Don’t Have Children If You Can’t Take Care Of Yourself

In “How To Dramatically Increase Your Job Security For Life“, the article suggests managers are more inclined to fire those workers who have nobody to support but themselves.  As a result, one should strategically at least hint at the intention of starting a family to protect oneself from unemploymentville.  Clearly I’m being somewhat flippant.  My goal is to make people realize that relationships and emotion play enormous roles in shaping work success.

Whether you work for a small family business or a large corporation, hiring and firing is a very personal decision that comes down to one or only a handful of decision makers.  By tugging at their souls, and increasing their guilt factor, you’re well on your way to dramatically higher job security for life.

Let’s say you’re not particularly wealthy, nor make a particularly impressive amount of money.  You still have loads of student loans and consumer debt to pay off.  In essence, you’re the typical American!  Shouldn’t you be putting on your air mask before helping others?

Child raising is estimated to cost anywhere between $250,000 to $1 million from birth to after college.  If a family can’t even have the discipline to save 20% of their paycheck after contributing to their 401K and IRA, how can one consciously start a family?

$250,000 ISN’T A LOT, YET HOW MANY CAN SAVE THAT MUCH?

A typical person graduates college by 22.  If you’re really slow, perhaps 25.  $250,000 divided by 25 is only $10,000/year in after tax costs to raise your child.  If you’re in the 25% tax bracket ($68,000-$137,000 income), you’ll need to make roughly $13,000 in gross income to net $10,000.  Right off the bat, you’ll have to save anywhere from 10-20% a year to pay for your child.  Sure, for the first 10 years you probably won’t be spending $10,000 a year, but what about for the last 15 years with tuition costs and inflation?

Any private college worth attending costs over $40,000 a year.  Let’s say little Johnny is brilliant and gets a 50% scholarship.  That’s $20,000 a year right there plus another $15,000 a year for living and school expenses.  Even public schools run about $20-$25,000 a year nowadays in tuition and living expenses.

The $1 MILLION DOLLAR PROPOSAL

In “Do “C” Students Deserve “A” Lifestyles“, the article suggests the government impose restrictions on what certain people can buy based on their average GPA in high school or college. For example, only if you have a 3.7/4.0 or higher in college, are you allowed to buy a BMW.  A 3.5 GPA allows you to buy a Honda Accord or cheaper, and those who couldn’t even crack 2.5 are restricted to biking or walking.

The idea is that if you were smart enough to get straight “A’s” in college, you are smart enough to realize that buying a $5,000 Hermes handbag, and spending more than you make is a sure way to financial ruin.  Conversely, if you were dumb enough to not try in school and not realize the importance of education, then it’s best to leave the weapons of mass financial destruction out of your hands.  Society shouldn’t have to bail you out in the end.

As the government continues to infiltrate all our lives, may I suggest a new proposal. Unless your household net worth is over $1 million, no American household is allowed to have a child!  OK, so $1 million is likely too high of a hurdle, but you get the idea.  Institute minimal financial standards, such as having at least a positive net worth and a declaration of a 10 year financial game plan before a couple can start a family.

Remember, we the people of America voted in the current administration, which means the majority of us support Big Government.  I’m just going with the flow here of introducing Big Brother to more aspect of our daily lives because we love the government so much!

Think about all the positives that will come out of this legislation:

1) Population control. We are the #1 user of Earth’s natural resources.  Curb population growth, decrease our fiscal burden, and let the world live longer.

2) Improved financial health. Those who really want kids will stop messing around and really start saving and working on their finances.

3) Increased care for the child. With a net worth of at least $1 million, there’s a lower chance your child will experience neglect due to lack of funds.

4) More well-rounded children. With more resources, a child can take as many art, music, sports lessons as he or she wants.  After school tutoring is no problem, neither is a cultural immersion trip overseas.

5) Less divorce and happier parents. Without the strains of money (the #1 item couples argue over), there’s less stress for couples.  Happier couples mean happier, less trauma-exposed children. 

CONCLUSION

With over 143 MILLION orphans around the world, maybe we should think thrice about having children.  Perhaps the Duggars family, with their 18 kids aren’t really doing “God’s work.”  Maybe they’d do better adopting 18 children who need help instead.

We all have the right to do whatever we want, but should we?  If we aren’t willing to help feed or adopt a starving child, at the very least, let’s not add another by making sure our financial health is in order first before having our own.

People frequently say there’s no right time to have children.  That’s baloney.  The right time to have children is when you have an unwavering desire to care for someone for 18+ years.  Your finances are the least of your worries because they’re set, and you have a clear plan for child raising.  If you have no plan, no money, and no intense desire please don’t have children.  Figure out how to take care of yourself first.

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Keigu,

Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”


Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. says

    Don’t have children if you can’t even take care of yourself.

    I have never yet met someone who took care of himself or herself perfectly.

    I have met many people who became better able to take care of themselves by having children.

    The secret? Love.

    The more love you give, the more you learn and the richer you become in all sorts of way, both financially and non-financially.

    Count all the factors, and you find that having children often brings in more wealth than it takes out. You have put “having children” on the wrong side of the balance sheet, Sam.

    Rob
    .-= Rob Bennett´s last blog ..“This Cannot Be Put Off Indefinitely” =-.

    • says

      Love is important, but how do parents love their children when they can’t take care of themselves and are slaving away all day at work just to survive?

      • says

        They work harder, Sam. That’s the power of love. That’s the entire point.

        If we only did things that made perfect sense, life would disappear from the earth.
        Because life does not make perfect sense. Add love to the mix, though, and all sorts
        of things suddenly become possible.

        Your blog is an act of love. If you had calculated the financial pros and cons before
        putting up the first post, this blog would not be here today. You would still be
        waiting for it to make perfect sense before putting any words to the computer screen.

        Stop making sense! Have more babies!

        When you look into the baby’s eyes, the sense in it will magically become visible
        to you. Love is stronger than logic.

        Rob
        .-= Rob Bennett´s last blog ..“It’s Generally Regarded As Rude to Repeatedly Disagree With the Blogger” =-.

        • Mobius007 says

          >>Stop making sense! Have more babies!<<

          This is the mantra where I live, in Detroit. I've got many neighbors with 5-8 children under the age of 12. I never see their fathers, but I see the children all day long… they don't seem to go to school. The mothers are home all day, so I guess they are independently wealthy to be able to afford such a large brood with no husband to support them. The good news is that all these children will grow up to be good, contributing members of our society. Yes, by all means, have more babies! I expect that when these neighborhood children get into their teen years they will start having babies as well.

          It's a boon for America!

      • Chris says

        I have to agree with Rob on this one Sam. Yes, it does defy logic.

        I would never suggest that someone just suddenly decide to have children if they had absolutely no financial plans, etc.

        Being a father with 4 kids, the drive to work and work itself strenghtens my resolve to achieve financial security for myself and my family.

        While children often bind us a little bit (financially and sometimes geographically), they also force us to examine other avenues that we may have otherwise dismissed.

  2. says

    As much as I support waiting until you have some financial stability before having children, I do think waiting until you have a million dollar net worth is unreasonable. By the time some people get there, their fertile days will be over. Also, the vast majority of us survived and thrived in many cases without the luxury of coming from millionaire households.
    .-= Roshawn @ Watson Inc´s last blog ..It’s Tax Time, Are You Ready? =-.

    • says

      I would like to add that money has nothing to do with how well adjusted children grow up to be. Kids from rich/wealthy families might have more opportunities; however, it comes down to the individual kid availing the opportunities available to them.

      Talking about opportunities: in North America we have so many opportunities and access to the best educational institutions, yet countries with less like China and India have booming economies.

      Also, I don’t agree with the deserving X based on Y GPA – I mean a lot of the millionaires have an average GPA of 2.9 (read in some study a few years ago). But think Bill Gates, Michael Dell and Steve Jobs – all drop outs.

      • says

        Bill and Steve were drop outs, but they got straight A’s in high school. Again, just a concept since the gov’t is trying to regulate all our lives. Why not join em?

        If it comes down to the individual kid, then it’s all a crap shoot is what you are saying as to how children grow up to be. I disagree completely. My parents had so much to do with who I am today. They weren’t rich, but they weren’t poor.
        .-= admin´s last blog ..Riding Rocketships For Greater Success =-.

        • says

          I never said that parenting has nothing to do with how a child grows up to be. In fact, parenting is the starting point for the child’s growth. What I am saying though is that the amount of money a parent has less to do with what a child makes out of their life (money just makes things easier, but it is not the be all and end all of things.).

          The world is full of people who come from nothing and succeeded at life by beating all odds. To me my father is an example of that. His parents had nothing, my grandfather used to sell household goods on his bicycle to make a living for a family of five. My grandfather wanted to take my father out of school to help him sell stuff, but my grandmother made sure that he stayed in a public school (think public schools on the African continent).

          Long story short, my father ended up making something out of his life and he got to travel the world, and in the process provided excellent opportunities for my siblings and myself. I may not measure up to his achievements, but made it against some odds, am three years out of school and debt free, I rent my own apartment where I blog from.

          Cheers ;)
          .-= The Simple Machine´s last blog ..Money, Money, Money! Its so boring… =-.

    • says

      It is a race against the biological clock ticking away isn’t it? Yes, $1 mil is somewhat unreasonable, but some minimal financial standard should be met.

      The other question is, should the world consciously be reproducing when there are over 140 million orphans out there who could use a loving family?

      • Chris says

        Better question: Should people who cannot feed/clothe/shelter themselves be told it’s ok to practice trying to make kids, as long as you use one of the various pregnancy prevention methods put forth by the state/fed. And subsequently placing their children in orphanages because their lack of means?

  3. says

    Interesting take here Sam. I’ll do the best I can to answer your questions.

    What are your thoughts about the government instituting a $1 million net worth rule before Americans can have children?

