Serial Mom

Lucky Seven Pays Off Big When You're Corn-Fed and White

"It is my commission as a father to raise them, and to try to raise them in a normal Christian home," said Mr. McCaughey, also much quoted to the effect of "Wow!" One might point out that it is the commission of most average parents to try and raise their children, Christian or otherwise, normally, in homes. But why quibble when so many Americans fail altogether to merit the blessings showering down on a Chevrolet billings clerk whose wife took Pergonal?

A recent telephone survey conducted by the National Coalition for the Homeless estimated that there may be as many as 7 million homeless people living in the U.S. at a given time. It's no stretch to assume that the hypothetical poor New Yorker and her brood would soon join this crowd. Even with a $40 per child emergency supplementary allowance from the federal Aid to Women and Infant Children budget, the $421 allotted each month for rent wouldn't cut it. She'd likely be forced onto the streets, dragging her babies behind her in their little glass life-support domes.

In another city, this woman might be rushed into a glamorous pied-a-terre in a public housing project. But the mayor of our fair town has consistently shown himself hostile to the idea of sheltering welfare grifters. Perhaps he would soften his heart for this imaginary mother and her children. And perhaps pigs will some day take to the air. There is another thing to consider, and not a small one. It is the matter of how we as a culture tend to valorize certain kinds of baby making while demonizing others. "Instead of 'Omigod, septuplets!'" says Liz Krueger, "it could just as easily be 'She's a welfare mother dropping kids. What's wrong with these people? Don't they ever know when to stop?'"

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