My opinions are:
I am not sure this is truly a 'career' choice, per se, rather in most circumstances, more of a continuation of the only way of life that they themselves have known. However, I realize there are countless who have indeed found filing a few yearly forms to receive government benefits preferable to a nine-to-five work schedule and abuse the system at every opportunity. I am also very aware of, and have personal knowledge of, women who have deliberately conceived a child with a 'minority' to further add to oncrease these subsidies and ensure preferential treatment for themselves and their offspring. I find both of the prior examples extremely offensive and believe they lend a negative and often unjustified stereotype to every family receiving government assistance.
That being said, I place a large amount of the blame and abuse of these necessary programs on government policies which neither require nor offer incentives to do otherwise. Minimum wage is an insult to any adult who honestly seeks to better themselves and their families financially. Should they choose or be forced to accept a job at minimum wage, their benefits are drastically reduced, rendering a lifestyle below the poverty level, thus creating no logical or financial reason to do so.
Local government must adapt to the individual needs of their citizens. There are literally hundreds of possibilities for these people to contribute to their community, providing a better example and avenue to teach their children that there is no free lunch. City park and recreation areas, as well as highway medians are always in need of maintenance and clean up, just to name a few. Those able-bodied could and should be required to perform a minimum number of hours monthly in these areas to qualify for full benefits. This would also provide them with vocational training and experience for future employment.
Obviously, the question of childcare comes into play here. However, government agencies could also provide adequate and qualified childcare, requiring those unable to perform manual labor to provide assistance in these facilities in numerous supervised capacities.
Subsistence should be based on the number of children at the time of application, including those inutero, although, disclude subsequent pregnancies.
An added incentive for parents to participate and encourage their children's education would be to substantially reduce the benefits when the child reaches the working age, unless and only if that child remains in school with a consistent attendance record and qualifying grade point average.
Another option is to make governmentally funded vocational training classes mandatory after a set period of time before the assistance will be continued. In many instances, this can be done from the home via correspondence courses, allowing these parents to remain with their children while furthering their education and job skills.
Forcing sterilization is tyrannical at best in my opinion. Some mothers or families may require government subsidies only for a short time while they are actively seeking to further their education. Denying their right to have children in the future when they are better prepared to support them is dicatatorial and cruel.
However, I believe the government should finance elective sterilization following compassionate counseling to those who seek it on their own accord. Birth control should also be made available without cost, as long as the type of birth control is an implant (which can be removed at a later date) to ensure it will be effective.
Without a doubt, the first step in changing this generation-to-generation lifestyle of dependency is through education and incentives. It isn't easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.
A very difficult and delicate subject matter was posed for comment on another writing site by a friend of mine, Michelle:
Should men and women who make a career out of having multiple children to increase government subsistence be required to participate in sterilization and/or birth control before such benefits are extended?