Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Income

Some demographic patterns of income will already be apparent from voting patterns, and others are well-known by all, but this section will go into details.

There is a significant correlation between median age and median personal income – this was 0.27. Many will have expected this correlation to be stronger, in much the same way that the correlation between median age and voting National in 2014 was much stronger. But age is not as closely correlated with wealth as other demographic factors are.

Indeed, while there were significant negative correlations between being in any of the age brackets 19 years or below, this can be simply explained by the fact that this age group is generally too young to work.

The correlation between being in the 20-29 age bracket and median personal income was essentially uncorrelated at 0.04. Of course, people in this age band will nonetheless end up with less money than the average Kiwi on account of paying relatively more of their income in rent.

The vast bulk of the income received by anyone in New Zealand is received by the 30-49 age bracket, which had a correlation with median personal income of 0.73. This is actually the only age bracket to even have a significant positive correlation with median personal income.

The correlation between being in the 50-64 age bracket and median personal income was 0.18 – positive but not significant. This age bracket may contain a large proportion of the people who are in highly paid C-suite positions, but the absolute numbers of these people are small, and they are outnumbered many times over by the people in this age bracket who have wound down to part-time work.

Being in the 65+ age bracket had a correlation of -0.02 with median personal income. Although this is actually less than what people in the 20-29 age bracket get, people who are 65+ are far more likely to live on freehold land, and as a consequence their expenses will be relatively low.

Kiwis of European descent were the only ethnicity to have a significant positive correlation with median personal income – this was 0.35. Asians, however, were marginally significant at 0.22.

Being a Pacific Islander had a correlation of -0.29 with median personal income, and being Maori had one of -0.48, which tells us that the average Maori is a fair bit poorer than even the average Pacific Islander, probably a reflection of the fact that it is more difficult for the Pacific Islander underclass to migrate to New Zealand.

The religious tradition with the strongest positive correlation with median personal income was Judaism, at 0.63. Buddhism and Catholicism were next, with correlations of 0.32 with median personal income, and then was no religion with a correlation of 0.27.

These correlations mostly reflect that people of the first three religious traditions are especially likely to have immigrated to New Zealand on the basis of the points system, which gives bonus points to any applicant that has a degree.

The significant positive correlation between median personal income and no religion was mostly because of the fact that the indigenous New Zealand subcultures that value education the most are the same ones that are most likely to reject religion.

Further underlying the point that our immigration system makes it easier for people with degrees to move here, we can see that there is a correlation of 0.53 between being born in Britain and median personal income, and a correlation of 0.33 between being born in North East Asia and median personal income.

Similarly, the correlation between median personal income and being born overseas in general was significantly positive, at 0.34.

Education is clearly the decisive factor, above anything else, that explains most of the variance in the incomes of New Zealanders.

The correlation between having no academic qualifications and median personal income was a very strong -0.68, and the correlation becomes more positive with every step upwards in education all the way up to having an Honours degree, which had a correlation of 0.72 with median personal income.

The crossover point was close to what used to be known as 7th form – the correlation between having a highest educational qualification of NZQA Level 3 or 4 and median personal income was 0.12.

What this describes is a very simple pattern: generally speaking, the greater a person’s intellectual capacity, the greater the responsibility they will be capable of competently discharging, and the greater the responsibility so discharged the greater the renumeration they will receive.

Basically the entire taxpayer-funded educational system is predicated on this pattern and it is fundamental, not just to New Zealand, but to human life.

The industry that had the strongest positive correlation with median personal income was scientific, technical and professional services – this was 0.76. Other well-paid industries were financial and insurance services (0.69), information media and telecommunications (0.54) and rental, hirinig and real estate services (0.49).

Naturally, these are the industries that have the most highly educated workers.

Being male was right on the border of being significantly positively correlated with median personal income, at 0.23. If one takes into account that men are more frequently active in the labour force than women, then the lack of significance of this correlation tells us the idea of the “gender gap” in renumeration is overstated.

Underlining the degree to which median personal income is correlated with education, which is a proxy for intelligence, we can see that median personal income also correlates strongly with other correlates of intelligence.

For example, the correlation between median personal income and being a regular smoker was a strongly negative -0.61, whereas with never having smoked it was 0.57.

Contrary to the stereotype, people who take the bus to work have a higher income than those who take a private vehicle to work. The correlation between median personal income and the former is 0.51, and the correlation between median personal income and the latter is -0.24.