    –> I think the $1 million net worth would need to be better ironed out. It would probably need to be adjusted based on economic factors as well. Someone could have $1 million net worth and be $2 million in debt and on the way to ruin. So I think debt has to play in – but maybe you are already thinking of debt as part of net worth.

    Too radical?

    –> It’s just as radical as the government ‘paying’ people to have children. Because we had Sienna and marked a deduction on our taxes, we are netting nearly $200 a month from my paycheck. I can see some folks cranking out as many kids as they can for this kind of benefit, not realizing the true cost over time.

    What do you think about the Duggars and their 18 children? Will you be willing to pay for their food, shelter, and children if their parents can no longer afford to?

    –> I think 18 children is way too many (personal philosophy). I have two kids and I feel I’m at the tipping point :) Right now even if I was willing, I wouldn’t be able to feasibly pay for their food, shelter, and children if their parents couldn’t afford to.

    How do you suggest we help the millions of orphans?

    –> Progression in two areas: Consciousness and education/technology. First, human kind as a whole needs to move from the scarcity mindset (hording as much as can be horded individually) to a contribution to a whole mindset. And secondly, education needs a swift kick in the rear. Traditional schools don’t go near enough into personal development. And if technology develops to a point of clean renewable energy and the ability for these orphans to learn it and contribute to society, we’re looking at a much better big picture.

    What advice would you give a couple thinking about having children? When is the best time?

    –> The best time is when both partners agree and can support the children. I would argue that a happy marriage with financial support is the most ideal situation. I define a happy marriage as one in which the two people want to be together more than 75% of the time.
    .-= Jeremy Johnson´s last blog ..Fruits From The Gift =-.

  4. Red says

    You’re making a huge assumption when you say that graduating with a 4.0 GPA means you are smart enough to avoid financial ruin. I’d be willing to bet that many college graduates who did well in school don’t have the common sense enough to avoid going into debt for frivolties. Then there’s the issue of people growing smarter as they age. Someone who sucked at college may be the next Bill Gates when they get older. You can’t judge a person’s potential by their GPA in college.

    Then there’s the issue of whether parents who are working 24/7 to provide for their children are really happier than people who are cash strapped. Or whether kids of workaholic parents are more well-rounded. Sure, they can take all the music lessons they want, but isn’t a parents’ love better than that? My mom worked her butt off through our childhood, and it did nothing but make her (and us) unhappy.

    I do agree that children are expensive, and there should be some kind of financial/psychological restrictions to who can have children. I don’t think it’s ok that, right now, anyone can have a child. It’s a huge responsibility that shouldn’t be considered a “right” but a “privilege.”
    .-= Red´s last blog ..Link love: I’m too tired to come up with a title edition =-.

    • says

      You are right. I am making a huge, somewhat asinine assumption regarding GPAs and what people are allowed to spend on. I never said 4.0 though I wrote 3.7 :) That said, I do think this proposal, which would fit right in with a Democrat’s way of governing (controlling much of our lives) has merit. After all, universities use grades as a key measure of intelligence, and an ability to get things done smartly during their admissions process, why is this so different?

      Your story about your mom working her butt off, and being unhappy and affecting you guys is appreciated. And so, perhaps having a minimum financial hurdle to cross is a decent idea afterall, b/c money worries are stressful and counterproductive.
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Why Isn’t President Obama Considered White to The World? =-.

      • Red says

        Ah! Sorry about that! I had 4.0 in my head because I was thinking of all A’s. Still, a school is an academic setting. They’re going to base admissions (and scholarships) off grades because that is how they judge intelligence. But I don’t think success in life can be judge by something as arbitrary as a letter grade during a four-year period of your life.

        Are you implying that once a family reaches a certain net worth and has children they’ll stop working as much? My parents didn’t have money worries. They simply wanted to provide us with the best of the best and so they worked long hours to do so. If you’re thinking that money stress would stop completely because a couple reaches a certain net worth, I think that’s another asinine assumption. A couple isn’t going to build up a reserve and stop working as much after they have children. They’ll continue working to keep up the lifestyle they want for their children.
        .-= Red´s last blog ..Link love: I’m too tired to come up with a title edition =-.

        • says

          I’m impressed Sam responds to you when you tell him he has asinine assumptions. Sounds like you are the one who has asinine assumptions, or reading comprehension problems because I don’t read anywhere that he assumes a family is going to just stop working.

          It’s pretty obvious you are a young woman who has been thinking about starting a family or about to get married. You are trying to defend your own desire and right to have children, while ignoring the obvious conclusion…. are you being selfish for wanting your own children when there are 140 million + orphans who need shelter.

          It’s also obvious you didn’t do well in school with the way you are bashing the funny concept of grades and restriction of what can be spent. Not our faults you didn’t do well, it’s only yours!

          From your defensiveness, I think the answer is yes, and you have a tremendous amount of stress and guilt right now.
          .-= The Genius´s last blog ..Marc Lipsitch catches the flu in action =-.

        • says

          Ouch! I’ve never been called asinine, or at least my assumptions as asinine twice.

          I try not to make any assumptions post an initial proposal of a minimal financial standard barometer. What people do to provide for their families afterwards is their own decision.

          Cheers

  5. says

    My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years. We put off having children, and put it off, and put it off. Now, we think we are getting closer to being financially and emotionally ready. However, we are in our late 30’s and things are going a bit slow (if you get my drift.) BUT, there are lot’s of children who need a good home. My husband and I are seriously thinking of going in this direction, we’re even open to adopting a toddler versus an infant. I think this is an option too many people don’t consider, partly due to the cost (but if you can’t afford adoption, how can you afford a child?!) and the whole, “it won’t look like me!” Who cares!

    As for the Duggar’s, I agree with you. If they really wanted to do “God’s work” they would have adopted 17 of their 19 children.
    .-= Little House´s last blog ..Sunday Roundup =-.

    • says

      I hear you Little House, and catch your drift. It would be wonderful if you went the adoption route!

      They say getting pregnant is one of the hardest things to do, and is a medical miracle. When we’re not trying is when it happens, and the more we focus, the farther away we get. It must be so tricky for working professionals nowadays as we delay family life.

      If I were to adopt, I wouldn’t care what s/he looked like at all.

      Have faith, Halle Berry and the red head women from Desperate Housewives all had babies over 40, if that’s what you wish when the time comes!

      Best, Sam
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Riding Rocketships For Greater Success =-.

      • Igotadose says

        Don’t advocate having babies over 40. The risks to mother and child are very high – breast cancer and problems with osteopirosis for the mother, and a much higher risk of autism and retardation in the child.

        Especially if its the first child. Cynthia Nixon (Miranda from Sex and the City) is a breast cancer survivor, she was diagnosed a couple years after the birth of her first child.

        I like this blog, though. FS is touching on an issue that’s given short shrift in the media.
        The comments about ‘its all worth it’ might as well be entitled ‘The only way to have a kid is to not do the math.’ $1m net worth sounds reasonable to me – fewer unwanted kydz that way drawing on the public dime.

  6. says

    I expect you’ll get a fair amount of feedback for this one Sam!

    The trouble is messing with people’s reproductive rights has a very bad track record, if you look at the sort of people who tried it before.

    However I totally agree the world needs less people. Older workers should work longer to solve the pensions crisis, and I echo your call to make poorer kids overseas richer and more productive rather than having more entitled brats running about the West. (I paraphrase for emphasis! :) )

    The real issue is people who live off The State to have kids, which is perhaps more an issue in Europe than the US.

    Take these chancers here in the UK, for instance:

    Father-of-seven Peter gave up work because he could make more living on benefits. Yet he and his wife Claire are still not happy with their lot. With an eighth child on the way, they are demanding a bigger house, courtesy of the taxpayer.
    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=502766&in_page_id=2

    That’s an extreme case, and I’m no fan of that newspaper’s parent (The Daily Mail – think Fox News in print). I also believe in a level of welfare provision. I don’t want to see kids starving on the streets through no fault of their own.

    Yet unfortunately some people just utterly take the piss.

    Perhaps one solution should be that after your kids reach college age you are taxed back all the money the state spent on them? (It’s the kids we should be protecting, not their reckless parents). On the other hand, maybe they’d just keep having kids into their 50s to keep the benefits flowing.
    .-= Monevator´s last blog ..Goldman Sachs: Yesterday a giant squid. Tomorrow calamari? =-.

    • says

      Wow! that’s crazy. But I’ve seen the truth in this with our own U.S. system. Not as well of as Peter & Claire, but good enough. One lady I ran into was having her 6th kids so they could, ‘increase their welfare money’! Really??? Geesh.
      And I’ve seen people play the system very well, as to remain on it for however long they need to.

      Well, they have scaled back on our welfare system a lot, so I don’t think it is the same anymore. and have a feeling those people are living extremely tight now.

      And when I was a single mother, I loved the welfare insurance system.

      Peter & Clair: a 42′ Screen TV and a Mercedes? Wow!
      .-= Money Funk´s last blog ..Sunday Brunch with Christine =-.

    • says

      Wow, I am impressed by Peter and Claire’s ability to milk the UK system! I like your suggestion on taxing back all the money spent on your kids after college. That’s totally fair, b/c we’re talking about using the money for the kids, not for a parent’s own personal use. That line often gets blurred I imagine.

      “Taking the piss”… gotta love that English expression! Not exactly sure how one defines that phrase, but I think I know how to use it better now!
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Over The Hill At 40 – Age Discrimination In The Workplace =-.

  7. says

    Living in Los Angeles you get to see a wide variety of different families…

    I do believe that some sort of rules for having kids should be put into place. I would not say that a net worth calculation is necessary but more so a cash flow analysis… If your assets and cash flow exceed your debts by $1,000 per month then I think you can properly take care of a child and feel free to have one… Assume some kind of depreciating costs across two children so if you’d like to pop out another, say you need $1600 in cash flow.. Then $2000 for three.

