Everybody Back Off. I Have A Child and I'm Not Afraid to Use It

An Australian MP brings a screaming toddler onto the floor of Parliament during a debate and is shocked when she is asked to take her kid out.  She demands a more family-friendly workplace  (there is some suggestion it was all a manufactured stunt).   The story is guaranteed to further piss off single people who already feel that they have to work extra to cover for their co-workers with kids.  I have two kids but have never expected the world to defer to me.  When I had my first kid, I had a job at McKinsey & Company that really wasn't compatible with how I wanted to raise my new child.  Rather than storm around about family friendly work places, I quit and found a job that did fit.   After all, having the kid was my choice, not theirs.

  • Joe Antognini

    Damn, Xmas, beat me to it.

  • sabril

    Society needs smart educated people to reproduce. Ultimately, the childless are the freeriders since in their retirement, they will benefit from services performed by younger people without having had to go through the trouble and expense of raising children themselves.

    Even if they save money for their retirement and don't rely on social security, the childless would be screwed (and their money would be worthless) if there weren't a decent number of smart younger people to maintain order, rule of law, and the nation's infrastructure.

    So I don't see a problem with forcing single childless people to subsidize smart educated parents. The easiest way to do this is by having a generous tax deduction for minor dependants. Requiring employers to be more family friendly is another.

  • sabril, what else are you comfortable forcing people to do? And what do you think you should properly be coerced into?

    You seem to regard children as crops stolen after harvest. Those youthful services are paid for, not stolen, likely by earnings the aged stored in their own youth.

    If parents get a raw deal, it is not the problem of the childless. Parental investment earns its dividend when the children become productive. If the parents need more compensation, they should collect it via their offspring, just like renting out a tool.

    The childless could invest in robots rather than forced subsidy of the children of “smart people”. Robots don’t turn into lazy moralists with a sense of entitlement.

  • Michael

    The level of education a child receives is a direct benefit to the child. Asking me to pay to make other peoples children better off is a direct harm to me and my family. While I don't have children, my sister does and it should be my choice direct my assets towards my sister's child.

    Family friendly employers end up screwing singles. While my sister and parents can get together for "family" holidays, I, as a single person, get stuck having to work.

  • BobH

    "Family friendly employers end up screwing singles."

    Perhaps -- but it's the employer's choice. A single who feels s/he's being screwed by policies that favor parents should do the same thing Coyote did -- go elsewhere.

  • After all, having the kid was my choice, not theirs.

    By the same token, neither was it the kids' choice. I agree that people (like myself) who choose to have children should be the first ones responsible for making the hards choices, and ofthen the sacrifices, necessary to rearthem well -- and I have, thank you. The problem with this line of thinking is that it assumes that letting a parent fail is the same thing as letting anyone fail in any endeavor -- they deserve the consequences. But when it comes to children, we're talking about people who have not yet developed the faculties requisite for accepting the consequences of ones own actions, and are furthermore being asked to accept the consequences of someone ELSES actions -- the very thing you as a libertarian bristle at when you're the one being asked to carry that load.

  • Bob Smith

    Children should accept the consequences of their parent's actions. To do otherwise is to make somebody other than the parent responsible for the children, which is morally wrong.

  • sabril

    "sabril, what else are you comfortable forcing people to do? And what do you think you should properly be coerced into?"

    Through taxation? All kinds of things. Supporting the national defense. Helping to build and maintain national infrastructure. Educating the young. etc. etc.

    "If parents get a raw deal, it is not the problem of the childless"

    That's nonsense. If smart educated people don't have enough children, then we are all screwed, including the childless. If middle and working class people don't have enough children, then we are all screwed, including the childless. If a high enough percentage of the country is lower class people, it start falling apart. What would your precious retirement savings worth in a place like Zimbabwe?

  • Agammamon

    Sabril, that's two moronic posts out of two. Zimbabwe isn't failing because too many poor idiots are reproducing or the education level was too low. Its failing because the ruling party is full of violent thieves who have destroyed the rule of law, especially property rights.

    As for the young subsidizing the retired who are paying their own way, what part of paying your own way is hard to understand? If I'm not living off of welfare or SS or even private charity then I am by definition still productive.

