “most people” sounds like a sort of “battle scarred warrior” ethos to me: Richie McCaw playing on with a broken foot: My ‘Rourke’s Drift’ personality: Look, I admirably worked myself to death. All very male too.

            Nothing personal dave, I’m speaking generally now, but your position “as I interpret it” provides a good measure of where we’re at I as a society I reckon. [Where are the men and women asking “Why the f*ck am I doing this?”]

            It’s basically a ‘Darwinian’, male and tough-as-bloody-guts competitive ‘jungle’ of a life and we should buckle under regardless of gender, culture, personality or beliefs and just bloody tough it out.

            I’ve got a couple of words to present to this ideology; F*CK and THAT.

            And a very interesting article for you – The case against competition –

            http://www.alfiekohn.org/article/case-competition/

            Ψ – I do my best work in the early hours of the morning.

            Reply
            • “Raising healthy, happy, productive children goes hand in hand with creating a better society. The first step to achieving both is recognizing that our belief in the value of competition is built on myths. There are better ways for our children — and for us — to work and play and live”.

              – Alfie Kohn

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th January 2016

              Newsflash: Money doesn’t grow on trees for “society” to hand out as welfare or higher wages. It represents only what the nation can and does produce – often by those who work “horrible hours”.

            • Much the usual response, pick up on the one skittle that isn’t perfectly clarified and knock it down. Never mind the others.

              Okay, it’s difficult to define “in a word” the forces that establish wage and welfare payment levels, poverty and wealth, social mores about work et al. I’ve used “society”. Perhaps the horrible term “market society” (where everything is commodified) is more accurate?

              Nothing to say about the more apparent content or subjects of my post Alan? Some of the bigger questions like, “Are we wage slaves?” or ‘The case against competition’?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th January 2016

              You expect “society” to pay more just how? If that isn’t the bigger question I don’t know what is. As for your others, if you run a business you have to cooperate with a vast spread of people in order to compete with other businesses. In the free market you get to choose whether to be a wage slave. That is hardly new news either. People were dropping out half a century ago.

            • Blazer

               /  9th January 2016

              ‘NEWSFLASH’ money was created for the GFC bailouts and allocated to favoured sectors .

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th January 2016

              Which GFC bailouts? Most created debts that were repaid. I’m sure that is not what PZ wants.

            • Ah they… why should i work to get ahead response.

              Well why should i work hard to pay taxes to allow others to go off and be “creative” when that “creative” has no chance of supporting itself.

              I’m not in to Darwinian extremes PnZ. But expecting paradise for no effort don’t work.

              We are a social animal. We work in a lot of ways cooperatively. Thats why I don’t ahve a problem with proving education opportunity, a social welfare safety need and socialised medical care.

              But people need to chip in. For some that its taking on reeducation, for some its NOT having that 3rd, 4th, 5th child so they can support their own family, for some its working hard and looking for better opportunities.

              Your making the old life before work argument. Fine – fair enough we can all make that choice – heck I have done so for the last year but I have supported myself on my own coin. But if you want to put life before work don’t whine about inequality as you are putting yourself in that position and expecting others to pick up the slack.

              And yes sometimes you need to tough it out

              And as for implying we already pay a lot to the poor. I’m not implying that. I am bloody well saying it – NZ society is very generous. Is that generousity enough to live a great life on – no probably not, but well budgeted you can get by. A cat for a hat, a hat for a cat and nothing for nothing – i.e. people do need to stand up and help themselves Pnz…

            • I see you’ve got a downtick which I don’t really support.

              I don’t think I’m saying “Why should I work to get ahead”. I think I’m saying (this is incompletely formulated), “What do we mean by ‘getting ahead’ and why do we give it such extraordinary weight?” We know, we absolutely know, that many people in our society – a great many of them workers in paid employment – are not even “getting by”.

              Fair enough comments of yours though I reckon. I can certainly comprehend what you are saying and I’ve “been there done that”, although I am currently not in a position to fully do so and simultaneously deeply engaged in the search for a responsible, self-sufficient and sustainable alternative to suit my own circumstances.

              Many people around where I live are also not fully able to work – in the basic “get a job” sense – unless they move out of the area, which means away from their home or turangawaewae.

              If the “market society” (where everything is commodified) prevails small communities like mine will probably die and its former residents become slum dwellers in Auckland, where they will arguably draw higher welfare payments via accommodation subsidies etc even as “workers” (in the traditional sense).

              How “personally responsible” they are, their reproductive choices, their dietary and health decisions et al will certainly play their role, but they will nonetheless be part of a system whereby their wages cannot pay the cost of living so the government subsidizes their housing, often supporting wealthy property investors, plus some other expenses, and hence maintains a grossly disparate low-wage, high housing cost (etc), diminishing value-for-money (eg health system) economic paradigm.

              I’m describing a dysfunctional system. It’s self-evident.
              You must be able to see this, surely!?

