Tuesday, 11 August 2009

LIBERTARIAN SUS: Thank you very much for your kind donation [update 2]

Susan Ryder didn’t watch much television over the weekend.

susanryder I didn’t like the promotional ads from the outset. The wording bothered me.

Thousands of New Zealand children live without the basics most of us take for granted, making it hard for them to learn and participate at school. ‘KidsCan Stand Tall’ helps disadvantaged children by supplying them with raincoats, shoes and food, so they can get the most out of their education.

And last weekend, the ‘KidsCan Stand Tall Charitable Trust’ held the telethon on TV3 hosted by, in the words of its radio sibling, “the royalty” of New Zealand television personalities. Oddly enough, that news did nothing to change my mind. I gave it all a miss and have no regrets in doing so. Here’s why.

KidsCan is well connected. It lists Borders, Adidas and Warehouse Stationery among its numerous sponsors. And in spite of not exactly ‘standing tall’ themselves right now, so are the All Blacks, with alumni Ali Williams and Doug Howlett among its patrons.

According to Williams, “literally thousands of (NZ) children consistently go hungry and suffer from increased illness in winter because they do not have a raincoat to keep them warm and dry.”  He is quoted as being proud to support an organisation that “provides positive intervention.”

Howlett writes in a similar vein, being “extremely grateful for the opportunities” his parents provided for him and happy to be working with an organisation devoted to “levelling the playing field.”

The Trust’s website says this:

Children living in poverty can never be sure of receiving three meals a day, often filling their tummies on what they get out of the school water fountain. We are sure you will agree all kids deserve to have full tummies, regardless of whether their parents are good people struggling to make ends meet or those who waste money and neglect their responsibilities.

Let’s do some dissection. We have fiscal “poverty” in New Zealand after the recent news that the DPB can pay out more than $700 a week? We should make no distinction between good parents who are struggling financially and neglectful losers? Wow. Welcome to Socialism 101 where everybody’s the same and nobody’s to blame. It’ll therefore come as no surprise that the Trust also aims to “increase levels of self-esteem by encouraging equality.”

If there’s “poverty” anywhere, it’s a poverty of intelligence.

The Trust claims to provide free food for 8500 financially disadvantaged children every week, with many on the waiting list. Says Peterhead Primary School Principal:

I think the food items are fabulous, we’re so lucky. A huge thank you to KidsCan. There is nobody else that (sic) has supplied us with food and raincoats or has even suggested it.

And from a Western Heights (Rotorua) Primary School teacher:

There are children who don’t get dinner. They might get some bread and make a sandwich and you can see the unhappiness they bring with them.

In conjunction with Warehouse Stationery, the Trust claims to have distributed more than 35,000 raincoats to 111 poorer schools. And 8000 pairs of shoes have been supplied by Number 1 Shoes and distributed to the same “partner schools.”

From a Wairakei School teacher:

You saw them lift their heads up and just sit taller, kids are proud of the fact they’ve got them on. Getting those raincoats was an awesome time in those kids’ lives.

Three years at Teachers’ Training College and the best adjective she can find is “awesome,” but that’s another column. What of the children whose parents work really hard to cope without this largesse. Who make sacrifices to ensure their children are properly fed and clothed; who make do with cheaper or second-hand clothing; who refuse to use their low incomes as an excuse for parental neglect. They continue to be penalised for doing right while others are rewarded for doing wrong, all in the name of “encouraging equality.”

There are New Zealanders alive today who remember the misery of the Great Depression and the Welfare State that transpired. I wonder what Mickey Savage would make of his great dream now. This country is positively dripping in state welfare and yet the Trust is asking for private donations in order to supply toothpaste and toothbrushes to disadvantaged children. When will the penny drop that, ignoring the odious compulsion factor, history has shown state welfare succeeds only in creating  many more problems than it solves. That welfare literally breeds welfare. That robbing Peter to pay Paul isn’t fair on Peter and ultimately doesn’t do Paul much good, either.

“Meeting the basic needs of kiwi children” is the proud mantra of KidsCan Stand Tall. Silly me. I thought that was the job of the families who are supposed to love them.

“I walked to school on a rainy day when I missed the bus. I was wearing my raincoat. Then I didn’t get sick” a pupil from Horohoro School in the Bay of Plenty is quoted as saying.

Which begs the question: If all those free raincoats and shoes have been given out to keep children warm, dry and prevent sickness, what happens when they grow out of them?

* * Read Susan Ryder’s column most Tuesdays here at NOT PC * *

UPDATE 1: PC says: I didn’t even know this was on (been avoiding the tube lately) so imagine how surprised I was to find that I’d been forced to donate anyway.  ‘Cos that’s wot a gummint is for, you know.