Some will find this very surprising, but the fact is that people who live and work in major urban centres have much better access to both bus services and to the jobs that pay the highest wages, and the opposite is true of people who live in smaller centres where taking a personal car to work is more viable or necessary.

The occupation with the strongest positive correlation with median personal income was professionals at 0.68. Next were managers at 0.49 and clerical and administrative workers at 0.43.

The occupation with the strongest negative correlation with median personal income was machinery operators and drivers at -0.59. Next were labourers at -0.51 and community and personal service workers at -0.31.

It doesn’t really make a difference which island you live on – the correlation between living on the South Island and median personal income was 0.03.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, due to be published by VJM Publishing this winter.

Black Caps vs. Australia, Champions Trophy Pool Match Preview

Trent Boult demolished the Australian lower order the last time these two sides met in an ODI, taking 6-33. The Black Caps will need something similar to concede less than 350 against this strong Australian side

The Black Caps had mixed fortunes in the Champions Trophy warm-up matches, but that will all be forgotten when their first pool match starts, against World Cup final opponents Australia, this Friday at 9:30p.m. (NZT).

Australia is a solid favourite on BetFair to win this encounter in Birmingham. They are only paying $1.53 compared to $2.84 for the Black Caps.

The main reason for this is their superb bowling. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are both ranked in the top 5 of ODI bowlers at the moment, and they will have both Pat Cummins and James Pattinson backing them up.

Because Starc is capable of batting 8, Australia might be tempted to go with all four of them in the same side – which would make for an exceptionally fearsome ODI pace battery, one of the strongest ever. There would be no respite.

The Black Caps may have three of their best ever ODI batsmen in the top 4 – Martin Guptill, captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, but question marks remain over Guptill’s opening partner and the middle order.

A number of players were tried in these positions in the warm-up matches and in the preceding tri-series against Ireland and Bangladesh. The difficulty is that there were no performances that will have forced the hand of the selectors.

Guptill will open with either Luke Ronchi or Tom Latham. The desire from the brains trust might be to favour the big-hitting Ronchi, because English surfaces in recent years have tended towards very big scores.

A variety of players have been recently tried in the Black Caps middle order. Neil Broom, Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner and Colin de Grandhomme are all possibilities for the middle order and allrounder slots.

The Black Caps bowling unit, however, is easy to select. The tried and true combination of Trent Boult (ranked 6th in the world for ODIs) and Tim Southee will no doubt share the new ball, and it’s likely that Mitchell McClenaghan will be in as third seamer.

McClenaghan’s T20 experience will help to lend him skills that are useful in death bowling, and he has been talked about in that role in particular. This should see him take the spot ahead of Adam Milne, who is improving rapidly but still lacks the knockout punch of the more established seamers.

The three seamers will be complimented by Mitchell Santner, whose relentless accuracy and subtle variations have seen him rise into the top 10 of ODI bowlers for the first time.

The Black Caps bowling strategy will be to take two or three poles early with the moving ball, and then to at least restrict the scoring in the middle overs with Santner and the variations of either McClenaghan or Milne.

This will lessen the potential impact of the Australians’ big middle order hitters like Chris Lynn, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade.

The Australian batting lineup appears to be following the general ODI zeitgeist at the moment by being packed with hitters. Any of David Warner, Aaron Finch, Lynn, Head, Maxwell or Stoinis is capable of striking at well over 100 for as long as they can stay in.

Their strategy will probably be to use Steve Smith at 3 as the fulcrum around which the other batsmen can hit. If Smith can stay in long enough then the others around him can throw the bat and Australia will post a colossal score.

Considering that 300 has been a par score in England recently even for average sides, this match between the two World Cup finalists has the potential to see 700+ runs scored.

The winner of it will have the box seat in qualifying from this group, as they will probably then only have to beat Bangladesh in order to advance to the semifinals.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Pacific Islanders

What is already known about Pacific Islander New Zealanders is that they fall inbetween Europeans and Asians in terms of how established they are in the country, and that on many sociodemographic measurements they are like Maoris (who are also Pacific Islanders in a manner of speaking).

