Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Pregnant South African women binge drinking in order to get more welfare

A horrible article from the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

Pregnant South African women are deliberately drinking large quantities of alcohol to harm their unborn babies in a bid to earn more welfare money, it has been claimed.

Expectant mothers living in the Eastern Cape, one of the poorest areas in South Africa, are bingeing on a ‘moonshine’ type drink which contains battery acid – with some drinking up to five and six bottles a day.

It has been reported they do it to claim a disability benefit from the government – using their disabled children as a source of income.

Video taken by Sky News shows a mother drinking a homemade brew called ‘kah-kah’ while heavily pregnant.

[...]The addictive milky brown brew is made from yeast, water and battery acid.

[...]The World Health Organisation said there has been an increase in the number of babies born with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in the area  since 2002.

The syndrome is also the most common birth defect in South Africa.

The irreversible symptoms mean children suffer from speech problems, physical deformities, learning difficulties and behavioural issues.

Families receive 250 South African rand ($29 US) per child, per month but a disabled child brings in around 1200 rand a month ($138 US).

It’s very important for Christians to understand that policies that sound compassionate can actually provide incentives to people to do more bad things in order to get more money from the government. A good rule of thumb is this: whatever you tax, you get less of. And whatever you subsidize, you get more of. We shouldn’t be paying people to do evil things. We should be encouraging people who do good things instead. It’s important that we not just feel good, but that we do good.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , ,

Which political party raises unemployment more? Democrats or African communists?

First, let’s look at the fiscal policies of ANC party in South Africa. (H/T Eleanor via Mary)

Excerpt:

If the government has its way, private companies will no longer be able to hire employees without first considering people listed on a government database of unemployed South Africans.

Failure to do so could result in heavy fines for companies.

This is according to the Employment Services Bill gazetted in December last year.

According to the proposed bill, the government intends to establish a public employment service, whose task will be to create a database of all unemployed people in the country. The employment service will then link job seekers to companies that have vacancies.

The bill, one of four tabled last year, also stipulates that employers will have to register all their vacancies with the service in 14 days.

The government will then provide the companies with the names of possible candidates to fill those posts.

According to the proposed bill, if companies fail to appoint candidates from the database who meet the requirements, they will need to provide written reasons for their actions.

The bill also proposes conditional employment of foreigners. If a company employs a foreigner, it will have to prove to the employment service that it was unable to find a suitable local candidate, including those provided by the government.

The government has also vowed to deal with recruitment agencies that charge job seekers fees. It has proposed that all agencies be registered or face punitive measures.

The bill proposes that the agencies must charge employers the fees instead.

In addition, the bill provides for temporary workers to be paid at the same rate as permanent workers.

This may be the most anti-jobs policy I have EVER heard of. If Satan himself wanted to design a policy to destroy jobs and stop businesses from hiring, then he could not do more to raise the unemployment rate than this evil, evil job-killing policy.

Let’s take a closer look:

  • first, government has no money of its own – it must steal money from productive businesses. Businesses who create products and services that consumers actually want. That means that the money that is used for this database and the government employees will take money away from businesses. When businesses have less money, they hire fewer workers. Therefore, this policy will raise the unemployment rate.
  • second, government will fine companies who do not waste time and money complying with this new regulation. Complying with the regulation not only requires time to query the database, but also to interview candidates who match the job requirements, and then to provide written reasons why they did not hire those candidates. The time spent complying with these regulations will cost the company money, reducing the amount of money that is available to hire workers. Therefore, this policy will raise the unemployment rate.
  • Third, the fee for hiring foreign workers will cause companies to settle for a local employee, who may not be as skilled as the foreign worker. The extra paperwork to hire a better-qualified foreign worker will cost the company money, reducing the amount of money that is available to hire workers. Therefore, this policy will raise the unemployment rate.
  • Fourth, in the case where the employer has to pay an extra fee to hire a worker who has been found by a headhunter, it just raises the cost of hiring this person and may cause the company NOT to hire this worker. Whereas before, a company would have to pay X to hire a worker P, now they will have to pay X + some fee in order to hire worker P. This extra fee will cost the company money, reducing the amount of money that is available to hire workers. Therefore, this policy will raise the unemployment rate.

Since the stated “good intention” of this bill is to reduce unemployment, I can only conclude that the ANC is a party of diabolical liars, or that they are not competent enough to run a lemonade stand. When you raise the cost of employees, either through fees or through fines or through paperwork, then you get fewer employees hired. What will happen is that more South African businesses will ship their jobs overseas. This is where outsourcing comes from – from stupid anti-business policies.

But wait! What about Obama? Isn’t he economically illiterate, too?

Consider this story from the Wall Street Journal. (H/T Michelle Malkin)

Excerpt:

President Barack Obama’s budget proposal is expected to give states a way to collect more payroll taxes from businesses, in an effort to replenish the unemployment-insurance program. The plan could cause controversy at a time when the administration is seeking to mend fences with corporate America.

The proposal would aim to restock strained state unemployment-insurance trust funds by raising the amount of wages on which companies must pay unemployment taxes to $15,000, more than double the $7,000 in place since 1983.

