Now we got bad blood: being poor in a rich world

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the_great_gatsby

I have this skill, so I am told, of really annoying or even enraging people who hold right-wing views, and in particular young Tories. I recently exercised this skill in my blogpost “In the playground of the rich, wealth flaunting is a sport.” I was told I was a “gutter journalist” by many upset readers and fans of the super affluent who flooded my Facebook to call me names and engage, often, in poverty shaming rhetoric.

All this, merely for daring to talk about “The Fulltimer Society,” a club started by some young men who sell an affluent party lifestyle during a time of great inequality in this country. I also upset and angered friends of Max Key for “checking his privilege” in my piece. Max Key is the son of our millionaire prime minister Mr. John Key.

Even political blogger Cathy “Chop Chop” Odgers (also known “Cactus Cate”) who was involved in smear campaigns against the Serious Freud office and was one of the stars of investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics, stopped by my Facebook page to tell me what she thought of my piece:

cathy odgers

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Cathy like so many others is woefully unaware of just how hard it is to “make it” as a writer or in any industry or creative endeavour which adds to and develops culture instead of obliterating it. Especially if like me, you write on or engage in issues around poverty, inequality, and speak about structural racism and sexism. Those topics are not easy sells to fat cat editors who might be able to pay you for your work; in America only 1% of all reporting is focused on poverty. Newsrooms and newspapers have been laying off reporters for a while now, as Barbara Ehrenreich recently wrote for The Guardian:

Once-generous magazines shrank or slashed their freelance budgets; certainly there were no more free lunches.”

I guess, for a  lawyer such as Cathy who specializes in trusts and tax who earns staggering amounts of money for all up working a job that is useless and serves to protect the wealthy, which is why her job is useless? The idea that accessing upward mobility or a better job is often pitted with structural hurdles, is a foreign concept to her? Cathy may as well have said: “poor people should just stop being poor”.

What I found most unsettling and even disturbing was not the name calling or even the threats of violence I received, but how so many young people clawed, like Cathy did, to protect power while at the same time ignoring how power structures serve to continue oppression and the disenfranchisement of people and entire communities.

Max Key stands to inherit millions of dollars as well as beach houses and holiday homes. He also benefits from the structural privilege accorded to his gender, class, and race. But apparently according to those messages he is the victim and I was the bully. I was told I “attacked him.” He is the one suffering “hardship” as I was informed by two of his friends and members of the “Fulltimer Society:”

max key is such a victim

max key is just a nice guy

Actually, it does matter that Max Key is so “under exposed” and utterly removed “from the grind that less fortunate children are exposed to.” It matters when anyone may be able to bring change to serious inequality, poverty, racism, or other such issues of structural social disadvantage but opts instead to ignore them.  

While tens of thousands of people of conscience marched on the 15th of this month all over Aotearoa to speak out against the TPPA–an alliance between corporate interests and governments which would erode our civil liberties and destroy our sovereignty as a country–in the USA a Black Lives Matter protest was happening on the streets of St. Louis. It is important to note there are generally a few BLM protests happening at any given time in America. I followed on the ground updates via Twitter: Linda Tirado, author and anti-poverty activist, Tweeted this image of a BLM protester chalking the following words on the pavement:

blm

When you stay silent on matters of racial injustice that include the targeted killing and what the journalist Kareem Abdul-Jabber calls the “assassination” of unarmed people of colour by police in America. Or the reality that Maori–our first nations people–represent 15% of the population but make up half of Aotearoa’s prison population, as Toby Manhire recently reported for The Guardian, you accept that situation and you consent to this structure. When you refuse to acknowledge there is a growing chasm between the super wealthy and people who are poor then you collude in the construction or the maintenance of that structure. And if the TPPA is passed this chasm will only get bigger.

By not actively speaking out or working against the TPPA, and against racial bias from the street to the legal system and elsewhere, and all such issues of structural inequality, you are saying: it doesn’t matter, and none of it matters. Or worse yet, you blame those who are facing structural equalities for their own circumstances – for example when you condemn and shame people living in poverty instead of the systems which create poverty, which amounts to a form of victim blaming and only serves to excuse, reinforce and further entrench oppression and injustice.

Not everyone is a “victim” of the system, no matter what Max Key’s friends believe. Many people from privileged backgrounds benefit–without even thinking about it because they do not have to-–and become the wilful enforcers of systems of oppression.

Eric Garner was a black man who was murdered by police in America for selling untaxed cigarettes. Over and over again he repeated clearly: “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” These were the last words he would ever speak as police officers held him down while another placed him in an illegal choke-hold, squeezing the breath and life from his body. “I can’t breathe” now rings out during Black Lives Matter protests and uprisings and has, at times, become a trending hashtag on Twitter, opening conversations around race and racism in the USA. The white police officer who put Eric in a chokehold served no time, a grand jury decided not to return an indictment.

However, Daniel Pantaleo who filmed the brutal killing was not so lucky; the police tried to put him behind bars and as Molly Crabapple wrote for Vice, “In December, a grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo, but Orta, his supporters say, has been the target of a police campaign to destroy his life ever since.”

Max Key, knows nothing of hardship. Those who expose injustice and cruelty will nearly always be punished for their bravery to serve as a warning to others.

This is business as usual in the USA. This, we are told, is just how the world works.

Max might be a “nice guy” as so many of his fans and BFFs told me while also indignantly exclaiming “You don’t even know him!” I may not know him personally but, what I do know is this: like so many who benefit from oppressive systems, Max says nothing about the hardships of others. Not a fucking whisper. The NZ Herald recently reported that over 300,000 kids are now living in relative poverty in this country; but sure, it is Max who is suffering the real “hardship” in all of this. Let’s talk about how hard done by he is, shall we, with his fancy swimming pool, beach houses, convertible cars, and blossoming model/DJ career.

So often journalists and those who messaged me and posted on my Facebook to let me know how “mean” I was and call me a bitch or whatever else they could come up with, in turn portray people who benefit the most from the misery and deprivation of others as the victims.

This is a key way in which the powerful maintain their dominance: they portray themselves or others with whom they identify as mere hapless victims who are unable to do anything about the gross inequality we are witnessing in this country and around the world.

What could they do instead? Share their ludicrous sums of money with communities that are in hardship and stop hoarding it. Perhaps they could even use their privileges to benefit others, rather than just themselves and a select few. This is just an idea, for any super rich-ass people who might be reading this. Perhaps they feel their hands are tied.  Anyway the reality is increasingly becoming clearer that you are either rich or you are poor. The myth or story we hear from above though continues to be that this stark economic and social binary is a result of the individual choices we make in our lives. “You get what you work for,” right?

This is just business as usual.  This, we are told, is just how the world works.

