Establishing a limited child policy is extremely complicated and can have extremely detrimental effects on an individual level and a societal level. Sex preferences alone have resulted in “disappearing” pregnancies for parents who would prefer a male, resulting also in a a skewed sex ratio of more males than females. The Chinese government has recognized the possibility that increased male aggression, mental health, and sex trafficking/kidnapping of females could very well be related to the gender imbalance.
Looking on a more global level though, population growth rates is not the greatest cause of detriment to the environment, and some experts say it’s not even a dominant factor. If you look at energy consumption and pollution, countries with very low growth rates (typically developed countries like the US) are much more harmful to the planet than nations with high birth rates. There’s a very comprehensive article on this in a recent National Geographic, I highly recommend it.
The natural environment aside, many countries in the world (especially the United States) would very likely revolt if the government tried to limit our personal freedom to make babies.
Many people and religions don’t believe in any birth control at all, let alone government mandated birth control. The US can’t even agree on the best way to reduce unwanted pregnancies. Trying to stop those who DO want them would not go over well.
I have heard of a proposal that parents only get tax deduction for their first two children, but I couldn’t find anything on it to share.
I think I can safely say that the United States would never agree to a two-child policy. Currently there’s a commerical running that speaks against food tax for unhealthy food even though America is home to some of the fattest cities and states in the world. Although we are far beyond the days of old where having children was mainly to support the family business (typically farming), people would be outraged to have government regulations on their ability to have as many children as the Duggars.
I think, at least in the United States, this would be a huge problem in trying to put into law. Most likely this would increase the number of abortions in this country, which is already a hotbed issue.
However, this is not a new idea. In the U.K., there are people who believe that there should be a limit on the number of children a family can have. The Optimum Population Trust believes that the number of children should be limited because of the carbon output that each child will contribute, and because of the increasing world population.
There are several reasons why a country would choose not to engage in such a policy. It is a direct infringement on the rights of its citizens, some cultures require large families to maintain their daily life, the religious peoples of the world would revolt, it creates illegitimate citizens of people born in that country, etc.
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