    If you chose to have children and you don’t have the required cash flow then i think you should not be able to deduct them on your taxes (or some similar disincentive).

    Don’t get me wrong, i am not trying to harm the child… I do not want to withhold a necessary standard of living from any kid, or keep them from going from college, or what not. But i do believe that people should be held responsible for their actions, and if you’re going to have more children than you can support, then there should be consequences.

    Another more radical idea (one i am not promoting, just conversing about) is if they have more than x amount of children without having any means to support them (they are a baby making factory), can we just get their tubes tied? I understand the rights of all individuals is important but at some point the rights of the children should be weighed against the rights of their obviously insane parents. A perfect example is the “octomom” issue, where it should be obvious that she is not sane (deciding to have more children after you fail to support the initial 6). Would it be better for society and fair if she wasn’t allowed to continue having children after #4?

    Interesting thought, but at some point population control will probably have to come into play worldwide, so it’s an interesting thought we may see considered in our lifetime.

    • says

      Cash flow analysis, excellent suggestion, and funny enough a good debating topic when it comes to whether one’s net worth is more important or cash flow upon retirement.

      Yes, Octomom…. hmmmmm, pretty creepy interviews. I wish her kids the best. I don’t think imposing surgery will ever fly. But, minimal financial standards, and proof of a 10 year plan counciling session could sure work.

      Eventually, the world will have to adopt population control… but perhaps an asteroid will wipe us out before then.
      .-= admin´s last blog ..The Benefits of Debit Cards Over Cash and Credit Cards =-.

  8. says

    Wow, very interesting post Sam! You bring up some great and challenging points. It does make some sense to have some sort of financial requirements or game plans in place – the problem comes in with regulating that.

    In terms of helping orphans – that is definitely something on my mind and heart. The problem seems so massive that it’s almost demotivating. But if we all decided to help one child we could make a difference together.

    My wife and I adopted our first child and she is an amazing, amazing gift!
    .-= Jason @ Redeeming Riches´s last blog ..Tithing – How Much Should a Christian Give? Part 1 =-.

  9. says

    Ah–you and the controversy ;)

    I see two small problems with your modest proposal.

    1) You don’t have to spend so much on your kids, and you definitely don’t have to send them to private colleges (or any college) for them to be happy, productive individuals who can make their way in life. My parents didn’t pay for my college education and I got one anyway. I have friends that never went to college that learned trades and are doing very, very well. Kids cost as much as you let them cost.

    2) As a teacher, I know full well that the A student is not always the brightest student. The A student is the student that follows the rules, jumps through the hoops and gets an A. Grades have as much to do with your learning style and your ability to buy into the system as your intelligence and motivation.

    I’ve seen some very wealthy people do some really stupid things while raising kids (shudder). And I know a few high school dropouts who are incredibly scrappy, make good money at their own businesses and do a great job raising their kids.
    .-= Simple in France´s last blog ..Risks you’d take to live your dream =-.

    • says

      Nothing controversial here Simple!

      Yes, the kids could just be happy growing up on a farm and stuff, I would think you’d want to give your kids the option of attending school if they’d like no? I’m pretty certain $250,000 over 20-25 years is a conservative estimate. I’d use $500,000 to be safer.

      Good perspective on A students…. but isn’t that what we all want, a person who can follow the rules i.e. pay your credit card on time, don’t buy more house than you can afford, don’t steal anything, work hard, be productive etc rather than simply have the brightest student?

      If we were all able to follow rules and study hard like the A student, i think there wouldn’t be as much financial suffering. There are examples of dumb wealthy people and smart HS drop outs. But all else being equal, folks who know how to follow rules and have initiative make for a less anarchy.
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Riding Rocketships For Greater Success =-.

  10. Geek says

    Fortunately most governments don’t have THAT much control over people’s bodies… yet.
    Assuming by “we” you mean the US – (and yes, I know you’re not really an elitist bar-stud like you sound here, and you believe in a woman’s right to her body and no forced abortions or sterilizations, I mean we’re not neanderthals)

    1) Population control. We are the #1 user of Earth’s natural resources. Curb population growth, decrease our fiscal burden, and let the world live longer.
    US is hovering right around replacement rate, slightly below. This is taking care of itself. Population increases from here on out are due to immigration (which is fine, IMO).

    2) Improved financial health. Those who really want kids will stop messing around and really start saving and working on their finances.
    Until they have them! Then they can do what they want!

    3) Increased care for the child. With a net worth of at least $1 million, there’s a lower chance your child will experience neglect due to lack of funds.
    Hm. How many children experience neglect today?

    4) More well-rounded children. With more resources, a child can take as many art, music, sports lessons as he or she wants. After school tutoring is no problem, either is a cultural immersion trip overseas.
    Orrrr, perhaps, we will fund schools less? There are already too many after school things going on (says the one who did 4-8 hours of dance per week, and 1/2 hour of dance and piano lessons each, plus drama club in high school. Soccer games every weekend when I was little, and swimming for 2 hours a day in middle school)

    5) Less divorce and happier parents. Without the strains of money (the #1 item couples argue over), there’s less stress for couples. Happier couples mean happier, less trauma-exposed children.
    Are arguing couples couples that break up?

    • says

      “Yet” is your key word in your comment. The government will find us, and control every aspect of our lives, including when and how we go to the bathroom if we let them. We just have to go with the flow.

      What’s a “bar-stud” btw? A guy who is adept at picking up women at bars? Don’t get it.
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Riding Rocketships For Greater Success =-.

      • Geek says

        It’s a misspelled cuss word with an accent. I was saying I know you’re not a jerk and that you often say incendiary things. Anyway, the govt. is a long way from controlling people’s bodies in the direction you’re indicating. If anything it is advocating MORE children with abstinence education funding (proven not to work) and anti-choice policy.
        I’d be the first to line up for 100% sure-fire temporary birth control… maybe they’ll put something in the air you have to counteract with a pill?

        But that’s elitist and dirty, and hurts poor people disproportionately. Orphans notwithstanding.

        • Geek says

          And oh yeah – you didn’t respond to my “we reproduce in the US below the replacement level/pop increase is mostly immigration” argument! :P

        • says

          Nice. I don’t think bar-stud has ever been used as a way to write bastard before, but I see it now!

          I’m fine if we reproduce below the replacement rate. We shouldn’t be counting on a social security system to depend and burden the young anyway. How do we decrease the massive world population if we DON’T reproduce below the replacement rate?

  11. says

    This is an issue I feel strongly about. Overpopulation is at the root of ALL the major problems we face as human beings (from environment to economy to international relations) and I think that anyone who has more than 2 children is really, really lacking in the ethics department. You may find a guest post I did interesting:

    http://20-forty.com/2008/09/04/the-ethics-of-having-children-guest-post/

    Here is what I suggested -anyone who was interested in having a child would have to do the following:

    **Pay to fill out an application and undergo a background check proving they have no felonies on record and possess the financial resources to raise a child.
    **Pay to attend parenting courses prior to conception, and undergo an examination that they must pass in order to receive permission to move forward with parenthood.
    **A reduction and/or reimbursement of these fees would be offered to those who were willing adopt a child rather than conceiving themselves.
    **The tax benefit for having children would be revoked, to be replaced with a tax benefit for not having children and for adopting.
    **Access to birth control and other forms of family planning (such as financial counselors for those who can’t afford a child but would like one) would be made widely available free, at reduced cost, and/or be made tax deductible.
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..I Can Download Porn At Work, Can You? =-.

  12. says

    I see your point, Sam. And I did seriously consider adopting for the longest time. Still do. For some reason, I always wanted to adopt an Asian baby. No reason.

    I agree, more people should prepare and seriously consider the financial implications of having a child. I know from experience that its not cheap! And its not getting any cheaper.

    If China can adopt a one child policy, I don’t see why we couldn’t have a financial stipulation before having children. Of course, I was told that people go into Tawain to have a second child… some type of loop hole in the system.
    .-= Money Funk´s last blog ..Sunday Brunch with Christine =-.

      • Gordie says

        They do fine parents for having more than one child.
        .-= Gordie´s last blog ..This Is Gordie Signing Off. XXOO =-.

        • says

          How much do they fine? They can’t fine that much to ruin the family and not allow them to provide for their kids no?

          Gordie, missed you man. You in Kiwi land now?? Miss China?

        • says

          Here, check this out about the one-child policy fines:

          The Guangdong law stipulates a formula to calculate the fines for rich violators of one-child policy. For example, the per capita disposal income of the Tianhe District in Guangzhou last year was about 200,000 yuan. If one private enterprise boss in this district earned 200,000 yuan last year, he would pay a maximum social child-raising fee of: 20,000×6+(200,000-20,000)×2=480,000 yuan (about US$63,763) and a minimum 20,000×3+(200,000-20,000)×1=240,000 yuan (US$31,884). This is only the fine for one of the couple. The fines for both members of the couple would be much more. And for those who have more than two children the fines will be doubled.
          .-= Money Funk´s last blog ..Sunday Brunch with Christine =-.

  13. says

    If grades are being handed out for provocative posts, you’re going to be at the top of the class, Sam.

    When it comes to criteria for being parents, I don’t think money plays anywhere near as important a part as a person’s fitness and desire to have those children. From what I observe, too many people have children without particularly wanting them, without giving it careful thought beforehand and considering the huge responsibility they’re taking on. Above and way beyond the basics, Children need a parent’s TIME and ATTENTION to instill values — to help them grow and bloom. If there’s not much money in the house, a well-centered kid with strong values can overcome that – and even get stronger in the process. But an unloved, ignored, unwanted child has a huge uphill battle, even if the family has millions.

    I don’t know who the Duggars are, but trying to divide your time and attention among 18 children doesn’t sound like a such hot deal for those kids.

    As for Octo Mom, the doctors who treated her at that fertility clinic were as nuts as she is…
    .-= savvysavingbytes´s last blog ..High Five to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution =-.

