We are not a third-world nation. In some under-developed or ‘emerging’ nations (even those ‘screwed’ by neo-colonialism), is there reliable evidence of harm to children perpetrated by their parents? Or, are children there more likely to be put to work as soon as possible? I have read about children digging for diamonds, sewing soccer balls, weaving carpets, scavenging on rubbish tips, or working on family farms.
Even in those countries without priests urging a continuous production of babies, contraceptive practice may not be known; or contraceptive aids are beyond their reach. Worse still, Western nations offering financial aid to developing, poor nations will not subsidise contraception in these nations; something to do with Christian principles?
In Australia, we do not put children to work. They are to be looked after, and educated – even if some are likely to be economically unviable after leaving school. But, our key politicians, led by a shopkeeper mentality, want mothers to go to work outside the home. Why? It adds to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Babies and little children are to be brought up in childcare centres. The rise in employment in these centres also adds to GDP. Economics thus out-ranks psychic satisfaction today. Sorry! I should say wealth-creation, a modern mantra; not economics.
‘Keeping up with the Jones family’ (a not-so-archaic ambition) also leads to 2-income families. The resulting pressures have now led to demands for after-hours care for children. And I thought that institutional upbringing of children is to be found only in countries with ‘command’ economies.
Then, because childcare is so expensive, taxpayer subsidies are needed. Everyone is richer, except those taxpayers who benefit not from this subsidy. Are those little children in 2-income families who spend their day in childcare as well off emotionally as those children who interact hugely with their home-based mothers?
With no priestly demands, and the easy availability of contraception, is there a case for fewer children from 2-income families? Should we ask those children who have limited contact with their mothers for most of the day? Isn’t psychic wealth more valuable than any other kind of wealth?