Well of course they do

The Business Council of Australia thinks it’s unfair for rich Australians to pay a flood levy – we should take it out of the disabled instead:

The Business Council says cuts to disability services and foreign aid should be considered as alternatives to the flood levy.

The Federal Government says the $1.8 billion tax is needed to help pay for flood and cyclone reconstruction in Queensland and Victoria.

But in its pre-budget submission, the Business Council, which represents Australia’s top 100 companies, says the government should instead press ahead with returning the budget to surplus through short-term spending discipline.

Council president Graham Bradley says all current spending should be reviewed and disability pensions may not be the best use of government money.

I’m surprised the BCA isn’t just straight out bashing the unemployed – surely it realises that picking on the disabled is likely to be torn to pieces – but, either way, what a repulsively typical approach.


After finishing his speech, Graham Bradley twirled his moustache, gave a short but sinister laugh, walked to the door over a line of disabled people specially bused-in by his staff and then kicked onto the floor for him to use as carpet, and kicked a poor person in the testicles for looking unemployed.

Oddly enough, in its campaign to drive the disabled back to work, and its expressions of concern for the debilitating effects of long term unemployment, the BCA did not advocate any regulations making it more difficult for corporate Australia to sack large swathes of its workforce whenever it appears profitable to do so.

No, it just wants to make life harder for the people least able to afford it.

What a lovely group of people.

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33 responses to “Well of course they do

  1. jordanrastrick

    This will probably help solidify popular support for the tax.

    If they wanted to score populist points, they should have just stuck to attacking foreign aid.

    The disability welfare system does need to be reformed to help people get back into work where they’re able, but the idea this means it should have its share of the budget slashed to pay for the floods is plainly absurd.

  2. I am not surprised at all by these comments. The money for condominiums, yachts, other assorted trinkets of wealth that comes from MOST big business, must be continued. This will not be achieved by giving it away to needy Australians. No other needy Australian’s must be forced to do this, as per usual.

    Anyway why change what works? We get them to pay for wars that serve big business, we pay for failing big business, big banks, and spread our largess around the place with gay abandon. Of course if we don’t by way of fair tax, also known as extortion, we could end up in the poky. Unless of course you are a media entrepreneur or similar, then you don’t pay s&*%.

    The needy, always moaning. They get money for luxuries like food and clothes, what more do they want? The fact we own most of the wealth in this fair land collectively, is just bulls*&^@. Just ask the BCA.

  3. The tactic of bashing the disabled seems to be working well in the UK.

    Have a look at some of DEM’s posts on this over at http://skepticlawyer.com.au/tag/disability/

  4. God, this is just horrible.

    Is Australia losing its soul (also consider the previous post on Victoria winding back its gay reforms) or am I just becoming old and cynical?

    The next thing arts funding will be reduced to zero, and if that happens we may as well all just pack up and go home.

  5. “The next thing arts funding will be reduced to zero, and if that happens we may as well all just pack up and go home.”

    If that means no more Ballet & Opera , bring it on. Just joking.

    The spats industry will go broke. Second thoughts.

  6. Aged Pensioners could do quite a bit more too.

    It won’t kill them to go without bingo for a few months.

    And Pal really doesn’t taste that bad.

  7. These people are obsessed with how much the government spend on welfare. I’d wager they even lose sleep over it. If they weren’t such complete arseholes it would be easy to feel sorry for them.

    Do they have even the remotest idea how people survive on the piddling amounts of welfare the government dole out? Do they have any idea how many hoops one has to jump through in order to qualify for the princely sum of $240 odd a week? The reason why many dole bludgers opt for the DSP is because after 6 or so months of being considered by and large by an aspirational, mindless, dumbfuck society as one who is inhabiting the lowest rung of the food chain, with no money to pay bills, barely enough money for food, no money to pay for healthcare, clothes, insurance, (you can completely forget trying to keep a car on the road) depressive anxiety usually sets in and any other than the most heinous right wing medico will gladly, happily, sign you off on to the DSP if he/she thinks it will help you recover the annhilation of your dignity, sense of self worth and ability to function as a ‘normal’ and legitimate member of society that being on the dole entails.

    Let me at ’em. Fearful. greedy. heartless. pricks.

  8. jordanrastrick

    Thats a good point. Its not just the poverty of the dole that’s depressing, and it’s not just the lack of meaningful activity. The degrading nature of centrelinks bureaucratic processes (they’ve gotten better but it’s still awful.) is also a big contributory factor to undermining people’s mental health.