Between the petty names and the hypersexualised messages sent to my inbox, it became incredibly clear that many believe rich kids such as Max Key-–who is cultivating a celebrity presence via social media-–and young people who start societies such as “The Fulltimer Society,” are completely off limits. They have special exemption from critique or criticism. I even had one white dude message me in response to what I wrote to let me know he would like to “shove a fucking cactus down my fucking throat,” rounding off by calling me a “cunt,” and in another post called me a “niggah.” My friend who is a writer living in America suggested that it was likely this guy used that word against me because to him black people are the lowest of the low. So, it was a big insult.

All of these reactions made it clear that many people believe the lives of the rich and affluent are “off limits.” Perhaps this even extends to those who worship wealth and play the dandy like some kind of Nick Carraway character from The Great Gatsby; after all, some of the guys who started the “Fulltimer Society” don’t necessarily come from wealthy backgrounds.

However, the lives of the working class and those who are poor are never “off limits.” We don’t get special exemption from name calling and shaming in relation to our “life-styles.” I come from the working class and I am routinely told that I am lazy, no matter how many minimum wage jobs I am working at any given time. If I am fired, for whatever insufficient reasons and from whatever precarious job I am working, and if I need welfare between jobs, I get called a “benefit scrounger” and I am made to feel worthless. Cathy Odgers pointed out that with my “literary talent” I should have managed to land a better job in a higher pay bracket. As if it is that easy!

If you are born into wealth you are likely to get the contacts and thus the networks which come with it regardless of how talented you are. I don’t have that benefit, and most millennials growing up today don’t. Instead of contacts and networking opportunities we are handed austerity and pushed into situations where we are competing with each other for low-paid precarious jobs in a flooded and cut-throat job market: jobs we often do not even want but have to work in order to survive.

There is a reason why The Hunger Games series resonates with so many people. It portrays a futuristic dystopia where young people from the lower classes are selected to battle each other to the death in an annual ritual death match. These “games” are enforced by a heartless totalitarian leader: President Snow who lives in the affluent capital, disconnected from the day-to-day hardships and deprivation his people are forced to endure. The books and movies resonate with so many because young people who come from the real political underclasses often feel they are living in a dystopia ruled by heartless leaders; we live in a structure which is a parallel reality, where we have to battle each other for shit jobs, just to survive. The odds are never in our favour.

In Aotearoa we have one Mike Hosking, our most prominent media mongrel and our very own equivalent of Fox News’ Sean Hannity. Both are committed to protecting the super wealthy, especially those such as our millionaire PM John Key, or Donald Trump – who could take out the award for racist of the year without even trying, as if either actually needs defending. Both media mongrels say the most offensive shit about people who are poor, and both have prime time “current affairs” shows. The lives of the poor are rarely off limits, if ever. Mike recently weighed in on changes to child support, asking:

“The cost of a child is the cost of a child. If you can’t afford one, why did you have one? And if you did have one and can’t afford it why are you expecting the rest of us to pay the bill?”

I wonder how many tax deductible business lunches Mike has, had? I guess it is okay if we, as taxpayers foot the bill to subsidise some of his food bill? But parents living in poverty gostruggling to feed their kids well, they shouldn’t have had kids in the first place? Where is the moral distinction between Mike, getting a tax deductible business lunch and a person who is struggling to survive getting a WINZ food grant in New Zealand or food stamps in places like America? Can someone please, tell me?

Should we just give the super affluent a “get out of jail free card”? Must we just allow power to go unchecked and unfettered? After all, this is exactly what some of our most prevalent political pundits do, including Mike Hosking, who himself is a millionaire – he protects his own. He acts as a mere messenger for the right-wing and endlessly defends John Key’s behaviour even when it is outright fucking creepy.

For just one famous example, when Key was found out to have yanked on a waitress’s ponytail repeatedly over several months, even after she had expressed over and over again it was completely unwelcome and was causing her distress, Mike ran to his defence like he always does:

Let’s just face it: We can tell it was sexual harassment in the workplace because if it was a dude with a ponytail John would not have yanked on it. Similarly, from this singular incident we can tell Mike Hoskings serves the powerful and not the disempowered. He is committed to obscuring power, not exposing it. As veteran journalist, John Pilger has stressed for most of his career:

“The media is the invisible government.”

From his endlessly repeated rhetoric we see that Hosking believes power and the elite few who hold it must be vigorously protected at all costs, even if it is at the cost of the vast majority of people living in Aotearoa.

Already we are seeing the rise of third world diseases in this country, attributed to the growing rates of heart-numbing poverty in low socioeconomic communities. More often than not the vulnerable and downtrodden are not protected by our governments, neither those from the right, nor the relatively nominally left of the Labour party. (Seriously, does anyone even know what Labour stands for in this country anymore, other than pandering to the centre-right?) New Zealand gangs are doing more to feed kids in poverty than the National government, who actually voted against the recent “Feed the Kids” bill.

Just typing those words is heart-wrenching and jarring. Our most vulnerable people are not being protected by their own government, nor even having their voices elevated by the vast majority of media tycoons such as Mike or journalists, who are meant to be truth speakers in times of universal deceit.

This then, is business as usual. This, we are told, is just how the world works.

 

88 COMMENTS

  1. Cathy odgers is completely wrong. You could not gravitate to a higher paid job. At least not in this field.

    This ‘article’ is extremely badly written, way too long, and is just a hateful rant to excuse your lack of talent. Do you expect the taxpayer, ie me, to work hard to allow you to whittle away your hours producing this drivel?

    And yes, the creative industry can be extremely well paid. I know this from personal experience and not a single dollar of that income came from the taxpayer. Publishers picked up my books due yo my talent, and then doors were opened to other related income streams.

    Pathetic .

    • Peter – so aside from your crude deflection, have you thought about the huge disparity in wealth? The growing wage/wealth divide? The increase in child poverty and poverty-related diseases?

      Or is it easier to attack the author for “this ‘article’ is extremely badly written, way too long, and is just a hateful rant to excuse your lack of talent”?

      Typical of the Right; attack the author and submerge the issue.

      Chloe really has hit a nerve.

      • You assume I am of the right! No. Just not of ge extreme left. The vast majority of the world’s population are better off now than when I was born. Probably the biggest driver of hat has been computers. Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs are/were among the ‘1%’. Great!

        They got super rich but along the way made all our lives better. Ever been to even extremely poor countries and noticed the prevalence of cell phones? Even computers. Yes, much of the wealth disparity is obscene, but that’s the cost of the overwelming benefits of the world we live in.

        What are your alternatives? Would anyone accept them voluntarily or would it be at the point of a gun, like Mao and Stalin, Castro and their ilk?

        • The vast majority of the world’s population are better off now than when I was born. Probably the biggest driver of hat has been computers. Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs are/were among the ‘1%’. Great!

