Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Having Babies Seen As 'Patriotic Duty'
CNS News ^ | 5/12/04 | Patrick Goodenough

Posted on 05/12/2004 8:35:03 AM PDT by qam1

Pacific Rim Bureau (CNSNews.com) - The Australian government is risking the ire of population-control advocates by urging -- and offering incentives for -- citizens to have more children.

Announcing the conservative government's federal budget, Treasurer Peter Costello, the minister responsible for economic and fiscal policy, unveiled a "family-friendly" $13.3-billion package that for five years starting in June will pay couples $2,000 for each new baby born.

The budget also made provision for maternity payments, family tax credits and an increase in the number of subsidized after-school childcare places.

Costello, widely regarded as a prime ministerial hopeful when John Howard finally retires, told reporters that having two children per family simply wasn't enough "to fix the ageing demographic."

"If you can have children, it is a good thing to do," he said, adding that Australian couples should have at least three children each -- one for dad, one for mom and one for the country, he said.

Couples should go further, and have more than that to make up for others "who are not even replicating themselves," Costello said, ending the press conference by telling journalists: "Go home and do your patriotic duty tonight."

Although it is the world's sixth-largest country, Australia is populated by just 20 million people, most of whom are crowded along the southeast coastal fringes of the vast, arid interior.

Population density is seven people per square mile, compared to 79 in the U.S., 357 in China, and 641 in Britain.

Total fertility rates (the average number of children born to women during their reproductive years) in Australia is around 1.75, well below the 2.1 replacement rate.

The Business Council of Australia, whose members include CEOs of the country's leading corporations, argued in a position paper last month that the country needs a population of 30 million by 2050 to sustain a strong economy. Achieving that would require population growth of 1.25 percent, it said.

"The impact of ageing of the population means the 'dependency' ratio in Australia will double from six people of working age for every retiree in 1990 to just three working age people per retiree by 2028," the council argued.

"The consequences will have an enduring impact on the way we live and work and profound implications for spending on health and social welfare."

But a group called Sustainable Population Australia believes 20 million is enough, arguing that the country's resources cannot sustain more people.

The organization's vice-president, John Coulter, said Wednesday Australia was "already overpopulated" inasmuch as the present population was unable to live "sustainably."

He conceded that from a social welfare point of view there may be some justification in providing help to couples who want to have two children but cannot afford to do so.

"But our view is that it's not in the national interest to increase population."

Coulter said industries that benefited from population growth - such as the real estate and retail sectors - were big political donors, and accused the government of pandering to them by "whipping up hysteria" about a falling population.

An Australian author and broadcaster who is also a patron of Sustainable Population Australia, Dr. Paul Collins, said Wednesday that as a Catholic he has some sympathy for Costello's position, but was nonetheless concerned about Australia's ability to sustain a growing population.

Collins said the ideal would probably be for Australia to have "zero population growth or just above, and that should be maintained through our own fertility," rather than through migration.

Asked what he thought the population should be, he said he had no answer, but it was something that should be "scientifically ascertained" and debated much more widely than it was.

'Unfashionable'

Leading demographer and author Bernard Salt said Wednesday there were simply not enough younger Australians coming through to eventually pay taxes as baby boomers move into retirement.

"We either produce more babies or we import more people," he said. "We need more people in the younger age group, that's the bottom line."

Salt told Australian radio that while couples were unlikely to decide to have a baby on the basis of the new cash incentive, it could make a difference by bringing forward a decision, or the ease the financial worry in a decision about whether to have two children or three.

"It can't hurt -- it might make a difference at the margins."

The real issue was not incentives, he said, but the fact that "having children is simply not as fashionable now as it was 30 years ago."

For the past 33 years the number of children born in Australia each year had dropped.

Until attitudes about having babies changes, Salt said, he doubted the numbers would begin to rise again.

Twenty-somethings felt they had other, more pressing, things to do these days than have children.

Salt also pointed to popular culture.

It was hard to find one television sitcom these days that featured children, he said, citing programs like Friends and Sex in the City compared to 1960s and 1970s programs like "My Three Sons," "Father Knows Best" and "The Brady Bunch."

"Children were at the center of society [back then]. They have moved to the edges in current society. Gay culture has gone from the edge to the center of society -- our values have shifted."

Tuesday night's budget also offered income tax cuts for higher earners and an increase in defense spending.

Costello allocated $1.6 billion to fund Australia's ongoing troop commitment in Iraq until at least the middle of next year, to finance armed marshals on flights, and to protect important national sites against terrorism.

He dismissed accusations that the government was trying to buy voter support ahead of a close-fought election expected as early as August.

All Australians were entitled to benefit from the strong economy, he said. Economic growth is predicted at 3.5 percent for the coming year.


TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: babyboom; babyboomers; birthrate; lowbirthrates

1 posted on 05/12/2004 8:35:09 AM PDT by qam1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: qam1
Importing people who go on welfare, and hate their new host isn't a very good answer to the problem, either in Australia, Europe, or the United States.
2 posted on 05/12/2004 8:38:02 AM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: qam1
Maybe they need to lower their income taxes.
3 posted on 05/12/2004 8:42:39 AM PDT by valkyrieanne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: qam1
As soon as I'm finished having babies for China, I'll be right over.
4 posted on 05/12/2004 8:43:17 AM PDT by cyborg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: qam1
Although it is the world's sixth-largest country, Australia is populated by just 20 million people

Well, duh, most of it is a FREAKING DESERT!

