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Please Don't Feed the Hungry

Posted by CaptainKirk 2 years, 10 months ago to Politics
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I grew up in the 1980s with the pictures of the starving kids in Africa. And I wanted to help.
"For the cost of a cup of coffee per day, you could feed an entire family!"

Besides, they were cramping my style. My mom would say "Finish your meal, there are starving kids in Africa!"
Man I wish I could have fixed it! For BOTH reasons (LOL).

And at some level, I was amazed. Americans were giving up their money to help feed people in a far away country.
Of their own free will. I was Proud to be an American. There were a couple of MILLION starving people in Africa, and we were HELPING Them. Props!

Then over time, I see these Signs "Please Don't Feed the Animals". And I thought it was because bread was bad for the birds, or whatever. But then I got an education. We started learning that our GOOD INTENTIONS have HORRIBLE side effects. By feeding wild animals, you can literally breed out the ability to be self-sufficient. When the people stop showing up, they don't know what they can eat. They starve.

Wow... I get it. Some times, helping is destructive. And potentially OBVIOUSLY destructive with a little forethought.

So, let's think back. Was sending food to starving Africans a net good or a net bad? Lets frame the question in terms of number of poor people that are starving, or just living in horrible conditions?

I would say it was Net Bad. Because we went from Millions of people in a bad conditions to tens of millions. See, we NEVER realized that if we protected those little boys and girls from starving to death, they would eventually get to child bearing age, and they would have MORE THAN enough children to replace themselves. Putting even more stress on their food situation, and eventually getting to where they are today!

Nature kinda works. It is cruel and hard about it. Only those who can feed themselves and their families survive. If they only people who survive are the ones who don't care to have families, nature removes them from the gene pool by removing their ability to reproduce. If only the people who reproduce the most are surviving, but not able to feed themselves, nature removes them through starvation. The net survivors are the ones who do both. Natural selection.

Now, in a society like America, I have no problem feeding the hungry, and have done so through donations, and delivering food to them.

We are talking about foreign environments where the root cause is literally the lack of development, and infrastructure, and availability of food. Where we were sending countless millions of dollars to feed people. But we were not going there to build infrastructure and educate (I support missionary work to Africa every year!)

But simply feeding those that are hungry may actually create a culture of dependence. And worse, without education, and other things, the poor tend to spend more energy on reproduction, which makes the problem worse.

The same can be said for putting out forest fires. The logic of extinguishing all forest fires is being questioned. Because it turns out that NOT letting some areas burn naturally creates too much demand for limited water, which actually causes MORE forest to become super dry, which means that the next forest fire will be gigantic. And we are witnessing that.

We cannot work against nature all the time. Capitalism works, because it works within nature. People are naturally Self-Interested but also interdependent. Capitalism leverages both of those things.

Communism works AGAINST nature. When it is everyones responsibility, it is no ones. When everyone owns something, nobody takes good care of it.

So, the full title should be:
Please Don't Feed the Hungry... Build them infrastructure, and start getting them educated, so they can feed themselves!


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  • Posted by $ allosaur 2 years, 10 months ago
    Me dino's voice of experience. To give to any worthy cause is to receive several donation requests from related worthy causes.
    For example: Over a decade ago, some southwestern American Indian school sent me a dream-catcher (aka a bad dream catcher that's a net), a note pad, envelope address labels, a photo of cute kids and I sent them a little money.
    The next thing I know every Indian tribe in the Southwest are sending me dream-catchers, note pads, envelope address labels and photos of cute kids.
    And this has been going on for 10 years. I have a heaped-up cluster of dream-catchers hanging on the wall by the bed and scattered elsewhere about the house.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=dream...
    Guess how many I "paid for" with a donation. Just the first one.
    The other day I felt like flinching when I saw a dream-catcher tattoo on a young lady's arm.
    Other worthy causes send me dino what I call "guilt money." That worked on me only one time during the 70s. Do you know what happens if you send a donation for a request that came with guilt money? The recipient wastes no time sending back another donation request with more guilt money attached.
    (Evidently, charities also waste no time selling or else sharing your name with other charities).
    Yesterday, me dino pulled two nickles off a donation request, scratched off the glue, pocketed the nickles and dropped the request into the trash.
    Last week I was sent a big time guilt trip one whole dollar bill by the donation request of some Republican cause. I'll vote for a RINO (like Richard Shelby) over a Jackass candidate when forced to but I performed the same procedure as I did with yesterday's nickles.
    Also yesterday, I was also sent what I like to call "guilt stamps." Charities have figured out that cold-blooded Scrooges like me will cut stamps off and paste them on envelopes sent to pies in the skies such as Publishing Clearing House. So yesterday me dino saw seven fruit art stamps on one return envelope. There are (me dino now looking at them) four 10-cent stamps each with 2 pears, one 5-cent stamp with a cluster of grapes, one 3-cent stamp with three strawberries and one 1-cent stamp with a pair of apples. You guessed it. Me dino cut those stamps off anyways.
    Me dino bad! Bad to the bone!
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    • Posted by 2 years, 10 months ago
      Charitable people get screwed over by the charities. We gave to a couple. Within 2 years, were must have been on 30 lists. We were getting 2 calls a day, every day. We started asking to be put on their do not call list, and these TALKATIVE people hung up. Without putting us on the do not call list. "Can you put ". That gave us the confidence to hang up on them. And eventually to screen all calls with the home phone, and finally, to just turn off the home phone.

