A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Sabisky, poor people and contraception

Post 21

Otto Fisch ("Stop analysing Strava.... and cut your hedge")

"On debate style: if I haven't quoted something you've said, I'm tacitly agreeing. I only quote the bits I disagree with."

I do the opposite - I like to find things to agree with and say so. Finding and acknowledging common ground helps move discussions forward, it's better for clarity, and it shows respect for other people. If the purpose is to be persuasive and constructive it's a much better approach.

----

"dangerously close to arguing that it's better not to exist than being born with poor economic prospects"

I say "dangerous" because... Discussions around what (a) kinds of lives are worth living and which are not; and (b) what policy actions follow from this are extremely difficult and extremely controversial. These are fascinating issues - and I'm happy to have good faith discussions about them. However, these issues are a can of worms that not only does not need to be opened, but which - if opened - is a distraction.

"You, on the other hand, seem to be arguing that nature should be allowed to take its course and the devil take the hindmost. The people paying for your policy are the under-resourced children who result. "

I'm not sure where you get this from, given you tacitly agree with what I said in post 9. I'm deeply concerned about the fate of the least well off - a philosophy of "devil take the hindmost" is the exact opposite of what I'm arguing for. I just don't think - for all of the reasons outlined previously - that compulsory contraception is the best approach to dealing with the problem.

Because the problem isn't caused by the (consistently declining) teenage pregnancy rate - it's deep-seated social, economic, political, and regional inequalities. So why argue for compulsory contraception - a ruinously expensive, controversial, unpopular, and invasive measure.
Rather than, say, a series of social and economic measures to make life better for the least fortunate in our society.

I guess it depends what problem we're trying to address... is it that too many people have very limited life chances and opportunities to live a happy and fulfilling life because of the circumstances into which they're born? I think that's the problem we're talking about, and I still can't work out why anyone sensible would propose compulsory contraception as a response.

I said previously that I thought that the characterization of Sabisky as a eugenicist was probably unfair. But the shadow of suspicion will rightly fall on anyone reaching for 'solutions' which sound like 'stop poor people breeding'. And my worry is that for some, that *is* the hidden agenda, behind a fig leaf of a concern for the least well off. Maybe that's unfair. I hope that's unfair.

"Most civilised people demonstrate that they are on my side of this argument by the way they live their lives: they take steps to avoid having children when they don't want or feel ready for them, yet when they DO feel ready, they do in the main have them. Civilised people with education and resources *overwhelmingly* delay childbirth and limit family size. The correlation between the level of education and wealth of a populace and the size of families is well known. It's been shown over and over again that a hugely successful way to reduce teenage pregnancy is with increased resources and education."

Well, unless I misunderstand, what you're calling for is compulsory contraception. The fact that a lot of people sensible choose this for themselves does not mean that they would agree to it being forced on others. I'm a tedious middle-age convert to running, and I'll drone on about the physical and mental and social benefits to anyone who'll listen, but I'm not in favour of making Parkrun compulsory.

Where I do agree is that education/resources reduces family size - though I think child mortality rates play a key role too - if there's a good chance that they'll all survive, there will be smaller families. But this is an argument for increasing the education and resources at each family's disposal, no? Why not just do that?


---

On a separate note, re lives worth living....

"The following two propositions I would say are uncontroversial:
1. it's better to exist as the planned, healthy, loved and nurtured child of a billionaire than it is to not exist at all.
2. it's better not to exist in the first place than to exist as the unplanned, neglected and abused, unhealthy child of a poor, abusive single parent."

1 is uncontroversial. 2 is.... well, it depends. I don't know what the answer to 2 is, because not only am I fortunate enough not to be in that category, I don't really know anyone who is. And I suspect that we might get different answers from different people, and certainly at different times of their lives. Of course, you're talking about prevention of existing - not killing - but nevertheless the viewpoint of those who lived these lives are worth hearing. But just as we don't get consensus from the terminally ill, I wouldn't expect consensus here.

I do agree that we could together come up with a set of social circumstances sufficiently horrific that we might agree that yes, better not to be born. (Let's leave aside the issue of profound life-limiting disabilities, though I think there too we would agree). But again, my question would be how many people would fall into that worst-of-the-worst category... and why the answer isn't to instead improve their chances in life, along with everyone else who's dealt a bad starting hand in life.