Indeed, Pacific Islanders tend to live in the same kind of areas as Maoris, but unlike Maoris they seldom share a neighbourhood with Kiwis of European descent. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and being Maori was 0.05, and because these statistics are calculated on the basis of which electorate a person lives in, this tells us that Pacific Islanders and Maoris often share the same neighbourhoods.

There was a very strong negative correlation of -0.80 between being a Pacific Islander and being a Kiwi of European descent, which is reflective of how seldom the two ethnicities share a neighbourhood. For one thing, the South Island has a large number of Kiwis of European descent and very few Pacific Islanders, and for another, many Pacific Islanders move to Auckland specifically.

Indeed, the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and living on the South Island was -0.29, which was significantly negative, but probably not as much so as most have expected. Pacific Islanders have been in New Zealand long enough to become established, and in practical terms this means growing up here and feeling free to move anywhere in the country to seek work or study opportunities.

The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and median personal income was -0.29. This was significantly negative, but not as strong as the corresponding correlation with being Maori (-0.48). Also, the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and turnout rate in 2014 was -0.44, compared to the corresponding -0.75 for being Maori and turnout rate in 2014.

Applying the General Disenfranchisement Rule to the correlations above, we can surmise that Pacific Islanders are generally doing better than Maoris by most demographic measures.

The majority of this difference can be explained by the fact that, although immigration restrictions towards Pacific Islanders are understandably lax, the average person who gets it together enough to become an immigrant in the first place is usually a cut above what is otherwise average for their demographic.

Perhaps the profoundest illustration of this is the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and being a regular smoker – this was only 0.14, compared to 0.92 for being Maori and being a regular smoker.

Also, Pacific Islanders didn’t have quite as strong of a male death bias as Maoris. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and being female was 0.16, which was not significant.

Perhaps the largest statistical difference between Pacific Islanders and Maoris when it comes to measures of well-being is that, although the average Pacific Islander income is greater than that of the average Maori, it is so by a much smaller margin in the medium income bands than in the lower ones.

Consequently, there are few Pacific Islanders who are desperately broke. For instance, the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and being in the $10-15K income bracket was negative, at -0.16.

In fact, the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and being in the $10-15K income bracket was even more negative than the correlation between being a Kiwi of European descent and being in this income bracket.

Again, this is probably a result of the fact that the human capital of the average immigrant usually has to be above a certain minimum level for immigration to even be possible, and because Pacific Island immigration is fairly recent, they have not had the time to sink into the true underclass to the degree that Maoris and Kiwis of European descent have.

Being a Pacific Islander, however, was significantly negatively correlated with being in every income bracket above $50K. This tells us that the distribution of incomes within the Pacific Islander population is nowhere near as wide as the distribution of incomes within the Maori population.

The only occupation that had a significant positive correlation with being a Pacific Islander were machinery operators and drivers (0.31). Related to this is the fact that the only industry with a significant positive correlation with being a Pacific Islander was transport, postal and warehousing (0.50).

The profoundest difference between the Pacific Islander and the Maori populations is, of course, the correlations with being born overseas. With being Maori this is obviously very strong, at -0.67, but with being a Pacific Islander the positive correlation is only 0.38.

This tells us that, although the perception is of the Pacific Islander community in New Zealand as an immigrant one, they are much better established here than many realise.

They were, however, the least likely of any ethnic group to live on freehold land, although only just. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and living on freehold land was -0.56, even more strongly negative than for Maoris. This is probably a consequence of fewer Pacific Islanders having inherited land from parents who died in New Zealand.

Another strong difference between Pacific Islanders and Maoris is that Pacific Islanders are very, very unlikely to be in part-time work – the correlation between the two was -0.82. The reason for this is that, even though the average Pacific Islander in New Zealand is older than the average Maori, their relatively recent immigration means that they comprise a smaller proportion of the old people who themselves comprise the bulk of the part-time workforce.

Statistically, this apparent paradox can be seen in two correlations: that between median age and being a Pacific Islander (-0.45, compared to -0.63 for Maoris), and that between being on the pension and being a Pacific Islander (-0.49, compared to -0.20 for Maoris).

This tells us that, much like income, the distribution of the ages of Pacific Islanders in New Zealand is much narrower than those of Maoris or Kiwis of European descent.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, due to be published by VJM Publishing this winter.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Medium-Skill Occupations

Perhaps the most striking correlation in this section is that between being Maori and being a community or personal service worker – this was 0.72. It’s possible that the best explanation for this very strong correlation is the social orientation of Maori culture, as the community or personal service occcupation is one that demands social intelligence above all.

