Comments on: Blessing or a Burden: Population, Reproduction and the Demographic Imagination http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/ Finding the keys to the future…and trying not to lose them in the mess. Tue, 05 Jul 2011 22:25:49 -0700 hourly 1 #?v=3.0.1 By: Mary Allen http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/comment-page-2/#comment-22103 Mary Allen Mon, 01 Mar 2010 05:45:29 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/#comment-22103 I'm keep a list of resources related to yeast cures and remedies - please feel free to link back. I’m keep a list of resources related to yeast cures and remedies – please feel free to link back.

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By: Peter Ramenjatchek http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/comment-page-2/#comment-15499 Peter Ramenjatchek Mon, 27 Apr 2009 05:02:37 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/#comment-15499 Hi Brad I am afraid I have to agree with Anna's assertions. I have personally taken the decision of "going extinct" that you seem so afraid of since there are already far too many homo sapiens on this planet. Waiting for the next generation to solve the current issues is simply passing on our collective responsibilities for the current crisis. The drive to procreate and have offspring is a powerful one, driven by the often misquoted "selfish gene". Try to take a metacognitive viewpoint and think about your desire to have children in the context of the developing world of overpopulation and shortages of food and water. On other points your contention that you have to have several children to learn to parent is also not a logical argument for having more children. It is akin to the failed Chinese one child policy where if you don’t have a boy the first time, you are allowed to try again to have a boy. If the second child is a girl then you have two girls. I agree too many people are parenting badly, but this is no reason to have extra children. An excess of large families in the US could also lead to social decline, since children are a great expense in modern society and many people have fewer children since it is all they can afford. Large families can lead you into the poverty trap that is very hard to escape in a severe recession. Patriotism, faith and tradition are also not an argument for having children. You sound very much like you want to indoctrinate your own clone. My early career was as a high school science teacher and through often strong debates I influenced many young adults to question the world they lived in and their preconceptions on the world, life and contraception. I worked in a very religious school and considered myself the equilizer in their otherwise polarised views of the world. Finally, as a scientist I can say the gene pool is strong enough to easily accommodate several billion less human beings to bring us back to a long term sustainable value of perhaps 3 billion homo sapiens. Hi Brad

I am afraid I have to agree with Anna’s assertions. I have personally taken the decision of “going extinct” that you seem so afraid of since there are already far too many homo sapiens on this planet. Waiting for the next generation to solve the current issues is simply passing on our collective responsibilities for the current crisis.

The drive to procreate and have offspring is a powerful one, driven by the often misquoted “selfish gene”. Try to take a metacognitive viewpoint and think about your desire to have children in the context of the developing world of overpopulation and shortages of food and water.

On other points your contention that you have to have several children to learn to parent is also not a logical argument for having more children. It is akin to the failed Chinese one child policy where if you don’t have a boy the first time, you are allowed to try again to have a boy. If the second child is a girl then you have two girls.

I agree too many people are parenting badly, but this is no reason to have extra children. An excess of large families in the US could also lead to social decline, since children are a great expense in modern society and many people have fewer children since it is all they can afford. Large families can lead you into the poverty trap that is very hard to escape in a severe recession.

Patriotism, faith and tradition are also not an argument for having children. You sound very much like you want to indoctrinate your own clone. My early career was as a high school science teacher and through often strong debates I influenced many young adults to question the world they lived in and their preconceptions on the world, life and contraception. I worked in a very religious school and considered myself the equilizer in their otherwise polarised views of the world.

Finally, as a scientist I can say the gene pool is strong enough to easily accommodate several billion less human beings to bring us back to a long term sustainable value of perhaps 3 billion homo sapiens.

