I’ve long been a fan of basic income. So far as I can see it’s the only way of fairly redistributing wealth and of protecting against the future shocks of technology rendering us unemployed; while simultaneously allowing people to find new and useful ways to occupy themselves.
I’m glad this got the bump. Somehow I missed it when it came around earlier.
In 2013, all 50 states combined spent over $1 BILLION on attempted prevention of out of wedlock pregnancies. Yep, the states are blowing money on behavior modification based on outdated views of religion-based morality, instead of on basic needs like food and housing.There is a correlation between the number of parents in a household and poverty.
There is a correlation between poverty and learning.
There is a correlation between level of education and having a child outside of marriage.
Seems like a cycle to me. Maybe discouraging women from having those very expensive children on their own is behavior modification, but so are campaigns to end drunk driving and get people to quit smoking. The data are the data, and they trend worldwide. It doesn’t pay off for women, for kids or for society. (Which does make one question the campaigns against widely available and accessible birth control, but that is another issue.)
Unless I’m very much mistaken, it’s pretty widely known that the single biggest factors in high birthrate are poverty and lack of education… seems to me those billions could be better spent, particularly given the likelihood that the motivation for doing so is less driven by sociological realities than outmoded religious morality.
It could also be argued that the biggest factors affecting income and education are having kids you can’t support. I don’t think delaying childbearing causes women to get bachelor’s degrees. I think having children when young, poor and alone causes women to have a very hard time getting bachelor’s degrees. It’s a cycle and I’m all for trying to break it at any points we can. Schools can do better, government can do better and–this is where I seem to veer away from much of the community here–individuals can do better.
I don’t know where you’d rather see billions go. The money could be given to poor families, and if there was any evidence that would break the cycle then I’d be all for it. I imagine that some of the billions referenced in the article are being spent on abstinence-only programs and other absurdities. Those are religious-based and, more importantly (to me at least), ineffective.
Opposing the expenditure because the perceived religious motives of the decision makers are objectionable seems to me like making a funding decision based on personal morality. If we all keep doing this we’ll never solve any problems. There is a lot of common ground and common purpose. For the good it does.
Maybe discouraging women from the genetic imperative to have children isn’t anything like ensuring people drive responsibly?
Perhaps there is an ideological component driving the compulsion to repeatedly concentrate the majority of funding into ineffective programs that only assuage ideologically fuelled concern without tackling the actual problem?
Could it be that funds would be better spent making sure families have the resources to secure their health and chances at prosperity, enriching their communities as they prosper?
Or do we listen only to the poisoned moral compulsion, borne of the misleading and ignorant fallacy of religious doctrine when planning how best to allocate resources?
Must the ‘have nots’ have so very little in order that they might serve their hellish purpose as a motivational factor for competition in the economy?
Which is cause and which is effect?
I’m not living with my wife and step-children, for economic reasons: they’ve moved hundreds of miles away, where the rent is cheaper, and I’m in a little room I sublet near where I work. We’d hoped this would last just a month or two, but it seems to be stretching on interminably. If our incomes were higher, we’d still be living together. From what I’ve read about non-resident fathers, this is not an unusual circumstance.
I am not going to dive into research to find out, but I bet the research does exist and points more in one direction than the other. Your situation sounds difficult and I’m sorry you’re dealing with it.
Genetic imperative to have children, huh? So…some women can control their sexual and reproductive urges and let their intellect guide their choices, while others must answer the call of the wild? And here I thought we needed to ensure better education and access to birth control. The irony here is that I’m pretty sure I have a way higher opinion of poor women than you do.
To @davide405, that is interesting. I did some additional reading and have some issues with this, but if there is actually a problem that can be solved by literally throwing money at it, that would be fantastic. I am not being at all sarcastic. Imagine no social services, no public programs targeting the effects of poverty, no bloated bureaucratic oversight, no ancillary housing programs, food programs, summer school programs, after school programs…Just an automatic check sent every month to every US citizen (in Canada and Namibia they give money to all, regardless of income) and poverty and everything that goes with it is either gone or dramatically reduced. I don’t believe for one second this would work here, but I would love to be wrong. They’re doing pilot tests of paying at risk kids to attend school (with discouraging results) so maybe someone will pick this up and pilot test it. I would root for its success, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
LOL, my indication that you had made an unfair comparison between human beings wanting to reproduce and wanting to drive gets mangled into ‘I think poor women can’t control themselves’?
###That’s a Bingo!
And there is a correlation between abstinence education and pregnancy. And a connection between lack of access to reliable birth control and pregnancy. Not to mention the serious moral issues involved in telling certain classes of people, “Oh. You’re too poor to have sex.” If someone told me that, I’d start burning things to the ground.