Whenever I think that politicians have hit some wall of maximum possible stupidity, I am proven wrong.

5 posted on 05/12/2004 8:48:14 AM PDT by steve-b
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: qam1
They should just do what the enlightened Europeans do, import muslims.
6 posted on 05/12/2004 8:48:56 AM PDT by CzarNicky (The problem with bad ideas is that they seemed like good ideas at the time.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: qam1
The Australian government is risking the ire of population-control advocates...

Oh my, the ire of population control advocates. I'm shaking in fear.

When added to the rage of the islamic street, well, I just don't know what to do.

(steely)

7 posted on 05/12/2004 8:49:16 AM PDT by Steely Tom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: qam1
I had a long talk with a woman in St. Petersburg, Russia about this subject. It's amazing the incentives the government will give women but yet ... no women have children. Most have several abortions instead.

80 years of militant atheism has its effect on a people.

As does the "birth control" mentality that fear-mongers like the GOP Task Force on "Earth Resources and Population" did back in 1970 when first it began to dedicate millions to the effort of "educating" the American people to make the right choice such that government would never be in the position of forcing them to limit their births and off Undesirable children.

8 posted on 05/12/2004 8:51:22 AM PDT by Askel5
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: qam1
Nothing but aon incentive to increase the percent of asians in Australia
9 posted on 05/12/2004 8:52:28 AM PDT by Truth666
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; malakhi; m18436572; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social aspects that directly effects Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1982) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details.

10 posted on 05/12/2004 8:53:14 AM PDT by qam1 (Tommy Thompson is a Fat-tubby, Fascist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: qam1
Didn't Russia try something similiar a few years ago? I know Zhironovsky was on this kick for awhile: "Vee vill spread Roosians across de far reaches of de Earth."

I don't see how it's that much different from the child tax credit parents get in the United States.

11 posted on 05/12/2004 8:56:02 AM PDT by The Scourge of Yazid (Dawn of the Dead, the sequel: Walter Mondale returns!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: qam1
No Births=No Future. Somebody in Australia understands this.
12 posted on 05/12/2004 9:01:32 AM PDT by Meldrim
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ItsonlikeDonkeyKong
He also wanted to take back Alaska *LOL* I think efforts should be focused on lessening things like abortion,etc. I'm very skeptical of these 'sky is falling' reports about population decreases almost as much as I'm skeptical of 'Zero Popolation Growth' types groups.
13 posted on 05/12/2004 9:02:23 AM PDT by cyborg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: cyborg
reports about population decreases

Deaths and Births are fairly easily tracked ... if D > B, for a given population, that population will shortly cease to exist.

14 posted on 05/12/2004 9:06:08 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: qam1
Australia is 93% white,this is the PC way of making it even whiter without having to return to the days of the 'white Australia policy'.There are million of Asians who would immigrate to Australia tommorow if given the chance,but Australia has all but closed its borders to everybody besides New Zealanders.

That being said,Australia has one of the strongest economies in the west,and whether getting to 30 million will be a benefit or a problem is another question.Population control advocates believe Australia's 'balance' is at 18 million people.Business ofcourse believes otherwise.

15 posted on 05/12/2004 9:06:10 AM PDT by smpc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Meldrim
Is somebody in Aussieland reading my tagline?
16 posted on 05/12/2004 9:07:07 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard
Yes but whenever I read these articles they rarely rise above whipping up hysteria. I saw a report on 700 Club that was pretty good. It talked about things like abortion, welfare states,etc. I happen to agree that having children is a person's patriotic duty. However, I'm single and a lot of guys my age don't want 'baggage'.
17 posted on 05/12/2004 9:08:57 AM PDT by cyborg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard
excellent tagline
18 posted on 05/12/2004 9:11:16 AM PDT by cyborg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: cyborg
Somehow there are still a bunch of young, angry Iranian teenagers walking around. So I don't think their strict birth-control regimen is working out.

I'm all in favor of abortion. I just think it should be banned until after the fetus hits puberty. By that time, you'll know whether the person's a jerk or not; plus, he or she will be able to put up a much better fight.

19 posted on 05/12/2004 9:12:29 AM PDT by The Scourge of Yazid (Dawn of the Dead, the sequel: Walter Mondale returns!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard
almost excellent tagline
20 posted on 05/12/2004 9:13:58 AM PDT by Truth666
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: cyborg
However, I'm single

I recommend marriage first ... then "patriotic duties".

I'm already married. You can't have me. Even if you wanted to. Which is highly unlikely. Mrs. Bustard should be a candidate for sainthood, the very moment she shuffles off this mortal coil. Her first miracle is simply that she has managed to put up with me all these years.

