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.

More TV equals fewer babies?

How to solve India’s population problem: Supply every village with electricity so that every villager will watch more television late at night and have less sex.


This is the brainchild of India’s new health and welfare minister.

Let’s all think about this one for a minute.

I know firsthand how overpopulation can ruin good things in India. Build a school and a year later, you gotta build another one because there are that many more kids. India is slated to become the world’s most populous nation by 2050 with a population of a whopping 1.7 billion.

But watching television seems a peculiar way to tackle this problem. Might it be better to educate people instead? So that they understand the consequences of having too many children? So that the children they do have can grow up and work decent jobs?

In any case, Indian television has plenty of sexy stuff on air. Wouldn’t that spur people into babymaking activities?

Think about it and let me know if you think this idea, birthed on World Population Day, has any merit.

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