Should We Require Birth Control For Welfare Checks? page 2

45 posts

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The religious would be happy because abortions would become obsolete.

except for the fact that some religions don’t approve of birth control using anything other than the rhythm method

 
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Call it communism and be done with the subject.

 
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At birth sterilization then at 25 …

I would disagree with age limits beyond “if it’s illegal for you to be having sex, you shouldn’t be having children”. There are people whose goal in life is just to settle down and have a family; your “at 25” rule would be quite unfair to them. Also, two years of classes is way overkill; almost everyone who is alive today or has ever lived was raised by people who had zero years of classes, and we’re mostly well adjusted. Besides, who decides what’s on the curriculum?

 
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All murderers were babies at one point, you know.

By that time they’re not their parents’ responsibility. I was just pointing out differences between cars and babies, parents not knowing how to use a child won’t end up with them killing someone with him/her.

Anyway, I think that actually having a test is fraught with irreconcilable complications; everyone has their own ideas of how you should raise a child, because all those ideas work. Humans have been proving for generations that you don’t need to take a test in order to raise a child.

I agree. I think Phoenix is advocating some sort of multiple choice test though on the most basic things – a few no nos, some average figures.

However, I do believe that it would be more convenient for everyone if having a child weren’t an easy mistake to make; …

Again, I agree, but I don’t think the method is the best (or even a good) one. We’re talking about a hypothetical perfect contraception, where people on welfare could choose to get some extra support if they take it. The government forcibly taking away people’s ability to have children until they prove themselves up to someone else’s parenting standards?

Oh and im inclinced to disagree with that, part of taking the test is to ensure you dont end up as a pile of goo on the road which the emergency services then have to deal with.

I was just pointing out differences between babies and cars. That’s another one babies can’t kill you, but cars can.

Wow, I’m not sure how to convey this to you. The baby is alive and is a person…

So, a car license is to stop you hurting everyone but the car (I’d see not crashing as a nice side effect of not hitting someone), a baby license is to stop you hurting only the baby. There is a difference between the two licenses, which is what you asked me to point out. I had two more differences in that paragraph you haven’t addressed yet as to why baby and car licenses are different.

That’s fine – that’s what I’m talking about. Some sort of validation of basic training.

I meant don’t sterilise them, let them get a parenting certificate when they want to settle down or have children, and their partner can decide whether or not to have children with them. I’d far rather the world had person A not wanting to have children with person B because A didn’t think B would be a good parent than because B wasn’t allowed to by the government.

 
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I’m not sure why you’re so focused on proving that babies are not cars. This is obviously true. The point is that in both cases the license ensures that you are educated enough to not hurt someone else, whether it’s the baby or other drivers. To address your points specifically as requested:

Babies are far more complicated than cars, there is no right or safe way to raise them so any test is going to be on the parents to be’s opinions. Cars are dangerous in the hands of incompetent drivers, babies are not. Driving licenses can be revoked easily, babies’ lives cannot.

Point 1 I think I have addressed by making the test as full of facts and figures about the costs and risks of babies rather than parental guidelines and behavioral training techniques. Point 2 I just addressed in the previous sentence. Point 3 I think is a bigger reason to have a more thorough test for babies than driving. You’re right: once a baby has been had, there’s no turning back, so you’d better get it right from the start.

 
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I’m not sure why you’re so focused on proving that babies are not cars.

I was answering this:

Oh? How is it any different than taking a driving test before getting your license?

Point one, fair enough. That does mean it will be very different from a driving test, where you have to convince an examiner how you would drive a car (albeit only for a few months).

Point two, the licenses will be for different things. One is to protect what you’ve qualified to have, the other is to protect others (and yourself) when you use what you’ve qualified to have.

Point three, more thorough in what way? The only meaningful test you could have is one that goes far beyond knowing when to burp a baby. A license to drive a car expires as soon as you do enough things wrong, a license to have a baby would (presumably) last 18 years. Either the baby license is uselessly easy to pass, or it is so comprehensive that it is likely to go down the path I described earlier as the ‘best’ way to raise a child is made more and more detailed. I was initially unsure of what you wanted in the baby test, and now I’m unsure again.

 
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Why don’t we take the non-totalitarian path and offer free counseling and support to new parents, the way France does? Any time you something subjective like the proper way to raise a child and put it to standardized rules, you’re stepping over the line. Why not just help parents who don’t know what they’re doing as opposed to sterilizing the entire human race? (except for the smart and/or wealthy ones who clearly are automatically good parents, of course.)

 
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Wow, these ideas strike me as overkill. How about just not offering extra Welfare credit for children beyond the second one?