  9. Pingback: The Punch’s new puppet – Pure Poison

  10. narcoticmusing

    PS – anyone that didn’t catch Jeremy’s last comment on the Punch article (comment 6 when I last looked) take a glance, it is gold.

    [rubs hands together to scheme a way out of this stupid law firm and into the easy street DSP]

  11. Splatterbottom

    One defining feature of the “progressive” is their lust for victim porn. Nothing gets them swooning and spurting like the feeling that they are helping victims and soaking the rich at the same time. The problem is that their carnal desires numb their brains. They don’t seem to understand the contradictions inherent in their position.

    Paying people not to work is not going to reduce unemployment. It will in fact contribute significantly to the annihilation of dignity.

    Offering an alternative lifestyle on DSP will foster an alienated underclass dependent on perpetuating their disability to maintain their payments.

    Meanwhile welfare pimps prosper from the travails of the people they disempower, all the time understanding that their status and power increases as the victim class expands.

    And funnily enough, keeping people out of the workforce, increasing the unproductive sector of the workforce and increasing the tax burden on the productive sector is a sick race to the bottom built on the delusion that an ever expanding welfare system is somehow good for the country.

  12. narcoticmusing

    SB – I don’t think anyone would debate that an unemployed person can be quickly robbed of their dignity and that it is a very good thing for them to be back at work asap. But you speak as if it is merely a choice. To be on a DSP means that there is an acknowledged circumstance that your choice has been taken from you. Do you honestly believe that this ‘alternative lifestyle’ is so fabulous that people are trying to stay on it? DSP makes minimum wage look like more money than anyone has ever earned! If it is so awesome, why don’t you get a disability so that you can go live the good life on DSP?

    I whole heartedly disagree with you that we are creating a climate of DSP recipients perpetuating their disability. If you have ever had a disability, it is generally something you’d give/do anything to be free of. To be overly simplisitc, a disability is not a blessing, it is a curse. It is called a disability because it disables one from doing things that you take for granted.

    I don’t have a disability but have seen the impact severe disability causes and the complete lack of support from the State – these are people that were good little economic units and the second something went wrong the very economy they supported abondoned them. They lost not just the life they had in terms of being physically capable but they lost the financial independence they had before. They are more than aware of the advantage of working and wish they could. They aren’t all out rorting the system.

    If the system was more supportive and less adversarial, then perhaps DSP recipients would be more likely to return to work – instead, the system exhausts them and provides no support (eg access to treatment/rehab would be a good start).

  13. Putting the boots into the unemployed and the disabled. That’s another showbag trait of conservative politics checked by our resident moderate centrist. Once again, you’re all class, SB. Blackhearted and proud of it.

  14. jordanrastrick

    SB, come on. Your trolling of progressives can be amusing when you pick the right issues, but surely you’d rather at least try and have a serious discussion about this one.

    I whole heartedly disagree with you that we are creating a climate of DSP recipients perpetuating their disability.

    I think the extent to which we are creating such a climate tends to be exaggerated by the Right and underplayed by the Left. The reality is that this is a problem – and is separate but related to the fact that there are some people malingerers in the system.

    Part of the problem is the passive nature of the income, but part of the problem is in fact the adversarial nature of the system that narcotic alludes to.

    I have a chronic psychiatric condition, that qualifies as a disability by most standards, although the severity of my symptoms is incredibly variable. I was pretty unwell and unemployed a while ago, and my health professionals (psychiatrist and occupational therapist) warned me off the DSP.

    Basically the advice was

    “Newstart is crappy, because its not enough money and the rigmarole is punative. But the DSP is crappy because its a bit more cash, enough to get you through, but is hopeless at allowing you to transition back into independence. So the system is set up with a stupid and self defeating all-or-nothing view of disability – be on Newstart and lack the resources you need, or be on the DSP and be essentially banned from gettting a job; and having a bit of income but no job for an extended period is almost certainly only going to make your symptoms worse.”

    Obviously this only applies to circumstances like mine – some people of course have conditions that essentially prevent them from doing any work ever, while others are less severely affected but may end up on the DSP anyway because its so much more attractive to apply for than Newstart.

    I ended up basically underplaying my condition when talking to the Centrelink assessor, but obviously for many people the incentive is to do the opposite. Unfortunately the lack of highly reliable, cheap, objective diagnostic tools for conditions like mine and others (such as chronic pain) is a big obstacle to getting things right. Hopefully technological advances will help on this front.

