While Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi encourages fewer babies to stimulate the American economy, Japan is doing the opposite. According to a CNN report today, Japanese workers are actually being encouraged to go home and multiply:
Japan is in the midst of an unprecedented recession, so corporations are being asked to work toward fixing another major problem: the country's low birthrate.
At 1.34, the birthrate is well below the 2.0 needed to maintain Japan's population, according to the country's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
Keidanren, Japan's largest business group, with 1,300 major international corporations as members, has issued a plea to its members to let workers go home early to spend time with their families and help Japan with its pressing social problem.
I find Japan's approach to be an odd intersection between government and the bedroom, but it's the kind of thing that's happening in other countries such as Singapore, Italy, Romania, Russia and numerous other places in Europe and Asia. The great irony is that many of these nations are left to make awkward governmental pleas for fertility as a reversal to decades of promoting the same anti-baby policies that Pelosi is advocating in the United States. It's almost as if Pelosi wants one of the last industrial nations with a relatively healthy fertility rate to "catch up" with the rest of the world.