Save. Spend. Splurge.

Update: Should only the rich be allowed to have children?

Starting to get some comments that are making me think that I am not being clear, so I wanted to post a quick update on my previous post: Should only the rich be allowed to have children?

Re: “Rich” being allowed to have children

I’m being glib here and a little attention-grabbing with my headline (it’s working a little too well methinks), but when I wrote “rich” I meant “people who can support themselves and are able to bring yet another little mouth to feed in the world”.

Not necessarily RICH people like ones who drive luxury cars, own mansions, etc.

I’m just talking about regular Joe and Jane Schmoe’s who make a living wage.

Re: My co-worker’s comments

His point was interesting because I had never considered that angle before about having this poverty cycle repeat itself, but just because it’s interesting it doesn’t mean I agree with it.

Also, I noted that he had no stats to back this up, it’s just opinion and I didn’t have any facts to dispute it with either.

As a side note to our reactions, we did have a pretty visceral reaction to what he said, and we sort of rebutted that having children just to make money seems like a silly way to make money.

Why not just get a job?

A child is more than a 9-5 job, a child is a 24-hour job that never stops for the rest of your life; but the child benefits end at 18!!!

I will mention that I do know someone who has 4 children, not necessarily for the money, but he works under the table on occasion, she has some part-time minimum wage job and they DO live off the benefits given to their 4 children to pay for the house, food, etc.

They qualify for all the very low-income benefits because of their very low reported income.

So it’s not really that they had kids to make money per se, but they are definitely benefiting (for now) from being classified as a low-income family with 4 children under 18.

I wonder what they will do when the kids are older.

Re: “How dare I pick on the poor..”-related comments

Before anyone gets out the pitchforks, I also want to mention that this is a personal issue as I am indirectly related to this, which is why it made me curious about what people thought.

My mother grew up in dirt poor poverty as one of 16 kids, with only one pair of shoes and 2 pairs of socks to last her the entire year.

She has said that half of her family have cut off all connections with her parents because they feel so resentful that they had so many children and could take care of NONE of them, which made me think about the whole issue.

She herself has also admitted that while she is happy to be alive and on this Earth with us and her grandchildren, she grew up in very VERY tough times with barely anything to eat and had to fight with her own siblings (mentally, emotionally and physically) just to survive and eat something before the hunger overcame her.

It was a very tough childhood which is totally behind her now, but she did mention that sometimes she wondered what it would be like had her parents had less children and were able to take care of them.

To give you an idea of how poor they were, she had only 2 pairs of socks and one pair of shoes, and 2 dresses a year (one for school, one for home).

She slept on a wooden crate with rats and cockroaches on the floor skittering around.

She barely had 2 bowls of watered down soup with some vegetables (if any) and some lard mixed in for nutrients.

It was not a good life and she was half-starved. It was only by the grace of the community and other nations who dropped off food supplies to help the poor that she managed to survive.

Carry on!

I am learning a lot from your comments.


  • Danielle

    I didn’t comment on that post because it was already getting dicey, but the part I was most miffed by was the use of the welfare-queen example. It’s a commonly trot-out response that is used in these arguments and it gets us nowhere in the conversation. It’s a moral argument that people try to justify with an economic exaggeration.

    We spend more money on tax breaks for companies that are run poorly than we do taking care of people on welfare or social assistance. We spend more on health care for the elderly who didn’t plan ahead to take care of themselves in retirement than we do on welfare. Not to mention how much smokers cost our health care system. If it was really about ‘wasting tax payers dollars’ there are many more places to start, but it’s way to EASY instead to judge a mother, especially a poor one, which is silly because it takes two to get a baby on the way.

  • Elroy

    I once saw a smiling kid taking a dump in the street. He was so happy to see some westerners in rural India, nevermind the steaming pile of poo between his ankles. While his life may not be as easy as someone’s in the western world, I can’t help but think – he’ll live a generally happy life. So […] economic restrictions are so subjective, very few will ever be happy where the line is drawn.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Happiness is also a state of mind. The happiest people in the world (done by a study) are the poorest in India. It goes to show it is community, family and a sense of belonging that matters which is why I think since we’re moving away from religion (community), we’re becoming unhappier as we use stuff and fake relationships (with celebrities for instance via Twitter, Instagram) to fill the void…

      I myself am not religious at all but I see the benefit in a community that believes in the same thing.

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