          They got super rich but along the way made all our lives better.

          It is unbelievale that a grown, mature (?) adult could talk himself into believing that kind of codswallop.

          The concentration mof wealth in the hands of the One Percent has been at the cost of wages falling behind.

          Especially in the developed world.

          I haven’t the time or inclination to go into a long explanation – especially when I suspect I’d be wasting my time.

          However, this infographic from the NY Times will probably give you a clearer idea why you are so wrong in your naivete; https://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/09/04/opinion/04reich-graphic.html?ref=sunday

          Since the neo-liberal revolution in the early 1980s, there has been a steady growth in the disparity between productivity and wages.

          So where has all the money gone?

          Here is a clue, Peter;

          “A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary £13 trillion ($21tn) of wealth offshore – as much as the American and Japanese GDPs put together – according to research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network.” – http://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/jul/21/global-elite-tax-offshore-economy

          It is touching that you care so much for the super-rich, Peter. Really. Touching.

          But you know, I doubt if they care that much about you. Or even that you exist.

        • Peter, how misguided are you?? International aid has assisted the poor to be lifted out of poverty. The super rich have benefitted only themselves and if you think they did it to help you, you are on serious drugs.

          Why on earth do you think they are known as the One Percenters??

          If you want alternatives, I think sharing the wealth by way of better wages would be a damned good start. Or would that hurt your precious super rich too much?

        • Peter, re your comment;

          They got super rich but along the way made all our lives better. Ever been to even extremely poor countries and noticed the prevalence of cell phones? Even computers. Yes, much of the wealth disparity is obscene, but that’s the cost of the overwelming benefits of the world we live in.

          Simon Collins, writing in the Herald had this to say on the subject on 13 August;

          But the income higher than the bottom 20 per cent of households, the lowest figure reported, barely inched up by just 0.5 per cent from $21,200 to $21,300 for each adult-equivalent, indicating that wages rose much less in low-paid jobs than in highly paid professions.
          .

          http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11496779

          An inconvenient truth if there ever was one.

      • whoa, influx of right-wingers here. In answer to the oh-so-talented doofus above (Not Frank), from someone of greater talent who worked in the film industry. It does recognise a certain type of talent. The type that says “yes” and does what their told–also those who schmooze and do the recreational activities that the crews indulge in (which I have never known a real ‘star” to do). Toe the line, Warner Bros or whoever, or you’re out.’

        Stop spouting about your self earned position, because I found it easy to maintain my Socialist ties while working a high-paying job, (paying taxes, btw). During the recession, there was a negative result for many workers in that field. Only the most comerically-attached maintained in commercial production (some of whom I know still had social consciences), but you had to scuttle to be kept in the loop.

        It is more luck and greasing than talent that gets you positioned in that field. It is more social awareness than self-centeredness that makes you human, and the right-wing drivel that Hoskings and Henry spout are not examples of this quality. The article is to my liking.

    • Oh, the taxpayer, YOU. It’s a good thing there are no other taxpayers, or your logic might fall on its arse and cry for it’s mummy.

      Also, re: “Publishers picked up my books due yo my talent”

      If I were a publisher, I wouldn’t pick your books up due “yo” your talent. I’d tell to to do a fucking spellcheck.

    • “Publishers picked up my books due yo my talent”

      With your grasp of the English language, I can only assume your publisher is none other than the National Party.

      • Got that in one! Why do these idiots persist in spreading lies when their “game” is so obviously transparent to readers.

    • You know I usually don’t bother to engage with comments like this, comments which accuse me of “hate” or whatever else but sometimes it is worth shutting down people, like yourself. if you wonna say I am a bad writer cool but even the tories who went after me mostly said I “could write it was just a shame I had to focus on stuff like poverty”. This piece it to long for you? Have you not heard of “long form journalism”? This piece was meant to be long it was intended. I am so sorry that BLM protests do not interest you and that you find mass wealth inequality of no concern.

      You can get really well paid in the creative industries? Are you fucking kidding? Most of my friends are struggling writers, muscians and artists! Most of the governmental funding has dried up, we are all working shit precarious jobs so we can continue to add to culture instead of destroying it. Cool, you wrote a book I’ve just finished the chaper of a book I am contribuating to. That does not mean I am any more talented than the next person, it just means I met the write person who offered me an opportunity. It does not make me special.

      So hey, wonna link us to all your writing that is so mind blowingly good and the books you have written?

      • Chloe it can indeed be a well paid field. Books of themselves seldom are. I wrote 4 books. First 3 were official bestsellers and i did ok. The real money came from first newspapers columns and freelance articles. From there to Borders engagements and from there to speaking. Some of these things were low paid. Some extremely well paid and in the end (took 5 years or so) I was able to earn a very good income solely from this field and quit employment forever (I hope). But it takes a lot if persistence.

        I never took a cent of government funding or charity grant (except the annual Creative NZ compensation for copies in libraries). If you need taxpayer money then you are barking up the wrong tree. Talent does not need a subsidy.

        • I never took a cent of government funding or charity grant (except the annual Creative NZ compensation for copies in libraries). If you need taxpayer money then you are barking up the wrong tree. Talent does not need a subsidy.

          Really, Peter?

          So you never had (near) free schooling? Stayed in a public hospital, free of charge? Used electricity and telecommunications that were built up using taxpayers’ money?!

          By the way, Peter, do you know that one of our film producers, around 1987, required funding from the QE2 Arts Council to complete his first movie?

          Can you guess who that person was?

          Or what his movie was called?

          Answer (which I think you knew anyway); Peter Jackson. The movie was “Bad Taste”.

          If it hadn’t been for taxpayer funding, Jackson’s career would never have taken off like the alien spaceship/house in his movie, at the end.

          As for your (alleged) career as a writer, we’ll have to take your word for it, I guess. For a published author, you seem remarkably shy in promoting yourself and your work… *shrugs*

  2. Look, if it really was a case of “poor Max” why is there so much publicity -worthy copy? Where is the paparazzi -like shots of him, the grungy stories? It’s a pity Helen Clarke had no children so there’d be a local comparison but all I’ve seen and heard is set-up like news pieces that come across to anyone with half a processor as free publicity for his internet profile. If he really wanted to be left alone I’d have expected he’d use a bit more effort instead of him – or his sister for that matter – popping up in the media coincidentally when they are needing some public profile for.

  3. More hate hate hate…..and excuses.

    I can guarantee you that I did not have an upbringing as privileged as Max Key yet I work for people and are trusted by clients who are far wealthier than his father. I didn’t go to a flash Auckland private school (or any private school) and I didn’t hang out with anyone at school or University who helped me get a first job or indeed any job.