    The ridiculous thing is that I gather things have actually improved a lot over how they used to be…

    Oh and Jeremy, I don’t think your response to Angry Cripple was entirely fair. He’s explicitly not defending the BCA. He’s using the controversy generated by the BCA’s bullshit, but trying to redirect the conversation toward discussing reform of disability funding that doesn’t involve slashing its budget to pay for other things. I don’t think he’s put a very good case at all for the particular changes he’s advocating, but I still think there’s value hearing from the perspective of someone with a serious disabiltiy who has problems with the current way of doing things.

    And I don’t really see that its all that relevant whether he’s published on a News Ltd website or any other medium, or even that’s he’s using a pseudonym.

  15. narcoticmusing

    JS- Agreed. We need a system that allows for temporary absences from work that our outside what normal sick leave would provide for, similar to the workcover setup (not that that isn’t incredibly adversarial in some settings too). If we are serious about people going back to work, due to the benefits that brings both to the economy and the individual, we need to support that transition that is honest and not have a penalty based approach.

  16. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic, the point I am making is that the whole system needs to be re-thought with a view to eliminating the subversive effects of welfare. I am not saying that we shouldn’t help those who struggle with disability. I am saying that there should be a premise that the system is geared to creating opportunities for people to return to the mainstream of society as soon as possible. One issue is the point at which people give up trying and accommodate themselves to a fairly miserable lifestyle. I’ve seen it in my own extended family. Depression is a demon.

    Buns, I am not putting the boots into anyone. I am trying to envision a system which solves peoples’ problems rather than perpetuates them.

    Jordan, I am being serious. I am merely trying to provide counterbalance to the maudlin wankery and political point-scoring elsewhere in this thread.

  17. SB – The *real* problem in Australian employment is the inability of 99.9% of employers to use the resources available to them.

    The underemployment in Australia (such as graduates pulling coffees), with usually around 10% of graduates working but not in a graduate job 12 months after graduation, is a symptom of this managerial inflexibility – and the asymmetrically talented such as the disabled bear the brunt of this.

    Vision impairment often creates over-compensation with hearing, and the interpretation of sound. How many employers will do the accomodation to allow such work – no, IT is geared up not to allow use of braille browsers and such assistive technology. Another example of how it *CAN* be done smarter is the use of autism-spectrum folk as software testers: one of the best boutique test houses in the world (doing the stuff for Oracle and Microsoft they cannot do in house) has 75% of testers on that spectrum (on market hourly rates the same as for any other industry testers) offices in Scandinavia, and soon Scotland and India….

    The “less rigorous” work mentioned by the BCA simply means they want dumbed-down stuff for people to do… such as the mind-numbing stuff that will make a person of reasonable intelligence feel like suicide.

    And believe me, most people with issues (I’m epileptic and have other problems, but have found ONE employer in 20 years who can work around my difficulties, my ex responsibilities as single dad, my current responsibilities with a daughter still with a useless arm after a car accident and a grandson at my place) work whenever they can.

    The tricky thing is reliability – you have your good days, and bad days, without warning – cannot predict what time you’ll be in the office…. most employers lack the skills to manage around that – I’ll lucky I can do a fair bit by logging in to work from home. Even then – if I’ve had a fit…. I’m pretty useless – indeed, a day full of partial seizures and I’m downright dangerous being god of all the IT systems at work (one typo or fat-fingered button push can pull the whole office down).

    So… if the Business Council thinks there is a problem, how to they advise besuited types (or do MBAs deal with the ways and means) to deal with chronic, variable course, unpredictable capabilities of the asymmetrically talented? No….. you’ll find silence on that.

    Our managers are nothing but bricklayers, capable of only using fungible employees, when they should actually have the smarts to be dry-stone-wallers, knowing how to fit together odd-shaped things.

    Note that in the UK, the “disability experts” that decide whether a person can work or not are NOT medicos, basically people of the street with a two-week training course, and their opinion cannot be even appealed by a score of specialists. Oh, and guess what? The same company gets paid to run the find-a-job thing. Sweet for them.

  18. Great, except that unemployment and disability aren’t perpetuated by unemployment benefits and the DSP.

  19. I am merely trying to provide counterbalance to the maudlin wankery and political point-scoring elsewhere in this thread.

    Do you suppose your efforts to provide counterbalance to the maudlin wankery and political point-scoring might prove more effective if you weren’t engaging in them yourself at the very same time? Your post at 9.43am was mostly maudlin wankery and political point-scoring.

