Bevan Morgan writes:
“I’ve written a lot recently about our government’s pathetic effort last week in shutting down the food in schools legislation. And I’ve learned a few things since then.
“The biggest takeaway has been that we have a major problem with how people conceptualise issues. Listening to people’s attitudes about poverty in New Zealand it is clear that it’s not simply a case of people not knowing about poverty – it is that that they don’t actually understand the very concept at its core foundation. Describing the reality and impact of poverty to people from middle NZ is like trying to explain string theory to someone who has never even heard of the term ‘physics’. You may as well be speaking Cantonese.
“There have been a lot of people tell me various myths, misconceptions, and out right lies about the poor in New Zealand. But even if all of those things were true (which they are not) not one single person has been able to explain to me how anything that poor parents may do wrong is the fault of the children.
“Not one single person.
“Because people are so angry at the poor for being poor, they have no problem with the wealthy ripping us off by $9.5 billion a year. And they have no problem feeding the future generation to the wolves despite the fact that they profess to love kids. That’s insane.
“Even if we look at it selfishly, people are so angry at people for being poor and daring to want assistance that they are literally willing to punish potential future doctors and engineers just to make a point.
In pure dollars and cents terms, our attitude to poor children is an absolute waste of future money: We are throwing away future billions for the cost of some Weetbix.”
“This is so counter-intuitive to human nature it is absolutely staggering. But sadly our leaders have done such a good job of hiding poverty that nothing is going to change any time soon. Unfortunately things will only change when inequality becomes so ridiculous that we have lost our middle class.
“But then again if the USA is anything to go by, this won’t even make a difference.”
– Written by Bevan Morgan and shared with permission. Read more by Bevan, at https://bevan-morgan.squarespace.com/