German "social status" still offensive

Christopher Pook Bioc cjp at mbfs.bio.cam.ac.uk
Fri Nov 5 07:27:49 EST 1993


It seems to me that an important point has been missed here - should it
be the employer or the government that supports children's upbringing?

Surely it is the government's responsibility to ensure that no member of
the community is neglected (from babies to pensioners) and it does this by
fair (hopefully) distribution of the revenue it raises from taxes or by
tax allowances to people who must care for others. If this responsibility
is shifted to employers who are then made to pay for an employees spouse and
children surely then there is a real danger of favouritism towards single,
childless individuals? 

A healthy society requires a degree of altruism - this is not *unnatural* and
a balance between selfishness and altruism is frequently found in nature. Many
social insects and animals display altruistic behaviour in order to preserve
the common gene pool of their social group when threatened by outside influences
eg. predators, starvation. This is complemented by internal competition
within the group for each individual to pass on their own particular genes to
the next generation. So in our society we are all competing against each 
other, but hopefully we all want to see the continuation of the human race.
This presumably requires nurturing of the next generation by common sacrifice
(administered through a body representative of the whole of society, ie. the
government) rather than individual sacrifice (in this case the competitive
and selfish world of business).

Anyway, sorry to bore you all. This topic is probably fast running out of
steam,

Chris Pook                             cjp at mbfs.bio.cam.ac.uk



More information about the Bioforum mailing list