    Boy Named Sous:

    ". . .and are furthermore being asked to accept the consequences of someone ELSES actions . . ."
    Your solution to this problem is to force us to accept the consequences of someone elses actions? By extending this coerced help all we do is ecourage those in marginal situations to have children, because we'll bail them out if they have trouble. It just encourages risky behavior because the results of failure are mitigated. You see this pattern eveywhere, whether in child rearing, banking, car manufacturing.

  • Dr. T

    Boy Named Sous said: "... The problem with this line of thinking is that it assumes that letting a parent fail..."

    Shall society monitor families and step in when it looks as if a parent is failing? How shall society accomplish this? Shall we put cameras in the homes, in the cars, and in the backyards? Shall we send social workers on quarterly visits to every family to check on the environment and to interview the children? Shall we sent problem parents to Remedial Parenting classes and put their children into foster care if they flunk?

    I understand the need to protect children from horrid parents, but where does the line get drawn? How bad must the parenting be before government intervention occurs? Too many nannystate types believe that almost anything outside their prescribed "norms" indicates abusive parenting (such as using vulgar language). Others believe in the power of counseling and allow child abusers (who broke bones in their children) to regain custody. History shows that government rarely gets it right, even nannystate government.

  • Not Sure

    “sabril, what else are you comfortable forcing people to do? And what do you think you should properly be coerced into?”

    "Through taxation? All kinds of things.

    ...

    Educating the young. etc. etc."

    Translated into english, "educating the young" means "taking money from some people to give to other people"- education is just an excuse.

    Don't believe me? Try correcting somebody else's disruptive child at a restaurant or some other public place sometime and see what happens.

    Except when it means taking money out of the pockets of others, parents don't *really* want any help in educating their offspring.

  • “through taxation…”

    Whether the violence is direct, or masked through action the majority’s representatives, it remains immoral.

    “…all kinds of things.”

    sabril sets essentially no limit on the use of force to serve one’s preferred ends. Those who prefer not to be forced to support others’ children, as one example, are thus granted license to kill the kids and sterilize likely parents. sabril says we would all be screwed. What about those say we are already screwed, and it is time to cut our losses and stop investing in future humans?

  • sabril

    "Zimbabwe isn’t failing because too many poor idiots are reproducing or the education level was too low. Its failing because the ruling party is full of violent thieves who have destroyed the rule of law, especially property rights"

    Funny how that always seems to happen in countries which are run by blacks. I guess blacks have really bad luck or something.

    "If I’m not living off of welfare or SS or even private charity then I am by definition still productive."

    Assuming that you are retired and living off of savings, what exactly are you (by definition) still producing?

  • sabril

    "taking money from some people to give to other people"

    "Whether the violence is direct, or masked through action the majority’s representatives, it remains immoral"

    Just so we are clear here, are you saying that it's immoral for a government to tax people and use that money to build infrastructure like roads and bridges? To use that money to provide services like police, military, and fire protection?

  • Michael

    An economy has both production and consumption. Retired people are not in the main stream of production, but they can still produce. They can care for their grand kids, organize clubs and events based on their hobbies. The other thing retired people can do by having saved money during their working years is consume. They go on trips or help pay for their grand kids college. Retired is not dead. But even in death, they still contribute to the economy.

    "Just so we are clear here, are you saying that it’s immoral for a government to tax people and use that money to build infrastructure like roads and bridges? To use that money to provide services like police, military, and fire protection?"

    Roads are paid for by gas taxes or tolls on roads. Don't want to pay the tax, don't drive. Police, fire and EMS services are provided at the local level and in most cases, the people vote directly on if and how much to fund these programs. The military is a constitutional function of the federal government, but its cost is a very small part of the federal budget.

  • sabril

    "but they can still produce"

    True, but so what? Anyone can produce. The claim on the table is that a retired person living off of savings is necessarily productive. What exactly is he or she necessarily producing?

    "Roads are paid for by gas taxes or tolls on roads. Don’t want to pay the tax, don’t drive. Police, fire and EMS services are provided at the local level and in most cases, the people vote directly on if and how much to fund these programs. The military is a constitutional function of the federal government, but its cost is a very small part of the federal budget."

