[ExI] Voluntary Sterilization (was Re: Same Sex Marriage (was Re: Call To Libertarians))

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Sat Feb 26 08:03:56 UTC 2011

2011/2/25 Darren Greer <darren.greer3 at gmail.com>:
> On Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 2:19 PM, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> 2011/2/25 Darren Greer <darren.greer3 at gmail.com>:
>> > On Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 12:07 PM, Kelly Anderson
>> > <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> Would you be happier with the program if it included a month of rehab
>> and counseling prior to the sterilization?
> I think I'd be happier with the program if it targeted men instead of women.
> For a couple of reasons. One, if you wanted to reduce the number of unwanted
> and/or drug addicted children coming into the world, wouldn't men be the
> obvious choice? Women get pregnant and they're out of commission
> reproduction-wise for the gestation period. While the man that impregnated
> her can go out impregnate a dozen more in that time. From a pure numbers
> stand-point (and I dislike talking about people in such terms, but will for
> the sake of this discussion) such a program would make more sense if it used
> money to entice men to have vasectomys rather than women to have their tubes
> tied. Secondly, if a man does get clean and regrets the poor decisions he
> made during his drug using period, and becomes a responsible member of
> society and is willing to take on the burden of having children, he can have
> his procedure reversed. A woman currently can't.

The problem with applying this procedure to men is that if ONE man is
still fertile, he can still impregnate hundreds of women per year.
Something like 25% of the population of Mongolia are direct
descendents of Ghengis Khan. Genetic Eve lived many hundreds of
thousands of years ago (400,000 or so I think?), while genetic Adam
was only 60,000 years ago. While I respect your opinions, choosing
women over men for this program is just plain good math and science.
It is interesting regarding the reversibility. I would be happy to pay
a woman $20 just to have a depo provera shot... which would wear off
in a couple of months. It would be a little harder to keep her coming
back, but it might make the program more palatable.
Understand that many of the women participating in the program were
HAPPY to not have to worry about bringing a baby into their situation.

>> The point of the exercise is not to protect the drug addict, but to
>> protect the potential child from the drug addict, and to protect
>> society from the burden of the potential child. A $500 investment
>> through this program saves society somewhere around $500,000+.

Sorry, I should have said $500,000 per child. If she would have
several children, you can multiply that. Four of my children share the
same mother. She started having babies at 13 and now has seven that I
know of. Probably she's up to ten or eleven by now. She's only about
30. She is a drug addict, and has several serious mental disorders.

> And yes, that is where it is reasonable. But there may be another hidden
> cost that you may not have considered. I'm not a lawyer, but I think one
> could make a reasonably good argument in a courtroom that offering a
> drug-addicted woman money for sterilization was coercion. Especially if that
> woman had cleaned up, got her life together, and decided that she was ready
> to have children and couldn't. Also, if she got religion, which is likely
> given the nature of most twelve step programs, someone might really be in
> trouble. Justice may be blind, but God can make the blind see again.

I think you could set up a foundation that would administer the
program that would be fairly immune to such legal efforts. Such a
foundation could simply fold at the site of such a law suit. I am not
a lawyer, it just seems that such could be possible. The savings to
society are difficult to argue with (other than perhaps exact numbers,
the order of magnitude is pretty well a fact.)

>> Most drug addicts made the choice to take that
>> first dose of their drug of choice.
> Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

And if that first time isn't a choice, maybe they still have a choice
the second time, except for crack cocaine, meth and other VERY highly
addictive substances.

> And even if they do, does that one choice alone damn them to their fate?

One choice gets you pregnant, and damns you to that fate. Life is full
of such decisions. We seem to be free to make choices, but I do not
think we are free from the consequences of our choices.

> Have you ever chosen to take a drink of alcohol?

I'm weird in this respect. The answer is no. Not one drink, ever. Not
one cigarette, ever. Not even a cup of coffee, I've never seen an
illicit drug outside of a police presentation. This is clearly NOT
normal. It is a side effect of being brought up as a Mormon, and as an
atheist I have seen no reason to change my behavior in this respect.
It has served me well. I'm pretty sure that I would be the kind to be
addicted after just one drink.

> If so( and nearly everyone has) than an alcoholic who has made
> the same choice of you and whose body and mind somehow reacts differently
> than yours is at fault for making the same choice that you did? Yet in your
> case your not an alcoholic (I presume :) ) and in his case he is. So is it
> the choice that condemns him or the predisposition to the condition?

The predisposition isn't his fault. The choice is still his choice. He
may not have been informed that one drink can make some people into
immediate alcoholics. I don't think anyone can honestly make that
mistake about crack.

>> > Drug addicts in the throes of their
>> > addictions need to be treated the same way, as if they have a
>> > disability.
>> Why? What is the moral basis of that statement? I know it's the
>> politically correct position, but is it philosophically correct?
> There is good medical evidence for it. There is an identifiable symptom list
> of drug addiction. There are stages for relapse that are remarkably similar
> in each person. (Read Dr. Terrance Gorsky) It is listed in the compendium of
> psychiatric illnesses as a bona-fide disease. There seems to be some genetic
> link, as it often runs in families. And I think the real indicator is that
> there seems to be no environmental, cultural and racial factors that
> predispose a person to it: it runs across all sectors of society.

Poverty has to be correlated with drug use. It just has to be. Are you
SURE of this statement???

Libertarianism is a two sided coin. Side one gives you a great deal of
freedom to make stupid choices if you wish. Side two is that you are
personally responsible for your stupid choices and their consequences.
The difficulty is what happens when your stupid personal choice hurts
someone else like an unborn child, or someone you kill or maim in an
automobile accident. My cousin hurt someone in a car accident that was
his fault, he ran a stop sign and it ruined his life. The first rule
of life is SHIT HAPPENS. Getting yourself addicted to drugs is more
easily preventable than running a stop sign.

