Thursday, August 18, 2005

Not everything should be gov't funded

I'm glad I don't live in Europe. Sure, they have neat-o things like medieval castles, cathedrals, and even Roman aquaducts that are still being used. They even have topless beaches. All right, I guess there are some things I'd like about Europe.

But putting in perspective, I'd still hate to live in Europe. Taxes are bad enough here, but they're nothing to what they are in Europe, and most of those countries only let you own antique guns. We'll see how well Europe survives when the zombies come. Hmm...maybe that will be a good thing. Maybe with a tenth of the people, they won't have water problems and they could actually take daily showers.

There are a lot of things that Europeans pay for that are just wrong. One is daycare for everyone.

I'm all for helping poor people and single parents with part of their daycare bills, don't get me wrong. What I have a problem with is paying for daycare for everyone. Should we be paying daycare for Bill Gates' children? No. They would in Europe.

You know who this really discriminates against? It discriminates against people without kids, and against parents who don't use daycare.

Couples may not have kids for a variety of reasons. Some people are sterile. Some don't want them. Some want to be DINKs for awhile (Double Income No Kids) until they can afford to buy a house and have an emergency cash reserve as well. Whatever their reasons, that's fine. Frankly, it's none of my business. Why should these people pay for other people's daycare?

The other group it discriminates against is the folks who have one parent staying at home and don't need daycare. This group is already burning the candle at both ends, so they could raise their kids themselves, instead of having some people they barely know raise their kids. More power to them, and for the few families today that do this, I tip my hat to you. Now, should these people pay for daycare that they'll never use? No, they shouldn't. They shouldn't be punished because they're economically viable enough to have one parent stay at home.


Blogger Laura said...

I do agree that many things discriminate against people who do not have kids (like myself). Workplace health plans for one. And the fact that I always end up covering for someone who has to stay home with a sick kid - because I apparently have nothing worthwhile to do with my time. But I digress... I think it should be required for workplaces to provide daycare centers either free, or at a reduced rate, for working parents, but I don't think my taxes should pay for it. Though my taxes also pay for public education for all as well so that's kind of contradictory. However, I see that as paying it back. I used the schools, I'm paying back what I owe. But at the same time, daycare is a public good since many families have to have two incomes to survive, and in our "family friendly" country, daycare should be more affordable. Politicians do everything "for the children" - except when it has to do with funding programs that will one day create responsible future citizens. I dunno - it's a complicated problem I guess. You're investing in your society's future is one way to look at it.

I've also heard the acronym THINKERS - Two Healthy Incomes, No Kids, Early Retirement :-D

8/18/2005 3:14 PM  
Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

Hmm, I would not mind paying for socialized daycare, but then again, I've needed help with daycare. Maybe I'd feel differently if I didn't have a child. Even though how they do things in Europe may not be to everyone's advantage, it seems better than in the US, where daycare is so expensive that people who make minimum wage cannot afford it. There is not a lot of help here for parents who are not on welfare who actually want to get off their asses and make something of themselves. There is something equally wrong (or more so) with that picture.

8/18/2005 3:56 PM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Doesn't paying taxes to go to public schools discriminate against people without kids, too, by your logic?

8/18/2005 4:22 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Big difference between schooling and daycare. From my experiences with daycare, I'm starting to loathe the whole concept of it.

I'm seeing way too many cases of parents going back to work to get out of parenting their kids, which is their job. It has become an endless cycle of greed instead of an emergency backup like for poor or single parent families.

Schooling on the other hand is a necessity. I'd gladly pay for a society where the people have a decent education. We'd be paying for uneducated people in one way or another. I don't think I need to dig for the stats that show that the more education someone has, the less likely it is for them to commit violent crimes.

8/18/2005 4:45 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

I agree ZS, that's almost exactly like my parents having to pay for public schools when I went to private schools K-12. Seriously how is that fair? If people choose to not have kids they should not be taxed like they do have them. Look at it this way, at least 70% of our money doesn't go to the government like it does in some places in Europe ;)

8/18/2005 6:41 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Ben - agreed. However, school does have benefits for society in general. Someone being illiterate hurts us all. Daycare is a luxury for most and only a necessity for the poor and single parent families. It gets abused like you can't believe.

I used to pick up my wife from her work and the parents would do everything they could not to interact with their kids. She had a lot of kids whose parents didn't even work and yet they were in daycare from as soon as it opened to as late as it stayed open, and they'd stretch those times too, always late picking up their kids.

What would really drive me nuts is if my tax money went to those selfish people.

