I would've left this to Lin, Scarleteen's intrepid Singapore correspondent, but she has been a bit absent lately, so I picked up on it myself.
A big 'ol sex kick is what the government in that city-state has apparently been on lately. It seems the Prime Minister recently noticed the low birth rate in his jurisdiction, and decided it was time for the state to step in. Baby bonuses, among other things, are supposed to rev up the Singaporean love engines. I love the bit in the article about the local newspaper having published a 12-page section entitled "Yes Prime Minister! An All-Out Make-Out Guide".
And so I'm wondering, does the government have any place to take it upon themselves to offer incentives for baby-making, in any cases? Who are they to offer my money, to people who want to have kids, when I don't even like kids in the first place? (Just indulge me for a moment, and let me speak like I'm in Singapore, or something.)
I'd say it's really none of their business at all. And you?
------------------ "...we're all thinking the same thing/let's not settle for satisfaction/we are women and men of action/let's stop clapping let's start doing/a dream for the teens and in-betweens and twenties yet unseen" -Braid
Personally, I feel that the world is facing overpopulation rather than underpopulation, and if anything, governments should be encouraging (although NOT forcing) people to limit the number of children that they have.
Posts: 2710 | From: Australia | Registered: Jun 2000
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I'm inclined to agree with Beppie on this one. It would seem to me that the world is pretty well populated right now, and encouraging people to produce children in massive quantities seems like it would be just adding to the problem.
As for the government having any right to do such things, I think it depends. I think that China's policies are pretty reprehensible...and I think this policy isn't much better. I guess I'm of the opinion that the government should let people decide what they want to do in their bedrooms (or elsewhere, lol) on their own...and not offer incentives for things that are quite personal.
------------------ "Verdugo, Engine 14; you can cancel all units responding to this structure fire...this is just a dishwasher gone bad."
I probably should have clarified what I meant about government's encouraging people to limit the number of children.
I don't think they should offer incentives to the people in the form of assistance for those who have less children- that is completely unfair. I meant more along the lines of providing the public with honest information about the effects of overpopulation throughout the world, so that people are very aware of what they are doing when they have children.
Hmmm. Well I don't think the world is overpopulated at all, it's just not very well organized.
I suppose it is the job of the state to anticipate problems in a country an do something about it. After all, what if there were suddenly not enought singaporeans to support the social security system, who would pay the bills for all the retired folks?
But, on the other hand, it does alos seem that if we decide not to have children just now it is our choice. So putting those two things together it would seem that we would have to have some of our taxes to encourage some people to have the children we have decided not to. Sort of a classic case of individual freedom vs the common good.
Posts: 364 | From: San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico | Registered: Jul 2000
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A society has a right to see to its own continuation and survival. True, singapore could rely on immigration, but that can cause its own problems. Western Europe and Japan have significant problems with low birth rates, which leads to an aging society. A society where everyone, or nearly everyone is retired is not going to be a very functional society. Somebody has to pay the taxes which support the social security system, somebody has to do the actual work of the society. A government has a right to be far sighted enough to look at how its population will look in 20 years. Governments redistribute wealth all the time for social purposes, incouraging its continuity by having a population in the future strikes me as one of the better reasons for doing so.
Posts: 475 | From: ohio | Registered: May 2001
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I'd rather see a bonus incentive for adoption of children. With how many children are in foster care, and those overseas who are suffering from malnutrition, I'd rather see them have a home with lovely parents and food and clothes.
------------------ "1970 called. Al Pacino wants his car back."
Actually, this is pretty old news but it has been no secret that Singapore has an ageing population and couples are marrying later and later and this obviously has an adverse effect on Singapore.
Surveys have shown that most working professionals do not really care about this baby bonus but for families who are having a tough time even surviving, this money comes in very handy.
I understand where our government is coming from and while I do not agree that the government should have to step in when it comes to things like the number of children I have, we are a very different country. We are tiny and easy to manage and very malleable in a way.
it's no big deal to me because this is nothing new, really. We are very driven by the government and it's many different campaigns. We'll just have to wait abit more and see how people respond to this.
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