Crampton fisks Latta

August 4th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

In case you had the misfortune to see the show on inequality, Eric Crampton has the data about inequality that Latta was told about, but refused to include on the show as it didn’t fit the narrative he had decided on.

Crampton quotes the MSD:

Overall, there is no evidence of any sustained rise or fall in inequality in the last two decades. The level of household disposable income inequality in New Zealand is a little above the OECD median. The share of total income received by the top 1% of individuals is at the low end of the OECD rankings.

Crampton notes:

Latta focused a lot on wages at different levels rather than the kinds of numbers above. We do have a reasonably progressive tax system with substantial transfers to the working poor. The numbers above reflect the after-tax-and-transfers income at the different deciles. The tax and redistribution system has worked to maintain pretty stable levels of inequality over the last couple decades on a wide variety of measures of inequality. It is a substantial mistake or deliberately misleading to portray things instead as a rising trend in inequality. And since I’m told that the Treasury Chief Executive told Latta, on footage left on the cutting room floor, that inequality was flat, Latta seems to have been wilfully seeking to mislead the public about the basic facts around inequality during and election campaign on a publicly funded television station. 

Yep, our taxes used to promote misleading coverage.

This is not right. Public broadcasting is supposed to at least give everybody the correct basic facts so that voters can then deliberate about how to interpret and deal with those facts in policy choices. When it instead deliberately misleads the public into taking the narrative pushed by the Labour Party, I start wondering why we have a state broadcaster. Public broadcasting isn’t supposed to make people dumber.

Globally there is a tendency for state owned broadcasters to favour the policies of the left, as bigger Government means potentially more money for them. In NZ, they are funded by NZ on Air, so documentaries that conclude taxes should be higher, and the Government more controlling, always get funded. I can’t recall them ever funding a documentary on the need for RMA reform, lower taxes or the like.

The proportion of low-income households is higher than it was in the 80s but the trend since the mid 90s is basically flat or declining. Is this just me cherry-picking measures? No. You get the same thing on the relative income lines. If you don’t like current poverty or inequality rates, that’s fine. But they’re a “it’s been like this for about 20 years” thing, not a “John Key is Evil” thing. The current state of affairs is roughly the same as it’s been through many terms of both National and Labour. 

Yet these documentaries only appear when National is in office.

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61 Responses to “Crampton fisks Latta”

  1. doggone7 (833 comments) says:

    “Yet these documentaries only appear when National is in office.”

    God, I just about died when I read this. From laughing.

    To paraphrase:
    Public funds are used by politicians to not give the correct basic facts so that voters can then deliberate about how to interpret and deal with those facts in policy choices. They instead deliberately mislead the public into taking their narrative. Government isn’t supposed to make people dumber.

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  2. KiwiGreg (3,260 comments) says:

    The Nats fund it. They’ve never tried to divest TVNZ and/or abolish NZ on Air. You reap what you sow.

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  3. Huevon (223 comments) says:

    Latta has one of those faces that just wants a fist buried into it…or is that just me??

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  4. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    This is very sad. I had Nigel Latta marked out as someone above this sort of stuff. A real shame. He’s been captured somehow, and I expect this will be seen as a stain on his career. If it’s bad, no worries, say it’s bad. But if you’ve been provided with evidence to the contrary and you ignore it, for whatever reason, you can no longer be trusted.

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  5. oldpark (385 comments) says:

    Always thought Latta was too sweet to be wholesome.He has allowed himself to be a pawn of questionable academics,who have and are still sucking off the public tit.They think that biting the hand that feeds them,is better than licking the boots that kick them.Latta and his cockroach sycophants are a shining example of sanctimonious hypocricy.

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  6. All_on_Red (1,650 comments) says:

    Latta needs to be sent to the naughty step.

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  7. gump (1,664 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  8. ShawnLH (5,758 comments) says:

    Latta’s previous TV outings have been very good, so this is a disappointment. But he is not reallly the problem, the problem is that the tv channel in question thinks it is a player in the election.

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  9. berend (1,716 comments) says:

    DPF: Yet these documentaries only appear when National is in office.