  20. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “unemployment and disability aren’t perpetuated by unemployment benefits and the DSP”

    Not so. The disincentive effect of welfare is a widely recognised problem.

    Also, you have mistaken my straight talk for something else entirely. I can see both sides of this problem – some welfare is essential, but its destructive effects need to be recognised. You on the other hand are so obsessed by the former that you can’t even acknowledge the latter.

  21. jordanrastrick

    Jordan, I am being serious. I am merely trying to provide counterbalance to the maudlin wankery and political point-scoring elsewhere in this thread.

    Counterbalance is good.

    One defining feature of the “progressive” is their lust for victim porn. Nothing gets them swooning and spurting like the feeling that they are helping victims and soaking the rich at the same time. The problem is that their carnal desires numb their brains. They don’t seem to understand the contradictions inherent in their position.

    This is trolling, and not serious, and achieves nothing with respect to balance. Being provocative to get attention has merits, but in this blog SB, you in particular get far more people interested when you say something measured and straightfaced than when you come up with some new zany insult for left wing types.

    Great, except that unemployment and disability aren’t perpetuated by unemployment benefits and the DSP.

    Yeah. Oh, no, wait. This is false.

    The DSP punishes anyone with a disability who has tries to exercise some capacity to work. Do more than 15 hours a week and Centrelink will be on your case. Hell, they even want to track if you’re doing volunteer work or study. Thus, the DSP is an incentive to unemployment for anyone who has a disability that doesn’t completely incapacitate them but still struggles to live without any assitance.

    Unemployment is a major causal factor of depression and anxiety (above and beyond the effects of the associated poverty.) Depression and anxiety, besides being potentially disabling in and of themselves, are major risk factors for other mental and physical health problems and disabilities. Heart disease, back injury, lung conditions, you name it; its all scientifically linked to unemployment via depression.

    So the DSP causes unemployment, unemployment causes mental ill health, and mental ill health causes disability. Thus, the DSP causes (some) disability. Now of course there are shit loads of other factors, many of which are more important. But your bald claim that the DSP plays no role in perpetuating disability is simply wrong, buns.

  22. Splatterbottom

    Jordan: “This is trolling, and not serious”

    You sound like my mother!

    Apart from that there is a serious point being made, which is that if you forget about economics and human nature, and rely solely on your pity for the poor and your envy of the rich, then you may well end up exacerbating the problem rather than providing a remedy which benefits those you are seeking to help. If you genuinely care about others then you have some duty to actually think through the consequences of your “charity”.

  23. jordanrastrick

    You sound like my mother!

    So long as I don’t sound like my mother.

    Apart from that there is a serious point being made, which is that if you forget about economics and human nature, and rely solely on your pity for the poor and your envy of the rich, then you may well end up exacerbating the problem

    You’re preaching to the choir in my case, as my previous comment about the DSP (at the very least) should have made abundantly clear.

    Any votes, fellow readers, about who in this thread so far, out of SB and myself, is doing a more effective job arguing that there can be problems when charity/welfare is based purely on compassion without enough thought going into the how its implemented?

  24. splatterbottom 14:59 and jordanstrick 15:37

    Yes, the good or ill of charity depends on implementation, but greed is intrinsically harmful to everyone involved.

    Of course, the BCA wants cheap labor via a cheap Labor Party, and if it /truly/ believed the “salvation through work” bit for the psychology of employees, then they’d have already taken the opportunity to make use of the skills in the asymmetrically talented out there, rather than make employees lie on Procrustes’ beds.

    The disabled are best served and most productive in the sort of economy Barry Jones outlined in “Sleepers Wake”, with true value adding and production of knowledge – but the economy has actually gone backwards – more and more “Chinas’s quarry and Japan’s beach” – for which we can blame the politicians who want to keep the coupon-clipping and extractive businesses happy.

    A people-centred economy that demands businesses fulfil “mutual obligation” and CSR triple bottom lines can actual supply more human needs than the current system of people having to fit into the needs of business, of being Charlie Chaplin twisted by gears in “Modern Times”.

    The “full employment” furphy is caused by politicians wanting to take credit from dodgy indicator usage – and businesses acting worse than any DSP or pension malingerers – crying poor, demanding largesse and leeway, while living the high life. The underemployment, both in hours and competencies, is waiting to be used by the first capitalist with a brain in Oz… Don’t hold you breath.

    If we crunched the numbers on underemployment in hours, the misemployment of the already skilled, even /without/ requiring changes to classification of disability, there’d be little need for discussions about cutting disability benefits.

