martes, 21 de marzo de 2017

The answer to Germany’s demographic issues? | MercatorNet | March 21, 2017

The answer to Germany’s demographic issues?

The answer to Germany’s demographic issues?

The answer to Germany’s demographic issues?

More flexible work conditions.
Marcus Roberts | Mar 21 2017 | comment 

Despite a recent “mini baby boom” Germany still has more to do to tackle its demographic problems. That’s the assessment of the founding director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, Dr James Vaupel. Speaking to the DW website, Vaupel noted that despite the typical German family wanting to have more than two children, the average is much lower than that (the Total Fertility Rate in Germany of births per woman is currently around 1.5).
Why is this? Vaupel notes a few, mainly economic reasons. First, there is the lack of adequate daycare for women who want to continue to work. Secondly, there is an expectation, at least in the West of the country, that women will stay home with their small children which makes it hard for women who do not wish to, or cannot, take time off work.
Vaupel cites Denmark and Sweden as countries that Germany can learn from. In those countries there is long paternity and maternity leave. There is flexitime so that people can juggle their family and work commitments. There are a lot of part-time job opportunities and there are many low cost daycare options.
Although these options would help Germany’s fertility rates, Vaupel thinks that the “attitude that women with children should not work” (an attitude that comes from “50 years ago”) is “very detrimental to fertility”. One wonders also about the change in economic conditions that means that two adults now have to work in order for most families to get by these days. Would more women want to stay at home if it was economically viable for them?
Vaupel thinks that some of the money needed for more generous parental leave schemes would be available if the retirement age was raised and older workers worked longer and paid more in taxes. (The retirement age in Germany is currently 65.25 years and is gradually rising to 67 by 2029.)
Finally, what about migration as an answer to low fertility rates? Vaupel agrees that a young migrant can replace a German baby that was not born, but assimilating migrants is far from an easy matter. (Something that Merkel is belatedly learning…)
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Today, March 21, is World Down Syndrome Day. Why? Because it is the 21st day of the 3rd month. The numbers represent the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
Unhapply, about 90% of women who learn that they will give birth to a child with Down syndrome have an abortion. This barbarity is not just the mother’s fault. They receive so little encouragement -- even from their doctor – and they are under intense pressure just to make the problem disappear. Society takes a very dim view of disability.
In today’s issue, we have two articles about Down’s. Mary Le Rumeur writes from France about two young women with Down’s who have made a splash in the media as a model and as a weathergirl. And we’ve also reviewed at great film about a young English man with Down’s who helps others cope with their demons. They are great stories which show that disability should never, ever, mean a death sentence. 

Michael Cook 



My Feral Heart: finally, a positive portrayal of Down syndrome

By Michael Cook
A British indie with a life-affirming message

Read the full article
Melanie and Madeline, changing the face of beauty

By Mary Le Rumeur
Two young women with Down Syndrome present their special charm to the world.

Read the full article
Chuck Berry: a musician with a genuine claim to be the founder of a genre

By Adam Behr
He became the legend that other legends referred back to.

Read the full article
The answer to Germany’s demographic issues?

By Marcus Roberts
More flexible work conditions.

Read the full article
Neil Gorsuch opposes euthanasia. How about abortion?

By Amy Howe
Experts are poring over his judgements for clues

Read the full article
Costa Rica strong-armed into legalising IVF

By Michael Cook
A violation of sovereignty goes unnoticed

Read the full article
How motherhood has changed over the generations

By Tamara El-Rahi
Do you parent differently to your own parents?

Read the full article
Sick of fake news? How about a junk-knowledge diet!

By Zac Alstin
Whip yourself back into reason-able shape!

Read the full article
The Founder

By Luisa Cotta Ramosino
The man who made McDonalds the best known brand in the world of fast food.

Read the full article

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The answer to Germany’s demographic issues?

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