* This is authored by a mother of one child. The author preferred to remain anonymous.
Small families in America routinely pay insurance premiums, taxes, childcare fees, and other costs that incentivize large and unsustainable families. These costs often masquerade as discounts as families grow, translating into cost savings to add more children to otherwise complete families.
While this may seem benign or even generous to some parents, this archaic “bigger is better” policy is destroying our environment and our quality of life and is unfairly penalizing smaller families.
Here are some examples:
- Insurance schemes often offer family plans that favor large and unsustainable families, rather than charging for each person enrolled. Alternatives exist that don’t ask smaller or nontraditional families to subsidize their larger brethren. In my son’s school (yes, I have only one child) and many others, childcare plans often don’t charge per child, but instead offer reduced fees and more openings for larger families.
- In federal and state child tax-credit schemes, individuals and small families subsidize tax credits for larger and unsustainable families, and some want to increase the cost in order to incentivize women to have more kids.
- Do we really want to punish responsible families just so that governments and big businesses can have more taxpayers and cheap labor for the future? Especially when study after study shows that this trend is bad for kids and is destroying our environment and our quality of life?
Instead of incentivizing large and unsustainable families, polices should be based on the first human right: ensuring every child their right to an ecologically and socially fair start in life.
That means incentivizing smaller and more sustainable families who invest more in each child and who can use the resources they save to help improve the conditions into which other families bring their children.
TAKE ACTION: Tell us your story! If this resonates with you, write to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your experience. Also, urge Congress to embrace smaller families who can invest more in each child.
*After this initial post was written another anonymous mother, who works as an executive in one of the largest companies in the United States, came forward and had this to say: “Even in the arts and other places where there is say a single or couple membership, the options often jump to a family membership of 4 kids and sometimes more, without an in-between option if you only have one kid. I’ve seen that a lot and it pisses me off.”