Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

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Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Carleas » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:26 pm

[NB: What follows is a thought experiment, and not a policy proposal.]

Suppose we had a system in which the right to reproduce will be strictly controlled globally, and permission granted as follows: the right to reproduce is purchased from a central authority, which conducts periodic auctions for a transferable bond redeemable at birth. Each parent needs to own a bond, or the birth would be prohibited (ignore for now details of how this is enforced; it may be relevant later).

The auction is conducted as a dutch auction of a pool of birth rights bonds, where the price of one bond is set at some high price which is gradually decreased. Buyers may buy at any time during the auction, whenever the price is low enough for them, and the pool is depleted over time. Assume funds raised will displace taxes and go towards status quo government spending.

There are several interesting questions to consider, in two broad categories: economic and social.

Economic questions include:
e1) At what price should the auction start?
e2) What will the distribution of purchases in the auction be?
e3) What will the bonds be worth on the open market following the auction?
e4) What percent of the bonds will be exercised, as opposed to held or traded as an investment?

Social questions include:
s1) What size should the pool be?
s2) Who will reproduce under such a system?
s3) What would the genetic and social consequences be? Eugenic? Disgenic? Will poor countries benefit?

Some additional assumptions are necessary to answer most of the questions. First and foremost, this is a thought experiment, so rejecting the premise is boring. Assume that this policy is going forward, and we are trying to find the best values for the various variables. Second, we may want to assume a more governed world, so that government spending is more equal. It may help to think of this in terms of a toy world resembling the modern US in terms of distribution or resources and population, and with the spending being something like federal spending in the US system.

Some tentative thoughts and responses:
e1: The auction price should start high, say at total government spending over the period between auctions. This would ensure that the starting price is higher than the highest strike price (i.e. the highest price at which there exists a buyer willing to pay).
e2: Institutional buyers would make up the majority of purchases. Some wealthy individuals and families would buy bonds at high prices, and most of the population would be priced out to speculation. This would change over time and depend on the size of the pool, and how the pool size changes year over year (a restrictive pool would sell higher; a pool that grew year-over-year faster than population would make speculation less profitable). There would also be those who buy the bonds to influence the reproduction of others, e.g. eugenicist causes, religious institutions, localities who want to entice their populations to grow.
e3: I would have paid thousands for such a bond. Maybe as high as $10,000. I might only have had one child. Others would pay much more; many parents would pay a substantial amount to provide such a bond to create grandchildren. And of course, many would not be willing to pay at all.
e4: My guess is that use would be low. Reproduction is uncertain under normal circumstances, and people planning to use the bond will only be partly successful. Other bonds would be saved and banked for future use, e.g. parents for children. And speculators would of course hold them in anticipation of future demand.

s1: I favor increasing global population, so I wouldn't want the total pool to be lower than current global population change over a similar period. It would likely suppress reproduction even at that level, because of the number of bonds that aren't exercised. If we wanted to gut the program, we could set the number arbitrarily high, so that the market price is zero, although institutions might still decide to hoard bonds to artificially increase their price or to control who reproduces. This might have the effect of producing an effective floor of price.
s2: Who reproduces would likely change (so long as the price were not zero), and radically so. Income is negatively associated with fertility, so there would be a collapse in fertility among the very poor. However, this may be less than expected: in agricultural societies, children are an economic resource, and so people may invest in having more children despite the price, while in wealthier places the ability to buy many bonds would not necessarily correspond with the desire to have many children. Resources are not the bottleneck now, so they might not be in the auction world either. However, if children become more of a status symbol, that might change.
s3: Though the world of this thought experiment seems eugenicist, there is good reason to think that it would substantially disgenic. To the extent that it provides the rich with the ability to procreate, it would encourage incestuous practices like cousin marriage to keep wealth centralized. And because older generations are wealthier than their children, it would give parents and grandparents more power over their children's procreation, encouraging arranged marriage and incest as a way of maximizing the value to the person who pays for the bond (grandparents may prefer cousin marriage, since they have a stake in ensuring reproduction on both sides of the arrangement).

This doesn't strike me as a good policy, not least because it would be impossible in practice (though that will change with increasing surveillance). But the thought experiment gets at some interesting ideas. What is procreation worth, and how would it change society if parents had to pay that in order to reproduce?
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Kriswest » Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:29 pm

This proposal has another major flaw other than what you mention,, how do you stop breeding and monitor it?? Especially worldwide? No way I can think of .
I will be bitchy, cranky, sweet, happy, kind, pain in the ass all at random times from now on. I am embracing my mentalpause until further notice. Viva lack of total control!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is not a test,,, this is my life right now. Have a good day and please buckle up for safety reasons,, All those in high chairs, go in the back of the room.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Carleas » Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:36 pm

Kriswest wrote:This proposal has another major flaw other than what you mention,, how do you stop breeding and monitor it?? Especially worldwide? No way I can think of .