      Yep, the Charities SHARE the names/phone numbers with other charities. And I love when they lie "Thank you for your past support..." "Really? What date? How Much?" (They don't give me that, just that you were a past supporter)... LOL. Well then I did my part.

      Again, now I give DIRECTLY to the people going, on my terms.

      But the key point is that we can't bring everyone here, and we should not help people destroy themselves, or overpopulate, but to help them sustain themselves. There is a lot to do, and destroying our country to save a few aint going to help anyone!

      America created something the world has NEVER SEEN BEFORE:
      - FAT POOR PEOPLE -

      Go back in your history books and look for Obese poor people! Good luck with that!
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      • Posted by $ allosaur 2 years, 10 months ago
        I see fat poor people all the time in rougher neighborhoods in and about Birmingham where me dino was a concealed carry before I became a full time concealed carry.
        For some reason my area is also a blue dot in a red state. Duh, me wonder why that could be.
        Something else I learned if you're going to donate by check. Scratch off your phone number if it is there.
        I got one of those "Thank you for your past support" twilight zones last week. "What support?" I asked as I deposited the donation request into the trash where it belonged.
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    • Posted by $ Radio_Randy 2 years, 10 months ago
      Hey, Allosaur...need any return address labels? I've got a ton of "freebies" from chartable causes.
      Unfortunately, they're all addressed to me :-)
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      • Posted by $ allosaur 2 years, 10 months ago
        Me dino has a cardboard box half full of those.
        That's not counting the cardboard box half full of recently received Christmas address return labels.
        Did I ask for them? Heck, no.
        Did I donate in response? Heck, no..
        Can I use them all? Heck, no.
        Am I gonna use some anyway? Hell, yeah!
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        • Posted by $ Dobrien 2 years, 10 months ago
          Likewise, BTW I have donated to st Joseph Indian school in S. Dakota and probably will again.
          I get all the trinkets including note pads , labels dream catchers. The school room and boards Indian Kids from South Dakota whose parents can't stay away from the fire water. Do they sell my name yeah , but they have called once or twice on the phone to thank me.
          The solicitations are always in the mail not a robo call.. I choose when I want to do something.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 2 years, 10 months ago
    Absolutely correct.
    Just like animals, if you feed them, you become their keepers, hence the teaching stating: if you feed a hungry man, he will be dependent upon you for life but it you teach a man to fish, he can feed himself for life.

    We may choose to be the keepers of our pets but I, for one, choose Not to be the keeper of other humans.
    We are Not our brothers keepers but if they absolutely cannot physically keep themselves for legitimate reasons...I might, I reiterate, Might, choose to "Share" that burden so long as it my choice and not by force.
    Assuming of course, I have enough to feed myself first!..."Rational Celf-interest" (yes, I wrote: Celf... as in how my cells tend to their own survival first).
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  • Posted by Lucky 2 years, 10 months ago
    I agree strongly with this post. (Content if not grammar)

    Consider, in the news recently, the forced departure of Robert Mugabe, dictator
    of Zimbabwe. When the name was Rhodesia, with a hard-working class of expert
    mainly British farmers, and motivated African workers, the country was well
    governed, developing, prosperous, exporting all kinds of food produce.
    Then with a takeover by terrorists and Mugabe pushing to the front, Rhodesia
    the bread-basket of Africa became Zimbabwe the basket case.
    They got guns from China in exchange for mining rights, and food aid from the
    West. Most of that aid did not go to the hungry but was sold by the new elite.