    Ummm, does that mean yes or no?

  • Michael

    It would be silly to try and list every possible activity people do when they no longer work a 40 hour week. After working 45 to 50 years, they can do what ever they want. Besides, your point seems to be that the retired need to be on a government wealth transfer program rather than live on their savings.

    As for taxes being moral or immoral, it depends on who is making the choice. If the people in a town want to improve their roads, they can vote for a gas tax. Those that use the roads, pay for them. These are use taxes where people who want a government service pay for it. Most would consider this a moral tax.

    On the other hand, the federal government taxing my pay at 29% so they can give this money to other people to sit home to watch Oprah and eat chesses puffs and then reelect these same politicians is an immoral tax.

    If you can't see the difference, maybe you should get an inner tube and try to drift float to Cuba. I'm sure the people there can make it clear to you.

  • Not Sure

    "The military is a constitutional function of the federal government, but its cost is a very small part of the federal budget."

    "Very small"? Are you sure about that? According to Wikipedia:

    As of 2009, the United States government is spending about $1 trillion annually on defense-related purposes.

    Military discretionary spending accounts for more than half of the U.S. federal discretionary spending...

  • sabril

    "It would be silly to try and list every possible activity people do when they no longer work a 40 hour week."

    Of course, but I'm not asking anyone to do that. Again, the claim on the table is that a retired person living off of savings is necessarily productive. What exactly is he or she necessarily producing?

    Moreover, what is that person necessarily producing which a person living of social security is not producing?

    "Besides, your point seems to be that the retired need to be on a government wealth transfer program rather than live on their savings"

    That's not my point at all. The point is that retired people need the services of younger people and in particular the services of younger smart educated people. Otherwise their money is essentially worthless. And it doesn't matter whether the money comes from private savings or social security.

    "If you can’t see the difference"

    What exactly is the difference? In either case, the tax was approved through a democratic, legislative process. The first main difference I see is that in one case, the money is being used for a useful purpose and in the other, the money is being wasted. Is that the essential difference?

    The other main difference I see is that one tax hits only the people who use the service. Is that the essential difference between a moral tax and an immoral tax?

  • Michael

    DOD spending for the years 2004 to 2008 was between 500 to 600 billion per year which I agree is a hell of a lot of money. Many defense bills have billions on non defense spending in them. Also, Iraq and Afghanistan spending can be hard to categorized as projects can be duel use. While this is a great deal of money, it pales when compared to current wealth transfer costs.

  • Michael

    You could say that retired people are productive because they are consuming goods and services provided by the younger people. The question becomes, should retired people use their savings to pay for these goods and services, or should the younger people have some of their income given to the retired to buy goods and services, which means the younger people have less money to save for retirement or spend on their own need for goods and services. If you choose that latter, the system will collapse at some point. Think Bernie Madoff. He made people rich for 30 years until they had nothing.

    Everyone knows the need for taxes. What troubles many people is that some politicians take that tax money and give it to people in certain demographics just to get reelected. The tax money isn't being used to fund the functioning of the state, it's being used to buy votes.

  • sabril

    "You could say that retired people are productive because they are consuming goods and services provided by the younger people. "

    You could say that, but you wouldn't be making a lot of sense. By your definition, virtually every living person is "productive." And therefore Agammamom's claim ("If I’m not living off of welfare or SS or even private charity then I am by definition still productive") was completely meaningless. To the extent it was intended to mean anything at all.

    "Everyone knows the need for taxes."

    Foxmarks seems to be claiming that taxes are per se immoral.

    "What troubles many people is that some politicians take that tax money and give it to people in certain demographics just to get reelected. The tax money isn’t being used to fund the functioning of the state, it’s being used to buy votes."

    Assuming that's true, it doesn't undermine my argument since the taxes I am defending do not necessarily fall into such a category.

  • Michael

    You would need to define productive. Many government employees can retire after 25 years of work. Private sector employees work 45 years before retirement. Who is more productive?

    Many people here define productive as earning the resources needed to cover your expenses in life. Some people are happy in a 900 sq ft house in the county where they can grow their own food and raise a few chickens. Others want the Al Gore lifestyle. 3 houses, private jet and limos. People should be free to choose their lifestyle, just cover your costs.

