Friday, 8 October 2010

Don't Have Children You Can't Afford

The culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, suggested this week that the state should not offer unlimited support to large, workless families.

He went on to say that The number of children that you have is a choice and that long-term claimants needed to "take responsibility" for the number of children they had, adding that the "state shouldn't support" large families who receive more in benefits than the average family earns.

This raises the wider, far more important question of how many children can the planet support? Looked at this way the argument moves away from redistributing the nations wealth to support the needs of citizens and their individual responsibilities in relation to those needs and onto the "natural wealth" of the planet and how that can fairly meet all of our "needs".

Surely the same argument applies, if the state cannot afford to finance individual "irresponsibility" then the environment of our planet cannot "afford" to support the irresponsibility of us as a species given our numbers.

If it's right for an individual family to only have as many children as it can afford then the same applies to the whole Human family. As of June 2010 the world population was 6,790,062,216, predicted to rise to 9,400,000,000 by 2050 i.e. an extra 2.6 billion people in the space of only 40 years, half a lifetime.

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