Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mitchell fisks Misa [updated]

Lindsay Mitchell fisks Tapu Misa’s latest misbegotten diatribe in the Royal NZ Herald. She’s entitled to, since Misa begins by misreading Mitchell, before giving good grounds for wondering whether she can read, or write (or think) at all.

For instance:

Tapu Misa takes a trip to a private girls school to get to grips with the problem of “unwed mothers … who …  choose [the Domestic Purposes Benefit] as a lifestyle option.”

Lindsay Mitchell points out her stupidity.

Misa claims there is no evidence to say that “welfare payments provide incentives for childbearing, or discourage marriage.”

Lindsay Mitchell points out she’s mistaken.

“Women don't need to be dragged kicking and screaming off the DPB,” says Misa.

Well, maybe they do, responds Mitchell.

Misa quotes Susan St John saying "New Zealand's figures show clearly that when the job conditions are favourable and unemployment is low, benefit numbers fall."

But Mitchell shows St John and Misa are equally retarded in their use of figures.

Misa refers to some “2002 analysis by Bob Gregory, an economics professor at the Australian National University, [which] showed that most Australian women were constantly trying to get off welfare, but most ended up back on the benefit within a short time.”

Mitchell points out that not only has Misa got the facts of Gregory’s research wrong, the research itself was brought to light by Mitchell herself.

Oh irony, thy name is that of a Herald columnist. Or several of them.

Mitchell concludes her own piece, perfectly entitled ‘There is none so blind….’ by

    _quote I am not sure what Misa is trying to achieve with this column. Work and strong families are an integral part of Pacific culture. A denial that welfare can undermine both is self-defeating. But if she doesn't want to see the evidence then a private girls school is absolutely the best place to go looking for it.”

Why spend so much time pointing out facts to someone for whom facts are just so many things to massage?  Because that braindead uninformed sanctimony is the only opposition to any genuine reform, of the welfare system and beyond.

And when it’s eviscerated so compellingly, it deserves applause.

UPDATE:  Yesterday it was Misa. Today it’s Turia. Fisking the braindead is hard work.

_quoteInterviewed on Radio NZ this morning Associate Social Development Minister Tariana Turia [said] … single parents should be allowed to stay home until their children have ‘completed schooling.’ ”

Responds Mitchell:

_quotePaying single parents to stay home until their children complete school … is absurd.”

You can’t be clearer than that.

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