Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Ending the subsidy to breed

Cactus Kate has written about two interconnected issues, the chronic rate of extreme abuse and neglect of children in New Zealand disproportionately by Maori adults, and the way the state subsidises breeding from the taxes of others.

She is right of course.  Despite Marxist reality evaders like John Minto and Maia excusing brutal child abuse as being about poverty, precious little is needed to disprove that.  If it were true, children in poorer countries would be getting beaten up and murdered in record numbers.  The problem is not material the problem is a poverty of aspirations, a problem of people breeding recklessly and keeping the kids because they bring in cash, or wanting to be parents, but also wanting to party, get drunk, leave children with relatives, friends, neighbours and then psychologically abusing the kids who want attention.  People who themselves wasted their education, don't read, don't study, don't work hard and don't want kids who know they can be better than them, are the source of abuse and despair.   They destroy the lives and futures of children because they have made their lives a daily search for instant gratification, sensation and mindless hedonism.

Her answers are good as well.  The first priority for the welfare state should be to cease paying the DPB to new claimants, and to end all other benefits/tax allowances for children, in exchange for lowering taxes across the board.  People shouldn't be rewarded for breeding.  Indeed, breeding whilst on welfare benefits should be penalised on the basis that the last thing someone should do whilst unemployed or sick is to breed.

By contrast, imagine if there was an income tax free threshold of NZ$15,000.  What if GST could go back down to 12.5% (!), then families who do work hard to make a difference wouldn't be penalised so much for what they do.  

However, to do that you'd need to vote for political parties that believe in more freedom and less government.  These don't apparently exist in Parliament at the moment.

The bigger message is that breeding carries responsibility and to give up some of your money, time and effort for children.  It costs you to breed.  Nobody else owes you or your children a living, except the source of the sperm (or egg) of your child.   Along with such welfare and tax reform would be the legal obligation of each parent to be responsible for the basic needs of the child (unless one has been removed from this by contract/court agreement).  

While we are at it, why not deny custody of children of all those convicted of serious violent and sexual offences - for reasons that are rather obvious.


ZenTiger said...

I think too many people have little ability to associate actions with consequences.

Therefore, it may not matter if you ended welfare, other than creating entirely new sets of problems that could have worse consequences for a greater number of children.

So we need to provide some further safety net - I'm not sure what that is, but ideas like mandatory military service, living on base with food and board supplied, and all pay going to the children - perhaps 2 years service for each child and see if they turn themselves around.

Maybe single women with children and no stable relationship are taken into dormitory living arrangements and required to share childcare and have their money and food managed - treated like children themselves until they can prove they can conduct themselves like adults?

The above ideas have lots of flaws in them, and are really only offered to generate some brainstorming, but I do feel we need to be looking at much sterner measures to break the problems that only seem to be getting worse.

ZenTiger said...

Oops, meant to say the mandatory military service was for those fathers that try to walk away from their responsibilities - so if they are unemployed, they might need to be taken out of the loop and taught some discipline whilst funding their children's upbringing.

Libertyscott said...

I don't think single women with children should be forced to live in particular environments, but the incentives to do so could be clearer. In other words, what is wrong with groups of young mothers living together and sharing a flat rate benefit (that doesn't increase when more children arrive)?

The real answer is for the father (or not caregiving parent) to pay enough to enable child and other parent to subsist. The military service as backstop job is an interesting one, although the military wont want loads of dropkicks filling it up. A transitional arrangement might be ok, perhaps allowing up to 1 year community service then expectation of getting employment.

The issue is dealing with the underclass of relatively useless and unmotivated people - not only do they need to be pushed into being useful, but they need to actually BE useful, and all that is left is jobs like picking up rubbish etc.