Carleas wrote:(ignore for now details of how this is enforced; it may be relevant later)

I agree that it isn't possible currently, but I don't think it needs to remain impossible in a not-too-distant future. Assuming 1) a proliferation of surveillance technology, 2) increasing formalization of individual identity, continuing the trend from single names to social security numbers to RealID etc., and 3) ubiquitous gene sequencing -- all of which are on a steadily upward trend -- the policy could be enforced through some substantial penalty, and monitored through AI empowered surveillance that notices pregnancy, or recognizes new faces and then determining parentage from genetic sequencing.

Note also that China's one-child policy is not too far from this in terms of what's necessary to enforce it. My impression is that that policy has been mostly enforceable, particularly in cities, as reflected in e.g. the substantial shift in gender makeup of China following its implementation. That isn't global of course, but China is enormous and populous. A strong global government shouldn't have too much more trouble.

Another way to think about this problem is to change the 'globe' we're talking about. While enforcement could be insurmountable over all of Earth, it would be a smaller lift in the context of a space station, Mars colony, or generation ship. And controlling birth might make sense in those contexts, where resources are scarce and a just distribution of a scarce right to reproduce is necessary. However, those economies are unlikely to be market economies, because market economies are a bad fit for small groups, particularly where individual actions can have such a high impact on everyone's lives.


I forgot to mention in the OP why the specifics of how it's implemented could be relevant. Suppose the policy is enforced under penalty of death for the parents. Would some people choose to have a child in spite of that? Many people are willing to die for their children, so it's not impossible that people would choose to die to procreate. It may not be possible to have a penalty high enough to deter 'off-market' births.

If the policy were enforced by detecting and terminating unlawful pregnancies, then additional penalties would be sufficient to deter that kind of rational lawbreaking: there would be a cost to those breaking the law with nothing to show for it.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Meno_ » Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:25 pm

Was China's one child policy, discontinued, not an example of failure, where the thought of experimenting with an economically based procreation, was not really thoughtful as well?

Did the Nazi experiment not resemble the idealistic attempt to form higher and higher conscious manifestations of failure as well?

Is not natural selection a sufficient mode of higher types, e.i, people mate on characteristics, that resemble aesthetic forms of humanly desirable forms?

Does not life imitate art, in most.advanced cultural environments?

Would Nature's way be a more economically feasible method, where the issue of the cost of administration of such institution not exceed the cost of the generation of incoming income?

Would not the default separation of policing, and constant studying overwhelm a clogging of the system if graft and truthless criminality were added into the ad inistration?

Would particular familial inter breeding, not represent an aristocratic recurrence of abnormal idiocy?

But even if there was overwhelming necessity to adopt such a system not fail in direct proportion to the universally appearing cause of space travel, to find other inhabutabke places to live, and could it then be shown that the hypothetical preference be actually a money saver6, since the moneys already spent could be shown to be wasted if Your hypothetical be adopted?

The mind does play tricks , and as such will bias Your mind game hypothesis by a preference to view the elite as higher types, and affordability will diminish the type considered less preferable: such as the poor, who are mostly portrayed in less desirable forms.

Would not this play alone cause a necessary and violent reaction by those groups who are dispossessed of the desire to buy in?

If all the above questions can be answered by ' not necessarily' , then it might be safe to say, that the experiment can only imply a more foubdemental question that is more in terms of quantitative analysis.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Meno_ » Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:13 pm

Carleas, let's keep Your mind experiment hanging for a while, and consider another possible experiment.

Let us suppose that an ever expanding liberalism, homosexuality were to become the primary tool for population control. And let us further expand inducements such as captivating Madison avenue promoted representations of photos and films of 'male desirability over female's to become the modus operandi of that effort; which was to be named the 'homosexual agenda' : ?

What about wider prescriptions of liberal causes, applied, in terms of drug use?

I will use a specific case, so as not to appear to be disconnected from a hypothetical ground .

An example of two deaths in one family, both of whom died because of negligence with drugs.

The latest , most recent one will be focused upon, a woman of near 33 years of age who overdosed on speedballs, cocaine, oxycontent and whisky. Her marriage to a initially unadmitted criminality, arrest and service of time, not disclosed, led to a pattern based on intimidation and control. The man was from the Middle East, where male dominance and control was subtly and apparently introduced without the woman's cigniscance.

