Monday, 14 February 2011

Choices and Consequences

Oh, dear.

It appears that, having pointed out something quite reasonable, some people on Twitter have taken it upon themselves to decry me as a baby-eating bastard.

I won't be losing much sleep over it.

But I thought I would lay it out for my own amusement.

It was asserted that the cost of childcare is a pay gap, and therefore implied that the State should fund that shortfall.

So let me lay out my argument in full.

We have the choice whether to have children or not. We are not driven to it by instinct, because as intelligent human beings, we can (I would like to hope) rationalise our emotions and make reasonable decisions. Therefore, if you choose to have children, it is part of a lifestyle you want to lead, i.e. a lifestyle choice.

Any arguments regarding survival of the species or the sustaining of society are irrelevant - the global population is over 6 billion and rising. We are not an endangered species.

Therefore, as having children is a lifestyle choice, and childcare is a cost incurred as a result of that choice, why should the State meet childcare costs?

The answer is: quite simply, it shouldn't.

I have two kids. I am a single father. I do claim some benefits, but these are outweighed considerably by the amount of tax I pay. I do not receive any support from the State for my children, and I don't want to. They are my kids, I took part in the decision to bring them into the world, and I fully accept the responsibility to care for them.

Having kids is a lifestyle choice. It is not one incurred solely by women, it does not stop single mothers from going out and getting a job. It does not mean that women should be slaves to romantic relationships. All it means is that, if you have kids, you - and you alone - are responsible for them. If your circumstances change - tough shit. The State is not the insurer of last resort. Deal with it. Go without so that your kids don't have to, and don't bleat when the State says, 'fuck off, you're not having any more money.'