    If you want to earn some money and create an ultimately one day independent life for yourself you can start really by stop spraying hate for the very people who are likely to assist you achieve that when you work for them and then don’t have to work for them anymore because you are not financially dependent on them.

    I really think though at this stage in your life you would rather martyr yourself and blame and hate than take charge and actually focus on your own conduct for your current situation. It is not my fault, Max Key’s fault or Mike Hosking’s fault you find yourself where you are. Or as he outlined, Chris Trotter’s

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2014/11/defending-boomers-response-to-chloe-king.html

    You are educated enough now after “five years of study in Visual Arts and Art and Design at AUT, graduating with a Post Graduate Dip”. to only have yourself to blame if you aren’t getting what you want and need.

    • Oh look, Kate has appeared.

      Deflecting as usual and not addressing any of the issues Chloe has raised. Kate – “spraying hate” is something usually found on your blogsite, including some pretty nasty shit you’ve written about the poor; beneficiaries; and others at the bottom of the socio-economic scrap-heap.

      As I said, Chloe’s effectiveness is undisputed when she draws this kind of attention by her writing.

    • So Ms Cactus Kate, you’re more concerned about Chloe’s writing style and the fact she’s not in a success job?

      Is that how you measure the worth and validity of an idea – but the income a person recieves??

      As others have pointed out, you’re in no position to moralise. I’ve read some of your blogposts on the poor and welfare beneficiaries and quite frankly, they are vile.

      More power to Chloe’s arm. She has pricked the consciences of you righties.

    • Sigh, I have a job Cate. I am also a trained teacher struggling to find paid teaching work because of the cuts to education and the fact we went from an under supply of teachers to an over supply. Yeah, I sure am full of hate bringing attention to the serious wealth inequality in this country and the crippling poverty so many face thanks to the ongoing welfare cuts and stagnant wages in this country.

      • Chloe, there is a good reason why the Right hate the poor so much. It’s called having a guilty conscience.

        I’ve read Cathy Odger’s activities in Nicky Hager’s book and for her to try to ascend some moral highground making me laugh out loud. The woman is a vile hypocrite.

        Keep writing, Chloe. You are getting to them!!

  4. Chloe, when you’re attacked by the Right; the privileged; and their cossetted off-spring, your effectiveness is confirmed.

    It’s when they ignore you that you have to wonder if you’re wasting your time.

    When you say;

    From his endlessly repeated rhetoric we see that Hosking believes power and the elite few who hold it must be vigorously protected at all costs, even if it is at the cost of the vast majority of people living in Aotearoa.

    – that statement applies equally to the self-deluded, aspirationist sycophants who rally to support their 1% masters.

    It’s unbelievable the number of sycophants who are so concerned about the welfare of their 1% Masters. Do they really think those One Percenters care a jot about them? Or even know they exist?

    As for Ms Odgers – she should consider herself lucky not to have been charged with a crime or struck off as a lawyer. Her behaviour has been vile, and at any other time in our history would have been indefensible.

    Keep up your writing. You are getting to them by speaking truth to power.

    • So if I have a differing opinion to you, it follows that somehow I am ignorant, unintelligent, uneducated, poorly read etc?

      I dare say this ‘1%’ are the elders of zion, the illuminati? Jews?

      Do you ever wonder why we have a national government in nz? Or are the vast majority of the population deluded and you and your tiny minority alone know what’s good for us and how we should live our lives?

      A little learning and the Internet are dangerous things for some people.

      • You might engage in more than “a little learning”, Peter. And save the “elders of zion, the illuminati? Jews?” nonsense for bed-time fairy-tales.

        Your deflection is wasted on me.

        Let’s try, instead, the growth of child poverty; the growth of poverty-related diseases; the growth of indebtedness; the shift of wealth from the bottom and middle, to the top ten percent; the loss of work to low-wage societies; the increase in the wealth/wage gap; and the ballooning unaffordability of housing.

        Let’s focus on the realities instead. eh?

        Because what Chloe has highlighted is that the promises made in the 1980s have not only not borne fruit, but things have become more dire.

        Something you could try addressing.

        “Do you ever wonder why we have a national government in nz? “

        Yes. Often.

        • Well frank at least you have a good sense of humour with your last comment.

          But seriously:
          The shift of jobs to low wage economies has benefited the poorest of there populations. Look at china. The west lost many jobs to China due to there low wage structure. That in turn pushed the standard of living in China through the roof in a single generation. Now china is losing those very same jobs to India and Brazil, as those countries now have a much lower wage economy. To the benefit of the peole if those countries.

          • Peter, you are a fool. How has “The shift of jobs to low wage economies has benefited the poorest of there populations” helped out workers???????????

            Then you blame the workers who’ve lost their jobs for being on benefits?????????

            You really haven’t thought this through have you?????

          • Peter, your statement suggesting that the shift of jobs to low wage economies has benefited these people is sweeping. And don’t forget who the true winners have been with this shift – the 1%! They are benefiting exponentially more than the locals, and the locals are being brought into the Western Capitalist model which thrives on inequality. Have the H & S standards improved at the same rate as the economy? Nope. Beneficial? Not in my mind.

          • Ha Pete! Your analysis is shallow and naive. Raised the living contions of the poor? How bout replacing “poor” with indentured servitude. I suggest you check out what kind of living conditions were endured by the workers of foxcom. Rest assured this is only the tip of the iceberg.

        • As for the growth in child poverty. Try looking back at even the near past in NZ. Polio. Appalling dental care. Institutionalized sexual abuse. I could go on with many examples.

          As for ‘child poverty’ which I think you actually mean children living in poverty (how can a child be ‘poor’ as children are dependents). Many many of these problems are a result of an incredible cultural change over a generation. By that I am not referring to ethnicity, but culture in terms of the wide acceptance of illegal drug taking a normal, the evolution of the welfare state from a security net to an intergenerational way of life.

          • The reason poverty has become intergenerational is because of right wing reforms carried out by Douglas, Richardson, etc, in the 1980s. It’s a bit disengenuous of you to blame it on the victims who end up on the economic scrapheap, Peter. But then, victim blaming means you don’t have to consider the consequences of your actions, eh??

            • Peter, I doubt if medical advances to contain and eradicate polio were as a result of free market ideology. That is drawing a long bow even for the Right.

          • “Look at china. The west lost many jobs to China due to there low wage structure. That in turn pushed the standard of living in China through the roof in a single generation. ”

            “By that I am not referring to ethnicity, but culture in terms of the wide acceptance of illegal drug taking a normal, the evolution of the welfare state from a security net to an intergenerational way of life.”

            You’ve totally missed the contradictions of your two comments, haven’t you, Peter????

            We lost jobs here in NZ; people ended up on welfare; and now your blaming the victims???

            And you wonder why we see you righties as bereft of common sense???

