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A License to Have Children

Bringing a child into the world is a serious matter. If you’re shocked by the title of this article, do not pre-judge: read it the whole way through.

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If you’re shocked by the title of this article or have some preconceived notion about what it contains, do not pre-judge me or the article: read it the whole way through.

A growing number of individuals are beginning to think it’s time to require that people get a license before having children. If the idea sounds absurd or highly impractical to you, I can empathize, as I once felt the same way.

If there were but one or two sound reasons why a license for bringing a child into the world is a good idea, perhaps we could let the issue rest for another decade or so. Actually, there are dozens of compelling reasons, the top half-dozen outlined here, for our society to organize itself in a way it never has before and in a manner that was perhaps unthinkable a generation ago.

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Not Everyone Will

Before turning to the six big reasons for requiring a license to have children, let’s skip ahead to a time in which it is the law of the land.

As with licensing in other aspects of society, such as driving, not everyone who is supposed to get a license does so. Some people simply drive without one. Presumably, they proceed until they are caught for a traffic violation. Some people drive after their license has been suspended. Similarly, people will have children without the slightest regard for getting a license. As we’ll discuss, there are still compelling reasons for proceeding with the process.

Regardless of whether prospective child-rearing adults were to file for licenses, some people would always argue that requiring a license smacks of Big Brotherism.

“Haven’t people always conceived babies without a license?”
“Why do we need to impose this now?”
“Isn’t this one more bit of burdensome government regulation?”
“Isn’t this unconstitutional?”
“What agency will administer and oversee the process?”
“Will we be creating greater bureaucracy?”
“Why should the government get so involved in my private life?”

These points are worth considering; cause for alarm, however, is premature. There need not be one iota of Big Brotherism in the process. Licensing procedures don’t have to be designed so as to exclude anyone. Racism, favoritism, or any other “ism” need not gain any foothold here. No one plays God and decides who has children and who doesn’t. Rather, licensing, as argued here, would be available to anyone who applies. It could be as simple as registering to vote and the costs would be minimal if piggybacked on to an agency that already administers licenses.

Considering that many people will not seek to obtain the license, and that licensing itself will not be denied to anyone, why bother to have it at all? I’m glad you raised the question.

Six Reasons

1. Greater Lead Time
We are a nation where too many babies are born out of wedlock. Among African Americans, the figure is nearly 70%; among Native Americans, above 55%; among Hispanics, 52%; and among whites, 28%. In recent decades, we’ve witnessed dramatic increases in the numbers of teenage pregnancies, single mothers, abandoned or abused children, and even children murdered by their own parents.

Will licensing childbirth save even one child? Easily.

With the nine month average term of pregnancy, and nearly every mother able to determine if she’s pregnant at least seven months before term, the licensing process has a seven month lead time. Thus, each state or local jurisdiction’s social support and family services, as well as other community services, would have a greater capacity for population planning and dispensing of care, counseling, and other services. Pediatrics divisions of hospitals could plan more soundly to meet the needs of the surrounding community. So, too, could those who dispense critical services, such as birthing classes, educational videos, and counseling.

In short, licensing would increase the probability that more newborns have happy, successful early childhoods.

2. Restoring Sanctity to Birth
Licensing holds notable potential for restoring some semblance of sanctity to the birth process. Some parents seem to not realize that having a child is not something you do on a lark to get out of school, to cure boredom, or to better secure the affections of a partner. When the sanctity of childbirth across the broad swath of humanity is someday restored, the number of out-of-wedlock births will decline. Licensing is a means towards this end.

Ideally, a child comes into the world because a husband and wife are in love and wish to have a family. They give the matter careful consideration. They are cognizant of the need for years of endless sacrifices and financial outlays. Gary Becker, Ph.D., of the University of Chicago, was awarded the Nobel Prize for demonstrating that higher-income, educated married couples intentionally have fewer children than average so as to optimize the nurturing, education, and upbringing of each child.

The most successful and wisest parents among us actively choose to limit the size of their families.

Why should a society deign to offer indicators to anyone that bringing more children into the world, even one child, for whom you cannot adequately provide care, is socially acceptable or even tolerable? I wouldn’t even vaguely suggest that anyone be denied the opportunity to have children, even many children, independent of their educational, financial, or marital status. I am strongly against any notion of one person or group of people deciding who shall have children, how many, and who shall not. Rather, I argue for the maintenance of social standards which licensing would aid.

