A conversation with a client about China’s one-child policy
Posted by Lissa on July 6, 2012
For the most part, I don’t talk politics with our clients. Or rather, if they want to talk politics I’ll throw out interesting anecdotes or amusing stories either from their side of the aisle or that are politically neutral; it’s not my job or my place to convince a client that he or she is wrong.
But there are some topics on which I can’t just be neutral.
Mr. H is a zany, scatterbrained, all-around nice guy who jumps around from topic to topic like a little kid playing hopscotch. I mentioned my grandmother, who was born and grew up in China, and he immediately asked for the motivation behind Chinese young women coming to America. “I go to these Chinese restaurants and there are these women who just left their families behind and don’t speak more than few words of English and why do they do that? Is it because of the one-child policy?”
I allowed how the one-child policy was pretty terrible so I could certainly understand that being a motivating factor for some of these women. He interrupted to tell me that he thought the one-child policy made sense for China.
Um. No, I don’t keep my mouth shut on this.
In a very pleasant tone of voice, and without at all attacking him, his views or his statement, I told him that I understood the goal of the one-child policy. I understood the desirability of cutting down on population growth, especially since the few fertile parts of China were chronically overpopulated. However, the one-child policy did not make any sense economically, in that it led to one child having to support four grandparents in their old age, which is just financially and demographically impossible. Furthermore, while I could understand the desirability of Chinese people having fewer children, the actual policy as it was carried out and enforced was nothing short of monstrous.
He had no idea what I was talking about.
It’s not hard to find what I’m talking about. It *may* very well be desirable for the Chinese people as a whole to slow their population growth. But I invite any of my readers to click on these two links – hell, one will probably do it – and then argue that the policy is NOT evil.
An article from The Economist will give you the gist without inducing vomiting.
It’s not my place or my job to change people’s opinions. But it appears that opening people’s eyes to evil masquerading as public policy is something I have to do.