Fatherhood in Vespia is both an important and difficult thing in society for many reasons. Firstly, the Vespians reproduce in large numbers through the use of a few members of their society, making the role of parenthood a socially and culturally vital aspect of the Vespian species. Secondly, the male Vespians alone are responsible for all reproduction in their species, handling process of fertilization and spawning individually, meaning their lives are heavily controlled and regulated. By law, the ability of a Vespian male to reproduce is strictly regulated and numerous laws and red tape exist to prevent overpopulation and misuse of their abilities. For a man to reproduce legally, he must acquire a breeding license from the government, which will grant him the privilege to have a certain number of offspring. Currently, there are six breeding license levels, each which must be acquired before moving on to the next level. Weighing both the needs for reproduction to keep the population levels high and the cultural background of the nation, while avoiding overpopulation and potential men seeking to gain power militarily, the government provides incentives and hands out fines and punishments based on the situations presented. A combination of legal taxes, financial costs, bureaucratic red tape, and political wrangling make the desire of a man to become a father an arduous venture that more often than not, hurts him more than it benefits him.
Fatherhood in VespiaEdit
The government makes it clear that they alone control the rights of men to breed, with federal law stating that out of concern for overpopulation and resource allocation being stretched to its limits, the need to regulate the growth of the Vespian population is a political priority. To encourage men to acquire a federal license permitting them to have children, the government attached a number of political rights to the licenses and the levels of each. Upon gaining a Federal Breeder's License, a man may vote in political elections on his homeworld, star system, or sector, depending on the grade of the license he holds. Additionally, it permits him the ability to join the military as an enlisted field officer, something that men, out of concern for their safety and rarity, as well as the future of unborn generations of Vespians, were prohibited from doing by the federal government. However, the holding of an FBL has become somewhat of a catch 22. A man would gain many political privileges and open the possibility of a prestigious military career to them, while at the same time burdening them with hefty federal taxes and a series of privacy breaches as the government keeps tabs on them for the rest of his life.
A stringent series of background tests are required by the government, delving deep into the man's personal life and that of his father and grandfather's, seeking to see if they pose any political or military threat to the government. Favortism is rife when the attempt to acquire an FBL is underway. Many great houses have attempted to margainalize the ability of men from minor houses to get the license, as they could increase the amount of manpower, and by extension, political, financial, and military influence of the minor house the men belong too. Therefore, most of the men who acquire an FBL are either from prominent mercantile or political families within a household, or have earned their license through military service. In the political sphere, a man holding an FBL may stand for office, though the level of his license determines which office he may run for. Men who have commited crimes against the government may have their license revoked, preventing the legal use of federal crèches, or if captured by government authorities, forced sterilization by law enforcement. However, mistreatment of his children will not result in federal charges, and fathers are free to treat their sons and daughters in any manner they wish without fear of the law.
Because of the great responsibilities being a father in the Vespian nation and society entails, breeding licenses are prohibitively expensive, a decision that was made purposefully by the government. By making the licenses incredibly expensive, the government weeds out the men who cannot pay for the license and therefore the taxes attatched to them, and allow men capable of making ends meet and then some to become the new generation of fathers in the nation. When moving from one world to another, men holding a breeding license are required to pay a fee up to a tenth of the cost of their current license level. The cost of moving within a the same region the Directorate remains static, while moving into a new region alters the cost of moving. Moving deeper into the Directorate results in an increase in pricing as a father capable of having children could potentially increase the population of an already overpopulated world. The costs discourage license-holding men from moving into the inner regions, forcing them to either stay in their current region, or move further out into the Outback Worlds.
However, those who move away from the inner regions and into a outer regions recieve a federal discount. This is to help encourage the settlement of the newly discovered and resource-rich worlds of the Edge and Outback Worlds. Additionally, it serves as a way to provide an alternative to men seeking to move toward the galactic core, where population and density levels are beyond the government's ability to manage efficently. Men who help populate new worlds recieve monetary incentives to do so, and those who colonize multiple worlds for the government are given titles and federal tax benefits as a gift from the federal government. Many of the high costs to moving into the inner regions and forcing men seeking greater political privileges were pioneered by the great houses, who alone could afford the massive costs and high taxes to move back into the Cardinal Worlds of Vespia. It also helps to force new houses to stay in the Edge and Outback Worlds, as the taxes combined with the costs of moving exceed the funds avalible to the vast majority of minor and major houses.