            • I am NOT a rightie! Just not an extreme leftie.

              No contradiction at all. We lost jobs to China that, as an extremely well educated population, we’re inappropriate. As with all free markets, we evolved to create new jobs.

              The intergenerational welfare problem started in the 1970s. The 1980s Labour governments made decisions that were forced on them. Floating the exchange rate. Cutting welfare dependency to farmers. Downsizing many government department. These actions were forced in Labour due to the near Stalinist economic policies if years of National rule under Muldoon.

              • Peter, you are ranting. And not making much sense. Try using your brain instead of parroting right wing dogma.

              • Did you lose you job mate ?…

                Or are you just in a detached sort of way implying that some bums that don’t really matter because they’re poor in this country lost theirs only?

                You quite happy with that ?…because it sure seems so ….bud.

                Not so nice when it gets personalized , now, – is it chump.

    • Frank

      Struck off? Yes well that little hate campaign didn’t work out so well for the person(s) who complained. #fail. Crimes? What utter bullshit, you haven’t actually read the Act have you?

      You miss the point entirely in what I was replying to Chloe’s ridiculous rant.

      How on earth does she expect people (or corporates) wealthier than her (like it or not that is who will or may be employing her) to employ her and trust her when she hates them and writes about it all over the net?

      Generally telling your clients/employer/potential employer they are a pack of c**** isn’t the best way to advance a career. Every adult seems to have caught on to this.

      • There is no real need to reply to you – whatever you write is an argument against you.

        I feel sorry for you because you don’t even see it.

      • Chloe speaks to the real world, Cathy. You are lost in right wing lalaland. Yes, you should’ve been struck off for malfeasance and bringing your profession into disrepute. How you still have a job suggests your employers are ok with your behavior.

      • Cactus Cate …is that you ?….the dodgy lawyer form Hong Kong?

        Hey ! gidday !!! …I read all about you in Dirty Politics.

        Wow ! – your famous , girl !!!

        Now…what was that you saying about being a hater again , mate?

        Look – if there’s one word of advice I could say to a young wee thing like you is that your known by the company you keep more often than not.

        And what I’ve been hearing is that the company you’ve been hanging out with isn’t that wholesome ….look , dearie…despite what you’ve been told…most of those right wing guys are just lustful animals interested in only one thing.

        Money .

        Yes ,…I know…its a jolly disappointment…but then that’s just the way they are. They don’t care about you , girl …its all about them.

        Come on over to the left and meet some good hearted people. Give up trying to keep up with the righties – it can only lead to heartbreak .

        And come on over to where the air is fresh and the fields are clean.

        You will feel a heavy weight lift off your shoulders when you do.

      • Cactus Kate;

        Yes well that little hate campaign didn’t work out so well for the person(s) who complained. #fail. Crimes? What utter bullshit, you haven’t actually read the Act have you?

        Hmmmm…

        So far you seem to have gotten away with it.

        So far.

        Take it from me, Kate, these things have a strange way of catching up with you when you least expect it.

        Sleeping well at nights?

    • And the thing is I am starting to get paid for my writing, but it is not about getting paid for me. It never ever has been. Making money off my writing has never ever been the goal. Using writing to speak truth to power has always been my goal.

      • I would honestly spend the rest of my life working multiple low paid jobs, than serve some coporate agenda where I have to compromise everything I believe in. I am unwilling to do this, some of us care far more for community than profit, Kate.

    • I do seem to annoy alot of right wingers, but damn this is not about who you vote for or what your political position is. This is about caring deeply for people who are in hardship, who through no failt oftheir own, are seriously struggling to feed themselves. it is clear that Kate pushes neoliberal thinking – which is hardful and incredibly destructive. Great Kate decided to make lots of money at the expense of many others.That really is nothing to gloat about.

  5. When you point out structural and systemic drivers of and contributors to inequality, you are effectively speaking a different language to what so many of the wealthy understand. It’s no wonder that they respond angrily. Anger is one of our first responses if we feel threatened. They don’t understand the nature of the criticism, but they feel the heat. So they lash out. Poor little rich kids. And it’s so important that you understand that they are “nice” people. i have absolutely no doubt that Max and his friends and the fulltimers club all think of each other as “nice”. And most of them probably are. But here’s the kicker; it is easy to be “nice” when you don’t have to worry about your income, job, housing situation, children’s health, transport costs or how you will pay the bills or even buy food.

  6. You sound so angry Cloe,and with some justification.
    The reason for poverty in NZ is not laziness but lack of jobs.

    This government is not interested in providing jobs,its cheaper to have people unemployed ,especialy now the system is manipulated to humiliate those who ask for help.

    Its not just maori,most maori in Northland get the council road work jobs, courier jobs ,meter reading jobs,etc .Trouble is the leaders of IWI have got millions in Waitangi tribunal payouts,but the money dosnt trickle down to the people in need,if it does its not apparent.

    Maybe someone should do an indepth study of the jail population.Who do you blame for the big amount of maori and pacific islanders who are in jail,
    are they in there but innocent?
    Full employment would fix most problems except the 1% who get tax breaks ,can afford expensive lawers,who rarely get a sentence,they are protected by the exclusive club they belong to.
    If anyone but John Key had persistantly assaulted the ponytail girl,it would have ended up in court, arrogant so and so’s like Hoskins blame the girl because she is a “leftie” just as Key blames Labour for all Nationals assaults on the public,which are many ,
    The deal Key made with the Chinese ,to supply dairy to China ,in
    return for giving Chinese people the same rights to buy property in NZ as NZ people have.
    That worked well didn’t , the smart Chinese government got the better deal ,they came in bought farms and now export their own dairy products back to china. Key allowed Chinese to buy houses and businesses, etc and shut our own people out of owning a home in Auckland. Now hes selling school land meant to be for used for rising rolls in schools.
    The developers get most of the land to build expensive houses.and the Chinese will most probably buy those as well.which under the deal made they are legally entitled to
    ,One wonders was that deal the result of not being as savvy as the Chinese leader ,or was it just designed to get more money into NZ regardless of the harm to farmers.
    The list of Nationals bad decisions cost us more than the unemployed or someones baby.
    The reason for all Keys mistakes is the fact he do’snt give a damn about NZ.
    To rubbish Max Key tho’ is unfair,he must suffer for having a father who is held in contempt by so many.
    Sure he has money to spend but he dosnt look happy,at least ive never seen a photograph of him looking happy,it cant be a normal life.
    The daughter lives in Paris,dosnt want to live in NZ.
    Prime Ministers family never have a normal life.
    I think children of prominent people should not be brought into the role of privileged and be critisised for it, you have no idea of how he thinks,because he cant say what he thinks,unlike you Cloe who can write and put your case out there.
    Most of your comments I agree with but not all.BeforeKey came to power we lived reasonably normal lives,but that’s over ,the world situation is not good, the rich and greedy corporations are seeing to that,and maybe Key is part of that club ,he certainly is not here for us.

