Mike's Minute: Why not deal in fact over poverty?

Newstalk ZB Staff,
Publish Date
Thursday, 31 May 2018, 6:07a.m.

Darryl Evans, a name you may be familiar with, a budgeting services head, has taken exception to yesterday's editorial on those who earn over $100,000 and yet claim to not be able to make ends meet.

Upon hearing my piece he hit the keyboard and banged out an appropriately affronted piece for the New Zealand Herald.

And in it he puts on show the exact issue and attitude I was trying to point out yesterday.

It's worth looking up by the way, give it a read because all views are valuable, even if sadly but predictably he chooses to deliberately and completely miss the point.

And this sadly is where debate falls badly over in this country.

Those on the defence refuse to deal in fact, or the specifics. What they do is take umbrage and re-deliver, in Darryl's case their often pedalled lines.

And those lines are, for some, times are tough. For some they can't make ends meet, for some a service of genuine help and sympathy is needed.

None of which is what I was talking about.

To hammer home his point Darryl sights the plight of someone called Joanna.

She has two kids and earns $550 a week and pays rent of $530. He doesn’t of course say what the government top up to her income is, because that would not serve his argument well.

But he concludes without any further fact that Joanna struggles to make ends meet.

Once again, nothing to do with what we were talking about yesterday.

$550 a week is not 100,000 a year or anywhere close. So why then is he sighting it as an example?

He gives us the often repeated stat that 40 percent of kids are in hardship. Once again not defined. What is hardship and how is it measured?

Anyway ,40 percent of kids in hardship have one working parent. Once again, nothing to do with earning $100,000 a year.

He sights what they earn in Canada and Australia, as though that has anything to do with earning six figures here.

Yes, we are a low wage country. But that once again wasn’t the point.

You're not on low wages is you earn $100,000 plus. So around and around the facts he skips, pedalling his message of woe, misery and deprivation.

This, of course, as we pointed out yesterday, is real for the truly low paid or those on welfare.

Where Darryl, if you're going to busy yourself with op-ed pieces for the paper, is your view of a six figure salary?

What do you think of the person on 120 grand a year pleading poverty, when you deal with people on less than half of that with a real cause and a real case?

Why bag me? Apart from the fact its easy, and yet fail to deal for one single sentence with what I was actually talking about: people on $100,000 plus failing to make ends meet.

Could it just possibly be that I have a point? Could it just possibly be that on that sort of money, my advice that you need a calculator, not more pity, is in fact accurate?

Could it be that Darryl can't possibly admit that we might just be a little too far down the pity party path? 

And if we're really seeing high-income earners as sob stories then we've lost touch with reality.

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