Over the past few months, my practice has seen an increase in the number of children having children. Fifteen to eighteen year old teens are increasingly dropping out of school to have and raise children in the area where I live. Whether this is a nationwide trend, a statewide trend, or a local phenomenon, I dont know. The latest statistics that Ive seen indicate on a national level that fewer children are having babies prior to high school graduation, but its been a few years since Ive seen the numbers.
Invariably, these children come into my office wielding their Medicaid cards and their cell phones, expecting the American Taxpayer and His endless supply of resources to care for them and their children while they play house, usually without the boyfriend that got them in the family way. They have no job skills or experience, no intention of finishing their education and little thought to how they are going to pay for such things as shoes and bicycles for their children as they get older.
A few years later, these same ladies (now in their early twenties) come into my office with their five or six children (often, each with a different last name), and they look ten to fifteen years older than their age would indicate. They are tired, bossy, broke and defeated. They are still living on government handouts and the ubiquitous Taxpayer still foots the bill for all of their medical care. And if you look back at the family history, often you will find that their mother, grandmother, aunts, uncles, sisters and cousins have been or are in similar situations.
Why do we continue to allow this cycle to continue?
The answer is political correctness. Many of us know how we could end the cycle of government dependence, but we don't have the political clout to do so, and those who have the political clout dont have the cajones it takes to end it.
The only way you can make people become responsible for their own lives is to force them to become responsible. It seems obvious, but to suggest that people become responsible for their own lives has no place in the world of American Politics. It's not compassionate. It's not sensitive. It's racist, sexist, homophobic, unchristian, un-American, and any other nasty word you can think of.
There is an interesting double standard, however, when it comes to allowing people to raise children on welfare.
The law and the government have minimal standards when it comes to raising children. Parents who neglect their children or abuse their children are in danger of having them removed from the home and placed in foster care or institutions. A parent who neglects a child and endangers the "welfare" of the child can have their rights as parents terminated. I use the word "welfare" in quotes because the government often has some strange ideas regarding what the welfare of the child is and what constitutes endangerment of that welfare.
But in my opinion, and I suspect in the opinion of many Taxpayers whose hard-earned dollars are used to support these freeloaders, simply raising a child on welfare should be considered child endangerment. Numerous studies have shown that children raised by parents with no education, no means of support and no job skills do more poorly in school (in part because the parents are unable to assist the teacher in the education process, and often dont recognize the importance of education), are more likely to be involved in crime, are more likely to be malnourished, are more likely to be a victim of a crime, are more likely drop out of school early, and are more likely to be parents at an early age themselves. Should this not be considered, in and of itself, "endangerment"? The fact that someone brings a child into the world without thought or regard to how they will support that child, knowing that they are unable to provide for that childs medical needs, as well as their other needs unless the government steps in and hands them everything they need on a platter, is, without question, a demonstration of the lack of regard for the childs welfare and evidence of an inability to make choices in the best interest of the child.
In this case, the only logical course of action should be to remove children from these homes and place them in homes of responsible parents wanting to adopt and raise a child or in responsible foster care homes.
Here is the double standard: If you refuse to provide for the needs of a child, that child will be taken away, however, if you bring a child into the world with no means of providing for the child, no child rearing skills, no education, and no hope for the future, the government hands you everything you need. In this way, the needs of the child are minimally met (at least by government standards), but they are so disadvantaged in life by the lack of a proper parental role model, that they are doomed to live a life of poverty and to repeat the same mistakes made by their parents.
The same people who are constantly calling for another government program "for the children" would be appalled at the thought of placing these children in homes where they actually have a chance to live a "normal" life and to grow up to become productive citizens. Which proves, of course, that these people are less concerned about the children than they are about votes, constituents and government empowerment. If they were truly concerned about the children, there would be a call from the left to remove these children from the ghettos they grow up in and placing them in decent homes.
But, of course Im insensitive. Im un-American. Im unchristian. Im racist. I must be. Im conservative.