China’s birth curve:
I was thinking about the glamorous and mysterious Orient, when some data came to hand.  (The Child in Time ECONOMIST vol. 395 no. 8696 August 21. 2010 page 31)  Here is a graph from the article.

You ought to recognize this curve.  You have seen it from a number of sources a number of times.  For instance, here is the composite of the world’s birth rate broken down by state of development, UN numbers:

It’s the same old curve.  There is one difference.  China at one point introduced their much-spoken-of “one child policy.”  It is indicated on the ECONOMIST graph.

Perhaps you think of China as being a nation of docile, united and heavily regimented folks.  But a glance at the curve shows one and only one departure from the usual expectation.  When they were commanded to limit their births the birth rate rose above trend.  In brief they did exactly what a nation of cantankerous, diverse and chaotic folks would do.  They did exactly the opposite of what they were supposed to be forced into doing.  Otherwise it is the usual banister of doom.  (Come on.  Don’t tell me you never slid down a banister.) 

Even though the official numbers charted show less than a replacement rate of birth, some responsible voices in China are saying that the actual rate is far lower, maybe about 1.5 rather than 1.8 children per woman and that the restrictions need to be relaxed.

Don’t expect that very soon.  Politicians just hate to be seen to change their minds even in the face of data.  But when they do, I think they are in for a nasty surprise.  The birth rate may drop to trend. 

What then.  Since governments seem to be able to do just about anything except let people live their lives as they wish, efforts will be made to lift the birth rate.  There will be propaganda and, quite possibly, erotic literature will circulate. 

A fat lot of good that will do.  Japan has the most elegant and voluminous erotic production in history … I wouldn’t know really … I just know what I read in books … no, not that kind of book.  Maybe if it’s true they’ll find a market in China.  It has not restored Japan’s birth rate to survivable. 

Like Russia, like ancient Rome, we are witnessing a super power that cannot survive this way for very long.  

There have been 5,453 visitors counted so far.

Home page.