I got nothin' to blog about, school is crazy. We are all just trying to make it to summer vacation. Ben is playing lacrosse and baseball, Hannah has soccer tryouts and well Sophie is three years old! So I thought I would post something that I had on our other blog. An oldie but goodie so to speak.
My thoughts last year on how best to reply to those statements about China and its one child policy. This post was in response to someone seeing Sophie with me at the hair salon and ranting about "how china just throws their girls away...." You know the drill. You have heard it before and if not, prepare yourself it will happen to you at the grocery store, park or even at a family picnic.
I guess what really bugs me about our fellow countrymen slamming another country, in our case our daughter's birth country, is their egocentric perspectives and need to impose American opinions, politics and culture upon other countries.
Chris and I were discussing China’s one child policy looking for a way for me to handle “those questions” better. We both agree that limiting the number of children a person can have is a major “human rights” offense. Having said that and after reading this paper and other recent articles on China’s population control policy, Chris made some interesting points. One of which is that China’s policy to limit family growth is in part born out of necessity, we do not agree with it, but there is no social structure to support those who cannot support their families. In the paper from Harvard the writer indicates that in China it “pays” not to have more than one or two children, having more than that will cost the family money in the form of a fine and payment for registration and education of the additional child. As we were discussing China’s policy, Chris pointed out that here in the U.S. the government will actually PAY people to have more children than they can afford to support. No you say?? Sure we do…..we provide subsidies for housing, medical care, mental health, dental, childcare, education, food stamps, etc. The more children you have in America that you can’t take care of the more the government will pay you to help take care of them…you don’t even need to leave the house!
People question how China “treats” their children. Really, how well do we treat our children here in the United States?? Even with “supporting” parents, children in one of the wealthiest countries in the world are neglected, unloved and die every day. Our foster care system…please... it fails children daily.
Every year I encounter children at school who require a flow map to explain who lives with them and how they are related to one another. Every year I wake up a parent of one of my students at 11:00 AM in the morning to come get their sick child, and they are not asleep because they worked second shift either. I have parents who do not have jobs, but can’t seem to make it to a meeting at school once a year. There are parents that have 5 or 6 kids and they are not even 30 years old yet. They can’t seem to figure out birth control but they certainly know how to fill out the free and reduced lunch forms.
I don’t disagree that as a society we should support those who are in REAL need. Poverty in America is a vicious cycle. But we have to be honest in saying that the system fails. It fails to instill hope for something better than a hand out, it takes away desire to succeed and care. Here in America it does pay to have more children than you can care for, it just doesn’t in many other countries.