Red Alert

Feeding our kids

Posted by on February 6th, 2012

$4.28 is less than I paid for the latte I just drank.

That is how much Craig and Carla Bradley can spend to feed each of their kids each day.

After rent, power, petrol and bugger all else.

Thank you to Simon Collins for his excellent reality check on inequality in Auckland in today’s Herald – see Trevor’s post below.

Equally sobering: a “comfortable” family – Anita and Nigel’s – on $150k (an MP’s salary) is close to the top 10% of NZ households. 

Fact is, we live in a poor and divided country.

So our constituency is not just the so-called ‘underclass’; it is most New Zealanders.

No-one wants to be poor. 

Every Kiwi kid deserves good fresh food, a few treats and trips to the beach.

Being poor is grinding and demoralising. 

It takes all your time; and your gut turns when your kids go without.

Most parents strive to do their utmost. 

There is unbelievable sacrifice and heroism all around us.

But most people don’t see the point in politics – they are too busy just living.

Despite this, a  gap this big between the 1% and the rest cannot stand.  It never has…

The change we want is that of Mickey Savage and the New Deal.

Not extremism, or racism; or God forbid, another ‘Great’ War.

So we must be relevant to New Zealanders’ daily struggles:

Feeding our kids; caring for our sick and old;

Making sure there are good schools and jobs for our young;

Looking after our living earth;

Seeking out those doing good stuff in our communities and working with them.

Humble enough to know we don’t have all the answers, because no-one does…

…and going on anyway.


126 Responses to “Feeding our kids”

  1. Colonial Viper says:

    IMO the ongoing morality and self-discipline judgements are completely irrelevant. They are a canard used by the Right to distract, to mollify, to prejudice, to misdirect.

    The basic problem is to recognise that on this issue, there is only one bottom line relevancy. And that is tracking and changing the % share of GDP and of asset wealth which is distributed to the bottom nine deciles of the population.

    Everything else is smoke and mirrors, and the Right know this perfectly; while they act and strut and moralise, everything they do backstage is quietly designed to move both GDP and asset wealth to the top 1%.

  2. al1ens says:

    “Who is the moral judge here and by what right?”

    On the Labour party blogsite – I’d say there’s a good chance it’s not a banker with a huge foreign investment portfolio and a Haiwian bolthole, making profit regardless of whether thousands of families in New Zealand live in poverty and have to aspire to own a couple of cheap 10k jap imports.

    I’m always quite happy to run any right-wing gauntlet of self interested, self serving “I’m alright, Jack” types and put forward a case for people over bottom line, everytime.

  3. CV. You have decided that Father Tim is the enemy. You have brainwashed yourself into the mantra that poor = virtuous and anything less than poor is morally corrupt. The guy just said he tithes off some of his income and you immediately try to cast him as the villain. This is hysteria. All you are interested in doing is pitting extreme ideologies together for your own entertainment.
    How do you decide what the good causes are? What are they just guessin? The RSPCA? The boneheads collective? Occupy?

  4. Blip says:

    Are………. just sayin. Try saying something else Trevor

  5. Colonial Viper says:

    Monique – The only thing which matters, as I said earlier, is gradually shifting a larger and larger share of the nation’s GDP and asset base to the bottom 9 deciles of the population. In effect, reversing the neoliberal influence of the last 30 years.

    Your comments about “enemies” and “brainwashing” and “villains” and “ideologies” and “boneheads” are somewhat irrelevant to that basic economic matter.

  6. Colonial Viper says:

    Oh yeah I like the way you mention the RSPCA as if stray animal welfare is somehow related to a post on feeding NZ’s disadvantaged children.

  7. Father Tim says:

    Monique – thanks but I’m not bothered by CV. It seems she quickly forgot the words of the original post:

    “So we must be relevant to New Zealanders’ daily struggles:

    Feeding our kids; caring for our sick and old;

    Making sure there are good schools and jobs for our young;

    Looking after our living earth;

    Seeking out those doing good stuff in our communities and working with them.