As the woman became increasingly aware of this subtle process, she tried a counter processing of oriental mind control, of which he too became slowly aware of. She was oriental.

The two antagonistic processes clashed, and the man won out, by introducing drugs, on an escalating rate.

Finally she gave him an ultimatum, to shape up, and adhere to her mode of life based in materially based cultural institutiinaliry. In essence, it was a male against a female culturally determinative counter cultural clash.

The man delivered the final cocktail when upon advice of his father, whose judicial point of view coincides with the Koran.

(The Koran will rule negatively against a pro-feminine interpretation.)

That she still trusted in him and loved him, is point positive about her willingness to take the cocktail, based upon a long established trust, and no knowledge of the moral implications of the guidance the Koran indicates.

This specific case illustrates an possible idea, that liberalism contains a mostly unknown element that has suggestive power, of population control within it's ranks.

These ranks may constitute a progressive application of control, in the case of drugs, liberalization may be interpreted on basis of quantification of so many OD's per population sample, to enable a utility of environmental/ population control.

Would this, if interpreted as such, be , a more credible model of a hypothetical illustrated by the above construed hypothetical by Carleas?

Of course both can be evaluated comparatively as more evidentiary, and 'real' meaning more natural, than a contrived Dutch experiment of buying rights to birthing?

That the Dutch experiment would generate more tax problems is probably the less issue to the one if an elite control to population genetic control, but for the above reasons, an ultimate political crisis could certainly end life on earth, as we know it, partially or in toto.

The hidden agenda consists in the indeginious partially derived concept of pre-reflexive animal behavior, what characterizes 'cunning' , the same cunning the 12 step system of detoxological method prescribes to dependency causing substances.

They overlap a civilized patently acquired civilization, within the Freudian established framework of causation of unhapinness.

Is the right to reproduced deductible to such causative factors, which did not offer a choice between pleasure for it's own happyly indulgent self serving state, and the backward reason ing to it's legitimacy?

No, and that is why the abyss, seeks it's own reflection, but does not , could not find it.

It is a form of self indulgent vampirism.


The final arbiter revolves around the question, of, whether a moral justification fits an ethical substantiation of a liberal, rather then a conservative approximated model.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby phyllo » Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:57 pm

One wonders why a system to control the right to reproduce is necessary. What problem is it addressing?

If overpopulation is the general problem, then birth rates can be reduced by providing a social safety net for the sick and elderly and educating and empowering women. These are known solutions.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Meno_ » Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:54 pm

phyllo wrote:One wonders why a system to control the right to reproduce is necessary. What problem is it addressing?

If overpopulation is the general problem, then birth rates can be reduced by providing a social safety net for the sick and elderly and educating and empowering women. These are known solutions.


And these have failed for the most part, so far, no?
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Carleas » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:46 pm

phyllo wrote:One wonders why a system to control the right to reproduce is necessary. What problem is it addressing?

How does this affect your reponse? Take a few test cases and explain what difference it makes in your answers to the questions in the OP. I think I can see how this would change responses, e.g. if it's a question of limiting population (e.g. a generation ship), we might choose some values, and if it's a question of changing who reproduces (e.g. avoiding Idiocracy), we might choose others. But not sure exactly which way this would move things.

phyllo wrote:If overpopulation is the general problem, then birth rates can be reduced by providing a social safety net for the sick and elderly and educating and empowering women. These are known solutions.

This is a bit beside the hypo, since I didn't give a justification and I'm not trying to justify the policy, just to explore its implications.

But to your point: it's worth considering how the policies you offer as a substitute would work on a generation ship or other tightly constrained environment, particularly where that constraint is a radical departure from the environment in which one grew up. I assume you are looking at real-world societies where fertility has fallen with wealth, but I'm not sure we can assume from that that a sudden increase in wealth will have a significant impact fertility in the generation that first sees that wealth in adulthood: people who were planning to have lots of kids will probably still have lots of kids if they are suddenly made much more wealthy. Rather, I would guess that the effect takes place over generations, so that kids growing up in wealthier societies choose fewer children in adulthood -- but I admit that this is speculation and I'd be interested if you know of any results to the contrary.

Your suggestion gave me a thought, though: in the context of a generation ship with a robust social safety net and a need to keep population within certain highs and lows, we might keep running the auction past zero, so that it goes from a price to an incentive to reproduce. My original framing assumed that reproduction had a positive value, but that isn't necessarily so.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby phyllo » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:30 pm

There are several interesting questions to consider, in two broad categories: economic and social.