  7. I can see why the Fulltimers etc were attacking you on FB, you challenge their world view, their decadence and the system that gave them and their parents obscene wealth. Anything we find hard to grasp or that challenges our deeply in trenched world views will always be met with criticism, if not rage (their retorts about how you are clearly ‘just jealous’ of their position in life basically sums up that point perfectly).
    This line, I feel, aptly sums what these young elites don’t understand about their position in society: “If you are born into wealth you are likely to get the contacts and thus the networks which come with it regardless of how talented you are.”

  8. My word Kathy Odgers must have had a nerve tapped or a button pushed.
    She plainly states she supports those who help her,well bully for her ,that dosnt mean you have collude in their dirty politics ….for money…..
    Maybe she is as bad as the 1%people climb the ladder on the backs of others,then kick the others off the ladder (shades of Paula Bennet).
    It was Kathy Odgys who is filled with hate and “im ok jack bugger you”turn of mind.
    I don’t believe Cloe would assist the greedy people for the sake of money.
    Enjoy your good fortune Kathy but don’t rubbish others who have better ethics and care for others,i know who I would sit down to dinner with,that would be Cloe , so saying there would be a place for you if I was inviting anyone ,maybe you could learn some compassion and be better for it ,you and Mike Hoskins are as welcome as a pork pie in a synagogue(with apologies to the jewish people no offence intended).
    Cloe you are a good writer keep cool and go for it .

  9. State housing has been deliberately starved of maintenance funds and degraded to give an excuse for the Natsis to sell it off. People are being booted off their legal benefits for technicalities and have to go through a review process to remedy. Regular work is too low paid to live on affordibly. Rents are at crazy levels and houses are madly overpriced and our young people can’t even begin to buy their own home. House speculators have never been stopped and buying to rent out in my opinion is the main reason houses are unaffordible. Max Keys privileged existence is a glaring obscene contrast in what was once an egalitarian nation. We have 300,000 children living in poverty and the Natsis give tax cuts to the already well of. The Natsis have fitted us up with a 60 billion debt plus compound interest with their banker mates overseas. The natsis are underfunding our health services and people can’t get vital ops done. Basically this shower want to privatise everything. We have the unholy trinity: 1. The corporations 2. Government 3. The media. TV1 We have that shallow popinjay hoskings an insult to human intelligence. TV3 Dunkin Donuts our fast food news merchant.While the country heads on downwards our nobility King John and his son Max live in their wealth palaces totally indifferent to the lot of the peasants, indeed making their lot worse.What New Zealand refuses to acknowledge politically is class, they pretend it doesn’t exist but it does, they live with their heads in the sand.

    The Presstitutes and lap dogs are attacking you Chloe, yapping at your heels, this is the same happening you get in other countries when the ugly truth is exposed.

  10. The problem with this post is that it entirely misses the big picture. Sure, Max Key may have been born with a silver spoon, but so was Chloe compared to 90% of the world’s population living in China, India or Africa who have no social welfare at all and limited access to education or even clean water.

    The freeing up of world trade and removal of restrictions by agreements such as TPPA has eliminated more poverty than any government social welfare scheme.

    Sure there are big winners like Bill Gates and numerous others but if you have punitive taxes on high incomes there will be no incentive to develop ideas, and the black market will prosper and encourage crime.

    Here’s the good news, since 1980 the number of people worldwide living in extreme poverty has declined from 45% to 15%. refer:
    http://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/global-monitoring-report/report-card/twin-goals/ending-extreme-poverty

    Its always easy to find an obnoxious person wealthier than yourself to criticise, or specific instances of police and government abuse, but overall its a fact that poverty is decreasing.

    • Right. So because the World Bank says so, it must be true…….

      As for “punitive taxes”, they should try paying the taxes the rest of us have to pay to make our societies work.

      “The freeing up of world trade and removal of restrictions by agreements such as TPPA has eliminated more poverty than any government social welfare scheme. ”

      That is an outright fabrication. You have no evidence to prove such a lie.

      International aid like drilling for clean water has been going on for far longer than your precious bullshit new right ideology.

      The aid from countries has much to be acknowledged, not your outright lies.

    • “The freeing up of world trade and removal of restrictions by agreements such as TPPA has eliminated more poverty than any government social welfare scheme. ”

      That is an outright lie.

      International aid from donor countries for things as simple as drilling wells for clean water has done far more to lift people from disease than your right wing ideology ever did.

      In fact, all that the right wing have done is legitimize sweat shops in Pakistan and exploit cheap labour throughout the world. Only a sick person could take pride in the abuse of human beings.

      You are so wedded to your ideology that you are blind to the truth about worker exploitation. When those same workers fight back, you then scream “terrorism” or “ingratitude”???

      When you resort to lies, Mr Sceptic, it shows you have nothing else to rely on.

      • Nonsense Priss – the reduction in third world poverty has been achieved by moving away from socialist policies and creating real jobs, not aid or social welfare.

        This has been enabled by free trade – while some of this has been with goods made in sweatshops, the sad reality is that most of such places are better than starving in rural areas on subsistence farms.

        Your glib comment that “only a sick person could take pride in the abuse of human beings” hides the fact that the policies you recommend would return millions to starvation.

          • Read my comment again Frank, I didn’t say I approved of them.

            But clearly you approve of protectionism, which prevents the third world exporting goods to the first world, and leads directly to poverty and starvation.

            Your cheap speculation about my attitude to the sex trade indicates the weakness and falsity of your arguments.

            • You stated at 8.42;

              “while some of this has been with goods made in sweatshops, the sad reality is that most of such places are better than starving in rural areas on subsistence farms”

              Do you resile from that statement?

              • Not at all – working in a sweatshop is better than starving to death, I don’t approve of either.

                You presumably approve of mass starvation – the policies you support have always caused that.

            • Actually, Sceptic, that is precisely what you’ve said. You approve of sweat shops and the exploitation of workers (and children) for economic growth.

              You say not have intended the truth to come out, but with you Right wingers, you just can’t help yourselves, can you.

              And you can cut that shit about “the reduction in third world poverty has been achieved by moving away from socialist policies and creating real jobs, not aid or social welfare”. Your attempt to rewrite history is wasted here.

              Instead of your free market bullshit, I give thanks to the Red Cross, Oxfam, UNICEF, and development funding from other organisations.

              Whatever your corporations achieved (hah!) was done on the backs of humanitarian organisations and dedicated workers. If you include sweat shops and repression of workers in that development you claim, then you’re using exploitative practices as some kind of noble pursuit. You have no inkling how repulsive that is.