              I want to repair and improve it, maybe even fix it, rather than just maintain it.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th January 2016

              No, you are describing dysfunctional people. If so many can move to Auckland from China and succeed the reasons people can’t do the same from Hokianga lie entirely between their ears.

  8. Blazer

     /  7th January 2016

    why on earth Whytes opinion on anything would have any relevance is something I cant comprehend…has a very limited understanding of New Zealand today and demonstrates it every time he opens his mouth.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  8th January 2016

      He has a very good understanding-look at his background.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  8th January 2016

        I’ve heard him talk….ideological lightweight,hugely unimpressive imo.

        Reply
        • Goldie

           /  8th January 2016

          Yeah Blazer. Jamie Whyte (M.Phil and Phd Cambridge, lecturer at Corpus Christi, etc) is a lightweight compared to your undoubted intellect.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  8th January 2016

            I am not comparing myself to him…there is no comparison.He was/is the leader of a NZ Political party…the number of letters he has after his name is not a reflection of intelligence ,I hope.KCK has more apparantly!

            Reply
    • Timoti

       /  8th January 2016

      Why don’t you grace us with your intellengence and tell us what in particular you disagree with regarding Whytes comments

      Reply
  9. Goldie

     /  8th January 2016

    I find it interesting that the two responses against Jamie Whyte’s article are:

    1. Ad hominem attacks on Whyte (usually a sure fire indicator of who is winning an argument).

    2. Claims that 50% of median income is a “widely accepted measure” (not that the measure is actually valid or not – just because something is “widely accepted” is not an indication that it is correct).

    Has anyone seen an actual argument against Whyte’s piece?

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  8th January 2016

      Jamie Whytes dissertations on NZ politics are as John Mitchells dissertations on NZ Rugby…and it may be coincidence that they have the same ..hairstyle.

      Reply
  10. Alan Wilkinson

     /  8th January 2016

    There is a not so subtle difference between writing the same thing a number of times because it is true and doing it because it is your opinion.

    As Goldie notes, there have been no refutations of Whyte’s argument so we presume the critics of the repetition do not like the truth.

    Reply
    • @ Goldie and Alan – Bunkum! Most of the comments in this thread are right “on topic” because the exact topic of Whyte’s article are vague, inconclusive, biased, opinionated and without supporting evidence and stink putrifically of systems justification.

      Everyone demanding evidence for, proof of the veracity of, or challenging “widespread acceptance” of 50% median might ask, “What evidence does Whyte offer to the contrary”? Well, here it is –

      “Alas, the measure is not stringent; it is ridiculous”.

      Wow! Gee! Golly Gosh, I’m really impressed!
      And just look at the qualifications he obtained in order to say this so intelligently.

      Whether glaringly implicit or grossly explicit the subject of his Right-wing leg-rubbing diatribe is “relative poverty” plus his dismissal of any relationship between it and “equality”. Most of the comments herein pertain to those opinions and, in my opinion, his argument is well-and-truly refuted.

      So, what measure of poverty do you guys want to use?
      No measure, which justifies you position, or your chosen measure which justifies your position?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  8th January 2016

        If you want to use a relative poverty definition then the onus is on you to show that it matters and anyone should care.

        Reply
        • The Master Evader of Questions speaks again.

          My support of Danyl’s comment posted by PG might lead one to assume I favour an absolute measure, although in the absence of that a relative one will do. What the nation needs, I would argue, is an “agreed” measure so we can discuss and act upon the actual issue or problem constructively rather than negatively and repetitively debating various methods of measuring it or none.

          But if you don’t care it doesn’t really matter does it?
          I see you have supporters for your “I don’t care” position!

          I predict that one day those who do care will outnumber those who don’t and we’ll live in a half-way decent society again.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  8th January 2016

            NZ currently spends $28B annually on many thousands of people to care about and fix poverty.

            Why on earth should I add to that number?

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th January 2016

              And that’s not counting the progressive income tax and WFF transfers which probably double it.

            • Think Elizabeth Montgomery again, “Wwweeeeeeeeell”?

              I guess it depends what you think the $28 bill is really being spent on?

              I suspect you and I will never agree on this –

              You: “to care about and fix poverty”

              Me: “to sublimate, mask and conceal the real causes of poverty”.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th January 2016

              Blah blah. I’ve probably done more about poverty in NZ than most here since I was responsible for the pilot project to demonstrate the SWIFTT computer welfare payment system was feasible and which allowed it to be built three and a half decades ago. It has been responsible for managing NZ social welfare benefit payments ever since.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th January 2016

              Oops, mental arithmetic failure – two and a half decades ago. I’m younger than I thought.

            • Blazer

               /  8th January 2016

              so you are the culprit…was Christine Rankin your girlfriend?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th January 2016

              No way. Well before her disastrous time at the top.

    • Blazer

       /  8th January 2016

      no ..they just do not like..repetition…its boring.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s