Economic questions include:
e1) At what price should the auction start?
e2) What will the distribution of purchases in the auction be?
e3) What will the bonds be worth on the open market following the auction?
e4) What percent of the bonds will be exercised, as opposed to held or traded as an investment?

Social questions include:
s1) What size should the pool be?
s2) Who will reproduce under such a system?
s3) What would the genetic and social consequences be? Eugenic? Disgenic? Will poor countries benefit?

How does this affect your reponse? Take a few test cases and explain what difference it makes in your answers to the questions in the OP. I think I can see how this would change responses, e.g. if it's a question of limiting population (e.g. a generation ship), we might choose some values, and if it's a question of changing who reproduces (e.g. avoiding Idiocracy), we might choose others. But not sure exactly which way this would move things.
You ask a bunch of social and economic questions without specifying the culture and economics of the society or the original justification for the system.

If you limited it to the current USA, you would still get a huge variety of responses depending on region, religion, ethnicity, etc.

I don't know what kind of answers you expect. :confusion-shrug:
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Carleas » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:35 pm

phyllo wrote:You ask a bunch of social and economic questions without specifying the culture and economics of the society or the original justification for the system.

If you limited it to the current USA, you would still get a huge variety of responses depending on region, religion, ethnicity, etc.

The beauty of prices is that they make the internal diversity irrelevant. Yes, the value each individual places on the bond will depend on region, religion, ethnicity, etc., and different people will disagree, but the price at which all that disageement settles will not vary. If you limit it to the current US, and take some reasonable values like 3.79m bonds (the number of births in the US last year), and an auction beginning at 4.4 trillion per bond (the total budget for the federal government for fiscal year 2019), where does the US as it exists settle? Where does a generation ship comprised of all people currently residing in the US settle? If it's still uncertain, what are the uncertainties and how do things change for different possible cases?
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:19 am

Carleas wrote:
There are several interesting questions to consider, in two broad categories: economic and social.

Economic questions include:
e1) At what price should the auction start?
e2) What will the distribution of purchases in the auction be?
e3) What will the bonds be worth on the open market following the auction?
e4) What percent of the bonds will be exercised, as opposed to held or traded as an investment?


E1: I guess if you could determine the net worth of the lowest person that could buy a bond assuming every bond could theoretically be sold at that monetary value (or higher) then that would be where you would start the bidding. Assuming that the demand for the bonds is equal to the supply at that value (even though the demand would certainly be less) it would maximize revenue.

E2: I apologize, but I don't understand what you are asking. I guess I sort of do, but then you talk about institutional purchasing. I don't see why anyone aside from an individual should be able to purchase the bonds because institutions cannot produce children. I guess I disagree with the premise that institutions should even be able to purchase the bonds.

E3: Whatever they can be sold for, as with any resale item. Value exists in the opinion of both buyer and seller.

E4: Too many variables to give an answer. For one thing, would the bond automatically expire at a given time? Would the death of the bondholder cancel out that particular bond, or would it be transferable?

Social questions include:
s1) What size should the pool be?
s2) Who will reproduce under such a system?
s3) What would the genetic and social consequences be? Eugenic? Disgenic? Will poor countries benefit?


S1: I think that would depend on what the goal is in terms of population management. 2.1:2 is the replacement rate for maintaining the current population, so I guess something more or less than that depending on the policy goal.

S2: Whoever wants to and either purchases or is given a bond. I think that it would disproportionately be wealthier people.

S3: Again, it depends on what the population goals are. The bonds could essentially serve as a means to build the population into something closely resembling whatever the desired result is.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Tab » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:01 pm

how would it change society if parents had to pay that in order to reproduce?


Hey people. I discuss this in class sometimes, albeit obliquely. It comes under general talks about the stability of a given society, and I argue that the lowest threshold a society can reach before collapsing is the point where (most) people can no longer realistically guarrentee the well-being of any existing children, or more to the point of the OP, envision ever being able to have children at all. It is at this point there is no real benefit to the populace of the current regime, to my mind, to adhere to the laws governing them.

Sorry to not answer the specifics, but practically, some professions, police, army etc. would have to have a bond included with their contracts for such a society to have any hope of surviving the undoubted backlash.

Interesting statistics, worldwide, every second, roughly 4 babies are born (2 people die every second too btw). Good luck to any institution dedicated to enforcing the birthing regulations...

