Social Policy in One Lesson

An article from the BBC reports that Italy will start offering money (a one-time payment of ?1000, and one mayor is even offering ?10,000) for familes to have children. Already being decried -- for all the wrong reasons -- by Europundits, the policy makers and critics both forget that this policy is not radically different from existing European or American practices.

These policies might not be explicitly for the purpose of increasing the population, but they offer money for children, so the difference is not that great. For instance, in Germany the government gives ?154 for the first though third children, and ?179 for the rest.

However, Germany is also experiencing similar woes. The breakdown of the family is something I would not try to explain all by my lonesome here on our corner of the web, but it is occurring in Germany and the birthrate is falling. And they offer much more than a mere ?1000 -- they pay you until your children are 18!

Now the question is: what makes Italy think it will succeed where Germany has failed?

Until they break from the idea that social problems need government solutions, they will never succeed.

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How is this any different

How is this any different than the tax breaks we get in the US for having multiple dependents? I guess one could argue the tax break dollars were ours to begin with.

My question is why does population decrease really matter that much? In general I think it is a good thing.

How is this any different

How is this any different than the tax breaks we get in the US for having multiple dependents? I guess one could argue the tax break dollars were ours to begin with.

That's a good example of how government-induced problems compound. The tax becomes unbelievable, and they have to introduce measures like that to keep people from being too unhappy. I have a great way to simplify the income tax: get rid of it.

My question is why does population decrease really matter that much? In general I think it is a good thing.

I don't know if it's generally good, but I wouldn't say it's a problem that needs government action (no surprise there).

Population decrease matters

Population decrease matters in the realm of social welfare programs; as the baby boom generation begins to retire, programs like social security, medicare and medicare become more and more difficult to fund, as there are fewer workers paying into the system and more retirees taking out of it.

Even putting those problems aside, there is another issue at stake: the creation of new ideas and new technology. This was Julian Simon's response to environmental and overpopulation chicken-littles: more people means more good ideas about how to solve these problems as well as others.

Negative population growth

Negative population growth is a serious problem in Europe. In order to fuel the various european economies that are facing declining birth rates, immigration has become the answer as well as the problem. Immigrants solve the worker problem but do not always integrate into their new countrys mainstream. This can cause a lower standard of living for the immigrant and his family, resentment for the aforementioned and potentially increasing crime. This can be seen in Denmark where crime from "non Danes" is quite higher.