Saturday 4 September 2021

Staying Focused: Why Labour Still Won’t Help The Poor.

Still Waiting: Triennium after triennium, this tawdry charade goes on. Labour’s leaders speak of rescuing the poor, not because they have any intention of doing so – the poor don’t even register such promises anymore – but because Labour knows that the kind, well-educated women voters, who now constitute its electoral core, get a kick out of supporting a party that talks about helping the poor – just so long as it doesn’t help them too much.

SUSAN ST JOHN’S latest cri de cœur laments the dire straits in which New Zealand’s poorest citizens still find themselves. As she has so many times before, Susan attacks the criminal inadequacy of state assistance programmes and reaffirms the sheer impossibility of private charities taking up the slack. But, once again, she fails to explain why this government, like the governments which preceded it, simply will not take the steps necessary to substantially improve the lives of the poor.

There must be a reason why a government with an clear majority of parliamentary seats, facing the worst Opposition in a generation, with the perfect excuse of a global pandemic, will still not take the drastic actions necessary to rescue its most vulnerable citizens. What is it that Jacinda and her advisors know, that Susan and all who think like her don’t know? What are the transcripts of Labour’s focus groups telling the Prime Minister that she remains so immoveable? Why, in spite of her many, many promises, does Jacinda’s government refuse to act?

It must be bad – really bad. Those focus groups must be registering consistent hostility to the sort of policy shift necessary to lift the poor and their children out of poverty. Almost certainly, that hostility is born of the focus group moderators’ honestly setting forth what it would take to make a real difference. The participants are presumably being told that such a massive redistributive effort could not be responsibly undertaken without a comprehensive increase in taxation. They’re talking Income Tax hikes, a Capital Gains Tax, a Wealth Tax, a Land Tax, maybe even a Financial Transactions Tax.

This is not the sort of news that goes down well among the 400,000 former National Party voters who gave Jacinda her absolute majority. Hell, it’s not the sort of news that goes down well among the well-heeled, Labour-voting professionals who inhabit the leafy suburbs of New Zealand’s largest cities.

There will be some in those focus groups, more honest than the other participants, who will flat-out refuse to countenance such a policy-shift as contrary to their self-interest. Others, less honest, will insist that it simply wouldn’t work. “You can’t make a poor man rich by making a rich man poor.” Redistribution of wealth on such a scale would be dismissed as counterproductive. “It would disincentivise the most productive citizens on behalf of the least productive.” Inevitably, someone would mention Venezuela.

How many times have we been here? How often have we rehearsed these arguments? Jacinda will be guided by the reports of her focus group moderators because she knows they summarise the attitudes and intentions of the New Zealanders who vote.

If she knew for a fact that the New Zealanders Susan St John so tenaciously goes to bat for would turn out in their hundreds-of-thousands to support a government that supported them, then Jacinda and her Finance Minister might just consider pissing-off a large number of Labour’s most loyal voters. But election after election, the psephologists’ scholarly judgements remain the same: the poor don’t vote. Or, at least, not in numbers to justify Labour going out on a limb for them.

Labour will go out on a limb, however, for the voters once fêted as the heart and soul of the New Zealand working-class. Skilled workers and tradespeople: the people (oh, bugger all this gender neutrality) the men once referred to as “the aristocracy of labour”; the men who used to dominate the trade unions – and the Labour Party. These men were big on “the dignity of labour”, but had no time at all for those who “bludged” off others. Back in the day, when Labour activists could still say such things, they would happily declare: “He who does not work, neither shall he eat.” These men were all in favour of giving workers down on their luck a hand-up. But, allowing fit and healthy workers to live indefinitely off state hand-outs, that they did not favour.

In the twenty-first century these mostly Pakeha men are more likely to be found running small businesses than working in a factory. That they still vote for the Labour Party is probably out of a lingering nostalgia for the days when their fathers and grandfathers were the heart and soul of the party. It’s their way of doffing a cloth cap no longer worn, to a white working-class that no longer exists. But, just let Jacinda threaten to raise their taxes and that nostalgic vote will disappear in an instant. National and Act are always just a polling-booth away.

And so, triennium after triennium, this tawdry charade goes on. Labour’s leaders speak of rescuing the poor, not because they have any intention of doing so – the poor don’t even register such promises anymore – but because Labour knows that the kind, well-educated women voters who now constitute its electoral core get a kick out of supporting a party that talks about helping the poor – just so long as it doesn’t help them too much.