-----

On another issue...

"Taking steps to, at the very least, ensure every child who is born was planned and wanted at least by the mother would increase the proportion of human happiness, both for the mother and for those children.

(Here's a thought: it would also mean I would not have been conceived, and I still hold this opinion.)"

It's an interesting thought, but I suspect it's more complicated. I wonder what proportion of babies were actively planned... I've never asked, but given what I know of my parents' economic situation at the time of my conception... I doubt I was 'planned'. But by the time I arrived, I'm pretty sure I was 'wanted'.

This must be common... accidental pregnancy... moment of panic... thinking about the options... it wouldn't be a disaster... we could manage... if not now, then when... feel uneasy about abortion ... no-one's ever really ready... what the hell, why not?

I wonder what would happen to the birth rate with a planned-child-only policy? I wouldn't be surprised if it dropped substantially, and with an ageing population that could be very bad.


Sabisky, poor people and contraception

Post 22

Baron Grim

My smiley - 2cents

The "compulsory" part of this is the barb that gets stuck in any reasonable person's throat.

It's not realistic. No electorate would stand for it. Ironically, it would likely unite fundamentalists and even progressive libertarians.

I think we can agree that a combination of education of young girls and women in general, and sex education of the entire populace in particular with wide availability of affordable if not free means of contraception would go very far to mitigating the problem of unplanned pregnancy. Realistically, the fundamentalists would still object smiley - facepalmsmiley - headhurts but hopefully most of their children will access contraception behind their backs if we can keep the fundamentalists from including silly crap like parental consent provisions.

I think I mentioned I'm in a state that restricts sex ed to "abstinence only", we also have notably tried to enact several TRAP laws (Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers) and the currently conservatively packed Supreme Court may indeed allow such laws to stand.

So, yeah... I live in a place that is doing everything to *promote* unwanted pregnancies. smiley - facepalm


Sabisky, poor people and contraception

Post 23

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

"2. it's better not to exist in the first place than to exist as the unplanned, neglected and abused, unhealthy child of a poor, abusive single parent." [Hoovooloo]

This is a conversation-stopper. Why? Because science is powerless to demonstrate a finding one way or the other. Science involved choosing a path and seeing what that path leads to. It may compare the results of that path to the results of another path. But it does not, and cannot, follow a path in which it measures not existing. People who don't exist can't be tested. All that anyone can do is say, "I think such and such."

A less problematic (but also less satisfactory) approach has been tried, namely to take a population of people who were, indeed, unplanned, neglected, abused and unhealthy child of a poor, abusive single parent. I have seen one such study, which was longitudinal: it looked a population of people with unfortunate beginnings, and tried to determine whether, over the long run, some of them had corrected for their bad beginnings sufficiently to have at least a modest quality of life. I was surprised to see that most of them *did* end up with a life that wasn't half bad.

If your lie is going to last, on average, 70 or 80 years, isn't there a chance of meeting the right teacher or mentor, discovering a special talent you didn't know you had, or inspiring someone else with your example?

That said, I acknowledge that survivorship bias is a problem with this kind of study. The people whose lives were so wretched they couldn't contionue did not live long enough to reach 50, the apparent threshold age.

I'm also suspicious of the example of the billionaire's child. The more I think about it, the more unhappy billionaire's children I can think of. Either a pair of billionaire parents give their children so much that the children never learn to develop their own talents, or they keep the kids on such a short leash that they rebel in ruinous ways. There was one wealthy couple that disowned their daughter because she got fat. One of the Du Ponts basically went crazy and killed a wrestler (See the movie "Foxcatcher"). It had something to do with an unsatisfactory relationship with the character's helicopter mother. Let's keep in mind that it takes a special set of traits to lead the kind of life that results in your becoming a billionaire. Are those traits conducive to a normal family life? If so, then why would a billionaire have a mistress? Or a second or third or fourth wife. Nelson Rockefeller remarried. So did Vincent Astor.