              For you to lay claim on “free trade like the TPPA” successfully bringing people out of poverty is obscene. Take your ACT bullshit and share it with your Act fellow travelers. It won’t wash here.

              • So what would you do Priss, reinstitute the restrictive trade policies with China, shutdown the export businesses and return 50 million people to subsistence farming?

                Remember the famines under Chairman Mao? I think the Red Cross and UNICEF will struggle to cope.

                Your concern for the poor seems insincere, take off your ideological blinkers.

                • Well, sceptic, New Zealand certainly seemed to have pretty good trade before these so-called “free trade agreements” came into being.

                  In fact, right up until Britain joined the EEC in 1972, we were actually in trade surplus much of the time. (Though the two oil shocks, plus the EEC thing, soon put paid to that.)

                  According to you, there was no such thing as international trade before these “free trade agreements” came into being. (I wonder where my father got his cars from? Or my cars, in the 1970s? Pixies?)

                  Your references to China under Chairman Mao is unfair and again shows your ignorance. China had just emerged from a World War; brutal occupation under Imperial Japan; and a civil war. It is amazing they rebuilt so quickly instead of becoming a failed state like so many in the last 25 years.

                  Considering you expressed a casual attitude toward sweat shops and other exploitation of workers, I think you should be re-examining your own values rather than critiquing someone else. I suspect the vast majority of decent folk would not support your amoral, free-market, dog-eat-dog vision of humanity.

                  • You entirely miss the point about free trade – of course NZ did very well out of the old 50’s and 60’s restrictive trade setup – Tarif rates stacked the deck in our favour and against the third world – I thought you were against poverty?

                    You really have absolutely no understanding what first world trade practises does to the third world.

                    So you think things were okay under Mao, and Chinese workers are only being exploited now due to industrialisation? Wow.

                    My supposed “casual attitude toward sweatshops” is nothing compared to your attitude towards the millions and millions of people who died from starvation and political oppression under Mao.

                    Your knowledge of history is woeful, and your accusation that I am amoral is astonishing. You really need to learn how to present an argument without this level of personal insults.

                    • Picking on one historical incident (China), out of context, proves nothing. It could just as easily be said that China took a huge leap forward since World War 2 under Mao’s reforms.
                      Your comment “Your knowledge of history is woeful” is simply parroting my previous response to your lack of knowledge.

                      As for suggesting that I “… really need to learn how to present an argument without this level of personal insults” – apologies. What should I call an amoral person who believes sweat shops are acceptable for economic growth?

                      Your posts are an increasing deflection from the points that Chloe’s article has raised; that whilst neo-liberalism has benefitted a few, that the majority have not had the same gains. Wealth is concentrated in few and few families.

                      This is evidenced by the simple reality that home ownership in this country is trending downward and has been since the 1980s. (Though no doubt you’ll blame others for that problem?) If neo-liberalism was increasing our wealth, home ownership should be rising; child poverty falling; and job and wages increasing.

                      None of which is happening.

                      There. Back on track.

                    • You can’t resist a few cheapshot insults can you Frank?

                      Quite happy to return to Cloe’s article after your diversions, but I have to comment that your support of Mao’s “great leap forward” reforms completely proves my point – this plan caused 15 million deaths according to Wikipedia, and set back China’s development by decades. Consequently your description of me as amoral is misdirected, and you are the one who needs to “re-examine your values” as you put it.

                      My criticism of Chloe’s article was that she has many of the same privileges as Max Key compared to the vast majority of the world’s population (education, health care, social welfare etc) and her desire for trade protection will only worsen these problems in the third world.

                      The article is entitled “Being poor in a rich world” – seems to me she doesn’t realise that she’s actually one of the rich.

                    • My criticism of Chloe’s article was that she has many of the same privileges as Max Key compared to the vast majority of the world’s population (education, health care, social welfare etc) and her desire for trade protection will only worsen these problems in the third world.

                      You simply cannot justify wealth/wage inequality by pointing to other parts of the world. That is circular ‘reasoning’, and is a piss-poor attempt to validate our own, home-grown inequalities. You’ll have to do better than that.

                      No one mentioned trade protection except you. Straw man’s bullshit.

                      You can quit with the China thing. Your obsession is plain to see.

                    • Opposing the TPPA is not about restricting internatyional trade. As I pointed out to you before, international trade has existed long before these so-called “free trade agreements” sprung up.

                      No, this isn’t about trade. This is about advancing the rights of corporations to an equal footing with sovereign governments and the relegation of democracy.

                      If the TPPA was so damned good – why is it being kept secret from the public, with only negotiators seeing each others texts?

                      Feel free to explain that. Because no one else has.

                    • So you know all about the TPPA and its all bad, but the worst thing is that it’s being negotiated in secret and no-one knows what’s in it.

                      This is a new level in irrationality.

                    • No, there have been sufficient leaks to show that the TPPA’s contents will harm our sovereignty and ability to pass laws relating to health and environmental issues and problems.

                      If, however you are unaware of these leaks, I can find links for you.

    • Erm………Sooooooooo….what happened to the noble poor in those country’s when the greedy right wing neo liberal bankers caused the global credit crunch ?……

      Did they sing tra lal lala la la …or did they die in droves due to lack of medical supply’s and food ?…

      Just wondering…

      Because your ‘ big picture ‘ worldview falls down right at the interface between your rosy theory’s and what actually DID happen.

      Those were all the poor people…but then they don’t matter to the likes of you , do they …they’re just poor bastards.

      Were YOU there in poorest Africa to actually SEE the results of the greed of the neo liberal policy’s there?

      Did you live in a tent along with thousands of others in the USA because of those glorious Free Trade Deals that did NOTHING to alleviate the poor?

      Yet by contrast those neo liberal proponents had to be bailed out on the backs of the taxpayers ( yet again ) because certain banks and industry’s were ….. get this !!! – TOO BIG TO FAIL – ???

      Well gee whiz , son …bail outs? well that’s not very neo liberal of them is it?

      Gosh !!! gee whiz !!! …seems like it needed a good old fashioned dose of social democratic interventionism , now didn’t it?

      Little bit of good old Keynesian economic theory to kiss it better , now?

      Funny how the same neo liberal bastards that caused it in the first place soon reverted back to their greed and pilfering once they’d all been bailed out by the taxpayers, now , isn’t it…

      Just hand the public a few fall guys to take the rap to appease the public’s blood-lust and then its back to business as usual , ISN’T IT .

    • “Sure there are big winners like Bill Gates and numerous others but if you have punitive taxes on high incomes there will be no incentive to develop ideas, and the black market will prosper and encourage crime.”

