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Re: Why breed? Re: municipal environmental contraception funding petition

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  • aditmore@juno.com
    Starting with the most important, a town has a large motive to fund contraception for the surrounding county or area because families with children in the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 27, 2010
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      Starting with the most important, a town has a large motive to fund contraception for the surrounding county or area because families with children in the surrounding county might move into the town and use vastly more expensive municipal child services, possibly including schools.  Preventing just that possibility is worth the contraception in most cases. This is partly the same motivation the USA has for putting billions into third world contraception (mostly in the 1970s), not nearly enough billions, but billions nonetheless.  A county has the same motive to fund contraception to state residents, and a state to national residents.  Just the possibility of a family with children moving in and enrolling in school is still vastly more expensive than the contraception.  Where retirement towns get pensions mailed in by the feds.  Furthermore, as long as the contraception is physically provided in the town, the recipients are likely enough to combine trips and shop there that much of the cost of the contraception can be recouped in taxed economic activity.
              Secondly, San Francisco is it's own county and New York City contains 5 counties, also known as boroughs. Are you sure St. Louis is not it's own county like San Francisco? It's a tangent anyway.
              Thirdly, and I already stressed this, education is orders of magnitude more expensive than contraception.  Contraception is cost-effective enough to be supplied even to outsiders by small towns, where education doesn't even come close.  Educating the world is an impossible budget buster in a way that supplying contraception to the world is not.
              Also, no matter what the stats say, it would be racist to claim overpopulation is the exclusive problem of foreigners or people of color, when the world clearly contains far too many affluent white people.  This means the problem is HERE, not somewhere far away, and a problem that is HERE, can and should be addressed by local government.  It is US who are overpopulated, not just somebody else, not just "them", regardless of how you care to visualize or define "us" and "them", with the possible exception of us childless people.
      PS shortened petition links:
      I'm getting to see this on a microcosm.

      I currently live in a small city. Like in most places, the middle-class and wealthy have few children - they've had to close/combine several schools in the wealthier parts of town. Meanwhile, the lower classes, many of whom rely on some sort of government aid are having children left and right. Mostly, this is out of wedlock. And, they get additional government aid, child support, other benefits - and much of that goes up in drugs and beer - leading to an even worse outlook for subsequent children.

      For several reasons, we're leaving this area for another state. We've bought a home in a tiny little town - population 140, average age 48 - in another state on the Great Plains. I'm seeing a microcosm in that town of what would or could happen with a very low birthrate.

      They've had one birth this year. They had none in 2009. and two in 2008. The school in the town has been closed for many years, since they consolidated the district with the one in the county seat. I don't think that particular municipality would have the same inclination that a city such as Los Angeles would to fund contraception. There are ranchers and farmers in the surrounding area, but they do not pay municipal towns. Why should the people in the town pay for birth control for people who do not live there, and when they do not need it themselves. Also, the average farmer in the US is now 52 - they are not having many children either.

      I can say one thing positive about that. I know for a fact that that baby of 2010 is not abused, nor will he ever be so long as he lives there. Everyone in town knows what everyone else is doing, and it would be stopped in short order. That would happen anywhere when babies are RARE. They are precious when rare. When babies/children are extremely common - and people have more than they can handle or afford, they are unwanted and CHEAP. No one cares, really.

      This child will have plenty of foster "grandparents" who will tell him all sorts of things about their lives, and be willing, able, and even eager to teach him what they/we know. It is well known that children develop more when the average age in their family and community is higher - the worst is when you've got 12-year-old parents raising children, perhaps with the help of 22-year-old grandparents. Of course, not having children until someone is older lowers the birth rate - it's not just the number of children someone has, but the length of time between generations. Or, children whose primary environment is a day care center, filled with other infants and toddlers, staffed by an uneducated, often immigrant worker - who changes frequently. The average age in such a center is extremely low. Toddlers do not teach one another well.

      I can see putting the birth control funding along school district lines. But, it would have to be funded in reverse: School districts in impoverished areas tend to have high birthrates, whereas those in affluent districts tend to have low birthrates.

      The reason for this is simple: Education. More education is the single factor that leads to a lower birthrate, and a higher average age of parenthood. Poor teenaged girls have to be convinced that they CAN do something in their lives that is more useful than becoming a "Mommy of 5" by the time she's 20. Poor teenaged boys have to find something by which to judge their worth than how many babies they've fathered. Being the smartest in math, science, language - or being a "computer genius". Being skilled at a trade such as carpentry or plumbing or tree trimming would be far more worthwhile than producing more children. These kids just need to be directed into finding knowledge and skills that are worthwhile.

