Contraception or Bribes?

Mayor Emanuel and Walgreen Co. CEO Greg Wasson announced today a new public-private partnership that creates a pilot incentive program aimed at encouraging parents to become more involved in their schools and part of new efforts CPS is undertaking to better engage parents across the district. The pilot provides parents with a “Balance Rewards” card with 25,000 points, worth the equivalent of $25 in Walgreens in-store purchases, when they pick up their students’ report cards and participate in parent-teacher conferences during Report Card Pick-Up days.

When you have to pay people to take an interest in their own children, the whole situation is too bizarre for words.

Could the Walgreens be persuaded to hand out free birth control instead? A parent who needs to be bribed to remember that s/he has a child will not do any good to that child. I say let’s promote contraception instead.

What do you think?

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17 comments on “Contraception or Bribes?

  1. The notion that individuals should be provided with free contraception is bizarre, unless part of a socialist program. Again, I suspect that your years under USSR socialism have impacted your thinking much more deeply than you realize. Do you truly want to go back to the system of governance that damaged your young life and that led you to flee the Ukraine?

    Do you want individuals to receive free housing, free energy, free food? You are on an extremely slippery slope in this line of thinking.

    • By the way, under USSR the contraceptives were not free…
      They were not expensive but relatively hard to get. Officially – because of the hickups of the planned economy. But I suspect traditional values of the society (very similar to those of American conservative evangelicals) had something to do with that too.

      • Contraceptives were absolutely non-existent in the USSR which resulted in women having to get literally dozens of abortions in their lifetimes. The sex-shaming patriarchal mentality was very much present, even though religion was not.

    • If I could demonstrate a need (i.e. be female) I could find free contraception here in Australia. At worst I would be paying $5 or so for a months supply.

      I checked the papers this morning, it seems our economy is fine, unemployment is less than 5% and crime rates are at historical lows, all despite having a female Prime minister leading a left leaning government.

      What scares you about socialism as practiced in Western Europe and Australia?

  2. There seems to be a large number of Americans who believe that if a country adopts the smallest element of socialism, that the country is headed for communism. This flies in the face of reality. Most western countries adopted some elements of socialism years ago, and are thriving without slipping into communism.

  3. It’s not that they forget they have kids, they’re just completely uninterested in their children’s education.

    It’s nice to think that respect for education is a universal value, but that’s not where the evidence points. Parental involvement in education is a very good thing in lots of ways but it’s far from any kind of natural instinct, it’s more like a hard won and fragile cultural value.

    For what it’s worth I think parental apathy here will win the day against a few trinkets from …. Walgreens? What do they have that apathetic parents would want?

    • I don’t like when corporate entitites start having a hand in public education. Money starts to drive policiy which starts to drive curriculum. I think this is a dangerous precendent.

  4. I wonder in part if the reason why some of these parents don’t turn up is because they are working poorly paid jobs in order to survive. A $25 voucher could permit them to take the time of work.

  5. Free contraception does not lead to Stalinism! Only Americans could possibly believe that. Free contraception leads to fewer abortions, fewer suicidal women, fewer unwanted babies. In the UK we had the pill free during the late 1960’s and the 1970’s. It led to Margaret Thatcher! The teenage pregnancy and abortion rates increased when her government made women pay for prescribed contraception.

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