Russia child incentives
- Communism is officially dead in the Soviet Union, but the Marxist belief that men and women are essentially economic creatures is alive and well at the Kremlin. In May, Vladimir Putin, alarmed at Russia's declining population, which is falling thanks to short life expectancy and a plummeting birthrate (1.17 children per woman, down from about 2 in 1990), offered a bonus of 250,000 rubles (about $9,200) to women who would have a second child.
Meanwhile, at the other end of Europe, Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates is using the stick instead of the carrot to make babies. As part of a slate of reforms intended to simultaneously reform pension funding and reverse Portugal's declining birth rate (about 1.5 children per woman compared with 2.6 in the 1970s), Sócrates proposed tying tax rates for pensions to the number of children a worker has.Rates for those with two kids would remain constant, would fall for those with more than two, and would rise for those with fewer than two.