Comments on: A smarter way of subsidizing parenthood A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: Publius Tue, 08 Apr 2014 16:15:50 +0000 By all means, let the Federal Government spend more money on education. The schools are almost perfect. A little more Federal money will be just the ticket.

By: mmmSquirrels Mon, 07 Apr 2014 21:08:11 +0000 First, all you previous posters – if you have no children, then eventually everyone will be old with no-one to care for them.

Secondly, I don’t think there should be any problem with having the childless contribute. Oh, but wait! They already do if they own property; property taxes are based on the property owned, and are often used to fund education, so the childless are ALREADY CONTRIBUTING to education.

Thirdly, if one has a grown child, one should not be considered childless again.

By: MorgantownJoe Mon, 07 Apr 2014 20:47:13 +0000 These modern day Malthusians are evidence that the scarcest resource is clear thinking people.

By: ExDemocrat Sat, 05 Apr 2014 22:22:42 +0000 Nooooo!!! Why should the federal government become even more involved in education? For crying out loud, the national government is too big and powerful already! Too many people nowadays reflexively assume that the federal government has to get more involved in practically everything! Spare us! Cripes!

By: birder Sat, 05 Apr 2014 21:30:25 +0000 Heck, I think we should have a tax on children. That seems to be a more logical solution to me. Say $300 per year per kid. For those on food stamps we can deduct it from their stamps. For those on stamps and welfare, deduct it from both. This crap of subsidizing children is totally stupid.

By: TFF Sat, 05 Apr 2014 20:48:51 +0000 @Handbook, it is such a TERRIFIC plum job that half of all young teachers leave the profession within their first five years. Think on that one for a moment…

When I taught full-time I was spending 50 hours a week during the school year on the job. Not much downtime during that day, either, unlike office work. I quit when my own kids were born, as it wasn’t realistic for me to continue to put that much energy into the job. (I’m now back to teaching part-time, 30 hrs/week at a job I enjoy, but making less than $30k/year with no benefits. No complaints, but it isn’t as cushy as you seem to think.)

Not all teachers begin in their early 20s. I was 27 before I started, and (if I had managed to work straight through both children) would not have been eligible for the kind of pension you describe until I was well into my 60s. I’ve seen teachers in their 50s pressing to put in the last ten years to collect that pension, and it isn’t a pretty sight. Working with teenagers for 50 hours a week wears you out!

You are working until you are 67?!?!? Teachers are forced to contribute 11% of their salary to the pension fund. If you have done the same for your entire career, then you ought to be able to retire long before that age. I took my pension contributions out of the system when I quit, invested them on the side, and (with very modest continuing additions) am on pace to retire comfortably before the age of 60. (Figure I’ll get the kids through college, then reconsider.) THAT would never have happened if I had continued to teach.

By: Handbook Sat, 05 Apr 2014 20:05:17 +0000 Teachers already have of the plum jobs in America. It’s a part time job paying full time wages. Then you get to retire at 75% of final salary at 30 years. This means they’re walking out in their early 50’s. While you and I work until 67.

By: Oma Sat, 05 Apr 2014 14:40:12 +0000 @ Pete Murphy

Thank you, Pete Murphy! At last, someone says that we cannot have a rising standard of living for a growing population on a finite planet. You have made my morning.

I would like to suggest a second departure from the economic theories we all know and love. What if consumption increases with quality of life to a certain point, then diverges?

Certainly, the desire to own more than someone else lowers quality of life, since there will always be someone with a bigger house, car, yacht, etc.

The amount of things a person can do and own are limited by the time they have to live. Further, do people who have two homes have a better quality of life, having to maintain connections to two communities and two circles of friends? Does owning land one has never seen or a house with rooms one never uses increase the quality of life?

Everyone needs food, shelter and transportation; but beyond that what increases our quality of life?

I believe quality of life depends upon our connection to other human beings, and that is best when no one is exploited. What a world we could build!

By: annayllop Sat, 05 Apr 2014 13:29:37 +0000 Logic 101:
What is wrong with this premise?

Instead of raising taxes, why not just spend a lot more money?

By: Pete_Murphy Sat, 05 Apr 2014 10:53:23 +0000 “At a societal level, we want population growth — more children…. As countries get richer, their birth rates decline, with nasty demographic consequences.”

The premise of this piece is laughable. If declining birth rates go hand-in-hand with a rising standard of living, it makes no sense to try to get richer by reversing that process.

We do not want more population growth “at a societal level.” However, it is true that there is an element of society – corporations – who benefit greatly. Population growth translates into more consumers, higher total sales and profits.

There was a time when population growth was in everyone’s interest. Business profited by the growth in its customer base and society benefited from the growth in the labor force necessary to manufacture the products we need for a high standard of living. But economists fail to recognize the inverse relationship betweeen population density and per capita consumption and that, beyond some point, overcrowding begins to erode per capita consumption and our quality of life. At that point, the interests of corporations and the interests of society diverge regarding further population growth.

One could argue that the U.S. is already beyond that point. Other nations, many times more densely populated (like Japan, Germany, China and host of others) have clearly breached that level and are utterly dependent on manufacturing for export to sustain their bloated labor forces. The resulting global trade imbalance nearly collapsed the economy a few years ago and still threatens it today.

Those who argue for population growth to support an aging population aren’t thinking ahead. Since unending population growth is clearly impossible in a finite world, it’s a problem that must be faced at some point. It would be much better to face it now than sometime in the future after we’ve continued to use that pyramid scheme to put off the day of reckoning.

Pete Murphy
Author, “Five Short Blasts”