Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Privilege, not a right

Well, schpat has been ranting recently about a certain young girl who drowned her baby in a toilet and is now pregnant again. It's entirely likely that the child will be born while her mother is in jail and mercifully handed over to the state (although the foster care system is often no better than the home the children are removed from). Schpat made a comment that there should be some sort of control over who gets to be a parent, and i have to agree.

There are, without a doubt, people in this world who are not fit to be parents. They are either too young, too stupid, too criminal, too poor or too diseased to give a child a meaningful existance yet they refuse to practise contraception even when it is free and freely available. They will bring a child into a world where its only future is to be beaten, to starve, to be murdered by its own parents or to die at an early age after years of suffering with a disease that its parent gave it. People who cannot afford to feed even themselves keep on having babies, and when the babies die of malnutrition they just have more. The state rewards teenagers as young as 14 for having babies by giving them money. A young girl whose parents don't earn much can happily supplement their income by becoming a state funded baby factory.

it is amazing to me that impoverished third world countries are the ones that have the biggest population growth. Despite the incredibly high death rate due to famine, disease and malnutrition, the population continues to grow, showing that people are breeding faster than they can kill their children. And i can understand that perhaps they are too uneducated or unaware of the consequences to realise that they shouldn't be bringing children into a world where they can offer them nothing but misery. That's why governments should step in and do their jobs.

Yes, i'm all for licensed breeding. These would be the rules:

1. You may only breed if you are licensed to do so.
2. If you breed without a licence, you will be steralised, and your child given up for adoption.
3. Each person may be granted only one licence to breed in their life, man or woman. A married couple may thus be granted one licence each and have two children. In this way no one does more than replace themselves.
4. You have to be able to support a child to breed. This requires being employable. The minimum wage should thus be made sufficient to support one parent and one child.
5. You cannot obtain a licence to breed if you have a communicable disease or are a carrier of a disease that your child will be born with.
6. You cannot obtain a licence to breed if you are educationally or mentally subnormal.
7. You cannot obtain a licence to breed if you have not completed a course in baby and child care.
8. If you are eligable for a licence to breed and either (a) you are already sterile or (b) your child dies by causes outside of your control (e.g. accident, disease etc) you will be made eligable to adopt.
9. Contraception and family planning will be free and freely available.

This applies to both third and first world. Of course, it requires a certain amount of infrastructure from the government, but what the hell is all that taxpayer money and international lending all about if not to better the lives of people? And that includes the lives of people not yet born. If people cannot make responsible choices, someone else will have to make them on their behalf.

Go ahead. Complain about human rights. I will explain something to you: having a womb does not give you the right to breed, no more than having a fist gives me the right to smash it into your face.


Blogger schpat said...

Wow Moonie, that's a nice analogy. I really like the concept, but unfortunatly I don't think it'll ever happen, and there are a few problems.

The only countries that have had any success with enforced birthcontrole are authoritarin states. Now I don't have too many problems with the concept of totalitaranism, only with the way that it is corruptly and stupidly implemented, so I wouldn't recomend that.

The problems are this, with you rules, assuming people stick to them, there would almost certainly be negative population growth. This kills economies, especially developmental economies. I think a more realistic way to go would be to encentivise responebility.

As far as I know there is an injection that can render a woman temporarily sterile, for about six months I think. So give women a R50 encentive everytime they get the injection, and stamp thier ID books to make sure they don't turn that into a career. I'm sure there is a similar drug for males. This scheme has met with varied success in india.

By all means help destitute mothers by providing for thier babies. Provied government baby food, government baby clothes and government baby supplies, all in a nice bright pink with govt logos, oh and put pink dye in the baby food too. That way they wouldn't be able to sell the stuff, being found in possession of govt baby stuff that was not issued to you (tracked through a barcode scanning of serial numbers and id books) would be a punishable offence. Also only give mothers this help once they have passed a free course on childcare, contraception, and responsibe parenting.

Raise the tax rate, and then give a huge rebate to people who have no children, and a smaller rebate for one child, and a smaller rebate for 2 children, and no rebate for more than 2. You'd have to grandfather existing children into this though.

Give a cash encentive to "young adults" who attend classes educating them, and pass exams afterwards. You could start off with basic family planning and life skills and people could progress to skills and trades. As an example in Germany the govenment pays for your apprenticeship. They pay the person you are apprenticed to and they pay your wages. These wages are enough to rent a flat and support oneself. Also you are able to achieve a qualification in a lot more fileds through appreticeship than you are in SA, eg: nursing, optometrist, accounting and so on. I'd really like to see volentary vocational colleges set up in remote parts of the country where people could sign up, go off to college, learn a trade while being removed from big city temptations and learning a proper work ethic.

sorry to post such a long unrefined comment.

August 16, 2005 11:30 AM  
Blogger moonflake said...

Yeah, the problem with most current totalitarian states is this: i'm not in charge :)

The thing with negative population growth is this: it's a good thing. At the moment our population growth is reaching a point where we are stripping the planet of natural resources so fast that we eventually will be unable to sustain life and we'll either end up in a soylent green future or massive famine. We need to decrease population drastically over several generations until we reach a reasonable number of people and then stabalise.

Or, move into space. That would be brilliant. If you think about it, the same mindless drive to breed that keeps third world families starving would actually be an asset on colony worlds.

August 16, 2005 1:31 PM  
Blogger schpat said...

Yeah, the problem with most current totalitarian states is this: i'm not in charge :)

That's what I was thinking, except it was me that should be in charge!

August 16, 2005 4:48 PM  

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