Bribing people to sterilise themselves, Part 2: Get the snip, win a blender says India.

I swear this isn’t a joke, although when I heard it on the radio this afternoon I thought it was.

The Indian state of Rajasthan is encouraging people to sterilise themselves offering prize incentives of the world’s cheapest car, the Tata Nano, motorcycles, televisions and blenders (!).

The prize draw is open to all citizens of India, the country with the world’s second highest population - just behind China, which it is expected to overtake within twenty years.

Part 1, wherein we discuss a charity bribing drug addicts to sterilise themselves with a small cash payout, to prevent harm done to children. The previous thread was a good debate, with many arguing the means justified the end. Is this prize draw an effective way to address India’s overpopulation problem, or a cynical exploitation of the world’s most poor and desperate? The linked article also states that other incentives are being offered in other Indian states.

Is this something that you would like to see introduced worldwide, to deal with a growing population in a world where many are starving? Or should this trend be ended as soon as possible?

I have to say, it’d be pretty jarring to take yourself out of the gene pool to win a blender. On the other hand, if you’re willing to take that risk then you’re probably not too bothered about having children to begin with.

What say you?

I think many people are operating under a pro-natal bias. Having a child is just as irrevocable a decision as being sterilized, yet we think nothing of offering advantages to those with children in the form of tax breaks, welfare, etc. With regard to paying people to be sterilized: as long as we aren’t putting a gun to their heads, I see absolutely nothing wrong it.

It’s far more irrevocable. A man who’s had a vasectomy stands a chance of having it successfully reversed. A woman who’s had her tubes tied or even her ovaries removed can still get IVF.

I can’t disagree with what else you said though.

We have enough people. In fact, considering that we can’t feed everybody and we’re turning our world into a sewer, I’d say we have too many people. I’m not a big fan of culling current populations (I’d probably be at the top of the list), so let’s limit the number born by finding volunteers to forgo reproduction.

The ‘world’s most poor and desperate’ should be concentrating on becoming less poor and desperate rather than raising kids.

Yeah, I can’t wait to hear someone oppose this.

This is so clearly unethical that I dry heave at the responses so far. Your arguments reek of arrogance. You do not get to decide how many is ‘too much’. You do not get to decide who reproduces and who does not. You do not have the privilege of determining who has how many kids. It is shameful to support government coercion of people’s breeding. China’s is bad enough, but this is cynical beyond belief.

You are supporting people gambling with their testes and ovaries. The simple thought of this is dehumanizing in the extreme: Balls gambling. Imagine it - here I am going through my existence. My government has never given a turd of a shit about me except to hand out a ticket for jay walking or something. Suddenly, my government says “Hey we do care about you, you ignorant slob. We are going to offer you the chance to gamble with your balls while we sit in our plush comfy highly educated environments and reproduce ourselves until we are content!” No educational program worth anything, no roads, no sewers, no replacement for the lumps of crap used to light the fire, but they do offer balls gambling. This is obscene.

You are all so enlightened. “Waaahhh! There are too many people! Waaahhh! They can’t feed themselves!”. There will always be too many people; there will always be the poor. Quit pretending that you care about the “world population balance” and say what it really is: disgust for the poor and ignorant.

For a poor farmer, not having children is the exact equivelent of refusing to save for retirement. It’s an idiotic, probably fatal move that pretty much ensure that you’ll die of starvation surrounded by your unworked fields. Why would you ask the poor to give up the workforce for their business, their retirement account, and their biggest chance of a better economic life (as well as, of course, their gratest joy and likely sense of purpose in life.)? Encouraging poor rural people not to have kids is encouraging them to do something for shoet term gain that will most likely lead to absolute abject poverty in the future.

People have many kids because it makes economic sense. Within two generations of entering an economic situation where children are not needed as farm hands and have jobs available if they get educated, birth rates universally go down as it makes economic sense to have a smaller number of childre and invest more in their education.

If you want to lower population, give people jobs. Smug moralizing isn’t helpful to anyone.

Seems like giving away a bunch of stuff will give some people jobs. 20,000 cars don’t just make themselves, you know.

No people, no poverty. Problem solved in one generation, not two like in your argument.

