Teenage pregnancy: a lifestyle choice?

Qualitative research today claims that a proportion of teenage parents in deprived areas plan their pregnancy (Full report here). They see a family as an alternative to low-paid work, to become the good parents they believe they never had and an opportunity to change their life. The research argues that government strategy on teenage pregnancy will fail as it focuses on unplanned pregnancies but ignores those who choose to get pregnant. This report is reminscent of harsh Tory claims of “Getting pregnant for a council flat” however it is from the left-leaning Joseph Rowntree Trust. Reaction has been swift and negative. Beverley Hughes, Minister for Children, Families and Young People said:

“This is an unfortunate study which, on the basis of a very small and carefully selected sample, suggests that teenage pregnancy can be a positive option for some young people. We reject that view completely.”

  • TAFKABO

    I can’t quite see the argument for getting pregnant in order to benefit financialy, since it’s patently obvious that these young girls struggle.
    I can however, see it being possible that given dysfunctional and loveless backgounds, some young girls may subconsciously create the situation where they find themselves in a relationship involving unconditional love.

  • Occasional Commentator

    God help children if the Minister for Children lies like this: “[this study] … suggests that teenage pregnancy can be a positive option for some young people. We reject that view completely”

    The study said no such thing, and that scummy politician knows it. The fact that some teenage (I assume they mean pre-18 and not pre-20) kids conciously (not unconciously, TAFKABO) plan to get pregnant is interesting in itself.

    It may well seem like a stupid plan, and it may well be a stupid plan, but the fact that some kids make this plan has to be faced up to by the so-called Minister for Children.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    This sort of thing rears its ugly head in areas of poverty or under social stress, two things plentiful in N.I.

    I have no doubt some do it for the money, even in the US, which isn’t nearly so generous. To some small minds, it looks like a good deal — reality hasn’t set in at that age, so it looks like big money when its not. Likewise, psychologists like to remind us that teens aren’t exactly the world’s greatest long-term planners. Other may do it for the perceived social stability or to escape perceived social instability. This isn’t all that shocking — depressing as hell, but not shocking.

    One wonders if its “unfortunate” not because its encouraging a “bad dehavior” (and its not, its reporting a phenomena), but because it shows the government’s efforts are not perhaps misplaced, which, to any bureaucrat, is unthinkable, proof or no proof.
    Prior to LBJ re-vamping welfare in the sixties, the illegitimacy rate for African Americans was 15%, a hold-over from the peculiar institution and its aftermath, while Caucasian illegitimacy was near 0%, although this may be as much a manifestation of these pregnancies goign unreported — white girls got shipped off to a relative, not on welfare. By the time Clinton ended that style of welfare, iirc, the rates had increased in both populations, from 0 to 15% in the white community and from 15% to ~75% (again, iirc).

  • Yer Woman

    This issue really makes my blood boil.

    I’m a graduate living and working in Northern Ireland. I live and work in Belfast is this is the only part of the Province were I can find work. I’m a bottom of the rung AO in a public sector body, and despite having qualifications coming out of all orifices, I can’t seem to progress above this level or into any other higher level job with greater wages. Employers either see me as over-qualified or likely to move on to bigger and better things (if only!) I’m constantly broke due to paying extortionate Belfast rent, and I have no material/financial assets to speak of as I’m in debt up to the hilt thanks to 3rd level education.

    I studied hard at school as we were told that hard work and good grades would reward us in the future with a worthy job and financial security. But now I’m thinking I should have got pregnant at 16 and left school with no qualifications as at least then I’d be on the property ladder.

    Girls/boys my age and even now can’t use ignorance of contraception as an excuse anymore to getting pregnant. All it is the government rewarding deliberate and sometimes calculated stupidity. I’m not denying that there are single parents really in need and deserving of council houses, but I have seen so many people my age scam the state out of money and houses while others who work hard and honestly are left in a more disadvantaged situation. For instance, there’s the practice of leaving the fathers name off birth certificates as it will improve the prospects of housing. Or couples who then marry whilst living in council accommodation, only to declare themselves as “separated” so that they can keep their house.