UPDATE 2: And just what kind of organisation has everyone donated to?  Take it away Russell Brown:

    How much of the near two million dollars raised for the KidsCan Stand Tall Trust in TV3's weekend Telethon will go to meet the "basic needs" of children in poverty? You'd have to hope it's more than the 19 cents in the dollar that KidsCan managed to spend on its four charitable programmes last year.
    Its financial statement to the Charities Commission
for 2008 show that the trust raised $1.95 million last year, of which $1.5 million went in operating costs. . . .

As Mike King says,

Ha! Love it, only 19 cents in the dollar goes to the kids and 81 cents goes to admin... they should rename themselves the IRD.


  1. Without wanting to sound overly sycophantic Sus, you have a gift for plain spoken and surgical writing which lays bare the meat of an issue without any emotional faffing about. I only wish our MPs and "celebrities" would do the same.

    And yes, please do write that follow-up column on overuse of awesome. I couldn't help tuning in to the Telethon out of weird nostalgia for the 'thons of years past. All I saw was terrible production, overly saccharine celebs spouting cliches like they were going out of fashion (see what I did there?), and over and over, the squaking of "awesome" to describe everything from $50,000 cheques to one skinny white guy failing to have rhythm.

    For my trouble, I got told by my gaggle of lefty friends that I'm just "a cynical old c*nt". Possibly. At least, I thought, they didn't waste any of my money doing this. That was, until I saw the government was making a large donation. Why the hell do we have our money stolen in the first place to pay for a broken welfare state, when they just turn around and donate more to this, thereby both paying for the failure AND tacitly admitting they have failed?

    Sure sucks to be us, the taxpayers. Perhaps we need a telethon?

  2. If there’s “poverty” anywhere, it’s a poverty of intelligence.

    The nail has been hit so hard I no longer see it...

  3. Hear hear.

    Why don't they set up a charity to find and crucify the useless bastards who keep producing children as fashion items when they have no inclination or resources to support them.

  4. I imagine that you were as angry as I was when Mr Key decided he would donate on behalf of all of us. Forced yet again to pay for causes which we do not support.

  5. Whats the difference to the Tribesmen handing out free food and drink to attract members, and Labour offering handouts or tax cuts

    So that's just one bludger who survived to adulthood to live their life on the benefit.

    Want to increase per-capita productivity: much better that this kid and all his "KidsCare" mates get sick and died in the gutter. If their parents don't care enough to choose to feed, clothe and shoe them property. and to send them to a private school where they will get a real education, well they simply will not be equipt to contribute to NZ.

  6. Odd, isn't it, how we see neglect and call it poverty these days?

    I'm adding my voice to the call for a follow-up column on 'awesome' (or OSSummmm to be more correct). If someone uses OSSsummmm to describe a new pair of jeans, it makes you wonder which word they use to describe a volcanic eruption, doesn't it? Probably 'hot'.

  7. "If there’s 'poverty' anywhere, it’s a poverty of intelligence."

    Quote of the year.

    Just one of the many reasons I always enjoy your posts.

  8. Why such negativity? Telethons are a great idea - all welfare monies should be raised in such a way. Telethons dovetail and support libertarian views on private generosity -- views which are usually laughed off the stage.It was amazing so much was raised (even taking out the govt 'donation') in a downturn. Imagine how much more everyday folk would give voluntarily to assist others if govt got out of the way.

    The telethon result is an opportunity to promote libertarian ideas on private charity to the open-minded. Nothing is gained by dog-whistling conservatives.

  9. Ruth - the problem isn't "Telethons", it's THIS Telethon.

  10. To the anonymous person.

    Your posts very rarely seem to make any sense - both philosophically AND gramatically.

    Try taking a breath every now and again. Wipe the froth and spittle from your eyes and read what you have typed before pressing the send button so that we can at least understand what you are trying to say

    Oh and a name would be good too

  11. Ruth, State welfare has made capable people dependent and this particular charity compounds the problem. A libertarian shouldn't support any old charity merely by virtue of it being a charity. Unfortunately I think this cause, KidsCan, may have killed the prospects of any future telethon being staged. Which is a real shame because as you say, they present a great opportunity for those who would like to see a lot less of government 'charity'.

  12. To the anonymous person....

    Er, there might be more than one. Maybe it's sometimes Redbaiter going incognito.

  13. As I wrote on my own blog (just click) these Trusts should not be doling out food or clothing to children.

    This is the main issue here - the necessities of life are the responsibility of PARENTS, not do-gooders.

  14. FFS libertarianz nutters. Ruth is correct. Libz should support such idea of private donations.

    You guys moan about everything and anything, irrelevant whether it is government initiated or done privately.

  15. Who said telethons weren't a great idea? Not me.

    But this one was in support of pure socialism, as any self-professed libertarian could spot from a mile away.

