Call me cynical but I doubt that most politicians who promise to solve (real and imaginary) problems by passing statutes and peddling policy truly believe their own rhetoric. They might not disbelieve what they say, but I'm convinced that politicians don't ponder the complexities of reality deeply enough to convince themselves of the truth of what they proclaim. They say what they say and promise what they promise chiefly as a means of ascending to power and glory.If John Key's underclass exists anywhere, I reflected that it surely exists in South Auckland, and I thought back to a comment I made last year after the seventh homicide in South Auckland in just three months and on the back of a new government programme that was launched then "to take on South Auckland's street violence problem" (and that predictably has had no discernible impact):
I suspect that people self-select into politics because they have an unusually large lust for being in the limelight and an unusually small concern for the ethics of the actions they must take to get there. And because enough voters stand ready to blame their own (real and imaginary) misfortunes on the evil doings of "the rich" or "the corporate elite" or unprincipled power-seekers eager to ride this ignorance into office.
Let me give you something to think about: No part of New Zealand has had more government than South Auckland. Most of South Auckland is government-planned, government-designed, and built with government money -- and every new problem attracts more government action plans and even more "resources."Do you think that more government programmes, or more government-sponsored programmes -- peddled by whichever party in whatever fashion -- are really going to fix the problems that too much government in the lives of people has already helped to create?
Government houses fill the suburbs, people overwhelmingly on government benefits fill them, children go to government schools where the latest fashionable government curricula and government educational programmes are delivered, and (if anecdotal evidence is correct) there are more government programmes, government plans, government agencies, and government-employed welfare agents per-square kilometre than anywhere else in the country outside parliament and its surrounds.
The result has not been good. In fact, it has been catastrophic.
Might I invite readers to have a really good, hard think about that.
When government is the solution, there's every chance that it was government that created the problem. Will even more government remedy that? Lindsay Mitchell puts it bluntly: Whatever the arguments about the legitimacy of the dropping unemployment figures, "[don't] forget there are still almost 300,000 working age beneficiaries - double the number we had 20 years ago..."
The underclass isn't everybody on a benefit. It's a group of people who refuse to live in society in a peaceable, co-operative and constructive way. Their thoughts are only for today and themselves. If they aren't already criminals of some kind they are on the fringes. And it isn't an "emerging" class of people. But, judging by what we read in the newspapers and what we see on TV, or what we experience firsthand as victims, it is growing. Bugger reported crime levels. Look at victims of crime surveys.That's true, isn't it, and no amount of blathering -- however well-intentioned -- can change that. As the Libertarianz spokesman to deregulate welfare Peter Osborne says,
Then if you looked at WINZ records most of these people are there. They abuse welfare, they abuse or neglect their children, they abuse each other. But most of all, they abuse opportunity.
This country, with its passion for egalitarianism, has bent over backwards to give each and every person opportunity and many have simply hurled the opportunity back in the faces of well-meaning people.
"John Key's mumblings of 'The Kiwi Way: A Fair Go For All' is typical PC speak for further political meddling into our lives and more disastrous social engineering.... If life is to have any meaning or value people must help each other by choice, not through involuntary redistribution."That's the basic truth that all the talk of government assistance for the underclass fails to address, isn't it: that if anything has created this underclass, then it is government assistance and forced redistribution. More of the same will only bring more of the same.
LINK: On the nature of politics - Cafe Hayek
Key's speech "ho hum" - Lindsay Mitchell
More government. More programmes. More violence. - Not PC (Peter Cresswell), Sept, 2006
The great con that is social welfare - Peter Osborne, Libertarianz, Scoop
RELATED: Politics-NZ, Politics-National, Welfare, Auckland, Libertarianism