Bill and Melissa Gates have three children. Chances are, thsoe children won't inherit much
http://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/the-real-reason-bill-gates-children-wont-inherit-much-of-his-fortune.html/

Warren Buffett sems to have the same approach.

There, I've named at least five billionaires (past and present).

Some seem to have good relations with their children. Some were so dysfunctional that having children at all was too much of a stretch.

I'm going on like this because, in order to test thesis, you need to look for exceptions. That's what scientists do. They may pick poor examples, or go on wild good chases, but it's part of the job.

My take?




Sabisky, poor people and contraception

Post 24

Mr. X ---> "Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes!"

"The following two propositions I would say are uncontroversial:"

"1. it's better to exist as the planned, healthy, loved and nurtured child of a billionaire than it is to not exist at all."

"2. it's better not to exist in the first place than to exist as the unplanned, neglected and abused, unhealthy child of a poor, abusive single parent."


For the record and speaking purely for myself --- if my choices were nonexistence or existence as "the unplanned, neglected and abused, unhealthy child of a poor, abusive single parent" then I would choose the latter.

So, no, it's not uncontroversial.

And if you are not yourself the neglected, unhealthy child of a poor, abusive parent, then I don't consider you qualified to make that argument.

I do not advocate that we should promote suffering, but I do ask that you recognize that society needs and has benifited from the perspective and abilities of those who have suffered. To pluck an example off the top of my head which fits your criteria --- though I know he is not alone --- Abraham Lincoln was an unplanned, neglected, unhealthy child of a poor, abusive parent. And that experience, which shaped his life and his view of the world, contributed to his drives and his motives in every decision he ever made.

I'm only going to provide one example, both because I don't have all week, and because I'm reasonably certain you're not going to listen to arguments by example anyway.


smiley - pirate


Sabisky, poor people and contraception

Post 25

Mr. X ---> "Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes!"

>>> "I can't speak for Britain, but I can tell you that in America vaccinations are not mandated"

"Ah. You're basing your concept of what's possible or desirable in a civilised healthcare system on your knowledge and experience of the healthcare system of the USA. That's like basing your opinions on justice on the goings on in Saudi Arabia."


No, I was trying to inform you about your apparent misconception that all vaccinations are already compulsory, which is simply not true. Case in point....


"You have a captive audience in every school, an audience you already inject to protect them from things like HPV and measles."


I had --- perhaps wrongly --- assumed that you held this misconception because you didn't know that, in America at least, they aren't.

My own opinion of what's possible or desirable is, again, irrelevant and unrelated to **facts I am trying to explain.**


("** [...] **" is used for emphasis.)




Regardless, even if they WERE all compulsory for EVERYONE --- which they aren't --- the analogy can't be sustained for this argument. Vaccinations prevent potentially lethal consequences.

With modern medical equipment, unplanned pregnancies --- no matter what suffering they might cause --- do not have potentially **lethal** consequences. Not for over a hundred years.

And, again, even if they DID --- which they don't --- I would still oppose forcing vaccinations OR contraceptions on anyone. Because it isn't up to you, or anyone else, to make those decisions for anyone other than yourself.


The reason I hold this position is because I am certain that allowing anyone else to make that decision will result in negative consequences and abuse of power. I'm certain of this because it HAS ALWAYS resulted in such abuse in the past.

From 1900-ish to 1960-ish, forced sterilizations were a government-sanctioned practice throughout America. And during that time, many of those who were sterilized included people who were physically and mentally healthy, people who had non-heritable conditions that they wouldn't have passed on to their children, people who had non-fatal conditions that certainly wouldn't have been unbearable even if they **had** been passed on to their children, people who had ostensibly "loose" sexual morals, and people who were of an "undesirable" race. Mostly without the victims' knowledge or consent.

Had the technology existed in the 1800s, before that, I guarantee that it would have been used indiscriminately against anyone who didn't fit into the white-elite's vision of "rightness" and "virtue". A Hitler wet-dream, if you will.

And were it implemented today, even with reversible contraceptives, I further guarantee that those same aspects of human-nature would result in legislation to **prevent** its reversal in groups that aren't in power. Either with the unabashed aim of maintaining those who are, or --- (at best) --- under the misguided assumption that it's "for their own good."





