Monday, March 8, 2010

ZenTiger Sterilisation For Cash

Michael Laws made another pitch for the "Sterilize the poor" in the SST. The basic argument seems to be "we pay a fortunate in welfare so that poor people can feed their kids, but we all know that certain segments of poor people abuse kids, so it's cheaper to offer them a cash incentive to be sterilised."

I don't like this idea for many reasons, but I'm going to stick to just one angle, because I don't have time for the whole debate. For that matter, I'm amazed I even have to articulate my other reasons.

So in the spirit of a good rant, here's just one idea to consider:

If you want to sterilize child abusers then DON'T offer a cash incentive. Don't pretend you are creating a win-win situation where they freely chose to accept your bribe and you save a whole pile of welfare money downstream. Don't pretend you are offering a deal for the benefit of as yet unborn children that will live a terrible life. Don't pretend you've made a moral response to a bad situation.

If you don't like child abusers and you think sterilisation is a good punishment to prevent this happening again, then just sterilize them. Make no payment. Make no trade. Barter nothing. Change the law to say child abusers will be castrated, that single mothers with more than one child living off a benefit will be sterilised, that men who don't make their child welfare payments for all dependant children ($100 per week, per child) will be sterilised.

Bring back capital punishment of you want, and advertise that anyone murdering a second time after serving a sentence will be put to death. Don't offer "death, or life imprisonment" as if it is a trade you can make to assuage your conscience.

You are using the power of the state to take something of value away from a person, and just because they may not value it, doesn't make it moral into tricking them to saying "Yes". Grow up and harden up. If you are going to be a Eugenicist, then stop hiding behind a cash payment of $5K.

2 comment(s):

KG said...

"You are using the power of the state to take something of value away from a person, and just because they may not value it, doesn't make it moral into tricking them to saying "Yes". Grow up and harden up. If you are going to be a Eugenicist, then stop hiding behind a cash payment of $5K."

Yes! Absolutely.
It's too damned easy to hide behind layers of rhetoric and euphemisms and bland rationalisations- and then accuse those who speak plainly of being 'insensitive' or 'racist' or whatever.
Dishonest language produces dishonest people.

I.M Fletcher said...

"… If [the Birth-Controller] can prevent his servants from having families, he need not support those families. Why the devil should he?

If anybody doubts that this is the very simple motive, let him test it by the very simple statements made by various Birth-Controllers like the Dean of St. Paul’s. They never do say that we suffer from a too bountiful supply of bankers or that cosmopolitan financiers must not have such large families. They do not say that the fashionable throng at Ascot wants thinning, or that it is desirable to decimate the people dining at the Ritz or the Savoy…

But the Birth-Controllers have not the smallest desire to control that jungle. It is much too dangerous a jungle to touch. It contains tigers. They never do talk about a danger from the comfortable classes. The Gloomy Dean is not gloomy about there being too many Dukes; and naturally not about there being too many Deans. He is not primarily annoyed with a politician for having a whole population of poor relations, though places and public salaries have to found for all relations. Political Economy means that everybody except politicians must be economical.

The Birth-Controller does not bother about all these things, for the perfectly simple reason that it is not such people that he wants to control. What he wants to control is the populace, and he practically says so. He always insists that a workman has no right to have so many children, or that a slum is perilous because it produces so many children. The question he dreads is “Why has not the workman a better wage? Why has not the slum family a better house?” His way of escaping from it is to suggest, not a larger house, but a smaller family. The landlord or the employer says in his hearty and handsome fashion: “You really cannot expect me to deprive myself of my money. But I will make a sacrifice. I will deprive myself of your children.”

– G. K. Chesterton, quoted from Gilbert Magazine, Volume 12 Number 8 (July/August 2009)

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