Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Welfare isn't working

What's been going on with welfare while every one's been crowing about the unemployment figures being the lowest in history? Lindsay Mitchell has an overview:

When Government's 'Trim the DPB' campaign began back in 1995, there were 102, 000 people on the DPB. Now? There are still 102, 000 on the DPB, and several thousand more bureaucrats to help administer the various 'Trim the DPB' campaigns devised since then.

What else? Back in 1995 the Government introduced "bold new measures" to "reduce the number of sickness beneficiaries," then totalling 74,000. What's the result, eleven years later? There are now 122,000 people receiving a sickness benefit.

As Lindsay concludes:
The government should STOP doing whatever it is they do. They just manage to make matters worse.
They sure do. Over the last ten years around $150 billion has been taken from taxpayers and spent in a war on poverty, and it's a war that no one is winning; not the government, not the taxpayer, and if recent studies are correct, not the 200-300,000 or so who've been the targets of this war over the last ten years: according to those studies, and despite the vast sums being spent fighting poverty, over the last five years for example the number in "severe hardship" has become both more numerous, and worse off.

That's $150,000,000,000 -- enough to have given every beneficiary in the country a massive $500,000 each to start their own war on poverty, and it still hasn't worked. It just hasn't worked. To paraphrase PJ O'Rourke,
the spending of this truly vast amount of money -- an amount more than half again the nation's entire gross national product in 1995 -- has left everybody just sitting around slack-jawed and dumbstruck, staring into the maw of that most extraordinary paradox: You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money.
When do we realise that government welfare doesn't work -- not for anyone -- and least of all for those who it is supposed to help.

LINKS: It's pathetic - Lindsay Mitchell
Labour has failed the poor - No Right Turn (Idiot/Savant)
Excerpt from 'How to endow privation' from PJ O'Rourke's book 'Parliament of Whores'

RELATED: Welfare, Politics-NZ

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