Voices For Life

Voices for Life is an e-publication dedicated to informing and educating the public on pro-life and pro-family issues. We cover issues from conception until natural death, as well as all family life issues.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Overpopulation? Asian and European Leaders are Begging Their Citizens to Have More Children


By Eric Metaxas
Life News


European leaders are begging their fellow citizens to have children. But it seems like a “Do as we say, not as we do,” kind of message.

A recurring topic here at BreakPoint is the demographic challenge—“crisis” isn’t too strong a word—facing the industrialized world. From Tokyo to London, people are having fewer and fewer children: In some cases, they’re having barely half as many kids as are needed to maintain a stable population without relying on mass immigration.

This “birth dearth,” as it’s called, poses economic and social challenges to much of Europe, as well as Japan, South Korea, and even China. The impact of this “birth dearth” is not lost on European leaders and their counterparts in Asia. They’ve gone to extreme, and even comical lengths, to reverse the trend. 


Last year, we told you about the Danish government’s “Do it for Denmark” ad campaign. Russia offered women who had a second child not only money but also “cars, refrigerators, and other prizes.”

Singapore even went so far as to establish a government-run dating service in a bid to increase one of the lowest fertility rates in the developed world. Not surprisingly, few, if any, of these measures met with much success. It could scarcely be otherwise since, especially in Europe, the message from leaders seems to be, “do as we say, not as we do.”

As George Weigel noted in First Things magazine, the leaders of four of Europe’s five largest economies are childless: Germany’s Angela Merkel, Britain’s Theresa May, France’s Emmanuel Macron, and Italy’s Paolo Gentiloni. The sole exception is Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who has an increasingly un-European two children.

This childlessness isn’t limited to Europe’s “Big 5.” The leaders of the Netherlands, Sweden, and Luxemburg are also childless, as is the President of the European Union.

This spate of childlessness among European leaders brings to mind something Oscar Wilde’s character Lady Bracknell once said: “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”


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