Food, clothing, shelter are necessities. Education is a survival skill. Daycare is only a necessity if parents are poor or in a single parent household.

8/18/2005 7:03 PM  
Anonymous jesse said...

I am with you to the hilt, ZS. I think that the root causes run pretty deep. Essentially, it is tied in with the ebbing of a sense of living well in our society in general. I don't know that there ever was a sort of mythic golden age of family values or anything like that, but I have heard enough stories of people like my great-grandfather teaching his sons to work hard, to give a hot meal to those who show up at your door hungry, and to respect firearms, to know that something has changed. Seems like we are all so busy keeping ourselves busy that we forget how to have fun with our munchkins, and how important it is for them.

I would also like to bring to the attention of the floor our neighbors to the north. Canada is as bad as Europe with their filthy taxes, their filthy socialism, their filthy disdain for firearms, and their eerily clean urban areas.

8/18/2005 11:16 PM  
Blogger tenxinchoden said...

i'll agree...
here Education is FREe in all gov. schools...i never had to pay for am pretty thankful to the gov....hehehe
but its changin'..and that's cool

8/19/2005 1:00 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

No system is perfect, and I don't advocate socialistic systems, but I kind of like it that kids are taken care of. Sure, I'm a parent and you may think that I'm biased, and you're right. But being a parent makes me painfully aware that kids need to be nurtured, and as the old saying goes, it takes a villiage to raise a child. It takes more than the parents, it takes love from everyone, including the neighbors. Investing in our children pays countless dividends. Imagine if we all had happy childhoods, how different we all would be. I for one can envision a whole different world with self-actualized adults running the show.

8/19/2005 6:30 AM  
Blogger The Zombie Lama said...

With few exceptions, daycare is indeed a luxury. An expensive one at that. I could see funds being made available through some sort of social program for those people who fall below a certain income, whether single or dual parents, and for those single parents who really had no other option, but only if strict guidelines were followed. Proof of employment from both parents or the single parent, for example.

The problem is, like every government funded social program, it would get quickly abused. As soon as one person was denied because they made too much, couldn't provide proof of employment, whatever, the allegations would start to fly about racial discrimination, sexual discrimination, you name it.

Sadly, daycare is a necessary evil for some of us. I've had to use it in the past, or some form of it, such as before and after school care, but never once did I think that somebody else should be paying for it. Even when I didn't make enough money to afford it.

And you are 100% correct in that some people abuse it. I've seen plenty of stay home parents who use daycare so they can go to the gym, go shopping, go have lunch with their friends, whatever, instead of waiting for the other parent to come home to do those things.

8/19/2005 6:43 AM  
Blogger Billy said...

I don't agree that there be a *requirement* for workplaces to pay for day care. It should be because they care enough about their employees to make sure they are taken care of, not because big brother is forcing them too. Don't even get me started about people who take the taxpayers money to sit at home and watch TV, just because they don't want to work. That money could be useful for some who really does need it.

8/19/2005 7:34 AM  
Blogger Raemius said...

I can't agree with you more, I've ranted about this exact thing in the past in my blog. We in Canada are dangerously close to having govt paid daycare. I hate it.

8/19/2005 8:31 AM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Day care is a necessity for some. Some people have to have both parents work just to be able to put food on the table. Yes, it is irresponsible for these people to have children, but what can we do?

8/19/2005 8:40 AM  
Blogger Thomcat said...

once again, this should be another requirement for a license to breed ... do you make enough to support your kids ...

8/19/2005 10:08 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

I think the main gist of my argument is that I could see assistance with necessities, like food, clothing, shelter, but daycare is only a necessity for the poor and single parent households.

Believe me, I do feel bad for good folks who are struggling with both parents working, but from experience, for every family struggling I've seen at least two abusing it. With government funding, it will be much, much worse.

Now a company that offers daycare at work I think would be wonderful, because then it doesn't come out of my tax money.

Too many times, I saw it as a spending problem. I'm not saying any of you are like this, I'm just saying what I saw in Southern California. I'd see a family of three or four with two new $35k+ SUVs and a huge mortgage who would complain they're broke. Well, no s*** they're broke.

The three of us lived in a tiny condo and had one cheap car between us, and we lived pretty well. A lot of middle-class folks who complain they are broke have cancer of the wallet.

But then of course there are the overworked and underpaid (and underappreciated) folks, but that's another issue entirely.

8/19/2005 10:13 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Daycare is essential for everyone to contribute to.
Because the youth of the future; mine yours and theirs will contribute to OUR future. By helping families to care for their kids, you allow the parents to be productive to society, making money and contributing to other services which we take for granted.

