We need to get the family back in focus before it’s too late.
To our detriment, we took Italy’s experience of COVID-19 to gauge our reaction, but when it comes to that country’s deteriorating family life, we’re not paying enough attention. From Hannah Brockhaus for the Catholic News Agency:
Leaders in Italy’s public and private sectors will meet Friday to discuss the country’s dismal birth rate in a high-profile event including Pope Francis and Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
The country faces a demographic crisis, as experts predict that the already low European birth rate will be further affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which has already hit the Italian economy especially hard.
The situation “is no longer sustainable,” commented Gigi De Palo, president of the Family Associations Forum, the group organizing the May 14 event. …
“There’s no need to repeat ourselves [about] why people are having few children in Italy,” [Gian Carlo Blangiardo, president of Istat, Italy’s national statistics institute,] said, explaining that the reasons behind the country’s near-steady 50-year decline in births can be summed up as: “children cost, children cause limitations, children make work more difficult for mothers, children sometimes do not have a place in which to be cared for — the preschool, the daycare and other things of this kind — and the cultural climate does not reward families that have children.”
The danger, however, is clear in this article. The go-to solution for policy types these days is to subsidize children. That will make things worse, even pushing us toward dystopia.
Take note of a statistic that “families with two children have higher rates of poverty than families with one.” Another way to say the same thing is that wealthier families have fewer children, which could result from an effort to maintain their relative economic status. The monetary cost isn’t actually the problem; the prioritization of maintaining the right kind of lifestyle is.
More subsidies will only bifurcate society, with a birther underclass and a non-birther gentry class.
The solution is ultimately cultural, and making people more-dependent on a government that inherently pushes the wrong culture will only make things worse.