"If EVERYONE [were] prevented from becoming accidentally pregnant, the only people who will become pregnant are the ones who actively want to."

In a perfect, ideal fantasy-world that doesn't exist.





"Taking steps to, at the very least, ensure every child who is born was planned and wanted at least by the mother would increase the proportion of human happiness, both for the mother and for those children."


Now --- again, I know this is difficult for you --- remember that we agree on this point. The most basic tenets of your argument are, I believe, sound and right. Where we differ is in what degree society should be allowed to dictate that view.

So to fully clarify my position, as best I can: I fully believe that reversable contraceptives should be available to everyone everywhere. I also fully believe that such a thing would be beneficial to everyone everywhere. And I fully believe that --- amongst adults --- NO ONE should be allowed to **impose** contraception on anyone anywhere.


smiley - pirate


Sabisky, poor people and contraception

Post 26

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

"I am certain that allowing anyone else to make that decision will result in negative consequences and abuse of power. I'm certain of this because it HAS ALWAYS resulted in such abuse in the past" {Mr. X]

I totally agree. smiley - applause

I'm suspicious of the idea of prescribing anything for "everyone." Even if you could nail the first 95%, getting that last 5% would take vastly more effort than the first 95%, because of diminishing returns.


Sabisky, poor people and contraception

Post 27

Hoovooloo

"I'm suspicious of the idea of prescribing anything for "everyone.""

I suspect this kind of anti-vaxxer bull will come across as a little less popular given events since you posted it.

---------------
@Mr. X:
"I had --- perhaps wrongly --- assumed that you held this misconception because you didn't know that, in America at least, they aren't."

Civilised countries mandate vaccinations.

I'm fully aware that the USA does not.

Civilised countries frown on executing people. See above. And so on.

"With modern medical equipment, unplanned pregnancies --- no matter what suffering they might cause --- do not have potentially **lethal** consequences"

Just tragically false, which is why the right to abortion is so vital. It's so hard to debate against a gish gallop of lies like this.

"Because it isn't up to you, or anyone else, to make those decisions for anyone other than yourself"

The classic libertarian Objectivist argument. Ayn Rand or Margaret Thatcher would love you.

Meanwhile, despite all that, there IS such a thing as society. There is such a thing as a social contract, and you do NOT get to simply do whatever you like, because sometimes other people end up paying for it. And if you have an unplanned pregnancy without the resources available to you to support the resulting child - *I* have to pay for it, from my taxes. And I'd rather not, thank you. I'd rather pay much, much less to make sure that you do NOT have a child until you definitely want one, and given that it's MY money, shouldn't I get to choose?


Sabisky, poor people and contraception

Post 28

Mr. X ---> "Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes!"

"I suspect this kind of anti-vaxxer bull will come across as a little less popular given events since you posted it."


To reiterate: I approve of vaccinations, I DO think people should get them, and I -- like you -- think anti-vaxxers are idiots. I do not, however, believe vaccinations should be forced on unwilling participants, because then you're only engendering the kind of anger and distrust that leads to things like anti-vaxxers in the first place. The only viable solution is to CONVINCE them of WHY vaccinations are a GOOD thing. Insulting everybody, as you always do, is no way to convince anybody of anything.

Do try to pay attention.




"I'm fully aware that the USA does not [mandate vaccinations]."

Of course you are, because I *told* you. It's perfectly clear you *didn't* know that before.




<< With modern medical equipment, unplanned pregnancies --- no matter what suffering they might cause --- do not have potentially **lethal** consequences >>

"Just tragically false, which is why the right to abortion is so vital. It's so hard to debate against a gish gallop of lies like this."


smiley - rolleyes Fine. They RARELY have potentially lethal consequences. Orders of magnitude more rarely than drunk drivers do. I seem to recall that you have, in the past, argued with great conviction that the "cost-benefit" to society of *having* cars outweighed the risk posed by reckless drivers.

Funny how you conveniently forget that argument when it suits you. Am I to assume that you've changed your opinion in that regard? Because I doubt it.

By contrast, I argue that the "cost-benefit" to society of protecting personal liberties -- including the liberties of people you don't agree with -- vastly outweighs the financial cost of occasionally investing in people who had no input whatsoever in their parents' sexual escapades.




"Meanwhile, despite all that, there IS such a thing as society. There is such a thing as a social contract, and you do NOT get to simply do whatever you like, because sometimes other people end up paying for it."


Right. And that same social contract (that each of us was born into and neither of us ever cognitively agreed with), which you're so fond of, INCLUDES respecting the rights and decisions of people other than yourself. Whether those decisions are impulsive, shortsighted, stupid, or even batshit crazy is immaterial.

If you're uncomfortable with that arrangement then -- according to that social contract -- your recourse is to either convince everyone else of your position (which you are utterly failing to do), OR leave that society in search of a more palatable social contract (which you clearly don't want to do).

Alternatively, you could learn to tolerate a few minor inconveniences of your precious social contract and stop complaining to the rest of us, who collectively have bigger problems to deal with. Ironically though, I think that would be even *more* difficult for you.




"And if you have an unplanned pregnancy without the resources available to you to support the resulting child - *I* have to pay for it, from my taxes."


Please. The proportional amount of *your* taxes that goes towards feeding and educating poor people has gotta' be less than a dollar a year. And since you live in the U.K., they're already paying you back (many times over) by funding your healthcare.




"And I'd rather not, thank you. I'd rather pay much, much less to make sure that you do NOT have a child until you definitely want one, and given that it's MY money, shouldn't I get to choose?"


Well, by that logic, shouldn't they get to choose when to euthanize you? Rather than pay for all those medications and hospital visits in your old age, I mean.




"Ayn Rand or Margaret Thatcher would love you."

*shrug* smiley - space Suspect they'd love you to, given your apparent distaste for social welfare or, y'know, simple compassion.


smiley - pirate


Sabisky, poor people and contraception

Post 29

Hoovooloo

"Orders of magnitude more rarely than drunk drivers do."

Citation needed.

"I seem to recall that you have, in the past, argued with great conviction that the "cost-benefit" to society of *having* cars outweighed the risk posed by reckless drivers.

Funny how you conveniently forget that argument when it suits you. Am I to assume that you've changed your opinion in that regard? Because I doubt it."

What? You're comparing the right to have an abortion with the right to drink and drive? I mean - WHAT?

"By contrast, I argue that the "cost-benefit" to society of protecting personal liberties -- including the liberties of people you don't agree with -- vastly outweighs the financial cost of occasionally investing in people who had no input whatsoever in their parents' sexual escapades."

I don't think the liberty to get pregnant *accidentally* is a liberty worth protecting. The same as I don't think the liberty to sink seven pints of Guiness then drive to Barnard's Castle is a liberty worth protecting.

"Right. And that same social contract (that each of us was born into and neither of us ever cognitively agreed with), which you're so fond of, INCLUDES respecting the rights and decisions of people other than yourself. Whether those decisions are impulsive, shortsighted, stupid, or even batshit crazy is immaterial."

It does NOT include respecting ALL their rights and decisions. It doesn't include respecting the decision to drink and drive. Thanks for bringing that up, by the way, it's a useful point of comparison.

"If you're uncomfortable with that arrangement then -- according to that social contract -- your recourse is to either convince everyone else of your position (which you are utterly failing to do), OR leave that society in search of a more palatable social contract (which you clearly don't want to do)."

Well, the other benefits of living here outweigh the downsides. What I am doing is proposing a way that would make it even better here, with examples, but hey, a prophet is so often without honour in his own land and stuff.

"Alternatively, you could ...stop complaining...I think that would be even *more* difficult for you."

If you read the original post again, I'm not so much complaining about unplanned pregnancies as I am the immediate kneejerk reaction of every git with an opinion. And this thread is a lovely demonstration that I'm right.

"Please. The proportional amount of *your* taxes that goes towards feeding and educating poor people has gotta' be less than a dollar a year."

First: I do hope not. For a start, I pay a LOT of tax. I pay more in tax than my wife earns. So if, out of all that, education and benefits come to a dollar a year, I really, REALLY want to know where all the rest is going. (Bloody Trident and its pointless replacement, probably).

"And since you live in the U.K., they're already paying you back (many times over) by funding your healthcare."

Er, no, I'm also funding that. See above regarding my tax bill, not to mention the considerable quantity I pay in private medical insurance so I can remove myself from being a burden on the NHS when possible.

"Well, by that logic, shouldn't they get to choose when to euthanize you? Rather than pay for all those medications and hospital visits in your old age, I mean."

Actually, up to a point, I agree with that. The NHS has limited resources and I do think that there's a case for examining when life-extending care for people of advanced age with poor quality of life is not cost-effective. It's a horrible, politically impossible subject to talk about, but let's be honest: where is the next £10,000 the NHS spends more effective? A neo-natal ward saving the life of a premature baby? A cancer ward returning a 30-year old mother to a place where she has decades of life left to bring up her children? Or keeping a frail, barely mobile 85 year old on the edge of life for another month? I appreciate my perspective on that might change if the 85 year old was me or my dad, but such decisions do need to be made, and compassion in these cases must be leavened with some logic. /shrug/ but that's a different question.


Sabisky, poor people and contraception

Post 30

Mr. X ---> "Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes!"

<< With modern medical equipment, unplanned pregnancies [...] rarely have potentially lethal consequences. Orders of magnitude more rarely than drunk drivers do. >>


"Citation needed."


smiley - raisedeyebrow That's like asking for a citation that human beings walk upright.



"I don't think the liberty to get pregnant *accidentally* is a liberty worth protecting."


Well I disagree. And, as it turns out, the majority of society seems to concur with me on this point. So tough.



<< Right. And that same social contract (that each of us was born into and neither of us ever cognitively agreed with), which you're so fond of, INCLUDES respecting the rights and decisions of people other than yourself. Whether those decisions are impulsive, shortsighted, stupid, or even batshit crazy is immaterial. >>


"It does NOT include respecting ALL their rights and decisions. It doesn't include respecting the decision to drink and drive. Thanks for bringing that up, by the way, it's a useful point of comparison."



Actually, my point was that you believe the benefit to society of HAVING cars (despite the fact that large numbers of people use them irresponsibly) outweighs the increased safety that would result from NOT having cars.

Similarly, I argue that the benefit to society of protecting people's right to self-determination of their own goddamn bodies (despite the fact that large numbers of people make, at best, short-sighted decisions with them) outweighs the presumed benefit of more carefully planned families.

I admit I could have been more clear about that.



<< If you're uncomfortable with that arrangement then -- according to that social contract -- your recourse is to either convince everyone else of your position (which you are utterly failing to do), OR leave that society in search of a more palatable social contract (which you clearly don't want to do). >>


"Well, the other benefits of living here outweigh the downsides."


Then must you *whine* so?




"What I am doing is proposing a way that would make it even better here, with examples, but hey, a prophet is so often without honour in his own land and stuff."


I remain unconvinced. And we are now talking in circles.

If you're so certain of its value, then I suggest you make your argument to a state official and see what they make of it. You're obviously not making any progress with it here.




<< Alternatively, you could [...] stop complaining [...] I think that would be even *more* difficult for you. >>

"If you read the original post again, I'm not so much complaining about unplanned pregnancies as I am the immediate kneejerk reaction of every git with an opinion. And this thread is a lovely demonstration that I'm right."


My opinion is not kneejerk. It's fully reasoned and defensible.




<< Please. The proportional amount of *your* taxes that goes towards feeding and educating poor people has gotta' be less than a dollar a year. >>

"I do hope not. For a start, I pay a LOT of tax. I pay more in tax than my wife earns. So if, out of all that, education and benefits come to a dollar a year, I really, REALLY want to know where all the rest is going. (Bloody Trident and its pointless replacement, probably)."


I bet ya' twenty bucks.


(Specifically, poor unplanned families. Not... middle-class or what-have-you.)

(But I'm not going to do the math, so.... *shrug*)




<<< And since you live in the U.K., they're already paying you back (many times over) by funding your healthcare. >>>

"Er, no, I'm also funding that. See above regarding my tax bill, not to mention the considerable quantity I pay in private medical insurance so I can remove myself from being a burden on the NHS when possible."