  • Nestor Makhno

    The unfortunate aspect of this story is that the offspring from most of these teenage ‘planned’ pregnancies will be at quite a disadvantage later in life. They are more likely to remain in deprived circumstances – as their parent(s) will find it difficult to find time to either get a job or to finish their education.

    And one has to ask the more subtle question as to whether many of these teenage mums (many of whom are so emotionally starved that they want to have their own child to lavish attention on) are likely to create a healthy mature emotional bond with their children? (Before people start to wield the hatchet, I’m certainly not implying that this is the case in every circumstance – but…)

    The report certainly is useful in that it undermines the standard argument that simply offering sex education to teens is enough to lower teenage pregnancy rates. Work on lowering deprivation, increasing opportunity, and giving a bit of TLC seem to be necessary as well.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Yer Woman: “Girls/boys my age and even now can’t use ignorance of contraception as an excuse anymore to getting pregnant. All it is the government rewarding deliberate and sometimes calculated stupidity.”

    Not to mention a misplaced incentive on the part of the government, which, in turn, encourages that sort of unfortunate calculation / shrot-term thinking.

  • Peking

    “… to become the good parents they believe they never had and an opportunity to change their life.”

    A glance at the hordes of semi-feral youngsters roaming our housing estates and shopping precints show that far from doing that they just replicate their own circumstances.

  • TAFKABO

    hordes of semi-feral youngsters

    Oh dear, I fear the thread is lost.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Peking: “A glance at the hordes of semi-feral youngsters roaming our housing estates and shopping precints show that far from doing that they just replicate their own circumstances. ”

    Not to agree with your hyperbole, but what do you expect of a child raised by a child?

    The “beauty” of short-term thinking is that it lets you make the same mistake over and over again and that is what these child-mothers are indulging in — short-term thinking. They don’t “grok” deferred-gratification – their brains just aren’t wired for it, yet. They know where they are isn’t where they want to be and, in its infinite wisdom, the state has misplaced an economic incentive within their reach. It makes a great deal of rationale sense, but only in the short-run.

  • Bemused

    I’ve long been of the view that the Government should formulate some form of scheme whereby these filth are offered free alcohol/Argos vouchers/cigarettes/hard cash, to undergo voluntary sterilisation. In case you think I’m joking, guess what – I’m not.

  • Occasional Commentator

    We must remember that a some of these kids may well be fairly well-adjusted people. If two fertile animals (because that’s all we are) consent to procreate, then how can we be certain that it must be because they were ’emotionally scarred’ or otherwise flawed in some way?

    I’m not saying that we should be happy with it. In fact, we should do more to stop pre-18 pregnancy. But we shouldn’t kid ourselves (no pun intended) about why they do it or their sanity or their decision-making ability.

    While we sensible adults of voting age continue to destroy the environment we and these children need for the future, we can’t really preach on about a lack of long-term planning.

  • Peking

    TAFKABO
    “Oh dear, I fear the thread is lost.”

    Not at all. The thread will only be lost if we go down the route you seem to prefer which is to ignore the affect all of this has on wider society but, instead, launch into some post-modernist bullshit discussion such as your “some young girls may subconsciously create the situation where they find themselves in a relationship involving unconditional love”.

    Much closer to the mark is Dread Cthulhu who first distances himself from my “hyperbole” and then asks a question I have already answered with my hyperbole “…but what do you expect of a child raised by a child?”

    Well Dread, I expect exactly what we have which is, whether we care to acknowledge it or not, hordes of half-feral youngsters terrorising housing estates and shopping malls.
    I am only too aware that nowadays we are looking at 3rd and 4 generation one-parent, sink estate, offspring replicating their parents’ lifestyle and “values”.

  • Peking

    Occasional Commentator

    You’re right, up to a point. The most telling thing in all of this is the abscense, over 3 and 4 generations now, of anything even approaching a positive male role model (and if we’re honest often not much of a female role model either) in the home.
    Thnk just for a minute about how that impacts on the thinking and behaviour of both young girls and boys.