Having a license to bring a child into the world might help to sanctify both human birth experience and the ensuing human life experience. Currently, both pro-choice and pro-life advocacy groups need to re-examine and perhaps re-formulate their views regarding the sanctity of human life. While it can be argued at length that abortion is sometimes necessary, and that bringing an unwanted child into the world is itself morally reprehensible, abortion has never been an ideal answer to family planning.

While pro-life advocates appear to acknowledge the sanctity of birth, they have indicated less concern about the life a child brought into this world experiences. They need to focus additional concern on the next year to 80 years after a child is brought into the world.

3. More Accurate Census Count

Seemingly not as lofty as the issues discussed thus far, requiring people to have a license to bear children will be of enormous aid to the U. S. Bureau of the Census, all government agencies, and all institutions concerned with population and planning. This is no small benefit. Congress would be better able to allocate funds with population estimates that are closer to reality than are currently derived. Our institutions would be better able to meet the needs of citizens.

At all levels of government, better planning could be undertaken in the areas of education, health care, transportation, and housing.

Demographers, sociologists, and economists would have more robust primary data for the population projections and studies they undertake. In turn, leaders, administrators, boards of education, professors, students, and anyone else to whom population data is critical would be better informed and better served. (Note: not to say that licensees’ names would be available to commercial vendors. We all receive too many unsolicited offers now as it is.)

With vastly improved Census data, the long-term result would be improved prospects for childbirth and child-rearing among the masses, a desirable result for all aspects of society.

4. Better Child Support

Since the mid-1970s, an increasing number of children have been raised by a single parent – in most cases, the mother. Often, even when the mother and father are married when the child is conceived, the parents could be separated, temporarily or permanently, by the time the child arrives. When prospective parents understand that they’re required to get a license, there is an increased likelihood that, in the event of the demise of the relationship, the infant will still be afforded adequate resources during its childhood. Licensing would tend to decrease the incidence of cut-and-run fathers.

Some fathers who plan to be on hand when the child is born find that seven or eight months later, they don’t feel the same way. Having been part of a licensing procedure improves the odds, even if only slightly, that fathers will be on hand at the child’s birth and thereafter. If licensing resulted in a 1% decrease in the number of cut-and-run fathers, it would well be worth it.

5. With Greater Forethought

Lawyers must pass the state bar before practicing law. Some people get their driver’s licenses long before buying a car, or even driving regularly. Some potential parents – and it’s hoped that this is a large percentage – might seek to apply for a license before they attempt to conceive a child.

Having to get a license to get married is for the social good. Some people who are better off not married discover this after getting a marriage license but before heading down the aisle.

Any increase in the likelihood that prospective parents will give an added measure of forethought – or any forethought – to conceiving a child is for the social good.

In most states, when marriages are in trouble the partners can’t divorce at once; they have to endure a proscribed period of separation. In North Carolina, for example, 12 months of separate residency are required before the parents may file for divorce.

Similarly, a socially pervasive notion and legal requirement to get a license to bring a child into the world will, for some parents, serves as an incubation period. It would enable some parents to better determine whether having a baby is, in fact, what they wish to do at this time. Again, if even a tiny fraction of those who might have otherwise had a child end up not doing so, all parties benefit:

* our society that certainly doesn’t need another unwanted child,
* the parents who perhaps were not prepared to have child now, and
* yes, even the child who would have been.

If you doubt the last point, can you think of one person, if given the choice before birth, who would prefer to come into the world under any other circumstances other than being totally wanted, sufficiently loved, and adequately cared for?

6. Part of our Social Evolution

The tobacco growers in North Carolina are still scratching their heads and wondering why so many people are against what they grow. After all, their forefathers grew tobacco, and it’s always brought in healthy revenues for the state. Why upset the apple cart?

What was good for people 100 years or a generation ago isn’t what’s necessarily good for them today, or what’s good for society in general. If we were to keep things as they were, some people would be slaves. Some people wouldn’t have the vote. Fortunately, we overcame decades- and centuries-old dispositions and realized that we had to move forward. As our society becomes smoke-free, we all have the opportunity to witness social progress on a grand scale that some thought could not happen.

So, too, we each could witness social progress on a grand scale by requiring a license to have children.

Precious Lives

Each child who comes into this world is precious. Each one deserves the opportunity for an abundant life. It is not a civil liberty to have children any more than it’s a civil liberty to buy an automobile, practice medicine, or open a restaurant. Having a license to drive indicates to everyone that driving a motor vehicle is a serious affair. There are rules of the road to which we must all adhere.