Second thought, how about a less punative bond system - the cost of the bond is held by, rather than simply paid to, the government, and put towards the nurturing of the child of the bond-holders. The offer-price of the would-be parents is compared to the average of the total offers submitted in the time-period, those above are approved, those below, refused. However, this too fails as it would be too easy for the super-rich to skew the average upward - putting in an amazingly high bid - effectively giving them some control over which demographs reproduce. Tricky. The average calculations would have to be weighted by a particular bid's fraction of the would-be parents income or something to even the odds.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:04 pm

Well lookee here.

Awesome. Hello Tab. Prolly don't remember me, but it's good to read from you again. Blast from the past.

And of course, the problem with these thought experiments is that they take government to be an absolute variable, a thing which gives only regulation, and not a party per se. But it is a party, with interests beholden to it and beholden to interests.

The real darker side of these thought experiments is, students with their youthful cum-fullness and desire to achieve, or maybe tiredness of the uselesness of old people, will take them literally and seek to apply them, even if consciously they know there is no such absolute variable, or even that one would be absolutely horrible and undesireable, if only as an operative practicality to guide all that cum.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Tab » Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:32 pm

Hey Pedro, thanks for the nod, I'm afraid no, I don't remember you - unless perhaps you posted under another name at some point. It has been a long time though.

Third thought, perhaps (reversable) sterility would be more palatable. In that person X could trade their fertilty in for Y benefit at some point in their lives, and regain it for cost Z in the future. This would give the populace some degree, however ultimately ficticious, of control over their procreative prospects as well as a source of hope. And to the government in question, deniablitity of democide. A scheme of being able to trade a bond (supplied as a basic human right at birth) on the market would achieve the same end, though with more mess as unsanctioned births could still occur.

Actually, both of those versions could be beneficial to anyone in a lower tier of society who managed to hold onto their bond or fertility as they would become more attractive to upper teirs who had either already expended theirs or undergone sterilization, if the bond/restoration of fertility price were to be exceptionally high. Sure, the obvious riposte is that the upper-tier partner would exploit the everlovin' bejesus out of the lower tier, simply dumping them after the desired child is achieved, but on the other hand the practice would preserve the 50% genetic input of the less advantaged person involved. Then of course I am assuming that the bond is legally attached to the genes of the holders, and not simply to the act of bringing a new baby, of any genetic heritage, into the world.

If the bond were to be legally bound to the genes of the holders I can imagine a stable(ish) society in that families of poor background could always have a 'designated breeder' amongst their offspring, their siblings trading their bonds/fertility to promote the finances of the family, secure to a degree in the knowledge that at least some of their genetic legacy would continue on.

To be honest though, any society implementing any policies concerning people's rights to reproduce would be massively prone to unrest, not to mention utterly draconian in nature for it even to arise.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:47 am

Hey, shit, China did it.

And the Germans woulda too, it wasn't unrest that brought them down.

I went by pezer. I probably shouldn't have burst out like that, but it really was a blast from the past.

Anywho, I'll politely step out of this thread now. Good to see ya.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:50 am

"S3: Again, it depends on what the population goals are."

What whose population goals are?

Ok, now I'm going.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Carleas » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:35 am

PavlovianModel146 wrote:E1: I guess if you could determine the net worth of the lowest person that could buy a bond assuming every bond could theoretically be sold at that monetary value (or higher) then that would be where you would start the bidding.

This sounds like you're thinking in terms of a traditional option, i.e. start low and raise the price until no one will bid any higher. But a dutch auction is the reverse: you start low and lower the price until someone buys. Or am I misreading you?

This might also help to clarify e2: since people value a bond differently, some people will buy sooner than others. Some will be willing to pay a lot, others will wait for the price to come down. So you end up with a distribution of prices across which people buy, presumably with some narrow tail at the high end and likely clustering at the low end; on reflection, the question is probably pretty boring when the bond is transferable, but may be more interesting when we consider a non-transferable bond.


Tab wrote:Hey people.

Well well well.

Tab wrote:I argue that the lowest threshold a society can reach before collapsing is the point where (most) people can no longer realistically guarrentee the well-being of any existing children, or more to the point of the OP, envision ever being able to have children at all. It is at this point there is no real benefit to the populace of the current regime, to my mind, to adhere to the laws governing them.

It seems like in much of the developed world, it's not a lack of ability to provide for children, but a lack of desire to have children that's driving us towards a threhold. I don't buy that millenials are actually particularly economically precarious relative to earlier generations, but they are opting not to reproduce because the alternative is more appealing. That leads to a detachment from the long-term future that can be just as bad as a collapse in legitmacy from a majority being unable to have kids. I'm not sure which way the causal goes, though; people may be becoming detached first, and then choosing not to bring children into a nihilistic universe.

