An excellent reduction in public spending

With council budgets under pressure, teenage pregnancy co-ordinators are being axed, an exclusive investigation for SocietyGuardian reveals.

The last few decades have shown quite conclusively that teenagers can coordinate pregnancies without the aid of bureaucrats.

9 thoughts on “An excellent reduction in public spending”

  1. Badoom-ching. Seriously, though, given that the job of teenage pregnancy co-ordinators is to prevent teenage pregnancies, isn’t this a bit of a false economy?

  2. A random Googling produced this fine example at Islington.gov.uk
    Quote starts
    “The Teenage Pregnancy Coordinator, part of Targeted Youth Support, is responsible for the development of the Islington teenage pregnancy strategy, which contributes to the national strategy to reduce teenage pregnancy rates. It is a joint strategy between the Local Authority and NHS Islington to reduce teenage pregnancy rates in Islington by 55% by 2010 and ensure support for teenage parents. The Co-ordinator works in partnership with colleagues from Education, Health, Social Services, Youth Services, and the Voluntary sector to ensure that young people within those services are receiving appropriate education and advice to enable them to make informed choices about their reproductive and sexual health and that teenage parents and their children receive the support they need.”
    Quote ends.
    Not very reassuring that the page (last updated Jan 2011) has a targeted reduction to be achieved in 2010.
    It doesn’t look to me like they actually do anything; just sit in an office and ‘develop strategies’. More paper pushers we can manage without.

  3. Teenage pregnancy has been steadily falling in the UK since the 1960s. Whether the assorted social-work-types have had any impact at all is another question.

    My guess would be that free condoms and pill prescriptions do make a difference, because teenage kids are horny, stupid and income-constrained (even if from wealthy families) but mostly don’t want to get pregnant.

    However, I’m sure pretty much everything else on the do-gooding front makes no difference at all, since once you’ve dealt with the problem of the horny-and-daft kids, you’re left with the ones who actually *want* to knock out sprogs. And do-gooders don’t change incentives.

  4. We don’t need it to be the teenage pregnancy co-ordinators that hand out the pills and condoms, of course.

    Might as well give that role to the teachers. No evidence they’re doing any teaching, after all.

  5. ‘given that the job of teenage pregnancy co-ordinators is to prevent teenage pregnancies, isn’t this a bit of a false economy?’

    Well, if you believe that State employees are going to do themselves out of a job by solving the problem they are tasked with, then yes it might be a false economy.

    If on the other hand you believe that State employees tend to prefer the problem, and their employment, to continue indefinitely, then you might as well get rid of them anyway.

  6. JohnB:
    ” once you’ve dealt with the problem of the horny-and-daft kids, you’re left with the ones who actually *want* to knock out sprogs. And do-gooders don’t change incentives. ”

    It occurs to me, that the incentive for a lot of these girls, is the way the arrival of a baby unlocks the full bounty of the benefits system. Girls who would otherwise be stuck in their mother’s house, chasing a poorly paid job, maybe waiting years for some man to marry her.

    All she needs though, is a baby, and the state will give her a place of her own, and pay the rent, and pay her living expenses. And she need never even show up at the job centre.
    I think this appeals to the feckless, and the no hopers, the most. As a result, that sector of the population is reproducing at an enhanced rate, compared to the taxpaying employed mainstream. We are skewing our own population in favour of the least fit. The lowest IQ, least motivated, least talented.
    But the worst aspect of that, is we are incentivising girls who don’t actually want the baby, to have one. And that is a recipe for neglected, abused, children.

    So we should wipe out that incentive. Have a baby you can’t support? The state should take it from you and place it for adoption. And the mother gets sent back to the job centre, until she gets the message.

  7. The proportion of our population who are functionally illiterate, innumerate, and unemployable, seems to me to be much higher now, than it was 50 years ago. Back then, there were very few people who really didn’t have any marketable skills. Most of the women could do mental arithmetic, well enough to serve customers in a shop, and give them their change. Or use a sewing machine in a clothing factory. Most men could turn their hand to operating machinery.

    There were very few people who could not aspire to anything higher than scrubbing floors, or emptying bins. And it was usually possible to slot them into totally unskilled jobs.
    Now, their numbers seem to be overwhelming us. Reverse evolution. These kids might, under better circumstances, have been able to achieve a modest degree of skill, and steady secure work. But they have been hothoused to join the “can’t be arsed” brigade, and you can’t get back to the civilised world from there.

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