And all because I wrote this...
No responsible adult should plan to have a child unless they have the
wherewithall to bring it up.
Emphasis on the word 'plan'. Is that controversial? Does it say the state shouldn't help families who cannot help themselves? No, of course it doesn't.
Having a child should be the biggest decision of anyone's life. Too many people nowadays fail to even think about the consequences, not only for themselves but for the resultant children.
What it does say is that if you know you can't afford to bring up a child, and you then knowingly plan to have one? I'd say it shows you are being deeply irresponsible. And to have a further nine children, as in the case below, just defies belief.
Having a child is indeed a privilege and not a right. And it is a privilege which the state should not automatically fund unless, through no fault of its own, a family falls on hard times.
I think I might cover this subject on my LBC show tonight...
I don't always agree with your thoughts and views but on this issue I cannot see why anyone could criticise you given the wording in your tweet.
I would have thought that the greatest responsibility any person could have is the responsibility to look after a child?
Iain, agree with you 100%.
Not the first time, but it is a rarity!
Having a child is a right, but as with all rights it should be exercised with forethought and responsibility. Sadly some idiots spoil things for the rest of us in almost every aspect of life, spawning kids being one of them.
Having children is neither a privilege NOR a right. It is a freedom and as with all freedoms, it comes with responsibility.
As always, many on "the left" are happy to spend other peoples' money, especially if it results in another dependent little pet voter.
"it is a privilege which the state should not automatically fund"
So -- you let the children of the over-fecund (per your own arbitrary definition) to starve? Or what? What happens to children born to parents unable to afford them, in your bold new utopia? Or, conversely, what steps do you propose be taken by the state in advance of conception?
Can you (for once!) think beyond the immediate, screeching rheotoric of selfish individualism and understand the consequences of your own opinions?
Everyone in the UK can afford to have as many children as they want.
The government will ensure that none of them are abused or starved or left uneducated.
Look around - tell me which child cannot be 'afforded'.
They can all be 'afforded' because the government will coerce money from the rest of us to pay for them.
Welfare scroungers don't steal my money, they don't need to, the government do it for them.
If you do cover it on your show you'd best be prepared for the full range of nutters. That said, many adults seem to be taken unawares by pregnancy...
Well, according to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, having a child or children is indeed a right:
The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognized.
No marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
States Parties to the present Covenant shall take appropriate steps to ensure equally of rights and responsibilities of spouses as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. In the case of dissolution, provision shall be made for the necessary protection of any children.
Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property or birth, the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society and the State.
Why do you try to discredit as "the intolerant left at its worst" those who disagree with you and point up the underlying assumptions behind your statements which share common ground with those of Victorian eugenicists and totalitarian regimes?
As it happens, I voted for Boris at the last mayoral election and for the Tory candidate at the last election. I am in fact regularly called "a Tory" by those who are genuinely the intolerant of the left when I fail to fall in line behind their boilerplate arguments.
I totally agree Iain. It is setting a terrible example to children and future parents everywhere.
I think too many people didn't read your post in enough detail. They just saw one or two keywords and based their responses on that.
The benefits system is always open to change - especially in this economic climate. With cases like this still happening, reform is necessary.
My wife is a practice nurse. She is a kind, considerate, effective nurse held in high esteem by a lot of the patients. But on one thing she has become a rabid fascist... the "right" to have children. This "right" is now used to gain extra benefits with housing top of the list. People who act responsibly go to the bottom of the list. Cause society some problems and Hey Presto! you get a parade of people coming to help you. Of course, once you get the house, you still have the baby to look after. A point that escapes many of the people who choose this route in life.
There are people who genuinely haven't a clue about planning their lives. Things happen around them and they are left bewildered by the demands of running a family. But there is a significant minority who deliberately play the system. And do so with impunity because any criticism of their actions is dismissed as "judgemental". My wife has seen three generations of the same family all milk the system. Everybody knows they do it. They know they do it. But our taxes still flow to them unchecked.
