What is our obligation to those who make bad decisions?

wic3One of the things I’ve tried to drill into my children is the truism that the single biggest indicator of poverty is single motherhood.  That data, incidentally, does not reflect the old-fashioned kind of single motherhood, which was the result of widowhood or abandonment.  Instead, we’re talking about modern single motherhood, the kind that sees women who are deluged with birth control choices nevertheless get pregnant with boyfriends or hook-ups who feel no emotional connection or sense of economic obligation to either mother or baby.

One of my children has a part-time job at a cafe and is, for the first time, meeting adults who have full-time jobs but who aren’t middle-class professionals living in single family homes in solidly upper middle class neighborhoods.  One of these adults is pregnant and is unhappy about the fact that the cafe, where she’s been working for only five months, will not give her maternity leave.

Inquiry revealed that the pregnant woman is not married; that she’s living with a boyfriend who may or may not be the father of her child (my kid doesn’t know), and that the boyfriend doesn’t work.  Except for getting regular nooky at night (assuming that the pregnant woman still wants that kind of attention), the mother-to-be will be, for all practical purposes, a single mother.

My child found it concerning that the boss won’t pay this single mother not to work for him.  My child was therefore stymied when I asked this question:  “Why should he pay for her foolish choices?”

I noted that, while it’s entirely possible that this woman was using enough birth control to protect six woman, and nevertheless still managed to get pregnant, the greater likelihood was that she was careless. Indeed, if she really wanted to protect against single motherhood, she could have abstained from sex until she had a ring on her finger and some economic prospects.

I threw in the fact that it’s incredibly costly to do business in California, especially in the food service industry, which have extremely low profit margins.  Employers generally are drowning in regulations, which makes businesses very expensive to run.  Add in taxes and all the other costs of business (rent, insurance, salaries, benefits, supplies, etc.), and it’s guaranteed that the employer is clearing just enough money for his personal expenses (mortgage, insurance, food, etc.).  This owner is almost certainly not living extravagantly but is, instead, living a very temperate life.

Much of the money that the federal and state government are taking away from this man, both from his business and from him personally, is going to welfare programs for single mothers, something this employer must know.  Since he’s already paying for the welfare this young woman will inevitably end up using, why should he pay twice by carrying her on the books even though she’s contributing nothing to his business?  Even if he was feeling charitable, the government has left him nothing with which to be charitable,  not to mention the fact that the government, by snatching money from his pockets, has already decided on his behalf which charities he should support — including economically foolish single motherhood.

Such a simple question:  “Why should he pay for her foolish choices, when the government is already taxing him heavily in advance to pay for all the foolish choices of intentionally single mothers across America”?


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  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Why don’t you ask her if she truly feels like helping, to send her own money. But then that would promote individual spine. We can’t have individuals with spines now, can we.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Good for you, Book.
    You could also ask your child to contribute his/her earnings to the woman’s welfare fund if they feel strongly about it. 

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Also if she accepts being fired as a result of her employer paying a single mother more stuff for less work, then I would accept that as a sincere desire to help the common cause of humanity.
    If not, then that’s SELF SATISFACTION, not true charity or liberal pro humanity. 

  • Caped Crusader

    Tell her if she feels a responsibility to support deadbeat behavior, she should be willing to give her all the salary that she herself has worked for to this  girl and her shiftless “baby daddy”, rather than placing the burden on people who have chosen to do the right thing. People see more clearly and feel more deeply when the burden falls on themselves rather than a nebulous “government”.

  • Caped Crusader

    Explain to her that Judeo-Christian morality expects us to help the lame, the halt, the blind, the feebleminded, the widow and the orphan, and all those in dire circumstances beyond their control, and only until they can get back on their feet; and not to provide the lazy and shiftless a middle class life style for as long as they chose not to work or try to help themselves. Those who wish to help such people should be willing to do so with their own money and not to involve others in their overly generous feeling for deadbeats. When it involves their own money they see the light,  and in a hurry.

  • Charles Martel

    I think the best deal to be made here is to have the cafe owner agree to pay Book’s daughter to babysit while the single mom continues to work her shift. Of course, the baby daddy has to go to a park and drink for 8 hours while the babysitting is going on.

