Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One-Child Rule in the News

The statue of "The Guanyin Who Sends Chil...Image via Wikipedia
The parenting regulations of the Chinese government that featured in my mystery, A POINTED, DEATH, were the subject of an article in the Wall Street Journal today. The Commission which oversees the policy, decided to keep it in place for another five years, according to the story, written by Jeremy Page. The one-child rule has produced a significant gender imbalance in China in the thirty years it has been in place.

As a single lady, it is interesting to fantasize about a world with a lot of spare men. Generally, women are used to the situation being the other way round. But in the real world, imbalances either way cause social, economic and even international problems.

As with social policies the world over, the rules don't apply to everyone. Certain groups are exempted, and if you have money, you pay a fine when you have a second kid. Sounds like the Obamacare setup. Page reported that one proposal floating around is a two-child policy which would be implemented across the board. But as with all such regulatory systems, a few years would elapse and the same sort of exemptions would probably begin to creep in.

Perhaps they could come up with a trading system comparable to energy credits. Every citizen would receive the same number of credits which could be used if they wished to have a child, or traded to someone who wished to have more than one child. Infertile people could give their credits to siblings or friends, perhaps in return for a promise of a little help from the bonus youngster when they enter their childless old age. Or they could just sell the credits to the highest bidder and sock the money away for a rainy day. Gosh, once you start down this social engineering path, the possibilities are endless. . . and scary.

Of course, the plot of A POINTED DEATH was scarier than this, but you'll have to read the book to find out how and why. :)
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  1. Katharine,
    I support a charity called "Half the Sky" which supports Chinese girls, from infant through teens, because girls in China are shunned or abandoned. is their web site.

    John Courtright

  2. Katharine, I'm Chip Jackson's assistant at SMCM. I happened to follow a blogger writer/book reviewer who reviewed your book today. I thought I would pass the link to you. It's a rave.



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