Balancing the Makers and Takers

Ideally, every able-bodied person in society would contribute to the general welfare and common defense, but that just ain’t happening. And any vision of making it happen is just as utopian as the left’s rainbows and kittens fantasy of everyone getting everything for free. Were we to get our utopia, the truly needy would face absolutely no want. There would be so many makers that the safety net would function with perfection and so few takers that it would never be threatened with bankruptcy. I…

  1. ThePullmanns

    Conservatives and religious types do tend to have more children than liberals. So, demographically, we’re in good shape. Except for the “takers,” as you call them, since poor and non-working people are more likely to bear children unmarried. 

    The problem is that no contraception is 100 percent effective, so people who are having lots of sex are simply statistically going to have “oopses” (what a shame we act as if children are an accidental consequence of sex rather than part of the act by design). If these babies are born to unmarried parents, their lives really are much sadder on average.

    What I really want to see among conservative lawmakers and thought-leaders are pushes for policies that recognize having no daddy devastates children and thus society, rather than supporting policies that cushion people who thus choose to hurt their own children. Aka: End no-fault divorce, reorient “family courts” towards preserving marriages and giving fathers equal rights, end welfare penalties on marriage, limit abortion, and so forth.

    This has been annoying me lately as Indiana Republicans have just announced they will push for pre-K next session. Kids with married parents don’t need pre-K.

  2. katievs

    This is a point far too few advocates for SSM realize: marriage is not just a private good, it’s a public good.  When it’s weakened, we all suffer.  The most vulnerable suffer most.  

  3. The King Prawn

    Wow. Contraceptives and SSM in the first two comments. This post could go the distance…lol.

    But seriously, the main thought that inspired this post was that there may be a balance point where society survives but in a much less than optimal condition. Of course, we’re barely getting by on credit right now, so we may already be far beyond the tipping point of balancing the makers and takers.

  4. katievs
    The King Prawn: 

    But seriously, the main thought that inspired this post was that there may be a balance point where society survives but in a much less than optimal condition. Of course, we’re barely getting by on credit right now, so we may already be far beyond the tipping point of balancing the makers and takers. 

    A balance like that can’t last long, can it?  History keeps happening.  Threats to the civil order keep emerging.  

    We urgently need a renewal at the level of culture.  

  5. The King Prawn
    katievs

    The King Prawn: 

    But seriously, the main thought that inspired this post was that there may be a balance point where society survives but in a much less than optimal condition. Of course, we’re barely getting by on credit right now, so we may already be far beyond the tipping point of balancing the makers and takers. 

    A balance like that can’t last long, can it?  History keeps happening.  Threats to the civil order keep emerging.  

    We urgently need a renewal at the level of culture.   · 0 minutes ago

    Agreed. What are realistic expectations on the level of renewal we can reach? Was the founding era simply unique in all of human history, or can that level of civil engagement be replicated?

  6. Foxfier

    Improving adoption might help, too– I know a few folks who have managed it privately, but nobody in the last decade that’s managed it in a public system.

    An increase in takers and single parent families is going to happen when it’s more important that nobody be allowed to disapprove than that folks behave “properly.”  

    Two points: single parent families will exist no matter what, both for shameful reasons and simple sad reality, and the urge to shame folks hasn’t gone away– it’s been shifted to PC directions.  

     I’m sure most folks can think of examples, but I was recently  called elitist, stuck-up and not open to conversation because I pointed out facts from the article the guy had linked that he didn’t like.  Someone should make a devil’s dictionary for things like discussion= validate my worldview, elitist= allow those politically different to speak, stuck-up= willing to point to theft as bad….

  7. Foxfier
    The King Prawn Agreed. What are realistic expectations on the level of renewal we can reach? Was the founding era simply unique in all of human history, or can that level of civil engagement be replicated? · 13 minutes ago

    Well, things like the TEA party indicate that the traditional sort of folks are getting fed up.

    It’s important to keep in mind that civilization is constantly invaded by barbarians.  They’re called children, and we have to convert them.  Paraphrase of an old saw, yeah, but we must not let ourselves get tangled up in thinking this is impossible.  Far greater problems have been solved before.   Sure, it’ll be kind of ugly and unpleasant– that’s life.

    A good start is not letting people shame you for things that aren’t shameful, and being polite and loving while still having standards. 

  8. Jeff
    katievs We urgently need a renewal at the level of culture.   · 20 minutes ago

    Well, yeah. But what culture? I’ve read your posts here. You oppose a return to men as head of the family. You oppose the very concept of headship. So what are we to renew? Certainly you don’t want a renewal of traditional family culture.

    And what about incentives? Why isn’t anyone asking why men don’t want to marry? Why don’t women want to marry, but they want children out of wedlock and a paycheck form an absent father? Why? What incentives are at work?

    And why should young men “man up”, where “man up means do what women tell you and shut up. What incentives are young men operating under? Shame hasn’t stopped women from sliding into sexual irresponsibility, so why would it stop men?

    What incentives do young women live under? How does female hypergamy affect women’s choices? How do affirmative action, sexual harassment laws, and popular culture incentivize women’s behavior? What do the best sellers in chick lit tell us about women’s attitudes and incentives?

    What culture? What incentives? Those are the questions that matter.

  9. The King Prawn
    Foxfier It’s important to keep in mind thatcivilization is constantly invaded by barbarians.  They’re called children, and we have to convert them.  Paraphrase of an old saw, yeah, but we mustnot let ourselves get tangled up in thinking this is impossible.  Far greater problems have been solved before.   Sure, it’ll be kind of ugly and unpleasant– that’s life.