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

      Can also hire freelancers to escort the babysitter to and from work, and during work.
      On the same note, some research I’ve acquired concerning teen personality maturation might help people understand the theoretical background.
      When a human hits the teen years, sometime after 10 during puberty, they tend to have an accelerated desire to form their own self identity. That means an identity that is purely their own, separate from their siblings, their peers, their family, and so forth. This wars against the need to obey social authority and is often segregated into or obligated into peer pressure and other authorities.
      The various types of behavior motivated by the formation of self identity during the teen years can compose of:
      1. Joining special groups in order to elevate one’s own individual distinction above the masses.
      2. Joining special hobby groups that specialize in having knowledge that nobody else has, raising one above the common masses.
      3. Excluding people from one’s own social circle, thus confirming and affirming one’s special place amongst the universe and one’s peers.
      4. Separating from and/or rebelling against one’s parents.
      5. Using one’s parents as a role model and following in the career/interests of one’s parent.
      6. Finding and then marrying a person of the opposing gender, thereby entering a state of enforced maturity, creating a household apart from one’s parents.
      Those are just off the top of my head.
      Also, compared to ancient days certain behaviors have fallen out of vogue such as going to war or going into the wilderness and living off herb lore alone. As a form of finding one’s self identity, wander lust is useful but it is also dangerous. For a tribal society, the risks were outweighed by the benefits if the youth survived and brought back special survival knowledge.
      The theory behind this is rather simple. A person, in order to form their self identity, must have something to compare it to. In the case of the classic rebellious teenager, they are using their parents as a contrast. By distinguishing themselves as doing something different than their parents, they are able to form a confidence that they are someone who is apart from their parents. This may seem ridiculous or foolish to adults or more mature individuals, but that’s because we don’t really lack confidence in our own individual will. To teenagers, often they cannot distinguish their own will from the will of the group, and they cannot distinguish either from the will of adults and parents. Children are used to doing as they are told. They aren’t used to figuring out what it is they truly want to do, what they would die or kill for to acquire. So they often have to utilize a bridging connection, and that’s where often a lot of teenage behaviors crop up.
      But this phase of self identity formation is not always rebellious or negative as common sense (aka the foolish majority) would like to believe. It is just as common if not more common historically for youths to follow in their parents footsteps, as apprentice adults. Thus they find their own identity by becoming members of adult society, doing adult jobs, entering into manhood and adult rituals, and so forth. Most of the modern day youth rebellions are a result of Leftist engineered failures and peer pressures. Most sane and socially conditioned humans would rather become part of the group, as a cog, than go out on their own into the wilderness to “find themselves”. People know, deep inside, how little chance weaklings have of surviving on their own. When the Left destroyed the oral transmission of tradition rituals, this also made it harder and harder for groups of teens to pressure their peers into conforming to traditional rituals. Instead, people became crazy and started doing whatever their instincts, their desires, and their decadent peers thought up. Which results in the modern day college party environment and the stupidity of 30 year old children unwilling to live on their own. The ability to transfer from child into adult is the purpose of the teen years, but this transmission cannot work when the Left breaks it.
      As for how the Left broke it and how it can be reconstructed, that requires re-engineering and deconstructing human psychology. As seen in the OP here, that’s not as obvious as people would like to think it is. It’s a bit more intricate and complicated.
      Teenagers are difficult not because they have individual wills that always clash with traditional authority or with parental authority. That’s not the core problem. The primary problem is that teenagers are the most easily controlled demographic for authority. Since authority increases in power exponentially the closer it gets to your face, for teenagers their highest authority is their friends, peers, and Hollywood stars. They see a lot of more of them than they see of you, the parent. It’s different for a family that works as a family business, then the children are part of a HIERARCHY and it’s easy to obey the hierarchy rather than obeying peers that have no money. The very old and the very young have different problems, their chief issue is the lack of power and the ability for others to overpower them. For teenagers, their problem is that their individual will is so weak that anyone can convince them to do anything for any reason given enough opportunity and time.
      Training methodology for teaching 4-6 year olds how to shoot Real Guns is much easier than trying to teach 15 year old teenagers how to shoot Real Guns. The problem is emotional stability, adherence to authority, and the risk of external corruption influence. Once a 6 year old is conditioned in firearms safety, that tends to carry out to the teenager years. But the reverse isn’t true, since teenagers sometimes get weird ideas in their head and attempt to experiment or challenge the rules.
      That is why, Book, it is much easier to get them while they are “young” than reprogramming them as teenagers. But it is not the case that teenagers are impossible to program, it’s just more difficult for parents since parents aren’t directly in a teenager’s chain of command given the new competition.
      Finding the original source for the thesis is difficult. The original wording was very persuasive. Suffice it to say that in the modern West, when a person attempts to achieve independence of self and the will to form their own identity, failing to do so is the same as obeying authority but believing it’s of one’s own free will. Where as the success would only obey authority if authority benefits the soul of self. Much of the 1960s and 70s were examples of failures, engineered failures, for vast swaths of the new generation. They didn’t rebel against authority. They didn’t come up with new love and better relationships. They didn’t do things of their own free will.
      They Obeyed Authority

