One-child policy favors the rich

A couple of days ago, Diane Francis of Canada’s National Post wrote a disgusting column in which she advocated the world-wide application of China’s one-child policy. She of course is completely ignorant of the consequences that this policy has had on the psychology of China. One such consequence is as follows:

One of my very best friends is Chinese. A young man studying engineering in a Canadian university, he has informed me that no girl would ever be interested in a poor man. Apparently, this notion is widespread amongst young men in China. Why? There are now many more young men in China than women, because if you are allowed only one child, you will abort a baby girl. This has led to an imbalance in the Chinese population. What this means is that girls can be extremely selective in whom they will marry. So when there is parity in the population, a girl would choose sometimes a poor person, because she would otherwise be left a spinster. But now, if every girl has two or three boys from which to choose, she will naturally pick one who is better off financially. The result is that poor young men have much less chance of finding a suitable partner.

Another reason that one-child favors the rich is that the poor depend on their children in their old age, not upon a retirement portfolio.  Poor people with one child are in great danger of complete abandonment in old age because their one child may die or rebel against them, and they will be left destitute.  But also, upon a single married couple falls the burden of four elderly parents (in 60s), and potentially eight elderly grandparents if they survive into their 80-100s.  This is more than any couple can handle, unless they are wealthy.  One child favors the rich.

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