    This is kind of the nub of the problem. As a society we’re not civilizing our home grown barbarians at the same rate we used to. They grow, produce another generation of uncivilized barbarians who continue pillaging the fields and farms of the productive. The UK has been tracking the number of children in homes with no working adult in the household. It’s probably about time we did the same.

  10. Foxfier
    The King Prawn  This is kind of the nub of the problem. As a society we’re not civilizing our home grown barbarians at the same rate we used to. They grow, produce another generation of uncivilized barbarians who continue pillaging the fields and farms of the productive. The UK has been tracking the number of children in homes with no working adult in the household. It’s probably about time we did the same. · 0 minutes ago

    I could go for that.

    My angle of attack is to 1) have as many kids as we can reasonably manage, and 2) influence people not to be such dips when it comes to raising their kids.  Only having one parent, or being poor, doesn’t mean you’re assured to fail so you should never try– and it for dang sure doesn’t mean that I’m going to give someone a free pass when they’re twits.

  11. Jeff
    The King Prawn This is kind of the nub of the problem. As a society we’re not civilizing our home grown barbarians at the same rate we used to.

    It is not the nub. The central question is civilizing into what civilization? What does it mean to be civilized? As a man? As a woman? As a child?

    There is no general agreement on these questions. We live in decadent times, literally as in de-cadenced, out of step with one another.

    Liberals believe they can change one thing, say healthcare, but leave all other social incentives unaltered. This is obviously false.

    Conservatives believe that sexual roles can be radically changed, but all other social incentives will remain unaltered. Yes, I know conservatives didn’t make these changes, but the changes are facts. It’s insanity to expect all other social incentives to remain the same.

    So, what culture do you get after feminism?  You can’t have a world where men act the role of 17th century gentlemen and women as 21st century feminists.

    And make no mistake, that’s what you’re trying to construct. Insanity.

  12. katievs
    Jeff

    katievs We urgently need a renewal at the level of culture.   

    Well, yeah. But what culture?

    What do you mean “what culture”?  I don’t see culture as something imposed from without.  It emerges from the free acts and attitudes of individuals.

    The kind of culture I’d like to foster is one that celebrates “whatever is true,  whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…”

    When it comes to marriage, it means restoring the public ideal of “one man, one woman, for life.”  It means seeing children as gifts, not liabilities.  It means encouraging responsibility and discouraging irresponsibility and licentiousness.  

    Stuff life that.

  13. katievs
    Jeff

    What culture? What incentives? Those are the questions that matter. 

    “Virtue is its own reward” and vice brings real misery.  One of the central evils of progressivism is that it comes between persons and the natural consequences of their free choices.   It makes doing right less rewarding and doing wrong less punishing than they naturally are.  

    So, rolling back bad laws can go a long way toward restoring the natural incentives for good living.  

    People who work hard and stay faithful will be seen flourishing.   That’s all the incentive we really need.

  14. The King Prawn

    Jeff, I’m not trying to construct anything. I’m merely asking whether or not our society can withstand the changes that have been overwhelming it since the 60s. I suspect the makers will be swamped and society will collapse, but I can still root around for some glimmer of hope that might avert the disaster.

  15. ShellGamer

    Coming back to the question, if Keynes is right that free markets will not naturally come to equilibrium at full employment, I don’t see why we should expect the welfare state to naturally balance out takers and makers. The dynamics are driving us to collapse, but innovation and increased productivity continue to stave off the ultimate conclusion.

     Historically, increased affluence has been the best means of birth control. As family income rises, people tend to spend more money on their children and have fewer of them. Here’s an old graph showing the phenomena; you can find more by Googling.

    If makers have lower birth rates, the ratio of takers to makers will rise over time. So long as productivity increases counterbalance the increasing ratio, the system might be sustainable. But there is no natural law that insures productivity will increase at a faster rate. In fact, the fiscal policies associated with the welfare state might thwart increasing productivity.

  16. Xennady
    Scott [roy-sir]

    It would require the burning of the Constitution — a police state, really.

    What part of the Constitution requires civilized people to give all the benefits of civilized behavior to the un-civilized with no expectations in return?

  17. The Mugwump

    Mandatory jail time for unwed fathers and mandatory sterilization for unwed mothers.  People might start thinking about their bed mates as potential husbands and wives instead of hook-ups.  Young men might start thinking “what would she be like to live with?”  Young girls might start thinking “if I get pregnant, what kind of father would he be?”  Yes, I’m an extremist, but it doesn’t mean my ideas are without merit.      

  18. KC Mulville

    The “sexual revolution” has created a society of diminishing returns. 

  19. TKC1101

    It is not the fact of marriage that improves a child’s chances, it is the values, attitudes and skills of people who have the ability to stay married that are the key factors.  Unfortunately, when children became optional, so did being responsible parents.

  20. Foxfier
    ~Paules: Mandatory jail time for unwed fathers and mandatory sterilization for unwed mothers.=

    Did that, though usually with an eugenics excuse.  The “idiots” part was usually better publicized, but “loose morals” was also used for selection.  Beyond the way it treats people like stray cats, who the heck would trust the gov’t with that kind of power?!

    Perhaps sex resulting in pregnancy might be treated as entering into a common law marriage.  (That as the dividing line because it’s simpler to prove.)  And if one or both of them are already married, treat them accordingly. Shotgun marriage, no father with gun skills required. 

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