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Career Choices: Our Version of Child Slavery

August 17th, 2011 by John Tertullian

The following appeared in a recent edition of Sunday News. As you read this, please bear in mind that what is described here is officially fictional. The line from the Commentariat is that this sort of thing never actually occurs and certainly could not exist. The official Commentariat talking points are that human beings are not like this, and are incapable of acting and thinking as this article describes.

If, by scintilla of remote probability, there may be some truth in the construct narrated below, it would only be because something (certainly not Unbelief) has made victims of  these unfortunates.

Pre-Teens Dream of Kids and Dole

IMOGEN NEALE

Last updated 05:00 31/07/2011

Lots of babies, lots of partners, lots of houses and lots of benefits.

Welcome to the career dream of young boys already failing in the education system.

Alison Sutherland, who works in Wairarapa schools with children who have behavioural problems, says many of the boys she deals with – who haven’t even reached their teenage years – can only see being the father of children and living with their mothers ahead. “That is their career future,” she said of youngsters who were opting out of education and employment because they saw babies as a source of income.

But coupled with the desire for children was a complete lack of understanding of what being a good parent might entail. “There is no warmth about loving little children or wanting to be good parents. It is purely about this being a pathway to an income,” the one-time principal of a youth justice facility school said. “They have a perception that their future is to be unemployed. That is their norm. They have no sensitivity for the children – they see it as their form of income.”

Sutherland said in some cases the children were merely repeating what they saw in their own homes. “They perceive that they’ll get a girl pregnant. She will be on some form of benefit and will get a house, and that they’ll live with them, and that is their income. “They live with mum, who often has a number of children and boyfriends. . . .Their reality is that the men in their lives live off mum, so they say, `Why would I get a job? I don’t need one, I’ll be like whoever the chap is who is living with mum at the moment’.”

What lessons can we draw from this?  Firstly, these young lads described in the article are being perfectly rational. In terms of the world New Zealand has created for them, they are acting in a perfectly understandable way, merely doing what we all do. They are maximising their economic utility. The State pays unemployed (and even working) people more money if they have children–so, there are financial returns and rewards from “having kids”. It is money for jam, for nothing.

Cha-chingSecondly, this situation represents our version of child labour and child slavery. Children are being brought into the world as “earners”.  Their worth and dignity only extends to their causing the state-funded “free” money spigots to open for the parents.  To maintain the return, all one needs do is keep them with a semblance of life; as long as they are barely breathing they are useful and tolerable as “earners”. At this point there is simply no difference from the impersonal objectivisation of children for economic gain that we decry in “Third World” countries and the England of Charles Dickens. The children born into the “families” described above are equally destroyed.  They may even suffer worse.

The same politics of “guilt and pity” that protest so vehemently against child labour in Third World sweatshops is producing the same realities here at home.  But because “we” are the ones doing it, somehow different standards apply. We, after all, are Enlightened Ones. Our Human Rights utopia has brought us this world, so it cannot be really bad.  Just a few minor tweaks will see us right.

Thirdly, the only solution the materialistic humanist can offer at the end of the day is more State-borrowed money and more State controls and powers to throw at the problem. If only more money were bestowed on such people, things would be better. It is fatuous economic determinism at its ignorant worst.

And, particularly, money for education. Let’s not forget the wonderful redeeming power of state funded largesse upon the temples of government schools which are powerful to turn people into new-model citizens.  Granted it has not worked thus far–but, if we just had a bit more money voted for at-risk kids in schools . . .  That would be the ticket.

And what we also need is monitoring. Every one of these kids needs to be on a national database as soon as they are born. Better yet, they should be implanted with a micro-chip to measure and transmit their vitals at all times.  From this we will be able to tell when these kids are not getting enough food or being beaten up or abused.  We could then intervene successfully. So, better throw money at that, too. And an army of state functionaries to maintain constant twenty-four hour electronic surveillance.  Just to be sure we are not being discriminatory, we had better implant chips in all children.  So, on it goes.  It is awe-inspiring–this alleged redemptive power of State extorted and borrowed money.  What a glorious world redistribution creates!  We don’t know how clever we are.

Now it is normally at this point that the stock Unbeliever begins to complain about our negative sarcasm, our constant criticism, always tearing down those who are at least trying to do something about the problem. But if you are poisoning society, and if all your Unbelieving solutions involve just more deadly doses of  the same poison, why does it surprise you if we Christians criticise you without ceasing? Child slavery and child exploitation is what it is–evil. Your Unbelief has created it, institutionalised it, and magnified it. It is not just that people are doing evil things–you are paying them and incentivising them to treat children as economic objects. The problem and guilt is owned by every individual who has to this point bought into the “party line”. Even to go along with passive consent is to bear guilt for what we have done and are doing as a society.  So man up.  Own it.  And repent.

How long do you need to live under the curses of God’s holy Covenant before you realise that our only real hope lies in turning back to Him?  Whilst the hour is late, it is not yet too late.  Whilst a hundred blows on the back of the fool make no impression, one word to the wise is sufficient.

Consider carefully the description of our burgeoning underclass society presented in the article above.  What are you going to do, O Unbelieving man: double down, or repent?

Cross posted at: ContraCelsum

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48 responses so far ↓

  • Started reading, thought “huh ?”, saw the author’s name, thought “oh dear.”

  • It’s good money in the U.S.. too, and if you have enough women that you can make the rounds to each month when the checks arrive (get the check cashed, take all the money, buy groceries, pay bills, make love to the demo-cow, leave), you can make over $100,000 a year easily. And this has been going on for decades.

    Another good socialist program is the halfway house industry. You can double your income on rental property and use the excess to buy more homes for the same purpose, and the system is designed to keep people cycling through constantly so that the bureacracies can justify continued and increasing funding. Read in reverse, socialism is just another form of state-monopoly capitalism, but with a halo of social purity.

    Capitalism of Need, baby!

  • Ah yes, the Messianic State strikes again.

  • Paul, what do you mean by “oh dear”?

  • Only got a small way in reading this article before the authors ignorance on the issue irritated me (again) – being given financial assistance for children is definitely NOT “money for jam, for nothing”. Parenting is hard work. It is totally unpaid. It is incredibly tough to try and live on one ordinary income. Financial assistance for hard working parents who have paid taxes all their working lives is NOT “money for nothing”.

    And, again, shows some very incorrect underlying assumptions – this time about youth, parenting, and unemployment. The majority of people prefer to work – when work is available, the benefit numbers go down, right across the board. Between 2006 and 2008 for instance, the dole numbers plummeted from 40,000 to 18,000 – and then hit a peak of 62,000 during the global recession, before declining slightly this year. These variations are not due to any sudden fluctuations in irresponsibility or outbreaks of diligence – unemployment rates merely reflect the changes in economic conditions.

    The assumption that youth see the dole as a viable future seems to be based on a very small, select, sample size and shows an ignorance of the wider economics at play – a lack of viable opportunities for youth. Not so much to do with faith – or lack thereof.

    More concrete examples? Sure – currently, 98.3 % of those on the dole receive it for less than four years. As of June 2011, nearly three quarters of those on the dole – some 72% – were on it for less than a year.

    This suggests that the problem is not people choosing to languish on benefits, or lacking motivation to get off welfare as the author would seem to be suggesting.

    Again, unimpressed with the authors writing – the overuse of hyperbole, the lack of critical thinking in his underlying assumptions, and in this instance, a somewhat unclear argument – for what, exactly, is he proposing?

  • @ John T

    But according to the bible, offering financial aid to the needy is the christian thing to do

    Luke 14:13, 14

    If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.

  • John T

    In addition to that, the bible also states that it is the christian thing to support social welfare programs through payment of your taxes to the government.

    Mathew 25: 31-46

    This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.

  • “In addition to that, the bible also states that it is the christian thing to support social welfare programs through payment of your taxes to the government.”

    Not going to comment on John T’s point, just this quote.

