Thursday, August 07, 2008

The dire social underclass

I forget to read Dr Michael Bassett's incisive columns as often as I should. Around a month ago he wrote about the underclass in New Zealand and what sustains it.

He tells some stark truths that are far too uncomfortable for policy makers:

"The criminals share several things in common. They are almost all from families where there is one parent on welfare, too many kids from several fathers in the household, inadequate supervision, easy prey from relatives or de factos, and access to alcohol and drugs. Far too many are Maori. The kids exist because they carry an entitlement to a benefit stamped on their brows, and the parent doesn’t care about their welfare for which the taxpayers give them money."

and

"Domestic violence rises on the days of the week when there is enough money to purchase drugs and alcohol, while for the rest of the week hard luck stories emerge about people resorting to food parcels and there being no lunches at school. The Child Poverty Action Group gives us a sermon about poverty and argues for more money for the parents, which sensible people have long-since worked out would go on more alcohol and drugs."

Contrast him to Dr Cindy Kiro who DOES play the "give them more of other people's money" card. The whole article is worth a read. He leaves one of his most damning lines for the media:

"Before going home to their trendy pads in Ponsonby and Herne Bay, the media treat this social crisis like soft porn – titillating details of one tragedy after another. There’s no proper analysis of the cause of the problems. No brains engaged."

How can anyone on the left seriously believe that throwing money at the problem is the solution? How can they ignore the absolute poverty of responsibility, role models, attention, love and aspiration endemic in far too many parts of the country? They have nothing to do with money - as much of the world is poor, but has stable family units, responsible and dedicated parents and esteem to grow onwards and upwards - this was seen in the Great Depression.

It is about ethics, culture and philosophy - and the philosophy of "it's everyone else's fault", "capitalism makes everything unfair so I'm angry and torture my kids", "everyone else owes me a fair life", is bankrupt.

It's about time those who peddle this are confronted, exposed and policy change radically - they've had their chance, and it has failed, miserably.

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