    As National never ever changes any of Labour policies, and just leaves these broadcasters, funded by money that taxpayers have handed over under duress, alone, I don’t really care.

    If National finds this a problem, they could have done something about that.

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  10. Redbaiter (9,657 comments) says:

    “The Nats fund it. They’ve never tried to divest TVNZ and/or abolish NZ on Air. You reap what you sow.”

    That’s actually because they want to. You mistake the Nats for a collection of people who think like you, but actually they think like Labour voters.

    If not they wouldn’t even argue the point about whether ‘equality” is growing or decreasing. They would dismiss it as a political concept that only Marxist/ Communists subscribe to.

    Instead, they’re willing to argue the issue, because they have been captured by the left and are blind to arguments outside of common leftist political concepts. They’re just Labour people wearing blue suits to fool the electorate.

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  11. Elaycee (4,410 comments) says:

    And since I’m told that the Treasury Chief Executive told Latta, on footage left on the cutting room floor, that inequality was flat, Latta seems to have been wilfully seeking to mislead the public about the basic facts around inequality during and election campaign on a publicly funded television station.

    I suspect Latta’s ‘programme’ will be one of many to appear on TVNZ in the lead-up to the Election – all promoting left wing ideology. It was the same last Election and the one before that….

    We really deserve better…

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  12. mikenmild (11,780 comments) says:

    ‘Globally there is a tendency for state owned broadcasters to favour the policies of the left, as bigger Government means potentially more money for them’
    I’d like to see some evidence for this assertion. I think it is more likely that the sorts of people who make these programme have a left-leaning inclination.

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  13. Redbaiter (9,657 comments) says:

    “We really deserve better…”

    You don’t actually. NZ is a democracy and you get what you vote for.

    You either voted for the left, or for National, a bunch of weak cynical poseurs who have never turned back one piece of legislation the left have introduced and whose only achievement lies in occasionally slowing the progressive train as it steadily journeys to the next station on the line to a one party socialist state.

    National could have fixed the nest of prog vipers that is public radio and TV on many an occasion, but they never have. Yet NZers keep voting for it/them, so they can’t complain of not getting what they deserve.

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  14. Ashley Schaeffer (513 comments) says:

    I’m glad that Latta has nailed his political colours to the mast. I can take whatever he says with a pinch of salt from now on.

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  15. ShawnLH (5,758 comments) says:

    “I’d like to see some evidence for this assertion.”

    BBC.

    NPR.

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  16. Daniel (216 comments) says:

    Oh man, this is about as bad for Nigel Latta as the time he said he believed in the Sensing Murder psychics. I don’t think he is worth listening to.

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  17. mikenmild (11,780 comments) says:

    Not evidence Shawn. DPF’s claim is quite clear: that state broadcasters make shit up to get more money.

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  18. AG (1,832 comments) says:

    Yep, our taxes used to promote misleading coverage.

    http://bsa.govt.nz/complaints/making-a-complaint

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  19. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    Yes, poverty and deprivation always seem to magically disappear from our screens when Labour is in government, but whenever National is in the Beehive, it mysteriously returns in full force!

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  20. maxwell (56 comments) says:

    I worked for nearly 20 years for TVNZ and in the NZ film industry.

    TVNZ is infested with lefties, I was one myself in those days.

    There are also plenty in the film industry,
    although of a more entrepreneurial and independent nature.

    It wasn’t for nothing that Clark gave $80 million to the Arts as soon as she got in.

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  21. RightNow (7,013 comments) says:

    mikenmild (10,794 comments) says:
    August 4th, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Not evidence Shawn. DPF’s claim is quite clear: that state broadcasters make shit up to get more money.

    Australian Broadcasting Corporation (is one example)

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  22. mikenmild (11,780 comments) says:

    You’re missing the point RN. It is quite possible that journalists display political bias. What is not proven is that they deliberately do so to get more public funding.
    If you could find a quote from Nigel Latta where he wishes for a Labour government so he could make more TV programmes you might have a point.

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  23. tom hunter (5,096 comments) says:

    http://bsa.govt.nz/complaints/making-a-complaint

    I suggest that anybody who uses this avenue send the complaint in on greeting card paper. That way the people who receive it – while still snorting and chuckling about yet another RWNJ complaint – will at least find it difficult to wipe their bottom with it.