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By: anna synick http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/comment-page-2/#comment-15498 anna synick Mon, 27 Apr 2009 03:32:57 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/#comment-15498 Brad, Your argument is flawed. If every couple had one child and not ten, you would still add to the genepool and you would still add to diversity in your culture. In addition, you'd give your one child a better chance to succeed in life. In case of future famine, you would be more successful bringing up one child than ten (unless you believe that seeing a few die is still worth the effort anyway). You would also give other species with whom we share the world a better chance to survive - something we're currently encroaching on. Of course this is only valid if you believed that other species have as much right as we do to inhabit the world, which I do. As for faith or patriotism I will not enter a debate about that - as stated before, there are a few things that can never be discussed and faith or religion is one of those things - there simply is no reasonable or logical discussion possible. You obviously have your opinion on faith and I'm deducting that it is very different from mine. Not wrong, better or worse, but just very different. You do not need children in order to do any good in this world. You need to take full responsibility for your own actions and not depend on your offspring to make good. Making a change for a better world starts with the individual and the individual alone, and it starts now. You cannot postpone, or hope your kids will do a better job than you did for whatever excuse. For all we know the world will be a completely different place when the next generation reaches adulthood - with different rules, values, and regulations (oh, and a LOT less food and water). You can also not rely on your kids being of exactly the same viewpoint as you, no matter how much you are trying to instill your values. They are individuals after all, with their own minds and thoughts and opinions. For all your best intentions and efforts you will have no idea how they will really turn out, and I hope you will still stand by them even if they end up having a different opinion from yours. Brad,

Your argument is flawed. If every couple had one child and not ten, you would still add to the genepool and you would still add to diversity in your culture. In addition, you’d give your one child a better chance to succeed in life. In case of future famine, you would be more successful bringing up one child than ten (unless you believe that seeing a few die is still worth the effort anyway).

You would also give other species with whom we share the world a better chance to survive – something we’re currently encroaching on. Of course this is only valid if you believed that other species have as much right as we do to inhabit the world, which I do.

As for faith or patriotism I will not enter a debate about that – as stated before, there are a few things that can never be discussed and faith or religion is one of those things – there simply is no reasonable or logical discussion possible. You obviously have your opinion on faith and I’m deducting that it is very different from mine. Not wrong, better or worse, but just very different.

You do not need children in order to do any good in this world. You need to take full responsibility for your own actions and not depend on your offspring to make good. Making a change for a better world starts with the individual and the individual alone, and it starts now. You cannot postpone, or hope your kids will do a better job than you did for whatever excuse. For all we know the world will be a completely different place when the next generation reaches adulthood – with different rules, values, and regulations (oh, and a LOT less food and water).

You can also not rely on your kids being of exactly the same viewpoint as you, no matter how much you are trying to instill your values. They are individuals after all, with their own minds and thoughts and opinions. For all your best intentions and efforts you will have no idea how they will really turn out, and I hope you will still stand by them even if they end up having a different opinion from yours.

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By: Brad K. http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/comment-page-2/#comment-15497 Brad K. Sat, 25 Apr 2009 13:56:18 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/#comment-15497 anna synickon, "If you read carefully, I said in my reply that having four kids is *three* or four too many" If you think beyond the immediate time frame, this attitude amounts to genetic suicide. In addition there are matters of faith and culture. If you revere your loyalties today, how will you transmit those beliefs to the next generation, unless you raise up a child to the traditions and beliefs that you hold to? Can you truly express patriotism, faith, or tradition in your life, without creating a family and a child to learn and live as you believe? If you think that global warming is a problem, do you agitate today, and continue while you are physically able - or raise your child to understand what is important, and continue the work another 20 years? Unilaterally stop having children, or even as many children, and you hand the world to others in the next generation. Did you see the comparison of India to the US - that there are more honor students in India than students in the US, etc.? Indiscriminate or plagues of unintended pregnancies, inability to care for the child, and lack of intent to pass on traditions, culture, and beliefs all weaken community and the nation. No question there. Indiscriminate births, children raised outside a deliberate choice of culture, pose expenses and security problems for a community. I contend that you have to have several children to learn to parent. And that young parents need access to experienced parents to accelerate learning how to parent. Lack of large families in the US has contributed to social decline. People that want to stop having children .. thin the gene pool, and weaken the next generation for their community and faith. anna synickon,

“If you read carefully, I said in my reply that having four kids is *three* or four too many”

If you think beyond the immediate time frame, this attitude amounts to genetic suicide.

In addition there are matters of faith and culture. If you revere your loyalties today, how will you transmit those beliefs to the next generation, unless you raise up a child to the traditions and beliefs that you hold to?