How to change things? Until we accept that absolute freedom is only acceptable if the participants in society act with a degree of common sense, then we are doomed to a death spiral of an ever increasing proportion of society exercising their "rights" to demand support from the state. So we have to find a way to stop this lifestyle choice being so attractive.( On particularly bad days my wife favours compulsory sterilisation ..... )
I don't know the answer. Hopefully IDS can find a way through the maze.
I agree with you and I believe we should ensure people are checked before they can go ahead and procreate.
I also do not believe anyone who has a a disability should be allowed to procreate or get Sex on benefits.
I do hope you test this one of disabled being given funds to buy prostitutes on benefits council Tax a truly Labour ideal and one Mrs Harman should be castigated for.
I believe at teh age of eleven the state should inject long-term contraception into both sexes and at age of 18 allow said teenagers to apply for a licence to have the contraception removed and thus allowing them to have children if they prove financial and intelligence criteria has been met.
Lights blue touchpaper and retire to safe distance.
But then that creates a society where only the middle classes (and above) can have children. Is *that* right?
I waited until we were in a good financial position to have a child, but without the little bit of help we do get (tax free childcare vouchers) it would be so very very much harder. I'm about to have our second child, and when I return to work I will be spending more on childcare than I will earning, because I have to take a longer term view. A little extra help, to stop me claiming any benefits for the next 5 years, and in view of the fact I will be paying alot more tax over the next, probably 15 years, would be nice.
I like it.
It's a good start to a debate, Iain.
However, I think you should give the lefties a real reason to whine.
Perhaps you could also tweet that all miniature chavs and chavesses should be sterilised as they enter puberty.
"No responsible adult should plan to have a child unless they have the wherewithall to bring it up."
With you on this one Iain. And "wherewithall" should include not just the financial resources but a demonstrable willingness to provide active parenting the basic intellect to be able to do so.
There is a confusion of terms, between what are lifestyle choices and "rights". It is a lifstyle choice to have a child, and therefore should be the sole responsiblity of the parent to provide for that child.
Also, the idea that IVF should be provided free, when that too is a lifestyle choice is crazy. The NHS was not set up to pander to peoples's whims. It was set up to provide basic health care to those who could not afford it.
See also, boob jobs, gender re-alignment and reversals of same, all presently paid for by working tax-payers.
As someone recently said. There is no money. There is no money left. Wake up and smell the cheap instant.
As an expectant parent, my wife and I have thought long and hard about the financial consequences, and have prepared accordingly - and, even then, it won't be easy.
What really p***** me off is that I would be easily able to have more children if I were not taxed so heavily to pay for chavs to have them. And I would bring them up properly, in contrast to so many that I see around me.
So I agree 100% with you - and more.
Check this out
While useless parents get a chunk of my taxes, good parents are claiming asylum in the USA to prevent overly intrusive social services from stealing their children.
@Matt Volatile: "Can you (for once!) think beyond the immediate, screeching rheotoric of selfish individualism and understand the consequences of your own opinions?"
Can YOU think beyond your bleeding heart and see the unintended consequences of YOUR stance?
If you want kids to be fed, FEED THEM from your own pocket.
Put your money where your mouth is.
To some extent I agree with you.
However I do think adults should be able to choose how many children they have, with the proviso that they should take the personal responsibility of supporting their family. There should be no separation, or abrogation, of rights/responsibility.
There's nothing wrong with having twelve children, but it is wrong when that 'freedom' results in other(s) having to fund their lifestyle via compulsory taxation.
Yes, Article 23 might state that a couple has the right to start a family. However, it doesn't say that a couple who decides to have a family with loads of kids should be given far too much money by the state.
Before you ask what I think 'too much' is, I think it's generally accepted that £67000 is too much.
That doesn't mean I think they should be given no money though. They should have something for a period of time.