Requiring a license of medical practitioners tells both physicians and their patients that the practice of medicine is a vital and serious profession, one not to be left in the hands of those who are untrained and unskilled. Even requiring restauranteurs to have a license before serving people signals that not merely anyone can serve anything to anybody. Standards exist when it comes to food preparation, sanitation, and cleanliness. All of these examples are regulated because of the connection with others – patients, diners, other cars. Having a child who will become a citizen, go to school, an interact with other for decades is the ultimate connection to others.

Raising children is perhaps the most important undertaking on earth. When having a license to have children is the law of the land, all parents – everyone – will receive a continual message that bringing a child into the world is an important and serious matter, a message which is not fully grasped by enough adults in our society.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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The Intolerant Left and Their Sign Charade

Having been sheltered for decades in the liberal mainstream media bubble, Liberal yard sign bearers have a twisted world view

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Drive through nearly any town in America, during an election season or not. You’ll see signs on front lawns or in picture windows proclaiming, “Hate has no home here,” “Science is real,” “Black lives matter,” “Love trumps hate,” “Love is the answer,” etc. On car bumpers you’ll see stickers proclaiming, “No hate in my state.”

These virtue-signalers are quick to post BLM signs, just so you know that they are sufficiently ‘woke.’ They fervently believe that all conservatives and anyone who voted for Trump are a hate-filled, despicable lot, who dislike immigrants, children, old people, dogs, and clean air.

Having been sheltered for decades in the liberal mainstream media bubble, these yard sign bearers have a twisted world view. For them, all news and information arrives heavily filtered through the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, AP, Reuters, NPR, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, etc.

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Untold Looney Contentions

The Left erroneously espouses that President Trump hates immigrants, a contention that is simply wrong: Unlike Biden, he didn’t want endless floods of illegal immigrants arriving, especially when orchestrated by Leftist groups continually seeking to undermine U.S. sovereignty.

Under Biden, illegal immigrants storm our borders and overrun our facilities. Contrary to Leftist drivel, they account for a disproportionately high amount of crime. They jump ahead of people who’ve been waiting in line legally for months, or years, to become U.S. citizens.

The misguided Left contended that President Trump is an anti-Semite. This is ridiculous on its face, as Ivanka Trump Kushner, his politically prominent daughter, converted to Judaism to marry a Jew, and her three children – his three grandchildren – are all Jewish. Moreover, Trump’s support for Israel is unyielding.

While Biden is pure of heart to the Left, they would have you believe that Donald Trump is a racist who harms Black people. Yet, before he ran for president, he was honored on numerous occasions by the NAACP and other African-American groups. Amazingly, the nano-second he ran for president, that all changed!

Claiming Much, Knowing Little

The Left always knows best, even when they know little, which is most of the time. If members of the Left occasionally proceeded beyond the mainstream liberal media bubble, in which they are firmly ensconced, and read more widely, these cloistered folks might realize that it is Democrats, ‘progressives’, and liberals, in general, who promulgate most of the hate in society today.

‘Love trumps hate’ is a pleasant thought, and an intriguing notion. Thus, it is shameful that Leftists are so venomous. Here are a few items and issues, out of scores more, that many of those on the Left loath:

Individuals and group who disagree with them politically, acknowledging the rights of the unborn, fair and effective voter I.D. laws, acknowledging the cerebral differences between men and women, encountering acts of patriotism, free speech on campus (unless of course they agree with it), merit-based college acceptance,  anyone who does not conform to political ‘correctness,’ maintaining U.S. sovereignty via secure borders, and African Americans who deign not to be Democrats.

They also dislike anyone who is deeply religious except Muslims, news features about illegal immigrant crime, school vouchers, returning power to state and local school boards, anyone who runs for, or wins, office as a Republican or Libertarian, and seeing 20,000+ people at Trump rallies (peaceful protests), with thousands more outside who wanted to attend — when Biden drew 10 to 50 people, if that many.

Not Tolerant Compared to Conservatives

Pew researchers found that liberals actually are less tolerant than conservatives based on liberal’s tendency to “unfriend” or to stop following someone a social media site when their viewpoints are challenged.

