Friday, March 28, 2014

Considering Malaysian Tragedy Losses

I love that I have friends that require me to 'think'.

A visit this week by Marian (Happy Birthday, Girl!) had us sitting and chatting, laughing and pondering, as we do.  The topic of the tragic loss of the Malaysian Airlines jet full of passengers came up as we covered current events. 

She couldn't recall who she'd heard mention it but the thought was that there were 152 Chinese citizens and the reporter and Marian both wondered, how many were sons? That was over two-thirds of the total number of passengers. We have a couple of questions. Why has this not been discussed with all of the news coverage on every local and cable network in existence? How could they miss it?

With any other country's involvement this question would never be an issue. In this case, however, it explained the extraordinarily tortured faces in photos and videos of the families awaiting news of the plane.

No disrespect to the other lost Souls but for anyone else who hasn't considered it, this bears discussion. The One-Child Policy in China was mandated in 1979.  The government believed there was a need to limit the number of children each couple could and should have in order to control the population, the poverty, and assure enough young, tax-paying healthy male workers to care financially for the aging population of the future. At one time, it was actually up to 'work units' to know your reproductive cycle and give permission to those whose turn it was to try to have a baby.

Since males in many countries, yes....even the United States, have had more 'value' than females, many little girl babies lost their lives, just for being born female. Many have been illegally aborted if the ultrasound showed a girl, many 'missing girls' were found to be in state-run orphanages, given away, adopted or abandoned to give way to a chance for a boy. In Chinese and many cultures, when a girl-child is allowed to be born and marries, she becomes part of the groom's family and cares for his parents as they age, not her own. This retirement plan was yet one more incentive, I suppose, for having a boy? (I'm squinting HARD here!)

In 20 more years, however, instead of 5 tax-paying workers to support one elder's benefits, there will be only two, according to an article on this subject: 

It also states Germany and Japan (much more 'advanced' economies) are dealing with this now. Germany's moved ahead a bit, but Japan is still dropping as of the last two years.

I'm not trying to flippant about this and I'm not making accusations that these horrible things occur in every case but 

Under this law, I can see where it could make a couple desperate and tragically sad. (See YouTube vids on the topic) A couple in an urban area are allowed one child.  A couple in a rural setting could have two, IF the first was a girl or disabled. The law's very optimistic but controlling and misguided use actually wasn't even necessary because in the 70's, births were declining, anyway. Therefore, with some exceptions, i.e. neither of the couple has a sibling, the firstborn is a girl or is born disabled in some way, or the child is of an ethnic minority, a couple is allowed to have one child in the city and two in the country. I feel the need to repeat that as I sit and shake my head. Allowed. The things we take for granted...whew!

A couple can actually be fined a "social compensation fee" based on their annual income if they violate this law.  It has run into the millions of yuan. This law has led to an inordinate ratio of men to women that can only worsen as time passes. In fact, a study shows there will be 30 million more men than women in China by 2020. So unless, they figure out a way to make each other pregnant (Not!), the economy will become unstable as more men leave China in search of brides, the population will obviously decrease, and there will be few left to care for the elderly, financially or otherwise.

Here's the understatement of the year. China may have been overly cautious in the 70's. Poverty levels did improve, but they are just now coming to grip with and understanding what else lies ahead. Gee, that only took 30 years!  Let's see what's next and how long it takes for something more to change about this nonsensical policy, like it's removal.

In a related 'aside', a Danish travel agency has begun a campaign to get their young people to START having more babies due to declining birth rates. They are calling it, "Do It For Denmark". Yes, it's tacky, in my opinion, but may prove effective. 

Many developed countries are going to find themselves emulating the Danes, eventually, given our own declining birth rates.  The fastest growing populations seem to be situated in Africa, and the slowest in wealthy countries like the U.S. Now, I could list a few reasons as to why that is but will leave that alone...for now. Let's just say, we'll regret it someday like Denmark.

Any parent who lost a son on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, not only lost their child, but their only child, and the only child they will ever have, considering their ages, and some lost their only grandchildren, as well.

Thus, the maddening pain displayed as they waited and were told of no survivors is something many of us cannot even comprehend. The US$5000 the airline's offering will be no condolence for their true loss on March 7, 2014.

But, I suppose this is what happens when you treat human beings as a commodity with a currency figure on our heads rather than by the Spirit and Life within us.

4/1/14 Update:  Someone's thinking same way today.


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