Thursday, 10 April 2008

Kids - Who Needs 'Em?

Just about ... well ten letters to the Editor I read this morning were about how we desperately needed more babies in Australia because we have this huge aging population.

To me, the argument that we should rapidly give birth because people are living longer and we have this bulk of old people we can't support is a bit like Pauline Hanson's intellectual response to the economic problem "print more money".

Why the desperation? Everywhere I go, I see kids. It's not like we are in some country where kids are all dying off or we've become infertile, suddenly. It's just that we've got a lot of oldies too, sitting on our cash. But unfortunately kids, a lot of them, become oldies too one day, and this mass of babies we produce is going to become a whole mass of oldies some next generation can't figure out what to do with, and then the next generation will probably start hysterically procreating all over again - and putting a strain on diminishing natural resources. Yeah, we're really solving a problem.

Several obvious solutions pop into mind:

1. Mandatory Euthanasia for oldies, once they reach a certain age, to keep strain on population down
2. We put our energy not into babies but into adult clones or robots that can actually work right away, not into little babies who sit around bawling for food and toys for the first 5 years of their life.
3. We have fewer babies, and do it tough for the next several decades, while the aging population dies off naturally. People will have to go without luxuries or a few generations, but then the population will have got down to a number that's easier to handle for the natural environment. Then we start trying to concentrate on maximising brain power and multitasking, and using tools, rather than think about each human = certain amount of work, so if I want more produce, I need another baby.

Certainly, the robots idea appeals to me. Why do we think of producing babies of all things, as the solution to the oldies problem?

We have an economic burden, and people's first reaction is to want to create more of the same kind of creature - beings that wet the bed, need help getting dressed, can't go to work, have trouble reading, often are lacking in the hair and tooth department and are mainly good for getting posed next to during an election campaign if you are a politician? The only thing that babies do that oldies don't is shut up about the war.

We need a serious rethink over our Baby Bonus policy.

1 comment:

nailpolishblues said...

Robots please.

I think we're already doing the fewer babies thing [except for those who went to my high school - tragic breeders all].