Should young poor people be allowed to get married ?

aso japanTaro Aso is the Japanese Prime Minister and is currently seeking re-election.

Questioned about the falling birth rate in his part of the world, the gaffe-prone PM replied :

“If you don’t have money, you’d better not get married. It seems rather difficult to me for someone without means to win people’s respect.”

Does he have a point ? or does getting married  have nothing to do with how much money you’ve got ?

46 Responses to “Should young poor people be allowed to get married ?”

  1. August 25, 2009 at 11:06

    Why shouldn’t the poor be allowed to get married? There are several studies conducted by social psychologists that reveal that higher incomes, higher GDP do not for happiness make. The surest buffer against the many storms of life are stable relationships with friends and loved ones, NOT money. Of course financial problems can cause strife in marriages, but lack of money or resources should not preclude couples from marrying.

  2. 2 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Entebbe Airport,Uganda
    August 25, 2009 at 11:38

    I think the dense populations can not only be produced by the rich people in an area without the contribution of the poor societies.Am saying that everyone who is borne has a essential right to produces children irrespective of his/her financial status inorder to let him write down his/her name in the world history.

  3. 3 Doc Savage
    August 25, 2009 at 11:46

    I do not see the relationship between financial status and marital status. Marriage takes love, commitment, perseverance, and endurance. Money is not part of the equation.

    • 4 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala,Uganda
      August 27, 2009 at 15:02

      @Doc.That U dont see the relationship between financial status & marital status since marriage takes love,commitment,preseverance & endurance but money not. Yes.It might be so in wherever u are Outside Africa but her in Africa our cultures allows us to be financially stable before u opt to have any marital affairs because without those things like cattles,goats,sheep,money etc.who will gives his/her daughter to you? its part of our well being Africans so we do that and we will continue to do so.

  4. 5 Janis
    August 25, 2009 at 11:50

    Of course they should be allowed to get married. Major part of world population is poor – so they have no right for marriage and children? I think Japanese PM should rather work for the good of his country not teach the people when to marry.


    Riga, Latvia

  5. 6 Deryck/Trinidad
    August 25, 2009 at 12:22

    Of course young poor people should be allowed to get married but it’s pretty expensive to live in Japan, perhaps that’s why he made his statement. Getting married older with more resources although not a panacea tends to produce more stable relationships with parents who are pyschologically better able to handle kids. The question is: what age is young?

  6. 7 Crispo, Kampala
    August 25, 2009 at 12:32

    During my study of demography, money wasn’t very much an issue in determining population growth or growth rate.
    To assert that young people shouldn’t get married without money, isn’t that convincing. Of course it was good intended of him to have given such highly important advice. Money has not been and never will be a determinant of a happy marriage.

    The pre-conceived notion by the elderly today that everything to do with marriage is second order to them is a misconception. Times have changed and world customs and cultures have evolved. We young people ought to marry when we find the ‘right’ people but should make good mr. TARO ASO’S advice.

  7. 8 Edmund Low
    August 25, 2009 at 12:36

    Marriage does not have to depend on your financial status. However, to build a family having chidren would certainly required a lot of money. Your kids would not be able to compete on level playing field if you are not financially able to nature them. What Mr Taro Aso actually mean is not to have children if couples are not financially capable of providing the mean to bring up their children.I was born into a big family with eight siblings in a extreme proverty situation and I fully agreed with Mr Taro Aso. Believe me, unless you are in my situation, you will remain idealistic with romanace and marriage. In my country, Singapore, there are thousands of families who cannot afford to provide even $2 (Sinapore Dollars) pocket money for their children’s lunch at school. The cost of bring up children in my country is astronomically high. That is precisely why the birth rate in my country is falling. Therefore unless you intend to stay in marriage without procreation, you better not marry.

  8. 9 gary
    August 25, 2009 at 12:41

    Old people should remember that youngsters in love are not particularly pessimistic. Even though their futures may be based upon dreams, their current happiness is very real. One should also not forget that while money is important, babies are essential to any economic society. Perhaps, Mr. Taro Aso, and other world economic leaders, could better spend their time securing a brighter economic future rather than suggesting childlessness.

  9. 10 Gabriel Goah
    August 25, 2009 at 12:46

    I do not understand what the whole fuss is about. The japanese prime minister is being crucified simply because he spoke the truth. This is a classic example of politicians encouraged to lie just because they want to keep certain people happy.