    Most people wouldn't have a problem with the items you listed you'd like to fund through taxes (not the etc., etc.), though most would like to see the governments monopoly of education come to an end.

  • sabril

    "You would need to define productive."

    Well, Agammamom would need to define "productive." I'm not the one who claimed as follows: "If I’m not living off of welfare or SS or even private charity then I am by definition still productive"

    Presumably Agammamom had some definition of "productive" in mind when he made that point. I have no idea what his point was.

    As for me, my position does not rely on the word "productive."

    "Most people wouldn’t have a problem with the items you listed you’d like to fund through taxes "

    I agree. So what? Foxmarks seems to think that such taxation is per se immoral.

  • Flash Gordon

    Hiring a new secretary for a law office is a challenge. Ask an applicant if she has children and you might get sued. Hire one with kids and you risk turning your law office into a nursery or seeing the secretary's desk empty about half the time while she runs to some kid-related emergency. A good lawyer with a modicum of business sense (quite rare), will figure out a way to get the information out of each applicant without asking the question, and hiring a childless one for politically correct and well-documented reasons.

    Another solution is to hire a male secretary. Not so much of a worry about kids because dads don't bring babies to work or run off the job every time junior skins his knee. Besides, most male secretaries are single. But there are not many of them, and you still have to use stealth and subterfuge to avoid lawsuits. Liberals have created a minefield for the sane people.

  • Joe Teicher

    I have to agree with Sabril. The existence of other people is pretty clearly a public good. Not just in old age, but all the time. Other people allow you to specialize your production, which raises your productivity immensely and allows for a much higher standard of living. Therefore, producing new people should be somewhat subsidized, or at least encouraged on a social level. Maybe someday robots will replace human labor to the point where people are just consumers (which is the opposite of production, not a form of production, despite what any keynesian economist might imply), or we might end up in a malthusian trap, or we might suffer an environmental apocalypse, in which case additional people might become a bad thing, but as of right now more people, at least in the developed world, is a good thing for everybody.

  • Not Sure

    "Other people allow you to specialize your production, which raises your productivity immensely and allows for a much higher standard of living."

    -Joe Teicher

    That would make sense if those other people were also producing stuff, but what are the people who sit on their asses collecting welfare checks producing? And do we really need to subsidize more of them?

  • sabril

    "That would make sense if those other people were also producing stuff, but what are the people who sit on their asses collecting welfare checks producing? And do we really need to subsidize more of them?"

    I don't think so. In my view, we need to subsidize smart, educated professionals and to a lesser extent everyone who is working. These are the groups who are more likely to produce the future citizens we need. This can be accomplished by jacking up the tax exemption for dependents; requiring generous maternity leaves; and so forth.

    From an economic perspective, it seems to me that smart people having children is the opposite of dumping pollution in the river. The latter imposes costs on other people; the former yields benefits to other people. In other words, smart people having children produces a positive externality.

    My opinion only.

  • jv w/2 children

    Sabril,

    "That’s not my point at all. The point is that retired people need the services of younger people and in particular the services of younger smart educated people. Otherwise their money is essentially worthless. And it doesn’t matter whether the money comes from private savings or social security."

    Who cares! It is about property rights. If the "retired" childless can pay(without help) for the services of the younger people, them both parties benefit. Their exchange is mutually beneficial and does not involve a third party who does not benefit from the exchange.(Incidentally payment does not always need to be in monetary form).

    "Even if they save money for their retirement and don’t rely on social security, the childless would be screwed (and their money would be worthless) if there weren’t a decent number of smart younger people to maintain order, rule of law, and the nation’s infrastructure."

    So let them be screwed! Why must they be forced to not be screwed? You would coerce the childless for their own good? How noble of you.

    I also dissagree(I am 38) with your assumption that the older childless need,"a decent number of smart younger people to maintain order, rule of law, and the nation’s infrastructure." This statement is quite arrogant.

  • Michael

    The total U.S. population crossed the 100 million mark around 1915, the 200 million mark in 1967, and the 300 million mark in 2006 (estimated on Tuesday, October 17). The U.S. population more than tripled during the 20th century—a growth rate of about 1.3% a year—from about 76 million in 1900 to 281 million in 2000.

