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Old 08-07-2013, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Mesa, AZ
451 posts, read 625,802 times
Reputation: 1164

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR2012 View Post
Well, I do know a man who has children only so his name will go on. His name is common, and no one is going to notice if his name is going on. Also, he does nothing to take care of his kids but provide money. His wife is expected to do all the work. So far, he only has girls. She can barely handle them, but he forces her to continue to have kids until she has the boy he demands, even though she almost died having one of them. He doesn't care, he HAS to have the boy. Sure, she should stand up for herself, but she won't. But IMO, that's selfish on his part.

I know many people without kids who have the time and money to donate to many causes, even those people who help with children without parents. They are able to contribute many things to society, where as many parents I know have not the time or money and are more of a drain on society with kids who tear up things, litter, cause problems, harm other people, vandalize, etc. One lady I know doesn't have kids, but she mentors many inner-city kids who's own parents have practically abandoned them or can't be bothered because they are too busy partying or whatever it is they prefer to being the parent they should be. I feel that being a parent doesn't necessarily mean you are contributing more and adding to society; and not being a parent doesn't mean you are selfishly taking from society either.

Sometimes by not being a parent you have the time, money, and resources to give more and help out. Sure, it's not always that way, but I think people tend to overlook this situation and automatically assume that parenting = contributing and not parenting = taking, so I like to point out the other side of the coin.

Great post, I absolutely agree! I strongly believe that there is a difference between simply reproducing and actually being a parent. There seems to be an epidemic of people who have children, the same way you have a car or a purse. They're life accessories. I applaud and respect people who actually put forth the effort to raise their children.

The argument could also be made (and forgive me if it already has, I haven't read the entire thread) that having children is selfish when there are so many unwanted children in the world that need loving families and homes. It begs the question of whether someone wants to love, nurture, and raise a child, or see their own image reflected back to them and/or continue their DNA/family name.

I am not necessarily saying that's true, so please don't get offended. I'm only pointing out another point of view.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:12 PM
 
1,478 posts, read 1,997,771 times
Reputation: 1579
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatCrazyRedhead View Post
While I admit to ignorance of the history behind it and the government's actual reasoning, my understanding has always been that parents get tax credits for their children because of what it costs to raise them (if anyone here knows differently, please correct me if I'm wrong). All I'm saying is that the cost of raising five cats for 16-20 years is probably pretty close to what it costs to raise a child, and if I'm paying the same amount of money, I should get the same credit. Yes, I chose to adopt five cats, but parents also chose to have children, so same same.
With all due respect, raising 5 cats does not cost the same as raising one kid. Not even close. Daycare in my part of the country runs about $1200/mo. If you want daycare to actually teach your kids something (as you as a parent would if you stayed home, rather than just turn them loose to bite each other all day), you could be looking at more. I can keep my dogs/cats at home while I work. Kids cost a lot of money to deliver in the hospital. Way more than what it costs to adopt 5 cats. Insurance for kids is way more expensive than pet insurance for 5 cats. Food for kids is way more expensive than dry cat food. And so on. A kid is going to end up costing me about 250K to raise to 18. It doesn't cost $14,000 per year to take care of 5 cats.

Re: the reasoning parents get tax credits for kids. Part of it is the expense, yes. The bigger reason is that without enough kids, our economy would be in the can in 20 years. Kids today will be the people you rely upon for everything in the coming decades. Without enough kids, you are paying through the nose for things because we would not have the labor pool to service the economy. Goods and services would be more scarce, therefore, prices would go up (a key principle of that capitalism thing you like). Some countries with even greater demographic challenges tax people who don't have kids. Or they offer a full year paternity/maternity leave. Or they offer ridiculously subsidized college educations (at like $1500 to $3000 per year for good universities). All in the name of encouraging people to have kids. To keep the economy going.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatCrazyRedhead View Post
And I do understand the rest of your argument, but I still don't agree with it. When I buy a car, the car industry and those who work in it make money. When I visit a doctor, the doctor gets paid. People are paid for the services they provide. (Hooray for capitalism!) I also shouldn't have to give up any Social Security benefits paid by the next generation, because I have been working and paying into Social Security since I was fourteen. But when I pay taxes for other people's children, I am being held financially responsible for their choices, and I don't think that's fair.
When you buy a car, the car industry makes money. But they can only make money because they have a trained labor force, and they do very little of the training. If people who didn't have kids didn't pay taxes for things that support primary, secondary, and higher education, then that makes education more expensive. Which means that fewer people can afford to become an engineer. Which means a scarcity of engineers. Either that or companies would be forced to pay higher wages to encourage people to incur even more debt to go to college to become engineers. Either way, you would pay more for a car. Same with med school. MDs here are saddled with a ton of debt compared to their peers in other countries. They also make more than doctors in any other major developed country. Coincidence? Not really. If they didn't make what they do, far fewer people would be willing to incur mountains of debt to go into medicine. If you want to bypass the system, fine. You should just have to pay what people would expect if they were saddled with another 40,000 to 60,000 of debt, which is how much more it would cost to go to school for 4 years at a public school if no one subsidized higher ed.

