Wednesday, November 18, 2009

China's one-child policy has added benefits

Many articles believe that China’s one child policy is too restrictive of people’s rights but in Gwynne Dyer’s article “China's one-child policy has added benefits” she believes that although it does intrude on rights it is still a necessity to keep China’s fertility rate and population down to a reasonable level. The policy states that each family is allowed to have only one child, although exceptions are made for rural families were the first born is a girl or handicapped or people are of ethnic minorities. (Dyer, 2007) An alternative to this regulatory control could be an economic incentive by giving families more money for the fewer children they have.
The incentive would work by the government giving families with fewer children more money than ones with many children. It would also have to depend on income because a $1000 reimbursement is worth more to people of different incomes. The economic incentive method would clearly not intrude on people’s rights to have children. The option is still available to them; they just need to be well off financially so they can support the extra child without the given money. This is also a good basis for a sound economic society. It means that each child will be properly taken care of because of prosperous family settings. This hopefully insures that there only enough people in the country that can be provided for which is one of china’s biggest problems now.
But with a relaxation on the one child policy the birth rate will rise again and this economic incentive may not always work. In order for people to always choose the incentive instead of children it would have to be an incredibly large sum of money and with the number of births in china the government wouldn’t have enough funds to support it.
But what about the children of unplanned pregnancies or lower class families that need the children to work? These women will probably have their children despite the incentives for not having them. It is unknown how many women would be in these situations, but it could have the effect of rising the birth rate again, thus destroying the positive effect of the policy of the past 30 years. Or because all these families have been suppressed by the government for the past three decades there could be a population boom. With such a rapid number of births the country would again not be able to support them all.
The one child policy is an intrusion of human rights, but I along with Dyer believe that China had no other choice. In the article China is compared to India and in the 70’s they both had close fertility rates and China had a greater population. In 2020 it is predicted that China’s population will level off around 1.4 billion while India’s will continue to grow to 1.7. With the policy China’s population would be close to 2 billion, which is a significantly more than there is now. Crowded living conditions and poor air quality are already problems in China, so the country would not have been able to support 600 million more people because they can’t support every one as it is.
So in the case of China’s one child policy I and Dyer believe that regulatory control should remain implemented instead of an economic incentive because people will have the children anyways and China in a dire situation that calls for drastic action.
Dyer, G. (2007, October 27). China's one-child policy has added benefits. Retrieved from

1 comment:

  1. Liia you had a good intro, you were very well explained, and you touched on aspects that i probly would not have thought of like the unexpected pregnencies. however i dont really agree with your comment about giving smaller families more money then they would give to big families. The goverment isnt going to give out money to everyone. i also dont believe the incentive would have to be that much in order to get people to take part, i think they would be willing to take part even if they were only offering tax reductions. well done liia