...But I don't care! Alrighty then. This is a post I've been meaning to write for a while now, but was stirred into action by a recent post by Rachel Lucas (language warning). First post here, with a follow-up here. Her post involved the topic of people who leave their infants in the car while shopping (or working for 10+ hrs) and come back only to find a well toasted corpse. Understandably, Rachel thought that anyone who could do such a thing was either stupid or criminal or both. Read both posts and the comments to get a feel for what other people think on this topic. My post today will not cover the dead baby phenomenon specifically, but will deal with a concept I refer to as "License to Breed." A thought that was shared by at least one commenter at Rachel's site.
If I want to drive a car, for whatever reason, I must first apply to the State, pass a written and behind-the-wheel skills test, and pay a fee. Driving a car is not a right, it's a privilege. At any time, if I do not act in a responsible manner, the privilege is either limited or taken away, either briefly or permanently. This is what is known as proactive enforcement. Before I am ever allowed to drive a car (legally), I must first jump through those aforementioned hoops. Now imagine a world in which licensing was done re-actively. Everyone is assumed allowed to drive, and it is only after an infraction that your right is taken away. At first blush this might appear very similar to the way it is now, if you mess up you can no longer drive. That is true. What about the deaf people, the legally blind people, the people who don't speak any English and can't read the road signs, the people who have no concept of the Rules of the Road. All of those people would have the right to drive, until such time they messed up. Imagine the carnage that could, and most likely would, occur. There is a reason that we don't handle driving licenses in that manner.
Now what about the concept of spawning, or in other words having kids. The cars in the previous example are inanimate objects that only become potentially lethal in the hands of a human operator. Humans, therefore, are the source of most possible calamity. Guns don't (usually) shoot by themselves, cars don't get liquored up and plow into a group of school kids, etc. etc. Oh, you say, there are controls in place if someone is not a good parent. If something happens, the State can take away the kids and place them in foster care. This, as I'm sure you realize, is reactive. The parent would still be allowed to have further children, and if something seriously horrible were to happen again, the State would once more step in, "in the interest of the child." What if we were to apply the driver's license model to having children?
Before a couple would be allowed to have a child, they would have to jump through a series of hoops. Prove financial ability to raise a child, have a home that is not a cardboard box or a complete dump, etc. etc. Just like our elected officials create the laws that determine what is required to drive a car, our elected officials would draft laws stating what is required to spawn. This would ensure that the law would be relatively fair and just (i.e.-no laws saying only white people can have kids, or only if you make 100K+ per year, etc). Some of you, I am sure, have already invoked Godwin's Law. "This reeks of Eugenics!!1!one!!" you say. Not true, I reply. While an argument could be made that certain very limited concepts in the broad eugenics category might be worth further serious inquiry, I understand that the concept of 'selective breeding' for humans is just a no-go topic. Seriously ask yourself the following questions. Should homeless people be allowed to have kids? Should people with serious genetically passed mental defects be allowed to have kids? Should two unemployed people be allowed to have 10 kids? Should two people with AIDS be allowed to have kids? Should a severely alcoholic woman be allowed to have kids? Should a crack head be allowed to have kids? Should people have to take home ec in school (carrying around an eggshell 'baby') to learn proper parenting skills (oh wait)? Should people then be tested on these parenting skills before being allowed to spawn? Should single women be allowed to have multiple children out of wedlock, each with a different father, if the father is not in the 'picture'? Should Democrats be allowed to have kids? (Sorry, couldn't help it).
Besides the obvious benefits to society as a whole, requiring licences to breed would result in lowered 'welfare' payments, fewer children born with serious physical and mental defects, fewer 'problem' kids, etc. etc. Think of that family in your hometown, you know the one. Their son went to school with you, until, that is, he got arrested for fill-in-the-blank. His siblings were also rabble rousers. The oldest one burnt down the school gym, the daughter had two kids before she dropped out of school at 16, their dad was a raging alcoholic that repeatedly beat the kids and their mom, the mom, of course, had been picked up a couple of time for 'soliciting.' The family in your home town that everybody knows is just trouble, rotten from root to twig. Should that family have been allowed to perpetuate the cycle of horror?
What if someone breaks these proposed laws, you ask. Simple, just like we treat moving violations. Depending on frequency and severity, a person would have to have counselling (financial, mental, whatever), monitoring of the home life by an outside agency, revocation of parental rights, and possibly even forced sterilization for really egregious cases. "Stop!!," you yell, it sounds like you're talking about increasing the size of the Nanny State! Yes, in the short term, this is almost certain. But look at it from a long-term viewpoint. Fewer social workers needed, fewer juvenile incarceration facilities required, fewer police officers required, fewer medical workers required, etc. etc.
So dare to dream for a better tomorrow! Vote today to make Licenses to Breed required in all 50 states of this great Republic.