Magazine May 28, 2012, Issue

The Empty Playground and the Welfare State

(Darren Gygi)
How government policy discourages people from having children

A debate broke out recently in the blogs about the ethics of having children. The occasion was the publication of a remarkably silly book arguing that reproduction is immoral. One blogger argued in response that people have an obligation to create new life as an expression of gratitude for the life they have been given. Another denied the existence of any such obligation but argued that having children is an important source of happiness for most people. In this fact he finds sufficient justification for having children, and for governments to help people afford to have them.

The discussion, while interesting,

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Hipster Hate

In the pilot episode of HBO’s raunchy new comedy Girls, the main character’s parents announce that they will no longer be giving their 24-year-old daughter an allowance. If the young ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Don’t Be Cross with Her In “Occupy the Senate” (April 16), Kevin D. Williamson claims that Elizabeth Warren “was conspicuous in failing to cross herself” at a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ If Geronimo had a great-great-great-step-granddaughter once removed, she’d look like Elizabeth Warren. ‐ If you have heard about the Obama campaign’s social-media offering “The Life of Julia,” you have likely ...
Athwart

The Buffet Rule

This summer the State of Massachusetts will nix bake sales in school. Zero tolerance for frosting! Down with sprinkles! They want to ban kids’ selling fudge door-to-door to raise money, ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

THE LAST KEENERS IN SCHUYLKILL (A Neighborhood in Philadelphia) She remembered that the Tobins were the last To have wailing mourners at a wake Women who cried in disbelief that a soul had fled. Who ...
Happy Warrior

Give-and-Take

Some years ago in this space, I cited a famous Gerald Ford line he liked to use when trying to ingratiate himself with conservative audiences: “A government big enough to ...

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