June 28, 2005

Solving the Birthrate Implosion and Fixing Pensions:

A reader has a plan:

Childlessness is a form of parasitism. Old people can only be supported by younger people. That means that childless seniors are supported by somebody else's children. The combination of publicly provided pensions and privately raised children means that people who profit most from children are those who don't have them. It is a case of private costs and public benefits.

Of course, part of the costs of raising children are public, such as schools, and in Canada health care as well. Nonetheless, most of the costs of child-rearing are private. However, when a person who raised children and one who remained childless turn 65, both are equally entitled to social security.

This is unfair. It would not be unfair if public pension schemes were funded plans, but they are simply pay-as-you-go systems. The premiums paid today are passed on to the seniors living today. Unfortunately, nearly every country set up a plan that creates the impression in the public's mind that they are paying into a fund and that they are simply getting their money back when they turn 65. It would have been preferable to finance old age pensions from general revenues and provide the same level for everybody, regardless of what they earned throughout their working lives.

In light of the above, it would be a good idea to make the level of old age pensions dependent on the number of children that the pensioner raised. Seniors that raised 2 children to adulthood would get level 100. Those that raised 3 children or more would get level 125. Those that raised one child would get level 75, and those that remained childless would get level 50. That way everybody would get something, but those who contributed most to the formation of younger people would get the most. It should be pointed out that people who don't have to support children are in a much better position to accumulate assets that can help them finance their retirement.

Perhaps you should get credit for the difference between what your children are paying in taxes minus what they are costing the taxpayers in welfare costs. That way, you'd benefit financially from raising your kids to be productive members of society.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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