I have had it with these Adorable babies on this adorable plane!

LarryC wrote:

Because if you do that, then the future of the society will be controlled only by those people. Non-child rearers don't get to have a say. Moreover, specialized agriculture experts are paid for their efforts. These functions would be made more equivalent if you could pay people to be full-time parents. That is, being a dad and a mom should warrant more than just tax cuts, but salaries in and of themselves, if these activities are to be valued as a specialized profession.

I'm confused here. Why wouldn't non-rearers get a say in the future of society? Why is directly raising children a prerequisite in that regard?

Full discloure: I want children one day, but not because of any sense of duty to society. I think it's because I'm starting to feel a little twinge of biological impulse.

LarryC wrote:
ruhk:

I know you say that with a disclaimer, but it seems like that's a common theme, especially with the "children as lifestyle" view most people have on the thread. The fact of the matter is, the population of a society needs replacement on account of people dying. The US being large and powerful lessens that burden considerably, and makes it appear far more distant than it is. The cause-and-effect is certainly more visible in a small tribe. However, it doesn't remove that burden entirely. Each member of the society still sustains at least the responsibility and duty to replace himself or herself through the next generation - at least 2 children.

I believe that this is what parents and relatives improperly communicate when they bug you to have children - they're impressing upon you that you are shirking a social obligation.

I've already said that I personally won't hold that against you or other childless people in any way, but at least have the decency to let other people fulfill their obligations (and perhaps yours in the bargain) without adding to the burden.

mudbunny, DSGamer:

I did suggest alternatives prior to that: don't get in the way. That sounds reasonable, right?

Ironically I'm not sure how we're in the way. I pay disproportionate taxes and largely don't mind as I feel there's a price to being part of a functioning society. I generally vote FOR school bonds and levies even though I won't benefit from them directly and will pay higher taxes as a result. I'm not sure how having an opinion on kids in public means one is "in the way".

sometimesdee wrote:
ruhk wrote:
the idea being presented that non-breeders are somehow shirking their civic duty is both inherently nonsensical and extremely offensive.

Equally offensive is the converse idea - that breeders made their lifestyle choice in order to burden the childfree.

Except I don't think anyone said that. I think the only implication was that it can be rough when parents don't mind their kids and public spaces become filled with unneeded noise. I think that's really it. It's not a burden. We're not victims. We're frequently told we're selfish and other wonderful things. But outside of the prejudice of people with kids I don't think there's much burden to being childfree. In fact, if people would stop talking to us about our choice there would be little to no burden since we usually quite enjoy our lives and the freedom the choice affords us.

Grubber788:

You made the case that the one-child policy was good for China. I'm making the case that it's not. That's the problem with artificial constraints, and we already have a laboratory case to make the case for me.


For Japan... that is interesting, but I've never actually seen an article citing the specific issues that population growth slowdown was causing. As I understand it, the bigger problem here is that the baby boom generation is so large that the infrastructure for caring for the elderly is not yet in place. Once that large group of elderly people pass through the "system," society will have adapted to dealing with a more mature population. Again, I see nothing fundamentally wrong with Japan's population remaining stable, particularly since its economy is relatively weak and its not like the country needs a population expansion to be competitive in the economy--Japan has a specialized, technology-oriented workforce. I think a higher population would be harmful to the country.

I'm not advocating a larger population. I'm merely advocating a stable one. Having 2 children per married couple will do that, so all Japanese have an obligation to meet at least that much child-rearing (What's with the hangup on the sex anyway? Do you guys think parenting is just pushing the kid out?) in order to keep the population stable. All members of all societies that wish to remain stable have at least that much obligation.

The problem isn't that there's no infrastructure, it's that there are fewer maximally productive people at working age than the amount of people they have to support. As a result, they will have to work harder than their parents and see less of the benefit of that work for themselves or for the future of their country.

This problem will not reverse itself until the birth rate regain stability rates, it is now below 2 per married couple, I believe.

LarryC wrote:
Until people stop dying, any society composed of people will need new people to replace losses.

That's not a problem.

