Should Louisiana sterilize the poor?


This is a misguided proposal. I just saw this on our local news in Wisconsin. When did we get to the point in our society where sterilizing poor persons is even a topic worthy even investigating as an option?

This plan seems to be much less munificent when compared to a similar plan proposed by William Shockley.

I consider this plan to be an insult…

William Shockley was a Nobel Prize winner, a brilliant engineer and an unrepentant racist. His prize was in physics, but it gave him a soapbox from which to make repugnant pronouncements about biology. Touting a more capitalist approach to ethnic cleansing in this country, he proposed a “Voluntary Sterilization Bonus Plan” in the late 1960s that would pay people with sub-optimal IQs to be sterilized: $1,000 for every IQ point below 100

Let’s keep in mind that a thousand dollars in the late 1960s had more purchasing power than now due to inflation.

My solution: encourage them to live like hikikomori.

Didn’t this stuff actually happen to poor or low IQ people sometime in the early 1900’s? Where do they come up with this Twilight Zone stuff?

Well, at least it would be voluntary – involuntary sterilisation of “defectives” (including epileptics like myself) was the standard in the US for most of the 20th century. See The War Against the Weak by Edwin Black.

Will the eugenicist ideology never die? Mankind just keeps making the same mistakes over and over…

I do not think it will ever die… it will like take a new incarnation in the coming decades when we are able to fertilize a large number of oocytes and assay their genotypes. The embryos which aren’t chosen are discarded.

I prefer that form of eugenics instead of crude sterilization.

Both of those “methods” are destructive and immoral, and it’s a wash if you ask me. The Church should speak more forcefully regarding bioethical issues. We already have artificial insemination, in vitro, embryonic stem cell research, bioengineered foods…The scientists are moving at break-neck pace with these things, and we must have a clear rhetoric opposing such practices before they come to fruition. We have some of that going on, but not enough.

I do not expect Gattaca like genetic engineering to be popular in the coming decades. This might be feasible late in this century (possibly 2060). Embryo selection seems to be the most efficacious, yet safe route for eugenics. I could easily image this would extricate the link between sexual intercourse and procreation. Perhaps the world would be a better place if the role of chance is reduced in human reproduction.

Besides, there would be a strong market for this type of eugenics. My only fear is there will be children who are not born utilizing this technology after it is introduced. Perhaps the government should subsidize eugenics programs. (I meant paying for embryo selection, not sterilization, as I do not find that palatable.)

Eugenics will have negative consequences when pursued coercively or through the free market. Subsidies can mitigate the negative effects.

This is all moot to me. IMO eugenics of any kind is wrong and dangerous. Furthermore, I think that embryos constitute complete human beings and deserve better than to be chosen to cuts of beef with the “dregs” presumably discarded. Furthermore, the government doesn’t have the money to subsidize a congressman’s shoelaces. The last thing we need is more “expert” meddling, either by the government in society, or the scientists in our bodies. The unintended consequences of these kinds of micromanagerial schemes over human life would be, as they always have been, disasterous.

How many great religious leaders, scientists, statesmen, and other great men and women came from the ranks of the poor in the last few hundred years?

The idea that born into wealth means one has superior genes has been stunningly refuted in the last few years, by science and by obvious counter-examples in society.

As an alternative, LaBruzzo suggests that the state confiscate the children of people on welfare:

“My argument would be if they’re incapable of making a decision whether to cease reproduction are they capable of raising multiple children to be good citizens? And if they’re incapable, maybe Social Services should take their children.”

Right, so that people could reproduce with absolutely no regard for the consequences.

Setting aside the moral problems with “discarding the embryos that aren’t chosen” how exactly are you going to assay genotypes?
I assume you believe in natural selection – how are the assayers going to be wise enough to choose the right genotypes for the long-term future? And I mean really long – Homo neandertalis had a run of 350,000 years. If H. sap. lasts that long who knows what bits of little bits of the double helix might come in handy?

Certain traits are bad and certain traits are good. Nature hasn’t done an excellent job selecting for intelligence. How come the human species isn’t a horde of Descartes and Einsteins?

Maybe the sterilization program might be a good idea, but the benefits should be extremely munificent. I propose $25,000 (and this will rise to be indexed to inflation) a year along with comprehensive health coverage for the rest of their life for sterilization with no additional strings attached.

$1000 seems too low to be of any useful benefit.

If the human population was a horde of Descartes and Einsteins, it would quickly fall apart. No one to dig ditches, mop floors, collect garbage, turn wrenches to fix vehicles, workers for sewage processing plants, etc. Go watch Dity Jobs and tell me if a horde or intellectuals anf geniuses would opt for that.

So you think stupid people should exist for your comfort? So you want people below you to work in sweatshops to make your clothes and cheap labor to mow your lawn, trim your hedges, work in factories on long shifts for minimum wage (unless it is paid under the table)? No one should be relegated to positions of stifling disgrace for the comfort of the fortunate. Why don’t YOU want to do that work and want someone else to do it?

Besides, how come you lost faith in market economics? Wouldn’t the free market raise their wages because of the lack of supply for workers which would provide an incentive for people to do that type of work? The free market will provide a mechanism in that scenario so why, as a conservative, you deny the power of markets?

I do think that anyone should live for the solely comfort of others. People such as Einstein are capable doing humdrum jobs such as working in the patent office and Karl Popper was a cabinet maker. I do not consider that disgraceful as it can be rewarding (but I wouldn’t want to spend hours picking fruit in the sun). Maybe such a society has to force people to do some jobs if no one would be willing to do it. This would be analogous to the military draft, but I think most people would agree to such conditions because it is similar to “mutual coercion mutually agreed upon” to quote Hardin. If high wages in the market couldn’t solve the problem, then the problem could be solved in a democratic and egalitarian way. Do you mock the power of intelligent people to resolve such problems?

Ah yes another reason for the rest of us in Louisiana to be proud of the NOLA area. This guy represents the same district that David Duke did in the LA legislature. He is very-wrong headed and the Greater New Orleans Republicans have issued a statement of condemnation. Understand his district is made up of “white flight” from New Orleans…Not that it justifies anything he’s said. Perhaps brotherhrolf can come around and contribute to this better than I can…

I think it is you who has the problem/ complex. First off, i never even hinted that people doing those jobs were stupid; i just stated they weren’t geniuses. You are the one who believes people are below you by your beliefs in population control, etc. Second, don’t you dare lecture me about doing work, cosidering you do not work for a living nor appprently have ever worked for a living. Funny how someone sitting around at college not working, taking up any belief they learned in class this week, has the audacity to lecture those who work for a living (and in my case go to school full time while balancing a home life with my wife as well). Why don’t YOU go out an get a job and learn how the real world is before you lecture us that are in it.

You presume people who do “dirty work” have disgraceful jobs; more of your arrogance and immaturity. I’ve met many people who have as you describe “disgraceful jobs” that enjoy their work and take pride in the quality of work they do.

I do not mock the ability of intelligent people to help solve problems, but I do not mock those with all book smarts and zero common sense/real world experience who think they have all the answers to the worlds problem.

This is a vile proposal IMO.
Payment now- will lead to coercion later.
Have we not learned from the Eugenics movement of the 20’s and 30’s?? This is racist and discriminatory against the poor.
What, poor people aren’t allowed to have and enjoy children?

This Lutheran has always admired the Catholic Church for standing against this type of thing when others often are silent…

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