 
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Wow, these ideas strike me as overkill. How about just not offering extra Welfare credit for children beyond the second one?

The problem with that is that any family with three kids is going to have a starving kid, and it’s not the kid’s fault.

 
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Fair point greg. This is much more of a philosophical exercise than a realistic plan for action (since there are certainly many problems with any sort of forced birth control or sterilization). Your plan is certainly more realistic.

Cpasley – I think the France system sounds pretty cool. Granted, they have higher taxes to cover it (something Americans are loathe to move towards), but it does sound very useful. The test I was proposing was going to try to keep things as factual/medical as possible and avoid overstepping any of the boundaries that you noted.

Ninja’d Edit:

The problem with that is that any family with three kids is going to have a starving kid, and it’s not the kid’s fault.

Hmm, also a fair point. This would be the advantage to getting the depo shots (or whatever) – there’d be no risk of harming further children by not having enough money to care for them.

 
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Cpasley – I think the France system sounds pretty cool. Granted, they have higher taxes to cover it (something Americans are loathe to move towards), but it does sound very useful. The test I was proposing was going to try to keep things as factual/medical as possible and avoid overstepping any of the boundaries that you noted.

I would think a nationwide forced sterility and enforcement program would be pricier than paying a few hundred thousand nannies.

 
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Lol – touche’. This is where this (along with probably most other) philosophical exercise breaks down: implementation. It was nice that Socrates decided that philosophers should rule the country, but it’ll never actually happen. :) I think my main goal with the topic was more of a “should” than a “could”. But you’re certainly right – getting some support/education available to the public would be far cheaper that forced sterilization.

 
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Um…you know this thread started out saying people were having extra kids to get the extra welfare and yet people seem to be concentrating more on ways to sort out the baby production rather than the welfare system. Would it not be more prudent to try and fix the welfare first before going off on a mass sterilization scheme?

Also there is a huge difference between the driving licence and baby licence notions. You are not born with an innate ability to drive which the government then takes away. Being able to drive is a privilege you learn how to do and earn whereas having a baby is a privilege most are born with that is then (in these schemes you describe) taken away.

I’m also surprised no one has touched on the IVF, artificial insemination of single mothers or fertility treatment of older women debate at all. (not that i have a particularly strong view on any of them im just surprised it hasnt come up :p)

 
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The problem with that is that any family with three kids is going to have a starving kid, and it’s not the kid’s fault.

CPS intervention theoretically occurs before starving children. The real question is whether this intervention is better or worse than living in a household where the provision of food is dependent on the size of a welfare check, and what it costs to intervene in these cases vs. just providing extra money, which may have encouraged the birth of the child in the first place.

 
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NO one would be forcing them to take birth control pills.

NO one is forcing them to take welfare checks.

 
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I’m going back to the original post because I think the point is being lost somewhere along the line. So, the question was asked “Would this [mandatory BC to collect a welfare check] be within the governments rights, and would it be a good policy?”

Depo shots were mentioned. Bad idea, imo. They cause bone density; delay of regular fertility; weight gain; moon swings which could lead to clinical depression; irregular bleeding; and most importantly – the effectiveness is dramatically decreased by smoking cigarettes. Granted, most of these drawbacks wouldn’t effect people for one or two shots. However, once you talk about long-term, they start to become more and more real to the receiver. Would you really want to (essentially) give osteoporosis to a 30yo mother of 2?3?4? however many children she has? Her children would have to care for her by the time she hits 40.

Pills are another form of BC. However, you have no guarantee that the woman will take them religiously. So why bother?

IUD? 5 or 10 year BC options. It’s done during a regular office visit. Sounds good, right? Well, there are two types. The type that is soft and releases hormones. There’s also the copper wire type. There are a few (some say minor) disadvantages with the plastic type. There are rather large concerns with the copper type though. Puncturing the uterus? Having the soft flesh form around the tips of the copper rod and starting to grow. After 10 years, the whole thing is covered in fresh tissue growth. They can’t remove it without removing part of the uterus or ovarian tubes. Sure, people can still get pregnant with one good tube, but only if they have a healthy uterus.

Vasectomies are reversible. I say start signing the men up! There is talk that a Male Contraceptive Pill will be available in 5-7 yeas. So, it’s not long after that someone will think “Oh, it’s too much to ask a man to take a pill religiously every day. We’ll just make a shot that lasts for 3 months!” Once the male depo shot is available, those men can have the vasectomy reversed and just start getting the injections. Sounds good to me!

OK, so the above was all just for a good giggle – kinda. I don’t think it’s ‘within the governments rights" to say who can have babies and who can’t.. or how many babies people can have or how few. So, mandatory BC just to get welfare.. No.