The likelihood of a member of any given ethnic group working as a community or personal service worker is a reflection of how established that ethnicity is in New Zealand. For Kiwis of European descent it was essentially uncorrelated; for Pacific Islanders it was on the border of being significantly negatively correlated and for Asians the correlation was a moderately strong -0.49.

Interestingly, the ethnic breakdown of those who were clerical and administrative workers was very close to the proportions of those ethnicities in the population as a whole. And so, no ethnicities were significantly correlated, either positively or negatively, with being in this occupation.

In a way, that makes being a clerical or administrative worker the quintessential Kiwi middle-class job.

There is a split in the middle of this demographic when it came to religious attitudes. Technicians and trades workers and community and personal service workers both had moderately strong correlations with being Spiritualists or New Agers or with having no religion.

This was not true for clerical and administrative workers, who had a marginally significant correlation with having no religion and no significant correlation with being a Spiritualist or New Ager.

Medium-skill occupations were generally younger than the high-skill ones, especially community and personal services workers, for who the correlation with median age was -0.46. Technicians and trades workers, however, were very close to the national average – the correlation between working as one and median age was only 0.05.

Being a clerical or administrative worker was much better paid in general than the other medium-skill occupations. The correlation between working in this occupation and median personal income was 0.43, compared to -0.14 between working as a technician or trades worker and median personal income, and -0.31 for being a community or personal service worker and median personal income.

Looking at income bands, we can see that clerical and administrative workers are the best paid of the medium-skill occupations. There is a significant positive correlation between working in this occupation and being in any of the income bands between $40K and $150K, but not above this.

This makes clerical and administrative workers almost as well-paid as managers, and this is reflected in their educational levels. All of the correlations between being a clerical or administrative worker and having a university degree were significantly positive, except for that with having a doctorate. The strongest was 0.32 with having a Bachelor’s degree.

Being a technician or a trades worker is, as most know, a male-dominated occupation. The correlation between working in this occupation and being male was 0.34.

Perhaps reflecting a certain degree of solidarity among the sort of person who would decide to find work as a community or personal services worker, there was a strong positive correlation of 0.67 between being born in New Zealand and working in this occupation. It’s likely that, because immigrants primarily come here for the money, few would come here to work in this area.

Interestingly, clerical and administrative workers were more likely than technicians or trades workers to be paying rent and less likely to be living in a freehold house. Some might find this very surprising considering that clerical and administrative workers are considerably wealthier than tradies, and that wealthier people are more likely to live in a freehold house.

This can be explained by the correlation of 0.39 between working as a technician or trades worker and living on the South Island, and the correlation of -0.16 between working as a clerical or administrative worker and living on the South Island.

In other words, clerical and administrative work might be better paid, but it generally means that you have to live in either Wellington or Auckland and that means much higher housing costs and a less secure tenure of dwelling.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, due to be published by VJM Publishing this winter.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Tenure of Dwelling

As alluded to in the previous section, a New Zealander’s tenure of dwelling is primarily a function of their socioeconomic status, with the wealthy likely to be freehold, the next most wealthy likely to be mortgaged, and the poorest likely to be paying rent.

That Kiwis of European descent are well-established as the land-holding class is a fact well known. The correlation between being of European descent and living in a freehold house was a very strong 0.78. There was also a positive, but not signficant, correlation of 0.11 between being of European descent and living in a mortgaged house, and a strong negative correlation of -0.68 between being of European descent and living in a rented house.

There were significant negative correlations between every other ethnicity and living in a freehold house. Even the correlation between being Asian and living in a freehold house was significantly negative, at -0.34, despite that the average Asian in New Zealand is fairly middle-class. The correlation between being Maori and living in a freehold house was -0.52, and with being a Pacific Islander and living in a freehold house it was -0.56.

Because we know that most recent immigrants to New Zealand are Asians or Pacific Islanders, these statistics tell the story of how opening the immigration taps has been immensely profitable for the land-holding class, who were then able to charge much higher rents on account of the much higher demand for housing.

Even stronger, and perhaps even less surprising, is the correlation between median age and living on freehold land – a whopping 0.90. The obvious reason for this is people saving their wage or salary for much of their lives for the sake of being able to buy some land and no longer being forced to pay rent.

