Zero-Sum Game

March 28, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Richard Heinberg for this editorial.

Oops!—bad timing. The announcement that California taxpayers will have to pay most of the costs for raising the famous octuplets born recently near Los Angeles is provoking widespread indignation about what is often taken to be a fundamental human right—i.e., the right to reproduce ad infinitum.

The story might have raised eyebrows a year ago or five. But the fact that the 33-year-old single, unemployed mother’s plight is capturing headlines at the very moment when the State of California is in effect declaring bankruptcy (and laying off teachers and other state workers) not only provides grist for irate radio call-ins, it also highlights a profound shift taking place just beneath the surface of our collective awareness.

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