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This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why Do We Have To Keep Paying For Them?

        Okay, first of all I want to get something straight from the get go:  I am not an ogre, or a nazi, or an evil person.  I like to think that I am considerate, empathetic, and care about other people. Why do I start this way?  Because my issue today may be misconstrued by some and perhaps considered prejudicial and possibly racist.  Believe me, I am not directing the following toward any particular group other that the group to which this rant is directed.

        The United States of America wastes an awful lot of money for the sake of politcal correctness, misdirected compassion, and fear that somebody is going to be offended or have their rights taken away.  Our government continuously dishes out money to undeserving entities, which in turn supports and propagates a segment of society that drags down the economy and dilutes the quality of our society.  This is true in more ways than one, but the issue I pose today relates to the topic of government subsidized social bodies that act as families.

        Here is the question I would like to toss out for discussion:

Should women who stay on government subsidy, and continue to have multiple children, at some point be forced to submit to sterilization?  Likewise, for men who in cases where paternity can be proven or are consistent dead-beat dads?

         Welfare mothers and their broods of children have been around for decades and in many cases have gone into second and third generations.  Often, fathers are or appear to be absent which leads to mothers who cannot support their children themselves and must turn to government programs in order to feed themselves and their children. They are often encouraged to scam the system by having more children so they can collect more money.  Or in other cases the women are just plain ignorant, irresponsible, or desperate for a man and they don't seem to figure out how to stem the flood of children pouring from their loins.

       I'm not talking population control as has been done in China.  Parents who can afford the children and are responsible enough to see that they are getting proper care and upbringing have a right to have all the children that they want and I would argue that these families are beneficial to society and the economy.  The problem is with the dysfunctional familial structures which burden all of us who help pay the bill.

        This is not the same as forced eugenics like some may immediately compare to the Nazis or other societies which have experimented with the elimination or downsizing of certain ethnic or racial groups or even, for health or other reasons, any groups felt to be inferior to the predominate group. I am strictly referring to the childbearing machines that crank out offspring without any regard to who's going to pay the bill knowing that it's not going to be them.

       Now, I understand that sometimes people make mistakes.  A young girl may have a child and have difficulty supporting it.  A woman may have a second or a third child and need some assistance.  But where does it stop before society steps in and says that's enough.  My initial suggestion would be stopping at kid number three, if a woman has been on welfare for say five years without any support other than government, then the powers that be should step in and require sterilization. And prior to kid number three counseling should begin with the mother, starting with the first kid, to help her start making better life decisions.  We shouldn't just let these people fall through the cracks and just become part of the system, we should educate them so we can fix the system.

         Forced sterilization has been a highly controversial subject in the past and the practice has been abused and misused in many instances.  But I do not want to get into any of those controversies.  I only want to look at sterilization as a means of punishing irresponsible behavior.  Some may argue against any government intervention when it comes to issues of morality or responsibilty, but let's face it, the government intervenes all of the time in issues relating to the ways that people behave. If the taxpaying citizens must foot the bill to subsidize people who insist upon a behavior pattern which results in dependence upon the society, then those same citizens should have a right to expect that punitive consequences be exerted by the government upon those irresponsible parties to control their behaviors.

          Perhaps I am starting a bad precedent in doing so, but I will give a few analogies that I think are comparable.  If a person is an alcoholic or a drug addict, should the government policy provide that person living assistance and supply that person with the substances that cause them harm?  It does happen, but I don't think with intent.  Some people learn to scam the system. If a person consistently and blatently breaks traffic laws with resultant harm such as multiple accidents where there has been damage to persons or property, is it acceptable to take away that person's privilege to drive, fine that person, or even put that person in prison?  If a person is poor and cannot provide adequately for their family, is the acceptable solution for them to steal from a business or commit robbery?  In all of these cases there are viable options in place by the government to help these people find solutions to their problems as long as these people agree to conform to certain measures accepted by society.  We all must play by certain rules.

         The welfare families are not bad or evil and in many cases there is a great deal of love and caring within these units.  I have heard many inspirational stories of parents in these circumstances sacrificing a great deal to provide for their kids.  I have heard uplifting tales of kids who have come from these types of backgrounds and overcome the odds against them to excel in school, receive scholarships, and go on to do great things.  This can happen, but I am quite certain that stories such as these are the exception and far from the norm.  For the most part, those that come from the government dependent poverty background remain that way and produce offspring that carry on the tradition of being non-productive members of society. 

          Am I totally misguided in my thinking? Tell my why if you think so.  How should the problem be handled?  What method of social engineering is best to get this strata of society to change?  Or should we even try to change it?  Perhaps you may believe that there will always be people like this and we should be compassionate and accept them as they are.  The Bible says that the poor will always with us, but I really don't believe that we should accept that as being the same as the poor should always remain ignorant, immoral, or irresponsible. 

