Thursday, 27 October 2016

False Claims and the Salvation Army

Lies, Damned Lies, And . . . 

The Salvation Army has sadly morphed into an entity that is little more than a pressure group looking for the gummint to do something.  It joins a long list of social agencies that are fronts for the reigning statist ideology.  

Gone are the days when the Sallies relied upon door to door collections and free will donations to fund their once commendable work.  We recall many years ago the reverence in which the Sallies were held in the general community.  Our parents, whilst generally respecting the Christian faith, were non-church-attending nominal Christians.  In that sense they were like the vast majority of the population of that generation.  Yet they always spoke highly of the Sallies and the work they did.  In this they were typical.

Today, not so much.
 Today the Sallies are just one more  pressure group clustering with many other organisations chivying the gummint for more financial support and increased gummint spending upon their concerns--which is always the ultimate salvific act.  Today, the Lord, Jesus Christ scarce gets a mention, it seems.
The Salvation Army’s programmes of social work among the homeless, unemployed, addicted, imprisoned and other needy people were the most visible aspect of its work in the 2000s. Moving away from its earlier, strongly independent attitude, the Army worked closely with government agencies and other organisations. It also addressed the causes as well as the effects of social hardship, and regularly advised and lobbied the government on policies that affect the most vulnerable in society. [The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand  Emphasis, ours.]
The Army has "mainstreamed".  As such it warrants no more loyalty and support from Christians than the IHC, Plunket, Womens' Refuge, or Victim Support.  All of these organisations do good work, to be sure.  But all rely heavily upon taxpayers for their continued existence.  Therefore, these days, they ought to be more properly seen as agencies of the State.

Consequently, like any other agency of state, the Sallies should be roundly criticised when they are found guilty of superficial poppycock.  Here is a good example.
An "explosion" of immigrants is "crowding out" young Kiwis from available jobs, the Salvation Army says.  A report on youth unemployment by the army's social policy analyst Alan Johnson, using Statistics NZ figures, says immigration of young people aged 15 to 24 has "exploded" from a net gain of 3217 in the year to June 2013 to a net gain of 22,064 in the latest June year.  Yet 74,100 young Kiwis aged 15 to 24 were not in employment, education or training (NEET) in the year to June - a number that has stalled since a drop from 87,000 in 2010 to 72,100 in 2014.

"The persistent numbers of 15 to 24-year-olds who remain outside of the workforce as total job numbers grow, and as young migrants enter New Zealand to take these jobs, suggest this immigration is crowding out more marginalised workers," the report says.  It recommends tightening immigration rules further beyond last week's Government decisions to raise the points required for granting residence to skilled migrants and close the parent category.  [NZ Herald]
Before we comment on the argument, let's just note in passing that the NZ Herald's Simon Collins, a walking sensation in search of a headline, has "massaged" the piece from the Sallies' suggestion that immigration was crowding out jobs, to  An "explosion" of immigrants is "crowding out" young Kiwis from available jobs, the Salvation Army says.

It is at this point we are forced to rehearse that old canard about lies, damned lies, and statistics.  David Farrar at Kiwiblog writes:
I think the Salvation Army analysis is rather simplistic.  Yet net “migration” of 15 to 24 year olds has increased by the amount cited. But around 7,500 of that is fewer young Kiwis leaving. So inwards migration is up around 11,500.

But most of those will be students on student visas. They are counted as “migrants” as they will be in NZ for over a year but they have no entitlement to stay on once they finish study (and only 20% do qualify for residency), and they have limited rights to work (up to 20 hours a week only generally).
Selling education to overseas students has become a huge export earner for NZ Inc.  Its growth potential is limited only by suitable "production" facilities and capacities in New Zealand.  But the more it succeeds, the more it will appear that "immigrants" are taking jobs from young Kiwis.  Appear, that is, if one falls into the trap of hasty and superficial generalisations from (misused) statistics.

Simon Collins and the NZ Herald are beneath rebuke and correction.  The Salvation Army, however, ought to know better.  But veracity and integrity tend to wither on the vine when the organisation is just another petitioner seeking more money and support from the taxpayer.

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