Iain said "Having a child should be the biggest decision of anyone's life. Too many people nowadays fail to even think about the consequences, not only for themselves but for the resultant children. What it does say is that if you know you can't afford to bring up a child, and you then knowingly plan to have one? I'd say it shows you are being deeply irresponsible. And to have a further nine children, as in the case below, just defies belief. Having a child is indeed a privilege and not a right. And it is a privilege which the state should not automatically fund unless, through no fault of its own, a family falls on hard times."
I agree with every word, although I don't believe that help should be automatic across the board.
Don't keep referring to 'children'. Call them by their proper name: 'meal tickets'.
I would have thought that your view was unarguable against but logic has never been a strong point of the left.
I agree with you Iain. And I'd take a bit more notice of the UN's declaration of Human Rights if it were universally accepted and applied.
Rights and responsiblities are two sides of the same coin. You can't have one without the other.
Purpleline: An interesting idea, I must mull that one over; not very libertarian but then again...
The wording of your tweet is far less agitative than the title of your blog.
Just to be clear, Iain, are you saying that people should not be allowed to have children if they don't possess a certain level of income, intelligence and responsibility? Or are you simply saying that the state shouldn't fund poor families who want to have kids?
These are two different things. While we could all agree that freedom of speech is a human right, we wouldn't expect the state to fund a media empire for everyone. However, as you're explicitly saying that having a child is not a RIGHT, I assume you mean there's nothing wrong with disallowing certain undesirables from spawning.
It is odd that you're suggesting (or at least appear to be by your choice of words) that procreation, which the human race has enjoyed almost universally without restriction for 200,000 years (one notable exception being Nazi Germany), is now a privilege, which should not be automatically granted to everybody: only to those classed as capable.
Is that really what you mean? In which case, would you want to see forced abortions? Or maybe forced sterilisation?
Or do you actually mean nobody should be allowed to restrict anyone's right to have children, but that parents, if they do choose to do so, shouldn't be paid benefits if they can't afford to take care of them?
As killemallletgodsortemout said, good start to the debate, but I think you really need to clarify your position.
Fimb: "But then that creates a society where only the middle classes (and above) can have children. Is *that* right?"
Yes, that would be wrong, but equally the situation we have a the moment actively works against the responsible. Like you, my wife and I would like to start a family & we are currently working and saving towards this end... So how do you think we feel, when we read stories like the one Ian has just highlighted? Remember, our taxes are paying for this, and think would happen if we all stayed at home and had 12 children on the social. So at some point, the State should say enough is enough. Perhaps additional benefits should be stopped after the fourth child.
I totally agree. I long and hard deliberated before having my child and unfortunately fell on very hard times when he was 5 for about 5 years. That couldn't be helped and I was thankful for the safety net of the welfare state. However it would have been totally irresponsble while I was on public assistance to even contemplate any more. By the time we were back on our feet, nature had taken its course and I was past the age. So be it - I was fortunate to have one healthy child and that is the way the cookie crumbles. Nobody has a right to a child and should never have more children than they can afford at the time they are contemplating in.
I agree with "ThePurpleline". Also I think child allowance should only be for the first two children. The World is overpopulated already,and far too many rely on the State to subsidise them.
I usually disagree with you, being a big, bad left-leaner, but on this I think you're spot on.
A child is a blessing. It is selfish and irresponsible to bring a child into this world when you cannot give it a good shot at life.
The sense of entitlement that so many seem to have really bugs me. The child's needs should be foremost in your mind. Always.
Judy said: "Why do you try to discredit as "the intolerant left at its worst" those who disagree with you and point up the underlying assumptions behind your statements which share common ground with those of Victorian eugenicists and totalitarian regimes?"
The underlying assumptions behind Iain's statement are hard to miss and have nothing to do with Eugenics.(Which incidentally was a fad that found favour with left and right authoritarians alike based on grubby notions of racial and physical superiority and a Malthusian fear that the resources of the world could not support loads more people.)
