12 August 2008

So what does the left DO about the poor?

National's very modest DPB policy has provoked cries from Helen Clark that it is beneficiary bashing, from the Greens that this is "denying kids having their parents at home" (because taxpayers earn money at home of course), and Idiot Savant saying it's "beating up on the poor".

Do the left really think those on the other side of the spectrum hate the poor, want to do violence to them, want to let them starve and laugh? Are they that detached from reality that they think they have a monopoly on compassion?

Well the truth is that most of them can't claim a monopoly on compassion since they themselves have none. When the Nats introduced some modest tax cuts in the late 1990s, did the left say "we'll donate our extra tax cuts to welfare beneficiaries?". No, they did their usual demand that the "state should care" and demand that everyone be forced to care.

This time it's the same old story. With some distinct exceptions, far too many on the left sit in their Wadestown, Parnell or Mt. Victoria homes, sipping fine wines, chattering amongst themselves about how "awful" those nasty National, ACT people are - how they are racist (Idiot Savant of course thinks racism is when the state ceases to care about race) and how sexist they are, and how they probably want to laugh at poverty.

You see you can take two approaches if you care about people in poverty:
a) Leave it to your taxes and the state to do a fine job of lifting people out of the cycle of poverty, despair and lack of aspiration;
b) Donate to charity, participate in charities, give of your time, money, other property, wisdom to help.

So if you care, what do you do? It's about whether you think a bureaucrat handing out a benefit is more valuable than donating a bunch of books for kids in homes without them, or more valuable than donating time to helplines for kids in need, or more valuable than teaching adult education classes in literacy for next to nothing.

So next time someone on the left says "more money should be spent" on the poor, ask what that person is doing directly for them? Ask them if they have donated every tax cut they ever got to charity. Be astonished if you get answers little more than an uncomfortable, "Umm... well" and maybe an admission to the odd donation.

Then you'll realise that the amount they care for the poor is inversely related to the amount they hate the rich.


ZenTiger said...

As it happens, I pay a large amount of tax. Because we made a decision to spend more quality time raising our kids, my wife gave up a high paying job. We don't qualify for working for families, and lack of income splitting means I pay a much higher tax than two working parents on the same total income.

And we donate a fair chunk of our income too (about 10%) which has become a struggle on a 10.66% mortgage, so we cut back in other areas.

We both donate some of our time (not much, but this will likely change when the kids are older) to a few organisations.

I'm not saying we are saints, but as centre-right leaning conservatives we are part of the "group of evil". The stereo-typing goes both ways.

When it comes down to it, I like your point that the left does not have a monopoly on compassion. We all have different ideas on personal responsibility, social obligation and rewarding effort.

There are heartless bastards and selfish materialists out there, as well as idiot communists posing as socialists, but those that crow the loudest are not always in the majority.

Blair said...

Wrong Auckland suburb - I think you could count the number of lefties in Parnell on one hand. In fact, I can't think of a suburb in New Zealand that would be less left wing than Parnell.

Libertyscott said...

Zen, indeed exactly my point. People do their own thing, some do more some times than others. I have had periods when I felt comfortable and could give more, other times frankly I gave little because I needed to look after myself and those I love more. I happen to like human beings and like doing something to help those who I see as deserving and willing to help themselves. I resent welfare because far too many who receive it are not grateful, expect it as of right and demand more as if my income and life owes them something.

Blair - yes fair enough. Maybe it will help Auckland Central move to National this time too!

Blair said...

Parnell is still in Epsom as far as I know, which is a good thing because it has traditionally netted ACT's highest number of votes.

However, Auckland Central has had Pt Chevalier excised from its boundaries, making it more marginal and hopefully losable for Tizard.