Skip to comments.Family Free-Riders (Childless adults are economic free riders)
Posted on 03/06/2006 7:12:09 AM PST by FreedomSurge
Economically, every society needs children.
Children are the producers of the future This means that children are in a sense a necessary economic good. A society that does not produce enough children, or that cannot produce enough children who grow into economically productive adults, is doomed to poverty.
Every long-term investment we make, whether in the private or public sector, is predicated on the idea that there will be a future generation which will actually produce a return. It doesn't matter what economic or political system rules the present, it will need children to secure its future. Even the most self-centered individual would eventual realize that if the next generation cannot produce, his own welfare will suffer.
So, collectively we all need children and benefit when they grow into productive adults, but the cost of raising children is increasingly being borne by fewer and fewer in the general population.
Childless adults are rapidly becoming economic free riders on the backs of parents.
In the pre-industrial era, children almost always contributed to the economic success of the family directly. Agriculture depended heavily on the labor of children, and children brought further benefits by extending support networks via marriages. In the industrial era, however, children began to contribute less and less while consuming more and more. Nowadays, children usually return very little if any economic benefit to the parents.
Being a parent costs one economically. Although we socialize some cost, such as education, parents pay most of the cost of raising a child. Parents also lose out in non-monetary ways such as in a loss of flexibility in when and where they work. If an individual sets out to maximize his lifetime income, avoiding having children would be step one.
In our atomized society, children do not provide a boost in status, networking or security that offsets their very real cost. I think this economic loss may explain why many people shy away from having children. Many people simply do not want the loss of status that will come from having their disposable income consumed by rug rats.
Like all free-rider situations, this one will eventually cause a collapse that hurts everyone. As the percentage of parents in the population shrinks, the cost of being a parent will rise. More and more people will be tempted to conserve their own resources and let someone else shoulder the burden of creating the next generation. Eventually, the society will either produce too few children or, probably more likely, will not produce enough children with the skills and habits needed to carry on the economy
There is already grousing in some blue zones by the childless that they shouldn't have to subsidize the "breeders'" children. How long before child-hostile places like San Francisco become the norm?
I'm not sure how to address this problem from a public-policy perspective, but the next time you run into someone bragging because he chose not to have children, call him a parasite and see how it works out.
Will these same people be grousing when the children do not want to pay for their social security benefits?
I like to think that children are the youngest Americans.
Good. Then I'll stop funding public schools.
Great! When can I expect a check for all the property taxes I paid to school YOUR children?
What about people who have tried for years to have children but face infertility problems? Please don't tell me "just adopt" when adoption can run 20-30k from a so called "non-profit" agency.
Funny how being a "free-rider" entails paying for somebody else's kid's education.
"Will these same people be grousing when the children do not want to pay for their social security benefits?
So does this mean I don't have to pay for your kid's education?
I am not going to have children, so why do I have to pay school taxes that I will never use?
Folks who know me get on their knees and thank God I never procreated.
Funny how this article fails to mention that part...
I do want children someday.
However, I really get infuriated at the certain posters on FR that have this "people-who-choose-to-remain-childless-are-evil" mentality.
I have children, I love children, but the logic here seems a little twisted. Children are expensive, and they certainly don't guarantee any sort of financial return. And childless people certainly don't get a free ride as far as finanically supporting other people's children.
I think articles such as these portend a disturbing trend. I can envision social unrest as the demographic bomb goes off and everyone starts looking around for who's going to pay for the aging population. Things could get very ugly in a couple of decades, methinks.
Dasher, check this out.
Me too, you hear me pissing and moaning about the fact that I send my kid to a private school and therefore do not take advantage of the nanny state so-called free commy education?
You reap what you sow!
An interesting thought on all this: the fags fit into this same description perfectly. Its just one more reason to de-legitimize the homosexual lifestyle.
Don't forget federal income tax. Most couple with children that I know are getting nice, fat refunds. The childless couples are paying in...big time. Our choice, but the way things are set up, we pay for that decision.
I'm sure the childless people who have been paying taxes for years to send other peoples' kids to school might have some disagreement with this statement.
