Tuesday, 29 May 2018

The Welfare Expert Advisory Group has been asked to focus on "the overall purpose of the system." So what *is* the overall purpose?



The Government has just announced their 101st Working Group, what will undoubtedly prove to be the most expensive in this small country's history: its Working Group on Welfare.

Including in its make-up every variant of wretchedly grasping progressive, and headed up by proven liar Cindy Kiro,
the Welfare Expert Advisory Group has been asked to undertake a broad-ranging review of the welfare system [says Labour's Minister for Enforced Charity Carmel Sepuloni]...
Areas that the Welfare Expert Advisory Group has been asked to focus on range from considering the overall purpose of the system, through to specific recommendations on the current obligations and sanctions regime.
My own recommendation for "the overall purpose of the system" would make "the current obligations and sanctions regime" moot. Because my recommendation for the system is simple: Termination.

And the reason for that recommendation is very simple: Because the Moral Cannibalism of Enforce Welfare Must End.

Here's how the argument might go were I to head up the Group instead of Cindy ...
The question is asked: "Is it more moral, to give or to receive?" I suggest it is far more moral to produce, for without the producer there is nothing for either party.

Yet the overall purpose of State Welfare is to loot producers in favour of non-producers. It should be abolished. 
The concept of a state-enforced welfare system rests on the premise that if a person can demonstrate a need, then "society" -- i.e., her neighbours -- must be plundered to fulfil that need. This Group rejects the ideology of the welfare state in its totality. 
Enforced state welfare helps no one long term -- neither the person who has been plundered, nor the recipient of the plunder, nor even the community who demands such plunder. The community itself is plundered in the name of the afflicted and, anyone who has ever been so afflicted as to need to come face to face with the stage agencies doling out the largesse would understand the full meaning of the phrase "as cold as charity."
The idea of state-enforced welfare has been instituted around the world a relatively short time even in the modern human time-scale, but even in those few decades virtually every mature welfare state has come to virtually overwhelm itself with debt to pay its ever-increasing bills. 
And as voters see the ability to vote themselves rich and politicians to exploit the "needy," we have seen both the variety of needs to be met by the state and the numbers of people who find it possible to demonstrate those needs to have mushroomed. So much so that we now see great numbers of once able-minded and frequently able-bodied people in a miserably dependent state while they go through their days sucking their lifeblood from their fellow countrymen.  
And we see communities of people whose natural benevolence is being slowly destroyed by finding the state's hand constantly in their pocket to pay for these people being so wretchedly exploited by politicians' promises. 
As W.H. Auden was supposed to have remarked, "If we are all here on earth to help others, I often wonder what the others are here for."   
Such is the effect of an all-pervasive and bankrupt morality, where demonstrating a need can be more easily rewarded than demonstrating an ability, and so eventually any person's need becomes more important than every person's ability. 
It is not just absurd. Many years ago humanity rejected cannibalism as inhuman. It is time that enforced state welfare be recognised as moral cannibalism, and be reviled as such. 
This Group rejects absolutely this moral cannibalism on which state-enforced social welfare feeds.  
Only such a fundamental rethink by New Zealanders will make significant inroads into unnecessary dependency.  
MOST OF US REALISE that if we fall on hard times, our family, friends and colleagues can choose whether and in what way they would like to help (and such help would be so much the easier for having one's pockets unpicked). It has become the task of this Group to remind New Zealanders that what is clearly right within individual personal relationships is even truer on a wider scale. 
So how do we get from here to there? This Group's answer would be to concentrate initially on getting all state, state-assisted and mandated social-welfare agencies either abolished, deregulated, or transformed to a stand-alone, privately-funded basis. 
Substantially less funding will be forthcoming from government, but some will be able to compete as charitable institutions or offer insurance cover on an equal basis with existing and new private organisations.
  • WINZ for example could continue to provide assistance into work training schemes with voluntary philanthropic funding - no doubt the politicians who support these ideas and their party members will be the first to put their hands in their own pockets.
