A decidedly unofficial repository of the news, views, and attitudes of some young people who quite like NZ First.
Friday, July 1, 2016
Government Continues Fudging Statistics To Hide Failure
In many countries around the world, statistics about things like the rates of unemployment or crime are used by the government of the day to demonstrate changes in those areas. In New Zealand, by contrast, changes in statistics (as in, changes in what the statistics actually represent) are used instead to obscure a lack of improvement in same.
I was absolutely gobsmacked last night to read a piece over on Radio New Zealand which suggested that our government had massively improved unemployment figures by simply "refining" the definition for who counts as unemployed. Not merely, you understand, because it had happened (revisions in the collection of statistical data are an unavoidable consequence of a pursuit of accuracy), but also because of the absolute brazenness of the subterfuge being employed to do so.
And therefore, anyone who does their jobhunting in cyberspace rather than spending money on a print-copy newspaper or going cap-in-hand to all the local non-hiring shops ... is not actually unemployed.
That's madness. Twelve thousand people worth of madness, in fact, who've been artificially shaved off the unemployment figures in order to allow the Government of the day to boast about the "lowest unemployment figures in 7 years". Quite why unemployment rates almost equivalent to those at the height of the Great Recession global financial crisis are something to be lauded rather lambasted as not working hard enough (the government, that is - not the people down at WINZ in a client capacity) is beyond me.
But the fact remains that it's difficult to perceive how consciously and deliberately excluding the main route by which many New Zealanders search for - and find - new employment from the legitimacy of official recognition is actually supposed to help anyone except National.
Evidently it has been decided from On High that it's easier to change the definition of unemployment rather than actually putting in the hard work of helping to foster and create jobs for people.
At the outset of this piece, I claimed that many countries around the world legitimately used statistics in order to observe and demonstrate changes in their public affairs. But in a certain sort of country, publicly available and politically useful statistics are instead treated as mere propaganda tools, or somewhat inelegant poetry for the campaign trail.
We have a few choice words which we tend to reserve for polities of this nature. "Corrupt", "Orwellian", and "Tinpot" spring instantly to mind.
I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine for themselves whether the actions of the National Party over a protracted period of time bring New Zealand down to that lofty, low standard.