(1) What are the social consequences of lowered birth rates to societies? Populations have begun to decline in many countries. People are not having as many children because of higher living condition

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(1)

What are the social consequences of lowered birth rates to societies?

Populations have begun to decline in many countries. People are not having as many children because of higher living conditions, improved education, and enhanced reproductive preventive procedures. Young people’s concerns for gender equality and work-life balance can be used to explain why they are delaying marriage and having children (Akagawa 2019). The decline may become uncontrollable at some point and governments will be forced to produce new ways to create more taxes to support the retired generations. Some of the social consequences of this decline are higher pension expenditures, higher health care expenses for the elderly, a shortage of workers for a variety of fields, and fewer people paying income and sales taxes.

Is it ethical to offer monetary compensation to limit family size?

I do not think it is ethical to offer monetary compensation to limit family sizes. Individuals should be allowed to choose their own family planning based on their personal circumstances. However, it is equally critical that each individual make a conscious decision about how many children they can maintain without becoming a government burden. In addition, the subject of the Earth’s sustainability has recently occupied people’s minds, raising concerns about whether the planet will have enough resources to meet every one’s needs.China had a strict one-policy child until 2016, when a two-child policy was implemented. Looking at the reality for working women in China, one of the social consequences of being allowed to have more than one child can be appreciated. Women have been struggling to keep their jobs, because of the lack of paternal participation, lack of institutional childcare support, and lack of family leave regulations (Shen and Jiang 2020). Households that were used to having two incomes see the impact and the cost of having to afford the reality of having two children vs. one.

Will you force families to reduce their family size regardless of their religion, or will some families be exempt?

The subject of religion is woven into a number of legal and regulatory issues. For instance, there are now measures in place that allow for religious exemptions from the Covid immunization requirements. The First Amendment of the Constitution states that the government cannot restrict people from freely practicing their religion. When it comes to family size restrictions, respecting people’s religious beliefs would be a top priority for me.

(2)

What are the social consequences of lowered birth rates to societies?

Lower fertility and birth rates can have a multitude of societal consequences. In her research study, Marshall (2015) states that in many of the wealthiest countries around the world, total fertility rates (TFR) have been dropping to very low levels. So much so that the rate is now below the replacement rate of 2.1 per woman. Her study went on to find that state concern and state intervention in lower birth rates and TFR are greater in wealthier countries. So, her data show that wealthier countries are also trying to do something about their lower birth rates. Without getting to a TFR of 2.1, there will not be enough new people born to replace existing populations (Marshall 2015).

Birth rates, however, are actually higher in underdeveloped countries, and this is where a different problem arises. That begets a problem of much less contraception and birth control being used, which then can be associated with a TFR of a much higher 5.7, which means overpopulation. In these parts of the world, primarily the under-developed Third World, population education and new measures need to be engaged.

Once a country begins to industrialize and urbanize, the demographic transition begins and the birth rate begins to come down and stabilize. One such country is China. China also has a very low TFR, but it was not always like that. In 1960, China had a TFR of 6.0 and it has diminished all the way down to 1.18 in 2010. China introduced its “one-child” policy in the late 1970s, and ever since, the birth rate has just fallen and fallen. China, since 2015, has loosened the strict one-child policy and now has a two-child policy, and the Communist Party states that this low TFR contributes to China’s increasing urbanization, education, and industrialization (Jiang and Liu 2016).

Is it ethical to offer monetary compensation to limit family size?

Yes, I believe it is ethical to offer money to limit family size. The population is growing at shockingly high rates in the undeveloped world, and these are the places that most need population control. They are the poorest and most in need of aid in many facets of their lives. Since money is the key component they most need, why not give them a stipend as part of the aid many wealthier countries and the United Nations already sends. Monetary compensation, along with sexual education and contraception, could prove to be beneficial in lowering some countries’ TFR.

Will you force families to reduce their family size regardless of their religion, or will some families be exempt?

No, I would not force families to reduce the size of their prospective family. I believe that poor and underdeveloped states should set up regimes that include sex education, contraception, and monetary compensation to families to participate in better and more responsible family planning. China is an excellent example of how overpopulation can be addressed, albeit in a much more authoritarian way I would advocate for. Comparing China to say, India, shows a drastic difference in policies, as India is now in trouble with its population as it is growing by forty-eight thousand people per day. Additionally, India allows young women, at age fifteen, to be married and start having children. This is one example of a societal shift that needs to occur in India, and in many other like-minded countries  (Eitzen, et al. 2012). Religion is a variable that needs not be prompted for and should make no difference in policy-making.

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