  • TAFKABO

    Peking.

    Let’s talk about the effects on wider society.

    Using language akin to the Nazis, and please, no invoking of Godwins law here, the talk of forced sterilisation isn’t just like the Nazis, it it exactly what they Nazis were about, just as they were about Untermenschen and finding a solution.

    Read Bemuseds post again, he/she takes pains to make it clear that he/she is not joking here.

    So, ask me if I think society is likely to be more damaged by young single mothers producing chldren (and if you think lots of kids are a bad thing, think towards the pensions crisis we’re going to have in the not so distant future) and and creating the kind of place where the scum are sterilised because all the decent folk can’t stand the sight of their whelps.

    Society is exactly what we make it. I don’t make much of the one being proposed in this thread.

    How do you say Seig Heil in Irish?

  • Bushmills

    I remember having a conversation with a friend in the mid-90’s in which he claimed “these youngsters are getting pregnant because they know the state will look after them” – having had such an incident in my family, where a 16 year old niece got drunk at a party and, well, you can guess the rest…, I told him he was talking b#lls – but my niece has since informed me that this is indeed the case.

    By the way, with the help and support of her family my niece completed her education and is now a school teacher, what sort of help can these people expect?

  • Occasional Commentator

    TAFKABO,
    The Nazis weren’t the first to have forced sterilization – many U.S. states practised it earlier in the 20th century. The Nazis also built good roads. Does that mean we should destroy our roads?

    So stop mentioning the Nazis and start making something approaching an argument. You may find people agreeing with you, but we’ll never know if you don’t try to make an argument in favour of your opinion. I disagree with Bemused, but he/she has made more of an effort to make a case then you.

  • lib2016

    It’s been proven time and again that the answer to dysfunctional families is early intervention before even pre-school age, and continuous support from then on.

    Lots of these kids dont have basic literacy skills nor emotional support. How can they be expected to cope on their own?

    Its much cheaper in the long run to help both the parents and the children join the mainstream, in fact a great encouragement for the adults to go to reading classes is the thought that they will be able to help their children.

    The big stick approach doesn’t work. Help and encouragement does.

  • Bushmills

    lib

    But surely neither does the encouragement of sexual promiscuity so long as it’s “safe”, which is going on in our schoools presently under the guise of sex education?

  • TAFKABO

    Occasional Commentator.

    I have presented my argument, explaining why I think the idea of forced sterilisation will have more damaging effects on society than single mothers. I also mentioned the predicted shortfall in taxpayers to meet the growinf pensions crisis, and the simple need for more kids who will grow up to be taxpayers.

    I wont lose any sleep over what you make of my argument, but don’t say that I haven’t made it.

  • Peking

    TAFKABO
    “the talk of forced sterilisation”

    I didn’t – nor would I ever dream of doing – advocate forced sterilisation. Yet it was my post you quoted when talking of the thread being lost.

    Old fashioned it may seem, but the answer does lies with solid, social values of respect for yourself and others being taught and displayed in the home environment.
    There is a self-perpetuating cycle of teenage pregnancy that has to be broken because it is contributing massively to much bigger problems in wider society.
    Social mores will have to be rethought and changed for that to happen.

  • TAFKABO

    I didn’t – nor would I ever dream of doing – advocate forced sterilisation. Yet it was my post you quoted when talking of the thread being lost.

    Forgive me peking, but I saw the rot start to set in as soon as we started to talk about human beings as if they were packs of animals.

    I belive the words you used were hordes of semi-feral youngsters roaming our housing estates and shopping precints

    I’m happy to talk about teaching social mores to everyone, but I’d start by insisting that we never dehumanise anyone to the point where they are referred to in a manner more befitting of stray dogs.

  • Greenflag

    There is a very high correlation between unmarried mothers , teen pregnancy and child poverty . IIRC there were/are 1 million ‘unmarried mothers’ in the UK of whom over 90% are living in ‘poverty’.