For similar reasons, though, I agree that we'd want to provide bonds to people in certain positions, to nudge them towards a longer-term outlook. But giving politicians free bonds and denying them to the poor is a very, very bad look.

Tab wrote:Interesting statistics, worldwide, every second, roughly 4 babies are born (2 people die every second too btw). Good luck to any institution dedicated to enforcing the birthing regulations...

This doesn't seem like that high a lift. Each new person would be tied to the bonds that permit their birth. Bonded births could be checked quickly, leaving only a small residue of people who would spur investigations into their parents illegal acts. The IRS employs 80,000 people, and that would be more than enough to police the ~350,000 births every day.

Tab wrote:Second thought, how about a less punative bond system - the cost of the bond is held by, rather than simply paid to, the government, and put towards the nurturing of the child of the bond-holders.

If the fees paid go into the public fisc, the result should be the same, assuming that tax revenue is spent in a way that supports people through their lives. If direct spending on childcare is the best way to spend public money to support society, all well and good, but I don't know that that's a given (this and the above remind me that I have a very first world perspective on the question).

Tab wrote:However, this too fails as it would be too easy for the super-rich to skew the average upward - putting in an amazingly high bid - effectively giving them some control over which demographs reproduce. Tricky. The average calculations would have to be weighted by a particular bid's fraction of the would-be parents income or something to even the odds.

I'm not sure that it's possible to avoid that in a system with transferable bonds. Speculators would probably pull the price too high for most, assuming that childbearing has a positive value for most people. A non-transferable bond system would solve a lot of the distributional inequality that would result, but would put weird pressures on poor families, e.g. families choosing the best of a generation and pooling their resources to give that one the chance to reproduce on behalf of the clan. But I'm not sure that this doesn't happen already: I know other species do this explicitly (e.g. shoebills killing weaker chicks to allocate more food towards the stronger chicks), I wouldn't be too surprised to find it's practiced implicitly among humans.

Tab wrote:Third thought, perhaps (reversable) sterility would be more palatable. In that person X could trade their fertilty in for Y benefit at some point in their lives, and regain it for cost Z in the future.

Interesting. It seems like overall fertility (i.e. on/off for as many children as you like) would be too easy to game. As you point out, siblings could trade off years and basically reproduce exactly as they always have. If each person were born with bonds for 2 individual births, though, that would create a similar market as would result following a dutch auction.

But I liked the idea that the auction could flip into reverse if the government wanted to raise the fertility rate, and start putting a negative price (i.e. a cash incentive) to lure more people into childbearing. I don't know how you could do that in the system where people are born with a certain number. Maybe tax unused bonds?

Tab wrote:To be honest though, any society implementing any policies concerning people's rights to reproduce would be massively prone to unrest, not to mention utterly draconian in nature for it even to arise.

Do you think that happened with China's One Child policy? I don't think China is particularly prone to unrest, and what unrest there is seems more due to the demographic effects (more unpartnered young men) than to reproductive regulations per se.


Pedro I Rengel wrote:The real darker side of these thought experiments is, students with their youthful cum-fullness and desire to achieve, or maybe tiredness of the uselesness of old people, will take them literally and seek to apply them

I didn't think this was that dystopian when I first offered it, but there are a lot of very dystopian versions of it. That said, I don't think global reproduction regulation is that unlikely in the long term. The Earth likely has a maximum human carrying capacity, and preventing ecosystem collapse might require direct regulation (though, as Phyllo points out, more progressive social policies might solve the problem more organically).
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:40 pm

This sounds like you're thinking in terms of a traditional option, i.e. start low and raise the price until no one will bid any higher. But a dutch auction is the reverse: you start low and lower the price until someone buys. Or am I misreading you?

This might also help to clarify e2: since people value a bond differently, some people will buy sooner than others. Some will be willing to pay a lot, others will wait for the price to come down. So you end up with a distribution of prices across which people buy, presumably with some narrow tail at the high end and likely clustering at the low end; on reflection, the question is probably pretty boring when the bond is transferable, but may be more interesting when we consider a non-transferable bond.


I did an excellent job in my conveyance, apparently, if my conveyance had been intended to convey the precise opposite.

What I am suggesting, and we're going to use small numbers for this just to save me typing:

Population: Males-5,000 Females-5,000

Okay, so suppose we have decided that we want to sell 5,000 TOTAL bonds, 2,500 (per sex/gender) for whatever reasons. The reason I would think would have to do with population control. One way or another, whether intended or not, creating a finite number of bonds does indeed control the population.