    • says

      Haha, thanks. I wrote this post from 5:10am to 6:10am this past Sunday, as it was something that’s on my mind. I don’t purposefully try and make it provocative, it’s just the stuff that I think about.

      Time and attention is needed indeed from parents… and if parents are too busy working their butts off to just put food on the table, well that’s no good is it? We can all hope our kids will be ‘well-centred with strong values” but who knows? We might produce Satan’s spawn himself!

      No, dividing your attention among 18 children is a no win proposition, especially when I assume one of the parents have to work!

      Thnx for stopping by.
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Doing Anything You Can to Survive – Silence And Surprise In The Night =-.

  14. says

    Personally I shudder at the thought of restricting our freedoms even more in this country. I think that if people want to have children, they should be able to have children. Our population in this country isn’t much beyond the replacement level (right around 2 children per woman), so it’s not like our population is growing so exponentially like some other countries in the developing world. Families like the Duggars are the anomaly, not the rule.

    I also think that income level and GPA aren’t going to be very good indicators of who will make a good parent anyway. I know some very good people who weren’t high income earners or tops of their class, but who were very caring towards their children and who had very well adjusted kids. I know one family that my family was close to who had 10 children, and every one of them has turned out well adjusted individuals who have made a positive impact on their communities. What if we had been like China and instituted a one child policy – or an income policy? None of those 10 wonderful people would be here.

    Yes, I think we need more people to be responsible parents, taking parenting classes, being financially responsible, etc. But I don’t think we should be legislating or restricting who can have kids.
    .-= Peter´s last blog ..7 Lies About Money That Can Kill Your Financial Future =-.

    • says

      I shudder too, especially with one suggestion by a reader who says mandatory surgery must be performed after a certain time or failing criteria!

      We all know someone who knows someone who didn’t fit the ideal criteria who was the exception to the rule. But, that’s what they are.. exceptions. Let’s make things standard, so we don’t have to know someone who knows someone anymore.

      Parenting classes and being financially responsible are a great, mandatory idea it seems. The government restricts us in many ways, and I don’t think this proposal is too far fetched. Big brother is watching us more than ever before!

      Good to hear from you Pete.
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Riding Rocketships For Greater Success =-.

  15. says

    Sam, you do know how to get a conversation started!

    As someone who has delivered thousands of babies, you are wasting your time here!

    -No one who “can’t afford” to have a baby is reading your blog.
    -These are people who say they can’t pay a 2 dollar medicaid co-pay, but think they can feed, clothe, and nurture a child.

    -we are not supposed to make value judgments for others, but sometimes it is difficult to tolerate folks who say they can’t afford to pay their bills, but can afford smart phones, and nice cars-and want me to prescribe fertility meds!!!!

    -I do agree with Peter, above that there are a lot of great parents who do care and make great sacrifices for their kids, who would be extremely low income-but have their priorities straight!
    .-= Dr Dean´s last blog ..Homemade Pizza, Saving On Cell Phone, and Netflix, OH MY! =-.

    • says

      Great insight Doc! That is pretty ironically moronic isn’t it? Someone who can’t pay a $2 co-pay or even a $200 co-pay but can and want to have kids, which will cost them a fortune.

      We want what we want, and we want it now, even if we don’t deserve it. Long live America! Hence my question to you and others again is, “Do “C” Students Deserve “A” Lifestyles?”

      http://www.financialsamurai.com/2010/02/01/do-c-students-deserve-a-lifestyles/

      Cheers,

      Sam
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Over The Hill At 40 – Age Discrimination In The Workplace =-.

    • BD says

      Dr. Dean, I’m sorry to say, but you are wrong when you say “No one who “can’t afford” to have a baby is reading your blog.”

      I can’t afford to have a baby, and I’m here reading.

      This blog entry is exactly what I’ve always believed my entire life. When I was married (to my now ex), I accidentally got pregnant (despite birth control) in the first year we were married. We knew we couldn’t afford to raise a child, since we were both working near-minimum wage jobs. And there was no way I was going to kill the baby before it was born either. So, I waited 9 months, and then adopted him to WONDERFUL parents who had every means to raise him when he was born (and he’s thriving now, and has the best possible life he could have).

      I wish America put more emphasis on adopting. We seem to care more about animals here in America, than children. People and organizations diligently work to adopt out dogs and cats, and get the message out to ‘adopt rather than buy from a breeder’, but when it comes to children, there are far fewer advocates for re-homing. As a result, more children grow up abused and impoverished here in America than do our animals. It’s sad. Adoption needs to quit being a dirty word here.

      • says

        BD, thanks for your very thoughtful comment! It must have been tough for you to give your baby away. That said, knowing that he is thriving now thanks to a wonderful family must be amazing. Really good for you that you recognized your predicament, and were absolutely selfless in your decision.

        That’s very interesting how you compare pet care and adopting. I wonder why there are fewer advocates for adopting or “re-homing” as you say. I’m an advocate! I will be an advocate until the day I die!

        Best, Sam

        • BD says

          Sam,

          It was tough, yes. But my family still keeps in touch with Zachery (his adoptive parents picked the name), and he really is doing amazing. He’s 13, and literally a genius. Had my ex and I kept him, he would have had an awful life, never seeing us, living in poverty, and then, ending up in a broken home. I wish more people who lived in poverty and accidentally had kids would think about adopting them out to homes where they could have a much better chance at life.

          I think there are so few advocates for Adoption because as a culture here in America, giving up your baby to another family is seen as a horrible thing. My Mom literally thought I was a monster for giving up my baby for several years…until she saw how right I was. Now, she agrees 100% with my choice. This nation as a whole needs to see Adoption as something good, and a service that is honorable. People should strive to adopt at least one child if they want several kids, and people who cannot afford to raise a child should give their babies up for Adoption. I just think things would be better overall for so many people in America then.

          Thank you so much for your kind words as well.

          • says

            BD, that is fantastic you are keeping in touch with Zachery and his adoptive parents! Now, he has an even bigger support network which is a good thing!

            All we can really do is do the best that we can. Rgds, Sam

      • BD says

        Dr Dean,

        Thank you. Both my ex and I only wanted to do what was best for the baby.
        To be honest, I’m shocked that no other couples living in poverty ever chose this route to give their child a better life. This is what I mean about America calling “Adoption” a dirty word. There is either “Aborting” or “Carrying Through and Keeping”, almost never adopting. It’s sad, and I think that mentality only hurts the children in the end.
        Thank you for your encouragement as well!

  16. says

    I understand the logic, that you are presenting, but a million is a bit steep. Perhaps debt free or a plan to become debt free should be the criteria. After all, if we all wait until we are millionairs, a good portion of the population would be 59 or 60, and nobody wants to change diapers when they are 60 ;)

    Personally, I love my kids, they are the best thing that has happened to me. When I was single, I thought people like I am today were jokes… I had fun when I was single, I admit it!

    As much as I like getting money back for having kids, I think we should do away with the tax credit. Afterall, it rewards people for being irresponsible and reckless! Kids shouldn’t be used as a scheme to get money from the government. Kids should be born because they are wanted and can be taken care of properly.

    Perhaps the government should have a income tax credit , say $6,000 for those without any kids, and then every kid that you have , $1000 get’s subtracted from that credit amount… Those that could afford to have kids, would take the hit. Those that couldn’t might be more apt to delay having kids…

    I know, I’m switching gears and this is unrelated, but in my neck of the woods, there is an inverse relation between how successful a woman is and how many children she has. At my work, there are stunningly beautiful career women, that don’t have kids, and then those that aren’t near as intelligent nor successful having 4, 5 or 6? Go figure!

    Anyway, very thought provoking article!
    .-= Money Reasons´s last blog ..MoneyReasons Weekly Cache 2010, April 18 =-.

  17. Charlie says

    I also agree overpopulation is a HUGE problem that so many people never even think about. I had no idea there were 143 million orphans – WOW. That’s really really sad. I’m still undecided about if I want to have kids someday. There are many different reasons like cost and the large amount of responsibility, but another big one is that our world has so many problems. I see punk kids drawing grafitti on people’s houses, homeless people wandering the streets, loadies smoking pot near my office, violence and over stressed people, polluted cities, more kids being diagnosed with autism, and more and more people dying of cancer…….I’m not trying to get people depressed but it’s something I’ve always thought about and it almost breaks my heart to think about bringing another baby into a world that’s so troubled….especially if something were to happen to me that would prevent me from being able to protect that child. It makes me so sad that so many people are selfish and so irresponsible about pregnancy and child rearing.

  18. bigjobsboard says

    Nice article! People should read this article. This is the problem most over-populated countries have.
    .-= bigjobsboard´s last blog ..Testimonial =-.

  19. says

    I didn’t read all the comments so not sure if others touched on this but I think putting restrictions on who can have kids has been proven very dangerous for societies.

    Think of China where each family can have one child or face huge fines for each subsequent child… This has resulted in babies being found dead in gutters, or families that were doing ok to become penniless from being fined for a 2nd child. Women have become very devalued in poorer households because of the belief that they are less stable for manual work and there has been a rise in baby girls being killed if they are the first child…. I know this is extreme but it has been caused by desperation that has escalated from too much government control…. As for the solution to China’s overpopulation, I honestly don’t have a better answer!!!

    Also basing suitability of raising children based on your worth financially causes another big conundrum…. It’s fair to say that the majority of people with a household worth of $1mill+ are in the region of what is called “upper class”…. Thus bringing in the possible interpretation that most children will only come from upper class families (close to Eugenics here!)….

    In principle your idea is perfect but in practice I really think it places too many moral issues to ever be a real solution.

    Also on a side note, I don’t think that college education and school grades are necc a way for someone to be judged later in life. I never attended college but I was still holding down a $70k a year job at 23 years old…. I left it all because I don’t enjoy being in the corporate world, there are so many other world’s out there that do not come from college… We need music and art and the successful people in these realms are often home grown, not college grown.

