Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

One, Two or Free?

one child policy, china, family planning, communist, five year plan

The vast majority of Chinese people are celebrating. Last week, the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party decreed that it will cease enforcing the one-child-only policy this coming March — after 35 years — as part of its 13th Five Year Plan.

Just speaking for myself, infanticide, coerced abortions and forced sterilizations seem . . . well, not good. Bad, even. Really bad. Or more precisely, evil, tyrannical and totalitarian . . . you know, if we want to use such “extreme” language.

But not everyone sees it my way.

Back in 1990, Molly Yard claimed that “[t]he Chinese government doesn’t coerce people.” Why, according to this former head of the National Organization of Women, “the only responsible policy [China] can have is to control family planning.” She went all the way: “I consider the Chinese government’s policy among the most intelligent in the world.”

The Los Angeles Times reported in 2012 that China’s “population control efforts have helped lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and contributed to China’s spectacular economic growth.”

That has not only been disputed — many economists point to policy changes that allowed entrepreneurship and private property — but overturned by reality. The one-child policy has been a disaster. There are now 117 young men for every 100 young women in China, and an aging population without enough youngsters to provide for them.

Alas, the one child policy is not being replaced with reproductive freedom. The government will still limit couples to two kids. That’s better than one, sure. But I have three children. If I were Chinese, I wouldn’t want to give up one of them.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

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one child policy, china, family planning, communist, five year plan


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  1. JFB says:

    Your descriptive words are too mild.  Will this relaxation of controlsin China be a bit more restrictive than two children in practice, like one male and one female, abort or kill the rest. 
    Is this really progress. Will this change the  selection of sex issue?
    This reform leaves more questions than answers, and is certianly not liberty or freedom.  Indeed, it could get worse. 

  2. Paul Jacob says:

    No, this is very little progress, if any at all. 2 may be a better number than 1, but the point is for government NOT TO DICTATE THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN WE HAVE.

    • Paul Jacob says:

      My caps-lock got stuck above, but it seemed to work out OK.

    • JFB says:

      Totally agreed, it would appear that to pull this off the Central Committee will have to issue permits for both the number and sex of its herd’s surviving offspring. 
      Not any utopia or worker’s paradise that I might envision and strive for. 

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