    If there are disincentives to be removed in order to improve the size and quality of the economy, it’s business managers that need to be weaned off the tit – make ’em fail and release capital to someone who can manage better.

  25. Apart from that there is a serious point being made, which is that if you forget about economics and human nature, and rely solely on your pity for the poor and your envy of the rich, then you may well end up exacerbating the problem rather than providing a remedy which benefits those you are seeking to help. If you genuinely care about others then you have some duty to actually think through the consequences of your “charity”.

    Are you proposing to cut off benefits altogether for people who just refuse to get work or are unable to do so? If so, do you see some problems that could arise from that? Otherwise, what magical methods of forcing people to work are you proposing? Welfare payments are not paid out of pity, but because people need money to eat and house themselves.

  26. Meanwhile welfare pimps prosper from the travails of the people they disempower, all the time understanding that their status and power increases as the victim class expands.

    Insane drivel. You are sick in the head.

  27. jordanrastrick

    Are you proposing to cut off benefits altogether for people who just refuse to get work or are unable to do so?

    He’s clearly not: “some welfare is essential, but its destructive effects need to be recognised…”

    Otherwise, what magical methods of forcing people to work are you proposing?

    SB’s strengths seem to be more in attacking bad ideas than suggesting new ones. So I’ll make a proposal on his behalf, although it may disappoint you (and him) for its lack of “force”.

    Abolish the DSP restrictions on working; introduce a phased reduction in benefits instead, ala most other payments.

    Its far from perfect, and I’d personally prefer to make much more radical changes given the chance, but it would be a start and its simple to see that it would help.

    Welfare payments are not paid out of pity, but because people need money to eat and house themselves.

    Welfare is paid to provide people with the basic necessitites, but there’s no doubt pity (or lack thereof) is a factor whenever people get into arguments about it.

    Its funny, buns, that you and a few of the other commentors here are always attacking SB’s comments as contributing nothing, stupid, nasty, etc. But if someone like myself makes a similar point to one of his, in a more rational and less combatitive fashion, and backs up what we’re saying, you tend to just ignore it.

    Hence you respond to his general philosophical point about welfare above, arguing against a “welfare should be abolished altogether stance” that is clearly a strawman even of his position. But to retract or defend or your specific, concrete and incorrect claim (that the “DSP doesn’t perpetuate disability”) from the criticisms both SB and I have made of it? Apparently that’s the too hard basket. Its almost as if you actually prefer a continual shouting match with the views, real or imagined, of right-wing fanatics, than to seriously and constructively discuss and resolve disagreements with reasonable people.

    But maybe that’s just my disability clouding my judgement of your motivations.

  28. narcoticmusing

    “One issue is the point at which people give up trying and accommodate themselves to a fairly miserable lifestyle. I’ve seen it in my own extended family. Depression is a demon.”

    This is a serious issue SB, I agree. I too have seen a person crushed by depression and isolation after being on disability for a prolonged period. The problem is how do you create a system that encourages and supports a person to go back to work? It certainly wouldn’t be cheap. It is the old maxim ‘spend money to make money’. To get people back into work you’ll need to invest in their recovery, both physically and mentally.

    I suppose my point is that the disability came first, not welfare. I completely agree with Jordanrastrick that the DSP mechanisms completely inhibit any attempt to recover. For example, I had a friend who was subject to a violent crime that not only left her physically disabled but emotionally wrecked. She was afraid to be near groups of people at all. She couldn’t even consider working in the area she was qualified as step 1, so she started doing volunteer work in an effort to slowly gain confidence to return to work. Her DSP was cut off. She regressed. She was then admitted into an acute psychiatric facility. She is still recovering, but that volunteer work could have been a turning point. But the desperation to cut funding at every opportunity creates an environment that does not encourage return to work. I’m not sure if SB was talking about what he’d like to see or what he thinks exists, but the system certainly doesn’t help ppl back to work nor would cutting their payments help.

    The DSP facilitates depression by robbing the person of any capacity to be self-empowered. It is too low to sustain you (both economically, physically and mentally) at a point that you’d be employable again. Suffering a disability can already trigger depression and the current system punishes the person further.

    I agree also that there is a lot of political point scoring in this field but it is on both sides. There are many asshats out there that claim [insert random unverified proportion here] of DSP recipients are faking it or ‘not disabled enough’ or whatever is what makes people like me, who’ve seen the destruction of both disability and DSP on a person, very upset. Is that me having a lust for victim porn or me simply being compassionate and empathising with a problem I can relate to?

