Joe, you’ve hit upon the next biggest factor making me question kids. Seriously, I don’t know that I want to bring kids into the picture if they are going to live in a mostly government-controlled world. I realize that this country has survived many other changes in the past, and many other generations have survived well enough. But if we’re headed toward the government taking over even larger chunks of the economy, I’m not sure I’d be bringing kids into a better life than I enjoyed. And that just doesn’t seem right.
I understand her point but there is more than one way to view the problem.
Another way to view it is that sort of attitude is creating the problem. See the movie Idiocracy (wonderful premise, good start, but a poor movie overall) for an extreme view of this type of thing taken to the limit.
By tweaking the premise in Idiocracy just a bit one can hypothesis that high reproduction rates by those that believe government should provide “everything for free” will likely result in a cultural, if not genetic, disposition toward more dependency on and expectation of government control of the economy and personal lives. Low reproduction rates by those that believe in and desire freedom will exacerbate the problem. A slightly modified version of this argument is what Barb successfully used on me to convince me to have a third child. That is why we sometimes call Xenia our gift to the world.
But what of the individual? If freedom loving people are but a small minority of the population won’t their lives be miserable? Not necessarily.
It depends on what the outcome is during their lifetime. If it is George Orwell’s 1984 then I would agree with that point. But governments have a history of collapsing. Especially socialist and totalitarian governments. Food shortages, riots, and the break down of infrastructure favor intelligent and freedom loving people. My model of the world is that, ultimately, stupidity is self-correcting. And massive government intervention in the free market and free society is self correcting because it is so stupid. Those people demanding that government supply their every need and want will have higher death rates than those that are self-motivated and value freedom. It may be that within our or our children’s lifetimes the freedom loving minority will become the majority essentially overnight because of the much higher death rates among the anti-freedom people as society collapses. Even if they do not become the majority in actual numbers they may have the majority of power. This is analogous to the U.S. being the world’s sole super-power with just a small minority of the planets population. And that power came about for the same reason that I hypothesize it could happen again in a different context–because freedom creates prosperity and prosperity enables power.
If that comes about then those freedom loving people will be in a position to take over the world. It will be with an anti-freedom lesson extremely fresh in their minds that they form the next governments and economic systems.
I don’t know what will happen. We have never had a situation like this before. In the past there was always someplace new to live. The east coast of North America then migration to California and “The Oregon Territories” provided freedom for millions in the last 300 years. But the “New World” is now occupied by parasites that crave security more than freedom and ensure everyone will receive neither. Where can we move next and escape our oppressors? Antarctica, the ocean floor, and space all appear to be such harsh environments that economic prosperity would be difficult or impossible. This may mean we can do no more than wait for the parasites to starve, riot, and burn themselves out.
I don’t know if freedom has a chance of surviving and rising from the ashes and mankind will finally learn the lesson of why freedom is essential. But I do know that if we do not have children and raise them to value freedom then freedom will most likely be extinguished.
It boils down to “Are you an optimist or a pessimist?” The pessimist is more often right because they can easily fulfill their expectations. The optimist may be wrong more often but progress, prosperity, and happiness are always the products of optimists and never that of pessimists.
Which are you?