(Closed) Government regulating family size..

posted 10 years ago in Babies
Post # 18
1831 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I used to work in a grocery store. Baby Daddy/Mommy would come in line pimped out with their LV bags and North Face Jackets and would pay with Food Stamps. Yell

Post # 19
115 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Absolutely not.  I’m pro-choice.  Family size is about the most private matter you could imagine.


For those of you who feel this should be implemented, or at least expressed interest, how on earth do you propose that this be carried out ethically?


There’s a reason eugenics is no longer popular in American society.

Post # 20
470 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I have often joked that the government should put birth control in the water and in order to get the antidote, you need to furnish and IQ test and W-2 form to prove that you have the intelligence and financial means to support a child.

Of course I am joking, but I think that parenting classes should be mandatory in jr. high and high school. It might deter some kids from teen pregnancy and also might help parents and children better relate to one another since the kids would have a better idea of why parents make some decisons they do.

I also believe that budgeting/financial planning classes should be mandatory so that kids get an idea of how to manage money and plan for their future and think that would help them be better prepared for college, working and parenting.

I do think it would infringe upon basic freedoms if the government regulated family size, but perhaps with better education people would make more sensible decisions and we would all benefit; after all, kids are our future, right?

Post # 21
682 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

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@firsttimemom: how do you know those items were not thrift store purchases? or gifts? or hand me downs?

I don’t use EBT but my sister does. And she has NICE clothes. Why? Because I give her hand me downs. Just because she is poor does not mean she doesn’t have a right to look nice. And her kids are dressed fabulous as well. I hand down my children’s Gymboree, Gap and Janie & Jack. And to be honest, I bought her a car on Tuesday. An ’06 used car, but a car none the less. She had no car and was going to lose her job. I know people look at her and judge her for her clothes, the kids clothes, and now her shiny red car. And it’s makes me incredibly sad.


On gov’t regulating family size? NO. They have no business in my womb on ANY front.

Post # 22
1827 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

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@tootietoo2:  That’s so funny you say that, I often times say, sort of tongue in cheek, sort of not, that parents should have to pass an IQ and common sense test before being allowed to procreate. 

I worked in Child Protection as a social worker for six years and then moved to teaching in an inner city Chicago school and have seen the worst of what parents can do.  It is heart breaking and whilst I don’t really believe in government regulating how many children one can have, I do think that sometimes forced sterilisation is not a bad thing.  Again, said sort of tongue in cheek, but not completely. 

I don’t know why we don’t advocate birth control more strongly….. especially with parents who are so clearly incompetent.  I had a few cases where judges would rule a mother had to show up for her depo shot every 12 weeks and if she failed to show up, she is in serious jeopardy of losing custody of the kids she did have.  It worked like a charm…. most of the time. 

Post # 23
615 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

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@Ree723: I kinda understand where you are coming from. I worked with a sexually abused child. He had 6 siblings and they were all sexually abused as well. The mother lost custody after she let a child molester watch the children while she met her online boyfriend in another country! I worry about children in these situations. I wish someone would have prevented her from being able tohave custody of any children.

Post # 24
1463 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

It always amazes me that we need a licence to drive a car, a permit to carry a gun, have to be 18 to vote and drink (in NZ), yet anybody of any age can reproduce and bring up children!

And not to be judgemental or shallow but when it comes to the some of the parents I see in my line of work it’s a wonder they found somebody prepared to get close enough to impregnate them!!

Post # 25
4766 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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I agree, and with alcohol and tobaco, it’s just you its affecting, but with kids that’s another whole life you’re completly responsible for.

Even when people adopt pets they need to prove they are of good character and can afford the thing.

The main problem is that there is really no feasable way of giving people a licese to have a kid or anything.

Post # 26
7995 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I don’t think being poor is a crime.  But if someone hurts their child they should be sterilized.

Post # 27
14492 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

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@Ms Mini: they tried that – it was call fascism.

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@newbiecici: agree!

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@tootietoo2: there is birth control in the water.  Nationwide water is contaminated with estrogen of different forms, but what scientists are concerned about the most is the BC pill that is ending up in the waterways and drinking water.  The feminization of fish has been a worry for fish populations for years, and they are just now starting to do studies on how it is effecting human populations.

Post # 28
2560 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

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@tksjewelry: Try working where I work for a day and you will be all for it. Trust me.

Post # 29
3788 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

You are raising multiple issues in this post, and I will try to address them separately:

1) Should the government control family size?

2) Should poor people have children they cannot afford?

Unfortunately, you’ve approached it from a Western developed country middle class perspective, and so you lumped these things together, prompting replies discouraging eugenics and bristling at the potential invasion of illusory freedoms.