  29. narcoticmusing

    In terms of balance – Dave Bath’s point should be re-emphasised. Those that are talking against DSP have an agenda. Their motives are not in the best interest of those on DSP or the country. Their motives are self-interested. To suggest otherwise is not only ignorant but it is to suggest BCA are incompetent – BCA’s members pay them to be self-interested. We see this conundrum all the time when we pay for-profit companies to provide community services and wonder why the quality drops – there is a conflict of interest of profit for shareholders vis-a-vis quality of service. This isn’t that company being incompetent, they are following their primary mandate – to make a profit.* If they do not, they face severe retribution via the Corporations Act.

    Welfare serves a significant economic purpose. Welfare recipients are on such low sums that they only spend on essential items which not only contributes to GST revenue (like everyone else’s purchases – ie welfare recipients DO still pay tax), but it impacts our import export ratios. There are also flow on effects of not investing in welfare, which include but are not limited to the cost of the health system and the justice system.

    Further, there is, like it or not, a moral component where we as a society have said, no this is the minimum point we’ll let another Australian get to. It is a sad state of affairs when a country as rich as Australia selfishly says, no we can’t feed our poor. Do we really want the same sort of rates of starvation that the US has?

    This does not mean we are not concerned about how money or ‘charity’ is spent; quite the contrary. It is overly simplistic to suggest that just because a person is compassionate that they don’t want the outcomes and just want expenditure. We still want value for money, we still want effective outcomes. But, as you’d be aware, there are many examples where spending $100 is a better investment than spending $60, even if at the time, the products looked similar. It is about not spending the $60 again and again because we invested properly to gain an outcome, rather than cheaply to gain a headline.

    *I’m not suggesting for-profit organisations can’t deliver quality products, merely that they have competing interests for how they spend efficiencies.

  30. Splatterbottom

    Jordan is right. I don’t have a killer answer. I’m fairly sure though that in the short term at least it will cost more money. Any answer should acknowledge that just giving money is not enough and needs to be coupled with the provision of work and training. Inclusiveness is at least as important than cash. the idea of doling out cash and believing that the job is done is part of the problem.

    It also needs to involve more resources to help people manage their disabilities. I have seen depressives sink further and further into the mire until they spend their days in misery and anguish, mostly in their bedroom without hope or reason. I have seen others commit do getting out of bed each day, at least showing up for work or looking for work, no matter what. I’m sure encouragement, support and exercise help in a lot of cases.

    There are many cases where a return to work is unrealistic. These people are better of in the care of their families, and the carers allowance works well to promote this. This is one area where traditional Australian attitudes to the nuclear family are inferior and can benefit greatly from the experience of other cultures which have a wider and more integrated concept of family.

  31. I agree with all that, but I doubt whether there’s a widely held belief out there that doling out cash is getting the job done.

    But the original post was about proposals to take away money from people currently receiving the DSP, as though this would magically result in people currently not working due to disability then looking for and finding employment. While a small number of current DSP recipients might get work if their benefits were going to be cut, many more would not.

    I don’t want to beat up strawmen if nobody here is putting this point, but the idea that reducing payments or cutting them off after a certain period of time is going to solve or even improve things in and of itself is wrong. It won’t.

  32. the experience of other cultures which have a wider and more integrated concept of family

    And which are frequently cited by penny-pinching conservative governments as a model which should be emulated, in spite of the fact that many of their citizens fall through the net.

    You should also rethink your attitude towards “giving them money doesn’t help” in every circumstance. The Guardian reported an amazing experiment where an organisation went into villages in a poor developing country and gave all families the equivalent of 3 months’ wages and then left. They returned (I think) about a year later and the way that people had used the money to develop themselves, businesses, fix up their households etc was remarkable. They plan to repeat the experiment in poverty-ridden communities in “first world” countries.

  33. narcoticmusing

    “And which are frequently cited by penny-pinching conservative governments as a model which should be emulated, in spite of the fact that many of their citizens fall through the net.”

    This made me smile because those same penny-pinching conservatives don’t adopt this approach for their own families. It is just that it is good enough for other people.

    Reality is, if my family isn’t like that, and I need help, what do I do? One can’t just say ‘the answer is in an integrated family’* because I don’t have that and can’t magically create it.

    *SB, I’m not suggesting that was your point, your point about learning from these families is valid, I’m simply adding to the point returnedman said

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