Okay, I’m sure most of use are quite used to seeing (even if it’s just the headline) articles about how the fertility rate is decreasing etc. And the concern is legit.
The problem is, these articles don’t deal with the reasons people don’t have kids (besides not wanting them/more, or not being able to have more). Lack of money, by that I do not just mean “oh child care is so expensive” but rather the whole picture. Everything just costs so much these days that it’s almost impossible to live off of anything less then 30k without even adding kids to the mix (heck I live with my grandma and we have a combined income of about 40k, and the money runs out before our next pay day). But consider the debt people rack up gaining any type of income, the cost of renting or buying a house/apartment large enough to accommodate one or more children, saving for their expenses.
I know some people say “Well you never actually have enough money to have kids” or “You can always find a way” And I just shake my head. Lack of money is a real concern. Did I like growing up poor, hell no. One of my most prominent memories as a child is having to borrow schools supplies from a classmate on the first day, my mother couldn’t afford to buy any for the first week of school. Then there are all the field trips I didn’t have even two dollars to spend at, or a teacher having to supply me with a bathing suit for a swimming trip (not that I could swim at the time…being the only kid in my gr.5 class wearing a life jacket wasn’t fun). There are many other examples I could pull up. But This Isn’t About Me. I’m all grown up now; but I was a welfare kid, I was the kid of a hoarder, of a mentally ill (and negligent) mother, and so I have a view point many of the people who are writing these articles don’t have (I assume).
To get a society to have more children you need to do many things. And people aren’t going to like it. Unless it’s presented properly. The first combination of thing I would do is to get rid of sales tax, while increasing income tax to all brackets ( and increasing the number of brackets, and making the bottom on self adjusting, with cost of living). this gives people more buying power for every take home dollar. This would probably NOT include tariffs, gas or cigarette taxes though. This would benefit recreational activities, by lowering their costs, the businesses would only be taxed on the profit, rather then every person who attends and on their profit. At least that’s how I see it. I could be wrong, I have no actual experience with these things.
Then I’d make the government run and fund all areas of learning, child care, and healthcare. Increase what is covered under healthcare. Preventative measures are often better and cheaper then treating the problems after they occur. (like dental health, it’s cheaper and better for the population if our teeth are healthy longer). Decreasing the cost of post secondary education would allow for more people to go to school (and become doctors) while decreasing the time they have to wait to buy a home and start a family. By covering child care the government can regulate it better, and monitor the price, leaving affordable options to parents
Funding or compensation for recreational activities (healthy people save the government money). This allows more people to do what they want in their life, decreases stress levels (which helps fight mental illness, which is bad for the economy), and teaches kids important skills. Making money through corporations is not the only way to have a healthy economy. In fact I would say our society and economy is ill because there is such little emphasis on recreational activities (besides sports for those who can afford them).
Have the government make special housing, for families and single people. Get low income single people out of houses and into apartments built for single people or couples (without kids). Make those places priced to match the renter’s income, rather then relying on the market (they are government owned) pricing. Instead of banks kicking people out for not being able to afford their housing, have them rent it until a new buyer is found, or they qualify to buy the house again.
And you know what else would work? A program that would allow for Single Parents (or part of couple with a low income) to stay at home and “baby sit” another person’s kids. Or essentially let anyone who doesn’t want to work but instead raise a family do so. So long as they are qualified (and stay qualified), pass screening tests (for possible abusers), and are willing to essentially become an nanny to another family.
Essentially, create a healthier, more affordable environment and those who want to have more kids, or would in other situations, will have them. The government shouldn’t be so concerned with the race to make money, rather it should be focused on a healthy working society. I think it a sign of a unstable government and society when the focus is on how much money you make, and the work place, rather then doing what you are good at, and having fun. It is a sign of an ill society when people cannot afford to see or experience recreational activities.
- Single moms urge Ontario government to boost child benefit (metronews.ca)
- Number of people using emergency foodbanks last year doubled (news.stv.tv)
- Barrier after barrier – the cycle of poverty (insidehalton.com)
- Income and Education – The Hidden Culprits Behind of Obesity (welcometoerinsworld.wordpress.com)
- On Not Having Children (mattsilverthorn.wordpress.com)
- You Can’t Make A Profit Out of Having Babies For Benefits (johnnyvoid.wordpress.com)