The Strain of the Child

The Chancellor hasn’t cut benefits, he’s created some more. I’m not talking about the new benefit system set up for businesses for when they’re hit by hard times of losing profits at the expense of low-income family’s welfare; this is about the cutting of child tax credits from which low-income parents will benefit greatly in being discouraged from having a third baby. For children are very hard work and, while without the discouragement parents may feel inclined to give one more child a chance, they will henceforth remain one whole human being less stressed if they follow the incentive of the social security. An ignorant statement in all respects but nevertheless argues that deprived families have to respond to horrendous pressures that neither the economy nor our modern lifestyle supports.

The parent is responsible for raising a human being so, to elaborate, given the child is a smaller, dependant, vulnerable version of us all, in a world increasingly more consumerist, speedy and flamboyant, stimulated by more privileged individuals in their careerist roles who aren’t impacted in the slightest by changes to tax credits it is notable that, combined with our external global pressures to control our economy and population, the child’s embodiment of the undisciplined, demanding, capitalist personality would have the parent as much as the celebratory Ian Duncan-Smith pleased with Osbourne’s decision. Don’t get me wrong, children are indeed little darlings but Osbourne has accidentally responded to where I also have sympathy for parents. In short, the government is at fault of promoting egoism to which they then introduce a financial regulation intended to effectively ease struggling parents from reproducing egoism.

So, this sounds fair. (We’re assuming the government plans to recalculate and increase the money they do distribute to families. That’s a different worry altogether.) And it very much is fair, from the point of view of a student dreading the thought of parenting, rendering the entire legislation a benefit with a lower-case b for deprived families and our globe. After all, it puts into practice what we Westerners preach to the 3rd world against hyper-reproduction. It will also benefit the taxpayer, whose title is used to stigmatize the struggling but we’ll nevertheless agree with the Chancellor on this restriction. Jumping on the band-wagon with Harriet Harman, this is much needed conservatism. It is widely agreed that a bit of austerity is necessary in politics, as it is agreed that there will always be some with more money than others. Yet there remains one thing unfortunate on our part about banalising austerity in that our entire economics mentality has constructed throughout history a reshuffle of our priorities within the economy. We have forgotten the reason for our economy: to function efficiently and nourish our families with food, shelter and opportunities.

The government are so hooked up onto avoiding debt and keeping general national prosperity stable that this key aspect of raising families, wherein parents are ideally entitled to find dignity in the conquering challenge of guiding the child they love, is seen as a last resort. The last resort is then seen as a strain on parents’ exhausting work-life, the child stringed to negative connotations. No complaining though, for that is the world we humans have built. As ideal as it sounds to return, after millennia of fluctuating civilisation-development, to the natural life where work only entailed the family managing their own welfare in a cave, we are fond of our modern hyper-luxuries so we will have to put the initial reason for the economy into second place to politically manage our population around the government’s resources and funds. Our luxuriously fun life has partly compensated for and provide a relief from raising irritating little imps, bless them.

At which point you notice where the injustice does lie. The government holds responsibility for the state economy, with a mandate to weaken it in their ideology that the individual can function on their own feet, yet all that appears to be the case is a utilisation of low-income families, possibly 40% of the country as the feet of wealthier businesses’ and families’, (to replace and contradict the cliché balance the books.) It is not the over-prioritizing of the economy against people’s families that is wrong – as established, that’s the world we’ve built – it is the exemption of more privileged lives from this that is unfair. That is an eternal socialist debate but, rather than talking about how the deprived family struggles, allow a suggestion imposable to the Blue half of the population: to legally limit every parent to two children.

What would such an authoritarian move enforce? That every individual shares something with the most deprived person. Leftists rant about balancing the economy but even they focus singularly on money, yet equality could be applied as such in a more social policy. While the poverty-lived parent tears his or her hair out over budgeting and getting their child to school and bed on time, when the child may come to realise upon ageing that years of education lead to a dead-end of opportunities, the privileged parent can either throw materialism and opportunities at their child to keep them occupied or at least afford to pay British Gas for their bath at the end of a stressful day. The wealthier child is surrounded by a less violent crowd in a living heaven from which to head home to the parent, whereas the proletarian kid brings home the bigger picture of a living hell. Osbourne sits with his calculator in purgatory.

Budget child picture

Of course, apart from an environmental level, irrelevant to this discussion for now, universally inclusive child restrictions will neither provide any more hopeful directions to toughly-raised children under the Conservative budget, nor give privileged individuals an insight to poverty. However, would the subtraction of an enviable family property, a third child, with all the commitments attached – the education of morals and skills and the guidance to adulthood and beyond – that transcend all other envies one might have of more privileged individuals, create some empathetically apolitical bond between all social classes? Will sharing the economy’s hindrance on the value of the family open at least one eye to deprivation for those who think the noun means to pass a week without Greek yoghurt in the fridge? Besides, people should not be frightened away like by wealth tax because, as established, money is the priority over money’s purpose.

Whatever the answer to that rhetoric is, the crux of the matter is that the budget allows the economy to abuse its status to wipe politicians’ consideration of social issues. It is an evolutionary gift that humans can manage our happiness within an artificial financial system, it really is, but, if only some get the best of both worlds between the life of luxe and that of family, then the gift is dirty and evidently difficult for Treasuries to grapple with when the rest have neither. As gracious as I would personally be to have no choice but to limit my child numbers a parent on any income, who is the Chancellor to sacrifice strong families on behalf of one part of society without bothering to demand even some moral support from the other?



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