    Back in the 1920’s when ‘bastardy’ was 0.5% instead of 30% , people at the bottom of the economic pyramid were poorer than they are today . Maybe children in school need the ‘economic facts’ of life spelled out in numbers and in black and white ?

    1) Being an unmarried mother almost always ensures a lifetime of relative poverty . There are of course exceptions like the billionairess authoress of Harry Potter but as in all other areas of life the ‘exception ‘ proves the rule.

    2) Smoking shortens you life by 15 years and excessive alcohol leaves you with a blob of jelly for a brain in your forties /fifties and also shortens life expectancy.

    3) Taking drugs is not clever . It’s for retards who enjoy making criminals rich .

    There is of course another side to all of this increasing ‘bastardy’. Who else is going to supply the 30% of children that will be needed to provide the labour force needed to help pay for the old age pensions of those, who because of ‘intelligent’ life style choices, choose not to smoke , nor bring ‘bastards’ into the world nor take drugs and thus live into their late 80’s and 90’s ?

    I suppose immigrants will have to be the solution . But then they eventually conform to the local norms anyway .

    Maybe we need to value ‘children’ for their own sake and not just because they have both parents living in the same household ?

  • Bemused

    Dear, oh dear, oh dear – if TAFKABO had actually READ my post he would have noted that I never at any stage mentioned, advocated or suggested forced sterilisation. I simply suggested that these animals should be OFFERED the CHOICE of VOLUNTARY sterilisation in exchange for a variety of fags/booze/cheap tat. If the filthy scum turn down the offer – fine, that’s their perogative, it’s a free country etc. etc.

    Christ – a vintage example of somebody seeing and reading what they want to see instead of what’s actually been written.

  • Bushmills

    From the report:

    “I had a really, really bad childhood – I was in care and my parents aren’t very good parents so I just thought a baby would give me that stability and also give me something that would love me unconditionally – never thought it would leave me and – ‘cos it’d be mine – nobody could take it away … I was the only kid at the age of 9, planning to have a baby… I was desperate for [baby son] and I’ve enjoyed him so much … [He] gave me my purpose and my place in life, and my goal.” (Mother, 13)

    This is truly disturbing.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Bemused,

    I’m pretty certain that it would be illegal to carry out an irreversible sterilisation of anyone under the age of 18. They are, of course, at that age still legally children, and thus are not considered to be able to make an informed decision.

    Even if national legislation did not expressly forbid it, I think some UN Convention or other might.

    So ‘voluntary’ or ‘forced’, it makes no difference – they are children, doing a biologically adult thing while still have the rights and protections of children.

    Much better would be to find ways to keep them in education or work even while pregnant, or with young babies. Maybe get some schools to provide creches so that the kids can get an education – that has been tried in the US and probably works. If the mothers are better educated they will be able to raise their kids in a better environment, and might have fewer of them, at least while young.

  • Bemused

    Stephen – you can assume that I’m talking about adults.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Stephen: “I’m pretty certain that it would be illegal to carry out an irreversible sterilisation of anyone under the age of 18. They are, of course, at that age still legally children, and thus are not considered to be able to make an informed decision. ”

    And, yet, the state has seen fit to (mis)place before them the economic incentive to have a kid, so that they can get out of their horrible living conditions and into horrible living conditions all their own.

    Stephen: “Much better would be to find ways to keep them in education or work even while pregnant, or with young babies. Maybe get some schools to provide creches so that the kids can get an education – that has been tried in the US and probably works. If the mothers are better educated they will be able to raise their kids in a better environment, and might have fewer of them, at least while young. ”

    Not to sound a trifle cynical, Stephen, but is this additional support going to make it more likely or less likely that these children are going to reach for this economic incentive? The way to fix an incorrectly focused economic incentive is to remove the incentive, not expand it.

  • TAFKABO

    Peking

    You said this…

    Not at all. The thread will only be lost if we go down the route you seem to prefer which is to ignore the affect all of this has on wider society but, instead, launch into some post-modernist bullshit discussion such as your “some young girls may subconsciously create the situation where they find themselves in a relationship involving unconditional love”.

