Two editorials about population growth in India highlight the massive gap in thinking between two groups: those who want women to add even more children to our crowded and polluted world and those who are focused on making the future safer and happier for all. The first focuses on short-term profits, while the second wants to invest in long-term social development.
The first author argues against smaller families…
Since 1960, the average number of births per woman has fallen from 4.9 to 2.5 worldwide, and even more sharply in emerging countries. In India, it dropped from 5.9 to 2.5. This decline was fueled by rising affluence and education among women, many of whom decided to put off having children to pursue a career, and by aggressive population control policies.
While the second author lauds smaller families:
India’s population growth is falling as incomes grow and social conditions change for the better. In 2013, for example, the poorest and least socially progressive states had the highest fertility rates: Bihar’s was 3.4, Uttar Pradesh (3.1), Madhya Pradesh (2.9) and Rajasthan (2.8). The social condition, educational qualification and employment opportunities of women in these states are appalling. Without exception, these states are economically backward.
But if you read between the lines, you’ll see the debate is not about numbers. It’s about values. The first author is singularly and obsessively focused on gross domestic product and on pumping up the investor class through discredited Ponzi population schemes that try to create short-term profits at long-term costs by simply adding more people to economies rather than actually increasing their productivity. The second author is focused on creating long-term social developments by increasing the well-being of women and children and on putting people over profits.
It’s time to move past shortsighted greed. Having Kids can help.