Birthrates Below

One Child Per Woman

The analysis in SKIL Note 63 was based on an assumption that the present total human footprint is sustainable. The present total human footprint likely already exceeds a sustainable level. That is why we are experiencing climate change and species extinction. And why many expect these eco disasters to get worse even without expanding total human footprint.

In the first 46 years of .7 birthrate-driven RPD, a halving of population might not be enough to allow a graceful energy transition, a stopping of climate change, an avoidance of species extinction, and a tripping of civilization into a scarcity/conflict death spiral. So I have designed one more plank into my RPD implementation.

We can decrease the birthrate below .7 with a policy that financially rewards each woman who chooses to be childless. A one-time cash payment will be made when she ends her fertility before having a child. The reward is for the woman's contribution to the viability of the human experiment.

The payment comes from an annual flat tax on the net worth of each global inhabitant and each financial entity that reaps the civilization viability benefit. Each person pays proportional to his/her potential loss if the community collapses. This tax is similar to sharing the police and fire protection costs in a city. It is proportional to the value of the owner's civilization protected assets.

This tax rate can be adjusted upward and downward to achieve the needed rate of population decline. That is, the payment to each woman would rise and fall such that it produces the needed number of women forgoing childbirth to achieve the needed rate of population decline. The variability in payments/taxes would ensure sustainability and stability for any increases in wellbeing. ----

4/22/09 (Earth Day 2009 SKIL Notes 62 63 64)

Jack Alpert (Bio)     mail to:     (homepage)      position papers

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