Beijing tries to put brakes on plummeting birth rates, reads the headline in today’s Vancouver Sun:
Wang Weijia and her husband grew up surrounded by propaganda posters lecturing them that “Mother Earth is too tired to sustain more children” and “One more baby means one more tomb.” They learned the lesson so well that when Shanghai government officials, alarmed by the city’s low birth rate and aging population, abruptly changed course this summer and began encouraging young couples to have more than one child, their reaction was instant and firm: No way.
“We have already given all our time and energy for just one child. We have none left for a second,” said Wang, 31, a human resources administrator with an eight-month-old son.
More than 30 years after China’s one-child policy was introduced, creating two generations of notoriously chubby, spoiled only children affectionately nicknamed “little emperors,” a population crisis is looming in the country.
John Lennon had it right, for once…
Suricou Raven says
The link doesn’t work.
Population is problematic. For society to florish, continuous growth is needed – there must always be more people now than there were, to support the previous generation in retirement, and because only through growth can jobs be created. If an economy isn’t growing, it’s dying. At the same time though, growth simply cannot be sustained forever – basic laws of physics make this quite clear.
So the choice is between leveling off population now, and having a demographic crisis in sixty years, or continuing to let it grow and having mass starvation in a century or two. Screwed either way.