Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Greens on poverty

The Green’s have a press release out saying there is a “need to tackle the causes of child poverty”. Sue Bradford is upset that some poor children in South Auckland didn’t know when their birthday’s were – which is sad. At the most it indicates their families can’t afford presents. Then she lists other tragedies of poverty as having not traveled over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, or not traveled on the adjacent motorway.

Now at worst these are sad signs – it is a sad that a child doesn’t get birthday presents, though it isn’t really a big deal if they don’t get to travel on a road. This isn’t a big deal in terms of poverty, not compared to starvation, lack of shelter or clean drinking water.

However, you guessed it, Sue Bradford wants Nanny State to throw more money at these families (although the causes of child poverty aren’t noted).

Charity is a fine way of giving people in poverty a leg up, and a chance to move forward- but having the state use force to take money from others to give to these families is not. It is state violence justified because some children have “sad lives”. Whose fault is that? Well the primary responsibility for children lies with their family – it is up to them to have children when they can afford them and provide for them.

The main causes of child poverty come from people having children when they cannot afford them. Taking more money from those who can and giving it to those who can’t increases the incentive to continue the behaviour of breeding irresponsibly.
The Greens want to use welfare to "fix" this problem, a problem that is better fixed by people choosing to give, and by actively assisting those who are poor, such as the work Auckland City Mission does. You’ll do far more for the poor giving to organizations such as them, instead of paying more in taxes so bureaurats can dish out money.
In fact a good start would be to abolish taxes for people on the lowest incomes - Libertarianz support the Green Party policy for a tax free threshold to be implemented immediately. Of course Libertarianz would ask for a higher one - I think $10,000 tax free would be a good start, of course you wouldn't have state welfare either :)

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