  • WINZ could also be able to continue to offer loss-of-income insurance schemes with competitive premiums. "Actually, I personally, says the Group's head, "would like to see WINZ's income support functions handed over to Metiria Turei, Susan St John & Sue Bradford to run as they see fit. Let's see, when they can fund their socialist ideas voluntarily, if their supporters will actually put their money where their own mouths are, instead of at the enforced expense of the rest of us."
This Group regards it as urgent that force be removed from human affairs, and that as soon as possible this state-enforced form of misguided and misdirected charity end. 
POLICY PRIORITIES
A peaceful transition to a more moral state is important. In an age in which today's routine moral cannibalism is so widely accepted such proposals may seem radical, but with the coming of enlightenment the following recommendations for social-welfare deregulation will be seen to almost write themselves:
  • Our senior citizens who are in and approaching retirement have, on the whole, paid the most taxes for the longest time and would have the greatest difficulty adjusting. We recommend that the age at which superannuation be received be immediately raised to 67, per the Labour Party's own recommendations at the previous election. Thereafter we recommend raising the age requirement by one year every two, effectively ending state superannuation over two decades while ensuring security for current recipients who can no longer make other plans. Priority should be given to ensuring income for current and genuinely impecunious senior citizens - and those currently fifty five and over - by providing annuities with funds boosted from the sale of state assets. Following this, and even during this transition, New Zealanders will come to have complete free personal choice over the plans they wish to make for their own retirement.
  • Priority over this transitional period should be given to providing for existing seriously disabled people by similar means, and for.
  • We urgently recommend that all low-income working people who are currently receiving income support and supplements will immediately have that support replaced by the substantial tax cuts that all New Zealanders deserve, and that this Goverment could now afford: GST being immediately dropped to just 10% (as at the time of its introduction), and the first $25,000 of every NZer's income being made totally tax free.
  • We further recommend that the many impediments to entering the workforce be urgently removed (such as those impeding many unemployed from temporary employment as produce pickers, and those impeding youngsters from beginning their first job) meaning that all non-working but able beneficiaries may immediately benefit from the growth in opportunities to work that would be expected with reduced taxation and this deregulated business and labour environment. The unemployment benefit can then very quickly be axed.
  • The Domestic Purposes Benefit began as almost a small ad-hoc grant, and has now grown from a benefit to an incentive. We recommend that existing solo parents will -- over a suitable transition period -- continue to receive annuities to support them until their final child's third birthday. (Child-maintenance payments from an absent parent will be pursued, but only where it can be justified under a legal burden of proof.) After this three-year period, state-funded DPB may be axed. Over this period, the growth of private adoption and fostering agencies will be encouraged, and people who want to adopt children may be able to arrange this with the birth parents. This would have the effect of paying people who either can't cope or don't really care for their children to give them up rather than be paid them to keep them and have more, as the current system does.
  • The child safety, severe neglect and youth crime management functions of the Children, Young Persons and their Families Agency (regularly re-named in an attempt to remove the regular embarrassment their blunderings cause) should be transferred to proper management under the justice and police system. All other functions can be transferred to private agencies.
Virtually everyone admits they want to help people who are going through undeservedly distressed times. These recommendations -- above all leaving people's money in their own pockets -- means they may do so, for whatever circumstances and by whatever means they prefer.  
In the wake of these recommendations implementations, therefore, we should expect that existing private welfare organisations such as Women's Refuge, Presbyterian Support Services and The Salvation Army will mushroom -- both with volunteers and new money -- and new agencies will evolve, much as they did in the days before the state abrogated the role of the community in caring for the afflicted.  
Neighbours would help neighbours -- not because they are forced to, but because (as they always tell us) they want to.
Ending moral cannibalism would therefore allow the growth of stronger communities and greater personal benevolence. What could be a greater achievement of any Labour-led Government?