Re: social security. It doesn't matter when you started paying for it. When you pay social security taxes, that money is not earmarked for your retirement. It is paid to today's retirees. Tomorrow's workers will pay for your retirement. It has always been this way since the beginning of social security. In the Depression, current workers were paying social security, which was then used to help alleviate poverty among seniors during the Depression. Senior citizens in the Depression never paid in. They got the free ride.

When you pay taxes that help support other people's children, what you are doing is giving them a big fat thank you for breeding the people that will pay for your social security check, wipe the drool off your chin, provide the goods and services that you need, and basically make your life possible in your retirement. I get a lot of satisfaction and joy from my children, but if I was making a choice to have them based only upon my own economic self interest, I would never have them. Nobody would. They are awful investments on an individual level...as long as someone else is having them to provide the economy with all of the things you need in your old age. We always pay for stuff that we don't directly need. Earthquake relief? Screw it. Let California fall into the ocean. Ditto western wildfires. Welfare? I don't need it. Same with a highway in the middle of Texas, a nuclear bomb, healthcare initiatives in Appalachia. I don't need animal control either. I've never called the cops, an ambulance or a fire truck. Forget about emergency services too then. We share these costs because they have very real and indirect consequences on our quality of life, even if it's difficult to connect the dots when they don't directly impact us as individuals.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:38 PM
 
1,176 posts, read 2,035,489 times
Reputation: 1400
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dissenter View Post
Yahoo!



Thoughts?
In a way, yes.

An argument can be made that couples or individuals, in significant numbers, electing not to reproduce drastically alters the already unbalanced selective pressures that humans are subject to. In an antiquated Darwinian sense, responsible parents with small broods and childfree people are less fit and unfit, respectively. The most fit individuals now, in a Darwinian sense, are those men with the most children - whether in a stable two-parent household or in squalor in several different houses by several different mothers - and those women with the most children - whether in a stable two-parent household or in squalor with different absentee fathers. Who will inherit the earth? Where is humanity heading? Is the decision NOT to pass the torch and to remove your genetic information from the earth a good one in that regard?
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:46 PM
 
1,176 posts, read 2,035,489 times
Reputation: 1400
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatCrazyRedhead View Post
Great post, I absolutely agree! I strongly believe that there is a difference between simply reproducing and actually being a parent. There seems to be an epidemic of people who have children, the same way you have a car or a purse. They're life accessories. I applaud and respect people who actually put forth the effort to raise their children.

The argument could also be made (and forgive me if it already has, I haven't read the entire thread) that having children is selfish when there are so many unwanted children in the world that need loving families and homes. It begs the question of whether someone wants to love, nurture, and raise a child, or see their own image reflected back to them and/or continue their DNA/family name.

I am not necessarily saying that's true, so please don't get offended. I'm only pointing out another point of view.
Is it, then, implied that a couple that has been blessed with good health and procreative competency and intends to provide the best family possible to their child or children is somehow doing so out of vanity if they elect to procreate rather than adopt?
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:34 PM
 
9,041 posts, read 9,466,130 times
Reputation: 7890
I always laugh at the "if people stopped having kids our society would crumble" posts. There will always be PLENTY of children. (too many, IMO!) There is no need to worry.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
14,316 posts, read 7,885,800 times
Reputation: 53366
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
Time to send them home?
Yes they're home now. It was so much fun but I dread the next credit card bill. They're little money pits. How do people do it?
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:56 PM
 
1,478 posts, read 1,893,768 times
Reputation: 2508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleonidas View Post
Is the decision NOT to pass the torch and to remove your genetic information from the earth a good one in that regard?
Why not? I never got this argument. When you are DEAD, you are DEAD. You aren't going to notice that your DNA is missing. If you have a nephew, that nephew still has your DNA. It's not like 1500 years from now I'm going to be hanging out somewhere thinking, "aw sh**, my DNA isn't over there!"

Do you think that someone born in the year 650 AD that maybe died at the age of 10, who didn't have the opportunity to have kids because they died, is somewhere pissed off because they didn't get the chance to have some DNA somewhere in today's world?

