My generation is four months away from laying in the gutter eating dirt, taking classes at the University of Phoenix, and suckling the Chinese teat.
In these times of ethnic resentment borne of the recession, it's easy to find a reason to loathe the Chinese. They took yer jobs! But I'm above those blue-collar bubbas squawking at their congressman to raise tariffs and block miscegenating again. I slant my brow at the slant-eyes because they took my brother.
No, not his organs. You see, I'm an only child, and I hate it.
The U.S. doesn't have a one-child policy, primarily because it would worsen the quality of our reality TV shows (Barry Obams reportedly consulted Octomom in drafting his healthcare proposal). But in their zeal to copy, coopt and put a 50 percent markup on another culture, Americans collectively slapped on Trojans after the first one slipped through and spent the childcare savings on HDTVs, hot-yoga classes and a therapy fund for Junior's inevitable mental breakdown.
Your little Atlas is propping up the family's neuroses all by himself, with no one to confide in and strategize with while making bed forts. You call him "thoughtful," but I call him lonely, listless and likely to build up resentments while playing with Legos by himself, taking his stuffed animals to bed until middle school, projecting sibling-ness on friends who shouldn't have to fulfill the role. He'll be a brilliant writer who overdoses in a Chelsea loft with some steampunk chick wearing a top hat while the Decemberists play on the Bose. (Yes, he’s that pretentious - he owns a Bose.)
That spoiled siblingphobe Jeremiah smugly believes his life would be better without other peer Lewises. He selfishly wants the whole inheritance to himself, like the father of Israel or Kim Jong-un, not to mention a hearty college fund that lets him sail through school without student loans. Contemptible, incorrigible, insatiable - Jeremiah might as well proclaim "I am God" in a decent 1993 movie.
Sure, only children are the creative ones, the geniuses, the rulers - think how much damage Paris could do without Nikki, like Arnold without Danny in Twins. But our country has always regretted putting these "little emperors" in charge. FDR's economic policies stretched out the Great Depression, and Alan Greenspan's created the housing bubble. Rudy Giuliani's downfall ruined the stellar streak of philanderers in politics, and Tipper Gore's refusal to micromanage Al's schedule led to An Inconvenient Truth, ManBearPig and the defilement of hotel masseuses.
Worst of all, only children turn us into welfare queens. Call me a pessimist, but my generation is four months away from laying in the gutter eating dirt, taking classes at the University of Phoenix, and suckling the Chinese teat (see, I told you they're easy to hate). We can't afford to pay our own bills, let alone for our convalescent parents. With several piddling incomes pooled together and each other's emotional support, brothers and sisters can take care of their parents without groveling to Uncle Sam and his infinite credit line.
And only children? They have that bloated, bicentennial bastard on speed dial.
One Child Left Alone
The Chinese and futuristic societies have it right. One child per one family, one happy little globe unencumbered by the fractious and paralyzing (re)production of children that creates tomorrow's destroying minions. We're better off without 'em, I say, and I have authority.
After all, I was the third in a family of four kids.
Like blacks who can call each other n****r or Naderites can call Ralph N***r, it's okay for me to hold that parents should be limited to one child per cervix. This policy would have its advantages. Think of the work-sponsored daycare cost reductions, or the reduced need for pediatricians, which is a good thing, given that everyone in the medical profession is now shooting for the ever more lucrative specialized medicines, like those surgeons who operate on the brain via a hole in your foot, or chiropractors. The policy would also give lesbian couples the lucky opportunity to have the status of Twofers, which only our overly happy interracial couples currently hold.
The advantages also extend to the public's overall mental health. After the one child, you're done, and back to doing what you do best, which is living for yourself; if you found yourself staying married just so the kid would grow up with a complete family, you can gain your freedom after eighteen years instead of the usual thirty it seems to take most Baby Boomers. And if you and your spouse still love each other, you're free to contemplate or copulate without the fear of becoming the 60-year old father of a newborn. How awkward is that?
Parenting is its own hassle of joy, involving sleepless nights, endless colic and croup scares, airplane feeding techniques for food that is less appealing than most Erica Jong books, and when they're older, teenage angst and rebellion. Why subject yourself to more of it than is absolutely necessary to keep the population refill rate in the black?
Siblings offer certain niceties, like serving as blame candidates for the Who Broke The Lamp campaign or splitting chores. But they also are a constant competition, someone to look up to and envy at the same time. Siblings are subject to the first-born hand-me-downs, and many times the last children born get the least parenting, due to Bluth-like exhaustion. And when it comes time to being the dutiful aunt or uncle, buying gifts isn't multiplied by your own siblings' addiction to sex without birth control.
Single children are generally better careerists and achievers. They're winners, because they've had to be winners. Being an only child focuses the parents' collective will, hopes, dreams, and advice into laserlike precision, and the result are children who raise the bar for their sibling'd classmates who are content to settle into the shadows of their betters.
And that is precisely what America needs at this point. Facing the eerie yellow haze of Chinese supremacy and their population control (which results in splendidly choreographed Olympic dances), America needs to make raising one child well--not eight in the glare of a reality tv light--its primary mission in this decade.
One Child Left Alone ought to be America's official birthing policy; after all, it takes a village to raise a child. Let's not subject the national village to any more children than is necessary.