Having a child *with the expense paid for through taxation* is not a right.
The welfare time bomb of such reckless families is a doddle to defuse. Keep existing claimants on the existing child benefit system but refuse to extend it if they have even more children. Make new claimants responsible for the cost and accommodation of their children beyond, say, two in number. Can't match your reproduction to your circumstances? Tough. No more bigger and bigger taxpayer funded accommodation. No extra money.
We cannot afford unchecked taxpayer generosity and should never have gone down that route in the first place.
Having a child is NOT a right. It is what happens if natural selection permits a man's sperm to fertilise a woman's egg yielding an embryo that can deliver to term.
There's no luck or rights, just the brutality of natural selection. And every time we create a child that could not have existed without artificial insemination, we take a conscious step in the direction of selecting AGAINST the survival of our species, no matter how warm and fuzzy it is for the putative parents.
Taken to it's extreme, we end up as a species that can only procreate if the government/medics are prepared to do it. Assuming our weakened gene pool can even make it that far.
The costs of selecting what nature considers poor or non-viable genetic stock will come to light in future decades but it will surely come.
"I also do not believe anyone who has a a disability should be allowed to procreate or get Sex on benefits"
That was the basis for 20th Century eugenics, propagated by the Fabians, embraced by the Americans and taken to its natural conclusion by the Third Reich. Any questions?
No having children is not a right its a responsibility. Too many people pop sprogs and then expect the state to raise them for them.
For many years I have been arguing the case for a sea-change in how people view their rights. Many young people have had the fact that they are afforded rights drummed into them but nothing about their duty towards others as well as themselves.
Until the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights is re-written and revised to include not just rights but responsibilities as well and re-titled the 'UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Responsibilities' and then taught in schools the world over there will always be many people who bang on about rights but are never interested in doing their bit. The truth is that nothing in life is free. The world's poorest people know this best for they have to struggle for every little thing.
I am not sure I would say that a poor person who knows they will struggle to care for a child financially should not have children however. After all the world is full of greedy people who care not a jot for their fellow human beings and for millions of people they will always be poor. Should they all become celibate and just leave things to the wealthier elements of societies? Horrible thought.
Another voice of support here, Iain.
No one should reasonably disagree with your opinion as it was articulated.
As the t-shirt says: "Can't feed 'em? Don't breed 'em!"
The fact that such a completely sensible comment meets with such an OTT response demonstrates how totally out of touch with reality the left are.
The fact is that many parents have children to get benefits and housing.
In a free society we can do absolutely nothing about this.
We simply have to look after the children and give them the best possible start in life.
Seriously, I really don't care how many offspring people have - just as long as they don't use my money to support them for years. Any more than two is increasing the population, ergo increasing the cost to me.
And what about all those who choose not to have (or are unable to have) children? Why do they have to contribute?
Although there are some people milking the system there will be some who desperately need a safety net.
What we need is a change in attitude. Perhaps if child benefit was only paid for up to two children born from 10 months time onwards (but this limitation would not be applied retrospectively to existing children) then gradually the cost of state support would reduce.
Perhaps if state support for rent only allowed for 3 bedrooms in future.... that would help too.
People can still have as many children as they want - it's just that we don't pay for them. If someone can't support their family then the children will have to be farmed out to relatives or taken into care and adopted.
Why do we pay people 'Child Benefits to have children?
It is stupid. This should be gone and put in the Labour dustbin of history.
What is the point in allowing two disabled people mate? or pay for them to mate with prostitutes. Surely that is just sensible politics nothing to do with eugenics.
Absolutely spot on Iain, and a sentiment with which a huge number of us agree, but aren't allowed to say so. The biggest environmental crisis facing the planet is population growth, but instead we have to obsess about CO2 emissions because that's much less challenging to the lazy cultural assumptions which most people operate by. And the thing which mosts disgusts me is money which could be spent on adoption for the kids that most need it going on IVF for people whose selfish genes demand a biological child, rather than a child who already exists and needs a parent. As for the idiocy of tackling child poverty by giving money to people who can't afford to have chidren, who will then spawn yet more, don't get me started...
