Blog Archive

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Parent's Dividend, an Alternative to the Citizen's Dividend:

For people who do not wish to redistribute money to random strangers, because they do not feel they are responsible for their plight, I offer a completely fair and voluntary alternative to the citizen's dividend:

Call it the 'parent's dividend.'  The rules are simple.  For a child to be born, parents must first make sure said child is financially secure.  This is their duty as the beings that brought this new life form, totally unprepared to deal with life itself, into existence, against its own will.  For a child to be completely financially secure today, it is not enough for parents to give them 'good educations' or 'sound morals.'  57% of the youth in Spain can't find a job.  Technology and globalism have made a secure income, even for college graduates, an illusory myth in the modern age.  In fact, I would abolish all educational spending in the first place under this program, as education was meant to be the program to ensure financial security for future generations, but has already proven itself to be a complete failure.  No matter how educated one becomes, their financial future is never secure.  Job insecurity is the new norm, for PhD's on down, and the people who most need help, the poor, rarely graduate from high school and never graduate from college anyway, which means all that money that ostensibly went to helping them ended up not helping them one bit.  The money saved from not having to pay taxes for education expenses or tuition for college can then be saved up to pay a new tax instead:

To make sure parents don't recklessly bring life into the world they are incapable of supporting, a new tax will be levied by the government.  If you are thinking of having a child, you must first make a $300,000 down payment to the government, after which point you will be given a license to give birth to one child.  If you have twins or triplets or octuplets, then you must abort all the way back down to one child, or provide an additional $300,000 down payment for each additional child.  If a parent is found to be harboring an unlicensed child the parents will a) be fined $300,000 per child or, if they can't pay, be executed for their crime against humanity.

Now that the government has this money in hand, it can use it to buy US treasury bonds.  The interest income until the age of 18 accumulates in the child's personal account.  Upon reaching 18, the interest income of this new total, whatever it may be, is available for the child's personal consumption every month.  The nest egg never decreases, but the interest can be siphoned off continuously to continuously meet the child's daily upkeep needs.  Let's assume the government is paying 3.4% interest on its long term treasury bond, which is what children will be cashing in on at age 18.  First, we must find out how much money was made during those 18 silent years at 3.4% compound interest -- which gets us $547,634.69.  We now take 3.4% interest from this new total every year to meet the child's every need for life, via the 'parent's dividend.'  3.4% of $547,634.69 = $18,619.58.  Naturally, if the child doesn't wish to spend this much money every year, he can allow the interest to accumulate in his personal savings account, which would make his next year's payment all the higher.  However, the child is never allowed to withdraw the principal upon which this interest income is drawn.  It continues to support the adult all through seniority (as a replacement for social security, another tax and spending program we can now safely drop) until death, at which point the money belongs to the government (as a replacement for the estate tax, another tax we can now safely drop) to spend on whatever priorities it sees fit.

Through this 'parent's dividend,' a parent is made responsible for his own actions, bringing life into this world, throughout the course of that child's life.  No one else is made responsible, because no one else chose to bring that life into being, so everyone is perfectly free and everything is perfectly fair.  The child is taken care of from a humanitarian point of view, and the adult is made to take responsibility for his own choices from a libertarian point of view.  If you do not want to pay $300,000, the answer is simple, don't have children.  No one has the right to bring life into this world they can't support, this is just offloading your negative externalities onto others.  Nor can you offload your child's support onto your own child, in a 'sink or swim' manner where you simply shrug if your child can't find employment.  The child did not put himself into this position, you did.  The child is not responsible for being born in a planet without solid job prospects, you are.  Therefore, it isn't the chid's responsibility to support himself, it's yours.  Children are a luxury product, and it's going to cost you to buy one.  Not the government.  Not other people.  And not your own children.  You bought it, you pay for it.

Overall, this program would take less in taxes and pay out less in spending than the current system does.  This could replace all the food stamps, HUD, etc that currently goes into welfare spending.  It can also replace medicare, medicaid, social security, and education as government expenses.  Since the parent's dividend is sufficient, on its own, to fully support a child for life, the one time tax of $300,000 is a cheap solution to supporting our citizens compared to our present level of spending -- which currently spends $20,196.40 per capita per year.

This will have other positive effects, in that only those people forward looking and responsible enough to save up $300,000 will be reproducing.  These people are likely to be wealthier, smarter, healthier, and more moral than the average reproducer in the country today.  It is also more likely that the child will be born into an intact home, because wealthier couples are far more likely to be intact couples than the relationship chaos of the lower classes.  Therefore, this parent's dividend will pay out two fold -- not only will it give children money for life, but it will give them a loving home environment, a good genetic makeup, and a moral upbringing as a 'spiritual dividend' to go with their monetary one.  Only successful people can save up this amount of money per child, and as a result, only successful children will ever be born.  The price of the license may even encourage higher birth rates among the wealthy as competing status symbols -- a much healthier ostentation than fancy cars or big houses or luxury watches.  The amount of secondary benefits to this program are practically uncountable.

No money will be redistributed, and nothing will be taken against anyone's will.  If you don't want to pay the tax, just don't have any children, problem solved.  The parent's dividend is a perfectly valid compromise that should please all parties.  I can already hear the whining of conservatives that children should have to be thrown naked into the wilderness and support themselves without any help from anyone else, but this is just absurd.  57% of youth in Spain can't find a job.  You cannot ask the impossible of the world's young anymore.  When you leave zero opportunity left on Earth for people to succeed, you cannot demand that everyone succeed on their own like we're still living in a frontier society with free land available for all.  Times have changed, and morality must change accordingly.  Kids cannot support themselves.  They did not ask to be brought into this hopeless world of financial despair.  They cannot be held responsible for living in it.  The only ones who made these children 'be', knowing full well what their job prospects were and how desperate a situation you have created for them, are the parents who gave these children life.  The buck stops with the parents.  Rationally, morally, it cannot stop anywhere else.

No comments: