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Just doesn't add up - Tactical Ninja

May. 3rd, 2012

09:55 am - Just doesn't add up

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Feeding off a line in alphamatrix's blog, has anyone else noticed how many more people are begging on the street these days?

I've lived in Wellington for 11 years (whoah!). In that time there has been the occasional beggar. There's "Homeless and Hungry" guy, who I've seen on Courtenay, Willis and at the train station at various times over the last four years. There was Ben Hana, who didn't beg because (I think ) people just gave him stuff. There was Simon who hung out on Cuba St, sometimes busking, sometimes begging. There's "Excuse Me" guy who hangs out on Courtenay/Dixon asking for 'bus fare'. That's all I can think of. Seeing a beggar in Cuba Mall was a reasonably rare occurrence.

Now, I regularly see 2 or 3 people begging in the mall as I wander around. Partly it might be because I live there now - but I don't think so. It's too regular, and they are there at times, like Friday afternoons, when previously I'd be passing through and see none. They are men, without fail - usually middle-to-older aged men but not always. They sit with their cardboard sign and their hat out, often in our doorway out of the wind, for hours at a time. Usually there are only a few coins in the hat.

It's.. disheartening. I used to be able to say with my hand on my heart that nobody starves to death in New Zealand. I'm not convinced that's true any more. And for those of you who had any doubt about it, this has only become the case since the 2008 election. I know there's been a global financial crisis, an earthquake and a bunch of other things that have made for tough times. But really? When the wealthiest 150 people in the country are 20% richer than they were in 2010, you have to ask yourself just how are we supposed to believe that things are tough all over? Seems to me that things are not particularly tough for those people on that list, eh?

There are more than 20% more beggars in Cuba Mall these days, just saying.

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From:tatjna
Date:May 2nd, 2012 10:05 pm (UTC)
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People who need food banks and night shelters are there because of their own poor choices, remember?

And if that statement by That Nice Mr Key doesn't sum up the attitude of this government to looking after the most vulnerable among us, I don't know what does.
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From:t_c_da
Date:May 3rd, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
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Wasn't that round of tax cuts that he put through a little while back supposed to look after the most vulnerable amongst us?

[/sarcasm]
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From:phaetonschariot
Date:May 2nd, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
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It would be, from a reasonable government. This government will stick to its austerity guns come hell or high water despite all evidence showing that it only makes things worse and that the quickest way to end a recession is to put money into social endeavours so that people can get spending again.
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From:notnotabouthim
Date:May 2nd, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)

unlabelled chart

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What's that of? :)

My guess is unemployment.. in which case - nice chart. Show it VERY clearly. Kinda scary actually - if I didn't know better I'd think you'd drawn the line yourself to illustrate the point.
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From:tieke
Date:May 2nd, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
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I've been living in this city on and off for 40 years, and I've never seen anything like the number of people that there are now, begging on the street.
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From:vernacularity
Date:May 2nd, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
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yes, not just beggars, all of a sudden there are buskers and handcraft-vendors all over the place too. I mean, people who have the motivation to try to do some sort of "work" for their money, and are not just standing there with the hand out (as per a stereotype), but perhaps the available "work" isn't there.

it might be winter and the end of seasonal picking jobs, it might be backpackers picking up a few bucks before heading back overseas, but it might be that costs are rising and the people normally on the edge and keeping to their "own places" are looking for other ways to try to get by as their meagre reserves don't go as far as they used to. that's what I think.
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From:vernacularity
Date:May 2nd, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
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also, maybe wellington is like San Fran in that people are a bit more tolerant so homeless/streeters/etc are tending to hang out here.

climate wouldn't favour it though.
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From:tatjna
Date:May 3rd, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
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Those people who hang out in Cuba Mall selling friendship bracelets and things have been there since I moved in.
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From:tatjna
Date:May 2nd, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
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9000 more people making a poor choice this quarter, huh?
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From:tatjna
Date:May 3rd, 2012 01:37 am (UTC)
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The thing I read said that more people are participating in the labour market now, and I bet dollars to doughnuts that's what Nice Mr Key will say as an offset to this figure. Except that's most likely because of more people having to go to work to make ends meet.
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From:t_c_da
Date:May 3rd, 2012 08:20 pm (UTC)
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This mornings donkey-wank-speak on Morning Report was that the figures show the economy is improving despite the increase in the unemployment rate...

YEAH RIGHT!

Oh, and the Tui billboard at Horokiwi has changed to

Banksy, here's $25k for noreason.com - Yeah Right!

I wonder how long before he's gone by lunchtime?
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From:rivet
Date:May 3rd, 2012 10:07 pm (UTC)
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Well, since one of the main ways to get out of the labour force is to be a full time student, and we don't see that option getting any easier or more available....
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From:tieke
Date:May 7th, 2012 01:19 am (UTC)
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And ... he says:
"The number of people looking for work or in work is virtually a record in New Zealand, the second highest rate ever. What that shows you is that New Zealanders are more confident the economy is coming right and actually bothering to look for work. I know it sounds crazy."
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6871609/Key-Europe-shows-zero-Budget-wisdom
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From:tatjna
Date:May 7th, 2012 01:20 am (UTC)
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"We have always been at war with Eurasia."
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