But I digress ... ;'}

21 posted on 05/12/2004 9:19:25 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Truth666
I suppose I could add "sterilising" to the list ... I don't think it will fit, though.
22 posted on 05/12/2004 9:20:22 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard
LOL!!!
23 posted on 05/12/2004 9:24:32 AM PDT by cyborg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard
Mnay women are getting sterile by default through abortion and certain contraceptives anyway.
24 posted on 05/12/2004 9:27:13 AM PDT by cyborg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: cyborg
They don't tell you about that over at Planned Parenthood, but it's true. Once you've had x number of abortions, it becomes that much more difficult to carry a baby to term when you do decide to have one.
25 posted on 05/12/2004 9:31:04 AM PDT by The Scourge of Yazid (Dawn of the Dead, the sequel: Walter Mondale returns!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: cyborg
Too true. The abortion/contraception industry doesn't like to talk about that. It's one of their many lies-by-omission.
26 posted on 05/12/2004 9:31:57 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: ItsonlikeDonkeyKong
Two out of three women that come to me looking for herbal fertility remedies have had abortions OR they got the depo injection. Repeated abortions scars the womb and what birth control shots do to the body is hormonal hell.
27 posted on 05/12/2004 9:34:30 AM PDT by cyborg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: cyborg
Well, I can imagine how much damage it would do just by listening to some of the women who've had them.

I mean, a women's uterus isn't like some car engine that you can just fiddle with and not expect to have any lasting affects.

29 posted on 05/12/2004 9:41:15 AM PDT by The Scourge of Yazid (Dawn of the Dead, the sequel: Walter Mondale returns!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: smpc
Well *of course* Australia has closed off "Asian" immigration, because that's just a nice way to say "Muslim immigration from Indonesia." Australia has no desire to become another Timor, I'm sure.
30 posted on 05/12/2004 9:55:17 AM PDT by valkyrieanne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: valkyrieanne
Personally, I feel Aussie is looking out for its best interests and I see nothing wrong with this. Unlike US where we continue to allow mass immigration of groups that do not want to assimiliate and even muslims who hate us.
31 posted on 05/12/2004 10:26:47 AM PDT by PersonalLiberties (...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard
I meant reading from the begin, not from the end of the tagline
32 posted on 05/12/2004 10:29:55 AM PDT by Truth666
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: qam1
Population density is seven people per square mile, compared to 79 in the U.S., 357 in China, and 641 in Britain.

Why don't they just invite some of those large families in England to move down to Australia? Is race/nationality a problem with the population drop?

We've been hearing of the "browning of America" (from the left) meaning that white people are reproducing/immigrating in smaller percentages but it would be considered racist and divisive to encourage white people in America to have more babies out of "patriotism".

If Australia wasn't going socialist I might have opted to move down there myself.

33 posted on 05/12/2004 10:47:28 AM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS. CNN ignored torture & murder in Saddam's Iraq to keep their Baghdad Bureau.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Meldrim
We need to understand it here as well.
34 posted on 05/12/2004 11:20:15 AM PDT by Corporate Law (<>< -- Xavier Basketball - Perennial Slayer of #1 Ranked Teams)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: cyborg
What is depo?
35 posted on 05/12/2004 11:27:08 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common Sense is an Uncommon Virtue)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: the OlLine Rebel
depo provera the BC shot
36 posted on 05/12/2004 11:29:08 AM PDT by cyborg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: weegee
Australia is over 90% white.
37 posted on 05/12/2004 11:30:11 AM PDT by cyborg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: weegee
Whenever I hear the leftist media giving reports like that, I strongly suspect it's simply to piss people off and use it as an excuse to call people racist. They know themselves that their social policies of abortion, promoting the homosexual lifestyle and such is really at fault.
38 posted on 05/12/2004 11:31:47 AM PDT by cyborg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Pearls Before Swine
Importing people who go on welfare, and hate their new host isn't a very good answer to the problem, either in Australia, Europe, or the United States.

Amen!

39 posted on 05/12/2004 11:52:07 AM PDT by Rockitz (After all these years, it's still rocket science.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: PersonalLiberties
Personally, I feel Aussie is looking out for its best interests and I see nothing wrong with this. Unlike US where we continue to allow mass immigration of groups that do not want to assimiliate and even muslims who hate us.

No argument there. The Australians, I read, have had waves of Indonesian "boat people." Certain radical Muslims in Indonesia have sworn to make Northern Australia "a Muslim state." They're probably pretty sick of it by now.

40 posted on 05/12/2004 1:46:02 PM PDT by valkyrieanne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: qam1
I don't care how patriotic it is, I'm not getting pregnant! It would ruin my sylph-like figure.
41 posted on 05/12/2004 1:57:10 PM PDT by Billthedrill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: qam1
OTOH, It's a great way to go broke!
42 posted on 05/12/2004 5:29:06 PM PDT by m18436572
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: m18436572
Looks like we're heck bent on going broke someway. By the way fellow TN here.
43 posted on 05/12/2004 6:02:16 PM PDT by PersonalLiberties (...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: PersonalLiberties
Of all the ways...
kids are by far the best!
44 posted on 05/12/2004 6:10:09 PM PDT by m18436572
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson