Dylan Vrana, Neo-Malthusian Correspondent
China’s one-child policy has been a source of controversy since its implementation in 1978. The policy, which limits families to one child (as you were probably able to guess from the name), was put in place as China’s swiftly increasing size made it clear that the nation was heading towards a famine. While many outside of China have criticized the policy as a human rights abuse, it certainly did its job in limiting China’s growth.
In fact, it may have done its job too well. “It turns out that if you reduce the birth rate, you wind up with a population of old people,” said an anonymous Party official. “If we don’t start increasing the number of young people fast, we’re going to be the world’s first nation that doubles as a nursing home.”
Driven by (reasonable) fears of inescapable old-people stink, Chinese officials have moved the nation to a two-child policy. Some have even considered loosening it further, suggesting three- or four-child policies. One Party official was so terrified by a nation where every motorist is a Silver Alert that he suggested a five-child policy, though everyone agreed afterwards that it was a pretty dumb idea.
One of the most unorthodox ideas on display comes from pro-Westernization factions in the Party. As one official put it, “The American dream is supposedly 2.5 kids and a white picket fence. Why can’t this be the Chinese dream?” While nobody has any idea how the 2.5-child policy would work, the proposers aren’t concerned. Foisting poorly thought-out or impossible ideas on the people is a time-honored Party tradition and anything, I mean anything, is better than a nation which unites in one voice to say how easy kids have it these days.
Despite the loosening of the one-child policy, Chinese officials have officially confirmed that they will not change the nation’s long-running one-Party policy.