Monday, April 25, 2016

Maths And Probabilities



(From a comment yesterday at Kiwiblog)

You have to have some sympathy for the poor bastards on the left. They are being gazzumped on all sides.

Consider the mathematics of social welfare.

1 National has substantially decreased the number of people on welfare by getting them back into work.

2 National has substantially increased (for the first time in forty years?) the amount paid to the remaining beneficiaries. Note Clark and Cullen failed to do this when they were rolling in vast annual surpluses.

3 Ask yourself whether the combination of 1 and 2 has led to SUBSTANTIALLY LESS annual expenditure on social welfare? If it has, it is of great benefit to ALL NZers.

However, one must not ignore Labour’s similar achievements while in opposition.

1  Labour has substantially decreased the number of people who vote Labour or are members of the party.  This move has led to a massive reduction in the costs of communicating with members.  (Just a pity about the bloody overheads.)

2  Labour has substantially increased the number of people who think their leader is an idiot.  Here too, there is a silver lining in the offing.  If Little sinks below 5% PPM (that’s not parts per million) then the party might find the inner strength to sever its ties with the trade unions.

Keep an eye on the Greens.  They will be circling the Labour corpse like vultures waiting for its last gasp.   My guess is they will dump Turei after her extraordinary publication of pissed selfies.

One of Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei's selfies from the premiere of Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

(An acerbic Australian commentator wondered if the left’s unsated appetite for vulgarity will shortly produce the ultimate – cervical selfies?)  

If a female co-leader with more brains and class than Turei is installed, I could foresee some accommodation with National on genuine environmental policy.  That will be the stone end of Labour which then will be lucky to get 15% of the party vote in 2017. 

9 comments:

Nick K said...

Ask yourself whether the combination of 1 and 2 has led to SUBSTANTIALLY LESS annual expenditure on social welfare? If it has, it is of great benefit to ALL NZers.

I did ask myself this. And then I fleshed out the numbers: http://www.interest.co.nz/news/75586/budget-2015-social-welfare

Bottom lines (in thousands):

Actual 2011/12
21,742.4

Actual 12/13
$24,138.091

Actual 13/14
$21,987.5

Actual 14/15
$23,325.3

Budget 15/16
$24,138.09

So, actual 11/12 was three billion less than this year's budget. Actual last year was ~one billion less.

And that doesn't include the huge amounts in corporate welfare.

Noel said...

Nick
In December 2015 there was a drop in unemployment stats of 180,000 which seemed really impressive at the time.

But comparing year to year the reasons for the lack of change in expenditure is evident


"Comparing March 2016 with March 2015:
•the number of main benefit recipients decreased by 4,369, or 1.5 percent. This decrease was largely driven by decreases in Sole Parent Support numbers. Jobseeker Support and Supported Living Payment numbers remained relatively stable.
•the proportion of the working-age population in New Zealand receiving a main benefit fell from 10.3 percent to 9.9 percent."

Nick K said...

Spending on welfare as a % of GDP has remained constant since 2007 - about 30%.

There's a nice and simple graph here: http://www.pwc.co.nz/nz-budget-2014/government-spending/

Psycho Milt said...

1 National has substantially decreased the number of people on welfare by getting them back into work.

[citation needed]. National does seem to be making an effort to get people off MSD's books, but there's no evidence the people thus removed from the total are working for a living now.

Seems likely the fall in total number of beneficiaries has more to do with the declining teen birth rate than anything else.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Milt, you're not suggesting that beneficiaries no longer are breeding, are you?

Straws,for the clutching o!!!!!

Psycho Milt said...

Given that the decline in beneficiary numbers is a small one, no I'm not suggesting that beneficiaries have stopped having children. I'm pointing out something that could be expected to have a small impact on beneficiary numbers.

Of more interest would be the Kiwiblog commenter's factual basis for the assertion that the reduced number is because beneficiaries got jobs. If there was evidence for this, the government would be forwarding it to every news agency and mentioning it at every opportunity - the fact that they aren't suggests there's actually a different reason for the decline.

Anonymous said...

A fall of 0.4 percent of working age beneficiaries is SUBSTANTIAL enough to crow about?

I know it's ANZAC day but even the most befuddled mind would have trouble making that correlation.

Gerald said...

"Of more interest would be the Kiwiblog commenter's factual basis for the assertion that the reduced number is because beneficiaries got jobs."

Your bias o meter got yah that time Adolf.

Anonymous said...

Maths and probabilities is a good headline but means nothing.

In respect of life after death you have a 50/50 but most ignore it thinking at worst they will meet the mother in law or first wife (I actually hope so as she will have changed her spots).

Yet, if your train had a 50/50 chance of crashing you'd take it seriously.

It all come down to what you feel threatened by so these stats are a waste of time - the variance is so small you could ignore it and not notice anything different if it was wrong. To make a big change requires big balls but Comrade Key isn't the man.

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