Thursday, March 04, 2010

Should 'bad parents' be paid not to have children?

Are there people who shouldn't ever have children? Well duh, of course. We've all met, know or know of people who would be terrible parents. But determining that people can't have children is too big a call for anyone to make. This even though it's obvious that some people will produce children – all too often in large quantity – who will be a burden on the state throughout their lives.

A New Zealand politician offers a modest solution to this "problem":

David Garrett, a member of the ruling coalition, told Radio New Zealand $NZ5,000 could be paid to abusive parents who choose to be sterilised.

"If we can incentivise people who, quite plainly, shouldn't be having children to stop having them, then that's something that we should at least have a discussion about," Mr Garrett said.

Further discussion has been rejected, of course:

Tau Huirama, from the anti-violence group known as Jigsaw, says he cringes at the thought of sterilisation.

"It's a thing that takes you back to Hitler and that sort of thinking," he said.

The Nazis did not offer cash payments for sterilization, which was not offered as an option – anyone deemed as needing sterilization was sterilized. The Nazi reference is a great conversation stopper, however.



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