Friday, March 10, 2006
Just Move the Goal Posts
While reading today's The Independent (British) newspaper during a wonderful dinner at the Shambala restaurant (review/rating to follow shortly) at the Le Meridien Hotel in Vienna, Austria I noticed the following headline -- "Poverty Targets Not Met" -- but now for something completely different :)
My personal policy for dining is avoiding hotel restaurants so I get out to experience the local culture but I just wanted a quick dinner so I could get some things done before my early morning flight tomorrow so I gave Shambala a go. Now the Le Meridien hotel in Vienna, http://vienna.lemeridien.com, is a wonderful property with a very contemporary look, a very respectable fitness center (by European standards), and a very personable and professional staff. I am staying here at my travel agent's (ask for "Ann" at Travel Pro Network) recommendation so I am happy to promote their services -- http://www.travelpro.net/index.php -- if you want quality service for your travel needs. Now for my meal my starter was an extremely tasty beef carpaccio followed by a main course of shrimp risotto which was a bit too salty which is the only minor negative I can identify. The wait staff excelled and the decor was ideal for a contemporary restaurant so I award them a "3.5" Space Beagle rating. Enjoy!
Now back to the "Poverty Targets" -- what was most interesting in this short article by Andrew Grice, Political Editor, was that since the UK Government failed to meet the "reductions in numbers of children living in poverty" set by Prime Minister Blair in 1999 the Government will simply change how it measures poverty rates in the future.
The Government's plan is to "exclude housing costs" from future poverty calculations. So why not exclude food and clothing costs too thus helping the Government achieve its poverty reduction targets even faster??!! This is the problem -- big government types like Prime Minister Blair set these arbitrary targets then simply revise the criteria so they can give the taxpayers some sense of "progress". This is insane because "progress" should be measured by tax cuts which allow people to decide for themselves where money should go such as personal checks to private charities focused on helping the poor move up the economic ladder.
The biggest failure here is not that the UK Government missed its 1999 poverty reduction goals but it is the fact that for most of these last seven (7) years the UK Government has raised taxes and fees so that even MORE resources could be sent to the black holes known as government bureaucracies. If you are a UK taxpayer or are living in poverty in the UK take a moment to educate yourself via the work of the Tax Payers' Alliance -- http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/
I am off to bed praying no government taxes my dreams,