    I don't think Americans need to subsidize the manufacturing of young people. Come to think of it, in preschool, we teach kids to put the round peg in the round hole. A skill they clearly apply to other areas of their life when they grow older.

  • Agammamon

    Sabril
    Living off my savings I'm not producing anything, BUT I'm not a drain. My average productivity over my lifetime is decreasing but I'm not sucking resources away from others either. Plus that's still assuming that I do absolutely no work outside taking care of my home. If I werre retired I would have far more time to donate to charities, or just work on stuff that interests me. None of my retired family members are really retired. They just don't have to punch a clock anymore. My gandfather owns a half a dozen proertied in Oregon he rents out and owns a sign making business.

    Zimbabwe failed in a single generation so this idea that we have to subsidize smart breeders for our own welfare isn't supported by any evidence.
    And its not just black countries - take Russia, for example. A huge nation with problems that have just blown up since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. You're not going to tell me that in less than a generation all of the normal people were swamped by idiots are you.

    And how many jobs are really restricted to young people by necessity? Just a bare handful that actually require heavy manual labor as a component. Which when applied to the public sector really comes down to a small subset of the military, police, and fire departments - and a lot of those are still made up of people in their 30's through 50's. In my own Navy almost half of us are 30+. Almost everything in the private sector has machinery to assist with heavy labor.

    I need the services of smart, educated people, youth has nothing to do with it.

    All in all I don't think there's any real evidence that the young are so essential that we must subsidise their production.

  • sabril

    "So let them be screwed! Why must they be forced to not be screwed? You would coerce the childless for their own good? How noble of you. "

    Sure. Taxation is inherently coercive. Can I take it that you would not tax people in order to provide traditional government services such as national defense?

    "I also dissagree(I am 38) with your assumption that the older childless need,”a decent number of smart younger people to maintain order, rule of law, and the nation’s infrastructure.” This statement is quite arrogant."

    I don't know if it's arrogant, but it's certainly true.

  • sabril

    "I don’t think Americans need to subsidize the manufacturing of young people. "

    If fertility were randomly distributed across the population, I would probably agree with you. But it's not. Aside from religious types, the smartest and best educated people are significantly less fecund than the least intelligent and least educated people.

  • sabril

    "Living off my savings I’m not producing anything, BUT I’m not a drain."

    So you admit that your earlier statement was false?

    "And how many jobs are really restricted to young people by necessity?"

    I have no idea, but look at it this way: We can't all be retired. Let me ask you this: Do you agree that our society needs a regular influx of educated intelligent people otherwise our society will collapse?

    "Zimbabwe failed in a single generation "

    Sure because all the whites were slaughtered or chased out of the country. And the blacks did not have the intelligence and/or education to run the country (or the farms) on their own.

    " You’re not going to tell me that in less than a generation all of the normal people were swamped by idiots are you"

    Nope, because I'm not arguing that the presence of intelligent people is a sufficient condition for a succesful or stable country. But I'm arguing that it's a necessary condition.

    Nice strawman, though.

  • “are you saying that it’s immoral for a government to tax people and use that money to build infrastructure”

    Yes. But, you’re shifting the argument. With my stance, that all coercion is immoral, the best available choice is the one which minimizes coercion. Your stance, that we use some vague and arbitrary standard to decide who are slaves and who are masters, is morally inferior. You appear to offer just a fancified version of thuggery. If you want to play that way, what’s your address, so I can decide if you have more than you deserve.

    “The existence of other people is pretty clearly a public good.”

    No. The existence of other people is only a good if they are in cooperative society. Isolated islanders and my urban self are not mutual goods. Any net benefit from cooperative society arises from (broadly) proximity. The more people living more closely (and producing more utility/surplus), the higher value of the land each occupies. The morally superior method to siphon off some of that net benefit to maintain communal resources is by a land value tax. Those who prefer not to support whatever the landholders choose to fund can move onto valueless land.

    And, even then, the LVT must only fund non-coercive communal works.

  • sabril

    "Yes. But, you’re shifting the argument"

    No, I'm just trying to understand where you are coming from. If you feel that all taxation is immoral, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. It's just a matter of opinion and I don't see any point in debating it.