7,056,758,615

Grubber788 wrote:
LarryC wrote:

Because if you do that, then the future of the society will be controlled only by those people. Non-child rearers don't get to have a say. Moreover, specialized agriculture experts are paid for their efforts. These functions would be made more equivalent if you could pay people to be full-time parents. That is, being a dad and a mom should warrant more than just tax cuts, but salaries in and of themselves, if these activities are to be valued as a specialized profession.

I'm confused here. Why wouldn't non-rearers get a say in the future of society? Why is directly raising children a prerequisite in that regard?

Full discloure: I want children one day, but not because of any sense of duty to society. I think it's because I'm starting to feel a little twinge of biological impulse.

I seem to recall LarryC asserting that the power structure in his country hinges on the family unit. No family, no voice in government in The Philippines I guess? It might also be a soft power thing, where your views don't get passed on to your children, and thus never make it into the government that subsequent generations run.

LarryC wrote:
Grubber788:

You made the case that the one-child policy was good for China. I'm making the case that it's not. That's the problem with artificial constraints, and we already have a laboratory case to make the case for me.

Well, if we want to make a case for population constraints, I suppose you could simply look at India compared to China. Overpopulation is one of the biggest factors behind that country's problems. I think we can see similar issues in Africa. My point is that if we follow our biological impulses to procreate, we might end up hindering society's progress. In such circumstances, an individual not giving birth aids society.

Grubber788:


I'm confused here. Why wouldn't non-rearers get a say in the future of society? Why is directly raising children a prerequisite in that regard?

Full discloure: I want children one day, but not because of any sense of duty to society. I think it's because I'm starting to feel a little twinge of biological impulse.

The obvious point is because only the child-rearers interact with the children on a daily basis, so they have the most impact on how the future generation is shaped. In order for you to get an equal say, you have to spend an equal amount of time with an equivalent number of kids - meaning you have to become a child-rearer yourself.

DSGamer:


Ironically I'm not sure how we're in the way. I pay disproportionate taxes and largely don't mind as I feel there's a price to being part of a functioning society. I generally vote FOR school bonds and levies even though I won't benefit from them directly and will pay higher taxes as a result. I'm not sure how having an opinion on kids in public means one is "in the way".

Having that opinion is okay so long as you keep it to yourself, which is what I've said repeatedly. So long as you don't voice that those parents ought not to have parented in the first place, we're cool. If you can't help out, at least stay out of the way.

It's not true that you do not benefit from the school, even when you do not have children. Those schools are training the future workforce of your nation, which is a necessary function if you want to have a future nation. Every time you pay someone who might have been your child, you are benefiting from the child-rearing and the schooling of the next generation.

I don't think we need everyone to have as many kids as they can, or even enough kids to break even. I mean, just look at this:

IMAGE(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Population_curve.svg)

Exponential growth of a species is rarely a good thing. Eventually we should find our carrying capacity and stick at that level, because if we keep going eventually having more kids than two per couple is going to be a huge problem.

Edit: And I'll add, I see no issues with one couple having four kids and another having no kids seeing as if we do reach and maintain carrying capacity that's still net-zero population growth. I don't think any species require every individual to have one child in order to maintain a stable population.

LarryC wrote:

DSGamer:


Ironically I'm not sure how we're in the way. I pay disproportionate taxes and largely don't mind as I feel there's a price to being part of a functioning society. I generally vote FOR school bonds and levies even though I won't benefit from them directly and will pay higher taxes as a result. I'm not sure how having an opinion on kids in public means one is "in the way".

Having that opinion is okay so long as you keep it to yourself, which is what I've said repeatedly. So long as you don't voice that those parents ought not to have parented in the first place, we're cool. If you can't help out, at least stay out of the way.

You know. I'm not sure how else to say this. The entire Earth isn't the US. But the entire Earth is also not the Philippines. I'm not sure how many times we need to clear that up. Americans will continue to feel free to voice their opinions because that's part of our culture. This being a community where mutual respect is supposed to be understood I don't think "shut up" is a great thing to tell people.

LarryC wrote:

It's not true that you do not benefit from the school, even when you do not have children. Those schools are training the future workforce of your nation, which is a necessary function if you want to have a future nation. Every time you pay someone who might have been your child, you are benefiting from the child-rearing and the schooling of the next generation.

See the above highlight. It would have saved you a rant.

Note "directly" and my recognition that schools are important to society.

DSGamer:


That's not a problem.