I can see this is really bothering you. I’ll take you through it and type slowly.
The original author objected to programs that discouraged women from having children they can’t support. He deemed this “behavior modification”–the implication being that it is wrong for the government to try to modify its citizens’ behavior.
I gave two examples of behavior modification efforts made by the government to which presumably no one objects. Behavior modification attempts per se are not a problem for most people. You went on about how drunk driving is not the same as getting pregnant, which has nothing to do with anything.
I would have ignored it were it not for your amazing observation that women have a “genetic imperative to have children”. That’s sounds like something an evangelical or Catholic or Muslim fundie would say. But you hate religion, so it’s not God; it’s DNA making women this way. Like when animals go into heat?
Actually, I think you feel very strongly that poor people are 100% victims and you are compelled to defend them from anyone who doesn’t see how totally helpless they are.
I think the way you string words together sometimes gets in the way of making your point. To wit:
I don’t know where the logical or factual foundation for that statement is, but more importantly, I don’t know what the hell it means. We intentionally make poor people extra poor so that others will work harder to earn money? Actually, never mind. I don’t care what it means.
I think your “genetic imperative” statement was just you trying to use big words and saying something you didn’t mean. Amplifying that makes me a little guilty of a straw man argument here, but in my defense, your response was all rant and n substance.
N to the power of a millions!
All joking aside, I’d like to hear how you twist this about:
In psychology, genetic imperative is important as a way of understanding family structure and gender interactions.
Since genetic imperative works in an organism by causing the organism to wish to spread its own genes,
Edited to add:
I just re-read what I had posted in reply to you and noticed I probably hadn’t spelled out explicitly enough what I had meant and do mean. So…
You accept there is a possibility, as the author linked in the op suggests, that discouraging women from having children amounts to behaviour modification.
You then go on to develop the thesis that even if it can be considered behaviour modification, the government engages in other forms of behaviour modification.
Suggesting that you think, under the condition (perhaps only for the sake of argument) we accept that the author is correct, that you believe there is a similarity between modifying people’s car driving behaviour and modifying people’s children-having behaviour.
When I read this, I was instantly struck by the thought that you must be a heartless beast to make such a comparison. That only a fool, and a self-indulgent total dick of a fool, would try to make a comparison between the desire to have children, to pass on one’s genes, and the desire to drive. It further struck me that the only similarity was that both behaviours could be described as being modified.
The glaring difference, that I hope most humans with a conscience would instantly spot, is that one concerns an organism’s 4 billion+ year old imperative to pass on its genes to the next generation, the function of which the vehicle of the body was created by evolution to perform (a deep and inescapable, celebrated and protected function) and the other concerns one’s desire to pilot a motor-vehicle for their convenience.
When I pointed out that there is a genetic imperative to have children (implying ‘all humans’ to readers capable of performing a google search if they are unfamiliar with the term) and that discouraging women from this imperative through the behaviour modifying practices fuelled by paternalistic, misogynistic and arcane religious imperatives was on a totalitarian level so far in fascistic excess of attempts to curb bad driving that they had virtually nothing to do with one another, I assumed that you would perceive the mis-step you had made in trying to bolster such a facile and cruel argument.
I was wrong.
You then, without making much of an attempt to understand what I had said, went on to make some fairly poor decisions concerning how you would portray what you mistakenly thought I had meant. Even going so far as to further compound your heartless thesis that:
Amplifying your idea that both forms of behaviour modification were in some way comparable other than on a totally superficial level.
You then punctuated your misunderstanding and denial with a thought-terminating dismissal.
Which I would point out is a symptom of the kind of zealotry I have been criticising in your ‘thought process’. Although I hesitate to describe such unthinking adherence to religiously motivated propaganda as ‘thought’.
I did find your stumbling attempts at trolling reasonably funny, so I liked your comment.
Particularly because you had actually managed to formulate an understanding of my further point when you said:
So, like, you do have a functioning mind that can interpret ideas with which you are not familiar, which is why I’m bothering to respond to you in a fashion other than just posting funny gifs which highlight your despotic unthink.
Love and kisses,
I don’t personally understand what(aside from lack of access to contraception, coercion regarding its use, and all the other flavors of situation where it isn’t actually a choice in any useful sense) would lead a woman to want a child under circumstances where their life is already economically tenuous and probably making more demands than they can handle; but I’ve never understood why you would want one period, so I doubt that I’m qualified to answer that question.