  • sabawa

    How many generations of welfare-sucklings will it take to turn this ship around?  Stop sending checks and stamps to irresponsible people.  There must be a big string attached……like helping out at food kitchens, cleaning the roads of debris, working at homeless shelters……something!  Someone has to do that work…..why not ppl who DON’T work.  They have the time!  Choices have nasty little cling ons attached.

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

      The government’s rigging the system in their own favor. This means there’s little room for people at the bottom to experience true freedom and justice. They don’t get what they deserve. Sometimes they get more, other times they get less. But injustice exists no matter whether a person gets less (poor) than they deserve, or whether they get more than they deserve (welfare).

  • Libby

    Seems that nowadays most conversations about employment revolve around what the employer does or should do for the employees – are they paying fair wages, are they providing adequate benefits, etc.  How about redirecting the conversation to what the employees do for the business? The owner didn’t start the cafe as a charity, he wanted to earn a living    providing the local community a place to eat. His priorities are meeting his customers needs while maximizing his profits. He hires his employees to make that happen, not to help them become better people, to help them pay for that medical treatment they need, to ensure they can afford the lifestyle they think they deserve, etc. All of those things are a just byproduct of the employer-employee business transaction, part of which he is obligated to provide by the state and part of which he offers in order to continue making a profit while still attracting/keeping good employees.
    IIRC, every job I’ve had has only offered maternity benefits to employees after they’ve been with the company 1 year, ensuring that the employee has provided some value to the employer (and demonstrated they are there for more than just the benefits) in exchange for the benefits. That’s not evil or greedy, that’s just the employer acting like a business instead of a charity.

  • JKB

    You might want to throw in that such a requirement as for continuing paid maternity leave would incentivize employers not to hire women.  While overt avoidance isn’t permitted, there are many subtle ways that employers can pass over a candidate for a job.  
    Plus, the young pregnant woman has many “benefits” in California, she’ll just have to deal with the CA Employment “Development” Department
    Understanding Maternity Leave in California (2013 Edition)  
    Of course, $50 a week from the employment disability insurance (at her assumed wages) isn’t the same as getting paid full salary for no work.   

  • heather

    Kudos to you for letting her work at that sort of job.  My teenage summer job was working at McDonald’s.  I found it unpleasant in many ways, but I sure learned a lot about human nature, from both my coworkers and the customers.  
     I suspect that many liberals have never worked those sorts of jobs, and thus have never had any significant interactions with the segment of society that they claim to want to help.  

    • Caped Crusader

      Heather, what a terrific comment! Those of us who chose or had to work in the real world at an early age received the most wonderful education of all; learning to deal with the public and with co-workers and all their peculiarities received the best education of all, that of a REAL WORLD experience versus reading some opinion in a book. Most liberals have never worked in a real world job or had to meet a payroll and myriad other governmental requirements and demands placed upon those in responsible positions. It was George McGovern, a consummate liberal, who after leaving public office went into business in Montana, and after going into bankruptcy said he would have never voted for most of the laws he passed if he had known the trouble they caused.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    If you aren’t familiar with non Californian culture, here’s a post up on how they raise their kids.
    The training methodology is different. There’s less focus on popular culture to serve as a peer block and more focus on individual disobedience and private groups for peer support. The key point is not to acquire obedience via power or authority, but education. When a person truly understands the Power of Death, their own will will stop them from doing stupid things with guns. That’s not something California understands right now…

  • Danny Lemieux

    Heather, I totally agree with you. My second job, as a college student, was working at McDonalds. It was a tremendous learning experience, for which I still feel indebted to them forty years later.

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

      By any chance have you gone to a McDonalds or other similar restaurant (family) in Japan?

