Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The benfits of a delay.

The brain is slowly returning to it's version of normal service after several days spent frantically in the kitchen, serving food for 180 odd people, a late, late night, an early morning, half a days worth of cleaning , moving friends house and packing stuff away. There was a nice 12 hours sleep after that lot. One of the additional benefits of a delay in transmission though, apart from having a ball of time, is that when an issue pops up, not only do you get time to reflect upon it, but you get the benefits of other peoples opinion that bring to the fore, other angles on it that one might haven't have thought about otherwise.

My initial thought on the genius welfare reforms for youth that have been released into our media was it was annoying drivel. Seriously, how many people would it effect? And how effective would it be? So over the past couple of days, the numbers have come trickling in. It appears about 4000 yoofs are on independent circumstances allowances, compared to 58,000 unemployed yoofs. So straight off the bat, it appears that if there's a problem, it doesn't appear to be in people taking advantage of the system, it appears the problem would be that there aren't enough jobs. Gordon Campbell tells us that young people now form a greater percentage of the dole, hey, maybe it is those lazy young bastards. But wait, someone says, look, 40-54 years olds also form a greater percentage of the people on the dole compared to 5 years ago.  Lazy arsed old people. More likely it means it's harder for the young 'uns and the oldies to find work at the moment. Russell Brown's numbers tend to back up that view. All of which reinforces the belief that it's idiot scare mongering on the part of our current government.

Then again, as Danyl says, hey, maybe some of these ideas will work, how about we have a trial and see what happens. Funnily enough, he does it it the same post that points out the flaws that pretty much every other voucher system/food stamp type system has failed to solve. The fact that National are running this up the flagpole at this point in time reinforces the notion that these are populist preachings that have no evidence of being able to work nor any suggestion that this is going to be a trial to sort out whether it works or not. The other notion that it reinforces sadly, is that a decent chunk of the population nod sagely to themselves after 10 seconds of not thinking about the issue and declare it's a fine thing that is being proposed. Good grief.

Of course, those with slightly less faith in the good intentions of our current government are, in the comments on Russell's post, wondering weather this will get implemented and used as a springboard to privatise the entire welfare sector. Which is just plain scary. The market is not all knowing, there are some areas of government where the interest of the citizen should be put before the interest of the shareholder. I really hope they are just being paranoid.

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