How Many New Children Has Hungary’s “Pro-Natal” Program Produced?
We do not need numbers. We need Hungarian children.
— Viktor Orban, Prime Minister Of Hungary
When Hungary introduced “pro-natal” policies through giving parents tax cuts for every new child they had, the entire populist right went nuts. This, they declared, is what the United States should do. They seemed to have forgotten the fact that the United States already does this, but you know.
Here is what they said:
At this rate, unless something changes dramatically, there will be no more Hungarians. The neoliberals who run the European Union and every think tank in Washington strongly agree on what Hungary should do to fix the problem. Give up. Instead of helping the native population to have more children, the Hungarian government, they say, should import a replacement population from the Third World. That’s the George Soros solution. But Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has a different idea. Instead of abandoning Hungary’s young people to the hard-edge libertarianism of Soros and the Clinton Foundation, Orbán has decided to affirmatively help Hungarian families grow. — Tucker Carlson
If we are ever to fix this problem, we need to enact policies that encourage couples to stay together and promote a more traditional family structure. A policy that has been historically effective is to give tax cuts to married couples and increase that tax cut for each child the family has. This has been implemented with massively positive results in Hungary. — OkieGroyer of The Daily Groyper
I have written elsewhere about the remarkable fertility turnaround in the deeply religious republic of Georgia, and there is reason to think Hungary’s birth turnaround may have staying power. — Lyman Stone of First Things
To put it simply, these people are really desperate for a victory. In 2019, First Thing’s Lyman Stone wrote an article talking about Poland’s “baby bump,” in which he promoted economic policies done by the Polish government and recommended the United States do the same. What was Poland’s fertility rate in 2019, when he wrote that article? 1.429 births per woman. Meanwhile, in the United States we had one of 1.7 that same year — whoops.
So has Hungary’s policy been working? Well, luckily for us, one Twitter account has taken it upon itself to brag about Hungarian policies:
In Hungary, compared to the same period last year, in the first two months of 2020:
— Twice as many marriages were concluded
— 8,8% more children were born
— Fertility rate increased by 8,4% (from 1,43 to 1,55)
— Number of abortions dropped by more than a third
(Side note: What does “marriages were concluded” mean? When something is concluded, usually that means it has ended. Does this mean this policy caused a spike in divorce?)
That fertility rate is per 100,000, for the record.
Okay, so it grew at a rate of 0.12 per 100,000 more than it was at the end of last year. Rather or not two months is long enough to tell how a policy will effect society long term is up to you, but hell since I’m doing I might as well allow them to.
Hungary, as of 2019, has a population of 9.773 million people. So that would mean these policies, the ones that the US is supposed to adopt (which we already have, blah) has raised the population by less than twelve people!
When I pointed this out a Twitter a user named Rightist Bison (who I have interviewed on Peaceful Globalist Review) asked me the following:
What do you propose for increasing the fertility rate?
To be honest, I don’t have one. Why? Because I do not consider the idea of artificially increasing the fertility rate to be a good one.
Can we just talk about how dehumanizing this idea that people only have children because of money is? Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has five children, I wonder how they feel about his statements that people only have children because it benefits them monetarily.
I recall the vast majority of people being quite angry when I FaceBook group about parents who regret having children propped up. “How dare they!” the general public screamed “They’re going to hurt the mental well being of their children.” But I don’t know, if my parents told me they only had me so they could get a tax cut — I’d be kind of pissed.
Why do we need a higher population? I find it funny that the things many of these traditionalists rail against — large job pools leading to lower wages, urbanization, and so on — are all caused by high populations, not just caused by the evil “mass immigration” but also by natives growing the population naturally.
Of course overpopulation is bullshit, most have figured this out by now — especially those to whom I’m speaking to in this article. However, this fear of underpopulation is equally, if not more, unfounded.
If an adult chooses not to have children, what would forcing them to do? It would cause a child to be raised by parents who don’t want him — which is already an issue as it is in our country. That would not benefit society, that would not benefit the child, that would not benefit the parents — who will it benefit? Some magical number called “population”? A number which demands infinite growth regardless of context, reasoning, or desires of an individual.
I could not recommend we increase that number for no reason. The positives that do exist simply do not outweigh the fact that none of these policies do what they’re supposed to.