    I didn’t read the report, only ffering my own opinion on the phenomena. However, it seems that Bushmills did read the report and pasted this excerpt.

    “I had a really, really bad childhood – I was in care and my parents aren’t very good parents so I just thought a baby would give me that stability and also give me something that would love me unconditionally – never thought it would leave me and – ‘cos it’d be mine – nobody could take it away … I was the only kid at the age of 9, planning to have a baby… I was desperate for [baby son] and I’ve enjoyed him so much … [He] gave me my purpose and my place in life, and my goal.” (Mother, 13)

    So, do you still think I am talking bullshit when I say it has maybe more to do with gaining love and affection than gaining a council flat?

  • Peking

    TAFKABO
    “I’m happy to talk about teaching social mores to everyone, but I’d start by insisting that we never dehumanise anyone to the point where they are referred to in a manner more befitting of stray dogs.”

    Try living in an area infested with the sort of semi-feral rabble I refer to or, worse still, have your elderly parent(s) live there and you will soon realise that the only insult is to stray dogs.
    Easy to be all pious and understanding from miles distant but not when most of your neighbours are worse behaved and more dangerous than zoo inhabitants.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    The pseudo-science under which the United States entered into a period of forced sterilzation was called ‘eugenics.’ It posited that better people could be created through selective breeding (a realistic possibility, but also a disturbing one…) and that, on the other side of the coin, the state incurred terrible costs by allowing “undesirables,” ranging from “negroes” to the mentally inpaired to Jews and southern Europeans. Some of their theories are, in fact accurate — I recall one historical display showing the forty-some odd descendants of one mentally impaired individual, accompanied by brief summaries of the damage they inflicted on society. On paper, accompanied by footnotes and charts, its all so sounds logical. The problem is that the solution is, as TAFKABO suggests, far uglier than the problem.

    Oddly enough, a number of icons of the time were in favor of eugenics… the one that leaps to mind is the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger.

  • Greenflag

    ‘On paper, accompanied by footnotes and charts, its all so sounds logical. ‘

    That’s what Adolf Eichmann believed . So he had no problem going home every evening after work and bouncing his own ‘pure bred’ children on his knee . Next morning he clocked in at the concentraion camp and saw no contradiction in throwing jewish infants into the ovens .

    Pseudo science you can’t beat it 🙁

    The pseudo religion of the July 12th Orange Order have as yet only progressed to the stage of burning the pictures of Catholic victims of Loyalist terror and Irish symbols such as the tricolour on their bonfires. and despite George Seawrights fervent wish to ‘incinerate’ all Irish Catholics it seems that most Unionists have rejected this approach to problem solving .

  • Alan Law

    Considering that our current birth rates, in the population on average, are below the levels for the UK to recreate its existing population shouldn’t government encourage these young rascals to continue their good work……maybe they need to re focus attention in encouraging people into the labour market instead of the benefits culture. However, there is no point in ignoring the fact that the UK needs babies……maybe the government shouldn’t leave our future to the chavs/millies……

  • Bemused

    Jesus.
    Fucking.
    Christ.

    For the SECOND time – I am not talking about FORCED sterilisation, I am talking about VOLUNTARY sterilisation for ADULTS!!!!!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Bemused: “For the SECOND time – I am not talking about FORCED sterilisation, I am talking about VOLUNTARY sterilisation for ADULTS!!!!! ”

    *shrug*

    we’re not. Give us a moment to finish reveling in our moral superiority and we’ll be *RIGHT* back to you.

    Ah… there. Now where were we?

    But seriously, can you not see just how open to abuse such a system would be?

    Most of the non-drastic surgical methods have at least some instances of self-reversal, those who haven’t been “fixed” advertise themselves as having been, leading to unwanted pregnancies.

    The surest method I could come up with would be focused upon the millies and be regular shots of longer-term birth control injections, which means you need an on-going bureaucracy to manage it, rather than an ad hoc system for one-off treatments. This means an on-going set of inducements, etc.

