Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rodney Hide: Bugger off Poor Kids

Rodney Hide: Poverty claims show welfare system failure

By Multi-Millionaire Rodney Hide

Giving families more money isn't going to make parents care more. Photo / APN
Giving families more money isn't going to make parents care as much as I will if my taxes go towards them; hands off my money, poor people! Photo / APN

"Child poverty's terrible! Kids hungry! It's getting worse!

"270,000 poor kids. And government? Doing nothing!"

But hang on. All kids are poor. Children typically don't own much beyond a few toys. That's true in poor families. And it's true of rich families. Has anyone thought of the destitute children living inside the mansions of the rich? No, but I have. This is why redistributive tax systems are evil and must be halted already so that the futures of our destitute rich kids can be secured.
And yet we have a report boldly titled Child Poverty. That tugs at the heartstrings and makes great newspaper copy but it's wrong. The report should properly be titled family or household poverty which doesn't tug on the heartstrings because rightly nobody cares about poor adults. In fact the report should have been titled Unemployed Chimney Sweeps.

But even that's misleading. The 270,000 "child poverty" figure refers to relative poverty. Your children suffer in "poverty" if your household's net income is less than 60 per cent of your equivalent household's median income. The cut-off income for a couple with four children is just over $1000 a week. Net.

It's no wonder that one child in four lives in "poverty" - $1000 a week in the hand is well above any lack of comfort let alone starvation. But for the experts, that's "poverty". Of course it is in fact $990 a week, but over $1000 makes my arguement sound better. In fact lets say it's a million dollars a week. A MILLION DOLLARS?! And the "experts" say that's "poverty". I just threw up over my imported tailor made Italian suit. I could have also picked a smaller household, but a six person household gives me the biggest number and it's harder to automatically gauge what that means in spending terms, instead you just see a big number. A 27,000,000 person household would probably also get just over $10,000 million a week. Net. How are these mulch-millionaire households poor? Exactly.

A windfall that doubled all incomes wouldn't budge the child "poverty" figure. There would still be 270,000 poverty-stricken children. That's because experts define "poverty" in reference to the middle income. So say everyone started making a million dollars a week, but "poor" people were making 600k a week, that's not poverty. Poor people are too rich in this country and we need to start giving them Government bailouts. Wait, sorry, I'm thinking about Corporations, which are also legally people, but the right kind of people, because they're businesses. Experts might say I was "drunk" when I was writing that, but relative to a person who has drunk 60 vats of pure ethanol I would be considered sober.

Making people richer doesn't fix relative poverty so lets not redistribute incomes so that poor people are no longer poor because they're relatively rich. The only fix is to narrow the spread of income, even if that makes everyone poorer. That's right, poor people will steal all of your money so that they can be rich.  That's why experts recommend taking even more income from families above the median income to give to those below it. Not the 1% rich who hold the bulk of wealth in this country, but the median income holders, the Mums and Dads, the people most likely to vote. That's right, fear the poor for they are after your money.The fix follows directly from defining "child poverty" as household inequality.

News reports now link the poverty report to children turning up to school hungry. But even the gloomiest estimates don't have 270,000 hungry kids and if they don't hit that target then you have to question whether there are hungry kids at all.

Labour leader David Shearer quoted a 2002 Ministry of Health survey to say 83,000 children aged 5 to 14 "sometimes or often went to school without breakfast". That's well short of the 270,000 "living in poverty" and is 87,000 thousand hungry children anything to worry about? Not compared to 270,000 it isn't.

But even the 83,000 figure is exaggerated. The survey found the equivalent of 83,000 kids in the previous week "not" or "sometimes not" eating or drinking at home before school but 76,000 "usually" or "sometimes" eating or drinking on the way to school. Presumably, they are many of the kids who didn't eat at home and you have to wonder whether that isn't a choice. Who knows with kids today. 12,000, there's another number. We've now gone from 270,000 to 12,000 without anybody actually doing anything. Zero. There, solved.

The survey found that the older the child the more likely they were not to eat at home and the more likely they were to eat on the way to school. Also, girls were more than twice as likely as boys not to eat at home. The sex and age differences suggest forces other than poverty at work. It's not poverty. It's girls on their fad diets. All those thousands of children not eating, it's just females wanting to look good and this should be encouraged, but not with my tax money.

Further, although children from poorer households were more likely not to eat at home before school, they were also more likely to drink Coke and eat chips and be fatter. This is why we need more children not eating, because when they do eat they get fat and nobody likes a fattie.

Poverty can't be the cause no matter what the "experts" say. A bowl of porridge costs 10 cents and though  I never eat porridge, because that's poor person food, I'm sure that you can buy single serve helpings at 10c a pop. And if you're running out the door to your third job I'm sure the Nanny can help serve the children as I found mine most helpful growing up. The most nutritious food on the planet is liver. It costs 70c a serve and is available from stray animals that roam the housing estates. The second most nutritious is an egg: 50c. The third most nutritious is human excrement: free.

I have nourishing bone broth for lunch. The marrow bones for a good brew cost $10 or at least that's what I threw at the mother as I stole her toddler out of the pram. That's 50c a meal. Good nutritious food doesn't cost much. It certainly doesn't cost much compared to a Coke, a bag of chips or a burger. I think we should be judgemental about these so-called "poor" people who are time poor, or uneducated, or are suffering from depression bought on by living lives on a million dollars a week.

The lack of breakfast is not caused by a lack of money. It's caused by a lack of care. That lack of care can't be fixed by giving parents more money and even if it did I don't care enough to give them said money because I don't care about them. Handing parents more money doesn't make them care more. I have lots of money and don't care about anybody other than myself which is case in point.

The welfare state is more than 100 years old. It's been constantly expanded and enhanced. Some might say to changing conditions, some might say because society cared enough not to see it's members suffering, but that's why gated communities were developed.

The original framers would be astonished and appalled by its depth and width and I know this because I just read it after I wrote it. And yet, thousands of children arrive at school hungry because their parents care about them as much as I do, which is not at all.

The fix is invariably seen by experts as more welfare. The Government should supply breakfast and perhaps lunch and then, no doubt, dinner. Also morning tea, and after fives, and tea and cakes and maybe a god damn mint on their pillow when they go to bed, the greedy fat poor bastards. Stop taking my money because you want to eat.

But hungry kids prove that welfarism has failed, or that it hasn't been applied rigorously enough, but that doesn't work with my narrative. Welfare has made the Government increasingly responsible for children and parents less and less so. Governments are now burping babies while parents run off to have fun on their millions of dollars.

Poverty has become an excuse for parents who send their children to school hungry and the Government's job now is not only to provide those parents with an income and a house but to cook their kids' breakfast as well. As a  responsible citizen I say fuck the hungry kids and get your greedy little hands out of my Italian calfskin wallet. If it means that Government has to do it lets leave the little urchins to starve to death in the streets like the good old days. That will teach the poor not to be poor.

The question of the proper fix comes down to what we call the experts' report. Is it "Child Poverty"? Or "Child Neglect" but either way I want to make it clear that I don't give a damn, and hopefully so that we might have a brighter future, you wont care either.

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