Paying for people — or not


In Japan, the government wants to pay you to have a baby, so dire is the population crisis there.

Japan has one of the world’s lowest birth rates and a nation with no young people is a drag on the world’s second largest economy.

What to do? A proposed plan would pay parents $3,400 a year per child. Cash for kids.

Of course, in my homeland, the government wants to pay you not to have a kid. The population, already at 1.1 billion, is burgeoning at a whopping rate still. India is poised to soon steal the population crown from China.

When I was growing up, Indira Gandhi’s administration instituted an austere family planning program. I recall signs at a train station offering men a Folex (a fake Rolex) if they would just step into the booth and get a vasectomy while they were waiting on their train.

But family planning hasn’t been India’s strong suit.

So it seemed a strange notion to me that you would be rewarded for bringing more lives into the world.

I have an idea: Why don’t the Japanese save their money and instead import unwanted children from India? Hmmmm. That probably doesn’t qualify as an economic stimulus.