          This is just something that was on my mind and I'm tossing it out to you.  What do you think? Agree? Is there anything that I overlooked?  Disagree?  Educate us with your defense.  I'm sure you have something to say about this so come on and toss it back.



  1. Disagree.

    I haven't given much detailed thought to welfare issues, so I don't know that I even care if we keep paying for "welfare children" even if they WERE brought into this world to "scam the system." As a general rule, paying for kids to be fed, healthy, and insured seems like a good thing to me, no matter who has the kid or why.

    And, I think the "welfare mother" situation is often exaggerated, but I can't cite sources right now, so I'll just play along with the hypothetical question as written.

    I *do* understand the sense of injustice people may feel when they see, for example, middle-class families choosing not to have a much-wanted additional child for financial reasons, but then they see what appears to be a less-well-off family having more kids without engaging in the same thoughtful financial planning.


    There have be so many ways to "stop paying" for multiple children that have NOTHING to do with involuntary sterilization, which to my mind is an act of assault as well as messing with reproductive rights. Just limit the benefits given out. Rework the system so it's harder to "scam." Whatever.

    But forced sterilization because the government thinks you can't take care of your kids on your own? Forced surgery and taking away the ability of a human being to have children... for FINANCIAL reasons? I believe that is immoral.

  2. I agree with CKHB..rework the system. Make it mandatory that recipients receive training and limit the number of dependents to two, plus only allow money to be received for two years, offer discounted daycare while the parent or parents work. I feel it's important that individuals start earning for themselves to help with their feeling of self-worth. To sterilize ( what an awful word)to preform a way to limit reproduction is taking the rights away from an individual, allowing control by an organization, which in this case, would be the government. I feel the system can be updated, upgraded and improved!

  3. Got me thinking of when I was a Social Worker in CA in the 80's and 90's. I worked with this population of families. Many times they were referred to me due to drugs or mental health issues. Sometimes I would have to remove children from the home. It is never an easy answer but I always asked myself, What is best for the Child? Definitly sterilization is something the courts won't order, it is a moral call. Education is the best answer and with welfare to work laws, families can only collect for 5 years max.

    I linked you to my blog, thanks for following me and I hope you will link me also.

  4. Arlee-I have something on my blog, Sixty Is Just The Beginning, for you. Check out the awards post.

  5. Change the system, NOT the internal organs of a human being!

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" Stephen

  6. I know I will be shot for my answer. Having been on welfare myself for 2.5 years (about 20 years ago)...and struggling to get thru college while on welfare. I can say I have been on both sides of the fence on the welfare issue.

    It is a program that is meant to be a temporary help, not a life style. If those who cannot afford to supprot children (on welfare or not), they simply should not have them. What sort of education does someone need to understand this concept?

    Sterilization? I would say yes, for drug addicts, those with mental disorders who just cannot raise children, or would have children that would suffer a birth defect due to the above.

    Also, I have always felt that welfare recipients should not be subsidized for more than 2 children. If they have more, then perhaps adoption is the answer for that. If they cant learn to keep their legs closed, or use birth control of some sort, my answer is tough crap. Learn to support yourself and the kids, then have more.

    Why would we want those who cannot (by circumstance OR choice) care for children, create them? These kids don't stand a chance to be productive citizens. And NO I am not saying that ALL welfare parents are bad parents. But there aught to be a limit as to how many kids they have.

    I don't care if I am politically correct on this or not....not that I ever try to be PC!! :)

  7. I can see extreme cases for sterilization. People in and out of the prison system have no menas of providing an environment for a child to thrive. A guy with a violent rap sheet should be snipped. I don't have much sympathy for violent career criminals.

    Stephen Tremp

  8. Thanks for the input. I too like to believe in the idealism of changing the system and educating. Unfortunately, I don't believe there is much follow thru from those running the system, education doesn't go far enough (real effective education is going to have to address issues of morality, values, etc).

    Some people are not going to change or play the game fairly as long as they can take advantage of the system and there are no concrete punitive measure with actual follow thru. Our system encourages welfare in many ways and once we have sedated and put down certain segments of society with welfare dependency it's hard to break the habit for those people.

    by mandatory sterilization measures I am not talking violently holding down people and submitting them to the knife. I'm saying you give options and alternatives. Vasectomies and tubal ligations are often done voluntarily by the productive sectors of society who have decided that its time for them to quit.

    For the non-productive welfare, drug addicted, criminal, and other elements you educate them to the benefits of them not producing any more children and provide them incentives if they go with that plan and hopefully assist them in a way that will help them and society.

    Producing kids should not be considered a right just for anybody, but a privilege for those responsible enough to meet the challenge.

    In order to rework the system though is going to basically involve reworking most of our government at all levels, changing a whole bunch of laws, and straightening up the entire judicial system and I don't see any of that on the horizon.