Mirroring this was the almost as strong negative correlation between median age and living in a rented house – this was -0.86. There is equally little surprising about this statistic because the majority of New Zealanders leave home as soon as they are able, and very few of these move directly into a mortgaged house (much less a freehold one).

Curiously, a person with School Certificate as a highest academic qualification is more likely to live in a freehold house than a person with a doctorate. The correlation with the former is 0.23 and the correlation with the latter is 0.07.

Some might find this very surprising considering that there is a strong correlation between education and wealth and another strong one between wealth and homeownership. The reason for it is that, when it comes to living on freehold land, age trumps both of those things, even added together.

Likewise, it can be seen there is a stronger correlation between living on freehold land and working in agriculture, fishing or forestry (0.32) than there is between living on freehold land and working in a plum industry like information media and telecommunications (-0.38), financial and insurance services (-0.30) or professional, scientific or technical services (-0.16).

Again, the reason for this is mostly because working in those latter three industries generally requires an advanced degree, and these degrees are mostly held by people too young to have saved the capital to secure freehold land.

One statistic that seems amazing when taken out of context is that only Kiwis in the $15-25K income brackets have significant correlations with living in a freehold house, and that only Kiwis in the $50-70K income brackets have significant correlations with living in a mortgaged house.

That might seem strange until one notices the very strong correlation of 0.82 with living in a freehold house and being on the pension.

Seen like that, it seems a bit strange that pensions are much higher than student allowances, despite being paid to people who also do not have to pay rent out of their benefit as a general rule. Then again, the General Disenfranchisement Rule tells us how such a state of affairs came to pass.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, due to be published by VJM Publishing this winter.

If Doctors Stopped Lying About Cannabis They Might be Believed on Vaccines

The Government’s stupidity with regards to cannabis is hard to overstate. Its 40-year long War on Drugs, conducted against the people of New Zealand at their own expense, has destroyed tens of thousands of lives at the cost of billions. Signs are that they are soon to stop lying about cannabis – but the distrust they have caused will linger for decades.

It’s also hard to overstate the loss of trust that comes from realising that you have been lied to for many years about the effects of using cannabis. For many, this trust is impossible to replace.

At first it’s kind of surreal – if you are from a family background that has many cannabis users in it – to learn that so many diseases and negative outcomes are attributed to use of the plant.

It seems obvious that cannabis is of value to people who can’t handle alcohol, and that if they smoke instead of drink then no-one gets beaten up. This seems so obvious that it’s really astonishing that our entire public recreational culture revolves around the violent drug and not the peaceful one.

Most Kiwis have had the experience of being at school and being forced to listen to a Police officer lie to them about the supposed effects of the drug. That sort of thing is relatively easy to brush off – after all, you’d have to be stupid to trust a Police officer in the first place.

At high school you learn the basic lesson of Animal Farm, which is that the ruling class are pigs and they maintain control and order by setting the dogs onto the other animals. So most people are capable of eventually accepting that politicians and cops aren’t really the good guys and never were, and so their lying to you isn’t that big of a betrayal.

It’s harder to brush off when it’s a doctor lying to you.

An ever-growing number of Kiwis have, over recent years, come to bring their discoveries about the application of medicinal cannabis to the attention of their doctor, only to be firmly told that cannabis has no medicinal value, or even negative value.

This sort of thing is much more difficult to cope with because doctors are generally seen as impartial sources that can be relied upon without politics or money interfering. In many ways, doctors have replaced priests as the kind of person that Kiwis have come to confide in in dark times.

Unfortunately, New Zealand doctors will happily lie to their patients when they are ordered to by politicians who are taking money from pharmaceutical, alcohol or tobacco interests who want to use the law to eliminate a competitor.

This is why they stubbornly refuse to concede that cannabis has medicinal value, even thought it was legalised in California in 1996 and has recently been legalised for medicinal use in Argentina, South Africa, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and other places that New Zealand likes to think itself more developed than.

The unexpected consequence of this lying about the medicinal value of cannabis is that many patients, having become aware that their doctors are lying to them, lose all faith in those doctors, and then stop trusting them on all other matters, such as the need for vaccines and so on.

These medical hyperskeptics are disproportionately young, for the reason that it is almost entirely old people who continue to maintain the fiction that the Drug War is fought for the benefit of the New Zealand people. We know this because there is a correlation of -0.55 between median age and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2014.

