Thursday, March 06, 2008

One Party, One Child

An insightful look at the political incentives keeping China's one-child policy alive:

As Communist Party elites hobnob in Beijing this week, the one-child policy has become a dangerous liability for current -- and future -- political leaders. So why not get rid of it?

The top brass worry that if they were to relax the policy -- for example by switching to a two-child policy -- the ensuing flood of babies would overwhelm schools and hospitals, threatening the stability on which they have built their rule. Then there's the loss of face, not to mention the fear of repercussions. How do you tell a mother who has been forcibly sterilized or who was forced to undergo an abortion that it was all a big mistake?

You don't. Instead, you continue to force more mothers to do the same.

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