The problem is being solved by people who are not you. Citing figures that say that they are doing their job doesn't say anything about you not doing yours.

Grubber788:


Well, if we want to make a case for population constraints, I suppose you could simply look at India compared to China. Overpopulation is one of the biggest factors behind that country's problems. I think we can see similar issues in Africa. My point is that if we follow our biological impulses to procreate, we might end up hindering society's progress. In such circumstances, an individual not giving birth aids society.

I would say that you're focusing on the wrong thing. Lots of people, "overpopulation" is only a problem inasmuch as much of that population isn't as productive and as educated as it could be. Family planning and control will solve those issues better than couples simply not having children. The key is not to have some people simply not have kids - the key is to have families having kids to be able to care for those kids better, by having less to care for.

You see, if the lower income families still have kids in the same amount, the future generation will not be much better off - the couple who don't have any kids will not contribute to the future generation, and those who do will not have better contributions. If both families moderated the number of kids they have, each family will contribute better citizens for the future.

It's not procreation control itself that does it; it's better child-rearing that does it, which seems obvious in retrospect.

LarryC wrote:
DSGamer:


That's not a problem.

The problem is being solved by people who are not you. Citing figures that say that they are doing their job doesn't say anything about you not doing yours.

I really don't get where you're coming from. At all. The world population is growing by the second. There are no shortage of humans. Thus there is no need to guilt people who choose not to add to the population of the planet.

LarryC wrote:
Grubber788:


I'm confused here. Why wouldn't non-rearers get a say in the future of society? Why is directly raising children a prerequisite in that regard?

Full discloure: I want children one day, but not because of any sense of duty to society. I think it's because I'm starting to feel a little twinge of biological impulse.

The obvious point is because only the child-rearers interact with the children on a daily basis, so they have the most impact on how the future generation is shaped. In order for you to get an equal say, you have to spend an equal amount of time with an equivalent number of kids - meaning you have to become a child-rearer yourself.

Oh, I disagree. I don't think that time spent with a child necessarily equals most dramatic source of influence on a child. I am only one example, but I think my own ideologies were largely shaped by people outside of my family. Admittedly, some of these sources are teachers (whom I suppose you would define as "rearers" to some extent?). But I know I've been shaped by other people in my life as well. As an adult, I continue to be shaped by people. I don't really think development stops at childhood.

I also think Kraint has the right of it. The importance of family units tends to disintegrate once a society reaches a certain level of prosperity and technology. To say that the family exerts the most influence over a child might be true in some cases, but to say that this influence is the most important understates the influences of non-rearers ranging from politicians to entertainers and everyone in between.

Cleveland is now 500 miles behind us. L.A. here we come! Choo! Choo!

DSGamer:


You know. I'm not sure how else to say this. The entire Earth isn't the US. But the entire Earth is also not the Philippines. I'm not sure how many times we need to clear that up. Americans will continue to feel free to voice their opinions because that's part of our culture. This being a community where mutual respect is supposed to be understood I don't think "shut up" is a great thing to tell people.

It is when they're only being dicks. It's not helpful to criticize a mother who's already at her wit's end because she doesn't know how to get her unruly infant to behave. If you can't help, I don't see how adding to her troubles shows her any respect. That's what at issue here - it's all those annoyed people who think that giving dirty looks and insulting sarcastic remarks are helping in any way.

If you're already keeping it to yourself, then we're cool.


See the above highlight. It would have saved you a rant.

Note "directly" and my recognition that schools are important to society.

Would you extend that view to parenting as well? The schools are only as relevant as the kids who actually need them. Without those kids, the schools would have no function. They are strictly supplementary units. The real job is done by the parents, however well or badly they happen to be doing them.


I really don't get where you're coming from. At all. The world population is growing by the second. There are no shortage of humans. Thus there is no need to guilt people who choose not to add to the population of the planet.

If you think I am your relative guilting you into having children, you are sorely mistaken. I don't much care whether or not you have kids. That's really your call. I already said as much. You can adopt, or teach pro bono, or what have you.

I think we've reached a fundamental developed-world/developing-world divide. Now we're just shouting across the chasm.

We should throw the babies into the chasm and make a bridge of babies! Problem solved.

ruhk wrote:
We should throw the babies into the chasm and make a bridge of babies! Problem solved.