Can you truly express patriotism, faith, or tradition in your life, without creating a family and a child to learn and live as you believe?

If you think that global warming is a problem, do you agitate today, and continue while you are physically able – or raise your child to understand what is important, and continue the work another 20 years?

Unilaterally stop having children, or even as many children, and you hand the world to others in the next generation. Did you see the comparison of India to the US – that there are more honor students in India than students in the US, etc.?

Indiscriminate or plagues of unintended pregnancies, inability to care for the child, and lack of intent to pass on traditions, culture, and beliefs all weaken community and the nation. No question there. Indiscriminate births, children raised outside a deliberate choice of culture, pose expenses and security problems for a community.

I contend that you have to have several children to learn to parent. And that young parents need access to experienced parents to accelerate learning how to parent. Lack of large families in the US has contributed to social decline.

People that want to stop having children .. thin the gene pool, and weaken the next generation for their community and faith.

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By: anna synick http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/comment-page-2/#comment-15496 anna synick Sat, 25 Apr 2009 00:43:52 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/#comment-15496 Uncle Yarra, "Brother & sister-in-law’s criteria for more kids is whether they had 4/5/6 kids in the play-doll family when they were growing up." That's a new one, I hadn't heard that one before! As I played with cars when I was a little girl I'm glad I haven't been of the same opinion - I'd be fully broke by now. The main two arguments I always get is either how selfish I am for not wanting kids (?) or the 'who is going to look after you when you're old?' statement. Neither of which makes much sense to me. In the first case, as I don't want children, wouldn't it be worse putting an unwanted child on this earth (this may surprise people but if you do have kids I would expect that you love, protect, and care for them to the best of your ability). In the second case, because I've not had children I've been able to take better care of myself and am a lot fitter and healthier than the average person my age, so I'm capable of looking after myself. Anna Uncle Yarra,

“Brother & sister-in-law’s criteria for more kids is whether they had 4/5/6 kids in the play-doll family when they were growing up.”

That’s a new one, I hadn’t heard that one before! As I played with cars when I was a little girl I’m glad I haven’t been of the same opinion – I’d be fully broke by now.

The main two arguments I always get is either how selfish I am for not wanting kids (?) or the ‘who is going to look after you when you’re old?’ statement.

Neither of which makes much sense to me. In the first case, as I don’t want children, wouldn’t it be worse putting an unwanted child on this earth (this may surprise people but if you do have kids I would expect that you love, protect, and care for them to the best of your ability). In the second case, because I’ve not had children I’ve been able to take better care of myself and am a lot fitter and healthier than the average person my age, so I’m capable of looking after myself.

Anna

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By: anna synick http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/comment-page-2/#comment-15495 anna synick Sat, 25 Apr 2009 00:31:55 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/#comment-15495 Hi Sharon, If you read carefully, I said in my reply that having four kids is *three* or four too many ;) In other words, if people have at most one child, we can reduce population to a more sustainable level in a more reasonable timeframe. Of course this will never happen but hopefully it might make people think a bit more before having too many of them. You say there is currently enough food to feed 9 billion people, and that it's a matter of distribution that is causing hunger. But please explain in that case: How, in a world facing peak oil and the subsequent disruption to transport, are you going to get food to all these hungry people? It still doesn't add up. You having all your kids whilst using contraception was something put forward by a writer called 'greenpa' and that was the person I was responding to (again, I mentioned that clearly in my reply). Whether or not he is correct, I don't know - I presumed he seemed to know you pretty well with such intimate details. Like you said to someone else, I think we might just have to agree to disagree. It's too difficult a topic to discuss because the views are just too opposing, you're either in agreement or you're not. That's how it is unfortunately. However, on a more positive note, we're both in our own ways trying to make changes for the better in a changing world (we moved last year from the city to a remote rural area and are working hard towards being self sustainable with a minimum impact on the world around us) - so maybe despite our differences in opinion all is not lost :) Anna Hi Sharon,

If you read carefully, I said in my reply that having four kids is *three* or four too many ;)

In other words, if people have at most one child, we can reduce population to a more sustainable level in a more reasonable timeframe. Of course this will never happen but hopefully it might make people think a bit more before having too many of them.