The problem with this is that these young adults are precisely the same demographic that does the vast majority of the breeding, and therefore comprise the vast majority of the people tasked with making decisions about the immunisation schedule of infant New Zealanders.

Here the danger is evident. These people, tasked with making important medical decisions for the sake of their children’s wellbeing, cannot have confidence in what their doctor tells them because they know that their doctor has been less than honest on the cannabis subject.

Let’s not understate how incredible it is for a doctor not to know that cannabis is medicinal. It’s just as astonishing as meeting an astronomer who didn’t know that the Earth rotated around the Sun.

If the New Zealand medical profession is serious about preventing an outbreak of a once-eliminated disease, such as the kind that has been kept from breaking out by mass immunisation, then it needs to take care to repair the damage that its credibility has suffered from 21 years of lying about cannabis.

Californians decided that there was enough evidence to make medicinal cannabis legal 21 years ago.

It’s in the public interest of every Kiwi to see to it that our ridiculous drug laws are reformed as soon as possible.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of the Non-Christian Religious

Although the majority of religious people in New Zealand follow some kind of Christian denomination, there are enough non-Christian religious for it to be worth looking at them as a discrete category.

The Spiritualism and New Age movement is perhaps the most interesting group of non-Christians because they are the hardest to categorise. They are like the others in many ways and unlike them in many ways.

Perhaps the most striking set of correlations relating to the non-Christian religious are those with being foreign born. The correlation between being Buddhist and being foreign born was an extremely strong 0.90, and speaks to how little immigration to New Zealand there has been from Buddhist countries until recently.

There was also a significant positive correlation between being foreign born and belonging to any of Islam (0.75), Hinduism (0.74), Judaism (0.41) or other religions (0.34).

Interestingly, though, there was a moderately strong negative correlation between being foreign born and following Spiritualism or New Age traditions – this was -0.45.

Given that it is very likely any given non-Christian religious person is an immigrant, we can also see trends that are true of immigrants replicated with the non-Christian religious. For instance, the non-Christian religious are significantly better educated, especially in the case of Buddhists and Jews.

The correlation between having a Master’s degree and being a Jew was 0.78; with being a Buddhist it was 0.68; with being a Muslim it was 0.37 and with being a Hindu it was 0.34.

However, the correlation between having a Master’s degree and following a Spiritualist or New Age tradition was negative, at -0.07. This is probably because this particular tradition appears to have its own, New Zealand-specific focus and so they are less likely to be from highly educated immigrant groups.

Again replicating the patterns, all of the foreign non-Christian traditions had significant negative correlations with being on the invalid’s benefit, in contrast to Spiritualism or New Age, which had a significant positive one.

Likewise, all of the foreign non-Christian traditions had correlations of at least 0.50 with never having smoked cigarettes, but the correlation between being a Spiritualist or New Ager and never having smoked was -0.41.

All of these five non-Christian traditions had positive correlations with being on the student allowance, which may suggest a generally higher intelligence among this group. The correlation between being on the student allowance and being Buddhist was 0.30; with being Muslim it was 0.29; with being Jewish it was 0.22; with being Hindu it was 0.19 and with being a Spiritualist or New Ager it was 0.18.

Some might be able to predict the very strong correlations being being Buddhist or Jewish and working in one of information media and telecommunications, financial and insurance services or professional, scientific or technical services. Being Buddhist had a correlation of at least 0.55 with all three of these industries and being Jewish had one of at least 0.60 with all three.

One curiosity is when it comes to how people get to work. Hindus and Muslims are significantly more likely to take a private vehicle to work; Hindus, Muslims and Jews are significantly more likely to take a bus to work; Jews, Spiritualists and New Agers are significantly more likely to walk to work and Spiritualists and New Agers are significantly more likely to bike to work.

The fact that Spiritualists and New Agers have a high incidence of being on the invalid’s benefit but are among the most likely to exercise on the way to work speaks of the large proportion of psychiatric casualties among this group.

Here’s one for the conspiracy theorists: the correlation between being a Jew and having a personal income of $150K was a very strong 0.83. The only other non-Christian tradition to have a significant positive correlation with being in this income band was Buddhism, at 0.40.

For Hinduism, Islam, and Spiritualism and New Age the correlations ranged from 0.00 to -0.12.