    Utter rubbish. The obligation to pay taxes does not equate to an obligation to support any particular govt policy. Obeying the law doesnt mean you cannot lobby against unjust, badly thought out or morally wrong laws.

    I pay my taxes, i do not support govt funded abortion clinics, i do not support free trade agreements with oppressive regimes, i do not support neo-liberal free market policy which ignores environmental degradation, i do not support mining on land set aside for conservation. I do support the NZ govt regardless of which party is in power, where and when i am motivated i will lobby for/against issues as they are relevant. The bible does not teach otherwise.

  • In fact scripture exhorts us to pray for our leaders and govt. What for? For wisdom that they may do the right and what is best for those they lead. One certainly doesnt pray that law and policy that is hurting people, the country or the planet, will continue.

  • @ Jeremy

    But prayer doesn’t work, unless you have evidence to the contary

  • I understand that much of this is satire, but I still want raw facts: What proportion of New Zealand society has this attitude? Is this the exception or the rule? Rebekah actually supplied facts and thus provided the better argument. As it stands, I would not be persuaded by this argument if I were an unbeliever, which I am not.

    Incidentally, I was a pastor in an American city and worked with welfare recipients. I knew of no one getting $100,000. I do know of a lot American unemployed and under-employed who have applied for government aid and have been denied. Many have lost their homes.

  • @ Imogen – read Rebekah’s post.
    @ Rebekah – high five.
    @ Matt & Madeleine – it’s your blog’s reputation that he’s trashing.

  • @ Jeremy

    But prayer doesn’t work, unless you have evidence to the contary

    Whether or nor prayer works [and its not supposed to be a magic incantation anyway] the point was that the obligation to pay taxes is not a command to agree with govt policy.

  • @ Jeremy

    But surely, if enough people do not agree with government policy, they tend not to re-elect them at the next election.

    That is called democracy and appears to have nothing to do with prayer or faith.

    Further to that, if you, Matt or any other religiously inclined people wanted to, you could either join, support, stand for or even create a political party that reflects those values and ideals that you hold most dear.

    Something similar to the Christian Heritage Party would no doubt suit your needs quite well I should think.

  • You are quite right, and this happens exactly as you say. Which reinforces my point, the obligation to pay taxes is not an obligation to support any particular govt policy.

    “Something similar to the Christian Heritage Party would no doubt suit your needs quite well I should think.”

    Possibly you are a NZer, in which case you understand how offensive and deliberately nasty that comment was.
    Should i suggest that given your atheist stance your should join the SA Shining Path, killing maiming raping in any village that doesnt acquiesce to your demands/political theories?

  • “That is called democracy and appears to have nothing to do with prayer or faith.”

    But democracy as we know it now has everything to do with the equality of all, regardless of sex, social status, race or wealth, which is a peculilarly Christian concept.

  • Paul Baird said “Started reading, thought “huh ?”, saw the author’s name, thought “oh dear.”

    Too vague. An explicit quotation is required to be considered as evidence and then your explanation as to how it is an example of a particular logical fallacy and what that fallacy is. This is what’s required to provide EVIDENCE of someone committing a logical fallacy. Moaning on about things generally won’t do I’m afraid. Poor effort so far. Make some effort to do it right.

    Your arguments are always like this though Paul, alot of emotional criticism and nothing more….

  • @Rebekah

    Rebekah it’s usually helpful to pose a link or some source on where you got these percentages from, otherwise we will think you are making it up on the spot, as do most of you beloved skeptics.

    “Parenting is hard work. It is totally unpaid.”

    Are you seriously kidding me right now, we live in the lazy times of technology and you are really going to give me this? Try living in earlier times, try living in a 3rd world country. You have it so easy and yet you still complain.

    You want to know why parenting is so hard? It’s because you live in this era of laziness. Taking out the garbage is a deadly chore now a days, because people are so adapted to all these fancy gadgets doing everything for them.

    “It is incredibly tough to try and live on one ordinary income.”

    This is why people should make smart decisions before opening up their legs. Instead they think within the moment, this is due to the laziness of our new culture. We also sport the “anything goes’ Mentality without thinking about the consequences.

    If you aren’t financially stable, and don’t have a plan for your children, don’t have children. It’s that simple, it is not a hard concept, but people just want to do whatever they want and not think about the future, so I say “tough luck” our ancestors did it with less technological advances WHY CAN”T WE.

    It’s people like Paul and Rebekah who just don’t think outside the box, their criticisms remind me of tunnel vision.

    “The majority of people prefer to work – when work is available, the benefit numbers go down, right across the board. Between 2006 and 2008 for instance, the dole numbers plummeted from 40,000 to 18,000 – and then hit a peak of 62,000 during the global recession, before declining slightly this year.”

    Scientific advancements are taking peoples jobs away, it’s as clear as day. Computers are taking over, and the trade off for jobs providing maintenance on these machines isn’t even close to the number of jobs machines are taking away from people. Just look what happened to Borders, they got taken down by the Kindle.

    Seriously open your mind, THINK. I know it’s tough to think in your position, but honestly it’s not a hard concept. If you lack common sense and are a stubborn person you won’t see everything for what it is.

    It is what it is…..people who complain about raising children now a days, need a reality check, because our ancestors from generations before are making you look, really, really, really bad. They didn’t have all these nice tools to make everything easier when raising a child.

    Oh and they were smart to realize a husband and wife = better environments for children.

    But keep living that “anything goes” way of life and you will keep seeing this world go deeper and deeper into the hole….When are you liberals ever going to realize, what you have been doing is not helping, look around, open your eyes….

  • What I’m hearing is that Milton Friedman is really the fourth member of the trinity.

  • @ Jeremy

    My reference to the Christian Heritage Party was not meant to be offensive in any way.

    In fact Matthew Flannagan is a former Christian Heritage Party justice spokesman, so he obviously felt that it represented aspects of his personal beliefs to be involved with it at the time.

    I merely assumed that yourself and other people of christian perspective might identify with it as well, as I couldn’t imagine you supporting any centre/left parties given the views you hold.

    Perhaps you are just over sensitive when it comes to the very public fall from grace that its’ former leader had.

    I suggest you should read what Matt had to say on the subject in our biggest national newspaper to understand that I was not being deliberately nasty at all.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10119901

    “But democracy as we know it now has everything to do with the equality of all, regardless of sex, social status, race or wealth, which is a peculilarly Christian concept”.

    I note you leave off sexual orientation… but then again, given your views, no surprises there!

  • I note you leave off sexual orientation… but then again, given your views, no surprises there!

    Its not included in the original quote , but given that we are all imperfect sinners in need of God’s grace, then sexual orientation has no bearing on our standing before God or our equality with each other.

  • @ timelessapologist

    *giggle* I do hope you weren’t expecting me to take you seriously, cause your rant sure didn’t make much sense

  • There seems to be an assumption among some in this thread that theologically conservative Christians are all agreed on a political creed. That isn’t the case. As I understand it, the late John Stott — a British evangelical leader — usually voted Labour. Billy Graham is a registered Democrat in the United States, and then there are American evangelical leaders such as Tony Compollo and Ronald J. Sider.

    @Timelessapologist: As a parent, I can testify that parenting is both hard and rewarding — and technology does not change that. I don’t know about New Zealand, but statistics show that Americans are actually working longer hours than they were 50 years ago. I’m a believer — a card-carrying evangelical Christian — but I recognize that Rebecca is giving the better argument.

  • Thank you Rebekah for sharing your clear thoughts in response to this blogpost. It is my opinion that Justin Tertullian’s blogposts bring down the content of this blog.

  • @ Jeremy

    Still not sure of your perspective here, so could you please clarify.

    Do you believe that members of the LGBT community should have equal rights to those given to other people living in a democracy?

  • @ Chuck

    Thanks for your comment. I agree that both theists and atheists are guilty of stereotyping each others views.