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Friday, 3 September 2021.


Jack Scrivano said...

Whenever I hear a politician promising to do something, anything, I remind myself that the first objective of every politician is to get themselves elected to office. Once elected, their first objective is to get themselves re-elected. It seems to have always been thus.

greywarbler said...

Dr Trotter I think your diagnosis is right. What's the cure, who has the right prescription to overcome this pervading dis-ease which is eating away at the social and mental fabric of this country?

Tom Hunter said...

Agree with some of this, particularly the parts where you recognise how many Labour voters would gag at increased tax rates, and the recognition that this is because they're not the wage workers of yore, unionised or not.

But again, it's always down to tax with you people. Increases in taxation - vast increases to be sure.

But here's the thing: this government is currently spending vast sums of money, and vastly increased from the previous National government, on everything under the sun, and it's almost all borrowed money.

So if the institutions and mechanisms of the government that are designed to help the poor, simply need greater sums of money, why can't that be done with borrowing right now. In fact, given that many Leftists have recently talked up Modern Monetary Theory this should also not be an impediment to jacking up spending on the poor right now, with tax increases later on to pay down the debt, assuming the debt is a concern, which many on the Right and Left assure me is not, being merely 33% of GDP.

Let me suggest to you that the real reason for this failure is that Labour itself, including many of its voters, no longer have confidence in its institutions and mechanisms that are supposed to help the poor and recognise that pouring more money in would not work. Let me give you an example of the problem, courtesy of none other than Andrew Little:

“We’ve put so much extra funding into the system since we’ve been in Government and the same pressures that were evident three years ago are evident now.

“So, what I’m saying is how can we possibly have pumped in billions of extra dollars, and it not appear to have made a difference?’’

And that's with a system that is far more concrete in controlling outcomes than the systems designed to help the poor. The good news is that Andrew, while frustrated, has not given up on the idea that more money should be poured into the system. Obviously neither have you, although it seems that the thrust of your argument is simply using the poor as a lever for higher taxes and (supposedly) higher tax revenues.

The question of whether all the extra spending would work is not questioned by you or the rest of the Left at all. But fear not, MMT and borrowing in general will be able to deliver as much spending as you could want.

Barry said...

I have a friend qho Ive lnown well for 50years. He is maori with 2 of his own children and 6 others in what I would call an old style maori family. Hes educated them all at either te Aute or the maori girls school in hawke bay.
He has spent all hos income on the.lids education - hes no fool as he understands what education means.
I have discussed with him the maori low economic status and why it is. Prior to about 1960 or 1970 that wasnt true. I asked him what it would take to fix the problem.
His answer: the country doesnt have the resources of time or money or specialist people to make any difference. The only way is to bypass the current generation and get at the kids with compulsory preschool. Basically hes saying send the current generation to the rubbish heap - they cant be saved.

Unfortunately the govt are giving up on education both its quality and attendance. And the Youth and Family service is going to the "maori kids must be in maori families" pathway.

So there isnt going to be much progress. And as a Political party Labour is as heartless and selfish as any other one.

Jens Meder said...

In a healthy and normal state of survival, parents raise their children to become self-supporting and governments help the effort through compulsory education.

While private and Govt. charity in emergencies is helpful and noble, systematic charity to alleviate poverty - unless including a systematic self-supportive wealth ownership creative component by the charity receiving poor -

is counterproductive, because it only encourages more people to be poor so as to qualfy for the charity.

That's why the welfare policies of 60 years ago had to be modified by 1984.

Higher taxes for more wealth redistribution will only move us towards un-sustainability again, but since private charity is not geared towards wealth ownership creation by the poor, a higher taxation rate exclusively for raising personal and national wealth ownership creative savings rates is the most fool proof way of eliminating poverty altogether.

Can we unite as team of 5 million on this effort ?

In the case of doubt, at least a clarifying discussion on the pros and cons of it would raise our knowledge on that subject matter.

John Hurley said...

And what you said applies to the news media

CXH said...

The poor are perpetually caught between the left and the right. The left need them so they can pretend to care about them. The right need them to blame for not being responsible in their lives.

Neither side have any interest in actually solving the problem. Especially, as you say, they don't even vote.

greywarbler said...

The point all should remember is that the Labour government gave up on trying to steer the country forward and helping young people to get a job and a house - a living. They have made those goals hard to achieve, the jobs have been wiped by the free market, the housing pushed out of sight; With nothing definite and attainable, young people have to pick up crumbs.