Imagine the richest male has a net worth of $10,000,000; it would be pointless to start the bidding at $10,000,000. The reason why it would be pointless is that you could not even theoretically sell one bond to each person who wants one. Since each bond represents the same, "Thing," I figure everyone would first get a shot to say, 'Yes,' or, 'No,' at a particular price...or perhaps the early stages of the auction would just require as many, "Yes," votes as that would get and everyone else could simply be assumed to be a, "No."

Okay. Our person with a net worth of $10,000,000 (unless a complete idiot) is not going to buy a bond for that price for three reasons, though the second and third reason will follow from the first:

1.) Because he would be the only one buying at that price because only he could afford that price. He would be offered a bond at a particular price and would have no competition in the bidding, because nobody else could afford one anyway. Therefore, there is no way buying at that price makes sense.

2.) Because it would be ALL of his money and there would be no reason to do that because he has zero bidding competition. There is no risk of him losing the opportunity to buy a bond if he refuses the $10,000,000 price.

3.) Prior to buying the bond, he is the richest person in the world...so even if the perceived value of the bond (with an eye towards resale) ever eclipsed that $10,000,000 figure...there's no real reason to think there would be huge demand or that anyone could really afford it anyway. There's also no reason to believe that would happen, since every other bond would be sold at a lower price.

So, what I would do if I were controlling the pricing, is I would determine the total price that the 2,500th richest person could even theoretically pay and start there. Anyone who wants a bond at that price can afford one and there would be no reason for those with more than that to pay any more than that because they don't have any competition anyway. This is the highest price that you could sell a bond in the first round of bidding such that everyone who wants to buy one (and has the money) in the first round can buy one.

I also think the price, in this case, would remain high enough to avoid the whole institutional buying problem, and again, I'm not even sure I stipulate that institutions should be permitted to buy them. Unless you want to work people not using a number of these bonds into your population projections, but I think that would muddy the waters, be overly complicated and also allow an institution to buy up all the bonds with no plans to ever sell them for the lulz.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:41 pm

Pedro I Rengel wrote:"S3: Again, it depends on what the population goals are."

What whose population goals are?

Ok, now I'm going.


The entity selling the bonds and dictating how many bonds are going to exist in the first place.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Ecmandu » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:44 pm

Well, the obvious way is to build world wide suicide clinics.

Plutocrats just want that money. More people, more money.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Carleas » Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:21 pm

Ah, I see what you're saying Pav, I think this was a comprehension failure on my part. To simplify further, just so I'm sure: If there only 5 bonds being sold, and the top 5 wealthiest people have $10m, $9m, $8m, $7m, and $6m, respectively, no one will buy for more than $6,000,000.01 because they can still guarantee they'll get a bond at that price. Is that the idea?

I can see a few problems with this. First, where the bonds are transferrable, the there might be speculative value in buying at a higher price. So if the wealthiest person can buy multiple bonds at a higher price, they could hold them in anticipation that people will be able to buy at a higher price later. For example, if the bonds are expected to maintain their value and other assets are expected to have negative return, the bonds could act as a hedge.

Second, as I mentioned in my reply to Tab, people may pool their resources to buy bonds, so several people whose net resources are blow the current price could buy one bond together (e.g. parents and granparents on behalf of their child).

Third, in practice there isn't full transparency between buyers, so buyers can estimate how much others have to spend, but they can't know and will sometimes rationally overpay when they're uncertain about what other people can/will pay.

Fourth, I don't see any cost to starting the bidding too high. If you start it too low, you leave money on the table, because people that would have purchased at a higher price instead purchase at a lower price.

I agree with your final point, that adding in all the realistic considerations complicates the question a lot. But dutch auctions are used in the real world to do things like IPOs, we could probably find a rich literature on how those sales behave in practice -- do you think that the reproduction bond auction would function the same way? My gut reaction is yes, but I could also see it being sufficiently different. I'll try to find some case studies.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:18 pm

Carleas wrote:Ah, I see what you're saying Pav, I think this was a comprehension failure on my part. To simplify further, just so I'm sure: If there only 5 bonds being sold, and the top 5 wealthiest people have $10m, $9m, $8m, $7m, and $6m, respectively, no one will buy for more than $6,000,000.01 because they can still guarantee they'll get a bond at that price. Is that the idea?


Yes. And, even if you change the one at the top to 20M, everyone below would still have first right of refusal before he could buy a second bond at x price. And again:

1.) If with an eye towards resale, I don't think they would but it for more than they think they could eventually resell it.