“Roughly four-in-ten consistent liberals on Facebook (44%) indicated they have blocked or de-friended someone” because they “disagreed with something that person posted about politics.” Only “31% of consistent conservatives” and 26% of Facebook users overall have acted similarly.

Could their ingrained lack of tolerance be the driving force behind their constant virtue-signaling? Yup. Liberals seek to feign that within them intolerance reigns.

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The Right’s Love Affair With Kyrsten Sinema and the Elephant in the Room

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Many on the right are breathlessly talking about Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona as if she’s the next Ronald Reagan, fawning all over her, commenting on how beautiful she is and how they’d like to see her on a vice presidential ticket for president. It’s true she’s provided crucial assistance blocking radical leftist bills or watering them down. But overall, her voting record isn’t that much different than most Democrats. 

 

In 2018, when she first ran for the U.S. Senate, her lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union in the House of Representatives was 13. It’s only gone up to 14.59 in 2020, and is lower than it was in 2013. Similarly, The Heritage Foundation’s lifetime ranking of Sinema is 9. The truth is, she has merely opposed her own party on a few high-profile bills. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has voted against the party far more often, 8%, compared to Sinema’s miniscule 2.8%. As of June 7, she voted with President Joe Biden 100% of the time.

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Democrats have been scrambling the past few years to explain Sinema’s aberrations, deliberately leaving out the most obvious explanation since it goes against their mantra — she has to in order to ensure reelection in a red state. It’s essentially the elephant in the room. They don’t want to admit that, since they’ve been falsely claiming that Arizona is turning purple or blue. Admitting Sinema votes with the Republicans because she’s worried about reelection might make it look like they admitted there was election fraud in 2020.

 

Politico said Sinema’s dissenting votes are “something of a mystery to her Democratic colleagues,” quoting numerous Democrats who said they are confused about her behavior. CNN dared to acknowledge the real reason, but said Sinema is mistaken — doubtful considering how bright Sinema is. “Part of what may be happening is that Sinema thinks that Arizona is a redder state than it actually is.” 

 

While it’s true that Sinema is no longer as radical as she was in her early days in the Arizona Legislature, when she was awarded the Vladimir I. Lenin award by the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers for being the furthest left legislator, her record since supposedly becoming a moderate in the House of Representatives is still pretty bad. 

 

She voted to convict Donald Trump in both impeachment trials. She urged her colleagues to vote for the highly partisan January 6 commission to investigate the events at the U.S. Capitol (she didn’t vote herself, citing “a personal family matter.” She worked to pass the radical DREAM Act. NARAL rated her voting record on abortion 100% in 2020 and her record on the Second Amendment is about as bad.

 

She fooled people by campaigning on a platform that sounds very centrist, avoiding all mention of the Democratic Party. She spent hundreds of thousands of dollars while running for Congress on TV ads that are so vanilla it was impossible to tell whether she was a Republican or Democrat. 

 

People can’t point to much that she’s done to oppose her party other than quibble over Biden’s Build Back Better bill and oppose abolishing the filibuster. She likely chose those issues since they are so high-profile, making her look more moderate than she really is. And there are a few more issues, such as illegal immigration and overturning Dodd-Frank, where she’s bucked the party. 

 

Sinema also seems determined to fill the role of Arizona’s late Sen. John McCain as a maverick. If he could keep getting reelected by voting against his party on a few high-profile issues, she probably figures it’s a safe move for her. 

 

Yes, we can be grateful to Sinema for blocking far left bills from her party. But she’s only doing it in order to get reelected in a red state, deep down she is still a lefty and not anyone suitable for president. Voting for someone because they’re “hot” is a terrible reason. You may as well vote for actress Alyssa Milano, who is considering running for Congress.

 

Arizona is about to get a test of how blue it’s become in the other Senate seat up for election in 2022 held by Democrat Mark Kelly. It’s considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic-held seats in the Senate. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a former director from The Goldwater Institute who is championing election integrity, is challenging him and widely expected to take the seat. Similarly, newscaster turned political candidate Kari Lake, who identifies as a “Trump Republican,” is expected to replace the more moderate Doug Ducey as governor. 

 

People point to Californians fleeing their state and moving to Arizona in droves, but only 19% of them are Democrats. It’s mainly Republicans fleeing, they are not turning Arizona blue. If anything, Arizona is becoming redder as Republicans widen their lead in voter registration. Sinema is very intelligent and understands this. Don’t be fooled by her. We can do a lot better for vice president — like a Republican. 

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