  9. Hey Arlee,

    When I initially began reading your post I knew where you were coming from but believe the public and media would have a field day with Compulsory steralisation and was going to suggest funding provided only for x number of children.

    I liked the way you looked at all sides of the arguement and I think that councilling would be a great added benefit and agree that we should accept the poor but not ignorance if we can do something about it.

    A really great post - not sure where to leave it in my opinion - perhaps steralisation is an option but wow - the country would have a lot to say about it. On the other hand, it drives me mad the way government pussy-foot around issues and hurting peoples feelings etc etc - I believe a huge amount of time and money is wasted on this unneccessary business. Yes, Government should be polite in their addresses but I think the rest is pointless and makes them look stupid really.

    Thats just my take but generally speaking, politicians just annoy the hell out of me. I've got a new post up. Feel free to stop by.

    Have a lovely day

  10. You can call me whatever you want, and I'm a Canadian, not an American...

    As soon as poverty-stricken, ill-educated people are FORCED to take birth control, I will begin to feel sorry for all those starving children out there that these inbred, illiterate bunch keep spewing into society!But NOT one moment sooner!

    As soon as someone from a Third World country starts lecturing me about the effects Western Industry has on "Global Warming", I friggen harp right back and say, we'll stop polluting over here if you stop have a ZILLION kids/family over there!!

    And the same goes for these procreating dead beats in Canada and the US!

    Do NOT feel you have to qualify your post one tiny bit, as these free-loaders, who don't give one iota about the welfare of their country nor their own lives consistently depend on others to keep Life as they like it, for them, while they sit at home, doing NOTHING constructive for anyone, INCLUDING bringing another half-wit into the world!

    If you are NOT upgrading your education, if you are on social assistance and no health disability prevents you from working, and if you continually get pregnant or get others pregnant while doing this, Hell yes, sterilization or forced birth control, is the ONLY way to get these free-loaders off of the hand-out waggon! You betcha!

    You, by law, need a license to drive a goddamned car but anyone can procreate at will...go figure?!

  11. Well, amen to that, MsBurb. Hope to get some more comments from you on upcoming debate topics. You really know how to express yourself with enthusiasm and that's what I like to get here.

  12. My own values begin with compassion and reverence for life. A belief that my job is not to judge other people and their lives. A belief that freedom is a concept like all ideals that must involve balance-in this case between individual and collective points of view (because the individual and the collective are simply different ways of our creating narratives about reality). This means deeply understanding that we are the government and the government is us. Wealth is not ever solely individual-it is created by a combination of individual and collective efforts and opportunities (who do the oil or gold or trees in America really belong to?. The banking system, which both creates opportunity and plays a part in how the fruits of labor is divided among individuals, is a collective institution-it is a fiction that it belongs only to individuals who own its stock or head its management and that their personal skill or greed should determine what happens to what it creates (haven't we just seen dramatic proof of this?). Banks can be immoral, but they are so powerful, they are hard to keep accountable. Some welfare mothers may be immoral, but they lack power so it’s tempting to make them targets of accountability. I don't think that this issue of reproductive freedom is the place to further erode individual freedom (even freedom to make mistakes). From my point of view, the problem with our government is that it is being dominated by corporate interests more than individual ones- weakening our democracy and individual freedom-- subverting the balance between individuals and the collective.
    I hesitated to respond because of uncertainty about why you posted such a piece, when your introduction made it clear that you knew that what you were saying was provocative and can be interpreted as stereotyping, prejudiced, judgmental, punitive, and immoral. 1. Were you really trying to persuade people to adopt your point of view? 2. Are you in conflict about what you said and hoping for personal development through an exchange of ideas with others? 3. Were you venting your feelings of frustration and anger so that you would feel better? 4 Were you just trying to be provocative so that people would post comments on your blog and continue to read it?
    I have responded to possibility 2 above by giving you some of my ideas about this. I personally am not searching for a place to debate political ideas at this level--or I guess I would be writing a political blog or following a lot of them.
    If number 3 is the issue, let me say that I have empathy and compassion in relation to your sense of anguish about the messy and problematic side of our society. There is so much injustice, each of us who is not rich, has experienced consequences of this (we have worked hard and lost jobs when our society promises us opportunity and reward for hard work), we each can see the injustices in the way our society distributes opportunity and wealth (I personally think the rich rather than the poor are the ones who need to be changed first). etc. I gather you have suffered from these inequities and I know how much that hurts.
    If number 1 is the issue, you have probably seen by now that you didn't persuade me. I think that my own point of view is better informed than yours. However, I doubt that I am going to persuade you of this, which makes me reluctant to read or respond to you or others who write (and think) this way. This, of course, shows the arrogance involved in my position, although there is a paradox, because I think I understand generally what has influenced you to get to your position and I feel compassion for you rather than anger or disparagement.
    If number 4 is the motivation, I don't think it’s a good strategy. Although I am responding to your


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