    However, all help, all altruism, should not be condemned, with proper supervision
    and targeting, with money freely given, rather than politicians big-noting
    themselves with other people's money (virtue signalling),
    there may be good results.
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  • Posted by $ pixelate 2 years, 10 months ago
    I recall giving a speech in Toastmasters 25 years ago regarding The Welfare State when I said "when you remove the food supply, the bacteria will cease to multiply." There were audible gasps from members of the audience. At the close of the evening, a few individuals came up to me, looked me in the eye and shook my hand, essentially for stating that A Is A.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 10 months ago
      But A made you look like an A$$ for a split second, until you THINK about it! It's like kids who hold their breath to get what they want. It is self-limiting, and parents who know that, don't have to deal with it!

      Those people who shook your hand, acknowledged that you stretched them!

      Doing what feels best is often not the right thing. (especially if you do it with other peoples tax money, LOL)
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  • Posted by ReneeDaphne 2 years, 10 months ago
    Thanks for your comments. They are quite timely. Portland O is the poster child for the homeless "industry". We have an 8 1/2" by 11" by 1 " book with all the facilities to feed, clothe and care for the homeless. Kansas City gave THEIR homeless one way bus tickets to Portland. They are everywhere....and so is there poop and trash. It's like immigration. Turn off the "free rides" and the "free loaders" disappear. We'ver started openly calling them freeloaders here.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 10 months ago
      My grandfather would say "There is something motivating when you get up and have no idea where your next meal is going to come from, and you have to go out and hustle!"
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 2 years, 10 months ago
    Several things that usually go wrong with well-intended efforts to feed starving populations: first, most of these people are victims of a dysfunctional, corrupt government that causes the problem in the first place, with most of any aid going either into the pockets of tyrants, or to feed the tyrant's thugs that keep the people oppressed; second, the food that gets delivered is often alien to the environment where it's delivered, and is not consonant with the digestive systems of the people we're trying to help, making them sick, or making them adapt to food they can't grow locally; and finally, as the Captain says, it creates a dependent culture that forgets how to feed itself.
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  • Posted by chad 2 years, 10 months ago
    What is important is situational awareness. If there is an extraordinary event that causes people to be lacking in basic needs (unexpected tidal wave) a surge supply of needs would be appropriate and usually is enough to get people through to being independent again.
    Who delivers the needs and how can determine if you want to give. The Ethiopian food crisis 30 years ago was created by drought and a governmental disaster that was exacerbated by receiving and enormous influx of food sent to the government who used it to bait people into compounds and enslave them on the government plantations, starved others and sold the 'free food' for enormous profits to those remaining that had enough money to purchase it. Sending money for infrastructure or education on how to support themselves could be equally misused by governments who side track the gifts for their own needs and desires keeping the tyrannical government in power. If the people are not free to choose for themselves sending almost anything reroutes the 'help' to those in greed not need. Many churches were using the poor to route money to their coffers while offering very little help to those who were starving. Getting the right kind of help to those who would benefit is very difficult. The best help is liberty and opportunity, the choice to build or starve remains the choice of the individual. As an economist once said; "Starvation is a powerful motivator!"
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  • Posted by mia767ca 2 years, 10 months ago
    provide guidance for those who do not know how for a fee (future fee structure at worst) on how to do it for themselves...TANSTAFL...teach them first that everything comes at a cost...no entitlements...
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  • Posted by $ Dobrien 2 years, 10 months ago
    When Obama after recieving the Nobel peace prize decided to help the Libyan's from the evil Gaddafi. Who had built what was called the Eighth
    Wonder of the world for his people.http://http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/na...
    It was a massive underground man made River. . Gaddafi had plans to sell and build this irrigation system through out Africa. The first bombs were dropped on the cement factory that made the huge pipe sections and then the bombs destroyed the dangerous " irrigation River"
    That helped produce food in an Arid Climate for the Libyans.
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  • Posted by RevJay4 2 years, 10 months ago
    Totally agree with you, Cap'n. Its why I resist all the solicitations I recieve in the mail and online. If they send me something without my requesting it, I keep it or throw it away. Usually the latter.
    I'm not heartless, just not stupid either. From the reports and studies I seem to recall, most of the donations end up in the pockets of the administrators of those charities.
    Want my money? Do something to earn it, besides attempt to instill some sort of guilt feelings in me. Good luck with that.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 10 months ago
    Living in the land of plenty is delightfuls and sad at the same time.Delightful because we can afford the best food, clothing, shelter and the latestest toys the human mind can produce.It is hard to imagine anyone not living here in Paradise without adequate foof or the latest toys. And it's so easy to soothe our conscience by simply providing money for food and/or toys.. How can you exist without an iPod?But the economic laws hold true for humans as well as deer. Remember the old saw, "Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and feed him for life"But if you have plenty and your neighbor id starving and you teach him to fish, you will be condemned as being cold-hearted and crruel. But give him $10. and you'll be applauded. Instant gratification is more valuable than education..for some persons.Most people rarely look beyond the length of their own arms when it comes to charity. Things made more sense years ago when self-sufficiency was more admired than threats. Growing up in Detroit, the cry was "Help the poor" rather than "Trick or treat." It's all "Trick or treat" now. I think the difference is quite significant.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 10 months ago
      Herb, you get it. But keep in mind, America was NOT ALWAYS so inviting. For the first 2-3 seasons, the pilgrims were dying and starving. While they were testing out this Communal approach, and Sharing everything. they failed.