I disagree with some of the wording, however there is a part of a Chris Rock scetch which rings very true about "the lazy poor" (not "the left", "Lazy Poor" folks)and their attitude to bringing up children. Rock describes a woman who expected praise or gratitude for doing what she is supposed to do anyway. There are so many people in the "Lazy Poor" who believe that they should be rewarded for bringing up children, as if having the gift of bringing up a child is not reward in itself.
By the way Killiemalletgodsortthemout, David Cairns (i think) suggested something similar. Isn't he, um, a New Labour MP?
Well, perhaps a tad more qualified than most of you to comment;I'm from a family of ten siblings,born between 1951 & 1971. On my mother's side of the family there were eight children in her family, on my dad's seven in his.
And before anyone asks, I am a left of centre libertarian by most standards.So please don't trot out the old saw about all left wing thinkers here!
BUT my grandparents, on both sides WORKED to raise their families, good solid British working class stock who beleived in family ethics & not relying on the state. My mother & father only took family allowance for us, any other bills they paid out of their own pockets. Father would start work at 630 & finish at 11pm most days,to make sure we had enough to eat.Mother ran the home & worked part time.
We were never left to our own devices, we were taught what is right & wrong & taught that you take the consequences of your actions. They set a good example.
We didn't have some of the luxuries which people expect as standard these days. They didn't expect them by right, they had kids to raise. I wore hand me downs for years. Nothing wrong with that.
My parents took their responsibility seriously.Sadly not everyone does. Tory voting families as well, at the end of my street is a family where they produced nine siblings on benefits, most have now left home & are producing families of their own, so she moved her mother in to get her benefits after leaving the old lady in a home for years!
I don't mind supporting those who genuinely need support, but to endlessly pop out sprogs when you cannot support them yourself is not a left wing or right wing issue, just plain bloody irresponsible.
I may not be as literate as some of the posters on here. But one thing I do have is life experiences.
The chavs as they are known will continue to pop out children for the social benefits and housing points. I know - personally- one chav, who complains that her 6th child does not get her any more benefits, she collects approx £900 per week, taking acunt of all her allowances,the 4 yes I did get that right fathers wont work because she will want their wages for child support so we in just this one case have 4 lazy scumbags and one mother who cost all tax payers a fortune. People please wake up the feckless scum are swallowing your taxes they dont give a damn, They just breed with anyone. Get a life go mingle with them wake up.
Anyway rant over.
Ohh yes, please sterilise them or this country will not be fit for my grandkids.
Oh dear it appears I have found myself in the long awaited 36th series of Life in Mars back in the 1830s.
So of course we should determine public policy on the basis of one extreme example promoted by the tabloids - lets just avoid the actual statistics on what is happening to the average family size. Don't let the fact get in the way of our prejudices.
And what Mr Dale do you actually propose to do this massive problem that you perceive? Or do you just want to whip up a little hysteria and throw names at the "intolerant" left? Isn't it just a little vacuous and rabble rousing (and boy have you raised a rabble reading the other comments from assorted reptiles) to identify a problem but then at first suggest no solution? Or are you following the usual technique of most totalitarians? So what do you think should be done? Even Comrade Stalin had some ideas as to how planning should be enforced didn't he.
Any student of Victorian history will of course find little new here whatsoever.
Unfortunately Iain most people in this country are sensible and don't have children that they are unsure they will beable to provide for. Why do you think the birth rate is so low?
Agree completely. It is grossly irresponsible to bring any life into this world without the means to support and provide for that life. Did you know that those of us who refused to take the £250 child trust fund will have an account opened on our behalf by HMRC! FFS! What in the name of God is wrong with this country?
Good lord, you have really set off the peanut gallery tonight haven't you Iain.
