I didn't see this response before I wrote my other response so I hope you'll accept that I have pretty much responded in post #60.
Your argument that something failed in the past so we shouldn't address it in the future is hardly valid. No doubt you are sincere but using that line of reasoning we would never have a ground war anywhere and drugs would be legal just to use a couple of striking examples.
Eugenics are a great idea but just like nuclear weapons, it must be used with intelligence and restraint. I would cheerfully go to the most powerful man and tell him of his genetic disorder. By achievement alone, that man would likely agree to the sterilization. It would be the wise choice and his position indicates he chooses wisely.
As for "People in prison, the mentally ill, the destitute, unpopular minorities", you were doing well until you played the race card. If I asked you for a dollar, you would claim I asked you for a million pounds of gold. That's just drama.
Read this FREE story and maybe you'll understand where I'm coming from. THE MARCHING MORONS
Tell me Specklebang, have you gotten genetic tests on yourself for every known heritable disorder? If you truly believe in eugenics, you would have naturally taken personal responsibility to ensure your own genetic suitability as a matter of principle.
What's wrong with Eugenics is when it's state sponsored (or my some significant authority). That is, some authority over individuals begins to declare the rules of their particular eugenics program, and requires or pressures the population to conform. Many of the downsides of centralized Eugenics are actually avoided in individual sponsored eugenics. One person mates for looks, the other for brains, the other for humor, another for all three. The end result is your selection is as varied as your populace (to a degree), and you avoid the dangerous aspect of attempting to predict, based on no real data, what genetics provide the best improvement in the species (because aside from serious genetic defects, we simply do not know). Nature informed us of the value of diversity. Deciding we know better than hundreds of millions of years of natural selection is preposterous in all but the most extreme cases.
The other derivative issue, that may be the most important as a societal issue, is the further discrimination that can result. See Gattica for a fictional look. We discriminate enough individual based on genetics, letting some asshole politicians and state "scientists" decree they know what genetics are best, and then getting us tested and catalogued...good lord man.
You make a wonderfully passionate argument (sincere compliment) that the potential for abuse is great and the consequences of that abuse might have long term effects on the "gene pool".
However, this conundrum is composed of two elements. Concept and Execution. The concept is fundamentally sound. We slightly decrease breeding by criminals (the methodology is yet to be discussed) and slightly reduce future burdens on society. Most criminals are incredibly dumb. A frequent defense is that they are abused, retarded and their IQ too low to make them responsible for their crimes. Not a sure defense, but frequent enough to identify what kind of person robs a liquor store at gunpoint. Even without the camera issue. Even the possibility of return fire. Even without thought of the risk/reward equation. Most criminals are not Bernie Maddoff.
I'm a die-hard dystopia fan and I can see many Gattaca's ahead. When only the rich can have their genetics modified. Only the rich can make backup copies of themselves. Only the rich have space yachts. But, really, that's not the topic here unless we must extrapolate hundreds of years into the future. If we're that far sighted, why are we still driving cars and contaminating the earth with the residue? So, it seems to me that this is a good place to start. Initially, only people with something to gain will accept this solution. Prisoners.
I prefer to hope it will lead use to a mentally healthier society.