Trev1 said...

Identity politics leaves little time for addressing the plight of the poor. Of far greater importance are the burning issues of the day, "hate speech", "conversion therapy" and a bridge for lycra clad middle aged men to ride bicycles across Auckland harbour. The poor will always be with us after all.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

The crux of the problem is explained through this researched conclusion:

“…every 1 percentage point increase in the level of poverty reduction achieved by the welfare state is associated with an increase in the number of jobless families by 0.63 percentage points. Among the English-speaking countries, the correlation is even stronger (about 0.92), so that Australia and the United Kingdom reduce child poverty very significantly and have very high levels of joblessness among families; while Canada and the United States reduce poverty much less, but have much lower levels of joblessness.”

Whiteford, P. and W.Adema (2007), “What Works Best in Reducing Child Poverty: A Benefit or Work Strategy?”, OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No.51, OECD Publishing.

We are seeing this in practice here right now. As benefits have risen, so have the number of children dependent. I don't think Susan St John or Jacinda Ardern actually worry about children living in workless homes despite irrefutable evidence showing long term dependency is strongly associated with poor outcomes for children.

So maybe Chris the resistance to more state redisribution to solve poverty is not higher taxes but the damage it does. Let the market do the redistribution through employment.

Jens Meder said...

Yes CXH - beside some degree of poverty alleviating ("hiding it under the carpet") charity, neither the political Right nor Left seem to have a fool proof recipe for substantial poverty reduction in a sustainable way, as can only be achieved through saving.

(If anyone here, including Chris, knows of another way, then instead of being critical of political parties for not having been able to prevent poverty, please come up with that knowledge or theory for examination and discussion.)

If there is no other way proposed, then all we have to do is to publicize the need and our support for a special wealth creative savings rate in our taxation system with such vigour and enthusiasm, that the parties not supporting it will lose votes, and a higher savings rate is the key to political victory, like e.g. keeping the NZ Super entitlement age at 65.

Remember, we had a 7.5% compulsory (Universal NZ Super Fund)savings rate on top of ordinary income tax under Michael Savage and after WW2, which served the country very well right from the beginning when it helped to finance wealth creative public works and state housing - but was eventually all consumed by widening welfare benefits through our own fault, because probably unknowingly, we allowed it to happen, and voted for it.

(Muldoon eliminated the Universal Super Fund, but not the taxation rate that was supposed to build it.)

John Hurley said...

Love from the Hui

I see the head of Christchurch NZ has gone to Stuff. Does anyone wonder when a city is described as being one of "love and social change" what it says about what is expected of the citizen. The opposite might be "hate and stuck in the past". Funny then how they embrace Holy Maori?

Kimbo said...

Why is Susan St Johns still even a thing?!

Traditional Labour voters from traditional working class upbringings, where money is tight know whenthey vote Labour, they do: to provide a safety net for when people, through no fault of their own fall on hard times due to the vicissitudes of life. But welfare as intended by the likes of Savage, Nash and Fraser was never intended as a lifestyle for those with the capacity to help themselves. Instead, cradle to the grave welfare brings with it the need to mitigate against the very real possibility of a welfare trap.

Sadly, St John does not share those values. Instead, welfare levels are an entitlement to give level pegging with those who work. And those who do work usually work bloody hard for not much. Hence they know the temptation to take and stay on the welfare route, and the slow decline and loss of opportunity and career and life development that it entails. Sadly, there are plenty of young women still at school who have convinced themselves the only viable financial future for them is getting knocked up and going on the DPB. Pity the kids of beneficiaries suffer, but then we don’t get to choose our parents. Or their motiveso4 carelessness that induced our existence.

Either way, St John has long been a windmill tilting ideologue whose values don’t match those of struggling Waitakere Man, whose vote should be a lock in for a traditional Labour Party. And why, as one no longer exists, John Key won plenty of his votes. And why National may do so again in future.

sumsuch said...

I have to be honest, I sometimes suspect you of not being an honest actor. Your interest in arcane political maneuverability. Yes, the poor have been left out to hang disgracefully for many years. In another column you suggested Labour could do nothing til the poor pushed their own case?

Maybe I'll turn out like the prick Ramsey McDonald, dissuaded from radicalism by society madams. Always amenable. Like Labour everywhere.

Simon Cohen said...

