The one-child policy: The brutal truth | The Economist: The scandal of Feng Jianmei is a blow to the one-child policy’s public image, says He Yafu, a demographer and critic of the policy. That image has never been good, even if in recent years many learned to live with it. In 1983, 14m women had abortions organised by family-planning committees (many of them coerced). In 2009, there were 6m. The number has declined in recent years as local officials have more incentives to impose fines on extra births rather than prevent them altogether.
The fine for having extra children is known as the “social maintenance fee”. Mr He estimates the government has collected over 2 trillion yuan ($314 billion) in such fees since 1980. Failure to pay means the second “black” child cannot obtain a household-registration document, or hukou, which brings with it basic rights such as education. The amount of the fine varies from place to place. A husband and wife in Shanghai will each pay 110,000 yuan ($17,300), three times the city’s average annual post-tax income, for a second child. The fine increases with income. The rich can shell out millions.
'via Blog this'