Now, rather than using peoples children as leverage why not offer more than just money? I don’t know if this is the standard in every state, but it is where I live. Five years max for cash benefits from the welfare system. It’s still based on how many children you have, but the state will no longer support you and your fifteen children until they’re adults. In order to receive the cash benefits from the welfare office you MUST participate in ‘Work Source’ or ‘Job Search’. You must put in a minimum of 4hrs per day in the office and an additional 1-2hrs per day job hunting. Putting in applications. Handing out your resume (which they help you put together). If you have no job skills, they’ll send you to a local community college for an 8wk course to get you some specific job skills.

They don’t want to encourage you to sit at home and collect a welfare check and take it easy. They want to enable you to get back on your feet. Support your own family. Get off the system. I don’t think it’s a perfect system that they’ve got in place, but it’s better than what it was.

 
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OK, so the above was all just for a good giggle – kinda. I don’t think it’s ‘within the governments rights” to say who can have babies and who can’t.. or how many babies people can have or how few. So, mandatory BC just to get welfare.. No.

I’ll grant you that there are some (or perhaps all) of the specific birth control methods have problems. But I don’t think that justifies the above quoted sentence. The government would only be limiting your right to have babies when you are collecting government checks to support your babies. Why shouldn’t the government be able to require something from you when they’re giving you money? You don’t think they have the right to say “Ok, here’s a check, but no more babies!”?

Granted, the thread did start to head in the direction of the government dictating who could give birth and when, but if you’re going back to the original post, that’s all we’re asking: in the case of collecting welfare, I don’t think it’s
unreasonable for the government to put some limitations on you.

I’m not sure what my local rules are, but I do support the requirements you mentioned for a job search. However, I see a couple problems with this: it’s still based on the number of children (as you said), meaning there’s no incentive not to have more kids. Additionally, cutting the funds (as was mentioned in an earlier post) ends up hurting the children, who did nothing wrong. By preventing more children, we could continue to keep the kids funded while avoiding increasing costs for welfare.

Regarding the male birth control, I do really look forward to when we can have a male birth control pill, though I think it won’t have nearly the impact that the female one did. In a long-term monogamous relationship it’ll be great, but in anything shorter the woman will have to really trust the man to not be taking her own birth control. It’s just a matter of responsibility – a woman can never know she’ll be safe unless she’s taking it herself (or witnesses the guy taking it).

The vasectomy would be a fine idea too – much less risk than birth control, though a good bit harder (and expensive) to reverse. Ironically enough, that actually would head us back to our “forced sterilization” idea that was mentioned earlier. You’d only reverse it if you had the money for it and were really serious about having kids. And really, thinking about it – wouldn’t this be pretty nice? You’d have to go through a procedure to get reversed in order to have children. Perhaps the government could offer some subsidies for those who can’t afford the procedure but still want children.

 
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Regarding the male birth control, I do really look forward to when we can have a male birth control pill, though I think it won’t have nearly the impact that the female one did.

I agree it wouldn’t have as big an effect, but it would certainly be considerable for men who feel they need to protect themselves from women trying to claim child support from them – probably the type of person the OP’s suggestion is trying to clamp down on.

You’d only reverse it if you had the money for it and were really serious about having kids.

A free vasectomy wouldn’t be such a bad idea, it’s the mandate and the judging of who would be an adequate parent by the government that oversteps the mark for me. Do you think it’s a good idea compared to other ideas, or do you just think it’s better than what exists now?

 
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I kind of question the premise. I think the Welfare Mother is a myth, for the most part, and is a bit of a damaging preconception to those who are actually on welfare.

Remember what happened when Bender adopted all those orphan kids on Futurama. Not a wise investment.

 
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Well, I suppose one important question that we haven’t directly addressed is this: “Is it a basic human right to reproduce?”

I think the immediate gut reaction of most people is an emphatic “Yes!” This has certainly been my response. But thinking a little more about it, having a child is not like most other basic human rights. Instead, it actually creates a new human, a human whose rights must also be upheld. Generally human rights apply only when they don’t infringe on other’s rights, so your procreation must not violate the child’s rights.

Of course, this is likely to fall into problems of being overly speculative (how often can you really know someone will not be a good parent?) and very extreme (you’d have to be a really bad parent to violate your child’s basic rights). This of course is the fun with typing stream-of-consciousness – I don’t think I’ve made a point, but it’s been fun looking at the subject. :)

I suppose I’d be inclined to say only in the most extreme cases should one be prevented from having children (history of child abuse/sexual abuse, stuff like that). If that’s the case, then forced government sterilization is certainly not acceptable.