Let me put that another way then....

If out of 1,000 people whose lives and education are being subsidized by Britain's social safety-net, even one of them were to become, say, a doctor --- where such an opportunity would otherwise never be available to them --- then the long-term benefit to Britain over that person's lifetime easily PAYS ITSELF BACK 1,000 times over.

EVEN IF the other 999 never manage to improve their circumstances. (Which is unlikely.)

EVEN IF you only consider the increased taxes that that one individual is then able to pay into the social safety-net. (Which is clearly not the only benefit.)



Given what you then have to gain (albeit indirectly) from such a minor, petty investment, I really don't see why you bitch about it so.

I mean, if you're going to complain about taxes, then complain about something that's *at least* of *questionable* value.


(Like, say, politicians' unnecessarily high salaries. Or their fancy parties. Or their endless, money-wasting red-tape. Or their vastly over-inflated military budgets. (But I'm just going to stop before I get out-of-hand here.))




<< Well, by that logic, shouldn't they get to choose when to euthanize you? Rather than pay for all those medications and hospital visits in your old age, I mean. >>

"Actually, up to a point, I agree with that."


At least you're consistent.


smiley - pirate


Sabisky, poor people and contraception

Post 31

Hoovooloo

"That's like asking for a citation that human beings walk upright"

... so you can't come up with a citation, then? You concede the point then.

I won't leave it there though. I'm going to state these figures but not provide links - dispute them if you can.

There are about three quarters of a million live births per year in the UK. Conservatively, then, let's say a million conceptions. (It'll be much, much more than that, but not an order of magnitude probably). So, a million conceptions.

Deaths due to pregnancy in the UK are about 10 per 100,000. Thus, there are basically about 100 deaths due to pregnancy in the UK per year. Again - it'll be more than that, but not ten times more.

Meanwhile, the deaths due to drunk driving are of the order of 600 per year. You have to round that up a LONG way to get to 1,000.

Thus, VERY charitably, pregnancy is ONE order of magnitude less dangerous than drink driving. Or, if you're honest, it's much, much less than one order of magnitude different.

I wonder which of those two figures you find more suprising? Low deaths due to drink driving, or high deaths due to pregnancy? Either way, you're wrong. /shrug/

"must you *whine* so?"

Yes. Otherwise nobody will be exposed to the arguments of the other side, and nothing will change. What you call "whining" I call disagreeing with the prevailing position. YMMV.

"I suggest you make your argument to a state official and see what they make of it"

Entertainingly, you seem to have forgotten that it's not MY argument, it's an argument advanced by... a state official. Who was forced as a result to resign, yes, but nevertheless...

"I bet ya' twenty bucks.


(Specifically, poor unplanned families. Not... middle-class or what-have-you.)

(But I'm not going to do the math, so.... *shrug*)"

So... you owe me twenty bucks. Because I *have* done the mathS.

"if you're going to complain about taxes"

You appear to have missed the point. I'm not, primarily, complaining about taxes. The financial cost of unplanned pregnancies is, as you reasonably accurately point out, relatively minor compared to, say, Trident or the F-35. I'm far more concerned about less quantifiable costs - the social costs, if you like. The "costs" in girls forced into fulltime childcare instead of economically active and psychologically valuable employment in a sociable workplace. The "costs" in children brought up disadvantaged in families that can't afford to feed, clothe and educate them properly. The costs in the damage to mental and physical health all this causes, and the costs of cleaning up after it. Taxes aren't even the half of it. Imagine what a lovely world we'd live in if the mothers of the dimwitted chavs who burgled my house had been infertile at the crucial moment in the 90s. Imagine what a lovely world it would be if EVERY similar character wasn't clogging up the benefits system and, in the fairly rare cases where they're caught, the criminal justice system.

I mean it - imagine what a lovely world it would be if EVERY child was the product of a *positive* decision taken by a loving, doting mother and father. I simply don't understand anyone who thinks that would be worse than what we've got now.


Sabisky, poor people and contraception

Post 32

Otto Fisch ("Stop analysing Strava.... and cut your hedge")


Or... you know, we could have a fairer society where life isn't awful for the very poorest.


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