Monday, December 22, 2008

Is it time for U.S. tax policy gently to encourage a little bit of population control?

You’re looking at not-the-most-recent photograph of Jim Bob Duggar and his family, of Arkansas.

It’s out-of-date because since this photograph was taken last year, the Duggar’s have given birth to yet another child. So now they have 18 kids in all.

I became aware of the family while watching The Today Show on December 22. I have to admit, I really like the kids. They were polite, bright, friendly, positive, enthusiastic and organized. I can’t help but wish them well.

That said, I’d like to take the Duggar parents on a tour of the damage that overpopulation is doing to our planet and our nation.

For example:

According to the World Bank and the United Nations, from 1 to 2 billion humans are now malnourished, indicating a combination of insufficient food, low incomes, and inadequate distribution of food. This is the largest number of hungry humans ever recorded in history

Based on their evaluations of available natural resources, scientists of the Royal Society and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences have issued a joint statement reinforcing the concern about the growing imbalance between the world's population and the resources that support human lives…

The continued production of an adequate food supply is directly dependent on ample fertile land, fresh water, energy, plus the maintenance of biodiversity. As the human population grows, the requirements for these resources also grow. Even if these resources are never depleted, on a per capita basis they will decline significantly because they must be divided among more people…
Big deal, you might say. The Dugars are not hungry. They live in a large, debt-free home. They haven’t even made an impact on their local school system, since they’re all home-schooled.

Wait until you see this family’s
carbon footprint and water consumption

But wait a second. Want to think about energy and water consumption alone? According to MSNBC, one of the many media organizations that has done admiring feature stories about the family…
The family estimates it has used 90,000 diapers and launders 200 loads of clothes each month in a row of industrial-size washers and dryers….Transportation is facilitated by nine vehicles, led by a 21-passenger bus.
Beginning to get the picture?

When should Americans say,
“not on my tax dollar?”

This country, as well it ought, has encouraged stable families through its tax policies — with child tax credits and other tax deductions for dependents. I’m for that in general. I’m even for increasing the tax deduction for families, most especially struggling families with low incomes — up to a point.

That point is reached when people start having more than “replacement children” — the two kids needed eventually to replace their parents. After that, the government ought to be saying, “Listen, the number of children you want to drop on this planet is your business, at least for now, but we refuse to let you make it ours. Reproduce all you want, but don’t ask your fellow citizens to help finance this irresponsible behavior of yours.”

If we fail to do that, future generations might eventually have to start placing a “birth tax” on each child after the second one. That, or responsible citizens will have to starve along with the irresponsible ones.

Incidentally, the Duggar family’s website states that Jim Bob and his wife make their living as “licensed real estate brokers.” In addition, Jim Bob is a former Representative in the Arkansas House of Representatives and former candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Except for one little, uh, anomaly.

Uh oh, it’s one of those
“real estate seminar” things

Surf around a little bit further and you discover that Jim Bob is in the tape and seminar business in a big way, too.

To quote from his sales pitch:
Order DVD Set & Seminar Manual Value Pack! $129 NOW ONLY $109
>> Order Men's Manual Vol. II (Manual Only) $30
But wait, there's more!
Say hallelujah!

Keep digging into this stuff and following links and you discover that the “DVD Set & Seminar Manual Value Pack” are, umm, “faith based” as is the Duggar family’s home schooling setup.

To quote from the home school organization which sells its curricumlum to the Duggars:
We believe Adam was directly created in innocence and in the image of God and did not evolve from preexisting forms of life. By voluntary transgression, he fell; and thus the whole human race is now sinful by nature and practice and, therefore, under just condemnation to eternal separation from God…
Funny, I didn’t learn any of this stuff on the NBC report.

Anyway, I somehow doubt that this is on the required reading list of the kids’ home schooling.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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