Those men who hold a high-level FBL are granted access to the highest echelons of the Vespian government. This includes access to the Supreme Court of Vespia to hear their appeals, the Federal Congress of Vespia to whom a male holding a Level VI FBL may request a hearing from the government to address their concerns, and access to federal grants for settling new worlds if the father lacks the funds to begin colonization efforts himself. In the case of the latter, given that it takes considerable capital to even acquire a Level VI breeding license, men holding that kind of license are often accused of using the federal funds to line their own pockets, or pay for military equipment for their house military forces using the desire to colonize a new world as a facade. To even gain the ability to vote, a man must hold a Level I FBL, and can only vote in planetary elections. Elections at the interplanetary, sectorial, interstellar, and finally federal levels, require licenses of higher grands, while the final license level allows for a man to stand for election for the federal government's most powerful offices, such as Supreme Director.
Men wishing to become a planetary governor and district governor must hold a Level II and Level III breeding license respectfully, while those seeking to become sectorial directors and members of Congress must have Level IV and Level V breeding licenses. For those who want to sit on the Central Directorate must have a Level VI breeding license, and have already been a member of the Federal Congress. Also, they must come from a major house or a great house, as the powerful houses of the Directorate feared the danger of minor houses displacing their influence in the government through control of its most powerful offices. Given the extrodinary costs for each license as it increases in grade, the most powerful houses have ensured that only members of their houses or those of equally reputable houses are afford to provide the neccessary funds needed to upgrade their FBL. This effectively keeps control of the government within the circles of the nation's most powerful houses, as the licenses needed to enter such positions of power can only be paid for by men with vast coffers, most commonly found within the great houses of Vespia.
Federal Breeder's LicenseEdit
The need to control the population growth of the Vespian people saw the introduction of the Federal Breeder's License (FBL) almost as soon as computerization of all bureaucratic documentation began. With the tracking a man's reproductive history now a feasible endeavour, the government introduced the FBL to keep tabs on the number of children a man was having, and also how many sons he was raising, which alone was a important information. In the post-industrial society of the Vespians, the number of fathers was beginning to become a problem, as all were having tens of thousands of children with little thought as to how the Vespian homeworld would be able to sustain them. Thus, regulating which men could have children, how many they could have, and how many additional males they could bring into the world to potentially add to the oversaturated global population would help prevent war and famine as food, water, and resources reached their breaking point. Almost immediately after the first batch of FBLs were issued, the growth of the population dropped massively.
The implementation of taxation on breeding, federal punishments and fines saw those men who didn't hold a breeding license halt their breeding activities. By adding political rights to the holding of a license, the government managed to make having an FBL attractive, encouraging men to acquire a license through the government, and help reduce overpopulation without the deadly alternatives. Currently, only one-tenth of the male population, or about twenty trillion men, out of a total Vespian population of twenty quadrillion, holds a Federal Breeder's License. It should be noted that while many men that have a breeding license do not have any children, or at the very least, have a handful of children, more interested in the federal benefits and political privileges associated with the license rather than the ability to have children itself. The government of Vespian estimates that only a third of FBL holders have children, and out that number, only about a fifth of them produce the total amount of offspring they are legal permitted to have. Men with lower level licenses are less likely to have children or the max amount of children permitted than those with higher license levels.
Breeding License LevelsEdit
There are six levels to a Federal Breeder's License, which permits a man the ability to reproduce legally and without legal ramifications.
- Level I (Entry Level) – Total percentage of FBL holders: 42.17%
- Cost: ∇50,000 (∇75,000 on Cardinal World // ∇10,000 on Outback World)
- Allowance: May have up to 50 children a year; only one son permitted for every 500 daughters. Men holding a Level I Breeding License may have the right to vote in planetary elections and run for regional governor on the planet of their residency.