6 comments:

  1. Advancing quite rapidly toward the end of my career on earth, I have found that I will need to help fiancially two other people of my own age group. This will come of the sale of my only asset, a home. The existing Purpose of the Social Security Act [1964] >>
    the purpose of this Act is—
    (a)
    to enable the provision of financial and other support as appropriate—
    (i)
    to help people to support themselves and their dependants while not in paid employment; and
    (ii)
    to help people to find or retain paid employment; and
    (iii)
    to help people for whom work may not currently be appropriate because of sickness, injury, disability, or caring responsibilities, to support themselves and their dependants:e purpose of this Act is—
    (a)
    to enable the provision of financial and other support as appropriate—
    (i)
    to help people to support themselves and their dependants while not in paid employment; and
    (ii)
    to help people to find or retain paid employment; and
    (iii)
    to help people for whom work may not currently be appropriate because of sickness, injury, disability, or caring responsibilities, to support themselves and their dependants:

    ReplyDelete
  2. As long as people are free to have children they can't afford, there are going to be kids in need of assistance.

    It's not ideal, but one of the things I don't mind paying taxes for is support of such kids. The alternative - the kind of fate they'd meet in Mexico or Somalia, is repugnant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So wouldn't the point be to stop paying people to have children they can't afford? It's not just long-term destructive to child, parents and the community in which they live; it's not just unaffordable in the long term; it's also downright immoral to make their need a *forced* imposition on everybody else.
      But if you or anyone else wants to pay voluntarily, as I suggest above, there would and should be nothing stopping you. And the amount voluntary charity *already* going to places like Mexico and Somalia (being donated even as donors suffer under an incredible tax burden) suggests there will be no problem with genuine cases finding the support they need.

      Delete
    2. "The alternative - the kind of fate they'd meet in Mexico or Somalia, is repugnant."

      This is the kind of shallow thinking we need to address.

      What you present is a false alternative. There is no reason to assume that no charities would exist outside the government. You are free to donate--or start!--such a charity if you wish, under a capitalist government.

      You also need to understand that when you say "I don't mind paying taxes for...." what you're actually saying, in fact, is "I don't mind forcing you to pay taxes for...." Would you be comfortable putting a gun to my head to donate to your pet cause? If not, why does paying someone else to do so absolve you of the guilt? Why is paying the government superior to paying a mafia thug in this regard?

      Delete
    3. PC & Dinwar: You need to actually travel around the real world to see what I'm talking about. In Mexico the reality is young mothers on the street with their babies trying to sell packets of chewing gum to make ends meet.

      I'm grateful that in NZ we have systems in place to prevent such scenes. You can talk about charity all you want: point to a place where voluntary charity has provided adequately in this regard and I'll be interested; as far as I know it doesn't exist.

      Dinwar: I'm happy for a (non existent) gun pointed at your head in exchange for food and shelter for needy children. If you have a problem with this go live a self-sufficient life in the woods. Fatuous dickhead.

      Delete
  3. Fatuous dickhead... Bit harsh there Barry.
    My view is somewhere in the middle.. I think the DPB was a great idea.
    ( saved some women from bad relationships )

    I accept the idea of a ,kinda, social safety net. I can understand a woman going on the DPB after leaving a relationship. A woman with kids can be vulnerable.

    I'm not so keen on the idea of women having more kids while already on the DPB.. and getting more money.
    I would draw a line there and say NO.. You get no more money for any more children you have while on the DPB..
    I've seen how the system gets gamed, and I think long term it is probably unsustainable, and creates a growing underclass. ie.. NZ is a debtor Nation.

    I do understand your point of view, and can see that there will be young children who pay the price of their Mothers stupidity, (of having more children )
    Its not hard to see how the system gets gamed, and the longer term consequences of that.
    Maybe there are other ways to help.??
    I will always remember Donna Awatere of the ACT party coming up with the idea of Kamatua being involved in troubled households, that rely on social welfare.
    I thought it was a great idea, but she got shot down by a whole lot of white liberals who said it was kinda abhorrent.

    There needs to be enuf "grit" in life that people pull their own socks up.. generally.. I don't think an "entitlement " culture is a healthy thing..
    I was not so keen on metiria tureis' world view.

    ReplyDelete

1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated. Links to bogus news sites (and worse) will be deleted.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say it, it's important enough to put a name to it.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.