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The One Child Policy: Necessary?

While in a carpool with one of my friends, I found myself being asked the question - what's wrong with a Two-Child Policy for China? After all, having two children is the perfect replacement rate for two parents. It would be so much better, since parents have a much better chance of producing a boy, too, stopping any attempts to kill any baby girls.

Smog and fog comes from China's many factories.
From Wikipedia.


Unfortunately, that wouldn't help anything. Although analysts and critics have pointed to China's industrial slowdown as a result of the One Child Policy limiting manpower and supply for the factories, things would be much worse without the One Child Policy. Let me explain why.




Imagine a crowded and polluted China - I'm sorry, you don't just have to imagine it. It already exists. Visit any major city, like Beijing or Shanghai, or even a 'minor city' like Fuzhou, and you'll see hazy layers of smog. The only thing worse is to get pushed around in a Shanghai crowd by people seeking to cross a street.

With the already huge amount of people jaywalking and stopping efficient transportation by car, imagine what things would be like with more people - traffic would be paralyzed. Even worse, China would be thrown into large-scale poverty.

Why?

1. The One Child Policy has allowed for GDP growth.

In other words, if there were hundreds of millions of more children, the GDP per capita would be lower than it is right now. Impoverished parents with multiple children would drain the economy of new things like the gaotie, the bullet trains.

2. There's no economic boom without the One Child Policy.

The One Child Policy has certainly slowed economic growth. There's a much smaller labor force, while the population is aging. Welfare spending for senior citizens has greatly increased.

But with hundreds of millions of more children, China's infrastructure and transportation would be strained past their limits. Imagine what would happen if workers were unable to catch a train to their future employment at factories. Foreign investors would never invest in China if only a handful of workers showed up for work.

3. Net importer: of everything?

We've all grown to imagine China as a behemoth of massive proportions, exporting everything from Chinese rice to childrens' toys.

This isn't true.

China has been a net importer of food for more than ten years. With a larger population, it'd have to import lots of food.

4. Huge unemployment

Foreign investors can't invest in China enough to stop unemployment from skyrocketing. With more unemployment, it's likely we'll see a plethora of effects.
  • Higher crime
  • Much lower GDP per capita, as said before

5. Chinese Trade Deficit

This is the biggest ramification. Combining all of the above points, we see one conclusion:
  1. China has to import food on a larger scale.
  2. China can't produce items of its own because the factories can't handle all these people.
  3. China has to import said items.
Looking at all three points, there is only one result. China would have a huge trade deficit.

Maybe people should thank the One Child Policy instead of hating on it.

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