    Personally I hold it as my own responsibility to not have children until I am financially stable enough to give them a comfortable life. Maybe a better moral option is to push responsibility of this kind onto people through public education… CAN YOU AFFORD A CHILD, campaigns and the like!

    As always fantastic food for thought Sam.
    .-= Forest´s last blog ..Redbox DVD Rental May Freebie =-.

    • says

      Hi Forest, you highlight the ultimate goal of these draconian measures, making people accountable to not have children until they are financially stable enough to give them a comfortable life. That should be the FLOOR, or the very least we can do.

      Art and music are great. Ironically, they are the most expensive schools or classes to take. Just go to NYC and see what world famous Parson’s School of Design Cost. They are full of very VERY rich kids (not all, but many). They can afford to pay $50,000/yr in tuition b/c they are rich, and don’t have to find a job that will provide a rational return on their income.

      Increased education is key, and hence why I don’t think that a mandate by the government for families to demonstrate how they will achieve minimal financial hurdles over a 10 year period is a bad idea.

      Thnx for sharing your thoughts!

  20. says

    Just skimming the comments….. I think serious tax breaks should be given to families who opt to do the service of adoption… too many children growing up without love :(
    .-= Forest´s last blog ..Redbox DVD Rental May Freebie =-.

  21. says

    I’m definitely with “Red” and “Simple in France” on this one:

    Generally, high income people (in terms of salary) did really well in school. But most high income earners are what Thomas Stanley refers to as “Income statement affluent” and not “Balance sheet affluent”.

    Some would suggest that buying a BMW suggests how financially challenged you are, intellectually, regardless of your IQ or scores in school. That might sound pretty hard core, and I’ll admit to having a Benz myself, but…. statistically, the average American millionaire, according to Stanley again, is too smart to buy an expensive foreign car. Most prefer Toyotas (with the company’s short term problems aside).

    May I suggest something based on a family’s capacity to earn large levels of net worth relative to their salaries, instead of an absolute number instead? Those families will probably teach their kids a thing or two about money so that they aren’t as big of a drain as they would ordinarily be. Let them have kids. Don’t let the guy with a net worth of a (relatively speaking) a puny million dollars and a salary of $500,000 anywhere near a woman’s reproductive system–if you want to start getting hard core.

    My dad was a mechanic, and we had to be “earning money to help” from a really young age. Discounting the $250K to $1 million back with a historical inflation rate, and you’d get a combined “cost” (based on this hypothesis) that exceeded my dad’s entire salary because my folks had four kids. Loads of other readers could say the same thing, I think.

    I’d base the hard core limits on kids on financial productivity and its potential to educate the kids financially, and not on a set dollar figure–because loads of financial losers could be “allowed” to reproduce and educate their kids to fall in love with credit cards and dumb spending habits.

    Andrew
    .-= Andrew Hallam´s last blog ..No joke—I think I just cracked a rib running! =-.

    • says

      Andrew sounds good mate. We have to put responsibility in the parent’s hands somehow though, as what do kids know but to rely on parents to become model citizens?!

      It’s OK to buy a perceived expensive car, so long as you buy it cheap! There must be some really really rich kids at SAS where you teach driving in with their expensive toys. Why do the parents let them do that? Are they that rich?

      Please take care of your ribs!

  22. says

    WTH?!? nononono

    Make your choices. Take the consequences. Be a libertarian, not a fascist nazi !

    Raising a “basic” kid doesn’t cost upwards of $250k. I don’t know how they come up with these numbers. I’m guessing around $5k/year or less after the age of 8 or so, less if you can get a work-around on daycare costs, which I did for both of mine. I would guess my 9 y.o. costs me around $2k/year.

    If somebody wants to pay the stupid tax on the excess of “enough” toys and games and activities, let them. If they want to pay a stupid tax on the excess of “enough” kids, let them.

    Best to mandate X% savings or something else unrealistic. We need those kids to pay into social security, don’t we?
    .-= Single Mom Rich Mom´s last blog ..On Greed =-.

    • says

      What does a fascist nazi do or think? Although Obama and the Democrats are infiltrating our lives, forcing us to pay for health care and raising taxes on people, I wouldn’t call them fascist nazis. I’d just call them Democrats who love big government!

      It’s very easy to come up with $250,000 in expenses over 10 years. 4 years of college at a public school cost $40,000 in tuition, and another $50-60,000 in liiving expenses for $100,000. You have $150,000 left divided by 21 years, or roughly $7,000 a year in expenses or $580/month. Is that unreasonable?

      • says

        Oh, I don’t know, I do like our health care system up here in Canada. I think that’s the tip of the iceberg of your economic problems down there.

        There’s a few assumptions there I don’t agree with – ok all of them. First – 4 years of college at a public school at $10k/year. I live in Canada, and my son’s tuition runs far less than this. I think around 50% of that including books. I was talking with a friend down in the US who’s going for her MBA, and it appeared that tuition was significantly higher in the states.

        Someone’s paying their kids living expenses at $60k over 4 years while they’re in university? That’s $15k/year. Why aren’t they working part time? Why aren’t they living at home? I had a kid in university and a full course load and still worked to supplement my student loans. My parents didn’t contribute a dime to my education past my graduation from high school at 16.

        Then there’s an assumption that all kids even should be going to university. I see too many receptionists around today with psychology or other useless degrees. What a waste. Personally, if I didn’t have a kid that was extremely academically inclined, I would suggest to them that they make excellent money in a trade.

        Next – 21 YEARS?!? Last I knew, kids were adults at 18. I provide my 21 y.o. free room and board, but he walks the dog for me when I don’t have time, cleans the house and does some renovating jobs around the house. He also works shift work (while in university) so that he can babysit his younger brother after school. When he wasn’t going to school for a time out of HS, he worked 2 jobs and I shifted my official hours from 6:30-3. When I go into work on a Saturday or at night, I take my kid with me. We’ve been doing this for 4 years. Most people don’t have this older built-in babysitter. I didn’t when I was younger and had my oldest son, so I made the financial choice of living with my brother (who wasn’t the easiest person to live with) who worked odd hours and/or owned my own business so that I didn’t incur the daycare costs.

        Is $580/month per child unreasonable? Let’s use this as an example. There was a period of time when I took a sabbatical from work when my youngest son was 3 and my oldest was 14. My house was paid for, so I didn’t have that cost. We lived on less than $10k for all 3 of us in total that year (not counting what my oldest son made, because he was working part time). By those calculations, I should have spent $13,920 on both children alone. There’s some truth to it that you need (or want) a bigger place for kids and all that stuff – yet we have also lived in a 2 bedroom apartment in the past and I’ve read of parents who live in a 30′ RV with 3 or 4 kids. So it all comes down to choices.

        The children aren’t making the choices – the parents are. But I digress. A lot.

        Oh dear, I feel a “cost of children” post in my future. :-) Thanks for the discussion Sam!

    • says

      From your name, I’m assuming you are a single mom with children. What about all the millions of children without even one parent? Don’t you feel for them? You have a powerful opportunity to share with people your story, and what parents go through before having children when there are 140+ million other children they can have.
      .-= Powell´s last blog ..International Mercury Symposium opens April 22 =-.

      • says

        Powell, my name is Jacq Jolie – not Angelina Jolie.

        Yes, I do feel sorry for them. I can’t adopt 140 million children, although I did consider adopting another a couple of years ago. I felt it wouldn’t be fair to a child, possibly one with special needs, since I was fairly focused on my career at the time in the efforts to retire early. Now I don’t know that it’s fair to them to have a parent that’s getting closer to 50 all the time. Although Madonna seems to be able to manage.

        I am planning a trip down to Mexico this winter. One of our stops will be at an orphanage that my BIL supports. I hope I can do some good there. And it will be a good experience for my youngest son to see how other people less fortunate live first hand.
        .-= jacqjolie´s last blog ..On Greed =-.

    • Geek says

      Not as such – controlling your body is an inalienable right. What you put in it(in the case of babies… sperm), what is in it(fetus or no fetus), etc, belong to you and only you. Just as no one has a right to slap you (assault) no one has a right to take something out of you without your permission.

  23. says

    Hey Sam,

    Fascinating post. I definitely agree with your point that there are many people who just shouldn’t be parents. They are incapable of taking care of themselves and their kids do not grow up in a loving environment.

    But I think you’re putting a bit too much weight on the financial aspect. I understand that financial stability “should” be an indicator of a stable home (parents are better able to provide for their little ones and should have more free time to spend with them), but I see it as only one variable in a complex equation rather than the direct cause/effect that you have suggested. I would have a hard time supporting legislation that dictated something as important as a child on nothing more than an arbitrary dollar amount.

    Besides, how could it ever be enforced? I hope you’re not planning on issuing chastity belts… :)

    Mike
    .-= Mike @ Saving Money Today´s last blog ..The Movie Lover’s Guide to Saving Money =-.

    • says

      Hey Mike – Chastity belts, not a bad idea!

      It’s kinda like the speed limit. Put it at 65, and everybody goes 75.. but very few people go 100mph and die. If there was no speed limit, there would be probably more deaths and many more 100mph drivers.

      With a minimal financial standard regulation until having children, it fits right in line with our currents government’s goal of controlling every aspect of our lives, don’t ya think?

      Cheers, Sam
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Riding Rocketships For Greater Success =-.

  24. says

    And what about the 143 million orphans? Should we not have love for them and try and do something before having more of our own?

    Do both!

    Have as many babies as you can possibly have and adopt as many babies as you can possibly adopt. Stretch yourself. Take it to the limit.

    Love is what makes it all go around. There can never be too much love in the world.

    You seem to think that having fewer of your own will make you want to adopt more. It doesn’t work that way. Having more of your own will make you want to adopt more. Having fewer of your own will make you more nervous about taking on the “”costs” of adoption.