  10. 11 patti in cape coral
    August 25, 2009 at 12:47

    Of course young poor people should be allowed to get married. Poor finances puts so many limits on a person’s life already, it should not interfere with two people making a loving committment to each other. I think emotional maturity is more necessary than money to make a relationship work; however, it is easier to maintain a stable relationship if there are stable finances.

  11. 12 Nigel
    August 25, 2009 at 13:09

    You don’t have to be married to contribute to overpopulation by having children.

  12. 13 Rob (UK)
    August 25, 2009 at 13:13

    He isn’t talking about people not being ‘allowed’ to get married! He is giving advice.

    Fact is, as much as people hate to admit it, wealth is strongly related to a man’s mate value. A wealthier man is more attractive is every society that has been tested, and women place more emphasis on wealth than men do (men don’t really care about a woman’s wealth).

    Wealthier men secure more partners and have more children, and this mirrors what happens in the rest of the animal kingdom – though of course non-human animals advertise their ability to provide resources through provisioning food or building nests.

  13. 14 Ibrahim in UK
    August 25, 2009 at 13:17

    That sounds like an odd thing to say. Much of the world lives in poverty. It would be preposterous to tell them that marriage is a bad idea. On the contrary, marriage alleviates poverty since there is a greater sharing of resources.

    But how does his response even answer the question about falling birth rates?
    If less people get married, there will be less births (presumably), and even lower birth rates. That didn’t solve the problem.

    • August 25, 2009 at 14:29

      You made a very good point, Ibrahim. Marriage– and multiple family dwellings– are better for the environment since, as you mentioned, there is a greater sharing of resources. As for lowering birth rates… this is the responsibility for all the world’s peoples. It seems unfair to me, for example, that we encourage people in poorer parts of the world to limit their family size while not making the same demands of those in richer parts of the world. In our ever-connected, inter-dependent world, we are all sharing limited resources, no matter where we live. If a two-child policy is expected, say, of people in Africa, it should be expected of those in Europe as well.

  14. 16 scmehta
    August 25, 2009 at 13:35

    It’s a personal matter for the eligible or marriageable couple to consider; you cannot prohibit them to marry, but you can certainly caution them and educate/advise them, through various medias, about their after-marriage financial needs/responsibilities.

  15. 17 Michael in Ft Myers, Florida
    August 25, 2009 at 14:17

    Marraige for the young and poor is not a problem necessarily, however having children without at least a continuous income which leaves extra money after paying all bills is. My own sister is a prime example: she married her husband at the age of 18 with the family’s blessings, including mine. This young man is an excellent husband who worships the ground that my sister walks on, however he hasn’t been able to keep a steady job due to both a lack of education and experience. My sister was on her way to a college degree when the decided to have a baby. Now, 1 year later, they are deeply in debt, my parents who are only a couple of years from retirement age, have spent the last of their savings to help them out, and now all five are once again living under one roof. Food is scarce, my sister’s goals are on hold for god knows how long. Get married, fine, but PLEASE wait to begin having children! If a person grew up starving, in a starving land, how can they even think that it is anything other than pure insanity to bring another life into such miserable conditions?

  16. 18 James Turner
    August 25, 2009 at 14:36

    No of course not. It is insane to even start down that road!

  17. 19 a homazin
    August 25, 2009 at 14:42

    Yeah, ordinary people in the world NEVER have such a mind that
    “the poor should not be get married”.
    obviously his comment is wrong from the point of view of a prime minister.

  18. August 25, 2009 at 14:54

    I think the unspoken message here is that if you get married, you’ll have children. Therefore, if you’re young and poor, don’t get married and have children. He’s got a point. That doesn’t stop anyone here in the U.S., and it should. Marriage is one thing — it’s got nothing to do with financial status. In fact, it’s a financially beneficial thing. But producing a child is a major financial responsibility that not everyone can handle. I think he’s trying to convince people not to burden the government with their poor financial and family planning. Of course, I could be wrong! But that does seem to be the underlying message.

  19. 21 Tom K in Mpls
    August 25, 2009 at 15:14

    I have two conflicting points. Economic and psychological readiness is essential to a prosperous future for the couple, which would spread to the community. Also, the thought of giving any government that kind of control is very scary.

    In the end, I say let fools suffer. Those that can adapt in spite of stupid neighbors, will.

