Thursday, March 29, 2007

When I take over the world, everyone will be a single parent

This one was originally in another blog. A funny thing about that is that on the other blog the title was too long for the whole title to be listed on the previous blogs. So it said that When I take over the world, everyone will be a sin....

So, hopefully, when I take over the world, everyone will get the title right and not be a sin.

Another thing is that I happened to write it on what would have been my dad's 65th birthday.

But never mind. Read on. And I have included the two comments from the original post

(the following was originally posted in another blog on Febuary 9th)

I was going to start a new blog to talk about how I would fix things if I had a magic wand. But I have several blogs already, and I've hardly used this one at all. So I'll just make the when I take over the world stuff a section of this blog.

I wasn't sure which of the take over the world posts to start with. Recently I read someone else's blog, and she was talking about being a single mom. So I guess I'll start with that.

Every once in a while, I hear that someone has a plan to pay people to volunteer for a sterilization procedure. A mathematical formula would determine how much of a potential financial drain your future children would have on society. If you agreed to be sterilized instead of having these children, the government would pay you a percentage of the estimated tax money saved.

Sounds great to me. I don't want any kids anyway. If someone offered me a free and safe permanent method of birth-control, I'd probably take it. If someone offered pay me to do

Of course, I like to think that my high I.Q. would prevent me from being paid much money. On the other hand, my low personal income would also be factored in, and the two would probably cancel each other out. But if I'm offered any amount of money before I'm too old to have children, I'm going to take it.

Not that it will ever happen. I like the idea, but everyone else seems to hate it. And I really don't get most of the arguments. Like a bunch of poor people will go and have the procedure, or a bunch of black people will go have the procedure. So what? What if a bunch of poor black people willingly go have a sterilization procedure done and get paid for it. A bunch of other poor black people won't go and have the procedure. That would forever put an end to the discussions about welfare moms cranking out babies to get more money. If some people were really doing that sort of thing, and you offered them something like this instead, wouldn't they take the easy money up front?

Several years ago I read a book, and I can't remember the name of the book, or even who wrote it. It was a woman, I remember that much, so I want to say it was by Anne McCaffrey or Vonda McIntyre, because that was who I was reading at the time. Anyway, in this book all the people were legally allowed custody of one child. Period. But they had sole custody. There were no custody fights and arguments about visitation or how someone thought their child's other parent wasn't raising the child right. You have custody of one child, and everyone else back off, including the child's other biological parent.

Wouldn't that just solve all kinds of problems? Custody of children is decided before they are even conceived. If a couple gets a divorce, there is no custody battle. If the custodial parent wants to pick up and move to Alaska, that's okay. There is no arguing about how much child support the non-custodial parent will have to pay, because there is no such thing as child support. If you can't afford to take care of a child yourself, don't have one. You and you alone are responsible for that one child.

Which is not to say that you couldn't have custody of one child and live with someone who has custody of another child. You could raise them together, share living expenses and all of that. For that matter, you could live with ten other people who have custody of ten other children, and raise them all together and share living expenses and all of that. But it would be very clear who had custody of a particular child, and who had the final word on all things concerning that child.

There were a lot of things in the book that would probably never work in America. In the book the custodial parent paid the other biological parent for creating the child. In general, women were paid more than men per child. On the other hand, in an individual's lifetime, a man could father many more children than a woman would be able to have. In the book, the main character's custodial parent was paid to be the biological father of over three hundred children, but he still owed money to the biological mother of the child he had custody of. Paying someone to have sex with you, even for the purpose of creating a child, is still prostitution. And it might seem too much like babies for sell. We don't buy and sell people anymore.

There are other things that did not happen in this book that I would also think about. If you have bad genes, besides paying someone of the opposite sex to help you create a child, couldn't you also hire someone of the same sex for the same purpose, so that the resulting child would not have your bad genes. And since I don't want any children anyway, could I sell my legal right to have custody of one child to someone who would like to raise more than one child?

A lot of things will be different after I take over the world.


a friend said...

Concerning high IQ vs low income: I don't think Einstein was ever rolling in the dough, and who really wants to see the Donald Trump or Paris Hilton genes propagated! In other words, the high IQ probably matters, but the level of personal income really might not matter much.