- Penalties: Men holding a Level I Breeding License entitled to a "three-mark" warning period, and will have license revoked if they fail to pay taxes on it. More serious crimes such as having more children than permitted (up to 5% more) or attempting to use children for illegal military endeavors against the state will result in forced sterilization or execution.
- Taxes: A 5% breeding base tax on all Level I license holders; a 2% tax increase on all breeders in the Cardinal and Ark Worlds, and a 2% tax cut on all breeds in the Outback and Edge Worlds on all taxable income.
- Level II (Intermediate Level) – Total percentage of FBL holders: 28.55%
- Cost: ∇500,000 (∇750,000 on Cardinal World // ∇100,000 on Outback World)
- Allowance: May have up to 500 children a year; only ten sons for every 5,000 daughters. Men holding a Level II Breeding License may vote in district (sub-sector) elections and run for planetary governor.
- Taxes: A 7% breeding base tax on all Level II license holders; a 3% tax increase on all breeders in the Cardinal and Ark Worlds, and a 3% tax cut on all breeds in the Outback and Edge Worlds on all taxable income.
- Level III (Patron Level) – Total percentage of FBL holders: 18.46%
- Cost: ∇5,000,000 (∇7,500,000 on Cardinal World // ∇1,000,000 on Outback World)
- Allowance: May have up to 5,000 children a year; only 50 sons permitted for every 50,000 daughters. Men holding a Level III Breeding License may vote in sectorial elections and run for district governor.
- Taxes: A 9% breeding base tax on all Level III license holders; a 4% tax increase on all breeders in the Cardinal and Ark Worlds, and a 4% tax cut on all breeds in the Outback and Edge Worlds on all taxable income.
- Level IV (Councilor Level) – Total percentage of FBL holders: 6.81%
- Cost: ∇50,000,000 (∇75,000,000 on Cardinal World // ∇10,000,000 on Outback World)
- Allowance: May have up to 50,000 children a year; only 100 sons permitted for every 500,000 daughters. Men holding a Level IV Breeding License may run for sectorial director, and vote for members of the Federal Congress of Vespia.
- Taxes: An 11% breeding base tax on all Level IV license holders; a 5% tax increase on all breeders in the Cardinal and Ark Worlds, and a 5% tax cut on all breeds in the Outback and Edge Worlds on all taxable income.
- Level V (Archon Level) – Total percentage of FBL holders: 3.83%
- Cost: ∇500,000,000 (∇750,000,000 on Cardinal World // ∇100,000,000 on Outback World)
- Allowance: May have up to 500,000 children a year; only 1,000 sons permitted for every 5,000,000 daughters. Men holding a Level V Breeding License a seat in the Federal Congress of Vespia as well as be appointed to the Supreme Court by Congress. They may also vote for those seeking to become Supreme Director of Vespia.
- Taxes: A 13% breeding base tax on all Level V license holders; a 6% tax increase on all breeders in the Cardinal and Ark Worlds, and a 6% tax cut on all breeds in the Outback and Edge Worlds on all taxable income.
- Level VI (Patriarch Level) – Total percentage of FBL holders: 0.18%
- Cost: ∇5,000,000,000 (∇7,500,000,000 on Cardinal World // ∇1,000,000,000 on Outback World)
- Allowance: May have up to 5,000,000 children a year; only 5,000 sons permitted for every 50,000,000 daughters. Men holding a Level VI Breeding License may petition for a review by the Supreme Court of Vespia and may address the Federal Congress in their defence. They may also seek to become members of the Central Directorate as well as run for the position of Supreme Director.
- Penalties: Grevious crimes such as attempting to avoid federal taxes, treason by way of attempting to overthrow the government through military force, attempting to sieze a world of the Directorate, are punished with mandatory sterilization, and in the cases of the latter two cases, federal execution without any hope of appealling to the courts.
- Taxes: A 15% breeding base tax on all Level VI license holders; a 7% tax increase on all breeders in the Cardinal and Ark Worlds, and a 7% tax cut on all breeders in the Outback and Edge Worlds on all taxable income. All offspring pay a 1-2% tax if they are members of a minor or major household, while others get a 2% tax cut if they are members of a Great House.
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