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News Worthy - The welfare state we are in

22 June 2007 - No. 114

The welfare state we are in

On the heels of the book by James Bartholomew about the failure of the welfare state comes a new book The Outcomes of Income Transfers which assesses the benefits of state redistribution. Economist Mark Harrison examines not only the financial cost of income transfers but the link between happiness and income as revealed by economist-led 'happiness research'.

Welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell says, "Rather than supporting more redistribution Mark Harrison believes the research does the opposite."

Mark Harrison writes, "(Further), the factors that research shows do promote happiness - marriage, achieving something yourself, being engaged in useful work, good prospects for your children, self-respect, self-reliance, safety, self-fulfillment, social connections, and a belief that you have control over your life - are often undermined by current welfare policy.....receiving money without working does little for happiness which explains why the growth of the welfare state has not increased happiness."

Shades of Fabius Cunctator – the delaying general
The Government continues stalling on its plans for incentives to plant more trees. The relevant Minister said to Parliament on 12 June 2007 “that policy option is under active consideration”.

There are record rates of deforestation in New Zealand.

Figures released by MAF recently showed a record 13,000-hectare loss of forest area in 2006. This follows losses of 11,000 hectares in 2005 and 5,000 in 2004, equating to a loss of 7.2 million trees over three years. Every one of the preceding 53 years of the database showed net increases averaging 40,000 hectares per year.

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Trades In Schools
National has made a commitment to put trades and industry training back into schools.

Clearly two of New Zealand's biggest challenges are a lack of adequately skilled workers to meet employer demands, and the wasted potential of thousands of young New Zealanders who are alienated from education.

The plan is to

• fix the technology curriculum by ensuring it contains references to the need for students to make things, build things, and produce things.

• tackle the technology teacher crisis by working with teachers and industry

Two extracts from John Key’s speech are:

To promote these careers we need to do a better job of integrating trade and industry focused learning into our schools. I’m convinced that if we manage to do that we’ll also make school more relevant and engaging for the hundreds of students who would rather learn how to weld than study Macbeth.

Students who get interested in hands-on learning options at school are more likely to do well in other parts of their schooling. Kids engaged in a construction course realise, for example, that they have to know some maths to calculate the pitch of a roof.

The wizardry of IT
For those whose computers will handle it the attached audio visual clip highlights the technological advances.

Invitation – Greenlane NP Branch Luncheon with Guest Speaker – John Key
Date: Sunday 16 September 2007
Time: 12.30pm
Venue: Barrycourt Conference Centre- 10 Gladstone Road – Parnell
Enquiries: Sue Chatfield (09) 520 3532
Cost: $45 per person
Please forward your cheque to Richard Gardner 43a Greenlane Rd East Remuera

Political Quote of the Week

"A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila." Mitch Radcliffe - US media consultant

Dr Richard Worth
National Party MP

Wellington Office
Parliament Buildings, Wellington
T: 04 471 9893
F: 04 472 4208
E: richard.worth@national.org.nz Epsom Office
PO Box 26 153, Epsom
T: 09 623 2598
F: 09 623 0749
E: richard.worthmp@xtra.co.nz


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