Saturday, April 16, 2005

Europe's Demographic Destiny

Pavel Kohout's Where Have All the Children Gone? at Tech Central Station, takes a look at the policies that are partially behind Europe's falling birth rates:
"State pensions systems eliminated the natural economic incentive to have children. At the same time, the welfare state is an enormously costly luxury that has to be financed from taxes. High payroll-tax and social security contributions reduce the earning capacity of people in fertile age. Thus, they push down birth rates as well...Today, children no longer represent investments; instead, they have become pets - objects of luxury consumption."