    Humble enough to know we don’t have all the answers, because no-one does…and going on anyway.”

  8. Waterboy says:

    “somehow related to a post on feeding NZ’s disadvantaged children.”

    I think you all miss the point, its not so much feeding NZ’s disadvantaged kids, its feeding teh kids of working families now as well. 42000 per year 5 years ago was a good wage, now its crap. The cost of living on the basics has gone through the roof(i know this from just looking at what it costs us), HD tv’s, a dozen beer and other luxurys have not moved in price and in some cases have gone down in price.

    IMHO, anyone who tithes, to whatever cause and whatever there finanacial situation needs to be admired, irrelevant of being able to claim back a portion, they are still making the mental desicion to contribute to others, i wish we were in that position, we give a little to a set charity, but its not much.

  9. Colonial Viper says:

    Oh “Father” let us hear your wise counsel once more on why we should not be concerned about this post, or as to the state of our young and strugging, as Rwandan children have it so much tougher.

  10. Colonial Viper says:

    I think you all miss the point, its not so much feeding NZ’s disadvantaged kids, its feeding teh kids of working families now as well.

    To clarify what I meant: many working families are now included amongst the disadvantaged. Reports from food banks etc say that plenty of working families are needing regular help i.e. they are “needy”.

    In some ways working families can be more disadvantaged: despite having a bit more money to spend with their children, they certainly have less time to spend with their children.

  11. Pete George says:

    In some ways working families can be more disadvantaged: despite having a bit more money to spend with their children, they certainly have less time to spend with their children.

    There can be ‘disadvantages’ wherever you look for them, can’t there.

    High earners often work very long hours so are time-with-kids disadvantaged.

    We can’t all have all the money we want and all the time we want to do whatever we want. In fact probably no one comes close.

    The best way to address disadvantagism is to improve things at the larger bottom, and not to obsess over knocking the small top.

  12. Gregor W says:

    I find the ’10k’ car fixation weird.

    I am within the top 10% of income earners bracket (apparently) and sole wage earner in my household of 2 adults and 2 little kids.
    We have one car worth about 6k.
    We feel our money is better spend on servicing the mortgage and eating well than servicing wants.

    Are there a whole bunch of people out there incapable of performing mental opportunity-cost calculations who are suddenly now the new ‘poor’?

    Having lived in actual ‘NZ level’ poverty in my youth on occasion (i.e little or no money for food after paying rent) this does all seem a bit contrived.

    Genuine, grinding poverty is horrible and it does not come with 2 cars.

  13. Colonial Viper says:

    We can’t all have all the money we want and all the time we want to do whatever we want. In fact probably no one comes close.

    You obviously haven’t heard of the ‘passive income’ movement.

  14. Pete George says:

    CV – no I haven’t.

    I presume it is not making massive inroads into moving everyone in the world onto a pie in the sky ideology.

  15. SJW says:

    Monique Watson,

    I challenge you to find a reasoned argument for your beliefs rather than ad hominem style shots at RSPCA, or Occupy.

    Colonial Viper

    Thank you for attempting to share sense with those reading this thread. I am eternally relieved to hear what you write. It is nice to know that at least one person understands the issues of the day.

    I used to wonder why those with right wing type views quickly degenerate into side arguments (i.e Monique Watson accusing CV of some such or the other, re poor = virtuous which is clearly not what CV’s argument is pivoting on), yet now I realize that such approaches are all that can be taken, because reasoned justification for the views they hold simply don’t exist.

  16. M Schwartz says:

    Can’t feed em don’t breed em. Making contraception a condition of welfare would also be a good move. Many people simply lack the future time orientation to manage their own contraception. This can be simply implemented with birth control shots every three months, or with Implanon. Ideally in future this could be used for males also.

  17. al1ens says:

    “Can’t feed em don’t breed em” – Insert roll eyes and Warren Obb emoticons here.