    A better solution would be to liberalize economically, so that there are jobs and prosperity and a more normal societal dynamic.

  • TAFKABO

    Bemused.

    You say that you are talking about voluntary sterilisation, but that’s not strictly true. You talked about bribing poor people with monetary gifts, kinda like offering a starving man a meal if he agrees to be your servant, then argue that he chose to be treated like shit.

  • Bemused

    For the avoidance of any doubt – I’m talking about vasectomising males.

  • Bemused

    “You say that you are talking about voluntary sterilisation, but that’s not strictly true. You talked about bribing poor people with monetary gifts, kinda like offering a starving man a meal if he agrees to be your servant, then argue that he chose to be treated like shit.”

    Brilliant.

    I am talking about ADULTS making FREE decisions – it’s called democracy.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Bemused: “Brilliant.

    I am talking about ADULTS making FREE decisions – it’s called democracy. ”

    You’re discussing offering inducements to the not very bright. One might argue you’re discussing bribery… and cut-rate bribery at that.

    Its not a viable solution to the problem.

  • Bemused

    Stephen – I will say this very slowly.
    I.

    Am.

    Not.

    Talking.

    About.

    Children.

    O.K.? Got that?

    I am talking about voluntary sterilisation of ADULTS. Yes, ADULTS, i.e. people over the age of 18 etc. etc. etc.

    PLEASE – TRY to concentrate and actually READ my posts.

  • Miss Fitz

    Did any of you read the report?

    Nah, what a dopey question!

    I downloaded it and read quite a bit of it this evening. First of all, there were only 41 females involved, and 10 males. Very Very small scale, and the report itself recognises that while there is a lot of interesting material, it should not be taken too far in terms of reference.

    Another interesting thing I noted was that the main reason that the girls had the babies was to create a loving family unit, to replace the absence of one in their lives.

    This is really a very sad report, and shows that there is a basic and deep rooted problem at the heart of society. The areas where these kids came from were seriously deprived, and Rowntree was no doubt making the link with poverty and emotional deprivation

  • Bemused

    “You’re discussing offering inducements to the not very bright. One might argue you’re discussing bribery… and cut-rate bribery at that.”

    I’m advocating the offering of inducements to self-obsessed, irresponsible pond-life because I strongly suspect that their insatiable material greed will make them quite happy and willing to accept financial and material gain in exchange for a biological function which they have litte or no real desire to use.

    In any event, what the fuck business is it of mine what someone wants to do for money. We live in a democracy, not a kindergarten. If you want to do something, if someone wants to pay you for it and it’s not illegal, then get on with it and stop fucking moaning.

  • Fanny

    Allow me to jump in here to your defence, Bemused.

    I don’t think you should speak of these people in such terms but that’s me. Seen en masse, yes, you could be forgiven for thinking of hordes of savages but that doesn’t mean they’re beyond redemption.

    Money isn’t going to help, despite what the govt thinks. These people aren’t poor in global terms. They must be made to see that society can’t support their habit of, well, procreating unchecked and hoping (no, expecting) others will pick up the tab. How that can be done is beyond me.

    But to say that society is going to be in trouble without the “great unwashed” to look after pensioners is a little short-sighted. This is to assume that circumstances say 30 years down the line will be identical to today’s. History suggests they won’t. Who says we’ll need increased income tax? Possibly we’ll have found a new source of income by then, or new systems of geriatric care will have been introduced.

    And another thing: look at the MRSI scare today, brought about by poor hygience practised by (certain) carers. I’m not sure I’d want to place my poor old carcase in the care of the great unwashed when the time comes. Give me a machine or give me death.

  • TAFKABO

    These people aren’t poor in global terms

    Fanny.