    • Beth

      My second job after I received my degree was waiting lanes at a bowling alley–(I had an entry level position day job in my career of choice but the pay didn’t quite cut it).  Oh boy!  I learned sooooo much from that job.  I was a hard worker BEFORE I took on that additional work but I’m here to tell you I ran up the ladder at my day job quickly after only a few weeks!   Only needed three months before I got a raise at the day job and was able to say good-bye to the night job– a day job which, by the way, was a salary earned on closer to 50-60 hours a week instead of the sweet 40.  Kids have no flippin’ idea.

  • shirleyelizabeth

    I don’t think it would be too difficult for a compassionate young teen, with everything provided, to give up their own earnings to help someone they thought needed it. In fact, I think the idea would give the teen more of that feeling of doing so much good, when it is really at the expense of the parents.
    It wasn’t until I was in my older teens and training under a CPA for a small construction company that I came to see the true responsibilities of the employers. It would be good for more young people to experience that.


    Dear Stymied Teen,
    The next time you study really hard to get the grades, pass the test, excel and eventually receive your graduation certificate ….IMMEDIATELY, pass it all to the kid in your class, who probably; failed to show up on a regular basis, slept during most of the semester, never opened a book and failed to graduate. 
    You’re the ‘boss’ now and you have the privilege to pay for your fellow student’s decisions. It’s only fair!

  • Spartacus

    Oh, how I wish all children could have drilled into them Thomas’s Law of Economics:  “You can never do just one thing.”
    – Impose a price floor to be kind to the sellers, and quantity demanded will fall short of quantity supplied, and fewer transactions will take place (e.g. teens won’t be able to find summer jobs).
    – Impose a price ceiling to be kind to the buyers, and quantity supplied will fall short of quantity demanded, and fewer transactions will take place (e.g. Americans will be lined up around the block waiting to  buy gas; Russians will be lined up around the block waiting to buy bread; employers will wade for the first time into the health insurance market to get around wartime salary caps).
    – Mandate a lower limit on the quantity transacted, and quantity demanded will fall short of quantity supplied, and transactions will be forced against the will of the buyer (e.g. nuns will have maternity and abortion coverage for the first time in history).
    – Mandate an upper limit on the quantity transacted, and quantity supplied will fall short of quantity demanded, and fewer transactions will take place legally (e.g. those who couldn’t go through the communion line enough times in the 1920’s to satisfy their thirst for the Lord made arrangements with resourceful entrepreneurs who made business trips to Canada).
    – Raise taxes to pay for shiny new programs, and decrease aggregate economic growth, reduce the wealth and opportunites of individuals, and past the tip-over point on the Laffer Curve, actually have less tax revenue than when you started.
    – Print money to pay for shiny new programs, and decrease the value of all other money in circulation, stealing wealth from those who possess currency or have fixed streams of income.
    – Erect trade walls to be kind to domestic producers, and raise the price to consumers of the protected goods, prevent the reallocation of domestic resources to areas of greater comparative advantage, and very likely lose foreign markets for domestic producers when retailatory tariffs are enacted.
    – And so on.  Pretty much the entire sad history of governement intervention in the economy.
    Now, it actually sounds like your Little Bookworm is advocating that the cafe owner should do this voluntarily… if so, at least it avoids the coercive aspects above, although it would still equate to a Kind-Heartedness Tax, from which mean and avaricious cafe owners are exempt, thus enjoying a competitive advantage.
    It never ceases to amaze me how people can go on strike, or sue, or file an official complaint with some government agency after swearing by all they hold holy and dear in the job interview not that long before that the nature of the work, terms, conditions, and pay were really just wonderful, and they would consider themselves very fortunate indeed (very!) to be hired.  And they sign a contract, written in black and white.  And now?  Same job, same, conditions, small raise…  “Unacceptable!  Outrageous!  How dare they force me to work for this meager pay!  Have I applied to work at someplace better?  No!  Idiot!  I work here!”  And they say it with a straight face.

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

      Most people have never looked at the simulation results for an economy of 10,000. They barely understand the economic results of two people in marriage, after all.
      Intellectual retards don’t have the authority or knowledge to tell us what is good economics or not.

      • Spartacus

        “Intellectual retards don’t have the authority or knowledge to tell us what is good economics or not.”
        Moral authority, no.  Legal authority?  Insanity is electing known career politicians and expecting a different result.

        • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

          That’s why it is convenient that Dead People lack temporal authority. Except for those zombies that keep voting Democrat. Those are exceptions.

  • jj

    “What is our obligation to those who make bad decisions?”  Nothing.