  20. 22 anu_D
    August 25, 2009 at 15:16

    I am still wondering the point of a ridiculous question ( because there is only one obvious answer to it)
    And the point of an equally obvious question after this one….can a 13 year old make their decision ?
    And I think these two questions were to digress attention and push down the question on the politically incorrect question….”is torture permitted”?

  21. 23 Daniel McKenna
    August 25, 2009 at 15:32

    It’s a good idea for poor people not to get married. Who is going to pay for the children clothes,food,etc. There are too many people living on benefits from the British state,sponging from taxpayers. Why should we pay for their mistakes, Education cost a fortune and not to mention a lot of other things.

  22. 24 T
    August 25, 2009 at 15:55

    Who is he to tell others what to do?

  23. 26 steve
    August 25, 2009 at 16:14

    I think poor people shouldn’t have kids, but you don’t have to get married to have kids, so I don’t see how the two are related. You shouldn’t have kids and then expect society to aid you in raising the child. Don’t have kids unless you can afford them.

  24. 27 bjay
    August 25, 2009 at 16:42

    Should young poor people be allowed to get married ?

    Sorry the question falling Me !


  25. 28 James Ian
    August 25, 2009 at 16:49

    Sure they should be able to get married if they want, but I don’t know about having Kids. Seems like having a child would just make a bad situation worse.
    More and more people are starting to agree that the wold is over populated and the earth can not sustain the current growth rate.

  26. 29 Bert - USA
    August 25, 2009 at 16:59

    Nancy, “If a two-child policy is expected, say, of people in Africa, it should be expected of those in Europe as well.”

    The fact is, Europe is now at below replacement level. So there’s no need to mandate any such policy, as it has been achieved and surpassed.

    The Japanese premier perhaps should not have mentioned the bit about “respect,” but certainly the advice of not getting married (I presume that really means having children), without the financial means, is a good one. And of course this is a relative thing. In developing countries, it costs far less to raise a child than it does in the developed world.

    I don’t understand what there is to disagree about in any of this. In a world that is already plenty populated, what he said is just common sense. Overpopulation is doubtless a contributor to perennial poverty, is it not?

    • August 31, 2009 at 11:10

      Keep in mind that children in the wealthier parts of the world tend to consume many more resources and leave a much deeper environmental footprint than do children in poorer parts of the world. Where I live, in Scandinavia, many families have three or more children. What is expected of people in India or Kenya should be expected of people in Norway or Denmark. Fair is fair!

  27. 31 Jennifer
    August 25, 2009 at 17:04

    This question makes me curious because think about it; if you get married to someone; you have 2 incomes; assuming that you both work. So, aren’t you better off married earning more together than being single. Plus, you have more ability to achieve goals with two people; than with just 1 person.

    I think that a couple should wait to have children until they are ready. I once heard that it costs $270,000 to raise a child till age 18. That’s alot of money! My suggestion is to start saving!

  28. 32 Nesha from Ohio
    August 25, 2009 at 17:37

    You know, this is a big issue in every culture. We know that real love and affection don’t require down payments and a salary of five or 6 figures, but to institutionalize that love and start a family?
    You hear about people giving up babies for adoption because they don’t have enough money to support the child and want to give it a better life, or couples breaking up because one partner is a lazy bum or can’t find a job, so they’re not contributing anything other than themselves physically.
    Why not establish yourself as a person, find a good job and save money so atleast the above problems can be avoided? It’s not demoralizing marriage, its strengthening it and improving the quality of life and the relationship so you DON’T have to worry about financials as much as you would if had poor financial status.
    Love should be the reason for marriage but unfortunately its not the only thing to sustain it.

  29. 33 Tom D Ford
    August 25, 2009 at 17:37

    Couples will live and love together whether they are married or not, money or no money, this is just a silly statement by a Japanese Politician.

  30. August 25, 2009 at 17:45

    I think that actually a very good piece of advice and probably the most important wedding planning that you can do is the financial side of things. People say that if you wait to have kids until you have money, you’ll never have kids. I think the same holds true for marriages. Starting a relationship strapped for money is very bad idea because it’s the biggest reason people get divorced. So I’ll vote that this is solid advice.

  31. 35 Jennifer
    August 25, 2009 at 18:14

    Re: Couples will live and love together whether they are married or not, money or no money, this is just a silly statement by a Japanese Politician.