AND:

2.) They would still be inclined to get it for the lowest price they can, which for the richest person, would be less than literally all of his wealth. And on down.

I can see a few problems with this. First, where the bonds are transferrable, the there might be speculative value in buying at a higher price. So if the wealthiest person can buy multiple bonds at a higher price, they could hold them in anticipation that people will be able to buy at a higher price later. For example, if the bonds are expected to maintain their value and other assets are expected to have negative return, the bonds could act as a hedge.


I agree that they might for, "A higher price," but not, "The highest possible price." The highest price that I would be willing to pay would be such that, at worst, I could at least theoretically resell it right now for the same price. Would you buy a stock that is guaranteed to drop in value 20% (for example) as soon as you buy it with the hopes that it eventually exceeds what you paid?

Second, as I mentioned in my reply to Tab, people may pool their resources to buy bonds, so several people whose net resources are blow the current price could buy one bond together (e.g. parents and granparents on behalf of their child).


That's very true, but I think this gets too far into the weeds for the purpose of a thought experiment. It also results in the possibility for buying a particular bond for more than any individual actually has unto himself.

Third, in practice there isn't full transparency between buyers, so buyers can estimate how much others have to spend, but they can't know and will sometimes rationally overpay when they're uncertain about what other people can/will pay.


True, but I think that the initial Government function and rationale behind it ought be transparent.

Fourth, I don't see any cost to starting the bidding too high. If you start it too low, you leave money on the table, because people that would have purchased at a higher price instead purchase at a lower price.


I guess my focus is on something at least approaching fairness? If each individual wanted to buy one bond during the first round, they could, but it would cost the poorest of those individuals literally all of his money.

I agree with your final point, that adding in all the realistic considerations complicates the question a lot. But dutch auctions are used in the real world to do things like IPOs, we could probably find a rich literature on how those sales behave in practice -- do you think that the reproduction bond auction would function the same way? My gut reaction is yes, but I could also see it being sufficiently different. I'll try to find some case studies.


Sweet! I would definitely be willing to do so, but it would be on the backburner behind a lot of other stuff I have going right now.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:16 am

Another thing that I didn't think of earlier and would like to add is that you would REALLY maximize profits by only auctioning one bond at a time whilst not telling the public how many bonds there will be.

I don't have too many hard principles. I could probably fit them all on a notebook page. But, the above notion violates so many of them for so many different reasons that I would still be typing next Thursday.

Also:

1.) The Government officials (more than zero, anyway) would know how many total bonds will be offered, so that affords an advantage akin to insider trading.

OR:

2.) The Government officials are not permitted to purchase any of the bonds, (except on resale) but I doubt they would agree to that. Besides, they could still use the insider info to influence the actions of others.

So, the whole thing should be transparent in every way possible. I guess my idea was to strike a balance between revenue generation and fairness, I admit, it does not perfectly maximize revenues.
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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Tab » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:32 am

Also, I'm assuming there would have to be some regulations as to who or what could participate in the auction and to whom the bonds could be sold consequently - nationality-wise, otherwise some outside body, with an eye to controlling the population of a country involved in this birth-bond process, could effectively buy 'generations' of its (yet to be) populace, especially if the exchange rates were low as the price of the bonds would always be tied to the currency of the country issuing them, and the average incomes of its populace. This would effectively give rich nations a fair degree of control over the birth rates of poor nations, and leverage over the governments involved.

In fact, have we not simply created a counter-currency..? Its worth based on probably the most valuable asset imaginable - a human life..?

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Re: Dutch Auction for the Right to Reproduce

Postby Meno_ » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:51 am

Just an aside. The organ transplant business is already thriving big time, there are increasing cases in the former third world countries of human trafficking , that actually show internet images of children found with major organs ripped out, going for millions of local currency, where the buyers are obviously well heeld.
Could some of this dirty business be helped by the buying and selling of
certificates and bonds to buy rights to procreate?
Would / could black markets rig underground criminal business and find a ways to short circuit similar business practices as well ? Would the two types of businesses compete or form a single entity? The myriad combination of such industries could, after all be modified .
This is not too futuristic, because the former kind already exists with a ready made structure and practice.
So the second kind of trading may cause competitiveness to increase crime.

The transplant business does impact population control in a big way, since killing the younger , when organs become unavailable, correspondingly reduce population, as well. Euthanasia killing or mercy killing wood also be a way, by liberalizing the illness qualifications, and lowering the ages prescription.

I think these methods added to the others above mentioned will last well into the present century, without the need of government intercession.

But just a guess.
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