• Four Swedish Ecologists: an Op-Ed, translated

    From (David P.)@21:1/5 to All on Tue Jan 4 11:43:50 2022
    Subsidies for large families in Sweden impair integration of immigrants
    Jan 4, 2022, The Overpopulation Project

    The family supplement, which gives extra financial aid for each
    additional child, was implemented in Sweden in 1982 at a time of
    falling birth rates. It now contributes to lock-in effects for
    immigrant women. Abolishing this supplement and limiting the
    child allowance to the first two kids would help reduce social
    exclusion and public spending, at the same time benefitting the
    environment, as argued in this Op-Ed translated from the Swedish
    daily newspaper Aftonbladet.

    By Andersson, Andersson, Deinum, & Gotmark

    The new Swedish PM Magdalena Andersson wants to “leave no stone
    unturned” when it comes to reducing Sweden’s increasing social
    exclusion, a necessary effort if Sweden is to survive as a
    welfare state in the long run.

    Proposals with this purpose in recent years have included more
    community youth recreation centres, more money for schools in socioeconomically vulnerable areas, increased police presence,
    and so on. These proposals all increase public spending, and
    Magdalena Andersson, as former Minister of Finance, declared that
    the rich in Sweden can contribute more. But the opportunities to
    raise taxes are limited since the tax burden in the country is
    already high.

    Our proposal, which in the long run is expected to reduce
    social exclusion and public expenditure as well as to benefit
    the environment, is to abolish subsidies for larger families
    and provide a max of two child allowances per family, so as
    not to encourage having a large number of kids.

    A large proportion (approx 25%) of Sweden’s current population
    has in recent decades immigrated to Sweden, or are children
    of immigrants. Many come from countries with unsustainable,
    explosive population growth, including Afghanistan, Somalia, &
    Syria, where the populations have doubled approx every 25 years.

    If these families retain a tradition of large cohorts of kids,
    the risk of social exclusion increases, partly because women’s
    opportunity to enter gainful employment decreases. Furthermore,
    it's difficult for society to provide social services and good
    schools in areas with large groups of kids and many inhabitants
    who do not speak Swedish. There's also a strong connection
    between large numbers of kids per family and areas with gang
    criminality, something that Lasse Wierup addressed in his book “Gangsterparadiset.”

    Upon their first contact with Swedish society, with tax-free
    child allowances and progressively larger family supplements
    (see Appendix below), some migrants conclude that in Sweden
    it's beneficial to have as many kids as possible. The extra
    supplement to families with two or more kids was introduced in
    1982 in a completely different context, falling birth rates, but
    now leads to lock-in effects for a large number of immigrant women.

    A common view has been that rapid population growth decreases
    due to increased prosperity, but the connection is probably the
    opposite: reduced family size leading to increased prosperity
    through a so-called “demographic dividend.” The increase in
    wealth that one generation creates can then be passed on to
    the next generation.

    Sweden has made this journey, from a poor country with large
    family sizes in the early 20th c., to today’s welfare country
    with small cohorts of kids and, until recently, very good
    schooling. Let it not become a lost paradise with widening
    socioeconomic gaps and all the problems that social exclusion
    causes. We therefore propose a community contract, where each
    family with kids receives up to two child allowances, while we
    (the community) “leave no stone unturned” to offer safe
    upbringing and good, free school education.

    Each family can decide for itself whether it wants to have
    more than two kids but without additional monetary contributions
    from society. With two kids per family on average, we can obtain
    a relatively stable population size, which benefits welfare.

    Zero population growth, or even better population reduction,
    is also required to counteract the loss of habitats for animals
    and plants, and to halt global warming. The relatively rapid
    population growth in Sweden in recent decades, compared to many
    other EU countries, drives intensive construction of buildings
    and infrastructure around the country, which eats up not only
    green areas in and near cities, but also agricultural land.

    There's no reason to reward population growth, neither in
    Sweden nor elsewhere in the world.

    Leif Andersson, professor of biology, Uppsala
    Malte Andersson, professor emeritus of ecology, Gothenburg
    Johanna Deinum, asst prof in biophysical chemistry, Gothenburg
    Frank Gotmark, professor of ecology, Gothenburg


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