I think the answer to your question is that this Government has shown themselves incapable of accomplishing anything.
If you look at their election promises in 2017 and 2020 and see what they have accomplished it is deeply disheartening.
They are adept at talking the talk but useless at walking the walk.

David George said...

Our accepted (?) definition of poverty (or poverdy as JA would have it, a kinder gentler version of poverty?) is a bit misleading. It's based on a percentage of the median income so is more a measure of unequal income, an estimate of relative poverty, than it is of actual or material poverty in the correct sense of the word.

I know plenty of people that, by choice or circumstance, lead happy, healthy lives, well fed, clothed and housed on very modest incomes but it is a real problem for many others. Perhaps attitude has a lot to do with it but life at the bottom can be very tough physically, mentally and socially; your shortened life characterised by fear and resentment.

Raising the minimum wage is one thing that has been done that will hopefully help but we already have the highest ratio of minimum wage to median income in the world. Some of the most egalitarian countries (Scandinavia) have no government mandated minimum wage requirement at all. I don't know.

There are certainly plenty of challenges ahead that will adversely impact all of us, the poor more so. We apparently need to refit our homes, factories businesses and entire transport fleet to eliminate fossil fuels and double our renewable electricity generation and distribution over the next twenty years to power it all. Our schools are becoming increasingly dysfunctional with core English, science and maths trailing the rest of the developed world - keep turning out incompetent kids for another twenty years and you won't even qualify as a developed country. We've got private and government debt totalling one of the highest in the world at the same time as having to fund the growing retired and beneficiary segments and against relentless economic pressure from more competitive countries.

I don't know what government can do to eliminate relative poverty; where has this problem been solved, what are they doing that we're not? Here's an interesting 12 minutes extract from Theodore Dalrympal's (retired physician and psychiatrist who practiced in a British inner-city hospital and prison) book Life at The Bottom.

mikesh said...

The problem lies with rentier (unearned)income. This is the non productive income extracted from rentable assets such as property and money. It would be sensible to collect more tax from this source since doing so does not affect production.

It should be noted that one source of rentier income is the imputed rent, recognised by the Opportunities Party, and by Ms StJohn herself, on own-your-own homes. It is high time we forced the home owning middle classes to carry their fair share of the tax burden by taxing this.

The Barron said...

Neoliberals quietly forget their golden age of Thatcher and Reagan saw an increase of taxation and an expansion of government in both nations.

Patricia said...

I do think it is lack of money that causes poverty…. A taxation system can alleviate that. What if there was no income tax on the first $30,000.00. After that level it is increased but only gradually. Those incomes over $100,000.00 pay a a more graduated tax rate and those over $500,000.00 pay the highest rate.. then we have to look at income not derived from work. I think a capital gains tax should be in place but if that is not politically acceptable then the increase in the annual value of a house should be added to a persons taxable income. All of that should help reduce the inequality that is currently in this country. Don’t worry about inflation; that is caused by shortage of goods. Saying that if a war starts in the Pacific Ocean then there will be inflation. Those containers will not be able to get through a naval blockade and there will certainly be a shortage of goods here and in Australia.

David George said...

That'll go down well mikesh; a special tax on the middle income home owners.

“Since this is an era when many people are concerned about 'fairness' and 'social justice,' what is your 'fair share' of what someone else has worked for?”

― Thomas Sowell

sumsuch said...

No contradictions in your presentation here. A very clear description of the situation. The campaign for the neediest carries on. Is at the heart of the Left. What else would be?! Can't understand the US Democrats on that account. Nor, I suppose, our Labour.

Kat said...

Well after all these years here you pop up, still promoting class warfare and a failed ideology that belongs to the infamous Muldoon era.

@Simon Cohen
Those comments can't be from the real Simon Cohen, they are just too immature and meaningless.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Barron. In the US they also quietly forget that Republican presidents are the ones that increase the deficit – every time. Usually by giving tax deductions to their friends. And then of course they scream about the deficit when it's a Democrat.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Well the World Bank claims that cash transfers do actually get people out of poverty and have very few affects on the rest of the economy.Finally.

Myth-Busting? Confronting Six Common Perceptions about Unconditional Cash Transfers as a Poverty Reduction Strategy in Africa
Sudhanshu Handa, professor, Silvio Daidone, econometrician, Amber Peterman, social policy specialist, Benjamin Davis, leader of the ‘Strategic Programme on Reducing Rural Poverty’, Audrey Pereira, research analyst, Tia Palermo, social policy specialist, and Jennifer Yablonski, social policy specalist*

Guerilla Surgeon said...