    "the best available choice is the one which minimizes coercion."

    I'm a little confused. Are you saying that some degree of taxation (for the public good) is ok?

  • jv w/2 children

    jv w2/children
    “So let them be screwed! Why must they be forced to not be screwed? You would coerce the childless for their own good? How noble of you. ”

    Sabril
    "Sure. Taxation is inherently coercive. Can I take it that you would not tax people in order to provide traditional government services such as national defense?"

    jv w/2 children
    Yes(on the above statement you made above). However, this is not the point. The point is that under your opinion of how a society should be structured you would force the childless to make payments for something you believe to be in their best interests. Your statement is not fact. It ignores individual choice; and it clumps all of the older childless individuals into a collective. This is a subversion of freedom.

    jv w/2 children --
    “I also dissagree(I am 38) with your assumption that the older childless need,”a decent number of smart younger people to maintain order, rule of law, and the nation’s infrastructure.” This statement is quite arrogant.”

    Sabril --
    "I don’t know if it’s arrogant, but it’s certainly true."

    jv w/2 children --
    "It is not truth. It is only a statement.

  • sabril

    "The point is that under your opinion of how a society should be structured you would force the childless to make payments for something you believe to be in their best interests. Your statement is not fact"

    Sure, it's just an opinion. If the choice is between (1) some degree of taxation; and (2) anarchy, I would take the former. I prefer to live in a society with basic government services (including rule of law; basic infrastructure; military defense).

    "It is not truth. "

    Let me ask you this: Suppose that a society were composed solely of people aged 80 and older. Do you think such a society would last indefinitely?

  • We’re at the point where subtle distinctions become important.

    Taxation may be the best available choice, but it is not “O.K.” Compare it to chemotherapy. Self-poisoning is never “good”, so we aim to use the smallest effective dose. Once we lose sight of the fact that poisoning is inherently harmful, instead focusing on the benefits, we are likely to cause more harm in the name of our desires.

    Yet, I maintain taxation is not the best available choice. I propose funding government by collecting rent on land rather than taxation on human activity.

    ---

    The society of oldsters will not endure because we invest in creating new humans instead of preserving and improving the existing population. The apparent need for children is a product of several assumptions. The biological desire for children is a separate but related question. The drive comes from outside the realm of reason, and reverence for offspring strikes me as a widely-held fetish. Children were once a necessity. Now they are a luxury.

  • sabril

    "We’re at the point where subtle distinctions become important."

    Lol. We're at the point where you are getting evasive.

    "Compare it to chemotherapy. Self-poisoning is never 'good', so we aim to use the smallest effective dose."

    Most people would say that under certain circumstances, chemotherapy is "ok" as a treatment. Do you agree? Simple yes or no question.

    "The society of oldsters will not endure . . . . Children were once a necessity. Now they are a luxury."

    I have absolutely no idea what your point is here. The fact is that a society composed solely of people age 85+ will collapse either immediately or within a few years.

  • sabril, I took as an honest request by you to understand my position. Your question is either meaningless or insincere. You can laugh, but what, exactly, does “O.K.” mean? Chemo, or taxation, may be the best available choice, but to lump them into the grand class of actions we consider “O.K.” ignores the harm implicit in them. They are not O.K. Best Available ≠ Good

    “Under certain circumstances” seems a weasel phrase. Who decides those circumstances? You beg the question.

    My point about the oldsters is that your assertion about the necessity of children is flawed. You repeat it, but it never gets more true. “Under certain circumstances” a society of 80s (or 85+, which is it?) will collapse. Under other circumstances it will long endure. The circumstances you posit are persistently diminished by the advance of technology. A millenium ago, a society of 40s would not long endure. Today it seems like 80 might be the limit. When will it be 100, or 120, 200? Why isn't it already 100?

    If I pick the circumstances, a self-ordered society of wise and respectful elders requires zero policing. Careful deployment of mines and nuclear drones make my elders impervious to attack. The tiny amount of required infrastructure can be maintained by machine. Any job for which you find children necessary can be eliminated from the circumstances.

    Perhaps this claimed need for replacement humans is an opinion which doesn’t merit debate. If so, please stop stealing from the childless. You masquerade as defending society (we need smart children!), but your position is as selfish as any.

