Arbeit macht frei

There is something ominously familiar about this statement by Paula Bennett:

Paula Bennett has a message for some on the sickness benefit: working can make you well.

“People with low level depression and low level mental illness are often better off in work and it’s actually a road to recovery for them it actually helps them get better,” she says.

Ah, I’ve got it:

Work will set you free!

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4 thoughts on “Arbeit macht frei

  1. I’m about a million miles away from being a Paula Bennett fan, and generally disapprove of her recent “reforms” – but this is the wrong point to be picking on (particularly in a kinda Godwin’s Law style). Mainly because it’s correct.

    For some people who have low-level depression, work can help, as it provides a sense of purpose and value, and social interaction within the workforce. I certainly find it harder to stay chipper and upbeat when I don’t have work to do, and am not contributing financially to my household. Long stretches of unemployment can and do cause depression.

    The bigger issue, that Bennett is not a shrink and should not be the one determining these sorts of things, stands – as of course does the (intentional I’m sure) risk that the Talkbackosphere will resound with idiotic enthusiasm for sending ALL sickness beneficiaries back to work “for their own good health”.

    Of course, all of this is a good means of driving wages down further by increasing competition for non-existent jobs. Never waste a good crisis.

  2. What I think is further the issue is that National governments don’t seem to be very good at figuring out when exactly a person on a benefit is capable of working. Previous programs to “get people off benefits” have been far less successful than even the Labour Party’s full employment policies.

    Not to mention the fact that nobody who fails to understand the concept of carrot and stick ought to be giving out psychological advice. ><

  3. I don’t recall that Ms Bennett has a degree with any component of psychology in it.

    I suspect that she is busily ignoring the policy-driving staff that she inherited, and trying to create conditions such that the ones she doesn’t agree with go quietly.

    There certainly seems to be a lot of ‘policy-variant’ activity coming out of WINZ at the moment, as though they don’t seem to know which page/s of the H/O website are still viable.

  4. Riiight, so now you’re comparing Paula Bennett to Nazis.

    I’m fascinated to see if you can possibly stoop any lower. Seriously, that’s just nasty.

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