    The irony of John Key doling out even more public money to a trust that provides services his govt's own enormous department is supposed to accommodate -- and beaming while he did it -- is obviously lost on National voters.

  16. FFS, Kind Donor. Read the bloody post/comments again. No libertarian, by definition you twat, is opposed to private charity!

    What was that about a poverty of intelligence?

  17. yes they certainly read like Redbaiter posts
    - mostly unintelligible

    Kind Donor:
    Just because somebody labels something with a positive or well-meaning word (ie charity or telethon), does not mean one should not need to use ones own brain to decipher whether it is good or not)

    Certainly the cause is good - giving food and stuff to needy children, but read Lindsays post again and see if you understand how doing that has a bad effect, and only helps to make the situation worse

    For example Govt uses the word TAX, when in fact it is THEFT if you care to THINK about what is being done.

    Perhaps Libertarians are inclined to question things, and use their own mind and intelligence instead of relying on what other people TELL THEM to believe.

    Lindsay said:
    A libertarian shouldn't support any old charity merely by virtue of it being a charity.

  18. Redbaiter may be a convenient target for some people here but a lot of what he says makes sense.
    And I prefer an avowed enemy of socialism to any number of wishy-washy "middle of the road" people any day.
    The fight against socialism isn't going to be won (if it can be won, that is) by compromise and sweet reason.

  19. It's not going to be won by frothing at the mouth and ranting about homosexuals either.

  20. Hi TK .. I've certainly had arguments with Red in the past, but I'm willing to bet that he is not the Anonymous poster today. The rot in question is not his style at all.

    KG: Hopefully it (the fight) *can* be won by reason! :)

  21. Sus, given the record of voters everywhere (that is, voting for more handouts) I don't believe for one minute reason will carry the day. Not now, and not in the longer term.
    The left has a massive PR machine in the form of the MSM at its disposal and that may just be too high a hurdle to overcome.
    While you're being reasonable, they're seizing the high ground.

    twr, perhaps not. But it will take anger and real commitment to win. And I don't see much of that from the so-called "right" here and in Oz, do you?

  22. The so called right are perfectly happy with the status quo as far as I can see, that's why they are called conservatives.

  23. PS You are right, reason is not likely to win out over massive vested interests.

  24. Certainly the cause is good - giving food and stuff to needy children,

    Once again, not it's not, and it could never be. There is not such thing as needy children. There are only children whose parents have chosen to make different choices about their care than you may have made. The idea of "needy" children or "deserving" poor is socialism, pure and unadulterated

    As Ayn said:
    There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help

    it was amazing so much was raised (even taking out the govt 'donation

    Crap. Only because you're mathematically and economically illiterate. 1985 - $6 million 1985 dollars; hell 1993 - $3.5 mil

    This year, after 10 years of Hellen - less than two million: ten times less than under Douglas or Richardson in constant dollars! pathetic. completely pathetic. frankly the right-wing blogosphere could do better on their own!

  25. Almost all of the difference will be down to the changes in
    a: the way people spend their spare time and
    b: the availability of TV these days.
    Back in the '70s having the only TV channel (or eventually one of only two) running 24 hours was a huge novelty. These days, it's one channel out of maybe 40 that many people have access to, while they have a multitude of other entertainment options to woo them away from going down to some local hall to prance around with some faux celebrities.

    PC: Those stats are appalling. It's the sort of thing the MSM should be focussing on rather than the irrelevant pap they feed us.

  26. frankly the right-wing blogosphere could do better on their own!

    So on the update, assuming brown is correct, this is only $400K. Once again, the posters on this thread could contribute this much and we wouldn't fucking miss it

    But the teleCON is being lauded all over NZ? such is socialism!

  27. I gave the Telethon a miss too and didn't feel at all guilty about it. A charity that puts children into black raincoats so they can cross busy roads on the way to school on wet winter mornings is not worth supporting.

    Still, there are poor people and sometimes it is no fault of their own. There is a difference between hard-headed about charity and being downright mean.

    Lately, I have found myself providing loan guarantees for Indian rural entrepreneurs who need $200 to expand their shop or restaurant. Not a handout as the woman is expected to repay her loan back - I just provide enough cash to let a bank lend to someone who has no collateral and who wants to expand their tiny business. My experience has shown no credit history does not mean a bad credit history and repayment rates exceed 95%.

    At least the people donating to the telethon gave something. Perhaps all of us should think how we can help others less fortunate without creating dependency. A good place to start your search is http://www.unitedprosperity.org/

  28. 24% interest!!? Ouch!! Someone's making money.

  29. Marcus: re your email, the answer is definitely. Help yourself.

    (Your address still hates mine). :)


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