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28 December 2006

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Kristin

I think Japan offers all kinds of incentives for folks to have kids too.
Pretty strange to me as well.
And here in America, 3 is the new 2- especially among the wealthy - it is a weird world.

blaugra

You too, Japan? Aargh. That's just great.

Tom Guarriello

Like most European countries (and Japan) Germany's in big demographic trouble. Birth rates of under 2.1 per couple yield population decline and all the problems that come with a civilization skewed toward the elderly (health care costs, labor shortages, and so on.) China's problem is an unintended consequence of their population control measures of the 70s: too few females. A country with too many single men spells trouble in lots o' ways.

So, several countries are trying to figure out what to do, with financial incentives high on the list. 20th century images have very little to do with what's going to happen in this century, 'cause old powers (in all sense of that word) are going to be eclipsed by younger, more vibrant ones. Italy's even worse than Germany: they haven't a clue about what to do there.

chris ives

I said it before and I'll say it again... You should have to fill out an application and pass an exam to have a child.

You need a license to drive a car, fish/hunt, and operate heavy machinery, but anyone can have a child.

blaugra

So, why can't Germany, Italy, whatever offer financial incentives for couples or singles to adopt children from other countries? Are there lots of little Chinese girls who speak German? I just think the concept for a singular culture needs to be thrown out because it's no longer realistic in Europe and the Americas. I know, I know, there's that whole problem with the baby trade...very complicated.

Tom Guarriello

China has recently cracked down significantly on adoption rules: no fat people need apply (seriously!) This is not a long term solution to a nation's demographic problems. They need to have more reproduction, not adoption.

Unfortunately, (I say that because they're going to go through some very rough times) it's probably too late for most of Europe. They're about to experience the decline that many societies have gone through before them.

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