A Tax on Reproductive Failure?

Reader Morris directed my attention to an article describing a proposal by Hu Jiye, a finance professor at China University of Political Science and Law. Reacting to reports of falling birth rates in China, Jiye explained that the solution is a “no child tax” on two-income couples who have no children. The revenue would be placed in a “fertility fund” proposed by two other academics, which would be used to pay families with one child to have a second child. The two academics who proposed the “fertility fund” went further than did Jiye, suggesting that all citizens, not just two-income couples with no children, under the age of 40 pay a percentage of salary into the fund. Not surprisingly, the proposal has met with negative public reaction.Jiye’s rationale is that couples with no children “have no offspring to take care of them once they grow old and therefore will consume social resources.” Does it not seem to him, as it…

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