Why shouldn't China do as Britain does?

There's some spluttering as China decides to copy something that we already do here in Britain. Sure, obviously, we'd not want them to do everything we did - gunboats off San Francisco insisting upon the rights to import fentanyl wouldn't go down well whatever history. But this is something that we do already:

Two Chinese academics have proposed a controversial idea to encourage childbirth as their country faces an ageing population: Make people childless people or parents of just one child pay into a "maternity fund".


The two academics made their suggestion in Tuesday's edition of the state-run Xinhua Daily, calling for those below the age of 40 and with fewer than two children should contribute annually to a fund that would offset childbirth costs for others.

The point being that we do this ourselves, it's that combination of a progressive tax system and a welfare state that does it. We even, nominally, have a fund for it, the national insurance one.

Women who don't have children tend to earn more than those who do - this we know very well. They will, under a progressive tax system, pay more into the pot therefore. We have a number of benefits that support lower incomes, we have some specifically to do with parturition and its aftermath of children. Thus those with children take more out of that communal pot. As men tend to make more than women this redoubles there.

We already have a system whereby those without children subsidise those with. And anytime anyone questions this, "Why should I pay for your children?" we are told that children are society's future, society as a whole should support them. Indeed, this is the basis of that bleating about child poverty (inequality of income among households which contain children, nothing more and most certainly not actual poverty). Other people should pay for these children.

There's nothing remarkable about this Chinese suggestion at all.