An additional aspect that the BBC doesn’t consider is that of caste; it’s entirely possible that some of the (Indian) promoters of this giveaway-sterilization-thingy have figured that those who take the offer will be disproportionately lower caste, and are pleased with that possibility. Given the way caste functions in India, this would be roughly on par with a sterilization program that disproportionately targeted black people.

Neither do you. It’s up to the consenting adult in question, right? If one wants to accept the deal and another wants to reject it, who are you to step in for a reeks-of-arrogance interruption of either?

Their own testes and ovaries? Yeah, I guess; don’t tell me what to do with mine, I won’t tell you what to do with yours, we both let other folks do their own thing, it’s all a rich tapestry…

Economic pressure can be as coercive as a gun to the face. Handwaving away the problem of desperately poor people being involved in something like this as a matter of “consenting adults” is itself arrogant, the arrogance of someone who can’t even imagine being genuinely desperate.

I, uh, don’t have balls, but I agree with this. (Definitely the best written post I’ve seen in awhile!)

A government who wants to give people free sterilization options (or abortions or birth control) is one thing, but bribing them?

The whole idea leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

That being said, if people want to not have children, that’s fine. I don’t see this program as something the population requested, though. It would be different if people said, “Hey, we need this service.”

edit: Wiki

Oh, I can imagine being genuinely desperate. I can imagine someone wanting to make me an offer, and I can imagine you refusing to let me accept or reject it – and I can imagine exactly how I’d feel about each of you, what with me being genuinely desperate and all.

So they can’t be trusted to make their own decisions because of their appalling circumstances, which is why we can’t make them offers they’d be truly free to accept or reject – so the better alternative is leaving them in those appalling circumstances? I’m just not seeing it; sounds like the height of arrogance, or something.

Just been thinking about this. Someone offers you a blender in exchange for your balls: What is someone in abject poverty going to do with a blender? Is this really marketed to the truly poor? Or to couples who may be thinking about doing it anyway and get a nice gift out of it at the same time?

I am 95% Anti-Abortion & a fiscal conservative. If PP would end any involvement in abortion & instead do this, I’d be for doubling its previous funding.

I actually don’t have anything more than a gut-level problem (which I concede is not valid) with a lot of the schemes I read about while learning more about this article, because they offered trades that were useful to the individual who underwent the procedure. They were explicit trades that allowed the individual to realistically weigh the positives and negatives of their decision based on their experience.

The arrogance was in the replies; the arrogance also lies in this program. The problem with this one in particular is that it appeals to two human universal traits: cognitive distortions in gambling and social status. When people engage or think of engaging in gambling they simply do not evaluate their chance of winning correctly. They exaggerate their chances. Secondly, people are attracted to the symbols of better social status. Obviously having these appliances or that vehicle are deemed beneficial from both a social and practical perspective, yet it is unlikely that a person who cannot afford to buy the item on their own are also able to afford to use the item. If I win a Ferrari, then that’s great, but the insurance and fuel would bankrupt me.

Ovaries look like balls too. :wink:

The arrogance is thinking this poorly thought out contest is an alternative to those appalling circumstances. Where is the program that offers a reward that balances the benefits or more children? See even sven’s post.

The first part of your post is getting at why the program is poorly thought out. The second part of your post seems unlikely because the articles emphasize the population growth along with the drought conditions.

If I wanted the poor to get this done, I’d pay them cash to do so, or the potential to get cash through the lottery. I can’t see a blender, no matter how poor I was, as adding to my social status. The poor are poor, not stupid (or necessarily so, especially given lack of educational and employment opportunities). But, if they are dumb (emphasis on) and poor, probably better to get them out of the gene pool and if using shiny baubles assumes the role of a primitive intelligence test, then so be it.

I can’t find the cite, but I recall reading about a previous similar sterilisation drive (I think it was straight up for cash) when people were found to be trying to sign up several times… I’m sure they were informing people just fine on what it was they were signing up for, for definite…

If people are damn sure about what they’re signing up for and if there’s no other pressure, I don’t really have an issue- note it doesn’t say anything about limiting it to childless people. If you already have the kids you want, (which could be zero, I know enough people who don’t regret having no kids) hey, why not save on condoms and maybe win a toaster!

Forget the blender, surgery itself isn’t cheap. If a poor person didn’t want anymore children and got sterilized for free that’s already a win.