      Back to the little prairie town, this town belies the notion that having children will guaranty one of having someone to care for them in their old age. Most of the elderly people in the town have had children - and they've moved to cities and become absorbed in their lives there and do not care for them - perhaps visit once every 5 years. That's similar across the US and most of the first world. It's difficult to tell the childless/childfree from the aging parents in terms of support. Neighbors care for neighbors. If more specialized help is required, people will commute or relocate from surrounding areas to take homecare jobs - it is, after all, a matter of getting to work, just like any other job. Adult children very rarely "wipe their parents' bums". A few eventually leave to go to nursing homes during their last months or weeks of life - not years or decades.

      There are other older people working in capacities such as waitresses, librarian, store clerks, utility workers, and even mayor. Being 65 does not mean that someone is decrepit and must stop working. It's a much higher quality of life than someone in a city with city-dwelling-career-oriented children that put them in a nursing home or even retirement home. People who work longer are less likely to die with some lingering, debilitating condition. It's much easier, painless, and cheaper to die of a heart attack than with a set of conditions including Alzheimers or other dementia. Plus, an 75-year-old is already educated and does not need years of schooling before they are capable of working.

      On a larger scale, this would work the same way. People would continue working on needed jobs longer. Make-work jobs would cease to exist. People would stay brighter and more alert longer - working does that to someone. The healthcare workers would be no exception, and where needed, people would come in from other areas - from other cities, or international immigrants. The education that's already been paid for would be used for longer - more "bang for the buck" with it.

      Schools would become boat-anchors, or be turned into something such as a Bed and Breakfast or a small factory. I know "old" schools that have been recycled into such uses.

      BTW, everyone in the US does not live in a county. The City of St. Louis, for one, is not in any county.

      I was a card carrying member of the Libertarian party for a number of years. They have a number of good ideas - and the "LOCAL" one is one of those. Different localities have different needs and different concerns.

      I think you and I agree in principle: Contraception is very important or vital to humanity. Local programs are more effective and easier to implement than State or national ones. International ones may even be impossible to implement. Our only difference is that you've got an urban outlook whereas I have a rural outlook on demographics. Both are required to make this work on a larger scale. Having more children is no longer an asset - it's a liability. The reverse was true 100 years ago, when they were put to work in factories or on family farms. Now, there are few family farms, but many large or corporate farms, which hire workers, who have to be older to legally work, there are few jobs that children could do, plus it's illegal to hire them.

      Another difference in contraception is what the children already know: Rural children know how conception and birth take place. They've seen it in farm animals, and they can understand about breeding a certain female animal with sperm from a male animal with good genes to get better offspring. Urban children MAY know something of this with their pets, but for the most part the realities of sex are kept from them, and animals and women are carted off to hospitals (human or veterinary) when having their young. It's a lot easier to teach contraception when one is starting from a basic understanding of how conception takes place. Most likely, different programs are needed.

      The biggest growth of population though is in the third world. It will be difficult to get contraceptives used widely in some of those areas. It needs to be done though, but I don't know the way to do it. I know education - both general education for all adults, and education on the use of contraceptives, and teaching the populace that more children is not "better". Also, raising the status of women, so that they CAN make something more of themselves which is more useful than "Mommy of 7".


      --- In Why_breed@yahoogroups.com, aditmore@... wrote:
      > Contraception costs are mostly per capita,
      and the smallest towns
      > have as much money per capita as the biggest
      cities. So size doesn't
      > matter. Also, everyone in the US lives in a
      county, and I'm not
      > excluding county government at all, far from it. In
      fact if school
      > districts are the same as counties, as they are here,
      then counties have
      > the most to save in school taxes. However one will
      find that a higher
      > percentage of urban people than rural people are
      sympathetic to
      > environmental contraception, and that difference is
      growing by The Big
      > Sort, so most of the places with real political hope
      are indeed
      > municipalities.
      > -Alan
      > PS in fact I
      set the petition to send E-mails to one particular
      > municipality, the one
      I guessed has the most political potential, and
      > that is Santa Cruz CA,
      which is a small city with a big college. I
      > remain open to suggestions
      as to which US locality(s) has the highest
      > percentage of overpopulation
      activists, which is not at all the same as
      > having the most.
      > See
      these links for more on minority political strategies developed by
      > the
      Libertarian Party, but applicable to all political minorities,
      > including
      overpopulation activists.
      The Big Sort means we can win locally what we can't win federally, and is
      > damn hard to win in most states.

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