>> If someone wants to pay to try and get someone off of drugs, more
>> power to them. It should be their choice. Paying taxes is not a
>> choice. So using government money to cure addicts is theft in my book.
>> Using private funds to do so is entirely permissible of course.
> But using private funds is as damaging as using public.

Remember this is a libertarian conversation. It is ALWAYS better from
that viewpoint to allow people to spend money by their own choice than
by governmental force.

> Imagine if all the
> money that currently goes to help untreated drug addicts living on the
> street was invested into the economy.

Drugs are bad. They should be legal. But drugs are bad. If they were
legal, we could do a better job of teaching people why they are bad,
at least that's my theory.

> Or paid in taxes. Or even kept in low
> interest bank accounts. But the big pay-off for getting drug addicts
> treatment is in lowering crime rates. And not just drug addicts. People who
> use illicit drugs period. For every gram of cocaine you hold in your hand,
> someone has likely been killed to get it there. Organized crime and biker
> gangs thrive on it and cost societies billions each year.

In my ideal world, drugs are legal. Anyone who understands the history
of Prohibition should understand this. And not just Heroin, but
Oxycontin too. There is little reason for the current prescription
racket. If you are a responsible citizen and you look up the dangers
of Oxycontin, you would be an idiot not to talk to a doctor before you
start taking it, but you should have the liberty to do so if you are
stupid. Libertarians believe in stupidity. Everyone else seems to have
given up on it.

I believe that you should have the right to starve yourself to death
if you aren't ambitious enough to make a living for yourself. (Those
who are truly mentally ill or truly mentally impaired should be cared
for, but not by the government.)

> Rescuing babies or
> limiting their births is an easy sell compared to getting the adults help,
> but it makes sound economic sense to do so.

It may, but it makes MORE economic sense to prevent the birth of a
drug baby in the first place. There is no way you can argue that. No
way. In a libertarian society, someone would probably choose to help
adults. For Zoroaster's sake, there are citizens that spend all their
spare money saving homeless reptiles!!! I saw one on the news last
week. Imagine what people would do without the shackles of government.
Charitable contributions are about 2% of the GDP in the US (less
elsewhere). And those contributions are used with an effectiveness
many times that of the money confiscated by the government and
overseen by bureaucrats.

>>I separate the drug addict and how we should treat her from the child
> of the drug addict and how we should treat him. I have eight children
> who were children of a drug addict prior to being my children. They
> have suffered substantially from the poor choices of their mothers.<
> I read all your posts related to this, and recognized that you have good
> reason for supporting this program. I would probably support it too, if I
> were in your position. I was careful to criticize the program as
> respectfully as I could without criticizing you for supporting it.

I am not offended. I have a pretty thick skin. I understand that there
are aspects of this program that are deeply troubling. Nevertheless,
it is a contract entered into by adults, in a FREE way. Freedom is so
wonderful that I am overwhelmed by the free act over and above the
horror of taking away a woman's ability to reproduce.

One mistake that I think is commonly made is that you have a RIGHT to
reproduce. And that right can't be lost easily in our society. I think
that's balderdash. You commit a felony, you lose  the right to bear
arms, and vote. I say, you hurt a child, you should lose your right to
reproduce. There really is no difference.

Also, supposing that one of these young ladies does, by some miracle,
change her life. She is free to adopt a baby, even one born addicted
to drugs itself. That would be a much greater tribute to her victory
over drugs than to merely give birth to a child! I would really
support such a person doing that.

> I went to a boxing match with my Dad tonight. It was the gold medal round
> for the Canadian Games and since I had never been to a live blood-sport
> before, I was curious. Some guy was getting his face pummeled in the ring
> and I was busy trying to list in my head all the English language turns of
> phrase and cliches associated with the sport (I came up with about seven.)
> Incidental aside. But I was also thinking about your post. And how I would
> respond when you responded, as I knew you would. I recognized your very
> intense personal involvement with the issue. And I was thinking that for me
> at least there is an emotional under-current, some kernel of experience that
> cannot be analyzed or intellectualized, that is the foundation upon which I
> build much of my theory and base my positions. I think that is true for many
> of us.

Sure. And emotions are how we run. They are potentially our highest
kind of intelligence. I don't think you are stupid, nor ignorant for
having a different opinion than I do. You are wrong about the men vs.
women issue, but that's just a minor mistake that anyone could make.

> So, to give you my example, and not that it makes my argument any more
> cogent or relevant, because it doesn't, I was at the age of twenty-seven
> addicted to morphine and cocaine. At the age of twenty-eight I cleaned up.
> Now, some fifteen years later, and I have a rich, varied life, the career I
> always wanted and give back to society as much or perhaps more than it has
> ever given me. But then I was living in a homeless shelter and I did things
> for money for drugs that I still firmly regret. However, none of my actions
> were irreversible. I was able to get it all back. When I read your post I
> thought of my own experience, and how someone in my position might feel if
> they gave up their ability to reproduce for a hit of crack and then
> rediscovered the world as I have.
> That's why I kept my response as logical and rational as possible, because I
> have such a close emotional attachment to it.

How many of your friends from those days have recovered? How many are
dead? Probably, you don't know, because if you still had those
friends, you would likely still be addicted... but you must realize
that your story is not the most usual outcome. It's not rare, but it
is in the minority of outcomes.

If your idea is to protect the innocent victims, which is more
innocent, the drug addict who made a choice? Or the child who had no
choice at all?

> Thanks for posting Kelly.

You're welcome Darren. I understand your feeling of horror when
looking at this sort of thing. I would just encourage you to think of
it in terms of the freedom enjoyed by all the participants.


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