For example. Should someone without a drivers license contribute to taxes which will go to fix roads?
Of course he should.
Goods need to be delivered to his no-driving ass, and there needs to be roads to make deliveries.

So if other people's children are in day care, it allows them to go out and contribute to society.

I'm not a commie, really I'm not.

8/19/2005 10:44 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Joe - Wouldn't parents contribute more to society if one of them stayed home and raised their kids?

I've seen the gauntlet of daycare workers from the very good to the very bad. Too many times, the parents would be indifferent where they dropped their kids off as long as the place was cheap.

Ideally in those early formative years, a parent should be the main influence on the kids. My wife got called "Mom" a lot by some of the kids because she was more a mother to them than their own mother. I don't think that's a good thing.

8/19/2005 11:26 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

ZS, agreed, but why should people who choose to send their kids to private schools be forced to pay for public schools too? That was the point I was trying to make.

8/19/2005 12:55 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

ZS, like I've said before, my wife has had similar experiences. When I was a kid my Mom worked daycare, and it was understood it was only for poor (and often single) mothers who had to work, but today it's more of a choice. I see it as no different than say, food stamps -- if the need is demonstrated, I have no problem with government subsistence, but not across the board for all kids. Too often we knee-jerk (especially in Cali) and want to fund anything labeled as "for the kids" without thinking it through.

8/19/2005 2:28 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Ben - Well, here's one issue I to a point agree with the Left. Education is one of those things that is in everyone's best interest. Sure public schools suck (especially here in Southern California), but we're much better than not having them. So as unfair as it is for someone who sends their kids to private school to fund public education, this is one issue I agree with the Left.

However, there's a huge difference between education and daycare. I have yet to see a study that says kids are better off in daycare than they are at home with a parent, guardian, or relative.

Jason - Very well said. I agree with you.

As for California being knee-jerk when it comes to "for the kids," whenever I hear "it's for the children," I could assume either:
1) my taxes will go up,
2) something I like will be banned.

8/19/2005 3:04 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

I hear ya ZS and I'm one of the penalized groups. But since my Mom benefits from similar unfair programs, and her prescriptions are $2.00 each as a result, I'm OK with it.

European countries have a lot more probs that I'd never ever deal with, like open corruption just about everwhere with predictable results, awful environmental records, etc. etc.

Geez guess I just elected myself Grumpy Old Lady!

8/19/2005 7:11 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

I got one word that will solve this problem ZS, vouchers ;) I smell a upcoming post...

8/20/2005 12:25 AM  
Blogger Miranda said...

I agree with you Zombieslayer, though Zombielama may have a point. Daycare didn't used to be necessary, and in many places, it still isn't. Before Betty Friedan got her way, families could survive on one parent's income.
Since, to compete in a lot of places, income from two parents is necessary, daycare also becomes necessary - except for the wealthy.
So should they get the same breaks the poor do? Maybe. It might be cost effective. If the government is already paying for a daycare facility and if it buys supplies in bulk, maybe it's just as well.
But, all in all, I think kids are better off when they have more time with their parents, and I have
a lot of loathing for those who made it impossible for some to have that.

8/20/2005 1:14 AM  
Blogger savage said...

I've worked at a private school. That experience made me REALLY want my kids in public school.
Because in public school, I cannot choose the environment and it is much much more like the real world. Some kids are cool and some are not. There are smart ones and dumb ones, bullies and indifferent ones. There are sweet kids that you'd give your last sucker (lolli-pop?) to, and there are those you wish you were younger so you could put them head-first in the trash-can with impunity.
When I worked at the private school, it was really creepy. They had a dress code (but I support dress codes, if your clothes are clean, at least, other kids can't tease you about them; they're all the same) but that was only the beginning. Everyone was rich in an egotistic way. Like the SUV-driving kids I saw earlier this week moving into their dorms here in this 'college town.'
(ZS abandoned me here, that traitor!) ;)
I wouldn't want my kids to be SURROUNDED by kids like that. I don't want my kids to think it's O.K. to be a butthole rich person who doesn't give a damn about the environment outside their own golf course.

8/20/2005 2:22 AM  
Blogger greatwhitebear said...

zs..anybody who thinks parents put thier kids in daycare because they want to get out of thier parenting obligations needs to take a good long reality check.

The truth that since the year Ronald Reagan became president, most working Americans paychecks have lost 15 to 20% of their value in real terms. Which means just to maintain their living standard they have to work longer hours. The stay at home mom is a great luxury, unless you want dad to work 100 hours a week for the rest of what will be his very brief life.