    At the root, there is no need for a society to reproduce and perpetuate. It is only a desire, and that desire resides in the individuals who comprise the society.

    If we stopped subsidizing children, I am confident we would still find enough to serve whatever purposes you imagine. They seem such a desirable commodity, the demand will never fall to zero, even if the full cost is born by their parents.

  • sabril

    "sabril, I took as an honest request by you to understand my position."

    Then why are you evading my question? No reasonable person would dispute that chemotherapy is "ok" or "appropriate" or "acceptable" sometimes.

    "'Under certain circumstances' seems a weasel phrase. "

    No it isn't. It's simply acknowledging that there are situations where chemotherapy should not be done.

    Let me put the question another way. If there is a situation where taxation is the "best possible choice," should the government impose the tax or not?

    If there is a situation where chemotherapy is the "best possible choice," should the patient choose chemotherapy or not?

    "Under other circumstances it will long endure. The circumstances you posit are persistently diminished by the advance of technology"

    That's true, but so what? Until technology reaches a certain point, we need an influx of young people. As a practical matter of course.

    "If I pick the circumstances, a self-ordered society of wise and respectful elders requires zero policing"

    So what? If I pick the circumstances, Bar Rafaeli will be sitting in my lap right now.

    "If we stopped subsidizing children, I am confident we would still find enough to serve whatever purposes you imagine"

    :shrug: And I'm not confident of it.

  • Michael

    The US birth rate has been 14 to 17 per 1,000 since 1970. There is no lack of kids.

  • sabril

    "The US birth rate has been 14 to 17 per 1,000 since 1970. There is no lack of kids"

    I think you need to look a bit closer at what's going on. Smart educated people are having fewer children and less intelligent, less educated people are having more children.

  • jv w/2 children

    Sabril-
    "Sure, it’s just an opinion. If the choice is between (1) some degree of taxation; and (2) anarchy, I would take the former. I prefer to live in a society with basic government services (including rule of law; basic infrastructure; military defense)."

    Interesting. I would prefer to live in society that doesn't use coercion to consistantly structure itself, thereby validating itself everyday by the peacefull interaction of those who choose to call itself members. I am not 100% opposed to taxes. However, I do think that any such removal of liberty(taxes) should only come with a super majority(75% or greater).

    Sabril--
    "Let me ask you this: Suppose that a society were composed solely of people aged 80 and older. Do you think such a society would last indefinitely?"

    No. No human society lasts indefinitely... including those attempting to be structured by coercive intervention.

    I would never make the trade to remove someone else's liberty with my perceived vision for the structure of a "better" society. I would always be(99% of the time) in that 25% on taxes. However, I would better accept it if it was structured this way..... even your original proposal.

  • sabril

    "I would prefer to live in society that doesn’t use coercion to consistantly structure itself, thereby validating itself everyday by the peacefull interaction of those who choose to call itself members. "

    And I would prefer it if my wife told me she wants to have a threesome with me and another woman. Which is a lot more likely to happen than the society you envision.

    "No. No human society lasts indefinitely… including those attempting to be structured by coercive intervention"

    Ok, then please tell me by what year Switzerland will fall.

  • Michael

    sabril, we could sterilize kids at birth and only give their genitals back if they score over 2000 on the SAT.

  • Michael

    I wouldn't expect Switzerland to fail. They have much of the worlds gold and secrets, and every citizen has an assault rife.

  • sabril

    "sabril, we could sterilize kids at birth and only give their genitals back if they score over 2000 on the SAT."

    In my view, that would be too extreme. One of the problems with eugenics is that it has been seriously tainted by the Nazis. But to my mind, there's no need for gas chambers or concentration camps to get America back on the right demographic track. Just gentle nudges with the tax code, such as giving generous tax exemptions for children; Reforming welfare to make it even less appealing; making it easier for intelligent people to immigrate here; etc.

    "I wouldn’t expect Switzerland to fail. They have much of the worlds gold and secrets, and every citizen has an assault rife."

    Nothing lasts forever, but Switzerland is a country which is well positioned to last well into the forseeable future. Unlike our hypothetical society of 85+ year olds.