|Sharon wrote, |
The Hobson's choice Bill, was a weak swat at your implication that to ask for legislation for child protection, or even to entertain such an idea as MSK has done; is to brand one's self a collectivist altruist. And what is the implication of this legislation? The implication is that I am forced at the point of a gun to support someone else's abandoned or orphaned children. Let me ask you this: There are starving children in Africa. Assuming that they could be helped by international aid workers, would you draft people in the U.S. to serve that function, in the same way that we drafted soldiers to staff our military? And if you would not, because doing so would violate their rights, then why would you expropriate people's income for a similar purpose? If enslaving people for a good cause is a violation of their rights, why isn't robbing them for a good cause also a violation of their rights? Does it make any difference whether a person is forced against his will to work for the sake of others, or forced against his will to surrender the product of his work for the sake of others? If the first constitutes involuntary servitude, then so does the second.
The ad womanum was your trying to put me in my place because I reported that it was Nobody who came to help. You just couldn't let me enjoy my tiny attempt at cleverness........... and then dragging in all that cotton-picking stuff. I forgive you. (small chuckle) Excuse me, but there is absolutely nothing to forgive, since I committed no transgression. Cleverness aside, if you're going to interpret a civil and appropriate answer to an argument you've offered as "abuse" or as "putting you in your place," then you've foreclosed all possibility of debate by treating any criticism of your views as an impropriety.
I mentioned the Bernardo Children because they enjoyed no child protection laws. Many were treated as family slaves, fed less nutritious food than the natural children, and given sleeping quarters in the barn, forced to work long hours. Not illegal treatment, but not benevolent. Objectivist thinking would return us to those times; without a contingency plan for any child who might be in need of protection. As I said, Objectivism does not condone child abuse, and such abuse would certainly be illegal in an Objectivist society. What Objectivism does not support is involuntary servitude on behalf of other people's needs, including abandoned or orphaned children. Can you grasp the distinction, because it doesn't seem to me that you have?
Do you accept that Objectivism is without flaws? I do not regard it as a flaw that Objectivism supports the right to liberty and opposes involuntary servitude. Apparently, you do. Apparently, you think that involuntary servitude on behalf of other people's needs is entirely appropriate.
Also, let me ask again, do you, think that an Objectivist world would contain greater numbers of benevolent individuals than the world we experience today? Is that why a question about abandoned children is moot? No, not necessarily. But coercing people into caring for children who are not their own is not the answer. Nor is supporting people on government welfare programs, which has created more problems than it has solved. Since President Johnson's "Great Society" programs in the 1960's greatly expanded government assistance to the poor, the number of out-of-wedlock births and child-abuse cases has skyrocketed.
Just to give you an idea: Out of all births, the percentage of births by unmarried white women in 1960 was 2.3%; in 1990, it was 21%. For unmarried black women, the percentages were 23% in 1960 and 65% in 1990. The number of child abuse cases showed a similar rise. In 1976 (the first year in which they were recorded), the rate per 10,000 was 101; in 1990, the rate per 10,000 was 390. The number of reported cases rose from 669,000 to 2,537,000. As a percentage of families with children, the number of single-parent families rose from 9.1% in 1960 to 28.6% in 1991. Total social spending in constant 1990 dollars rose from 144 billion in 1960 to 787 billion in 1990, or as a percentage of GNP, from 6.73% in 1960 to 14.4% in 1990, which is more than a five-fold increase. Means-tested welfare spending in constant 1990 dollars rose from 28.9 billion in 1960 to 211.9 billion in 1990, which is a seven-fold increase.
This kind of government aid encourages young parents to rely less on their own resources and more on the government, which discourages them from developing their talents and from staying together to provide for their children. The stress of single parenting, in turn, leads to an increase in child abuse. The remedy is to get the government out of the poverty business, because government aid simply exacerbates the problem. Under laissez-faire capitalism, people would learn to be far more responsible for their own affairs, and the number of people needing assistance would decline dramatically. Given the far fewer numbers of neglected children, there would be more than enough private charity to accommodate them.