The New Zealand left is very small, so I've known of Jim Flynn for ages. He always seemed like an old-fashioned, decent, social-democrat. I guess I didn't realise how old-fashioned.
Apparently university educated women have 1.85 babies by their early 40s, while women with no tertiary education 2.57 babies. Jim Flynn commented on this (the article I'm quoting from isn't on-line, but you can get the jist here):
Everyone knows if we only allowed short people to reproduce there would be a tendency in terms of genes for height to diminish. Intelligence is no different from other human traits. It's a function of the brain and brain physiology. A persistent genetic trend which lowered the genetic quality for brain philiology would have some effect eventuallyIs a basic knowledge of history too much to ask? People have been worrying about declines in intelligence, and that educated (or in times when they said what they meant white middle class) women are not having enough babies, ever since they started believing Darwin. Those fears have always proved to be unfounded.
Of course they're unfounded. The class system gives some people privilege and others poverty. Those differences of resources cause any differences between classes, whether it's number of babies women have, or the way you perform on standardised tests. To suggest otherwise, to say poor people are poor because they are stupid, should be deeply offensive to anyone to the left of John Kerry.
Jim Flynn's cure is as horrific as his diagnosis:
"I do have faith in science, and science may give us something that renders conception impossible unless you take an antidote," he said.I think I'd be more offended at this idea, if it wasn't so totally preposterous. It obviously comes from someone who has never had to worry about contraception, knows nothing about what is available, and thinks hormonal contraceptives are side-effect free (and that there's an anti-dote available).
"You could of course have a chemical in the water supply and have to take an antidote. If you had contraception made easier by progress, then every child is a wanted child."
It's sad that an old man, who has done good things, is spouting this rubbish, and apparently every news outlet in New Zealand is passing it on.