    What about people that had jobs when they ‘bred’, but don’t have one now? What should they do?
    Judging by your comments on forced contraception for dolies, I’m guessing a return to kids down mines and up chimneys would suit your Dickensian tory values.

    If this is the current calibre of the right, the next three years will fly by.
    Tory central command… D-
    Could do better.

    :lol:

  18. Well, look chickens: it’s been lovely slinging mud around, but onto some productive suggestions: Clothing Banks. Well supplied food-banks, and free education for the homeless. You’d find in most cases they won’t take the education because of addiction. More beds for treatment. With food education and clothes, you’d be hard pressed to find many excuses for not getting out of the schtook.
    Working class poor: A reduced tax rate for those earning between 60k and 100k a year; it’s that bracket shooting off to Australia.
    And don’t hammer people for having kids. It only ever serves to make the childless feel virtuous and doesn’t help the loin-fruit in question.

  19. Lee says:

    Monique, I’ll upsize your clothsbank/foodbank suggestion to:
    free clothing, free housing, and free food for everyone…and of course other free essentials, like free toothbrushes and free toilet paper…even for tourists.
    And then cut all current benefits to ZERO.
    I predict less secondary smoke in town, and fewer young punks hooning down my street at twice the speed limit, in cars without mufflers and(presumably) without warrants of fitness.

  20. Colonial Viper says:

    The biggest benefits of this society go to the wealthiest.

    Apparently your conception of freedom = freedom for the rich, Nana state for everyone else.

  21. Waterboy says:

    “Can’t feed em don’t breed em” and where would the future generations come from???

    Maybe selling NZ wholesale is the right idea

  22. Lee says:

    Colonial Viper, you’re off topic which, in this thread, is
    “Feeding our kids”. Whether the kids are rich or not isn’t
    specified, but I suggested one way to feed them and, all of
    them, whether they’re rich, poor, or intermediate.
    I didn’t suggest a way to fuel their muffler-less cars, or
    to fuel them with booze, or to supply them with smokes.
    I exceeded the boundaries of the experiment, slightly, because
    I thought toothbrushes and toilet paper were associated with
    feeding, and I thought clothing and housing would be helpful,
    during their feeding.
    And ‘rich’ people always will be constrained by laws and by
    the people they have to deal with. Colonel Gadaffi was very rich 6 months ago, and now he’s very dead. I think that’s because he was a rich jerk, who used his wealth unwisely, in his society.
    Warren Buffet doesn’t behave like a jerk, just
    because he has billions, and he’s asked Congress, several times within the past 6 months, to raise his taxes.

  23. Tracey says:

    M Schwartz, are you aware that people with jobs can have children, love and care for them, and then be made redundant, or have an accident which reduces their income by 20 (if on ACC)?

    Am assuming your post was tongue in cheek…

    “. This can be simply implemented with birth control shots every three months, or with Implanon. Ideally in future this could be used for males also.” Yes, whatever we do, hold the men responsible as a last resort only!

  24. KJT says:

    Good to see someone in Labour breaking the party line about do nothing, hide, and hope NACT will self destruct.

    Aren’t you going to get into trouble.

    I hope you continue with this, and push the rest of your party into becoming a Labour party again, instead of disappearing into irrelevance as NACT/Neo-liberal light.

  25. KJT says:

    Warren Buffet is a ray of hope. Proof that not all the rich are “rich pricks”.

    Note though. The non prick rich seem to be always people who have made their wealth through real effort and ability, not the undeserving children of the already rich.

    Some of the best arguments for massive wealth and inheritance taxes are the bludgers from society, like the Koch brothers.

  26. Kate Lang says:

    The disparity of wealth accumulation by the bank, business, and manipulative classes in NZ, vs. the unbelievable poverty that has come to exist in other populations here, is disgusting. Worse still is the right’s defense that inequality arises due to the inadequacy and laziness of persons–and their children!–who become poor. I would prefer to have NZ run by a human being capable of eliminating poverty, not a banker.