You say there is currently enough food to feed 9 billion people, and that it’s a matter of distribution that is causing hunger. But please explain in that case: How, in a world facing peak oil and the subsequent disruption to transport, are you going to get food to all these hungry people? It still doesn’t add up.

You having all your kids whilst using contraception was something put forward by a writer called ‘greenpa’ and that was the person I was responding to (again, I mentioned that clearly in my reply). Whether or not he is correct, I don’t know – I presumed he seemed to know you pretty well with such intimate details.

Like you said to someone else, I think we might just have to agree to disagree. It’s too difficult a topic to discuss because the views are just too opposing, you’re either in agreement or you’re not. That’s how it is unfortunately.

However, on a more positive note, we’re both in our own ways trying to make changes for the better in a changing world (we moved last year from the city to a remote rural area and are working hard towards being self sustainable with a minimum impact on the world around us) – so maybe despite our differences in opinion all is not lost :)

Anna

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By: Sharon http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/comment-page-2/#comment-15494 Sharon Fri, 24 Apr 2009 12:05:48 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/#comment-15494 Anna Maria, I think we'll have to agree to disagree - and I simply don't agree that saying that not every person will full choose to get pregnant takes agency away from women - I actually think that the idea that one's body is completely in one's control through medical means itself undermines women's agency. That is probably another post, but while I see enormous value in birth control, I think that selling the idea that women are always fully in control of their bodies - and that ultimately, this always comes down to choice takes us in potentially troubling directions - for example, in a sense, all of my pregnancies involved choice - when I became accidentally pregnant, say while using the mini-pill, extended breastfeeding *and* condoms (and yes, I knew how to use all of them), I had the "choice" of an abortion - now I'm pro-choice, but I admit, I quail deeply at the idea that the term "choice" becomes coercive that way - because I could have "chosen" abortion, I then should have, for the good of the world. The idea of abortion as a choice of last resort then gets transformed into a "choice" that places enormous pressure on people to have a physically invasive, sometimes morally troubling abortion. I think that's absolutely and seriously dangerous for women's agency. Consider China where the penalties for an accidental pregnancy are huge - potentially forcible medical procedures if caught early enough, high financial penalties that can bankrupt you, and having to give up your baby - you couldn't set the penalty bar higher. And yet, China has several million unintended pregnancies per year - not from lack of birth control which is widely available for free. Some of them are probably because of errors in using it, some of them from birth control failures, which are a statistical reality in any population, some for other reasons - but no society has ever managed the fantasy of "every child a wanted child." Nor do I think it likely, even given the best of circumstances, and with all due respect to the value of mentorship, that we ever will. And since population limitation must occur in the world we actually live in, I think we have to talk about the question of to what measure children are a choice. As for the later life stuff - you may well have been able to save enough money in pure and absolute terms to ensure your security. Most people can't - they depend on a growing economy, and expanding markets. Future growth comes from the fact that there will be enough bodies to keep the growth going. The people who will take them to the toilet when they can no longer go themselves are someone's children - either low paid workers or their own. Winston points out that those without children pay for those with them - this is absolutely true, although the famous figures of cost are totally excessive, based on a lifestyle no one has to live. It is also true that those whose parents die young still pay for the elderly, those who are able pay for the disabled, those who are illiterate pay for the libraries, those who don't drive pay for the highways and those who are young pay for old men's follies at war. Unfortunately, for most people there is no life without generational - and other- interdependence. All assumptions that we should not are based on idea that none of us derive any benefit from the well-being of others, or the basic security of a society. Thanks for the stimulating conversation! Sharon Anna Maria, I think we’ll have to agree to disagree – and I simply don’t agree that saying that not every person will full choose to get pregnant takes agency away from women – I actually think that the idea that one’s body is completely in one’s control through medical means itself undermines women’s agency. That is probably another post, but while I see enormous value in birth control, I think that selling the idea that women are always fully in control of their bodies – and that ultimately, this always comes down to choice takes us in potentially troubling directions – for example, in a sense, all of my pregnancies involved choice – when I became accidentally pregnant, say while using the mini-pill, extended breastfeeding *and* condoms (and yes, I knew how to use all of them), I had the “choice” of an abortion – now I’m pro-choice, but I admit, I quail deeply at the idea that the term “choice” becomes coercive that way – because I could have “chosen” abortion, I then should have, for the good of the world. The idea of abortion as a choice of last resort then gets transformed into a “choice” that places enormous pressure on people to have a physically invasive, sometimes morally troubling abortion. I think that’s absolutely and seriously dangerous for women’s agency.