1) Yes. Not to get too Malthusian, but if the world population continues to grow unchecked, the earth will be scarily close to its carrying capacity. Population affects so much — look at the burgeoning slums around the world, extreme poverty and malnutrition, the evolution of diseases, and climate change. If anyone is truly interested, I can recommend some readings too you, but in the interest of not having to explain every little detail or start an argument with people who have not read actual data on it, I will leave it at this. China had unintended side effects of their program, and now that it has ended it will be interesting to watch what happens to their population; they are not a good example of how to regulate population.

2) Much more difficult. Countries in Latin America have used cash incentive programs to help control family size and increase the investment a family has in each child with regards to fundamentals like education (quality over quantity).

The problem is approaching this from the previously mentioned privileged viewpoint. In an Indian slum, when asked about AIDS awareness, one woman replied that she doesn’t care about AIDS when she has to worry about where her family’s next meal is going to come from. So it’s hard for me to look at an American kid who is in school, fed, and clothed, albeit not to American middle class standards, and think poorly of the parents. Systematic changes need to happen in the developed world as well, and a bad parent is a bad parent. I think this thread needs to carefully take a step back and realize that there are bad parents at all income levels and simply being POOR does not automatically mean that one should not have kids. I do not agree with the Octomoms of the world, on welfare and just keep having babies, but I think that a poor mom and/or dad who needs to use social assistance like food stamps or whatever else should still be able to have those kids. There seems to be some disdain in these replies. That is not to say that there are not poor parents who simply cannot feed and cloth their kids, and that is also a problem. That is when social services needs to come in. But I think that this thread is scary close to saying poor people shouldn’t reproduce.

Post # 30
5147 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Just a side note spinning off from a few comments above:

I know some parents that have below-average IQs and lower incomes, yet they are good people and good parents.

I also know some very intelligent people with no common sense and in my opinion they are terrible parents; many of them don’t even realize it. They base their parenting style off of whatever the latest New York Times article says because they want to feel they are the smartest and most “in” with parenting, but don’t realize that not every child-raising situation can be put into a bubble like that.

And I know some people that were well-grounded people before kids; but having kids made them lose all touch with reality and their kids are a mess.


Basically what I’m saying is that I don’t think intelligence or money are a measurement of how good or bad of parents people will be.


=== ===

I personally think there should be changes to how welfare works. I don’t know what would work best, but a couple ideas that pop into my head:

Perhaps a cap on how many kids are included in government welfare.

1 kid – $X
2 kids – $X * 2
3 kids – $X * 3
4 or more kids – $X * 4

Or maybe grandfather it in: if you were over the max before starting welfare they’ll pay for your kids, but if you have more than 1 more kid while on welfare it flattens out. (They’ll pay for the first additional kid, but if you have 3 more you still just get the money for the first.)

=== ===

I have a “ditto” to the food stamp comment. I worked in a grocery store in college; some of the food stamp people ticked me off.


You could tell the people who needed it. They would buy real food like beans, vegetables, hamburger, chicken, etc. Many times they’d use coupons to make it stretch too. And they’d frequently buy the store-brand of things. I respected those people, you could tell they just needed some help.


But there was a significant percentage (I’d estimate about 20% in the store I worked in) that would come in and load up on either a bunch of junk (pop, cookies, etc.). Or there were the people that would load up on things like steak, lobster, veal, etc.

Then if I asked them for their store-discount card (the card you get at Dillions/Kroger, Price Chopper, Hen House, etc. to get things on sale) they’d say “I’m not paying for it it, it doesn’t matter!” 

And then most people get a cash portion on their food stamp card as well; it’s supposed to be to help them pay bills, buy non-food-stamp items like cleaning supplies, etc. Many would come up to customer service and pull it out in cash. Then they’d buy several cartons cigarettes with it; we’re talking $100+ in cigarettes!

I worked in a small enough town we recognized most of the regular customers at our store. So it wasn’t like someone was buying cookies just for their kids’ birthday party; or steak just because it was their anniversary; it was the same people buying the same sort of stuff week after week after week.

Post # 31
620 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

 I would really like to hope that everyone in the grocery store paying with food stamps got their designger jeans and handbag as a gift or a hand-me-down, but unfortunately that isn’t the case.  Yes, I realize that I don’t know what goes on in other people’s lives, but I know for a fact that some people are simply abusing the system.  I don’t have any problem with government assistance whatsoever.  I just think that it should be used as a temporary solution until you get back on your feet.  For some people, it’s just a way of life.

I don’t think that poor people shouldn’t reproduce.  My parents weren’t rolling in dough by any means.  Yet, we still had food to eat and clothes to wear (hand-me-downs or from the thrift store) and were taken care of just by my mom working.  We didn’t get anything for free. 

Also, you can have parents who are totally rich who just shouldn’t have had children, because they’re totally incompetent, awful parents.  It goes both ways.  

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