    Many would assume that atheists are anti-religious in every way, but here is an example of American Atheists supporting a US citizens right to display a christian cross on his property

    Use the link to find out more:

    http://atheists.org/blog/2011/08/18/new-jersey-first-amendment-case-tests-government-boundaries-and-rluipa

  • @Paul Be
    There is a scripture that points out that we all fall short of the glory of God and another that says we have all gone astray each turning to his own path [rather than obeying God].
    We all stand before God sinful, rebellious and in need of forgiveness and redemption.
    An illustration taught to me as a child was of a vast crevice between us and God. The best of us take a long run, make a powerful jump and sail out maybe 20m before plummeting. The worst of us just stumble over the edge.
    Although the best of us perform much better than the worst of us, all performances are utterly meaningless in relation to the size of the crevice. No ones effort even begins to be meaningful.

    So my perspective on LGBT rights. We are all equal before God from Joseph Stalin to Mother Teresa and all the continuum between.
    For all our equality before God, same behaviours are less conducive to a well functioning society than others. Mass murder tends to be destructive, helping the poor can be constructive, petty lying hurts individual relationships but not so mucl society as a whole. And of course there is right and wrong. I dont think Adultery is illegal in any contemporary western country, but it is still wrong to break your promise, to betray trust, to lie and cheat. I have never met a person who likes being on the recieving end.
    I think state recognition and state sanctioned rights for some of these alternative relationships undermine the basic building blocks of society and that is foolish. And yes for both the above and moral reasons i am not in favour legal equality for LGBT relationships. I dont think the law should sanction things that are wrong, but it already sanctions lots of things that are wrong. They dont become right or moral just because they are not illegal or are state sanctioned.
    State law and sanction, one way or the other, have no bearing on our standing before God.

  • Do you believe that members of the LGBT community should have equal rights to those given to other people living in a democracy?

    ?

    Yes. And I don’t know any christians who would say “no”.

    Weird question.

  • @ Scrubone

    So you’re happy for gay marriage to be legal then?

  • So you’re happy for gay marriage to be legal then?

    Let me put that question in a form makes more sense.

    “So you’re happy for water to be legally defined as ‘not wet'”.

  • @ Scrubone

    I’ll take that as a no then!

  • I have no problem with gay people getting married, so long as they marry the person they are in love with.

  • @ Scrubone

    Aren’t you the romantic one! :)

  • @ jeremy
    hang on… stalin was wrong because his actions weren’t conducive to a well functioning society, and adultery is wrong because it involves someone being lied to and cheated on… ok…

    “both the above and moral reasons i am not in favour legal equality for LGBT relationships.” well the adultery analogy clearly doesn’t apply because both parties are consenting, there’s no lying or betrayal involved, just the possibility of religious people trying to interfere. and lgbt being destructive to a functioning society… please elaborate. and feel free to elaborate on your moral reasons too, because i thought that’s what you’d already tried explaining.

    really, what is achieved by not recognising homosexual relationships in legislation? if it’s wrong, it’s wrong because of a mandate from god. if i don’t believe in god then i’m going to hell anyway, so what difference does it ultimately make if i’m gay? there is no point enforcing moral based legislation on people that are aren’t saved, and if they’re saved there is no need for legislation because you can use the church and our shared beliefs to show me the error of my ways. and if i pray and commune with god, ultimately it’s between me and him anyway, right?

    actually i understand why you do it. because an ‘us’ needs a them, having an enemy gives your group a closer sense of unity, and lgbts are convenient.

  • “well the adultery analogy clearly doesn’t apply because both parties are consenting, there’s no lying or betrayal involved”

    Are you serious Sammy. Do i need to go into a detailed explaination of what Adultery is?
    The consenting parties are betraying at least a third and possibly a fourth party. The adulters arent lying or betraying each other, they are lying to and betraying their spouses. Gee!!

