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One Problem With "Problem Families"—Too Many Children
In the U.S. in this century, the conventional wisdom has become that the problems posed by the poor, since they must be 0% genetic in origin, are best addressed by taking poor children away from their families for as many of their waking hours as possible and turning them over to intensely dedicated Ivy League graduates in Teach for America and similar programs.
One unanticipated consequence of relieving poor children's parents of many of the time-consuming burdens of parenting, however, is that this leaves the poor parents with more time, energy, and lack of disincentive to hit the clubs and conceive even more poor children. (Meanwhile, the demands for long hours upon the middle class professionals to whom their children are entrusted reduces the fertility of the MCPs.)
Of course, the entire topic of differential fertility is simply not on the mental radar of American conventional wisdom propagaters.
In the wake of last summer's shameful English riots, however, the Brits are starting to talk about how, you know, just maybe it would be a good idea if people who already had more kids than they could handle wouldn't have any more. And, even, if you can believe such a thing, that government social workers might occasionally be so bold as to hint to "problem families" that enough is enough. From The Telegraph:
Mothers in large problem families should be “ashamed” of the damage they are doing to society and stop having children, a senior government adviser warns today.
By Robert Winnett, and James Kirkup
Louise Casey, the head of the Government’s troubled families unit, says the state should “interfere” and tell women it is irresponsible to keep having children when they are already struggling to cope.
She told The Daily Telegraph that the Government must not be a “soft touch” but instead be prepared to “get stuck in”, challenge taboos and change lives.
Britain’s 120,000 problem families cost taxpayers an estimated £9 billion in benefits, crime, anti-social behaviour and health care. A fifth of them have more than five children. Miss Casey is leading a scheme to turn their lives around after they were blamed for last year’s riots.
“There are plenty of people who have large families and function incredibly well, and good luck to them, it must be lovely,” she said. “The issue for me, out of the families that I have met, [is that] they are not functioning, lovely families.
“One of the families I interviewed had six social care teams attached to them: nine children, [and a] tenth on the way. Something has to give here really.”
Miss Casey warns that the state must start telling mothers with large families to take “responsibility” and stop getting pregnant, often with different, abusive men.
“The responsibility is as important as coming off drugs, coming off alcohol, getting a grip and getting the kids to school.
“So for some of those women the job isn’t to go and find yourself another violent, awful bloke who you will bring a child into the world with, to start the cycle all over again.”
Miss Casey has travelled the country and has analysed the problems of 16 of the worst families, who cost the state up to £200,000 each a year. ...
She recently visited a family court, where she watched a young woman lose her ninth child to care. The woman, a drug addict, was expected to get pregnant again and the state would intervene again to take the child away shortly after birth. ...
Keep in mind that Miss Casey's comments are news appearing in a newspaper.