"What is this babbler trying to say?" Acts 17:18

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Future of the Family?

A few days ago I saw a quote from the Washington Post that keeps revolving in my mind.

“Once a country adopts an old-age pension system, it creates an implicit bias against raising children.... One of the natural reasons for raising children is not just because you like kids, but to take care of yourself in old age. Once a country gives everybody access to everyone else's kids' money [in the form of Social Security and Medicare], it undermines the natural economic incentive to raise kids.”

Building on this idea, I think we can construct a broader argument by positing that when the government becomes the dominant caregiver at any age the traditional role of the family as primary social support system is undermined. Who needs a wife, husband, mother, father, child, when a surrogate entitlement program works just as well? Why put up with messy relationships when a clinical dispensary provides everything that the members of a family once provided? Are we close to an Orwellian future society where the family is outmoded and government becomes more than just Big Brother but also a big impersonal family?

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