We are all responsible for maintaining civil society, and the welfare of our children is everyones business.

And don't even get me started on those folks priveledged enough to be able to send their kids to private schools then bitch about having to pay taxes to support public ones. Private school is a PRIVELEGE. A public education is a RIGHT! take advantage of your privelege if you like. But DON'T EVER USE IT AS AN EXCUSE TO SHIRK YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS A CITIZEN. There... off soap box!

8/20/2005 9:30 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Greatwhitebear - Welcome. Don't worry about being on a soapbox, this website is a soapbox. ;)

anybody who thinks parents put thier kids in daycare because they want to get out of thier parenting obligations needs to take a good long reality check.

Actually, that's exactly my beef is that a lot of parents are doing it. I've seen it first hand. I'm not accusing all parents, just a lot of them.

most working Americans paychecks have lost 15 to 20% of their value in real terms.

That's globalism for you. Screw the American people, global corporations will make you better off. You don't need your job so we'll give it to some guy in India who will work longer hours and make much less.

But I must disagree with you, as the husband of a daycare worker. A lot of parents nowadays see their kids as an accesory and not as kids. They'll do anything to not spend time with them. Or maybe it's just California.

Oh, and they really don't need two SUVs and a 2000 sq ft house. Maybe if they'd get rid of their spending addiction, then one of them could stay at home.

But alas, I am not accusing you of this. I'm just saying I've seen it, and it's over 50% of the parents I see in daycare. They either have spending problems or they don't want anything to do with their kids.

Savage - We were actually thinking of sending Junior to a private school because public schools here are so dang PC. But we can't afford it. :(

Miranda - I'm not a fan of Betty Friedman for the fact she was one who was really into women having their careers above their children. I'm not at all applying women should stay home with the kids, but someone should, either the father or the mother, I don't care.

Ben - I'm still torn on vouchers. As much as I hate the public education system, I don't know if I'd rather see vouchers or not. I'd be pro public education if it wasn't taken over by the PC Nazis.

Bridget - I think Europe's main problem is there are just too many people. If there weren't so many people, they wouldn't have the water problems and so they wouldn't smell so bad.

8/22/2005 12:07 PM  
Blogger Bo Salisbury said...

When Mrs. Bo and I were quite young, we worked opposite shifts, so we wouldn't have to use daycare. We weren't far from the hippie days and wanted to give the kids our quality, personal care. It was difficult, but highly rewarding. I got to know my son real well, I did diapers (cloth), shopping with him, cooking with him... it was also very hard. We eventually cashed out and moved to a place, where we could live on one income. Then, our two girls came along.

I'm a family fan... but, I think responsibility comes with it and the parents should shoulder that responsibility themselves. I'm not asking others to do what I wouldn't and didn't do myself. Sure, there are exceptions... but, that's the problem with socialism... the exceptions quickly become the norm, with the attending bureacracy.

8/22/2005 9:58 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Bo - Thanks for that wonderful post. yes, I too won't accuse others of doing something if I do it myself. I was the 2nd lowest paid person in my department, mainly because I don't bargain well and falsely believe that my work should speak for itself. That's not how it works unfortunately.

Anyways, we managed to live on one salary for Junior's first nine years. After that, we both feel he's old enough (and responsible enough) to be a latchkey kid. We share one car and live in a small house.

Our vacations are simple and usually done by car, and are just as fun as the lavish ones that a lot of folks spend for but don't really have the money for. I won't deny that Junior's lucky to have a good family unit because his grandfather takes him to Montana for a month every summer too. We're fortunate that way, and believe me, it's something I don't take for granted.

America's a beautiful country and for the price of a tank of gas, there's so much to see. Living on one income can be done in a lot of cases if sacrifices are made. And this is coming from someone who's a victim of outsourcing and was unemployed for almost two years.

8/22/2005 10:31 PM  
Blogger sygyzy said...

The problem with this thinking is that you cannot pick and choose who you support. I've never called the cops in my life (except when I pranked called them as a kid), so should I not pay for them? What about the fire department?

Chris Rock said he feels like he shouldn't pay for that stuff either. That they should give him a refund on insurance and the police and stuff. But, he continues, he doesn't have kids and fully supports public schooling. Why? Because kids in school are not out robbing him. He said he doesn't want your (other people's) punk kids hacking his stuff.

I agree.

8/24/2005 3:28 PM  
Blogger sygyzy said...

By the way, I meant to say "jacking" not "hacking.

8/24/2005 3:51 PM  

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