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  24. chris (647 comments) says:

    I didn’t watch the show myself, but have a leftie friend who did, and she couldn’t believe what a load of BS it was. She’s very distraught because she’s a tribal Labour voter but can’t bring herself to vote Labour this year and can’t work out who she should vote for. I told her she was sounding like a National voter the way she was spouting off about that program :)

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  25. RightNow (7,013 comments) says:

    I gave you a truthful example of a state broadcaster that makes shit up to earn more money. That is the only point I was addressing. I don’t give a toss about Latta or Labour.

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  26. Fentex (1,040 comments) says:

    Yet these documentaries only appear when National is in office.

    I was curious about the veracity of this statement so I thought I”d have a look at the history of documentaries funded by NZ On Air. Which I thought would be an easy thing to locate in the modern world but it hasn’t been.

    One would imagine such an organisation would be proud and proactive about advertising what it has done and make it easy to find, on their website, such information. But apparently not.

    I wish such organisations would use the web as it was intended to provide information and documents to the curious and not just access to their current processes.

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  27. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,924 comments) says:

    They’d better see if he has a party branch operating in there.

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  28. bringbackdemocracy (428 comments) says:

    Is this the same Latta that produced a review on the “anti-smacking” law, furnished with inaccuracies to achieve the desired result

    http://www.familyfirst.org.nz/2010/05/smacking-review-exposed-as-factually-wrong-grossly-misleading/

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  29. tom hunter (5,096 comments) says:

    I think it is more likely that the sorts of people who make these programme have a left-leaning inclination.

    You appear to be a regular viewer of them and you certainly support the idea of public broadcasting so perhaps you can answer this point of DPF’s:

    I can’t recall them ever funding a documentary on the need for RMA reform, lower taxes or the like.

    Me neither, but then I stopped watching them a decade or more ago.

    Yet these documentaries only appear when National is in office.

    I really don’t have time for this whining. As others have pointed out here you and the rest of National know damned well what the problem is and it’s not fixable.

    Sell them. For $1 if need be (it worked for Newsweek) and it’ll be cheap at the price. The likes of Geddis and mikenmild won’t despise you any less. Pull a reverse Kiwirail in 2016 (assuming you win this year), a fait accompli as you’re leaving office, that you opponents hate but which they can do nothing about.

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  30. James Stephenson (2,234 comments) says:

    What is not proven is that they deliberately do so to get more public funding.

    Well it’s pretty bloody clear from circulation figures at places like the Guardian and the commercial success of Fox, that if you want to keep being given money to push leftwing views, the State funding is about the only option.

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  31. ShawnLH (5,758 comments) says:

    I agree with Tom. IF National wins then they should sell most state funded broadcasting. One exception might be NZ On Air funding for the local music scene, not because I agree with it, I don’t, but because it would remove one potentially distracting controversy while the more important issue of TVNZ and RNZ are dealt with.

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  32. Maggy Wassilieff (452 comments) says:

    @ Fentex…

    I’m not sure if this is what you were searching for, but NZ on Screen is trying to archive lots of the NZ on Air-funded documentaries
    http://www.nzonscreen.com/static/about

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  33. jcuk (718 comments) says:

    I follow and believe in the logic of Piketty … National and Labour have followed very similar paths over the past twenty or so years so it is logical … it is not a Right v. Left thing as everybody foolishly above is engaged in but rather a very simple fact of life that as those with just enough to survive, at any level of existance, will just survive …. but those with something more will invest and from such investment get richer. I suggest despite your clueless rambling above you can work out which is which and who is who …. those with more than enough are getting richer and richer .. the figures about wages and salaries are meaningless guff designed to hide the truth by people with an agenda.
    I am in a minor way one of those getting richer as I put some money in even a low producing bank account and arranged the interest to compound and today after a few years it is considerably more in dollar terms than I put in. But had I been more adventurish in my investment I sure I would be richer still. So I value low inflation above all.

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  34. jcuk (718 comments) says:

    Since the only radio I listen to is National and Concert I say for them to continue but let the morons listen to commerical radio for sure. :) TV left my life just prior to the Rugby World Cup and is not missed :)

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  35. DJP6-25 (1,389 comments) says:

    National won’t do a thing. ACT, and the Conservatives need to put pressure on National after the election for them to do something. That is assuming either of them are in parliament.

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  36. G152 (387 comments) says:

    Latta is a psychologist which goes a long way to explaining why his word should have the same weight as a butterfly wing

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  37. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    I’ve learned over the years that it’s better to just avoid discussing politics with some people.

    We have a couple of Latta’s parenting books in our library and have found them useful and insightful.

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  38. Nigel Kearney (1,051 comments) says:

    - Complaints about state funded broadcasting are valid but not relevant here. TV3 is just as bad.

    – Using taxable income to measure inequality is convenient but wrong. There are very well off people with no income or assets. Conversely, when high income people invest or donate to charity, you don’t improve society by taking away the money they use to do that. The best measure is consumer spending but it’s hard to get data.

    – The idea that inequality is bad cannot be right. Too much is obviously bad because people starve, but if you eliminate it completely you have North Korea. So there must be an optimal level of inequality, which in turn implies that some other measure than inequality is needed in order to optimize. So you disregard inequality and just use that other measure directly. Of course if turning NZ into North Korea is your goal then this objection doesn’t work.

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  39. tom hunter (5,096 comments) says:

    TV3 is just as bad.

    The last time I watched them – around 2003 – I thought they were worse.

    But at least my tax dollars were’t funding them, though there still is “New Zealand on Air”.

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  40. Redbaiter (9,657 comments) says:

    “But at least my tax dollars were’t funding them, though there still is “New Zealand on Air”.”

    Yes, NZ On Air makes every claim that NZ’s media is not govt funded open to debate.

    Also the amount the govt spends on “public good” advertising. You know, “don’t speed, don’t do this, don’t do that, do this and this” and all of that crap goes to keeping these deceitful left wing parasites afloat.

    A misuse of taxpayer money that among all of the misuses, I find particularly galling.

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  41. burt (8,324 comments) says:

    OMG a left wing ideology ignoring pertinent facts to push it’s agenda – who’d have thunk it !

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  42. Kenny (21 comments) says:

    No surprises. Latta did the same with the anti-smacking report for John Key after the Referendum.

    The Latta review contained glaring errors including misrepresentation of basic facts, contained alleged actions of parents which were found to have no basis in court but which still presents the parent as being abusive, and failed to take into account the response of the court including discharges without conviction for what were previously claimed as serious assaults. The terms of reference of the Review failed to allow the voices of families who had been victims of the new law to be heard. It also failed to examine the outcomes of the investigations and whether the law was being applied as Parliament intended. It clearly is not.

    A group of parents, whose experiences were included in the report, released a statement immediately after the Prime Minister and Nigel Latta presented the report in 2009, saying
    “This is a one-sided report and fails to objectively hear the evidence from both sides. We reject the notion that we have misrepresented the facts to Family First, and that Family First has lied in their advocacy work in this area. Family First has been one of the few organizations willing to hear our side of the story and advocate for our concerns. We are not child abusers, yet this report continues to make that accusation, and does so without providing an opportunity for rebuttal or a full assessment of the facts. The effect of the experience of being investigated and in some cases prosecuted has had a huge effect on our families including our children, yet this has been minimized or ignored.”

    Read more: http://protectgoodparents.org.nz/the-latta-review/

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  43. Pita (374 comments) says:

    Nigel Latta would also have us believe that he is a comedian…

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  44. hj (7,067 comments) says:

    Surely given house price inflation and shrinking home ownership there has to be an increase in inequailty?

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  45. hj (7,067 comments) says:

    Globally there is a tendency for state owned broadcasters to favour the policies of the left, as bigger Government means potentially more money for them. In NZ, they are funded by NZ on Air, so documentaries that conclude taxes should be higher, and the Government more controlling, always get funded. I can’t recall them ever funding a documentary on the need for RMA reform, lower taxes or the like.
    ….
    or the Savings Working Group, Treasury, Michael Reddel or Greg Clydesdales alternative views on the benefits of immigration.
    Eric Crampon “can make a case for open borders”

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  46. Crampton (215 comments) says:

    @Nigel Kearney:

    Agree that consumption inequality would be the best measure. I wasn’t arguing that income inequality was the best measure. Latta put up wages as part of his argument, and he was wrong in suggesting that wage inequality has been on any continual rise.

