Subject: Has any government successfully managed intergenerational welfare dependency?

Closed because it "needs to be more focused".

The relevant Help section says:

If your question has many valid answers (but no way to determine which, if any, are correct), then it probably needs to be more focused to be successful in our format.

Indeed, if there was more than one example of a government successfully managing the issue in question, the question would have more than one valid answer.


  1. At the moment no examples are known (hence the question). How can one say that there is more than one?
  2. On this site, there are many highly regarded questions having multiple valid answers giving examples of what is asked. The decision on the "correct" one is made by the OP, and it does not seem to be creating a problem. Some (only a few out of many) examples:

So, how is the subject question "needs to be more focused"? It presents a distinct social-political issue which to some extent occurs virtually everywhere, and asks if there are examples of successfully dealing with it. What is wrong?

  • I've seen the update in your question that focused on outcomes, but IMHO it would be extremely difficult to tease welfare reduction as a direct consequence e.g. of limiting births. See also: politics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4530/… Commented Feb 20 at 2:18
  • @Fizz Limiting births was given as one of the two examples of how the issue could possibly be approached. Perhaps the question would be more focused if the examples were removed?
    – Greendrake
    Commented Feb 20 at 2:41
  • Probably. TBH a quick search on the topic find that the birth limiting is hardly ever proposed for this. Almost everyone proposes some social interventions, see e.g. section 5.6 in espace.library.uq.edu.au/data/UQ_349014/UQ349014_OA.pdf But as far as evaluating outcomes of such interventions that paper (despite its length) doesn't cover that. Commented Feb 20 at 2:44

2 Answers 2


I will be honest, I find this question disgusting. The mere idea that poor people should not be allowed to procreate is immoral. The question also propagates the harmful stereotype that welfare receivers feel entitled to welfare and do not care about the education of their children.

The question would probably get much more positive feedback if it:

  • Would remove the classicist bigotry against the lower class
  • Not propose a solution that would be a gross violation of human rights
  • 1
    Thanks for honesty. The question here is not how to make the subject question appealing or receiving positive feedback. It is how to make it focused enough to avoid being closed. Or, are you essentially implying that it is closed for the reasons you state in this answer, not for the officially stated reasons?
    – Greendrake
    Commented Feb 20 at 10:17
  • @Greendrake I did not vote to close, and I can not read the minds of those who did. But the general sentiment a question generates influences how people react to it.
    – Philipp Mod
    Commented Feb 20 at 10:43
  • @Greendrake If it didn't get closed for that reason it would likely get closed for another reason based on what this answer says,
    – Joe W
    Commented Feb 20 at 12:58
  • 1
    @JoeW Like what? This answer is a subjective personal opinion. Closure requires one of a narrow set of certain objective characteristics.
    – Greendrake
    Commented Feb 20 at 13:09
  • 3
    @Greendrake people will want to close it because they see it as an attack on the poor and basic human rights. Again if it isn’t closed for the current reason it would likely be closed for another reason. It doesn’t matter what you think of this answer.
    – Joe W
    Commented Feb 20 at 13:28

"Not focused enough" also means that your question lacks research and information and thus is confusing for some. I found the following issues with your question:

  1. You need to define what you mean by "intergenerational welfare dependency". I didn't understand what it means. Are you advocating that children should not be covered by welfare? If so, how does it factor situations where you have a stable job, start a family, have kids, and then lose your job and are then forced to depend on welfare to sustain your family?

  2. If you are considering the situation from the perspective of how New Zealand offers welfare to its citizen, then you should also briefly describe how the current welfare system is in New Zealand, and how your question is related to it.

(Note that we expect questioners here to do some basic research before asking a question here, and expect your question to reflect that.)