    People who have started one blog are more likely to start a second than are people who have never started one blog. Love begets love. It’s by working up the courage to experience love that you develop a taste for it.

    Rob
    .-= Rob Bennett´s last blog ..“It’s Generally Regarded As Rude to Repeatedly Disagree With the Blogger” =-.

      • says

        How many children do you have?

        I have two, Powell. It’s the biggest regret of my life that we don’t have a larger
        family. We got started too late. We had our first when I was 43 and my wife
        was 40.

        Love is not that simple. If it was, then we’d have peace on earth.

        Love is very, very hard. I don’t mean to be glib in saying that love is the answer.
        I believe that love is the answer. But I don’t even a little bit think that it is simple
        or easy.

        Honey says below that “It is super interesting that every parent *says*
        that it is the best decision they’ve ever made, but I’ve also never seen a parent
        who seemed to have a happy life.” It’s a different kind of happy, that much is
        fair to say. I don’t get the exercise that I used to get. The only movies I see
        anymore are the ones that are suitable for children. I don’t get to meet nearly
        as many new people. And there are a lot of things you worry about. Are
        they learning enough? Might they get hurt? Might they get sick? Are you doing
        a good job as a parent? All these things..

        I don’t think it’s something you do for the hedonistic pleasure of the thing.
        But there are compensations. I do not see happiness as the goal of life. I like
        being happy. I vote for it! But it’s not my top priority. I seek fulfillment and a
        sense of purpose. Kids give you that. I think that might be the trade-off.

        We don’t have peace on earth as of today. We are in agreement re that one,
        Powell. Maybe tomorrow?

        Rob
        .-= Rob Bennett´s last blog ..“It’s Generally Regarded As Rude to Repeatedly Disagree With the Blogger” =-.

  25. says

    I am loving these comments, since this blog tends to draw a diverse crowd. I do think the finances and the science are compelling…the main reason I am not having children, though, is that looking at them awakens nothing within me except pity for the people who have them. It is super interesting that every parent *says* that it is the best decision they’ve ever made, but I’ve also never seen a parent who seemed to have a happy life.
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..I Can Download Porn At Work, Can You? =-.

    • says

      I will write about this at some point, but at a different angle. Everybody who pays $100 for a dinner at a fancy restaurant has an enormous bias to say they had one of the BEST meals of their lives. Why? B/c they need to justify their spending, when we all know a $2 In N Out burger is just as good! Yum!
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Riding Rocketships For Greater Success =-.

  26. Financial Uproar says

    I spent a little while thinking before I responded to this post, and almost don’t want to. Frankly, the idea that the government, or you, or anyone else should have any say in my decision to reproduce is insulting to me as an individual with rights and freedoms. What gives anyone the right to decide who is worthy of reproducing? Why should there be a dollar amount associated to it? What logic goes toward setting the amount?

    There is no doubt that western countries should do more to encourage people to adopt. The amount of orphans out there is simply unacceptable. I think no matter what incentives are put into place, the majority of couples will choose to have their own children. It may be “selfish” as one commenter said, but it’s going to happen.

    Then there’s the implied message of the whole post that someone’s ability to manage their finances should be valued above all other things. That’s a ridiculous argument. You write a post called “Your net worth is an illusion”, yet want to make it the determining factor for deciding whether people should be able to reproduce? What’s the correlation between finances and love?

    I’m all for posts that create discussion, but sorry Sam. You struck out on this one.

    • says

      Do you live in America? If you do, the government has already begun to control EVER aspect of your life, and you don’t even know it. Who did you vote for? If you’re against the idea of having minimum financial standards, and you voted for Obama, you are inconsistent.

      What’s ridiculous is you thinking that a minimum financial standard is, and certain about of education and preparation is not a good idea. Clearly you must be some mid 20 year old kid who thinks he knows it all, but really knows nothing.

      • Financial Uproar says

        I live in Canada actually. So we have pretty comparable countries when it comes to governmental roles in our lives. In fact, one could maybe argue that Canadians have more government in their lives than Americans do.

        I believe that, as human beings, we have certain rights. We have the right to free speech, to fall in love, to own property, as well as many other things including having children. Whether the government tries to control these rights or not doesn’t make me believe in them any less.

        What you’re suggesting, by implementing “standards” that people must meet before they can have children is nothing more than a watered down version of Eugenics. And while I’m all in favor of encouraging people to have their lives together before they procreate, and giving them all the resources we can to ensure success as a parent, I’m not in favor of mandating some sort of minimum standard that must be met.

        I don’t have all the answers. In fact, the underlying message in my argument is that I have no answers. I don’t know what the minimum IQ should be for having kids. I don’t know what the minimum net worth should be. Nobody can know that. Which is why we shouldn’t have minimum standards for having kids. By claiming that you know what these standards should be implies that you have all the answers, not me.

        • Powell says

          If you have no answers, then why bother? At least Sam is making some proposals, that might not be politically correct, but has merit.

          You have very little to add, b/c you don’t have any experience it seems.

    • says

      It is pretty insulting that the government could have a say in our freedom, but that’s what big government is all about, controlling every aspect of our lives until we can no longer decide for ourselves. We become zombies.

  27. financialwizardess says

    hmmm, had it not been for my personal experience, I would have agreed with this post. However, I have lived it, and so I disagree… My mother didn’t have money to take care of us. She wasn’t careless in having kids, in fact she married an upstanding man and had kids only during her marriage. The marriage didn’t go so well and she was left taking care of us on her own without a college education or any job skills. We learned a lot through hardship, and I believe that my childhood is the reason I am so driven. I never want to live that way again.
    .
    As for the GPA thing, I graduated high school at the top of my class. If I cared about GPA in college, I would have taken easy classes – maybe a business degree. Instead I chose to challenge myself and get an engineering degree and also have fun and work full time. So my GPA was more in the mid 2’s. I’m still the smartest cookie out there, and deserve a BMW, although I would NEVER waste my money on such a purchase. ;) GPA tells you very little, IMHO.

    • Powell says

      Let’s be honest, it’s very clear who didn’t do well in school…. those opposed to using grades as barometer.

      There are plenty of people who took engineering and got straight A’s. Unfortunately, you’re making excuses. Do you believe if you didn’t get straight A’s from MIT, you wouldn’t have a killer job?

    • says

      Thanks for sharing your personal experiences! I hope it was worth the experiences taking engineering class. I’ll have to say I tried a couple of those classes, and didn’t enjoy it at all, so I found something else I really really enjoyed instead. Grades helped as a result.

      I strongly do believe a GPA tells a lot, otherwise, why else would colleges and firms, with real money at stake have GPA cut offs before interview? If I’m an employer, I want someone with a higher GPA b/c at least I know they can follow instructions, and hopefully have a strong work ethic. We never know until we hire them, but it’s a start!

  28. says

    @ Rob Bennett, I have been thinking a lot about this. I think that you can’t be happy unless there is love in your life, but the presence of love in your life is not enough to make you happy. My goal is to lead a happy life – and the financial, health, and time management problems caused by having children all stand directly in the way of that. I think pregnancy is horrifying, children are uninteresting (oh, look at my child do the exact same things in the exact same order as every other child ever), and the odds of that child doing something that provides a long-term benefit to the world are infinitesimal.

    Instead, I am $100K in student loan debt but have a PhD that provided me with the best years of my life and permanently changed the way I think and view the world. I do not make a lot of money but have a job that I adore and can repay my loans comfortably. In my spare time I spend time with my romantic partner, stay in contact with both local friends and those who have disbursed around the globe, eat out, read science fiction and fantasy novels, play with my cats, follow at least 25 television shows avidly, read about politics, cook delicious vegetarian food from scratch, play video and board games, and travel domestically and internationally.

    I have never changed a diaper, been alone with a child under 7 for more than 15 minutes, or had to spend money on someone other than myself if I didn’t want to. I spent my high school years caring for my terminally ill quadriplegic mother and running a household of four – everything from paying the bills to grocery shopping, cooking dinner, and doing all the chores in addition to all the things that my mother needed. That experience left me never wanting to be a primary caregiver again. Similarly, I also never want to be a homeowner, because I think the time and financial constraints would prevent me from doing many of the things I currently enjoy. I am happy to leave all those responsibilities in the hands of others without ever understanding what they get out of it :-)
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..I Can Download Porn At Work, Can You? =-.

    • says

      I am happy to leave all those responsibilities in the hands of others without ever understanding what they get out of it

      That’s fair enough, Honey.

      I was grateful to read your words.

      There are lots of ways other than having children to live a fulfilled life, to be sure. We can’t all do the same things or want the same things. That would be just too boring.

      And there were parts of my B.C. (before children) years that I loved and will never enjoy again. Yikes!

      Rob
      .-= Rob Bennett´s last blog ..“I Haven’t Been Ducking These Questions” =-.

      • says

        You’re right about that, Rob! It is sort of the same thing in Sam’s next post – I would sell my car in a second and never get one again if I could do without it easily, but lots of people are listing cars as their #1 material want if they had oodles of money to spend on whatever they wanted. My being completely mind-boggled by that doesn’t mean their wanting it is wrong. And for the record, I do think babies are adorable and children are funny – just not so much so I want to spend all that time & money raising them!
        .-= Honey´s last blog ..I Can Download Porn At Work, Can You? =-.

  29. says

    Hey FS,
    This is the conversation I have with family every time they ask when we’re going to have children. It’s not that we can’t take care of ourselves now, it’s just that we’re still working on digging our way out of a hole we created before we started adhering to tips on budgeting and money management.
    I always tell family that we’re a couple years away from having children, but for now, the only way they can make the date we start trying sooner is to contribute to our revolving debt elimination program. :)
    Thanks for sharing,
    Guy
    .-= Guy G.´s last blog ..Tips on Budgeting– A dollar saved is 2 dollars earned =-.