Trick is, though, unless you can ‘solve’ poor single mothers with just a bit more sex-ed or some birth control subsidies(which would be nice; but almost certainly isn’t true), or are willing to put on your eugenics hat and just start sterilizing the poor; any solution to poor single mothers has a problem: if you can’t stop the breeding, the only way to avoid poor single mothers is either to make them non-poor or non-single, or both.
Given that being poor sucks, they probably aren’t doing it voluntarily. If we want them to be less poor, we’ll need something that improves the income of a demographic that is notably unpromising for the various sorts of job training attempts we have available: currently poor, skew young and ill educated, substantial pre-existing childcare commitments. That’s going to be tricky. How about making them less single?
Well, bad news: Guess which demographic is doing an amazing amount of being incarcerated, along with enjoying generally poor educational attainment, high unemployment, and low earnings potential with the decline of domestic blue collar industrial labor? Why, that’d be men who demographically overlap with those poor single mothers! Not only is the supply limited(with those currently in prison effectively unavailable), the ones who are available are likely to have similarly grim economic and educational prospects.
As noted, I’m in favor of a ‘less babies’ based approach, those things creep me out; but if our efforts to achieve that by facilitating greater reproductive autonomy don’t work (either because those efforts are intractable failures, or because women want children even under adverse circumstances); the only other options are coercive measures that reduce fertility, or attacking the rather thorny problem that the same factors that are disproportionately likely to accompany being an unwed mother, especially a poor one; also accompany lousy odds of becoming a less poor unwed mother and a pretty uninspiring set of options when it comes to being more wed.
Look up ad hominem on Wikipedia next.
Human urges are mediated by intellect and by some pretty complicated social and cultural influences. It’s obvious to me that wanting to have sex and wanting to have children are not remotely the same thing. Some women choose to get impregnated without having sexual intercourse. Some women will spend much or all of their reproductive years ensuring that they can have sex without getting pregnant. Women have minds and choices. Talk to one and you’ll see.
You don’t think much about the pleasure aspect of sex for women, do you? You know who else doesn’t? Religious zealots. You should go back to the church. I won’t judge. And your “biological” theory there is considered a philosophy by actual scientists. It has holes–science holes, not I-hate-this-idea-because-I-think-something-else holes–that dismantle it. I am skeptical of psychology as a science, but psychologists have a lot to say about sex too.
I want you to sit down because this is going to come as a shock…The misogynists who are driven by arcane religious beliefs that manifest as attempts to dominate women and control their bodies are the ones who are trying to block women’s access to contraception and abortion services.
Except we’re very specifically talking about single women who have had children and attempts to modify that specific behaviour, having children. As in when you said:
Back to your most recent comment:
Except we’re very specifically talking about attempts by the government to modify the behaviour of poor single women from becoming poor single mothers. You would like to extend this behaviour modification into the realm of women having sex for pleasure?
I’m sceptical of you as a good faith actor.
The doublethink of which an unreasoning mind, embedded within the paternalistic and misogynistic mindset of abusive power is quite amazing no?
Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth.
The compartmentalisation of someone’s mind, who ‘just knows’ they are in the right, will always make it easier for them to find ways of excusing their own abuses of power. They don’t have a single guiding principle of thought because the religious impulse to control based on scripturally assigned authority is not concerned with facts but rather with being in control. The exertion of that control, then, is likely to take many forms of oppression, in whatever destructive and unthinking way it can. “Just know that the old white men were here, telling how it should be done.”
But do go on, you were explaining how it is not a horrible thing to have compared people’s desire to have children with their desire to drive cars.
Oh. No. You weren’t. You were avoiding having to do that. Maybe you can feel through that thick and mollifying carapace of disregard, there may be hope for you.
t’s time. Welfare and minimum wage increases are no longer sufficient. Over the next 20 years, we will lose over half of our jobs. Hell, just one technology- self-driving vehicles- will wipe out over 10% in one fell swoop.
When it takes three people to do the work of a hundred, work-to-eat is a system which leaves you with two choices: Create enough useless busywork to give everyone a job, or kill off anyone who doesn’t have one.
You attributed this entire problem to (poor) women doing what
God Nature designed them to do. You believe that that (poor) women have kids they can’t afford because they are serving the “deep and inescapable, celebrated and protected function” of passing their genes along. I pointed out your claim is not only simplistic, but has also been discredited by science and psychology. It is, however, a deeply held part of many religious philosophies, and a justification used to oppress women.
The mind is embedded in the mindset of power…Again this is a sentence where your choice of words and stilted construction seem designed to obscure meaning. The ad hominem attacks and generalizations about people who challenge you suggest both hypersensitivity to criticism and an inability to cogently present your argument. I am left with one inescapable conclusion here: You’re a teenager.