Incentives work. In some instances they work only on small margins and in others well into the body of the bell curve. Which of the two being a function of both the behavior’s elasticity and the enticement of the bribe. That is to say, how much resistance is there to what are you trying to encourage and how much are you offering to push past it?
Sometimes the target audience is so natively receptive that mere suggestion will suffice. This typically being effective for that (always substantial) cohort who simply hasn’t given the matter much thought.
And while a few more blond babies aren’t quite enough for Bill Kristol to hurl a vase into his wall, they do speak to the potential for more robust measures. Here are some details.
A racy ad campaign, started only nine months ago, has really hit the spot for Denmark’s campaign for more baby-making. The country now expects booming birth rates this summer.
According to research by Denmark’s Politiken newspaper, the summer months of June-August this year will produce 1,200 more Danes than last summer. In total, some 16,200 babies are due to be born.
“I’ve never experienced a boom like this in my time as a midwife,” said Ann Fogsgaard, who’s been on the job 33 years.
It all started with cute appeals by Spies Travel to “give the world more babies” and “Do it for mom!”
After the guilt-card ad, the capital emerged with its own campaign. The City of Copenhagen took a mildly more serious approach, saying you won’t be fertile forever. And the broadcaster DR hopped aboard the baby-making wagon with the aptly-named “Screw for Denmark” (Knald for Danmark) campaign.
The efforts are paying off. Danes will have an average 14 percent more in offspring this summer than last, according to Cphpost, and according to Danmarks Statistic – the official national statistics bureau – 1,000 more babies were born in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2015.
These are encouraging blips. If Europeans want to keep their continent, they’ll have to do so via the traditional method: stock it with children. Sub-replacement fertility is a luxury good just like anti-racism. And lean times will painfully expose the profligacy of each.
Of course the article leaves unspoken how much of the baby boomlet issued from the wombs of non-Danes. And fertility cheers tend to be muted when taxpayers view the 14 bobbing heads of their subsidized replacements.
Though operating from the presumption these are primarily native births, it speaks positively to what more convincing incentives might accomplish. And the necessary push may be less than many believe. There is enormous spiritual gratification in seeing the world through your children’s eyes. In passing the baton to those who will cherish its memory. In loving something more than yourself, and even more than conservative values. I know many men who confided their longing to have had more children. I know none who wished to have had fewer.
So to those readers still in the bloom of reproductive youth, I encourage you to take the Danes’ advice.