Some problems just keep getting worse, no matter how much we exacerbate them. That’s largely become the accepted problem paradigm in the late liberal West. X creates Y social pathologies, which leads to more X in an effort to alleviate Y. It’s an indulgent ignorance that our forebears didn’t have the luxury to indulge.
Unfortunately, the West’s timeline of recoverable ignorance isn’t infinite. Consider the ongoing fertility deficit. If a generation is 25 years and single children are all that can be managed, then a community of 100 families shrinks to six in one century. And pivoting from many to few is precisely how one’s posterity becomes privileged oppressors.
Of course you have to import alien peoples to call them that, but who else is going to pay for your Pakistani proctologist? You only had one kid.
That’s the conundrum being contemplated in this article about Finland’s sterile maternity wards, and what they imply for its lavish social welfare model.
Finland’s Welfare State Has a Massive Baby Problem
You know you’ve got a problem when even the best don’t have the solution.
You need to start asking the worst.
Finland, a first-rate place in which to be a mother, has registered the lowest number of newborns in nearly 150 years. The birth rate has been falling steadily since the start of the decade, and there’s little to suggest a reversal in the trend.
Demographics are a concern across the developed world, of course. But they are particularly problematic for countries with a generous welfare state, since they endanger its long-term survival.
Right, the Finnish people might expire. And that could pose a real problem for the economy.
For Heidi Schauman, the statistics are “frightening.”
At least someone feels compassion for the ledger books.
“They show how fast our society is changing, and we don’t have solutions ready to stop the development,” the Aktia Bank chief economist said in a telephone interview in Helsinki. “We have a large public sector and the system needs taxpayers in the future.”
To do that, the fertility rate should equal two per woman, Schauman says. It was projected at 1.57 in 2016, according to Statistics Finland.
That’s a surprisingly low level, given the efforts made by the state to support parenthood.
What were these efforts, precisely?
Perhaps nothing illustrates those [efforts] better than Finland’s famous baby-boxes.
So the lure of perfunctory pregnancy care packages haven’t been sufficient to counteract a lifetime of glossy feminist fantasies and anti-natalist propaganda? The only thing I can think to change is maybe go with a rhombus-shaped baby box. Have you tried anything else?
Offering generous parental leave and one of the best education systems in the world doesn’t seem to be working either.
It’s interesting when writers use the concept of despite as a synonym of because. For instance, despite thoroughly “educating” them, Finland’s young women remain disinclined to bear children. Perhaps Finnish educational institutions haven’t integrated the following graphs into their curricula.
Maybe if Finland could entice more of its girls to stay in school until 40 they could begin to compete on fertility with the Congolese.
I told them they needed help from the worst. But…
What to do?
Reversing the modern idea that it’s ok not to have kids is impracticable.
No, actually it’s completely practicable. Owing to the left’s unparalleled skill at the craft, I have come to hold an enormous respect for the potency of propaganda. And just as its feminist incarnation has put Finland into a fertility swoon, so could it return obstetricians back to the employment rolls. The force of accusatory ists and isms can be applied to barren females just as easily as it has to patriotic nationalists. The left didn’t say “reversing the idea that it’s ok not to be ‘diverse’ is impracticable.” They simply went about reversing the idea. In comparison to something so counterintuitive and self-annihilating as that, convincing women to merely have babies would be like talking a Somali into Stockholm.
But the first task in massaging natalist themes into pretty heads is to stop telling them that cube farms and marketing reports are their highest spiritual calling. However the Finns have found that to be impracticable.
Finally, the author quipped (perhaps sincerely) that Helsinki should exclude condoms from the baby-boxes. In response, I would guess Finns are having a sufficient volume of unprotected sex already. It is simply that the fruits of which are being nullified by birth control pills and abortions. Yet while neither of these pillars may be examined by writers who wish to remain unspoiled by allegations of War on Womening, we are left only with solutions more flaccid than Bruce Jenner’s member: Umm, maybe fuck more?
No, that’s not it either. Neither is something called “gender equality” or prolific Afghan daycares. The solution is to offer powerful financial incentives sufficient to induce a fertility inflection, while simultaneously fostering a cultural milieu that encourages the stay-at-home mothers that make it feasible. People can be trained to compete on family formation just as they have been trained to compete on prog virtue signaling.
Give me control of the Finnish airwaves and social welfare outlays and I’ll give them a double TFR in one generation. It’s time to listen to the worst.
An honest and holistic assessment of this problem would necessarily have to evaluate the entire European liberal welfare model. This being one that simultaneously demands perpetual population growth while discouraging the large families that are its only legitimate source. This structural contradiction has been the impetus (some earnest but idiotic, most simply malign) for much of the immigration treason of modern Western governments.