I don't disagree that we need to get out of our post-Feminist reproductive malaise. Too many good, productive people were tricked into pursuing their careers in the 70s and 80s rather than starting families. Many others didn't have kids out of fear for the future. The result is a declining population growth among our societies' most productive demographic groups.
But some of the statements here are kind of extreme, and I don't see any point in that.
That's the consequence of a Welfare State. Nobody would have to "pay for the aging population" if the fruits of our labor weren't stolen at gunpoint by the Tax Man.
Personally I believe we all ought to be responsible for supporting OURSELVES in old age, and if we can't do that we shouldn't be having kids in the first place. I'm not counting on my kids or anyone else's to pay my way when I get old.
I'll remember that "steaming pile" of a statement when I'm writing my check on April 17th.
Flat tax or FairTax would of course put an end to that, too.
You have to pay for someone else's kids education because THE GOVERNMENT says you must. If not, you go into tax default and someone else gets your house.
I don't want ANYONE paying for my kids' education. That's why I would like you to get your school tax money back, but only if I can get mine back too! BTW it'll never happen!
True, I don't get a child tax credit like they do. Thanks for reminding those who want to take away the voting rights of the childless!!!
Oh puhleez... I have no children and I've been paying out for other people all my life, both in taxes and taking care of parents, a spouse who was disabled for 12 years, etc. I'm pro-children. I'm not complaining. But step down off the soapbox and get a grip.
This coming from a father of 4 and grandfather of 2.
I do have to give you one jab though Jersey -- never having children will deprive you of one of the greatest joys in life -- namely GRAND Children. :-) hehehe
I would be against taxing one set of citizens to pay others to have children, however, I would have not problem with lowering the tax burden on people with children.
Business can deduct a lof of their expenses, parents should also be allowed to deduct more of the expenses involved with raising children.
(For those that do not see the difference between paragraph one and two, I do not want the governement to pay someone to have children, however, let productive individuals keep more of what they earn themselves.)
I think it's more selfish to have kids you can't provide for, or to have kids if you know you won't be good at raising them.
Exactly. I don't have children, but it is MY responsibility to prepare myself for my 'golden years'.
I have two words in response: Up yours.
Oh really? Who the hell are you all sanctimonious one?
I'm childless not because I chose that, but because it just never happened. People like you piss me off almost more than feminists.
"What about people who have tried for years to have children but face infertility problems? Please don't tell me "just adopt" when adoption can run 20-30k from a so called "non-profit" agency."
If children weren't aborted like candy then adoptive parents could have a plentiful source of children.
God does provide to those who want. But our society is playing god with the unborn or should I say playing satan?
or it can be free through the county... but adoption is NOT for everyone...
Exactly. Plus some people are childless NOT by choice...or circumstances were such that the window of opportunity to reproduce closed before getting the proverbial ducks in a row (to mix some metaphors!lol!)
"Too many good, productive people were tricked into pursuing their careers in the 70s and 80s rather than starting families."
Ohhhh nooooo! We were economically PRODUCTIVE! What were we THINKING? ;-D
What a stupid thing to say.
I shouldn't be allowed to vote because I am childless? Does that mean that 18 year olds aren't allowed to vote because they have yet to bear fruit? Do we "earn" the right to vote the day the baby is born? Or at conception?
Is my only value on this planet my ability to procreate? If I am childless - does that diminish my value to society?
Should nuns and preists not be allowed to vote - are they not valid humans?
Do welfare moms and men who spread their seeds throughout the world have more reason to vote than a law abiding, hard working, childless adult?
Have you thought this through?
I see you haven't.
RWOS PING --- Hey gals, you may find this interesting.
Of course. How would you otherwise explain Dennis Kucinich?
Today someone wants to take away my right to vote because of my choice.
So you see why I am defensive about the subject!
My wife has a 'relative' who is on "permanent" disability (claims he can't even lift his own kids, although he suddenly acquires those skills "out of state" on vacation). He just received a $3000 tax 'refund' (although HE doesn't pay in; the wife does, but not much)...thanks to those little 'tax deductions'.
And the "blue zones" are also against tax credit vouchers for the parents that wish to provide their children a private education.
Yeop, it's all the fault of those horrible childless pro-life couples forcing others to have an abortion that keep the price of adoption ridiculously high.
Wonderful logic there.....
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