Consider China where the penalties for an accidental pregnancy are huge – potentially forcible medical procedures if caught early enough, high financial penalties that can bankrupt you, and having to give up your baby – you couldn’t set the penalty bar higher. And yet, China has several million unintended pregnancies per year – not from lack of birth control which is widely available for free. Some of them are probably because of errors in using it, some of them from birth control failures, which are a statistical reality in any population, some for other reasons – but no society has ever managed the fantasy of “every child a wanted child.” Nor do I think it likely, even given the best of circumstances, and with all due respect to the value of mentorship, that we ever will. And since population limitation must occur in the world we actually live in, I think we have to talk about the question of to what measure children are a choice.

As for the later life stuff – you may well have been able to save enough money in pure and absolute terms to ensure your security. Most people can’t – they depend on a growing economy, and expanding markets. Future growth comes from the fact that there will be enough bodies to keep the growth going. The people who will take them to the toilet when they can no longer go themselves are someone’s children – either low paid workers or their own.

Winston points out that those without children pay for those with them – this is absolutely true, although the famous figures of cost are totally excessive, based on a lifestyle no one has to live. It is also true that those whose parents die young still pay for the elderly, those who are able pay for the disabled, those who are illiterate pay for the libraries, those who don’t drive pay for the highways and those who are young pay for old men’s follies at war. Unfortunately, for most people there is no life without generational – and other- interdependence. All assumptions that we should not are based on idea that none of us derive any benefit from the well-being of others, or the basic security of a society.

Thanks for the stimulating conversation!

Sharon

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By: Anna Marie http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/comment-page-2/#comment-15493 Anna Marie Fri, 24 Apr 2009 08:16:03 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/#comment-15493 Hi Sharon: Thank you again for a thoughtful response. I'd surely agree that in some countries outside the West, women don't have access to birth control, and short of celibacy, it is difficult not to parent. (And, I hope that circumstance will change, so women throughout the world have more measure of control over their fates). In the West though, where there is access to contraception, I think it is a more difficult stance to argue that having children is not a "choice", pretty much no matter how you decide to define the term, whether as a economic choice or otherwise. I'll tell you where I am coming from here. I teach university students (part time now, was full time) and used to teach younger adolescents, and my impression is that while hormones can be overwhelming, adult mentorship can prevent young ladies from getting pregnant at a very young age much of the time. Young people will rise to the bar you set. If you set the bar low and assume they'll be stupid, they'll be stupid. If you say, you know, I think you have enough moxy to use contraception, and here's how it is done, or you know, you don't have to have sex if you'd want to, they are capable of thinking for themselves. If you inspire them, they'll make good choices for themselves. I also have encountered a number of young ladies who fully intend to get pregnant at 16, because they think it will help them escape a bad home situation, and though it probably (not always) is a wrong-headed choice, it is a choice on their part. Often, they are modeling the behavior of their own mother. Part of my job as an educator was to tell these young ladies...you know, you do have a choice here. I tell them that you actually do have a good deal of control over your body and your behaviour, and you do have responsibility to yourself. There are other possibilities than doing as your mother did, and we can help you get there if you **choose**. I'd never force or preach, just present the options, but they were options. It was fairly amazing to see the lights turn on, and to see the empowerment they attained just be realizing they had choices. I saw pretty hopeless situations turn around just with their change in attitude. Perhaps that is why I tend to get touchy when it is suggested that motherhood in an affluent country is not a choice. Dang it, even when such statements are qualified, I find them incredibly dangerous for the agency and rights of women. So hence my previous post. Re; children as caretakers for the elderly. At the moment, my husband and I look out for my mother-in-law and my father, both who are nearly 80, have plenty of assets, and are able to stay in their own homes. They arranged to have a live-in nurse when they need it, as neither wants a nursing home unless absolutely necessary. Our parents are models of behavior for us. Like them, my partner and I thus have worked fairly hard to put enough aside both in material assets and in social capital that I'm not entirely too concerned that my decision not to parent will leave us bereft of help when we're old. We are clubbing together with friends, and buying us our own version of a "nursing home" so we'll be close neighbours and can watch out for each other when we are elderly. We've chosen to plan ahead, with the full knowledge that society will not reward us for choosing not to parent. And, why should it? Not having children is no sacrifice that should be rewarded, just a choice of how one wants to live one's life. You takes your chances, you makes your choice, no? ;-) Thanks Sharon for writing your blog. Hi Sharon:

