Free Essay

Should American Families Have a Reproduction Limit?

In: Social Issues

Submitted By llittlejohn
Words 1551
Pages 7
America, the land of opportunity where people can find prosperity and success. While many Americans are prospering, there is still a troubling problem of poverty. As stated in the Congressional Digest, 15% of Americans are stuck living at or below the poverty line, which is about 46.5 million people. (Poverty in The United States, 2010) While this issue can be closely related to many aspects of America like unemployment, education, and the economy it can also be linked to an issue that many people overlook. Overpopulation is not just America’s problem but also the world’s problem. Although America has not done anything to help slow the population growth, other countries have. China has a “One-Child Policy” where couples in rural areas are only granted one child; after the first birth the mother is implanted with a birth control device. (Mosher, Steven 2006) China’s One Child Policy is on the right path to improving Earth’s environments and reducing pollution rates. This policy greatly benefited china’s annual population growth. If Americans were to implement a law similar to this then the country would see benefits like better quality of family life and less unemployment. A law similar to this, should be implemented in America because of the positive impact it would have on the economy and the consequences of not having the law.
Today our economy is struggling, the distribution of wealth between Americans is unfair, and there are families going hungry at night. While some would argue that the best route to fix these problems is to create jobs, raise taxes on the rich, or government funneling of money into the economy. While those all may be decent short-term ideas; a long-term goal needs to be reached. With Americas population at just fewer than 316 million and the world population at 7 billion and climbing it is clear that something needs to be done. The world is starting to be congested, and people are starting to notice. With china being the first country to implement a law to address the situation, other countries are sure to follow. A reproduction limit is not the route to take, but they would be wrong to argue that it would not help. If a couple had two children they would be able to provide much more for those two children that if they had five or six children. According to a study from CNN, the average cost of raising a child is about $241,000 (Hicken, Melanie, 2013). This frightening statistic alone should convince people not to raise more than one or two children, but couples continue to have multiple children. Some mothers even put themselves through birth more than six times. One mother in particular stands out from the rest, Nadya Suleman also known as “Octomom”, who has given birth to fourteen children. Some even believe that she purposely birthed this plethora of children in order to achieve mass media attention and to cash in on the situation. There are women that go through the store checkout with 4 kids following, 1 or 2 in the stroller, and 1 in the oven, And then pays for their groceries she using a food-stamp card! How do you reduce population when you get rewarded to have more? While Octomom may be doing great financially, other mothers are not. In today’s economy it is tough to succeed when prices of necessities are so high.
Because the cost of things like rent, gas, and food it is tough to survive on your own. A very high number of people live paycheck to paycheck. Yet these people still have children, sometimes more than three. Having multiple children could cause a family to rely on extra government financial help. According to The Washington Times America spends $80 billion on food stamps for the poor (Rosiak, Luke 2012). If these people were legally restricted from having more than two children, then the amount of money spent on food stamps would be decreased significantly. With our national deficit climbing, we need to cut back spending in any area possible. The economy is not the only thing effected by the population issue, food shortage will slowly become a point of concern. If you look for a food shortage now you will have trouble finding one, but if the population continues on this path then many problems will arise. Some of the most important problems are the issues found in American families.
American families are the most important part of our country. Family life plays a huge factor in the quality of America’s future. It is known that children are the future, so if the children are not able to have many opportunities and options, than their education and future will be negatively effected. Being great parents means having the ability and means to house, feed and care for your children. Your parents should be proud. They got an education and a successful career. When they lost their jobs they didn't give up, they made a new plan. That's what greats parents do. They take care of their families. Some people need assistance during hard times but not for a lifetime and that assistance should come from the charities, churches, family, friends, neighbors and local communities, not from the government. Too many Americans have been allowed to live off the tax money paid by other Americans and our government not only allowed it but also encouraged it. Poor people in America live better than the rich people in some countries. This is sad, and should be stopped. Implementing the one-child policy would minimize the government mooching and allow families to be able to provide more for their child, giving them opportunities they would not have previously had. It is clear that on average, having more than two children is more stressful, requires a higher household income, and can be damaging the future of the children. Of course there are some people who would argue that not everyone that has raised more than two or three children have damaged their futures. They are correct, but the majority of families could provide better for their children if they had fewer of them, so their offerings could go further.
In reality a child limit policy would be very hard to enforce. When China put their policy in action, they learned very quickly that it was going to be harder than they thought to keep it successful. Although, all of China was not covered by this policy, only families in or around urban districts were affected. There were also some exemptions, if one of the parents was disabled, the family owned a farm, or if the parents had lost a child in a disaster. China focused some attention on persuading the people to follow the policy. Couples who delay having a child, or who voluntarily follow the policy even if they're exempt, get some perks for playing along. “Depending on the province where they live, they may receive a "Certificate of Honor for Single-Child Parents," a monthly stipend from the government, special pension benefits, preferential treatment when applying for government jobs, free water, tax breaks, or bonus points on the child's school entrance exams (Soniak, Matt 2012).” They also put more pressure on them by enacting punishments for not following the policy. In some places, if you have an extra child you would receive a fine, possibly have your property seized, and even lose their jobs (Soniak, Matt 2012). Thankfully China took the first step in facing the world issue of overpopulation, According to Charles Riley, an economist from CNN, China would have an additional 400 million people without the One-Child Policy (Riley, Charles 2013).
It is becoming increasingly known that America, along with the world, needs to start facing the overpopulation issue. The problem is not largely noticeable today, but as our population of seven billion increases to nine or ten billion, we will notice but it will be too late. With benefits like more money, tax deductions, increased economy, and better family life it is hard to disagree with a one or two child limit. All we need to do is follow China’s lead with their one-child policy. Their policy limits parents to one child and only affects those in or around urban districts. It is clear that China has greatly benefited from this policy through a decrease in population growth, pollution, and food demands. If Americans want to make a better world for their children and grandchildren then they can start with advocating a new child policy. Octomom and others like her should be the only people to argue this policy.

Works Cited
Hicken, Melanie. “Average Cost to Raise a Kid: $241,080.” CNN. 14 August 2013, Cable News Network. Web. 22 October 2013.
Mosher, Steven W. "China's One-Child Policy: Twenty-Five Years Later." Human Life Review 32.1 (2006): 76-101. Academic Search Premier. Web. 22 Oct. 2013.
"Poverty In The United States." Congressional Digest 89.10 (2010): 298-300. Academic Search Premier. Web. 22 Oct. 2013.
Rosiak, Luke. “$80B a year for food stamps”. The Washington Times. 24 Junes 2012. Web. 26 October 2013.
Soniak, Matt. “How China Enforces Its One-Baby Policy.” Mental Floss. 5 January 2012, Disqus. Web. 22 Oct 2013.…...

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