Having Kids Matters

Declining populations worldwide post big problems

2023 | Week of December 4 | Radio Transcript #1543

Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State for two US presidents, died last week. I was surprised to learn last week in some of the news coverage that he was involved in forwarding policies regarding population control.

A National Security Study memo in 1974 commonly called “The Kissinger Report,” advocated for policies to drastically reduce fertility rates worldwide in order to combat so-called “over population.” The plan was formalized in 1975 when President Gerald Ford signed National Security Decision 314.

The policy section of the memo contains numerous recommendations for reducing fertility rates.  One general statement is enough to catch the essence, quote, “The common strategy for dealing with rapid population growth should encourage constructive actions to lower fertility since population growth over the years will seriously negate reasonable prospects for the sound social and economic development of the peoples involved.” End quote.

Suffice it to say, Kissinger’s recommendations apparently worked—and worked so well that now nations across the globe are approaching demographic winters, where they have more people dying each year than being born and predictably thex “social and economic development of the peoples involved” are both severely threatened because of this reality.

Last week the Vox online media outlet published an article entitled, “You Can’t Even Pay People To Have More Kids,” with a subheading of, “These countries tried everything from cash to patriotic calls to duty to reverse drastically declining birth rates. It didn’t work.”[1]

The situations mentioned in the article are stunning. For instance, Taiwan has spent more than $3 billion in an effort to get its citizens to have more children. Authorities have invested in all manner of creative ideas, including single mixers, offering free pets, offering six months of paid parental leave and more.

A number of years ago, Russia offered about $7,000 to families with more than two children. Italy and Greece have offered per-child “baby bonuses.” In 2019, Hungary introduced a loan of about $30,000 to newly-weds—and completely forgives the loan if the couple has three children.

Some countries are trying public campaigns that basically beg people to have children. Copenhagen, Denmark, tried one. in Singapore, the government released a rap video encouraging, quote, “financially secure adults in stable, committed, long-term relationships,” to, quote, “make Singapore’s birth rate spike.”

China, a country that for years enforced a one-child policy, recently, according to the Vox report, urged women to, quote, “establish a correct outlook on marriage and love, childbirth, and family.”

The United States is not exempt. Our birth rate dropped 23% between 2007 and 2022. The average American woman today has about 1.6 children, well below the “replacement rate” of 2.1 children per woman of child-bearing age. Replacement does not grow a population; it simply keeps it stable.  Wisconsin has been below the replacement birthrate since 1974.

We could go on and on with examples of countries and even states now reeling from this demographic disaster, which is, at least in part, due to policies suggested by Kissinger and ultimately enacted.

The result is pending economic and social doom. Nations, and even states, that cannot at least maintain their population face dire realities with severe worker shortages, too few taxpayers to cover government’s obligations, loss of entrepreneurial endeavors, empty desks in classrooms, and much more. Countries trying desperate measures understand if there isn’t a change soon, their very society and nationality are threatened.

Recovering from a demographic winter takes time. The answer, however, isn’t rocket science. It’s making marriage and child-bearing within marriage desirable and the norm. However, we and others in the world have had for so long a self-centered worldview where children are an inconvenience that the hard work is changing minds.

In the opening chapters of Genesis, God laid out His plan—marriage between one man and one woman and told them to “be fruitful and multiply.” Ignoring or disparaging God’s good design will always lead us in the wrong direction and the consequences are never good. Kissinger obviously didn’t understand that God’s way is always the best way.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you that God, through the Prophet Hosea, said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”



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