  • I wasn't really familiar with the term #1 either, but it turns out it's widely used in a certain type of econ research papers. TBH it sounds like a hobby horse that some right-of-center economists would push. The papers are often correlational and not much else. (They remind me a bit of IQ correlations research.) Commented Feb 20 at 17:40
  • To wit, it's often used by Australian and New Zealand researchers, and it seems to me fairly often as palatable term to apply to the economic issue[s] of Aboriginals. I'm surprised I don't find it applied to African Americans much. Perhaps in the US they've coined a diff term for this. Ah, yeah, in the UK it's the “curse of intergenerational worklessness". So there are variations. Commented Feb 20 at 17:55
  • "Intergenerational welfare dependency" should speak for itself, especially if the reader followed the link to the NZ Parliament discussion that I included (which featured "inter-generational poverty" in the context of tightening welfare benefits).
    – Greendrake
    Commented Feb 20 at 18:04
  • 2
    @Greendrake Have you considered the problem isn't with the people but the system that doesn't help them get out of poverty in the first place?
    – Joe W
    Commented Feb 20 at 18:06
  • @JoeW I'd happily answer, but this site isn't a place for discussions, unfortunately. We've got to stay in line.
    – Greendrake
    Commented Feb 20 at 18:12
  • @Greendrake That is the issue with your question which seems to be focused on the right of those people to have children and the idea that it should be restricted.
    – Joe W
    Commented Feb 20 at 18:13
  • @Dolphin613Motorboat The idea behind asking a questioner to define a term is also to figure out what they think it means and what is their source of this knowledge.
    – sfxedit
    Commented Feb 20 at 20:30
  • @Greendrake The linked site doesn't render properly with adblockers - I see only 1 line in it, apart from the headline, that says - The Opposition has launched a blistering attack on the Government’s policy of tying benefits to inflation rather than wage growth. That's all. The onus is on you to make it easier for us to answer your question. And the best way is to edit your question and offer clarifications based on the suggestions you receive here and in the comments. If you are too lazy to offer clarifications or research in your question why should we waste our valuable time to answer it?
    – sfxedit
    Commented Feb 20 at 20:41
  • Well, no one even asked me to clarify the term in the comments there. Re research, if you have no time for it, why not just pass by? Maybe someone else will have. Why vote to close for "needs more focus" just because of lack of research?
    – Greendrake
    Commented Feb 20 at 22:25
  • @Greendrake if you have no time for it, why not just pass by? - That would inundate the community with a lot of low-quality Q here. That is why there is a minimum quality threshold - to discourage Q that don't meet the minimum guidelines. Low-quality Q also require more effort to answer, and that can discourage people answering such questions - since SEs depend on people who are willing to share their valuable time to answer question, their needs are prioritised more. Please see this Meta answer on how to write a good a question - politics.meta.stackexchange.com/a/6642/45056
    – sfxedit
    Commented Feb 21 at 14:59
  • 1
    We have plenty of highly regarded questions on this site with no research, or just a link to a news article from where the question stems (like the subject one). Whereas research is encouraged, lack of it is not generally a reason to close, provided that the question is otherwise clear and on-topic.
    – Greendrake
    Commented Feb 22 at 1:07
  • @Greendrake Yes, you are partly right. While you would expect an SE to discuss a subject academically and dispassionately, the reality is that some of the mods and members want to make this community into another echo chamber in the internet. Thus their political bias has allowed some sub-par questions here - basically, this SE is run like a majoritarian democracy where minority views aren't allowed and have to fight a lot harder to find space. As you noticed, since your political views are unwelcome here, you will be "harassed" more. (cotd.)
    – sfxedit
    Commented Feb 22 at 6:41
  • @Greendrake I try to be neutral here. And that's why even though I found your political views quite distasteful, I had actually voted to reopen your Q even before I noticed your complaint here. In other words, as you are finding out, since your political views are "unwelcome" here you will be expected to put in twice the effort than those who share views of the majority coterie. Honestly, I find it exhausting and not worth the effort.
    – sfxedit
    Commented Feb 22 at 6:55

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