Thank you again for a thoughtful response.

I’d surely agree that in some countries outside the West, women don’t have access to birth control, and short of celibacy, it is difficult not to parent. (And, I hope that circumstance will change, so women throughout the world have more measure of control over their fates).

In the West though, where there is access to contraception, I think it is a more difficult stance to argue that having children is not a “choice”, pretty much no matter how you decide to define the term, whether as a economic choice or otherwise.

I’ll tell you where I am coming from here. I teach university students (part time now, was full time) and used to teach younger adolescents, and my impression is that while hormones can be overwhelming, adult mentorship can prevent young ladies from getting pregnant at a very young age much of the time. Young people will rise to the bar you set. If you set the bar low and assume they’ll be stupid, they’ll be stupid. If you say, you know, I think you have enough moxy to use contraception, and here’s how it is done, or you know, you don’t have to have sex if you’d want to, they are capable of thinking for themselves. If you inspire them, they’ll make good choices for themselves.

I also have encountered a number of young ladies who fully intend to get pregnant at 16, because they think it will help them escape a bad home situation, and though it probably (not always) is a wrong-headed choice, it is a choice on their part. Often, they are modeling the behavior of their own mother. Part of my job as an educator was to tell these young ladies…you know, you do have a choice here. I tell them that you actually do have a good deal of control over your body and your behaviour, and you do have responsibility to yourself. There are other possibilities than doing as your mother did, and we can help you get there if you **choose**. I’d never force or preach, just present the options, but they were options. It was fairly amazing to see the lights turn on, and to see the empowerment they attained just be realizing they had choices. I saw pretty hopeless situations turn around just with their change in attitude.

Perhaps that is why I tend to get touchy when it is suggested that motherhood in an affluent country is not a choice. Dang it, even when such statements are qualified, I find them incredibly dangerous for the agency and rights of women. So hence my previous post.

Re; children as caretakers for the elderly. At the moment, my husband and I look out for my mother-in-law and my father, both who are nearly 80, have plenty of assets, and are able to stay in their own homes. They arranged to have a live-in nurse when they need it, as neither wants a nursing home unless absolutely necessary. Our parents are models of behavior for us. Like them, my partner and I thus have worked fairly hard to put enough aside both in material assets and in social capital that I’m not entirely too concerned that my decision not to parent will leave us bereft of help when we’re old. We are clubbing together with friends, and buying us our own version of a “nursing home” so we’ll be close neighbours and can watch out for each other when we are elderly. We’ve chosen to plan ahead, with the full knowledge that society will not reward us for choosing not to parent. And, why should it? Not having children is no sacrifice that should be rewarded, just a choice of how one wants to live one’s life. You takes your chances, you makes your choice, no? ;-)

Thanks Sharon for writing your blog.