  • “really, what is achieved by not recognising homosexual relationships in legislation? if it’s wrong, it’s wrong because of a mandate from god.”

    fair points Sammy, but dont ask me to endorse it. I think it is perfectly reasonable that you refuse to accept my moral qualms. But if that is reasonable so is my refusal to accept your moral laxity. If its wrong to legislate against something on the grounds i believe its wrong, then its equally wrong to legislate against something because you believe its wrong.
    Glenn had a really good post on his blog on the subject, suggesting that maybe the state should stay out of relationships altogether.
    http://www.beretta-online.com/wordpress/2010/where-i-stand-on-legal-same-sex-marriage/

  • “because an ‘us’ needs a them, having an enemy gives your group a closer sense of unity, and lgbts are convenient.”

    Dont believe in enemies unless they choose to be, dont need a “them”, the concept doesnt even come up.

    One thing i have often wondered, why in a so called tolerant society, does it always have to be that the stricter moral standards that get compromised, reduced to the lowest common denominator. Why not aim high rather than aim low?

  • Jezza; ” Why not aim high rather than aim low?” It is because we are still struggling to rid ourselves of two thousand years of Christianity. It was a religion that constantly brought humanity to new lows, over and over again (think anti-abortionists). As long as someone in some part of our society has been influenced by some form of Christianity this problem will persist.

  • jeremy: “Do i need to go into a detailed explaination of what Adultery is?” no, but perhaps you could explain which third party is being betrayed in a homosexual relationship? if there isn’t one then adultery isn’t analogous.

    gee!!

    “But if that is reasonable so is my refusal to accept your moral laxity.” i accept your right to live under any moral standards you choose for you to set for yourself.

    “If its wrong to legislate against something on the grounds i believe its wrong, then its equally wrong to legislate against something because you believe its wrong.” yes, if i want to stop people doing something that i think is wrong, i take on a burden of proof. i would need to provide a stronger reason than “because it’s just wrong” before i could stop you doing it. that’s the whole point.

    “why in a so called tolerant society, does it always have to be that the stricter moral standards that get compromised”. because the strict moral standards are the least tolerant? like i’ve already said, you can live under whatever moral standards you choose to set for yourself. if you think that i should live under the same moral standards you first need to explain to me why (ie. god exists and homosexuality is a sin) before you try to force me to follow them. and if you do convince me that they are right, you won’t be imposing them on me anyway, i will be choosing to follow them.

    will look at glenns post thanks.

  • yes Sam i misread your coment concerning the non relevence of Adultery, put it down to punctuation.

  • i guess, though it doesnt prove anything, it does rather seem that “tolerance” means abandoning previously accepted standards.
    I tend to ask why we should adopt the newer lower standards in preference to older higher standards. Maybe its just my perception or age, but there seems to be a drift to lowest common denominator in the name of tolerance.

  • Dicky P, care to offer some evidence rather than assertion.
    It would seem that some of humanities lowest points have come in the name of ideologies opposed to religion and these in more recent times.

  • “As long as someone in some part of our society has been influenced by some form of Christianity this problem will persist.”

    So you would like our society free of Christian influences? really?

  • Yea, I would. I can’t see anything positive about Christianity or anything that comes from it. A complete waste of time if you ask me.

  • All we ever get from it is anti-abortion, anti-science, anti-progress, anti-critical thinking, anti-homosexual, anti-freedom monsters.

  • [...] Matt and Madeleine Flannagan, who describe themselves as Evangelicals and currently Presbyterian. A recent article on the blog by contributor John Tertullian comments on a recent Sunday News article…. John suggest that the objectification of children as useful sources of benefit income is a form of [...]

  • All we ever get from it is anti-abortion, anti-science, anti-progress, anti-critical thinking, anti-homosexual, anti-freedom monsters.

    Opposing abortion? Proud of it too. We opposed slavery too, don’t forget Wilberforce. Also you’ve got people like Muller and Barnardo who revolutionized the care of children.

    As for science, you have Faraday – a far more fundamentalist christian than any you’re likely to meet today – after whom is named the unit of measure of capacitors. He made the discoveries behind AC electricity, the generator etc. I believe he’s still to this day regarded as the finest experimental scientist who ever lived.

    Anti critical thinking? Clearly a new comer to this blog!