      So how do you explain the fact that the US saw some of it’s largest growth ever in the 50’s to 70’s when taxes were vastly higher than they are now, or that in many ways that was also a golden age of technological advance, spawning the roots of practically every single piece of high-technology that we now take for granted?

      The idea that people require insane levels of profit to work on new technology is provably nonsense, witness the thousands of garage inventors and tinkerers who do it for fun and curiousity. Apple and Microsoft both came out of that environment. You could say that it was due to corporate profits that they gave the world what they did, but you’re kidding yourself if you think that the current form of capitalism is the only possible paradigm for advancement.

      • Actually I agree that the “current form of capitalism” as you put it isn’t the only possible paradigm for advancement, but I don’t think the suggestions proposed here of massive increases in taxes, protectionism and social welfare will do it – they’ve been tried before and failed.

  11. Poor Cactus

    She doesn’t realise that

    a) the only reason she is where she is now is because of women a long time ago who struggled with the same passion as Chloe against what we now see in hindsight as deplorable discrimination.

    b) she is now being as cynically exploited as all of the men before her who gave their dedication to the corporate world.

    c) if you dine with cannibals you are gonna get eaten

    d) she like all the rest of us mortals has her appointed position under the approaching bus.

    Chloe keep it up, but empathy is more constructive than hate. I feel sorry for all of these trolls. But not as sorry as I feel for the country I was born in…..

  12. Yeah, give em heaps, Chloe, you know how to stir up life amongst the many half dead I see around me in this so depressed society.

    Max Who? One Key of privilege, there goes my middle finger in salute, matey.

    And this is also from one Mike to another Privileged Prick Mike: Wait until some ill health or accident will strike you down, matey, you may start seeing the light about what life is really about.

    Oh, I am so furious also, furious, about the state of affairs in this defacto dictatorship we have in Aotearoa NZ.

    So far most are content with their morsels, or dare not rebel, but the day will come, where the shit will hit the fan, and all fury will break loose, not just mine or Chloe’s.

    While I am no friend of rude words, sometimes they deserve to be used, as they express powerful emotions.

    A real stirrer, this post, like many from Chloe, keep it up!

  13. For some reason this little bit of poetry came to mind after reading this piece:

    “But he never could think which he ought to do first.

    And so in the end he did nothing at all,
    But basked on the shingle wrapped up in a shawl.
    And I think it was dreadful the way he behaved –
    He did nothing but basking until he was saved.”

    And the following information may be useful in times of life crises:

    ” pull the mask down to activate the oxygen flow. Place the mask over your nose and mouth and breathe normally while securing the elastic band around your head. Only when your mask is secured, should you assist children or fellow passengers. ”

    Throwing stones uphill is generally futile. Kicking at others because they currently appear to be advantaged seems like a burst of fear and envy. Unnecessary – and a revelatory warning to potential collaborators. It may be that the way you do anything is the way you do everything.

    Try reaching down to help others up. It doesn’t take money. Or ‘priviledge’. Just wit, wisdom, and humility to tap in to the strengths in Us.

    And, when it’s time to talk with those who speak Economics and Finance make very sure we speak as equals with equals. Learn their languages and tribal ways. There is no other way if you want to communicate, and create beneficial lasting changes. (You don’t have to join, obviously.)

  14. It’s good that you’re concerned about poverty in NZ Chloe but I think you’re concerns are misdirected.

    The lifestyle of Max Key and people like it is not the cause of poverty in NZ. By international standards the Key family are really only upper middle class. No big deal either way. The rich are not the issue here because they generally look after their offspring.

    The problem you need to be looking at is intergenerational poverty. Consider some of these questions:

    About half of prison inmates are illiterate. This has been the case for decades now. How does the NZ education system allow people to be flushed through it without ever learning to read?

    Or are these kids so utterly damaged by their family situation that they are already broken before they start school?

    Who are these kids? Are they the progeny of DPB mums? Neglected by mums?

    Bashed by various boyfriends and family members?

    Brought up in a house full of booze and drugs?

    Living on streets where gang membership is pretty much mandatory?

    So for your next post I want to see some proposals to solve the problem, rather than just whining about how unfair it all is.

    • Who are these kids? Are they the progeny of DPB mums? Neglected by mums?

      Andrew, it’s telling that you refer to solo-parents in the negative by their female gender. What is your problem with women?

      Last time I looked at mammalian biology, it requires a XY chromosome as we as XX to create a new human being.

      • Frank, my problem is that some of them farm children purely for the money.

        The outcome is what we see too often in the news: Babies abused and even killed by thug boyfriends and family members.

        Further down the line we find:

        Teenagers who have no teeth because they were fed soft drinks from a babies bottle from birth.

        Sociopathic children due to familial abuse and absence of their real father

        Drug addiction

        Angry, illiterate young men whose only future is in prison

        • “Frank, my problem is that some of them farm children purely for the money. “

          Really?

          Do you have evidfence of “baby farming”?

          How many are “baby farming”?

          What are the stats – is baby farming increasing or decreasing?

          Do you actually have evidence for that piece of bigotry, or just parroting BS you’ve picked up from radio rantback nutters?

          Parroting urban myths and headlines as “evidence” merely proves your lack of information.

          Evidence please.

          • I’ve personally seen it in action.

            Like I’ve said before – do your own homework. If you have any mates in the MSD, ask them to tell you about their analysis of DPB statistics.

            Contrary to what many believe, these women who produce babies WHILST ALREADY ON DPB are not hopelessly feckless – they time these pregnancies carefully in order to maximise the cash flow.

            This is why National tightened up on the DPB rules – to try and discourage women becoming welfare queens.

            http://lindsaymitchell.blogspot.hk/2015/08/35-children-day-added-to-existing.html

            • So you have no evidence to back up your bigotry? I thought as much.

              You make unsubstantiated allegations about “baby breeding”, but can’t back it up. Pathetic.

              And linking to former ACT-candidate and right wing blogger, Lindsay Mitchell, will not help your position one iota. Her anti-welfare and beneficiary-bashing views are well know to the rest of us.

  15. Even though Peter and Kate have despicable attitudes, congratulations TDB for being a truly democratic site and allowing those idiots to post. Try getting a comment on a National party MPs page, and you are instantly blocked for not displaying obeisance and signs of being one of their sycophants. This is a truly remarkabley open site in allowing the rants of right-wings yes men to be posted. Otherwise, you would be the same slanted ratbags as have achieved power in the corporates “as seen on TV”.

  16. Regarding the situation in the USA that you mention, that country is totally stuffed, in a downward spiral that will end in the dissolution of the country, it is now past the point of no return.

    There are many reasons for this, the insane gun laws, the obsession with $$$, the rampant greed, the hatred of the idea of government, and much more. And, when an ignorant buffoon like Trump has such a large following, what more evidence does one need to see the truth regarding the USA?

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