      But the land was not just producing, it had to be tamed. Look at CA in the middle of one of the longest droughts... We have friends out there who just had to pay to have a deeper will installed a couple of years back. If they did NOTHING, they would not be having crops this year.

      Yes, we are fortunate, and we should always be grateful.

      But America was not handed to us. It was built. I was recently reminded when Russian friends came back here for a visit, and they commented on the changes. A String of buildings had been demolished, and replaced with new building since their last visit.

      Capitalism constantly encourages investment and growth. And the land usually ends up in the hands of the person who can get the most out of it. Who is willing to invest more into it.
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      • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 10 months ago
        America was unique in many ways. It was bigger than all Europe put seperated from Western civilization by a vast ocean.Everything that was needed was already there, just needed work to get it out.
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        • Posted by 2 years, 10 months ago
          The oceans gave us a certain protection. That is for sure. Mostly as a barrier to entry (lol).

          But we had NO IDEA how big it was in 1492. And America ENDED UP with the Highest Gumption Factor per capita, of any regular country. Why? Because those with ANY Gumption, left and came here.

          Not for free food, or an easy life. But for a chance to work, and keep what you made. To change your lot in life through hard work. So, those willing to work hard, came, and came in droves.

          Much Later, Tesla followed suit. I believe he wrote, that when he arrived in America, it was clearly 50 years behind Europe. And when he went back to Europe, they were amazingly now behind America. He was dumbfounded.
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          • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 10 months ago
            I think of anything except art that is done in Europe is paint by numbers, compared to USA which was a blank canvas. Greater difficulty but worth the effort .
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            • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 10 months ago
              More importantly, the oceans gave us a sense of separation so strong that it discouraged dependency, which forced greater creativity and self reliance. Had there been quick and easy access to other lands it would be Europe all over again.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 2 years, 10 months ago
    What should be noted in any situation, however, is whether the poverty is the result of one's own behavior or someone else's. The sad fact is that America is one of the few nations on earth that is relatively free in terms of allowing its people to individually control their own destinies and pursue their own happiness. Very few African nations enjoy anything close to representative government and freedom: most are ruled either by military juntas or by Islamic theocracies and almost all are constantly at war either internally or with their neighbors. Now it isn't as if this is any kind of departure from hundreds (or thousands) of years (noting that British colonization did have a calming effect for a couple of centuries) from their norm - the history of Africa is replete with war and violence. I merely caution against putting the starvation and conditions on the heads of those who suffered rather than on the leadership of the nations in those circumstances.

    When this particular incident was going on there was a major civil war in Ethopia which resulted in the nation splitting and the new nation of Eretria being born. (I met in the 90's with several individuals who had further escaped from Eretria as well.) At the time of the civil war, all resources were being diverted into the waging of the war and the country (though it has arable land) was too busy with the art of destruction to even raise food. Their poverty meant that buying it from other nations was also out of the question.

    The true cause of all this suffering was a desire for power - not an inability to work. I do not condone the practice of enabling the welfare state. However, one can also look at situations like these as business opportunities where with a little investment (food and clothing are CHEAP), we can help institute trading-partner nations with which we can do business and mutually profit. It's very easy - though short-sighted - to simply see these situations as meaningless welfare state results when the truth of the matter is different.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 10 months ago
      Interesting... I see the starvation of the people as an impetus for them to change their country, if it is because of mis-management.

      For example, I am also AGAINST helping feed the people in Venezuela. The corruption and SOCIALISM that created their problems must be resolved FIRST (and Identified as the causes).

