This is a past year question that has been adapted from HCI. Pretty interesting topic… Let’s see how to unpack this question together… This question assumes that population problems (demographic issues are part of the natural process on earth, which would eventually balances itself over a long period of time). Government interference would merely make it worse, since their interventions are often “artificial” and would make matters already worse than what they should be. Moreover, governments are not able to always predict future trends and outcomes, hence it is advisable for them to leave everything to nature than by chance.

As illustrated by the Demographic Transition Model (DTM), population problems can indeed solve themselves without the need for government intervention. In stage 2 of the DTM, it is asserted that developing countries experience a decline in birth rates due to the introduction of contraceptives, induced abortions and a change in socioeconomic perceptions. As countries gradually industrialize from their original agrarian societies, rationalism overrides traditionalism, thus leading to a fall in birth rates as both men and women alike desire a higher standard of living. This involves having fewer children as they are expensive to raise, according to Caldwell’s Theory of Intergenerational Wealth Flows. This hence reduces overpopulation naturally without the need for governments to step in. The model also contends that high mortality rates eventually decline as well, due to the influx of medical technologies and increase in hygiene and nutrition standards. Thus, population problems gradually solve themselves in the long run due to the advent of industrialization and inevitable changes in societal perceptions and standard of living.

Nevertheless, even though the above mentioned model claims that populations stabilize naturally in the long run, this is in part due to measures and policies implemented by governments that are in line with national interests. In this case of China, overpopulation and a stress on national resources were narrowly averted due to the government’s legislation of the “one child policy” in 1979. The reduced strain on resources thus allowed the Chinese government to focus on stimulating economic growth and developing infrastructure to attract foreign direct investment. Another country with a similar goal in mind was Singapore with its “Stop at Two” policy from 1965 to 1984, which helped to solve population problems such as overcrowding and a lack of resources.

Government intervention also solves population problems such as population decline, which will be left unsolved if left to the masses. With a preference for smaller families and a general unwillingness to start a family in today’s modern society, negative or zero population growth often ensues. These have detrimental impact on affected countries, such as a fall in tax revenues, a smaller workforce and a high dependence of an aging population on the working population. As these socioeconomic perspectives are entrenched in the minds of young urban professionals, these population problems are incapable of eventually solving themselves. In this case, government intervention is beneficial. In developed countries like Italy and Spain, where fertility rates stand at a meagre 1.25, new generations are unable to replace past generations thus leading to population decline. The implementation of pro-natal policies could possibly help to increase the incentive for couples to procreate and boost total population numbers. Implemented measures include longer maternity and paternity leave in Switzerland, as well as cash incentives in Singapore. Another method of boosting population growth is through the relaxation of immigration policies, which allows for an influx of permanent residents.

Here are some reasons in tackling the demographic imbalance… What do u all think? But I would to raise some points… Many a time, the population policies done by the government are “hard to reverse” especially if they have been too successful.. An example would be Singapore’s Stop at Two policy. Even China has recently reversed its One child policy in hopes of dealing with the fast growing aging population and the male imbalance ratio.

But of course there are implications that come with these population policies… These would be for a discussion for another day.

P.s The above points have been contributed by an ex student from HCI. It has only been vetted and edited by the tutor.


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