    I think you have just touched upon the crux of the problem.
    I grew up in a loyalist estate, and in that estate my family was the lowest of the low. What I have noticed as have grown up is that in financial terms people aren’t doing that badly. They have all a person needs to survive in terms of money and shelter. The problem is that they remain poor in terms of aspiration and amibition, in what they expect to achieve from life. As it stands today I would be regarded as comfortably middle class, even though I don’t have a particularly high income. but, instead of choosing to spend that income on clothes with fashionanble ( a relative term when you think of Burberry and Timberland )labels, I choose instead to spend it on secondhand books and DVDs with subtitles.

    The UK needs to look at why people in sink estates choose to spend what income they have in pursuits that detract from, rather than enrich their lives.

  • Fanny

    Maybe they have the wrong role models, TAFKABO. You’re dead right about aspiration and ambition but I’ve a sneaking suspicion that many aspire to be Jordan or Jane Goody, and we know a girl doesn’t need books or DVDs with subtitles to reach Ms Goody’s pinnacle of achievement.

    But can we blame the kids when highly educated TV producers keep on feeding the kids the wrong dreams, for no better reason than ratings?

  • Reader

    Fanny: But can we blame the kids when highly educated TV producers keep on feeding the kids the wrong dreams, for no better reason than ratings?
    Bingo – and there’s the positive feedback loop. Escapism is good for ratings, but it isn’t good for developing moral fibre. Oops – time for me to go to bed. I wouldn’t want to start writing letters to the the Daily Telegraph…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Bemused: “In any event, what the fuck business is it of mine what someone wants to do for money. We live in a democracy, not a kindergarten. If you want to do something, if someone wants to pay you for it and it’s not illegal, then get on with it and stop fucking moaning. ”

    One, “we” do not live in a democracy. I live in a Constitution-based federal republic; You, presumably, live in a constitutional monarchy. These are not “democracies.” “Democracy” is five wolves and three sheep voting on what to have for dinner. Secondly, things are only illegal because, at some point, someone decided they ought. Seeing as, to the best of my knowledge, with minor exceptions, no one has floated this notion, the question of its illegality is undecided — if nothing else, *SOMEONE* out there would shit kittens over it. Thirdly, who’s moaning? I’m just pointing out the obvious. Personally, I’m undecided — on one level, I’m not thrilled with the notion, but then I recall more than one case in the States where one of the local spide equivalents went to court, objecting to a judge’s ruling that he ought to be allowed to father more children he couldn’t afford (iirc, he had father nine kids on five or seven “women,” a term I use advisedly).

    Fanny: “Money isn’t going to help, despite what the govt thinks. These people aren’t poor in global terms. They must be made to see that society can’t support their habit of, well, procreating unchecked and hoping (no, expecting) others will pick up the tab. How that can be done is beyond me.”

    The obvious problem is that the government *IS* willing to pick up the tab. Its not the root problem, but its the point at which the iceberg clears the water and is visible.

    Fanny: “But to say that society is going to be in trouble without the “great unwashed” to look after pensioners is a little short-sighted. This is to assume that circumstances say 30 years down the line will be identical to today’s. History suggests they won’t. Who says we’ll need increased income tax? Possibly we’ll have found a new source of income by then, or new systems of geriatric care will have been introduced. ”

    Contrariwise, to assume the demographic changes will miraculously be solved by some change is optimistic, to say the least. If trends continue, medical technology will improve, but that may not necessarily make this “better.” Likewise, new sources of income will have to come from someone’s pocket and new systems of geriatric care will have to be paid for and will likely be expensive. The need for the “great unwashed” has been diminished as the global economy contracts, with some exceptions. As technology advances, muscle-labor can be replaced by machines… brains, hopefully, will never go out of style.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Ah, the joys of children having children… an all-expense paid childhood, complete with Council flat.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5217634.stm

    Quotes to look for…

    “Olivia has no regrets about having her daughter Ayeasha at 15. “She’s the best thing that ever happened to me,” she says. “If I had to do the same again I would. I don’t have contact with Ayeasha’s Dad but I have help from my parents and there’s nothing else I wanted to do with my life.

    “I don’t want a career – I want to bring my little girl up and I still go out and have fun.””