Creative strategies to boost population
IN THE PRESENT ECONOMIC CLIMATE, encouraging Barbadians to have more children without offering a plan is akin to asking an infant to go for a swim without a life jacket and other safety equipment.
If the Minister of Education [Ronald Jones] is unaware, he should be informed that a number of countries across the globe have devised various methods to increase population growth.
Without any effective plans, incentives and safeguards, Barbadian women are unlikely to take unnecessary risks.
A series of strategies, some innovative and non-traditional, others of the more conventional type, have been implemented by various governments and agencies. They include:
• The Russian government being involved in setting up dating sites.
• Declaration of National Day of Conception September 12 aligned to the National Day of the Russian Federation, allowing Russian couples to win cars, refrigerators and money for the birth of “patriot” children.
• A Danish travel agent advertising a vacation to a romantic city saying “ovulation discount” and “Do It For Denmark” with baby supplies provided for three years if there is conception while on holiday.
• The government of Singapore partnering with the manufacturers of “Mintos” on Singapore’s National Day telling citizens to forget the waving of flags and as patriotic husbands and wives just have sex.
• The South Korean government instituting a ritual of turning off lights in offices at 7:30 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month to “help staff get dedicated to childbirth and upbringing” on “Family Day”.
• The South Korean government taking active steps to offer gifts of cash and other incentives to citizens to be more procreative.
• The punishment of childless Romanians over the age of 25, whether married or single, with a tax of up to 20 per cent of income.
• Romanian authorities banning the importation of birth control medications.
• Students at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, with the use of emotional psychology, creating the Yotaro robotic baby doing all the things a human baby can do in order to spark interest in people to want to have their own babies.
• In France, a monthly allowance of 180 pounds for families with three children.
• Tax deductions for housekeeping help.
• Yearly Christmas presents.
• Financial bonuses at the start of the school year.
• Subsidised holiday camps.
• “Family Card” reductions on train and metro fares.
• “Paris-Family Cards” allowing free entrance to swimming pools and other venues.
• Government grants of up to 580 pounds per month for one year for having an extra child.
• Doubling of tax credit for hiring babysitters.
While strategies of the unconventional type are not recommended, there are certainly innovative and creative measures that must be part of the call from the Minister of Education – otherwise, he is engaged in an exercise of futility.
– MICHAEL RAY