500 words; Should poor people have fewer children?

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Sydney Morning Herald 22 May 17

Just when you think clickbait couldn’t get any more intergalactic, along comes a humdinger like this. And from the esteemed Bond University, no less. All the hair from 60 Minutes got a university!* Tune in next week for their pressing investigation into the link between MasterChef and why you’re a fat fucking loseroo.

This statement from Prof Jones was ostensibly about the number of children in unsatisfactory out of home care. I can tell, because halfway through the news story there is a video of an excavator scratching around in a Brisbane backyard for the remains of an unfortunate foster child.

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Not at all gratuitous

Readers, it couldn’t be more clear; More poor children means more excavation. It is simply not in the public interest to have to move all those plastic clam shell paddling pools. Just tipping them out alone would take weeks, and those things are usually really, really mucky at the bottom.

Consider these insights;

Prof Jones believes out-of-home care policies are failing children, with evidence showing young people who have been in care have poorer overall health and lower education than average.

“The fundamental reason for placing children in out-of-home care is because we believe they will be safer and they will have a better life than if they remained with their families,” he said.

“There’s not a lot of evidence to back up that hypothesis even though its that hypothesis that guides the decision to put children in out of home care.”

Yep, kids who are removed fare, ‘worse than the average’ in life.

So let’s talk about ‘the average’. The average kid has never been placed in out-of-home-care. You can’t compare ‘removed kids’ with ‘average kids’ because average kids probably aren’t being beaten, starved or made to watch reruns of MasterChef: Mystery Box Challenge! (it’s Diabetes).

As Prof Jones even says so himself – removed kids are often removed because of safety concerns.

The only meaningful comparison you could make is between kids who were removed versus those who would have been but weren’t.

Otherwise you’re comparing apples with excavators.

I can’t see the point in this article, other than just blatantly bashing poor people. I mean, there’s not even any real way that women (and let’s be clear, women are the target here) could be prevented from having more children without further diminishing the lives of said children. Furthering impoverishing the parents always hurts the children first.

What’s to be done? It’s all so hopeless! Government is failing these children!

Let’s look for solutions elsewhere! Let’s investigate International Best Practice. Let’s think Outside the Box. Let’s do away with Silo Thinking!

Perhaps we should be looking other examples where parents’ income is ‘decoupled’ from their children’s lifestyle, where children have the freedom to break with the cycle!

Witness the ebullient work ethic of Nepalese underground coal miners! Or the entrepreneurial vigour of the roaming street gangs of Kibera, Nigeria.

Perhaps, if Prof Jones is so concerned with women having children to ‘multiple partners’ we could investigate placing the onus on fathers. After all, if fathers don’t live with their children, surely we can impoverish them all we like!

This is what child support is supposed to be. Of course Centrelink will persecute you for non-payment whether you pay it or not. Might as well make the most of it!

I’d like to imagine this Professor is suggesting removing the conditions of poverty from children’s lives, but I’m pretty sure he might pronounce that as; ‘compulsory sterilisation’.

Scary stuff.

 

*Disclaimer – Bond University might be awesome – willing to be proven wrong on this but if this is the calibre of statements that come out of it then I’m pretty anxious. Also this Professor might be being shamelessly misquoted. The prima facie case makes me ANGRY though.

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