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  47. Alan Wilkinson (1,901 comments) says:

    Latta has shown himself to be either a fool or a paid up member of the dishonest Left. Credibility now zero.

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  48. doggone7 (833 comments) says:

    ShawnLH: “… the problem is that the tv channel in question thinks it is a player in the election.”

    it is a player in the election isn’t it? Think the kerfuffle last week about Mike Hosking.

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  49. hj (7,067 comments) says:

    Latta was right about one thing though: housing costs have hit disposable incomes of the poor by more than they’ve hit disposable incomes among the rich. MSD reports that, because of strong increases in housing costs, AHC incomes for households in the bottom two deciles are lower in real terms than in the 80s. But, again, most of the increase in hardship came in the early 90s.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/4622459/Government-policies-blamed-for-house-prices

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  50. cricko (382 comments) says:

    Nigel Latta, a psycologist rises to his level of incompetence as a political commentater.

    Thus proving the ‘Peter principle’

    I used to rate him.
    Beyond the Darklands was within his sphere and quite good. So was his effort on parenting.

    Now.
    Turns out that he is just another socialist prat.

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  51. mikenmild (11,780 comments) says:

    So, he was good when you agreed with him, but not so much when you don’t.

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  52. SW (246 comments) says:

    I wondered when you were going to post on this.

    Crampton is usually worth reading but I don’t think that’s a very insightful piece.

    It’s crazy to me to say that because wage inequality hasn’t continued growing after the massive gap that grew during the 1980s that everything is fine. Anyone that points out the effects if inequality is apparently deliberately misleading.

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  53. FeralScrote (229 comments) says:

    It surprises me that anybody watches this clown,I didn`t need Latta to tell me how to raise my kids and I certainly don`t need him to tell me what to think about NZ society.
    The simple fact that he is a psychologist tells me all I need to know to avoid him .

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  54. cricko (382 comments) says:

    OK mikenmild @ 4.55 fair point, 1 thumb up 2 U

    Thing is, he has strayed off his subject.

    Very common to have success in your chosen field, get delusions of grandeur and then
    ‘step on your prick’ as they say in another.

    (that’s the Peter principle)
    Nige fell over his prick with this effort. And revealed his huge political bias.

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  55. goldnkiwi (1,550 comments) says:

    I can just imagine if there was no public money for broadcasting via NZ on Air, the cries of political bias and Government interference with free speech would be deafening, same as any Government comment regarding current content. Cries of repressive government etc.

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  56. dcrown (17 comments) says:

    Welcome to New Zealand’s version of WorldNutDaily?
    Any more conspiracy theories you would like to introduce us to David?

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  57. Anthony (798 comments) says:

    The doco had all the cues of left wing conspiracy with the foreboding music while showing pictures of young people in hoodies milling around, etc in place of presenting some actual hard data! Latta appeared to be using his training to hoodwink us into a particular point of view. Shame on him!

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  58. itstricky (1,904 comments) says:

    So, he was good when you agreed with him, but not so much when you don’t.

    Hillarious.

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  59. Left Right and Centre (2,997 comments) says:

    Tongan family of seven two income earners on minimum wage. Minimum brains, maximum number of minimum brained offspring. Rinse and repeat.

    There’s no answer to that apart from laws limiting children per person / couple.

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  60. hj (7,067 comments) says:

    Amazing how a documentary like that can exist in a Rock Star Economy? Or is is that large section of the population don’t get their world view into the media eye of the needle?

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  61. deadrightkev (537 comments) says:

    When Latta supported the anti smacking legislation he was gone by lunchtime in my estimation. He is a captive and follows the progressive narrative so they fund his progressive program. Then he agrees with them and they fund his program some more.

    No amount of funny faces and walks makes me accept his logic if he cannot understand the difference between a smack on the arse and child abuse.

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