Over the last few decades a number of countries have implemented a variety of pronatalist incentive policies in response to falling birth rates. According to the UN, the number of countries (unweighted by population) with such policies has grown from 20% in 2005 to 28% in 2019. The results have been mixed and ambiguous. Here is a 2020 summary from the Institute for Family Studies, “Pro-Natal Policies Work, But They Come With a Hefty Price Tag”. (The insularity of this “study” is evident from its using “America” as a synonym for the United States, as opposed to two continents of diverse nations most of whom have fewer societal pathologies or delusions of empire than the latter railroad-era, continental-scale, resource-extraction empire.)
Evidence suggests that birth incentives may create a near-term baby blip by moving births forward in time by parents with high time preference motivated by the “ka-ching” of the immediate incentive or credit which, probably wisely, they suspect will be available only until the political winds shift again.
I believe the ultimate disincentive to parenthood is the abolition by the coercive state of the fundamental prerogative of parenthood—raising one’s children as best one can to be one’s successors in the eternal chain of life. This is basically how things have always worked since K strategy mammals started to eat one another, and has only been disrupted since industrial abundance has permitted the state, pretending Godhood, to dare seize children as its own.
May I dare to look at the bottom line? Why should a parent assume the liftetime financial responsibility (and liability) to raise a worthy successor if, from the earliest age, that child will be seen as “our child” by a “community” of deviants, thieves, and murderers, who will indoctrinate their “wards” with perversity, hate for his or her heritage and ancestors, celebration of savagery and destructive ideas, and persecute any parents who dare dissent from this appropriation and corruption of their children.
Dissent too openly, and they’ll burn you and your children to death in your church. Dissent more mildly, and “child protective services” may abduct them from your home to the protective embrace of the state. Better run up a “pride” flag, citizen parent, lest you lose your offspring to the rainbow press gang.
When these are the incentives in place, where “parents” perceive themselves as “breeders” producing offspring who are, from birth, the property of the state, I don’t think a couple of hundred or couple of thousand bucks a year is going to tilt the decision whether to have a kid. Let parents be parents, and let families be families, and you’ll see birth rates return to replacement or above.
(There’s been talk about abolishing “birthright citizenship” in those odd western hemisphere countries that have it. How about those countries allowing their citizens to opt out of citizenship for their own children? The Loonie-Tunes say you can’t “assign” a baby a sex at birth. Fine—then how can you say they’re a citizen of this or that socially-constructed country? Let them choose. Babies should be born stateless. Let them travel on their parents’ passports until age 18, at which time they get to elect a nationality, among nations which will have them. Assume the country where they were born will have to take them if none other will. But the whole idea of military obligation, lifetime taxpayer status, extraterritorial law constraints, etc., just goes away. Any country that doesn’t accept this doesn’t have citizens, but rather slaves. Is it any mystery why slaves won’t beget more slaves for slaver nations?)