Day By Day

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Hong Kong Baby Bust

AFP reports a very interesting story out of Hong Kong:
Hong Kong's deputy leader has urged young couples to get down to business and start producing more babies to reverse a potentially damaging fall in the birth rate.

Chief Secretary Donald Tsang said prospective parents should have at least three children for the good of the southern Chinese autonomous region.

His comments on RTHK radio came after government officials revealed the city's fertility rate was just 0.9 babies for each woman of child-bearing age -- half the 2.1 needed to ensure population growth.

Remember just a few years ago when the doommongers were worried about overpopulation? They represented a "scientific consensus" on future population growth, complete with UN studies and all that. But they were wrong.

So we have yet another example of why "scientific consensus" is an unreliable guide for the crafting of public policy.

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