Thursday, March 20, 2008

Baby bonus vs Global warming

Please, please, please somebody tell my why is our government paying people cash to have more babies?
$4187 Cash money to have children!
Before I go on yes we have recently had a child and yest we did receive the money...
I objected to the payment before we had our second child but if it exists of course I will accept the extra assistance. My objection is that the payment is designed to encourage people to have children... To increase the birth rate! This I do not get at all!
The whole idea is so flawed and makes parenthood seem so disgustingly mercenary! Surely the government must know that there are desperate people out there who will now be having babies simply to get he cash! Of course it costs a lot more than this to take care of a child but the incentive will be irresistible to the least capable members of our society.

But this isn't my main objection to the Baby Bonus! What I don't get is how can our government acknowledge the need for minimum reductions of over 50% of our carbon emissions; a feat that will require a commitment greater than that needed for WWII but still be promoting population growth? If global warming is the result of the consumption habits of individuals (which I believe it ultimately is) and we honestly want to reduce our emissions to a safe level then surely we must consider that our population will need to be controlled!
The perceived need for population growth is obviously linked to economic growth. Basically we are breeding people as fodder for the economy which apparently takes precedence over the state of the living system that makes the whole thing possible!

I wonder if in the future our government will be held liable for enacting policies that directly contradict the worldwide objective of reducing carbon in the atmosphere? Have they discovered a way to dissociate the pressure of population from the effects of climate change?

Of course there will be tough times ahead. And yes I understand that our economy has become dependent on a state of constant growth; but by admitting that we must reduce our emissions by the amounts our government is conceding to we must be committed to large scale social and economic change! We can not go on as we have been... Surely this is obvious! Or will we just go on making warm mushy comments and spreading rhetoric about being responsible global citizens while we continue to destroy what is left of our atmosphere?

Why are all the news articles concerning the Baby Bonus only pointing out the current expense to our state coffers?



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theresa said...

I agree completely. However, if Brendan Nelson has his way, Aboriginal women won't get the baby bonus... oh wait, they don't in the NT, it's quarantined. Oops!

Seriously, they should just get rid of it for everyone. I guess it is just in line with the refusal to link plain overconsumption with global warming--as long as we use CFLs and green bags, the world will be saved, right? I can still buy a new car and have 10,000 babies, right?


David J said...

Oh yeh! I wonder how that would work? They couldn't possibly refuse to pay it to mothers based on their ethnicity? I haven't even considered what might happen with the baby bonus in quarantined communities...
Maybe they are only allowed to spend the money at Pumkin Patch?