Sure, but who solved the problem, huh?

LarryC wrote:
ruhk wrote:
We should throw the babies into the chasm and make a bridge of babies! Problem solved.

Sure, but who solved the problem, huh? :P

Cloning machines?

This is the 21st Century. We should be taking airplanes to visit each other. Hold on, let me grab some babies to take with me on the trip.

I'm glad that I found a community where a joke about hurting babies can bring us all closer together.

Hey, I'm only kowtowing because bnpederson called me a machine. That's right, sugah, yo' daddy's a machine, hubba, hubba! Wait, that's not what he meant?

LarryC wrote:
Hey, I'm only kowtowing because bnpederson called me a machine. That's right, sugah, yo' daddy's a machine, hubba, hubba! Wait, that's not what he meant?

Sir, this offspring is only a 50% clone of you. I'm going to have to ask you to step out of line for a moment...

clover wrote:
LarryC wrote:
Hey, I'm only kowtowing because bnpederson called me a machine. That's right, sugah, yo' daddy's a machine, hubba, hubba! Wait, that's not what he meant?

Sir, this offspring is only a 50% clone of you. I'm going to have to ask you to step out of line for a moment...

Oh man, what if he's serious and Larry actually has super sperm that contains both an exact copy of his own DNA and destroys the existing chromosome in the egg? That'd explain why he's so keen on having kids, right? He's literally propagating himself.

My societal expectation is that parents will have enough sense not to bring a newborn on a plane or be able to control their young children so they aren't being loud and disturbing everyone around them

Since you don't know their motive for bringing the kid, and you probably aren't going to be asking, why not just assume that they had a really good reason to bring the baby on the plane?

Everyone knows babies on planes are No Fun, so I presume someone bringing one means they were out of other options.

And, once the flight's over, they're still stuck with it. Poor bastards.

Seven billion people and counting. And the world has seen and will continue to see problems with the increasing population. I think we could do with a few less people.

That being said, I enjoy children who are well behaved and mind their manners but am annoyed at parents who have let their children degrade to the point of not being able to control them. Babies and toddlers are another matter however, as they will whine and cry until they are of an age that good parenting will take over. So I have my noise canceling headphones and a DS to tide me over on long civilian flights.

Here in the United States people are often expected to know everything and be ashamed and thought of as "stupid" when they don't. In many areas we take self-sufficiency into the realm of absurdity. In the Philippines it's not unusual for a server at a restaurant or complete stranger walking by to step in and help quiet your child. No one expects you to know everything, and elders are listened to when they speak up (even by adults). Socially, from what I've heard, it's a much nicer place for families. I understand what LarryC is saying, because he comes from a place where you either lend a hand or butt out - and lending a hand is more common. You know... like Mormon communities do as mentioned previously.

Personally, I find the statement "control your children" to be laughably ignorant and simplistic. I'm of the opinion that no child is altogether well-behaved unless there's something wrong with them, or they aren't allowed to be children. They'll act well-behaved for periods of time, but every parent has their nightmare days. Every parent has times in life where there has to be some slack or they'll go nuts. They often don't get the luxury of choosing those times. Maybe that's what's going on. Maybe they really are bad parents (largely in this society it's no great mystery why...). Headphones and ear plugs are a great way to shut those things out if you're not up to lending a hand or the situation isn't appropriate for it. Why is it such a big deal in that case?

I'm having kids because me and my wife's DNA is f*cking amazing. I am doing all of you a favor. Our kid is brilliant on airplanes too.

I don't mind the hand-clapping exercises. I just take the opportunity to practice my foot stomping exercises.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
I'm having kids because me and my wife's DNA is f*cking amazing. I am doing all of you a favor. Our kid is brilliant on airplanes too.

Ok, you're allowed to reproduce in that case. Come by my office later to do the approval paperwork and get your license photos taken.

clover wrote:
Chairman_Mao wrote:
I'm having kids because me and my wife's DNA is f*cking amazing. I am doing all of you a favor. Our kid is brilliant on airplanes too.

Ok, you're allowed to reproduce in that case. Come by my office later to do the approval paperwork and get your license photos taken.

Do not do this. Clover is not a real licensing agent, and just wants to take pictures of your naughty bits.