  30. says

    Seems to me that there’s a fairly strong correlation between being conscientious and NOT having children (With few exceptions.) especially if you correct for religious influences.

    (It is also interesting given the large amount of behavior that the government likes to license that something with as much impact as procreation does not require one.)
    .-= Early Retirement Extreme´s last blog ..It’s like owning a business… yet not quite =-.

  31. says

    Can the planet sustain everyone blindly having children? Is anyone thinking about that? Don’t forget, our society doesn’t have children, we have consumers.

    Eventually, the planet will say, “Sorry, out of oil.” But nobody’s thinking about this. We have a false system, false because of the fact it can not be sustained. But I guess this will be our kids problem, or our grand kids problem… to hell with it.
    .-= Ryan Martin´s last blog ..Are You Wasting Your Time Chasing Money? =-.

  32. says

    Sam, this is a really tough one. In principal, I totally agree with you (and live my own life in accord with the premise of the articel). But, this is such a complex issue, and the beauty of living in the USA is that people have a right to choose. The thing I don’t like, is that I don’t want to pay for someone elses poor financial decisions!!

    • says

      Barb – You’re right that living in the US allows us the liberty to do so much more than so many other people in the world… China’s one child policy comes to mind. That said, should we be taking full advantage of the system? I just don’t think so with so much suffering out there. We have a system which encourages having kids by giving tax credits or monies. That’s why you see people have 5 children on welfare. Perhaps it’s time to change the system yes?

  33. GPA says

    @engin33r

    @Ryan Martin
    LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN to this with an open mind please………. A college GPA is used for academic purposes only……. It would be a major CATASTROPHE and much disgrace to the human “brain” or may I say human INTELLIGENCE to judge or “perceive” someone based on a exhausted money hungry commercialized university or college GPA. I have been there and have done that…. I have sat my happy little “toosh”on those chairs and have spent and SACRIFICED my time listening, learning and taking notes from “professors or instructors” Let me add and sad to say that the doozzy of a student sitting next to me had the nerve to pull out her little cheat index card during almost every test and cheated and got away with it!!!!!

    Well we should all know the story of it will come back to bite you in the butt.. Almost every professor I had in college didn’t actually seem too bright to me and alot of them were very dry and boring with their repetitive lectures..I always found myself questioning is this worth the money I am paying for? ….So if any of you have learned something from this experience it should be that when you apply for college make sure that the DEGREE you pursue will ensure you a job upon graduation which is only a very few and can be counted on only one hand, so be very shrewd and wise before you choose a major..this is where good parenting skills comes in for all of you parents out there. Your kids need your help and guidance…..

    So my friend who some how had the nerve to what seems like categorize college graduates by their GPA’s is a serious laughing matter. College is the LAST place you want to compare and contrast human intelligence!!!!!! Try looking at the doers and thinkers that are actually doing something right now in our world like me who is trying to raise awareness for family abuse that goes on in SILENCE here in America every day and is HURTING many innocent lives daily…so let’s speak out and help those that are need in our country like poverty, welfare, any form of abuse, the disadvantaged here in America, animal abuse all of it we need help!!! The positive side is that there is HOPE….. Love ya

    • GPA says

      @GPA

      GPA :
      @engin33r
      @Ryan Martin
      LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN to this with an open mind please………. A college GPA is used for academic purposes only……. It would be a major CATASTROPHE and much disgrace to the human “brain” or may I say human INTELLIGENCE to judge or “perceive” someone based on a exhausted money hungry commercialized university or college GPA. I have been there and have done that…. I have sat my happy little “toosh”on those chairs and have spent and SACRIFICED my time listening, learning and taking notes from “professors or instructors” Let me add and sad to say that the doozzy of a student sitting next to me had the nerve to pull out her little cheat index card during almost every test and cheated and got away with it!!!!!
      Well we should all know the story of it will come back to bite you in the butt.. Almost every professor I had in college didn’t actually seem too bright to me and alot of them were very dry and boring with their repetitive lectures..I always found myself questioning is this worth the money I am paying for? ….So if any of you have learned something from this experience it should be that when you apply for college make sure that the DEGREE you pursue will ensure you a job upon graduation which is only a very few and can be counted on only one hand, so be very shrewd and wise before you choose a major..this is where good parenting skills comes in for all of you parents out there. Your kids need your help and guidance…..
      So my friend who some how had the nerve to what seems like categorize college graduates by their GPA’s is a serious laughing matter. College is the LAST place you want to compare and contrast human intelligence!!!!!! Try looking at the doers and thinkers that are actually doing something right now in our world like me who is trying to raise awareness for family abuse that goes on in SILENCE here in America every day and is HURTING many innocent lives daily…so let’s speak out and help those that are need in our country like poverty, welfare, any form of abuse, the disadvantaged here in America, animal abuse all of it we need help!!! The positive side is that there is HOPE.
      [Reply]

  34. GPA says

    @GPA
    I also wanted to point out about college is how can you judge someone’s intelligence on bookwork? Oh my, that is the most painful boring thing one could ever do is sit down hours upon hours and memorize book terms and type long (truthfully) meaningless essays. Really, when your professor hands back your long book of an typed essay that you spent hours on did you keep it to store on your bookshelf or did you throw it away? I learned a long time ago that I was just too SMART for college. What I experienced as a college student was an insult to my intelligence personally. But in the American system, you have to get a Bachelors Degree or higher to start making progress for the professional ladder of job security which is not right at all.

  35. says

    Let me begin by saying that I am NOT a conspiracy theorist. Far from it. But as soon as you let our government decide who should and should not be allowed to have kids you will be participating in a massive eugenics program.
    Who gets to decide the financial cut-off point? Let’s say the net worth requirement were somehow determined to be $250,000. If mine is $249,000 will you hunt me down and force me to abort a pregnancy?
    Which brings me to my second point: How will this law be enforced? Are you going to require women of childbearing age to submit to monthly urinalyses? Will you strap them down and abort them against their will?
    Full disclosure: I was 20 years old and unmarried when I had my daughter. We struggled for a couple of years until I married (to the wrong guy, which meant a different kind of struggle — a solvent struggle, but a struggle nonetheless). But she was the light of my life and worth every bit of work and sacrifice.
    Re the Duggars: They get all kinds of adoring media coverage. But what kinds of lives do THEIR kids have, being made to raise their younger siblings? Or having cameras in their home all the time? How much individual attention do they get from their parents?
    And more to the point: If they weren’t white and comfortably middle-class, would they be in our faces all the time? If an African-American or Latino family with 18 kids were on a reality TV show, what would the reaction of mainstream America be?
    While I agree that too many people have more kids than they can support (sometimes one is too many!), eugenics is not the answer. Remember: In the 20th century there were laws that allowed certain people to be sterilized.
    I’m trying to picture a country in which only a specific class of people is allowed to breed. That’s not the kind of country we want to be.
    I hope you wrote this piece to get people talking. If you truly believe that money is the only indicator of successful parenting, well, I’m equal parts dismayed and disappointed.

    • says

      Howdy Donna,

      Excellent thoughts you’ve shared!

      First, there is no “hunting down” by the government, just a proposal to monetary penalize those who break the law, just like every other law in America, if this $250,000 law were to pass. $250,000 isn’t arbitrary, b/c that is the level that Obama decides on income to see who’s rich!

      Remember, the people voted for BIG GOVERNMENT, so this proposal is just giving the people what they want. China has a one child policy, and as far as I know, they are managing.

      Second, GREAT point on the Duggars being white! Holy crap, I didn’t even think of what would happen if the Duggars were of another race living in America! Sad to say, but I bet there would be enormous outrage, since white folks are the majority! Love the double standard.

      If you are against a specific class of people trying to breed, what are your thoughts on the Government PICKING the winners and losers by discriminating against certain income earners by taxing them more, and giving benefits to other income earns who contribute less to the system? Isn’t what I suggest the same thing the people of America have already accepted?

      The point of my post is this: 1) Don’t have kids if you can’t take care of yourself due to financial stress and the fact there are 140 million orphans in the world (you haven’t addressed this) who need care, and 2) ALL PEOPLE should be treated EQUALLY!

      Best,

      Sam

  36. says

    Since when is it my (as a parent) responsibility to pay for my child’s college? And why is it lumped into “you shouldn’t have kids if you can’t pay for their college”? I know it’s heresy but I got a full-ride scholarship because I WORKED MY BUTT OFF.

    Ergo, if my kids want to go to college they have two options, 1) get scholarships, or 2) work while in school. That doesn’t mean I won’t provide any support (of course I will. I’m a sucker). But it’s their education and their future. They should take ownership of that.

    Secondly, people are going to find out very quickly that when government starts legislating their lives, bad things are inevitable. I was in the military and I can attest first hand to this. We *think* we need government but government is not the solution. And, in many cases, is the problem.

    As always, Sam, you write some great posts. Don’t think I’ve ever commented this much on any blog!

    • says

      Ha! You’re right, maybe it’s not a parent’s responsibility to pay for education after 18….. although, I would think at least 50% of American would agree it is.

      And what of rent at school and food and stuff? Will your kids have to pay for it all too?

      I don’t know if people think the gov’t is bad, or is the problem. If they did, why did they vote in the current Democrats?

      • MimiR says

        Only about 50% of America even GOES to college. You’re dreaming that 50% would agree with you.

        I paid for 2/3rds of my college through MERIT scholarships and work. I’m paying for my kids’, but I have no obligation to do so.

  37. Norman says

    I don’t think the government should dictate how wealthy a person should be to have children, but I do think the government should not be paying someone to have children. I know of women who have babies, no requirement is made for a father’s name to be on the birth certificate and they get paid to sit on their fat asses “raising” their children. That needs to stop. If the government stops paying for children via child tax credits, earned income credits and welfare, there would be a lot less women having children that can’t afford them.

  38. says

    Well, I know plenty of book-smart people that are complete fools when it comes to common sense, so the GPA plan is out.

