Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Making Kids Worthless

The question of how Canada ever got to the point it has in respect to the anti-life sentiment that is commonplace in the Canadian mindset, i.e. the atrocity of abortion, the looming threat of euthanasia, the low fertility rate, the breakdown of the traditional family, etc. is surely a complex one.

There is probably no one simple answer to that question but rather a combination of many factors and the culmination of much wrong thinking. To get good results from life, family, government, etc, we must make the right decisions in each respective sphere. This implies that there is objective truth and the existence of right and wrong, good and evil, etc. It will not do to maintain that everything is simply a matter of individual preferences and that one idea is certainly as good as the next.

I shouldn’t say much more about the concept of moral relativism, [great audio file here] but I should rather get to the point of this post.

No one could argue that in order to carry out the indiscriminate killing of the unborn in Canada, it is not first necessary to reduce them, individually, to the state of being worthless. Of course this is an artificial assessment, necessary in order to salve the conscience of the perpetrators of such injustice. Obviously there are various dynamics involved in the process of “making kids worthless.”

Oskari Juurikkala, in his article, Making Kids Worthless: Social Security's Contribution to the Fertility Crisis, gives us something to chew on. There’s something here for the pro-lifer, the political scientist, the social worker and the church leader. I found the article quite helpful and for such a short work, it carries a fabulous punch.

Some highlights: [but try to read the whole article…it’s not very long]

But the disincentives to work are not the only problem with government social security schemes. Demographic change too is a result of those systems, because compulsory social security penalizes parenthood and childbearing. Unfortunately, low fertility rates do not merely hasten the insolvency of public pay-as-you-go schemes, but lack of offspring also implies the decline of centuries-old nations.


In the absence of public social security systems, families function as a type of private, informal pay-as-you-go insurance mechanism, in which parents look after their children, and children care for their parents in sickness and old age in return. This is the common pattern still found in all traditional societies — just as it was in the West a hundred years ago.


In addition to man's innate affection for offspring, the main reason why people used to have large families was that it was economically sound. Sociologists and demographers call it "the old age security motive for fertility." In traditional societies, family values and mutual altruism are deeply held values, which are nurtured by both upbringing and material needs.


Every kind of socialism creates perverse incentives, and socialism directed to the family perverts the family. Because everyone has to pay for the retirement of everyone else, it does not pay to have children.


Of course, social security is not the only reason for declining fertility rates. For one thing, the welfare state undermines the family in many other ways too, such as compulsory public education that seeks to replace family loyalty with allegiance to the state.


Given the efficiency benefits of scrapping social security taxation, there would also be many more voluntary charities and mutual help societies to assist those who, through bad luck or some fault of their own, have no one else to look after them. These organizations would do a better job than any government agency will ever do, because they would be managed with entrepreneurial talent and run by people who really care.

The best solution is also the simplest: get the state out of the way.

I think there are some great concepts presented here and some ideas that can help us to reverse the trend of “making kids worthless.” There’s a very strong political component to this article but fundamentally the average Canadian needs to understand these basic dynamics and incorporate them as principles in their moral/social thinking.

Patrick Barron offers his related commentary: Welfare Will Be The Literal Death Of Us



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