Wednesday, November 4, 2009

An American 'One Child Policy?'

In previous blogs there has been talk about the “One Child Policy” in China which basically states that all families can only have one child to help reduce the high number in population. Another aspect to the law is that males were a higher priority than males, a term in which is defined by female infanticide. These laws are affecting China as well, as a high percentage of the population is 60 and older, resulting in high costs just to preserve the health of these seniors, instead of building for the future. There is much controversy about this law and that China will not be able to sustain their high power because there are not enough children for the future to help sustain the country. Anyways, in America they do not want to specifically bring back the exact same ideals as the Chinese version of the ‘One Child Policy’ but have a slight alteration. Instead of forced abortion which is abundant in China, they would have a carbon credit for families that restrict themselves to having only one child. This idea was introduced by Andrew Revkin, and environmental reporter in the New York Times. This action is directed to third world areas mostly in poverty ridden areas such as Africa or India to help encourage the decrease of people.

Morally, the message is to help control the human overcrowding in areas that have less. In these areas birth control and other contraceptives are very expensive and not used as commonly as first world countries. The carbon credit is almost like a bribe to help these unfortunate people prosper and be able to enjoy their lives a little bit better as well as help regulate the number of people produced. People who count morally are the people receiving this carbon credit. Also, the tax payers who are going to be paying to fund this program also count morally.

From a consequentialist’s point of view, the goods that can come out of this action, sees this being a good opportunity for high fertility areas such as Africa to help reduce overpopulation as well as earn some money to help them move on in life. As well, if this action works, other countries may believe it can help them with overpopulation woes and implement this action. A negative consequence of this action is that the amount of money given out may not be justified by only having one child. I mean, some families may want to have more than one child but I guess will have to be ‘bribed’ with more money than the government would want to give them. Depending on the family of course, this could be a problem or it could not.

A non-consequentialist point of view examines the goodness of the act itself. The act here, applying the carbon credit, can be seen as an ethically correct act that can benefit the world and environment. Although the consequences for this may be only slightly negative, they are not dwelled upon.

In conclusion, either view has different ethical aspects that are pointed out in the article. In the long term the effects of this policy could have a positive affect on the environment and that it would be supported by the areas that it would be applied.



  1. when i decide which blog posts to commnt on i always look at the title, i thought yours was intresting and decided to read on. Your intro was good and informational. your paragraphs were very direct and you explained the concepts well. My only suggestion would be to read your article over to help it flow alittle better, and catch little mistakes like "Another aspect to the law is that males were a higher priority than males". over all well done

  2. Very good introduction, it is very informative and keeps the readers attention. Your body paragraphs seemed equally informative and you kept them interesting as well. I agree that the one child policy would benefit the environment in the area that it is used in. Good work Mike, your blog was well written.

  3. Good blog post it was interesting to read and proposed a unique idea to solve overpopulation. But though the article was interesting you need to make sure to include enough information about the different ethical theory’s not just information the article stated. I also agree with you that this new one child policy would be a benefit to the environment and a good idea to implement.

  4. i have to agree with pat, the title was so captivating. i loved it. as soon as i saw the blog topic for blog 6, i thought everyone would be writing about "china-the one child policy" so when i was America the one child policy, i was like OH MY GOSH, WHAT?! and i had to read on. so good job on the title. i liked it.

    overall i thought the general idea was pretty unique and interesting to read about. i think it is a really good idea and there are some majors pros that we could get out of it. both socially and environmentally.

    just make sure that you don't ramble to much or spit to many facts straight out of the article. elaborate on the theories.
    other then that great job. interesting article. i liked