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View Diary: Who should be allowed to breed? (55 comments)

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  •  My terms (0+ / 0-)
    - "people who can barely support themselves": so, anyone working 40+ hours a shouldn't have children?
    Sorry, but that doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
    - "choose...to have a child and expect their tax-paying neighbors to pay for raising that child": Anyone who takes a tax deduction for their children "expects" me to pay for raising their child. Anyone who sends their children to public school not only expects me to help pay for raising their children, they also expect my wife (and all her colleagues) to work outside their contract hours (in other words, without pay) to teach their children. Anyone who takes need-based financial aid or who sends their children to a state university or community college expects their neighbours to pay for raising their children.
    Everyone with dependent children can take a a tax deduction for that, true.  We all pay for public schools, true.  Both of those are social policies that apply to everyone, and have wide popular support for a huge number of obvious reasons.   However, no one but my wife and I are responsible for paying for our children's health, dental, food, housing, clothes, childcare, transportation, books and bicycles.  

    As far as the comparison with college support goes, I don't think that choosing to have a baby you cannot afford to raise except through the tax payments of others is anything like an existing 18-year-old who has qualified academically for higher education who uses options open to all who are similarly qualified.  And again, the subsidies received by public colleges are based on social policy that considers the many advantages of having well-educated Americans.  

    The vast majority of us have no idea when our children are born if we will be able to pay for a college education in 18-20 years.  No one thinks that is a reasonable expectation.  But it is reasonable to expect that if you cannot afford to feed, house, clothe, etc., the child you could be having within the next year, then you should wait until your circumstances become more favorable.  

    •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

      When people in the US have children, they depend on the fact that society at large will take care of their children. That's not a universal truth. That safety net exists because people are willing to shoulder the burden of supporting other people's children. That's not just true of the poor, it's true of people who are quite comfortable (like Paul Ryan). It's easy to beat up on people who are poorer and less powerful than you are. I think it's unacceptable, especially in a place like this.

      no one but my wife and I are responsible for paying for our children's health, dental, food, housing, clothes, childcare, transportation, books and bicycles.  
      - if you expect to use your tax deduction to pay for any of these, you're relying on the fact that people like me shoulder the burden of higher taxes. (I do it happily. But you shouldn't complain about what others do if you do it yourself).

      - do you pay for your children's health and dental care out of pocket, or is it covered by health insurance? If so, are you in some sort of a pool with people without children?

      - do you take the mortgage interest deduction, a subsidy which actually flows from renters (who are likely to be less well off than home owners)

      - did you build the roads yourself, or did you have your children knowing that taxpayers would (willingly) cover their share of the road usage?

      I don't think that choosing to have a baby you cannot afford to raise except through the tax payments of others is anything like an existing 18-year-old who has qualified academically for higher education who uses options open to all who are similarly qualified.
      Why not? In either case, you're "expecting" other people to pay part of the costs for you. Only, in one case we're talking about a subsidy that flows to the poor, while in the other we're talking about a subsidy that flows disproportionately to the middle class.
      And again, the subsidies received by public colleges are based on social policy that considers the many advantages of having well-educated Americans.  
      And WIC, food stamps, SCHIP, Medicaid, Head Start...these don't provide "many advantages" to society?
      The vast majority of us have no idea when our children are born if we will be able to pay for a college education in 18-20 years.  No one thinks that is a reasonable expectation.
      What's the difference between taking a leap of faith when it comes to college education, and taking a leap of faith when it comes to feeding your children? In either case, people don't wait until they're sure they can afford children before having them. Everyone talks about struggling financially when they're first married, when they're starting to raise their kids.

      But let's put this in real terms. How many hours of work do you and your spouse lose, on an average month, in order to support the children of people who decide to have children they can't afford because the taxpayer will pay for them? I'll bet you it doesn't come close to the hours my wife or any other public school teacher puts in, unpaid, to educate the children of other people...many of whom seem to think people like her are overpaid. They expect a public education for their kids. They expect that someone will pay for it. And that someone is people without children and teachers. Sometimes those people are one and the same.

      •  All good points. No one is subsidy free. (0+ / 0-)

        Looking at my income tax returns, property tax bills, etc, it sure looks like a heck of a lot more is going out than coming in though.  

        But you are right.  We all benefit in different ways, to different degrees, and at different times of our lives.  Though I worked hard to get to where I am now, I relied on scholarships and fellowships for years.   I need to remind myself of that.  

        However, I still stand by my general belief that if someone knows that it is extremely unlikely that they cannot count on the financial and social resources of their own earnings and savings, or on their spouse or family, to support the extra, significant expenses of having a child, then they should choose to avoid having one until that changes.  Although many couples "struggle" few choose to have a baby they cannot even remotely afford at that time.  Instead, they wait, like people always have, until they can take on the responsibility themselves.

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