The plan, which would take effect in 2014, could increase payroll taxes by as much as $100 billion over a decade, according to a person involved in its construction.

By proposing to enlarge the pool of wages subject to unemployment taxes, the White House appears to be offering states a more politically palatable way to raise revenues than to boost tax rates. States could keep the tax rates they have, or even lower them somewhat, and still raise considerably more revenue than they are raising now.

…To avoid hitting businesses with a tax increase during the economic recovery, the proposal would delay the new rules until 2014. The plan is expected to be included in Mr. Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal 2012, to be released Monday.

Any proposal would need congressional approval.

Michelle Malkin explains:

Just remember: There is no such thing as a “free” government benefit. Who pays? Dentists, tavern owners, maid services, mom-and-pop shops — small businesses that are the backbone of the American economy. And the businesses that have the lowest claims histories are getting punished the most to make up the jobless benefits fund deficit.

So much for Do No Harm.

This policy will basically raise the cost of hiring an employee. It is nothing but a new tax on businesses who hire employees. Businesses will have to pay the government more money for every employee they hire. Their only way out is to not hire anyone (here), but to move their businesses abroad, away from Obama and his anti-business regulations and taxes.

Remember what happened to the unemployment rate since the Democrats took over Congress in 2007:

Labor Force Participation Rate

Labor Force Participation Rate

Click the graph for a larger image. When you tax something, you get less of it.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , ,

MUST-READ: New study on public health care in South Africa

Story from the SA Times Live. (H/T Mary)

Excerpt:

A damning report, the “South African Child Gauge for 2009/2010″, released by the University of Cape Town’s Children’s Institute, blames the crumbling public health system for much of our children’s woes.

South Africa holds the dishonorable distinction of being one of only 12 countries – including war-torn Afghanistan – to have failed to reduce child mortality since 1990.

It ranks in the company of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.

South African child deaths have risen from 56 deaths per 1000 births in 1990 to 67 deaths per 1000 births in 2008, according to Unicef.

This is despite South Africa’s high GDP and the billions of rands pumped into providing public health services.

Just imagine that it was your child. Or a the child of someone you care about.

When will things get bad enough for people to try something different? How about trying consumer choice and competition? How about consumer-driven health care?

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Upcoming apologetics events at Biola University and in South Africa

American Heroes: The Virtues of Capitalism

Southern California

Biola University events for Southern California readers:

May

6 • FREE: The Virtues of Capitalism Book Event with Scott Rae and Austin Hill

14 • FREE: Signature in the Cell Event with Steve Meyer and his Critics

15 • The Cambrian Explosion: The Data Behind Darwin’s Dilemma
with Illustra Media and others

15 • Intelligent Design and Issues in Religious Liberty
with Richard Land, John Bloom, Craig Hazen, and others

Note the details of tonight’s talk:

The Virtues of Capitalism: A Moral Case for Free Markets
with Scott Rae, Ph.D. and Austin Hill, M.A.

Click Here for more details & to RSVP now!

Our country’s founding fathers took very seriously the selfish, fallen nature of human beings described in Holy Scripture. In a stroke of brilliance, they set up a system of governance and economics that harnessed this sinful nature for the betterment of humankind through competition in branches of government and between economic interests. Today everything seems turned on its head. Have we lost the ideas that undergird the greatest system of government and economics the world has ever seen? Is there hope for the economic well being of our children? Is it moral to be a successful business person? Dr. Scott Rae and Austin Hill will address these news-making concerns, based on their latest book.

Their new book became available this week. I ordered two! Scott Rae is, in my opinion, the top expert in bio-ethics at Biola University. To have him write about economics is a dream come true, for me. I love it when social conservatives and fiscal conservatives unite! Indivisible, to coin a phrase from the recently released collection of essays published by the Heritage Foundation, available as a free downloadable PDF document. Just FYI, Jay Richards’ “Money, Greed and God“, which I wrote about before, is now out in paperback.

South Africa

South Africa events from Mike Licona’s web site:

Monday, 10 May:

14:00 “The death of Jesus as a challenge to Islam” (North West University, Potchefstroom)
19:00 “The historicity of the resurrection” (North West University, Potchefstroom)

Tuesday, 11 May:

10:00-12:00 Colloquium: “The problem of differences: Do the Gospels contradict one another?” (UNISA, Pretoria)
19:00 Debate with Prof Pieter Craffert: “Was Jesus raised physically from the dead?” (University of Johannesburg)

Venue: University of Johannesburg
Location: B-Les 103
Cost: none

Wednesday, 12 May:

19:00 Debate with Prof Sakkie Spangenberg and Prof Hansie Wolmarans (HOD Greek & Latin Studies, University of Johannesburg) vs. Prof William Lane Craig & Prof Michael Licona: “How should we understand the narratives about Jesus’ resurrection?”

Venue: University of Pretoria
Location: Musaion Auditorium
Cost: R20 at the door

We have quite a few South African readers, so you all need to attend these events and then send me updates, and I can post them and give you credit. I am a big fan of Mike Licona.

UPDATE: Commenter Mary sends this link which has even more South Africa events.

Filed under: Events, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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