Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Parental Responsibility

Unfortunately we currently have a situation where many children are subjected to conditions of "poverty" (although I object somewhat to the definition as versus 3rd world poverty) simply because their parents do not take responsibility for their own actions. 

I  fully support a welfare system that supports the needy; however I also embrace many of the ideals of a liberal Government and its emphasis on personal responsibility. It is unfair to impinge on the rights of a child to a reasonable upbringing because of the lack of responsibility shown by their parents.  To this end I propose combining the two for any welfare regarding children (read DPB, Working For Families, etc).  Where someone gets welfare for the purposes of sustaining a child this is an admittance to a breach of their responsibilities in ensuring that they can provide before creating life (which in my view is a very serious offence).  The assistance should be granted (for the child's sake - it is unfair to punish them for their parents mistake), along with compulsory counseling to the parent(s) including sex education. 

On the application for assistance due to a second child further assistance is rendered, counseling given, and a final warning issued.  On 3rd application assistance is rendered, counseling given, and Tubal ligation / vasectomy performed.  The procedure may be reversed once the person / people are able to support themselves and are no longer dependent on welfare.

This would help to impress on people the very key responsibilities that are related to their right of procreation.  Unlike the right to drive this probably is not something that should be licensed before the right is given - mainly just due to the orwellian implications of that type of scheme - but neither do I believe that someone who has patently abused that right, without heed for the responsibilities inherent, should keep it.

Note this is not restricting people to 3 children - neither is it even restricting beneficiaries to 3 children; it is restricting people to 3 children dependent on the state.  So someone can be supporting 2 children themselves - but get assistance for their 3rd when they make the mistake.
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burt said...

Very valid blog entry.

It would seem to me that to limit welfare support to a maximum of 3 children is not only sensible from an economic perspective but is also environmentally responsible. I don't think it's in any way acceptable to restrict a person from have children as this is a very basic and not negotiable human right. However it is not a basic human right to have your own children supported by strangers when you have had more children than you can afford. This is where extended families and communities should step in.

Dare I say, it also where religious organisations should provide support since their preachings are often a factor in production of large families.

I wonder how many people sell their no longer needed baby stuff (high chairs, cots etc) on tradme and keep the money while the Govt pours money at people in their own extended families to buy the same. The excessive taxation and welfare policies of this country are destroying the sense of community. We have donated all of our no longer needed baby stuff, including cloths, books and toys to places such as the city mission, womans refuge or passed it to other family members. I'm picking we are a minority.

The world currently suffers from significant over population in certain areas, it is simply not responsible for a country with abundant space to limit immigration and encourage a high internal birth rate.

iiq374 said...

I would contend that the unborn child actually has a far greater right to remain unborn (if they are to be subjected to unfair hardship) than the right of the parent to procreate.

If you check again I am only saying that this restriction would be imposed (and preferably in a reversable manner) where someone CONTINUES to impinge on others rights (both the child and the welfare payers) because society also cannot afford to not help those children.

iiq374 said...

If the person cannot handle the responsibilities of parenting, then the right must be revoked until and unless they can.

burt said...

When you put it like that - I agree 100%. A murky line to enforce but certainly a valid principal.

Chris said...

God forbid you do something that other intolerant citizens dislike. Maybe since I disagree with your post, you should lose a finger so you can't type. Do it again, off with your hand. Good Luck playing God

iiq374 said...

Chris - I never said that they could not continue to procreate as they saw fit; only that there was a limit to the number of times they could get other people to pay them for it against their will.

LETS TALK said...

Hi, Thanks for visiting my site at Lets Talk. In response to the statement you left, I'll just say. It's ok to have different perspectives on politics and so. I like to feel that I'm beyond that, and as a person I can take your views and even put them on my site. The wrost thing that I can think of is trying to stop freedom of speech by any political party.
Now to your post.
I can't see anyone on this earth trying to play God, for the sake of others.
What I mean is. How can you, or anyone else say that it's ok to stop the production of infants, because the family, or in your case here, the woman is not able to take care of the kids financially. Causing others to pay for that child through state and federal taxes.
There's alot of other things that you should reference other than a blessing.
We pay for Medical research and if something good comes from that research a drug company is given the right to produce and charge us whatever.
I could go on and on, but I'll just end with this.
It is a blessing to have a child and if anything, what we as Gods children should be doing is helping that mother or family learn and work to raise and support that child.
There's a web sight about the book of Raziel, who gave a book to Adam with God secrets. I think you should check the site out.

weizguy said...

This is an interesting proposal from a libertarian. It's a little nanny state for me.

I understand the sentiment, but I can't see how it's any better than WFF.

It seems that the problems you have with WFF are more to do with thresholds than the concept. Correct?

iiq374 said...

Hi again "Lets Talk",
Sorry but I won't rebut your points sequentially:

I deliberatly make no mention of the sex of the parent(s) - both are equally responsible for the welfare of their children, and equally culpable for a lack of care.

I agree with your statement that it is a blessing and that we should be helping that family learn and work to raise and support that child. That is why I specifically reference counselling in all instances.

What I am talking about here is where people continue to show a lack of responsibility towards they should be caring for then the right is revoked until they can.

iiq374 said...

Weizguy -
My main issues with WFF are:
Welfare should be targetted at the needy, WFF extends far beyond those children whose families are in need.
It provides an explicit behavioural reward for producing children.

But yes - as you can hopefully take from my main post I do not have an issue with welfare for the needy - few Libertarians do - but it should remain a safety net.

iiq374 said...

I would also be interested to know how you see the proposal as "Nanny State".

I am not protecting people from themselves - I am protecting those vulnerable children.

Also like most Libertarians I am simply proposing that people take responsibility for those rights they choose to exercise - only the consequence imparted might be seen as harsh by some. Given the lives involved and the impacts on children growing up in poverty I can only wonder if 3 chances is too many.

iiq374 said...

I would also contend that there are a number of other proposals such as allowing income splitting over partners that would achieve much the same outcome (as Working For Families) with far greater equity in results.

burt said...

WFF has one thing going for it. It addresses the needs of a group of socienty without reverting to race as a criteria. For this I give the Govt a tick, otherwise it's a waste of space and will be just another major drain on the productive people in this country.

Long live parental responsibility. You hatch em, you raise em.

LETS TALK said...

Larry, from lets talk.
In reference to your question. You can right click and view source and feel free to use anything that you wish, If you need the original, just ley me know.
I must say that I really like your post and if it's OK, I'm going to link to your site!

iiq374 said...

Hi Larry,
Thanks for the vote of confidence - please feel more than welcome to have a link! Now I'm just hoping I can do some more good entries in the future ;-)

I might take you up on the offer of the original - it makes sorting out the meta-tags alot easier! (And means I might finally figure out how to get this page looking like the main one...)

Aurelius said...

What a trip to see a blog from out of the states that uses the word liberal to define what we here would call a conservative view. Us english speakers really are all over the place.

blogmad: a service that insures people only scan your site and then comment quickly all in 25 secs.

weizguy said...

Why do I see it as a Nanny state policy? Because it's highly interventionist. Surely the libertarian perspective would allow people to exercise their "property rights" over their own bodies.

Your proposed policy limits freedom far more than WFF.

Incidentally, I agree with you about the WFF thresholds. I'm not sure we've found the right level of affluence required for children, but I don't have a problem with the concept.

iiq374 said...

Thanks Weizguy for the response to my highly leading question :-)
Yes - the libertarian view does allow for that, but not when it impacts unfairly on others property rights...

Just as I cannot exercise my right to swing a knife with someone within reach without consequences / tote my gun in public etc. You will note that I am very careful in my post (and follow up comments) to elaborate that it is only WHEN THE PERSON CONTINUES TO REQUIRE WELFARE FOR THEIR CHILDREN that this is taken. IE when they have shown a repeated lack of concern for the rights of others (including the children) and have shown themselves to be incapable of holding that right.

iiq374 said...

Sorry Weizguy - I need to rebut from a slightly different angle with another question:

So is imprisonment for a crime perpetuated against others a sign of a "nanny state"?

weizguy said...

"Yes - the libertarian view does allow for that, but not when it impacts unfairly on others property rights..."

So when do we decide when having children is an unfair impact on the property rights of others. Personally, I believe the freedom to procreate is more important than the impact on tax take. I struggle to see a real harm.

"IE when they have shown a repeated lack of concern for the rights of others (including the children) and have shown themselves to be incapable of holding that right."

Who decides, and at what point? This assumes that procreation is a rational choice. Most people are not rational consumers.

"So is imprisonment for a crime perpetuated against others a sign of a "nanny state"?"

To some (depending on the crime) ie: prison for drug taking...
In reality, however, prison is merely one form of correction that is used to protect society. BTW - i'm not the classic liberal - you are. Most custodial sentences are punishment for actual harm.

iiq374 said...

So when do we decide when having children is an unfair impact on the property rights of others. That is the primary difficulty, I have given an estimation - in reality it would be harder to decide. Like the difference between posession and dealing / speeding and reckless endangerment / etc. We have many examples of arbitrary distinctions in the law already, I agree it would be difficult getting the level right but I do not believe that is an adequate argument.

In actual fact the person whose rights are most affected is the child being born. Any time someone brings life into this world without adequate means to sustain that life they have violated the childs rights. Society has made a value choice to help that child due to its complete lack of choice in the matter, however this creates the dicotemy of the violater being rewarded for their act.

Your point about rationality is precisely why I suggest 3 chances - this is beyond a one time stuff up; and also is the exact reason why it is needed. We cannot rely on the person modifying their behaviour in the rational interests of others so a more forceful form of coercion is needed. This could be fines / imprisonment - but I ask you how either of those would be in the interests of the existing children; whereas the prevention of further burdens on a household that ALREADY cannot support itself is.

I would ask you to read from March 9 before passing judgement on my views of prison...