Off topic ---
but John Prescott on Newsnight is giving a good impression of the exploding Mr. Creosote in Monty Pythons 'The meaning of Life'.
And in the process giving Simon Hughes a good chance to defend the coalition and presumably alienating millions of LD voters and importantly activists. Do LDs want to join the party of John Prescott.
For people with a strong stomach it gives a good view into the mindset of the thick tribal Labourite.
With regard to Purpleline's question: What is the point in allowing two disabled people to mate?
One of my University lecturers was blind. His wife was blind. They had three children (all sighted).
He was one of the most inspirational people I have met in my life. Every time I start feeling sorry for myself, I think of him and all the obstacles that he had to overcome.
I think that answers the question.
Should we take money form people who earned it and give it to people who do not ? Sounds bad , but should we allow child poverty to continue ?Sounds worse . Child poverty is in fact a rhetorical re-casting of the poverty of its parents and needs based welfare will inevitably encourage the acquisition of needs , like children.
The Clintonian drive for more welfare conditionality ,as exemplified in Wisconsin , was accompanied by efforts to stop this cycle . It was understood that children undermined the “responsibility “ argument and once you see the this you notice how every argument for left seems to centre on children . Asylum , relative poverty investment in soviet style crèches and so on.
But all this costs and we are now living in a country where the only people replacing themselves are those on income support and immigrants .We are headed for a population of about 70,000,000 largely due to immigration and welfare brats so a radical change has been engineered .
Ordinary people are denied the right to children because they cannot afford them , meanwhile they are obliged to pay for other peoples via welfare and depressed wages due to our having solved the unemployment problem in Warsaw
If there is such a thing as a right to children then that right has been systematically denied to the hard working the responsible and those most able to love care and nurture that child . For the feckless and cunning it is route to income and a house for life .
The inevitable stress that this causes justifies further state prescription and so the ghastly cycle continues , chiefly among the Housing empires of Labour’s inner city stronghold’s.
Child Poverty? And what about Adult Poverty? Do children have greater rights than adults? If so, why and how?
There's a great deal of claptrap in this area of discussion. In a so called civilised society why is it that people feel obliged to have children, rather than have protected (contracepted) sex to their heart's content?
It's a matter of choice.
IIRC Most kids are born into poverty.
Who is responsible?
The parent(s) or, and I'll stop there as there is no point going on.
All those who think money MUST be spent in that direction set up a private charity, contribute to it and then you can decide how the money is spent.
Very very soon that charity will vet claimants and I also suspect that hop-skip-jump it will focus on those falling into poverty, not procreating themselves into it.
"The love of Other Peoples' Money is the root of all Evil"
I do "put my money where my mouth is". It's called "general taxation", chap.
I notice you failed to address the actual question in my comment, so I'll pose it again, to you and to anyone else who supports Mr. Dale's tub-thumbing proclamation that the state should not "automatically" provide child-support to those who need it:
"So -- you let the children of the over-fecund (per your own arbitrary definition) to starve? Or what? What happens to children born to parents unable to afford them, in your bold new utopia? Or, conversely, what steps do you propose be taken by the state in advance of conception?"
Come on, all. Have the courage of your convictions and say what you really mean.
@The Purpleline who wrote:
"I also do not believe anyone who has a a disability should be allowed to procreate"
"What is the point in allowing two disabled people mate?"
By 'disabled', do you also include those with borderline personality disorder, clinical depression and/or sociopathic tendencies? If so, I assume you have taken steps to remove your peculiar DNA from the gene pool?
What you keep calling "Other People's Money" is in fact OUR money - all of our money. It's your money, my money, everyone who lives in this country's money. YOU are other people.
No doubt you benefit from some slither of taxation the people you castigate do not. That's how the system works! Give a little, take a little. You benefit from the good that comes from general taxation (taken from you as per your ability to pay, given back to you as the NHS, roads, military, an educated workforce etc.)