    The Duggars are actually quite well off and their financial beliefs (they built their own house debt free…) are better than most. They are probably one of the few families that could afford 20 kids.

    Having a million dollars before having kids would have been tough for us since I had plenty of student loans when I had my first. I probably couldn’t agree to this one because I would not have ever been born!

    Regardless of what I wrote above, I agree with what you are saying overall though. It is too bad people don’t have to ‘prove’ responsibility before having kids. Anyone can do it, and so many people are just not prepared mentally, emotionally, or financially.

    I think adoption is such a difficult process that it may be a deterrent to many.

    • MimiR says

      Actually, the entire Quiverfull movement is anti-debt. I disagree with much of their beliefs, but it’s not just the Duggars who have lots of kids and no debt.

  39. says

    Wow – talk about a hot-button topic. I have to disagree with a net worth prerequisite. And the GPA rule is just silly to me. I get the point, don’t get me wrong. But how many orphans do you think we would have if we required a $1 million net worth? (I didn’t read ALL of the comments, so excuse me if this was asked and answered).

    If there were a $1 million requirement people would still get pregnant (how many pregnancies are not planned as it is?). Then what woudl they do? Abandon their kids? How many people have a $1 million net worth anyhow? What percentage is that?

    And what would happen if they have a million dollar net worth and then dip under to $800,000?

    But I do think people should try and wait until they have a stable income (whatever the income may be) before having kids. I DON’T think it should be the law though…

    • says

      Hi Nick,

      Thanks for your thoughts. All good questions you ask. China, with their 1 child policy poses a monetary penalty and some other things, and that’s it.

      I just threw out these ideas as suggestions. To answer one of your questions, there would be A LOT less orphans than 147 million if one were required to have a net worth of $1 million! We would save lives, and livelihoods.

      We have a law that taxes people who make more a greater percentage than those who make less. Isn’t this the same thing? i.e. discrimination against different classes of people?

  40. Jan says

    Of course the ultimate question is:
    Did your parents have a million dollar when they delivered you to the world? How did you possibly survive if they didn’t?

    As far as China goes, we lived there in the 1990’s. Forced abortions were common, ultra sounds to check the sex of babies- when it was a girl- the child was aborted, women begged us to take their second child with us, families who lost an entire year income when a second child was born- even if it later died. Not a pleasant place.

    Last, as an educator, do you really think all of these adoptable children are all wonderful? As a teacher in a poor community, many of the adoptable children have some harsh disorders. The moral to that story is: if you are going to adopt, meet the mommy and pay for the prenatal stuff.

    My fried has adopted seven so far- three are now in state homes because she could never get through to them. The other four will make it through high school (she homeschools), but are not bright enough to go on.
    Their four biological children are all successful adults. All completed professional degrees at University. We thought about adopting since our children are grown and we meet your standards now (in our 50’s). After watching our friends- no way! By the way, that family is clearly lower middle class.

  41. Best Forex Trading says

    This is very interesting. I have got 4 kids of my own and I still take care of orphans. So your conclusion that people should not have children because of the many orphans is really unfounded. We should never forget that each person on earth is an individual. No two people are the same.

    The simplest way to help orphans, is to work with established organizations that are focusing on taking care of orphans. If you cannot run an orphanage yourself, then support some of these organizations financially to help them expand and take in more kids.

    One organization that I know has been taking care of thousands of orphans is Irisministry
    http://www.irismin.org/p/home.php. This is just part of their mission statement:

    …We have been sent to places where “love” must every day mean bread for the hungry, water for the thirsty, and healing for the sick. It must mean family for the orphan, freedom for the captives, and peace for the war-torn. We want always to make our love real in these ways, for as long as the poor are with us. Our ministry is built around the application of the gospel to some of the most desperate economic and spiritual circumstances on earth, with all the boldness of which we, in Christ, are capable…

    To read the rest and really join to help orphans then go to their website .

    This is a very good discussion.

  42. says

    Wow 20K a year for tuition in public schools? Maybe people who want to have kids should come up to Canada lol =)

    Very provocative post Sam, as always.

    I don’t agree with the idea of the government only allowing people to have kids if they have over 1million net worth in their household assets. What percentage of the American population really has that?

    Besides, I would say 90% of people under 35 cannot accumulate that much wealth, even as a couple. People should really be having children under 35 if possible. The health risks to the unborn child (Downs Syndrome risk is higher), to the mother (pregnancy complications, possibly gestational diabetes, and higher risk of breast cancer) isn’t worth it.

    Also, I think that there are a lot of children who are well adjusted who don’t come from wealthy families. I find that children who come from wealthy families are more maladjusted and spoiled with the mentality that they deserve the best.

    Just my two cents. =)

    • says

      Yep, tuition is expensive in the US! Public school tuition is only about $10-15,000/yr on average, but add in living expense and stuf, it’s easily $20,000 for public, and $50,000 for private!

      OK, what about the government implementing a required net worth of $250,000 then before allowing people to have kids? The government penalizes those for making that much with higher taxes!

  43. NotWasteful says

    Ok, … you know I respect you, but there is so much this article is leaving out. As someone with a large family and who lives comfortably in the lower-middle class bracket, I have to point out some things:

    1) If only those who are “comfortable” have children, what do you think that will do to our society as a whole? Sure, our kids can ALL go to college if the parents have it, but once graduated, do you think any of them will say “Gee, I think I’m going to go lay tar on the roads, or clean out septic tanks, or pick apples.” I think not. The fact is, many people where I live are in poverty, BUT they are doing well. A ditch-digging job is not dishonorable, it’s needed for society to function. Do you honestly think that anyone would do these jobs if they were “bred” to be above that? All the kings had a ruling class and a servant class, and while I think that there is much satisfaction to be had from a job well done — no matter how little you make or how dirty the job — to “breed” this out of our society is not only despicable, it’s nonsense.

    2) People are making the incorrect assumption that somehow earnings and savings PLUS family size equals sustainable living and a healthier planet. Show me someone who makes $250,000 a year, and I’ll show you someone who spends just about $250,000 a year. My point is that what may be done out of necessity by the lower classes with larger families is actually fairly sustainable. We generally have smaller homes, buy used, take fewer flights, and do what we can to make our purchases last a very long time. You can’t even make the SUV argument anymore. Yes, my family of 7 drives an SUV, but we work and school from home. We probably put about 20 miles on our vehicle in any given week. What about a DINK family with 2 working adults — what kind of miles are they driving? And how about the truly rich who are living ALONE in their McMansions sucking up the utilities and eating so much that they have to pay to burn it all off in air-conditioned gyms using major wattage? I’m assuming they are not growing their veggies in the backyard or line drying or any of the things that my family is doing. I realize that this is an exaggeration of sorts, but the point is this: Having kids is one of the best ways to learn about sustainability. You do what you can with what you have — and usually this means using fewer resources per person AND sometimes per family! If you had just one child per family, but that family was wasteful and passed the attitude of over-consumption because they could to their kids, do you really think the world would be better than if a larger family practiced responsible resource usage?

    The “Story of Stuff” wouldn’t even be applicable if people didn’t have so much money they didn’t know what to spend it on.

    Just some thoughts. I have wealthy friends who I love — but most of them have kids ;) If you guys want to fix welfare, I’m all for it. But lets not punish those who are doing it right. This sounds like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Literally.

    • says

      Thanks for your thoughts. Your point #1 is very very well taken. Someone has got to do the other things that may not be as glamorous, but they are paid jobs and necessary all the same.

      Your second point, isn’t as well taken. “Having kids is one of the best ways to learn about sustainability”? I think you can learn about sustainability just as well not having kids.

      What I’m disappointed with is that you don’t address the issue about the 147 million orphans in the world who need homes. What are your thoughts about whether those of us who want families, and big families, should consider adopting a child who really help?

      thnx

      • In reply says

        To you second point (and mine) it’s not necessary to have kids to learn about sustainability, but they often DO go hand in hand. (One doesn’t automatically negate the other.)

        147 million orphans is indeed a devastating problem. I think adoption is a noble and loving choice, and those than choose to do so are heroes, in my mind. However… it is a bit simplistic to assume that 1) all of those 147 million kids are adoptable (many governments won’t allow us in the U.S. to just swoop in and take home babies like they were sitting on layaway) and 2) Someone who has kids wouldn’t adopt just as many kids as they would have otherwise… In my experience the opposite couldn’t be more true. Giving birth to your own kids often opens your heart to opening your home, as well — to other, often troubled kids. We are one of those families that do have our own, but also plan on adopting. So many that adopt do so because they’ve experienced love and feel that they are more prepared to give it.

        Nothing you’ve said is flawed in and of itself.. just highly generalized. And for someone who hasn’t had children, it seems a bit slanted. I do hope that if/when you decide to have kids, you do adopt. That would be wonderful. But I do hope you have some respect for those of us who chose to birth our own kids, as well. Just as your parents chose to do :)

        • says

          Good to hear you jump in on the conversation Linsey. Not sure if this is your first comment or your second and you posted as “NotWasteful”? Regardless, this post is not about respecting or not respecting those who decide to have kids.

          This post is about discussing a concept of making sure before having kids, the couple or single mother is able to take care of themselves first.

          I’m not making a judgement on those with kids who don’t adopt either. My hope is to make more people realize that there are some 150 million orphans out there and to think twice about having kids given there clearly is some problem that needs to be addressed.

          Thnx for your thoughts!

      • Jan says

        If you actually check—MOST of the orphans are in countries that do not permit outside adoption. Many of the US orphans are pretty messed up kids. They aren’t cute little babies whom you can form into mini me.

  44. In reply says

    Anyone who speaks on behalf of exploited and abandoned kids are OK in my book :) Thanks for the (as always) lively discussion!

  45. Jan says

    Look around at your friends. Are the people who are the happiest in real life those who came from wealthy parents? Not in my circle.

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