This past Thanksgiving, my extended family hosted some college students from Asia for the big meal. As we were making small talk, I opened my mouth and had a little roasted foot to go with my lunch: I asked the Chinese students if they had brothers or sisters. They don’t, of course, because of their national policy on one child per family. I felt rather sheepish about asking, but it was interesting to hear their questions about what it is like to have a family that includes more than one child. Clearly there was a longing on their parts for a different family dynamic.
I thought about that as I read this article from Canada’s “Financial Post” http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=2314438 , which proposes a world-wide adoption of the one-child policy. The column’s author clearly has read only the official news reports from the government: “China has proven that birth restriction is smart policy. Its middle class grows, all its citizens have housing, health care, education and food.” Wow: apparently China has joined Cuba as a true Garden of Eden on earth.
Here’s the truth: no country on earth is the New Eden. Population “solutions” merely create other problems (just check out the financial status of governmental retirement systems of the countries with the lowest birthrates, not to mention the pressures of locating female companions for the males who dominate the ranks of the one-child mandates). The first step is reducing the birthrate; the second step is reducing the age of death. Let’s face it, if we are going to be completely pragmatic, the solution to so-called overpopulation is really one strategy with two fronts: first, kill the babies (especially the girls), then kill anyone else who might be a drain on the system. I for one am glad to know that tender-hearted journalists who apparently have our best interests at heart will be responsible for making such decisions.