In the Irish Times article “Our Family Units Are Shrinking Too Fast,” the author criticizes the birth rate in developed countries, especially the Europe Union countries as being too low to make their countries’ population grow. A low birth rate and aging people make nearly zero economic growth in Italy. According to the article, the birth rate for the population number to remain steady is 2.1 children per woman; however, the birth rate of Italy is 1.33 in 2006. It is below the average of the world. For this reason, we could predict that people in Italy and Europe will lose about 25 percentage of population by 2060. In my opinion, people in the developed countries all have this crisis, but Italy is almost the worst country with this population problem in the world. Hence, the most important thing for whole European countries is solving their population crisis.
Government should find out the solution for their aging society and low birth rate problems. Because of the population problems, their economy is serious influenced. To keep their own Italian culture, there are many things that the government should work it out. Since Italy is the greyest country in the EU, the numbers of the old generation are more than the young generation. Besides, it seems like more and more immigrants are moving to Italy and Italians are afraid that those immigrants will replace their people and culture.
First, government should raise the official age of retirement. In other words, because of the good social welfare, the old generation can live longer and keep healthy longer than before. As a result, if the old people retire in their early fifties that means they still need to keep learning and make ends meet for the rest of twenty or even thirty years. People usually start to work in their mid-twenties or thirties. It is hard for everyone to earn a huge amount of pension to keep their own living. For instance, the old generation could work longer than we expected. They should prolong the official age of retirement, making the old generation be the labor force until they are sixty. It will help Italy have more labor force and having more labor force will improve their economy.
Second, the immigrants are the main source to maintain their population; however, it’s not appropriate for a country to maintain their original race and culture. The Italian people would not have more than one child in a family. On the contrary, the immigrants from other cultures would like to have more children to maintain their races. Here is the problem; more and more different races in Italy will become “real Italians.’ The Italians are afraid that they cannot preserve the pure and real Italian culture after a century. One solution is that, the government should encourage Italians to have the inter-culture with the immigrants. They should try to assimilate the two different cultures into one Italian culture. According to the article, there is a town in Italy that offers couples EUR 10,000 for each newborn baby. They are going to raise their birth rate through this beneficial policy. Via women need to work just as their husband does; it will cost them much time to stay at home and prepare the things for their newcomers if they are pregnant. This is the reason they do not want to have children.
Third, they should welcome the Italians to come back to Italy from all over the world. There are many Italians all around the world. If the government encourages them to come back to the country and provides them many beneficial ways, it will help Italy the country to control their number of citizens. The government should suggest other emigrants come back to their motherland. To illustrate, they should help them find a better job than before. They should provide them generous welfare. Also, the government could ask them to work for the country. I think via this policy the Italy government could have more “real Italian” in their country and it will be much easier to preserve their culture.
As the greyest country in Europe, the Italian government really should find the solution toward their population problems. They should prolong the working years for their citizens, and help them find more intercultural marriages. They should try to maintain their population but not lose their own culture. They should have a good policy of welcoming the emigrants back to Italy. Through these ways, it will help Italy to defend against a their low birth rate and aging generation problems.
Our Family Units are Shrinking Too Fast. (2007, February 1). The Irish Times Retrieved July 10, 2007 from LexisNexis.