Re: Aid to children

Bryan Moss (
Fri, 3 Sep 1999 12:56:37 +0100

Phil Osborn wrote:

> Not quite what I had in mind. What reasonable court would recognize a
> contract signed by a six-year-old? Obviously, for a contract to be valid,
> the signatories have to be capable of understanding the terms.

Exactly, which is why I call it slavery. Kids as property.

> On the other hand, our hypothetical mutual fund local agent would tend to
> know who the responsible families were in the area, and the family would
> be drawn into the contract, I'm sure, in most cases. This might involve
> some kind of backing or commitment from the family in the early stage,
> when there would be a lot more kids than money or investors, but as
> competition for the kids increased, the deals would get better, until the
> family might itself be offered a signup bonus, and the parents, extended
> family, etc., made general fund members, paid in shares. Many incentives
> that would bring the maximum incentive to bear on the family come to mind.

Parents are the weak link in our chain; we need to remove them as early as possible and replace them with someone who has a genuine (economic) interest in the child. To begin with the best we can do is offer good money for children, soon after we might contract women to give birth to wholely owned children, and eventually we would grow them in labs (or farm them if you're looking for an appropriate visual image). I want child welfare to be an systematic process of our economy without interference by parents who expect more than dividends.

> The local data and expertise is fairly crucial, as the micro-loans program
> suggests, as is collective responsibility. The kid could not be forced to
> honor the contract later on, but it would probably be very much in his
> interest to do so, as his share value would be a bankable asset in getting
> loans or future investments. He would no more be likely in most cases to
> disallow the original contract than any corporation would be to basically
> commit suicide and let the share prices go to zero.

I would suggest that the child can be forced but it would, in most circumstances, not be in the best interest of the share holders.

> To extend the range of discussion just a bit, one of the major problems
> with our society and most world societies is the utter failure to bring
> the family into the 20th Century, or even the 19th Century, much less the
> 21st. Families used to be economic units. Parents invested in children
> and expected a return - i.e., care in old age. That gave them a major
> incentive to have healthy, smart, productive, responsible kids. When the
> industrial revolution caused the breakdown of that economic unit, the
> incentives were also largely lost.

While I agree that child welfare and education should be in the form of economic units I think the current family model is too restrictive. I would like to see room for more exotic methods of parenting. I recently read an article by Judith Rich Harris at that stated that children are not conditioned by their parents but by their peers. While this confirms my own beliefs I do not think the conclusion - that children are genetically inclined to learn from peers - is true. In my opinion the family unit is not rich enough to support the intellectual growth of a child. If I am wrong and the family unit just happens to be the most wonderful environment possible for children then it will gain economic favour.

> [...]

The rest of your post I agree with entirely.