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By: Claire http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/comment-page-2/#comment-15492 Claire Fri, 24 Apr 2009 02:31:57 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/#comment-15492 I don't think I have anything new to contribute to the childhood end of the discussion, although I am now watching, with pain, the very great pain of my neighbor who seems about to lose both her house and the custody of her 2 year old daughter. Long story, no point in getting into it, but economics, in the form of her much more economically stable former partner and co-parent, is the major reason. What I might add is the possibility that the reducing of children to primarily economic beings also results in the reducing of adults to primarily economic beings. Or, to put it in terms that currently affect me, it results in the oft-stated intention of both my own parents and my mother-in-law that they will choose nursing homes over living with my husband and I when the time comes that caring for themselves is no longer possible. In all of their cases, their own mothers spent the last several years of their lives in nursing homes. All the grandmothers who spent years in nursing homes were born anywhere from 1897 to around 1920 and have since died. My parents and mother-in-law seem to think that it would be too much of an economic burden on us to take care of them. As if their being in a nursing home wouldn't be ... I know how much my dad had to watchdog the home his mom was in to make sure she got decent care. And that doesn't take into account my wanting to help them at a time when they would need it, just because of the family ties. Somehow the question of how we are to relate to one another needs to be more fully fleshed out, more nuanced, than it usually is. Sharon's post is part of that. What happens at the end of our lives is another, which she mentions but does not flesh out. Seems there is room for a similar post there. I don’t think I have anything new to contribute to the childhood end of the discussion, although I am now watching, with pain, the very great pain of my neighbor who seems about to lose both her house and the custody of her 2 year old daughter. Long story, no point in getting into it, but economics, in the form of her much more economically stable former partner and co-parent, is the major reason.

What I might add is the possibility that the reducing of children to primarily economic beings also results in the reducing of adults to primarily economic beings. Or, to put it in terms that currently affect me, it results in the oft-stated intention of both my own parents and my mother-in-law that they will choose nursing homes over living with my husband and I when the time comes that caring for themselves is no longer possible. In all of their cases, their own mothers spent the last several years of their lives in nursing homes. All the grandmothers who spent years in nursing homes were born anywhere from 1897 to around 1920 and have since died. My parents and mother-in-law seem to think that it would be too much of an economic burden on us to take care of them. As if their being in a nursing home wouldn’t be … I know how much my dad had to watchdog the home his mom was in to make sure she got decent care. And that doesn’t take into account my wanting to help them at a time when they would need it, just because of the family ties. Somehow the question of how we are to relate to one another needs to be more fully fleshed out, more nuanced, than it usually is. Sharon’s post is part of that. What happens at the end of our lives is another, which she mentions but does not flesh out. Seems there is room for a similar post there.

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By: winston smith http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/comment-page-2/#comment-15491 winston smith Fri, 24 Apr 2009 01:04:46 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/21/blessing-or-a-burden-population-reproduction-and-the-demographic-imagination/#comment-15491 Sharon : Geat Piece on Breeding of Humans, Population, Overpopulation etc. I replied above But, Let me make one more Point. If the Mother and Father had to Pay the Full Cost of Their Children i.e birth , education and all other things that go alone with Children, the Birth Rate would drop to Zero. Can you see the hospital- doctor telling the pregnant one "OH BY THE WAY THE COMPLETE 9 MONTH PACKAGE WILL COST YOU 150K++ AND INSURANCE DOESNT COVER IT". OH YES, SCHOOL -- "THAT WILL COST 200K++ TILL COLLEGE AND ANOTHER 200K FOR COLLEGE" or MORE! In fact Sharon we are All Paying for Others Children even the Ones that Never Had a Child Which is FORCED ON THE TAYPAYER, WITHOUT CHOICE! Why Not Give People the Choice, You Want One,Two etc - You Pay. Your Responsibility , End of Discussion, Good Health To All, Winston Sharon : Geat Piece on Breeding of Humans, Population, Overpopulation etc.

I replied above But, Let me make one more Point. If the Mother and Father had to Pay the Full Cost of Their Children i.e birth , education and all other things that go alone with Children, the Birth Rate would drop to Zero.
Can you see the hospital- doctor telling the pregnant one “OH BY THE WAY THE COMPLETE 9 MONTH PACKAGE WILL COST YOU 150K++ AND INSURANCE DOESNT COVER IT”. OH YES, SCHOOL –
“THAT WILL COST 200K++ TILL COLLEGE AND ANOTHER 200K FOR COLLEGE” or MORE!
In fact Sharon we are All Paying for Others Children even the Ones that Never Had a Child Which is FORCED ON THE TAYPAYER, WITHOUT CHOICE!
Why Not Give People the Choice, You Want One,Two etc – You Pay. Your Responsibility , End of Discussion,
Good Health To All, Winston

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