This whole OECD article seems to be a bit Captain obvious given that it states that essentially there is more poverty when people are unemployed, and slightly less when one member of the family has a job. Which would seem to be reasonably uncontroversial. But it's a little bit more complicated when it comes to solutions I think. At least a bit more complicated than this quote would suggest.

“…every 1 percentage point increase in the level of poverty reduction achieved by the welfare state is associated with an increase in the number of jobless families by 0.63 percentage points. Among the English-speaking countries, the correlation is even stronger (about 0.92), so that Australia and the United Kingdom reduce child poverty very significantly and have very high levels of joblessness among families; while Canada and the United States reduce poverty much less, but have much lower levels of joblessness.”

Yet it goes on to say:
"However, among the Nordic countries the correlation between joblessness
and redistribution is negative (-0.93). While further analysis would be required to verify this, this could reflect the pro-employment policy orientation of the Nordic welfare states."

"This means that simple policy prescriptions are not sufficient, but that policy responses need to be multi-faceted and carefully tailored to the situation in each country."

Shane McDowall said...

Some years ago a Danish born friend of mine returned to Denmark. He soon wound up on welfare.

While the Danish welfare system is way more generous than ours, the Danes do not let people rot on welfare.

Denmark had a shortage of forklift drivers so they made him train as a forklift driver.At government expense.

He soon had a job as a forklift driver.

In New Zealand we expect the unemployed to take out a student loan and subsist on less than the dole while training.

Young people are taking out student loans to train for notoriously low paid industries like hospitality.

Perhaps we could learn from Denmark instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

Simon Cohen said...

Dear old Kat. Back to your old habits of attacking the messenger. Just go back to those promises and see how many have been carried. Light Rail,10,000 houses ,a million trees, child poverty, mental health I could go on but surely even you are seeing a trend.
And all you can harp on about is a new Ministry of Works.
The mind boggles.

Brendan McNeill said...


Yes to everything Lindsay said and:

The UK Centre for Social Justice is best known for its major ‘Breakthrough Britain’ reports, which identified the five Pathways to Poverty – family breakdown, educational failure, worklessness, addiction and crime, and problem debt and housing.

We could start here and seek to close off these pathways. Most Governments find it easier to ignore them or to pretend they are doing something, the present Labour Government included.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Thanks GS, The Nordic States/Scandinavia have social security systems based very much on a common work ethic and homogenous populations (breaking down with greater immigration). If NZ wanted to emulate their safety nets it would require much shorter term support for single parents, a primary source of child poverty. The current govt is however tracking in the opposite direction. A prime example is the reversal of the subsequent child policy which sought to deter the addition of a child to an existing benefit.

mikesh said...

@ David George

"That'll go down well mikesh; a special tax on the middle income home owners."

Yes. Heaven forbid that the state should grab some of middle income home owners' UNEARNED income and use it for the benefit of everybody.

David George said...

Yes Shane, the Danes, and the Scandinavians generally, have a fairly comprehensive welfare system but a low tolerance for shirkers. We don't seem willing or able to ask the fundamental question: just where do we draw the line between individual and collective responsibility.

mikesh, I'm sure grabbing someone else's wealth or income has it's appeal but we live in a democracy. A party proposing what you've suggested has what chance of forming a government? Get rid of democracy perhaps? That's why socialism almost always devolves into tyranny and poverty.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"If NZ wanted to emulate their safety nets it would require much shorter term support for single parents, a primary source of child poverty."
It would also have two provide proper training and retraining, which at least some Nordic countries do but we don't. And from what I can gather, they don't blame the victim in the case of single-parent families.

Guerilla Surgeon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mikesh said...

@David George

"I'm sure grabbing someone else's wealth or income has it's appeal but we live in a democracy. A party proposing what you've suggested has what chance of forming a government?

But, David. Governments do this all the time. They call it "income tax". Or hadn't you heard.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"That's why socialism almost always devolves into tyranny and poverty."

And unregulated capitalism doesn't? Where is the high wage high skill economy that Roger Douglas promised us then?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Dammit I messed up again – Brendan the things that you mention are not separate but often intertwined. But we all know what you are talking about, your usual blaming the victim.