I guess it depends on your belief in the afterlife and what happens. For me, I believe whatever earthly concerns you have, mean nothing in the afterlife. Your human body and the DNA mean jack squat when you are gone from the earth. 3000 years from now we won't even be aware of our earthly DNA, let alone be somewhere crying about whether it's here or not. I couldn't care less about having some great great great great great great great great great times 10 grandkid "inheriting" this earth. And who says the earth will even be around that long, anyway?

And what if you DO have a child because you are so concerned about keeping your DNA - and your child has a child that passes before they have a child to carry it on? Or they are infertile? Or they don't want to have a child? Having a child guarantees nothing.
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Mesa, AZ
451 posts, read 625,802 times
Reputation: 1164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago76 View Post
Re: the reasoning parents get tax credits for kids. Part of it is the expense, yes. The bigger reason is that without enough kids, our economy would be in the can in 20 years. ... All in the name of encouraging people to have kids. To keep the economy going.
Do you have any factual documentation that this is the government's actual reason? I'd love to read it if you do.
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:35 PM
 
1,176 posts, read 2,035,489 times
Reputation: 1400
Quote:
Originally Posted by DR2012 View Post
Why not? I never got this argument. When you are DEAD, you are DEAD. You aren't going to notice that your DNA is missing. If you have a nephew, that nephew still has your DNA. It's not like 1500 years from now I'm going to be hanging out somewhere thinking, "aw sh**, my DNA isn't over there!"

Do you think that someone born in the year 650 AD that maybe died at the age of 10, who didn't have the opportunity to have kids because they died, is somewhere pissed off because they didn't get the chance to have some DNA somewhere in today's world?
Someone who dies at the age of 10 in 650 A.D. due to, for example, childhood cancer or perhaps a gene predisposing him/her to extreme risk taking behavior has removed those particular genes from circulation and the net effect trickles along all the way to 2013 where childhood cancers are very rare and extreme risk taking behavior is way out on one wing of the bell-curve. Someone who is a responsible, productive member of society with good health and above average intelligence taking him or herself out of the reservoir, who may or may not have a nephew (who still would not actually share any Y chromosomal similarity and will not necessarily share any X similarity, will not be as close genotypically as a child, may be completely dissimilar phenotypically, will not pass any significant nurture tradition, etc. etc.), electively removing his or her code from the reservoir DOES have an effect 1,000 generations later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DR2012 View Post
I guess it depends on your belief in the afterlife and what happens. For me, I believe whatever earthly concerns you have, mean nothing in the afterlife. Your human body and the DNA mean jack squat when you are gone from the earth. 3000 years from now we won't even be aware of our earthly DNA, let alone be somewhere crying about whether it's here or not. I couldn't care less about having some great great great great great great great great great times 10 grandkid "inheriting" this earth. And who says the earth will even be around that long, anyway?

And what if you DO have a child because you are so concerned about keeping your DNA - and your child has a child that passes before they have a child to carry it on? Or they are infertile? Or they don't want to have a child? Having a child guarantees nothing.
How do you arrive at anything depending on belief in the afterlife? I do, however, agree that having an interest in the human genome that follows you and me is significant to one's outlook.

As to the "what if", I agree that having a child guarantees nothing. Reproduction guaranteed nothing to any single organism in my lineage all the way back to the roots of life on this planet, yet here I am and here you are. If the next generation is the last, then I did what I could do to keep the fires burning for as long as I could just like every other living thing. Electing no children DOES guarantee something; I guess I prefer to take my chances.
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:52 PM
 
1,478 posts, read 1,997,771 times
Reputation: 1579
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatCrazyRedhead View Post
Do you have any factual documentation that this is the government's actual reason? I'd love to read it if you do.
There is a slew of tax policy articles in journals such as the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, but we're moving and my stuff is packed up (a real page turner that journal, I can assure you).

A couple of less robust articles that tend to cut to the chase though. The issue isn't whether or not these policies were implemented to increase or maintain the fertility rate (they were), the debate is really on what policies will move the fertility rate to where it needs to be going forward: bigger exemptions, relieving parents from paying FICA while raising kids, lowering education costs, making education tax deductible, rolling all child credits into a bigger credit available to everyone, what to increase to cover the budget gap if tax policy becomes more child friendly, etc. Some comparison to other countries is included.


RealClearMarkets - Taxes, Fertility and Economic Growth

America's Baby Bust - WSJ.com

http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publi...and-the-family

See the section parents and the tax code in the last one.
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