No black market discussion about desperate couples buying Chinese or Russian babies here. Nor about desperate mothers having their child under conditions too horrible to consider, such that their only recourse is to give up that newborn. No, we’re going to consider a behavioral future in which our government pays us to have kids.
We know this; as women become more educated and empowered, they choose to have fewer children later in life. This is a behavioral trend that has been repeated in every nation, every culture, and in every possible combination of factors we can measure. In retrospect this makes sense; why would a perfectly normal person want to have a parasite growing within them, by choice? We know this parasite will endanger the mother’s health, shorten her life, and make her life miserable in many other ways.
The good news for our species is that these parasites can also give us great joy. They also represent the future of our species, and can support us in our old age. And because they are closely related to us, raised by us, educated by us, we know that they will be our close ally in times of danger.
It’s for these reasons and more that governments also like to have ‘future taxpayers’ filling the pipeline. However, governments also know that their well educated and empowered baby-makers are having fewer babies. What to do?
As a behavioral scientist, we can make this prediction. The government will start to pay us for babies. As much as they can afford. They need these babies because they will rely on them for future work, and future taxes.
“What?” you say, Gentle Reader? “No way!” you say? Ah ha! I have you now!
Our government, and many others, already do this. In the US we get a dependency credit on our taxes. It’s not much, but it’s still a payment. In France you get extra bonuses and vacation time if you have 3 kids or more. And if you look closely, every Western country has some kind of ‘incentive’ program in place. And as fecundity rates continue to drop (look at Italy!) the payments will only increase.
So, thinking of having a baby? How much should I make the check out for?