Thursday, December 07, 2006

"A not so modest proposal"

Here is a question posed by someone on the Browncoats message board:

Should poverty be concidered a form of child abuse?

After all, we spend quite a bit of effort in this nation to eradicate poverty, more effort than we spend eradicating spouse and child abuse, possibly even more than we spend trying to eradicate drug abuse. So it must be real bad. If it's so bad then why do we allow people to not only keep their children in those situations, but why allow them to have more children while in that situation?

We take children away from families that physicaly or sexualy abuse thier children. We take children away from families that abuse drugs. Why aren't we taking children away from people who financialy abuse their children? Why do we strive to keep those abusive situations going? Shouldn't we endevour to adopt those children out to caring families who can provide a better life to the children?

Not that we need to be total bastards here. We could make it the responcibility of the adopting family to undertake the costs of bringing the child to term. They would have to pay for medical care, clothes, food and housing for the mother. Then when the child is born they officaily adopt the child and give the mother a bonus check so she can get her shit back togather.

What do you think?

And here was my response:

Maybe instead of focusing on adopting children out to families better financially equipped to deal with the costs associated with raising children, we could focus on educating poverty-stricken families about how to better financially prepare for and more easily afford their children.

Let's give decent, realistic job opportunities to those most in need while at the same time offering free and safe childcare so that the parents have peace of mind when they go to work. Let's give job training, appropriate clothing, and food to the families so that they are better prepared to enter the workforce. And let's not forget to offer them a realistic wage - not the current minimum wage that isn't enough for one person to live on, let alone an entire family.

Let's offer free birth control to any female of any age under any circumstances. Let's make abortion completely legal, inexpensive (if not free), and more easily accessible. Let's stop teaching abstinence in public schools and start teaching safe sex while handing out free condoms (and other forms of birth control) to anyone who wants it, no questions asked, no parental permission required.

Let's stop penalizing people in our society for making "bad" or possibly "uninformed" decisions and start giving them the tools they need to make their life (and the lives of their children) a better place. Maybe instead of coming home at night after work, playing video games or watching reality tv, then getting into our nice warm beds in our nice warm houses, we could start volunteering to tutor kids or teach immigrants how to speak English and other useful tools that lead to them becoming productive members of society. Let's offer to hang out with a teen mom a few times a week and teach her how to change diapers, how to quiet a collicky baby, how to breastfeed (if she so chooses), how to bath her baby. Let's volunteer at crisis centers or homeless shelters.

It's all about having a sense of societal responsibility. Some of these poverty-stricken families have it within themselves to make life better, but might just need some assistance in finding that sense of empowerment. Once we as a society stop burying our heads in the sand and saying it's their fault or someone else's responsibility to take care of, the situation will get better. But we are the ones who have to get started at making it better. Not "them" but you. Me. All of us.


UnrulyDuckling said...

That was a wonderful response. Is it possible for you to link to that discussion? I'd love to read what people were saying.

SerenitySprings said...

I've tried posting the link here but it doesn't work so I'll just email it to you. If it doesn't work, let me know and I'll cut & paste the entire conversation & email that to you.