Saturday, 14 January 2017

Poverty you can have an effect.

Introduction: One can spend hours and hours looking into the subject of poverty, one can speculate on the causes and reasons for poverty. Be they economic, financial or social they affect billions throughout the world and hundreds of thousands here in NZ.

The Greens and others suggest that ‘Poverty and especially Child poverty is a major issue but others disagree: They consider that poverty in real terms simply does not exist here in NZ. Below are the comments made by an unnamed reply to a blog on the issue of the greens approach to poverty, it is an interesting insight into the blindness that exists with many of our citizens and especially older white folks:

In trying to align themselves with the NZ ‘Poverty Industry’ they are doing themselves, this country and the billions of people around the world in genuine poverty a huge disservice, and making a complete mockery of the word poverty. To then try and make money for their own political purposes is hypocrisy of the highest order.

The problem in NZ is the definition of ‘poverty’ – currently this seems to be if you live in a household with less than 50% or 60% of median disposable income. This is how all these ‘magical’ figures of 270,000 children ‘living in poverty’ in NZ suddenly appear.

Even those with an elementary understanding of Statistics and Mathematics must realize that by this definition we will always have 270,000 children ‘living in poverty’. We could be the richest nation in the world, with the highest living standards (oh that's right we nearly are) – and by these definitions we would still have the same number of children ‘living in poverty’.
If you are interested in these definitions have a look at
Let’s have a look at a little of the detail of what ‘living in poverty’ is from this well-meaning web site:
Deprivation in this table is:
went without music or dance
involvement in sport had to be limited
unable to pay for school trip
lack of friends at a birthday party
lack of one weeks holiday away from home last year
lack of computer
lack of internet access
You see – this is deprivation and poverty in New Zealand, for which the Greens want to fleece the gullible and stupid for money to run endless political campaigns on. A problem that by definition can never go away.
This is a gross insult to the real poor in the world – children that living in developing world slums, that are coerced into forced labour at age 5 or less, sold into prostitution before puberty, are lucky to eat twice a week….the list goes on.
In NZ – I am a child in deprivation if I don’t have a computer or internet access. It surely seems to be a huge problem. [signed Ross]

But not all agreed with the above, by clearly pointing out the half-truths spouted in defence of doing nothing and pretending the problem doesn’t exist, or if it does that nothing need be done. This is typical neoliberalist propaganda at its worst. Poverty matters because it leads to various social and community upheaval that later we all [other than the wealthy] have to pay for via our taxes and reduced or overloaded social services.   

bsprout said…
Ross, I think there must be some sort of conspiracy because the Children’s Commissioner, Health professionals, University academics, mainstream television, the New Zealand Institute (supported by the Business Round table), most political parties and schools are all saying that we have a huge problem with child poverty. Yet despite this you are suggesting that they are all “pretending”. Can you please share the institutions, organisations or researches that are providing the information you are using to expose this conspiracy. I would be grateful if you could provide links like I have done below to prove that what your claim isn’t just something that you have just invented by yourself.
By the way, Ross, you were very selective with what you chose as some of the indicators for poverty and should have also included:
-Sharing a bed
-Continuing to wear worn out clothing and shoes
-Serious health problems
-Not being able to afford meat or fresh vegetables regularly
-having to live in a house that is difficult to keep warm and has major issues with dampness.

The Ross’s of this world obviously live very sheltered existences, technological changes have given us a new insight into poverty and its effects on health and education, housing and life in general. What technology has not done for many over forty or fifty is bring about meaningful attitude change about where the blame is laid for poverty as it now actually exists. 

Politically we can seriously consider the human ramifications of doing nothing if we continue to vote the way we do. I believe we need to reconsider our position regarding poverty and the ever growing gap between the rich and poor. This year is the year for action.

If you can meet with others and discuss the issue, join community and maybe church groupings, that’s a first step. Try were possible to forget being judgmental, forget the blame game and instead step onto the doing machine every little bit helps and your help is vital.      


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