The main reason for this can be seen if one looks at the correlations between following a particular non-Christian religious tradition and working as a professional. This had a correlation of 0.70 with being Jewish, 0.48 with being Buddhist, 0.13 with being Muslim, 0.12 with being Hindu and 0.11 with being a Spiritualist or a New Ager.

As a general rule, people following a non-Christian religious tradition were marginally more likely to become sales workers or clerical and administrative workers.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, due to be published by VJM Publishing this winter.

Poetry K-Hole 2: Oi, God

Big old poof, sittin’ in the sky

Bossin’ us ’round,

Dunno why.

I guess He doesn’t have enough to do,

Can’t sort His own shit out

So He has to give us arseholes

About feeding skinny kids

In Africa.

Why doesn’t He feel bad?

He’s the one who made them,

Racist, too, since he made all the poor ones black.

Or did he make all the black ones poor?

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Simon P. Murphy is the author of His Master’s Wretched Organ.

Soft Prohibition is Still Prohibition, and It Will Still Fail

The New Zealand Government, in its limitless beneficence, has decided that we innocent Kiwis need to be protected from the insidious horror drug that is tobacco. The means they have chosen to protect us with is by taxing us more when we purchase cigarettes. Speaking honestly, this strategy could be rightly described as soft prohibition – and it’s just as stupid as hard prohibition.

The logic goes like this. A person’s willingness to buy a good such as tobacco is a function of the price of that good. Because tobacco is not considered medicinal, its use is considered to do nothing but cause disease. So, its use costs taxpayer money in the form of healthcare. Therefore, if you increase tobacco taxes, people will use it less and tax money will be saved on dealing with the effects of the diseases tobacco causes.

The fact that this had led to the absurdity of the Government claiming to impoverish tobacco users for their own benefit hasn’t stopped them from raising the taxes anyway.

The rise in tobacco tax has, predictably, led to a spate of robberies of dairies and other places selling tobacco. As Dan McGlashan has previously written for this newspaper, the majority of regular tobacco smokers were already doing it hard, even before the tax increases.

As this column has previously argued, tobacco ought to rightly be seen as a mental health medicine. The main reason it isn’t is because of the total dominance of materialist dogma in medical and scientific circles – the same materialist dogma that has created our prehistoric mental health system.

It doesn’t take a forensic psychology degree to be able to predict that making an expensive drug even more expensive, when many desperate people rely on it to cope with the stresses of the day, is going to lead to robberies and violence.

Ridiculously, if the Police were to apply the same logic to tobacco that they apply to cannabis, they would say that tobacco itself causes crime and that the dairy robberies are evidence that tobacco should be made illegal.

Obviously, alcohol prohibition failed and cannabis prohibition failed. Not only did they fail, but they did so at the cost of many billions of dollars, the destruction of many millions of lives, and the eradication of any faith that the younger generations may ever had had in the competence or good will of the Government or the Police.

So why on Earth would we want to repeat those two catastrophic errors with tobacco?

The most likely answer is that our politicians are as thick as pigshit and are either too stupid to learn anything from history or too arrogant to think that the laws of reality through which history unfolds apply to them.

Increasing the taxes on tobacco, with the intent of gradually making it prohibited, will increase the amount of violence and crime around the substance to a commensurate degree.

Just like prohibition did with alcohol. Just like prohibition does with cannabis. It will fail, just like prohibition always has done and always will do, because human nature will never concede that a bunch of old control freaks in Wellington have the right to prohibit the people from the free use of medicinal plants.

This won’t stop them from trying, of course. The politicians know that they are not affected by the consequences of the laws they pass. Thus, they know that it won’t be them getting robbed and slashed with machetes – they get their six-figure MP’s salary no matter what.

The real concern is what actions might be taken by those who are getting robbed. Already, dairy owners know that they are widely perceived as a soft target thanks to both not being armed and stocking large amounts of valuable tobacco.

The usual response to this degree of risk of violent robbery is for the dairy owners to start keeping firearms behind the counter.

Politicians in New Zealand don’t have the courage to admit that the Drug War they have conducted against the New Zealand people for 40 years has failed, so we know they will not have the courage to admit that their attempt to make tobacco illegal is also failing.

Probably they will keep raising the taxes until someone gets shot dead. After all, it’s neither them nor their families suffering.