Concerning the author: Did you read Ursula Le Guin? She liked to deal with similar issues, as I recall. The only McCaffrey's I read were "light" and never got into such serious issues. I only read one McIntyre ("Star Trek II")

What was done in the book if a parent happened to be a very bad parent who should not have custody at all? Or did they ever go into such things?

"There were a lot of things in the book that would probably never work in America."

You'd have the opposition from Catholics and others who want larger and larger families.

"Paying someone to have sex with you, even for the purpose of creating a child, is still prostitution."

Actually, this is legal in many countries, and in a small part of the US. If you make insemination artificial, this gets rid of any of this concern if it is necessary to get rid of such a concern. Then it takes us one step toward "Logan's Run" by disconnecting sex with procreation.

Concerning bad genes: Yes, some people have very bad genes. The problem right now is that there are a lot of bad genes out there and there is probably no ability to identify them and screen everyone readily. This is changing, however. The advances in genetics, even in the past 6 or so years, are rather significant.

"And since I don't want any children anyway, could I sell my legal right to have custody of one child to someone who would like to raise more than one child?"

That would make sense as part of this. However, the same complainers would call this "exploitation".

"A lot of things will be different after I take over the world."

With or without the help of lab rats...

Laughingattheslut said...

The proper question is with or without lab mice, not lab rats.

And I guess it will have to be without, cause I'm sure he'd soon find a way to get rid of me.

No, the level of personal income matters, because the point was to lower the number of children of parents who can't financially take care of them. It's a math problem--spend X amount of money now to convince someone not to have children, or spend several times X amount on the children through welfare, food stamps, unpaid medical bills, etc....

McIntyre wants to cure everything with virus therapy. And I hear that her day job is scientist, so she might actually do it. Once she's cured everything, she'll move on to making people who can fly and people who can live underwater.

The book did not get into such things. The woman in the book had a very loving father, who was a bit upset that he still hadn't been able to meet his financial obligations to the biological mother.

I don't doubt it would be done artificially a lot of the time, but this was not the implication in the book. The man was well liked and had been paid to father over 300 children. It probably wasn't entirely for his high IQ. I did wonder about the phrasing of the contract. If a pregnancy doesn't happen right away, how long do the people have to keep having sex before one of them is allowed to disolve the contract, and is there a fine one of them pays to get out of the contract, etc....

There's always someone complaining about exploitation in this sort of thing, so I don't think it would happen anytime soon. I still think it's a cool idea.


Rachel said...

Sorry, I read it and meant to comment but got busy.
I would pay to not have to deal with Butthead and have D all to myself.
You might just have something there.

laughingattheslut said...

I was trying to remember what you called the guy. I knew it was something like that.

Sometime I'm going to have to find out how you got stuck with him in the first place. I'm guessing it was a rebound thing.

Babybull40 said...

I would really like to know who wrote that book.. only because I'm curious..If you find out more or even remember the name of the book.. I might be able to find it at the library..Interesting post.. May I ask why you don't want children? If you don't want to say why.. that's okay too..

laughingattheslut said...

Well, I am not having any luck finding that book. The main character was a teenage girl, so I can't imagine that a man wrote it, but nothing is jumping out at me when I look up the women authors I was into at the time.

My mother thinks that pregnancy is this wonderful symbotic relationship. It looks more parasitic to me. Sort of like Alien.

I never went all goo goo over babies. I think that they don't get really cute til four or five, when you can actually have a conversation with them. And then they have to go home with someone else who makes them eat vegies and take a nap and eventually do homework and such. I don't want to do that. I just want to be one of those people who says, "If you don't do what you're supposed to, I'm going to tell your mother."

dmarks said...

I see this book thing as more and more of a puzzle. This site:

might list all of her books, to see if a title is familiar!

And shame on those who forget that Pinky and the Brain are really mice, and not rats.

laughingattheslut said...

That doesn't seem to be it either.

Trying to remember who else I read back then.

I think David read science fiction too, but I doubt that he read stuff targeted to teenage girls.

Philip. said...

Great post!

I'm going to steal it and put it on my blog :-)