      In the core argument, feeding a group can cause them to make terrible decisions and become dependent, and have too many children, creating a new problem down the road.

      But you bring up governments impact on people. It's tragic. But a ruler who starves and kills his people, will not be a ruler for long. But FEEDING the NK people, for example, allowed the food resources of the government to be spent developing Nuclear. We can't care more about the people of a country than their own government.

      On the Enterprise... We have strict rules about helping undeveloped people. :-)

      So, I see them as different, but requiring the same answer. Now, if a drought hits a developed country, or some natural disaster, etc. All bets are off. But if a population cannot naturally feed themselves, you feeding them is just as bad as feeding wild animals in that they will become dependent, and it interferes with natures ability to manage resources.
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      • Posted by $ blarman 2 years, 10 months ago
        You give them far more control over their destinies than was possible at the time (in Ethiopia). The common people weren't armed or educated and were living a hand-to-mouth existence. To attribute to them either the means or the desires for self-rule similar to what we take for granted in the United States is to err. The United States from a cultural perspective is rather unique in that we come from a culture of self-rule and natural rights. Perhaps most importantly we have the leisure time to actually think about things like philosophy and the education and books to make such available to the common masses. Maslow's Hierarchy comes to mind here. In the case of Ethiopia - as with many African nations - the fault lies with their tyrannical governments.

        Venezuela is a different story entirely. My brother lived there for two years prior to the government completely falling apart. One can make the argument that Venezuela has brought upon itself its own demise by allowing communism to take over and be justified. And you are correct there that their situation will not get better until they reject socialism/communism and turn to a free government and free market policies. I think the people are beginning to realize this, but it will take several more years of starvation and hardships to revolt and overthrow - through armed force - their despotic leadership. I also hope that when that time comes the US will extend a hand of assistance.

        "In the core argument, feeding a group can cause them to make terrible decisions and become dependent, and have too many children, creating a new problem down the road."

        The question is always one of duration. The real problem with welfare is not in the temporary assistance but in the mindset of mooching that can be the result. And when the welfare is presented and doled out without addressing the underlying cause of poor job skills, education, or health concerns, it is all too easy for the situation to devolve into a cycle of dependency. If one is going to be "charitable", one must do it within the context of enabling self-sufficient behaviors and attitudes rather than dependent ones or one is indeed exacerbating the problem.

        Regarding "having too many children" - that argument is fallacious nonsense. The real question is the morals being taught to the children. This is why the family structure is so important: it forms the basic principles of that child's moral attitudes. Do those children grow up to be valuable: to perform work, to exchange ideas and products and services with others?

        "But you bring up governments impact on people. It's tragic. But a ruler who starves and kills his people, will not be a ruler for long."

        Unfortunately, tyrannical governments have lasted for decades and even generations. Take Communist China which has existed since the '50's or Soviet Russia which has existed since 1908 and hasn't really disappeared since. Communist North Korea is perhaps the most visible example and it has existed since the '60's as well. Yes, the effects on their peoples (and the world) has been tragic. Their longevity, however, is marked by the brutal suppression of their own peoples. While it may be easy for us to discount, until these regimes actually fall, it is premature to predict their impending demise.

        "So, I see them as different, but requiring the same answer. Now, if a drought hits a developed country, or some natural disaster, etc. All bets are off. But if a population cannot naturally feed themselves, you feeding them is just as bad as feeding wild animals in that they will become dependent, and it interferes with natures ability to manage resources."

        I agree that the principle of self-sufficiency should remain the goal. There is no benefit to either from the welfare state. I merely caution not to throw the baby out with the bath water in harsh judgment.
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  • Posted by Storo 2 years, 10 months ago
    I’m reminded of Sam Kennison’s solution for world hunger....
    Don’t send food. Send them U-Hauls.
    Because THEY DON’T LIVE WHERE THE FOOD IS!!
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    • Posted by 2 years, 10 months ago
      DO you SEE THIS?
      It's Sand...

      You know what it's going to be in 50 years? SAND!

      We have deserts in America. We JUST DONT live There. Agghhhh Agghhhh Ahhhhh

      One of my favorites. Lookup his think on Jesus wasn't married! ROTFLMAO
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 years, 10 months ago
    I see nothing wrong with sending some food to starving people far away, if one wants to and can afford it. It might be a good idea to also send contraceptives or the means to get them. As to those "who do not care to " procreate getting out of the gene pool, that decision is not hereditary.
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