You - all of us, we - benefit from not letting children - even children of irresponsible parents - go hungry and uneducated. The world does not stop at the end of your tax return.
My better half works for the local PCT working with children. She deals with some familys (if they can be called that) who should not be having any children at all from what I hear. She does not go into detail, but 17 year olds with 2 kids and one on the way are not uncommon all with different fathers. Maybe it would be cheaper to offer these girls £2-£3,000 at the age of 14 to have coils implanted and then ensure that they are replaced at regular intervals. If some feel that a coil is wrong for some so young then implants could be used. Stopping these young women from getting pregnent at a cost of a couple of grand every couple of years seems to me to be good use of OUR money.
Your sort of simple collectivism would be a rationale for Communism never mind Social Democracy Mr. Volatile and some of the arguments against it are these
1 The duties an individual owes some ill defined group , society cannot be established by your peculiar genius or sheer force ( although they usually are ) but require some consent . I do not consent
2 The various attempts to impose collectivism have failed miserably in every conceivable way not least in failing to provide for the poor
I think what you say about children starving is indeed real problem . I think the best way to go would be to make welfare far more conditional disincentivising irresponsible choices for the parent harming the child as little as possible .This was part opf the thrust of US welfare reform.
Part of the picture however must be a general contempt for those whose inablity to keep their knickers on obliges the rest of us to work even harder looking after the brats they evidently care little for themselves
"Oh dear it appears I have found myself in the long awaited 36th series of Life in Mars back in the 1830s."
I think you're out by about a century
Tories have never been afraid of "blue skies" thinking in this area.
Iain.. worms ..can of. hahahah
My personal observations after a couple of brats...I love them really.
Best man at my wedding and his wife were saving up to have kids. She died suddenly at 25 with an undiagnosed medical condition.
Conclusion. Life is too short.
Can you ever "afford" kids. No.
Those who are "saving" for them are in some La-La land. What are they expecting a 10% discount. Any money you put aside will be gone in three months and you'll be in the bargain basement section wih the rest of us.
@Kiri "A child is a blessing" , I'm not religious but that nails it. It is not a right or a privelige. You can't make it happen. You are not owed it or can claim right to it.
@Roger "Having children.. is a freedom and as with all freedoms, it comes with responsibility."
Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. ~Mahatma Gandhi
@The Purpleline "I believe we should ensure people are checked before they can go ahead and procreate." Been down that path before and it didn't end well. I'm sure there is a German word for it.
@Chris. I so sympathise with your wife but could she in all conscience decide who gets the cash.
@Matt Lets turn you argument 180 deg's about "What happens to parents unable to afford children." Should we deny them access to freedom and liberty. "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." Rough men need paying. Can you afford , are you willing to pay , for the safety and liberty of those who comprehend your sensibilities.
Chris commented: "There are people who genuinely haven't a clue about planning their lives. Things happen around them and they are left bewildered by the demands of running a family"
In my experience we're called dads!
Having kids is not just a personal matter though. It's about perpetuating the species and all that.
The Fertility Rate for the UK is 1.94 children per woman. That’s not enough to replace the population. So we have immigration.
However, usually the people that think women shouldn’t have kids unless they can pay for them also tend to be against immigration.
What is the solution to this conundrum?
You either have to recognise that women's fertility contributes to maintaining the population of the UK (at a level which will be able to afford your pension and healthcare when you stop work) or accept that the working age population needs to be topped up with immigrants.
For most of the world, having children is straightforward business that takes care of their pension.
That is why having kids is a right in the UN charter.
In fact, most of the social change that has taken place is that the family no longer has a hold on people because there is a pension now, children no longer are the absolute serfs of their parents, to be traded with other families or put to work, hired out or at home.
Which is why we can idly ponder whether people should have the right to have kids/cats/houses/cars/etc they cannot afford to maintain -- we're free to choose, children are a lifestyle item nowadays, not a necessity.
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