    Is “love” going to ensure that your child has food, clothing, the things he or she needs to have a quality life? It might be nice to think so; but it’s not true. I think that’s part of loving a child; making sure he or she has the basics. It’s what parents are supposed to do. And, single parents can do this also; it is just harder because they are only one person filling many roles.

  32. 36 Dennis Junior
    August 25, 2009 at 23:35

    I think that idea, should be fully vetted to protect the *young* poor people; Since, there will be cases of abuse and mistreatment in the way, the young poor people could be treated…

    =Dennis Junior=

  33. 37 Tan Boon Tee
    August 26, 2009 at 04:22

    Taro Aso, the flippant outgoing premier, has been prone to tongue-slipping. He could be excused for making the unnecessary yet rather insulting remark that must have hurt the pride of many Japanese youth.

    After all, there are countless poor young couples continue to get married everyday around the world, making their first step to start a family, persevering to make ends meet and diligently trying to circumvent every hardship.

  34. August 26, 2009 at 11:42

    Every couple should be allowed to get married if they want to.
    It is just that some couples cannot afford to go through elaborate wedding ceremonies, so Taro Aso does have a point in that.

    As for having children, the choice is up to every couple.
    Each will have their own perspectives and reasons.

  35. 39 Arisa
    August 26, 2009 at 18:52

    That news is not true exactly. Our mass media is just disgusting! They never tell us the truth. Our prim minister never says like this. When some student asked the question, the media used the part of sentence from Mr. Aso. If you listen to whole Mr. Aso’s speech, you guys understand what he said. Mass communication always try to control Japanese citizen for their benefit. That’s why we Japanese people do not believe them nowadays. It is better to check the first evidence rather than editing from them seriously. We are trouble in Korean journalists who live in Japan. They always tell the lie.

  36. 40 Daniel McKenna
    August 27, 2009 at 15:54

    Who is T ? Does he live in a fantasy world, especially when this planet is overpopulated and many billions of people yet to come. Who is going to feed them.
    Maybe T lives in a fancy suburb of london or some big city where things are plentiful.
    Supposing he comes back into the next life born in the middle of Sudan,where his parents have not a penny between them and have 11 other kids nearly dying of starvation,lucky to get a piece of bread. Common sense dictates if you want children make sure you’ve got a enough funds to support them, not to depend on other people or the government. The japanese minister is right, why should I pay for someone’s children,if they are breeding like rabbits and the tax payer has to bail them out. It’s not fair.

  37. 41 John
    August 30, 2009 at 00:26

    I don’t have a problem with poor people getting married, in many respects a pooling of resources will help both partners. I do object to them embarking on a relentless breeding cycle which only contributes to the masses of underresourced people who are wholly dependant on the State to provide care. In many cases individuals have a ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude because they know that the more kids they have, the more money the state will pay them. In the case of poorer countries where welfare is not available, perhaps we should adopt a limit to the number of children produced by these lower socio-economic members of society. Adopting the 1 Child regime of China might be a sensible way to go with a means test being applied to any couples wishing to have more than one child. At the moment we are creating a welfare state in many countries around the world and governments should be putting resources into voluntary sterilisation to curb the exponential population growths going on. This would assist married couples (and singles) to practice birth control in a responsible manner.

  38. August 31, 2009 at 14:10

    Marriage is a legal contract which concerns rubber-stamping the will of all or both participants to have total commitment to a relationship for an indefinite period of time. Will and relationship are the crucial factors. Marriage is window dressing in human terms.

  39. August 31, 2009 at 22:56

    I think this is a easy answer

    Love = Rich

    Money comes and goes but Love lasts forever

  40. 44 B D SHARMA
    September 12, 2009 at 04:57

    without living means, be it moneyor land,gold/job one should not seek company of another dependent.otherwise both along with thier offsprings will suffer mentally physically and soially.one may live in any part of the world, one need money in any form to survive.

  41. 45 B D SHARMA
    September 12, 2009 at 05:02

    without means you cannot survive in thid pragmatic world. once you do not enough tolive singally you have no right to seek another dependent morally.

  42. 46 Andrew
    February 8, 2010 at 17:16

    does the term “For Richer or for Poorer” strike you guys? This shouldn’t be an argument. Stop trying to dissect what marriage should consist of and memorize and take heart to your vowels!

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