Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Plasma TVs and pregnancy

What is it with Plasma TVs and having babies? What is the correlation between them? Well, according to what seems the majority of the population, it all has to do with the Baby Bonus. How's that? I hear, and I'm so glad that you asked.

I've told anybody who cares to listen that I'm doing an essay on fertility trends. This is usually only how far I get. Because at this stage I'm generally interrupted with a comment that goes along the lines of, "Well, if the Govt wants to stop the population explosion they'll have to stop giving out the Baby Bonus so that all those young kids having kids themselves will stop buying Plasma TVs." This comment comes from all socio-economic classes of all ages right across the population spectrum, this stereotype is uttered. And you know what? I think that most people actually believe it. Needless to say, there is not one study that correlates sales of Plasma TVs to young pregnant people, nor are there any studies that even credit increased births to young people per se.

But since I'm poking the elephant in the room and challenging stereotypes it's worth noting that the Baby Bonus was introduced in 2004 and the trend in increased births began in 2001. So, it's highly unlikely that the Baby Bonus has much to do with Australia's increased fertility rate. Secondly, it's the age group of 30 - 39 year olds that have contributed to the increased trend in births since 2001 - pulling the Total Fertility Rate up from 1.73 per woman in 2001 to 1.93 in 2008 (the Total Fertility Rate is the number of babies any woman can be expected to have in her reproductive life-span). BTW, the TFR must be at 2.1 for population replacement, so the Govt still does want us women to keep on having more babies than we currently are. And while there has been a small increase in teenage pregnancies, the statistics show that terminations amongst our teens are much higher than births, so financial incentive is ineffective in this age group as well as those under 30 years.

So, there you have it. In a nutshell. Before you hear of anyone touting about how "young" mothers are rorting the system to deck themselves out with luxury items, think again. It's a stereotype that has no basis. It's fiction - all of it. Perhaps some retail outlet that sells high-end TVs started the rumour in an effort to boost sales? Who knows how the rumour started, but from what I have witnessed, it's widely entrenched throughout our society.


Fatale said...

perhaps the Plasma TV's are being bought by the single Dads... and are therefore never seen by either baby or mother. Now that is cynical!!

Lynn said...

Wouldn't surprise me if it was! And not necessarily young one's either. And is it really cynical? After all, the general population accuses young Mums of scamming the Baby Bonus system and everyone accepts it as 'truth' and then when we accuse Dads of possibly doing it, we accuse ourselves of being cynical. Sounds like a double standard to me...;-)

brigita said...

Regarding the baby bonus, ..you are partly right that it isn't tilting single younger females to have children.It has tilted only a few defacto younger non working couples. The problem where ghetto pockets prevail of single young mothers is impacted on recieving any welfare payments that make it tenable to reproduce thoughtlessly & irresponsably,These STUPID girls with equally stupid SLUT mothers ( often facilitating their exploitation) have not a scrap of thought realistically about the resposibilities of not using drugs when pregnant, obligations of parenthood, being in a secure relationship, ever providing for their child themselves nor how no decent guy will in future choose them in future not wanting to deal with anothers offspring. I live in a region where my son found in online dating site only around 1 in ten girls at most wasn't a single parent - and all the single mums considered by him out of the question to date or bother even contacting. The only solution is to cease welfare payments for their children after the first six months. Plus all other parents getting only 6 months of goverment payments at any later point going on welfare as a transition. The remaining fair goverment subsidies for low income scenarios re children ought only come as vouchers for educational fees, materials and health matters- never cash.
When parents are expected to pay for their children they will restrict having children to when they, or their extended family or fathers of these children can provide responsibly for them.Secondly welfare payments ought to be restricted to those over 16 yrs old up to 25 yrs old who can pass random drug tests. I have my double degree in social work, worked as one and can see the current payments are facilitating far more harm than anything else. In my local region close to 50 % of the children of these thoughtless conceptions end up removed, fostered, most never to be returned with no certain future. Around another 20 % of these children would be removed if any authorities found out about their situation as the same issues are present as for the ones in care, just concealed better.
I am not talking about the minority of women who thoughtfully elect or proceed to have a child on their own who mostly always elect to provide resposibly for their child with negligable reliance on welfare subsidies.

brigita said...

To clarify my stance on welfare payments, I think they are appropriate for young and older adults as excluding those young healthy adult that elect to substance abuse most adults end up on welfare by involuntary scenarios, Like those of limited employment availability, physical impairment, social dislocation(via domestic violence) or carer requirments etc.,
Adult females -physically or chronologicilly can though control the number of offspring they have according to evaluating the potential of their provision in considering the degree of likely financial scenarios regarding the worst case scenarios potential,. Contraception of using 3 yr implants, morning after pill, abortion( not for all),infant adoption. Yes the number of children had can be controlled for, hence women have no excuse for having more than their personal and social network can provide for at any time, Thus welfare cash payments ought not to apply for dependant childen under 16 any more than paying off anyones credit cards ( via an active choice) which doesn't happen.