You want to abolish divorce? Good luck with that. And good luck with the consequences of spousal abuse that will inevitably follow.

You want to abolish educational failure – good. Let's start by putting money into education to make sure that all students are brought up to standard no matter what the problems they have at home.

You want to abolish unemployment great, let's start supplying decent well-paid jobs for people instead of reducing wages to a starvation level and importing foreign workers.
If you want to abolish addiction, that's also great, but you're going to have to actually put money into rehabilitation rather than locking addicts away, which I suspect would be your solution to the problem.

Problem debt? Let's get rid of the predatory lenders that only lend to poor desperate people. Let's try to provide them with loans that are ethical and low interest. Or for that matter give them the help needed so they don't have to borrow money.

As usual Brendan your appreciation of problems comes from someone who has never struggled.

Nick J said...

Ffs GS, Democans, Republicrats, its the same beast. Even when Trump was there for Gods sake. No difference except for the smokescreen, "we are nice to the LGBTs", "we represent gun totin Rambos"... yeah yeah, its all bs. Same rabid dog, doesn't care who he bites.

greywarbler said...

David George - We have a tolerance for shirkers you imply. The biggest shirkers of course are those who spend all their time advancing themselves, perhaps writing to blogs that appeal to the po-faced, and finding fault with others who 'can't make it'. The spare time and comforts such people have accumulated and the means to advance their personal satisfactions allow this. Others are too distracted just trying to cope with the latest disruption and contradictions handed out by a mendacious society. Sometimes they think 'Why bother - fuck it nothing is going to work out.'

David George said...

'Why bother - fuck it nothing is going to work out.'
Perhaps that's the problem right there Grey.

“To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open. It means deciding to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitable order. It means adopting the burden of self-conscious vulnerability, and accepting the end of the unconscious paradise of childhood, where finitude and mortality are only dimly comprehended. It means willingly undertaking the sacrifices necessary to generate a productive and meaningful reality (it means acting to please God, in the ancient language).”
― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

David George said...

Nature or nurture? The old question gets a good look at:

“Even if we eliminated all inequalities in educational outcomes between sexes, all inequalities by family socioeconomic status, all inequalities between different schools (which as you know are very confounded with inequalities by race), we’ve only eliminated a bit more than a quarter of the inequalities in educational outcomes.” She directed me to a comprehensive World Bank data set, released in 2020, which showed that seventy-two per cent of inequality at the primary-school level in the U.S. is within demographic groups rather than between them. “Common intuitions about the scale of inequality in our society, and our imaginations about how much progress we would make if we eliminated the visible inequalities by race and class, are profoundly wrong,” she wrote. “The science confronts us with a form of inequality that would otherwise be easy to ignore.”

greywarbler said...

David George I read the first line and jumped to the end fully prepared to see Jordan Petersen's name there. So no surprise. What a lot of superior-sounding twaddle. If I want objectivity about our human condition I can go to 'Hotel California' lyrics. The musical wordsmiths have to be concise and fit a rhythm. not just spill it out indulgently.

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax, " said the night man,
"We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! "

Inequality can be the basis of peer groups, where you are held, even trapped, by your companions/family dialogue, whether on the streets or in an exclusive boarding school (Posh Boys* or Boys Home/Borstal). But if a person can understand their own strengths and weaknesses and reach for advanced understanding of what goes on around them, they may find that the equality that others strive for and Peterson talks about, is just a mirage, a house of cards. Science measuring race and class, and setting the definitions of inequality, may be measuring the wrong things. How can one measure soul? How explain the rise and apparent nobility and mobility of Frederick Douglass in the USA - a real 'soul man'?

* Imagine a world where leaders are able to pass power directly to their children. These children are plucked from their nurseries and sent to beautiful compounds far away from all the other children. They are provided with all the teachers they need, the best facilities, doctors and food.
Posh Boys by Robert Verkaik - Goodreads
(‘The latest in the series of powerful books on the divisions in modern Britain, and will take its place on many bookshelves beside Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race and Owen Jones’s Chavs.’ ... Google Books
Originally published: 5 July 2018
Author: Robert Verkaik

sumsuch said...

You're for the poor or say they need to pull the boot straps, you're for climate change action or say there's nothing NZ can do. Guerilla Surgeon does the detail I haven't got at the end of my synapses. He's the warden of the eastern march who prevents the English getting to Edinburgh. Which since the Earls of Home gave up the role is half an hour by the highway at midnight.