Don’t you love how when farmers face hardship the Government can’t rush fast enough to their aid with drought welfare, yet when the poor face hardship the Government responds with drug testing, contraception for solo mothers and 40 hours forced labour in a private prison.
Don’t get me wrong, farmers deserve our help when hardship beyond their control strikes, but the momentum of assistance our Government is willing to provide them is in stark contrast to the assistance John Key is willing to hand out when that hardship strikes the poor.
We are told beneficiaries have to do with less because of the global economic recession, which is odd because I don’t know that many beneficiaries who were on the phone to their Wall Street stock broker in 2007 buying lite crude in euros and speculating on a Goldman Sachs derivative market.
Some will argue that beneficiaries deserve what they get because of poor life choices, a devils advocate could claim the same of farmers. Farmers create climate change causing pollution and are as responsible for the drought situation they find themselves in as a beneficiary who has multiple children and can’t get work.
The difference between the unforeseen hardship farmers face and that of beneficiaries is the perception that farmers deserve our aid because they are productive members of society and are thus deserving of support where as beneficiaries are seen as a drag on society.
I would suggest that luck egalitarianism mixed with economic Darwinism is hardly a blueprint for the kind of country we want to model ourselves on.