2008 July 14 Monday
Cash Subsidies Used To Reduce Child Moves
Rent subsidies are used in Flint Michigan to reduce the number of times children from poor families have to change schools.
In some of Flint’s elementary schools, half or more of the students change in the course of a school year — in one school it reached 75 percent in 2003. The moves are usually linked to low, unstable incomes, inadequate housing and chaotic lives, and the recent rash of foreclosures on landlords is adding to the problem, forcing renters from their homes. The resulting classroom turmoil led the State Department of Human Services to start an unusual experiment, paying some parents $100 a month in rent subsidies to help them stay put — a rare effort to address the damaging turnover directly.
It is politically incorrect to say this but very poor people really should not make 6 babies. The world is overpopulated. The poor are a burden to us all.
The program is popular with parents, and not just for the money. Sinceria Williams, 27, and her partner of 11 years, Marcus Turner, 37, had been living with their six children, ages 3 through 11, in a substandard house that was an unreliable bus ride from Bryant Elementary School.
The welfare state subsidizes poverty. When you subsidize something you get more of it. Modest proposal: Offer cash to poor people who elect sterilization after their first children or before they get any children at all. In fact the fewer children a woman has before sterilization the bigger the payment should be for not making more babies.
I say keep people away from each other... make it economically preferable to be a hikikomori or a parasite single. Keeps birth rate low in Japan and those who are hikikomori and parasite singles enjoy a high standard of living too. I suppose subsidizing broadband Internet access (and infrastructure) might make young people engrossed on the Internet to actually go out and have sexual intercourse.
I just do not like selective sterilizing people. Using Japanese techniques is more humane for my tastes.
Peter Moskos is a Harvard sociologist who spent fourteen months as a police officer in Baltimore's super-bad Eastern District. He wrote a book about his experience, "Cop in the Hood." Here's a short segment, from yesterday's review in the Wall Street Journal (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121599570013649659.html):
He describes in unsparing detail the conditions he found to be all too common -- homes "without heat or electricity, rooms lacking furniture filled with filth and dirty clothes, roaches and mice running rampant, jars and buckets of urine stacked in corners, and multiple children sleeping on bare and dirty mattresses." Entering a "normal" home, one that was "well furnished and clean," he writes, was "so rare that it would be mentioned to fellow officers."
Flint isn't much different from Baltimore - both have lots of poverty and unemployment. I don't think $100 per month is going to have a big impact here.
Getting poorer people to have fewer children will always reduce economic inequality, probably leading to greater happiness and more social cohesion.