Hungary wants to restore its population, and like others in the past, it is using human reason to force the situation back into order. This will not work, and in fact will backfire brutally much like other attempts to use forced reason have done.
The story sounds promising at first but then devolves rapidly:
The state is offering $35,000 to couples who get married and have at least three children. Specifically, women under forty who are getting married for the first time will receive an interest-free, general-purpose loan of $35,000. Upon the birth of the couple’s first and second children, loan payments will be suspended for three years each – with 1/3 of the principal paid off after the second child. After the third child is born, the debt will be wiped out.
“People living in villages should wait just a little bit longer,” said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in February. “Within a few weeks, we would like to announce a scheme specifically customised to their needs. This means that today young married couples agreeing to have two children are eligible for grants worth 22 million forints ($75,000 US) for starting their lives and creating their first homes, while families agreeing to have three children are eligible for grants worth 35 million forints ($120,000 US),” said Orbán in his February announcement.
Hungary will also help out with mortgages – picking up the tab on roughly $13,500 US after the couple’s third child, with an additional $3,500 US of relief for each further child.
Moreover, women who have given birth to and raised four children will pay no income taxes for the rest of their lives, while grandparents who are still working are entitled to take leave to help take care of their new grandchildren.
On the surface, this sounds good. Need more of your people? Pay them to breed! Cut their taxes, forgive their mortgages, and give them time off of work.
This will fail like most modern solutions, however, because it is a mechanical and linear look at a complex process. It appeals to people who need a sudden infusion of cash and will allow this to influence their decisions.
The government knows this, of course. They are not going to lose much if anything in tax money, since the people who take advantage of this offer will be already impoverished. This means that Hungary will have an infusion of lower-class people as they have large families.
A more sensible offer, which they will not make, is to cut taxes for people who are doing pretty well, which tends to be your smarter, more educable, and more productive citizens. If they cut those taxes, the government starts to hurt, and unlike an emo, it will not cut itself!
If you want to build a healthy population, you want the productive and decent people over 120 IQ points to have as many children as possible. They have few simply because of the high cost of taxes. They invest a lot more than $35k per child, so this will not help them.
If instead Hungary implemented a flat tax and cut taxes for anyone earning a decent upper half of middle class income, they would get what they want, which is a substantial number of their most competent people having larger families.
Right now, with taxes as high as they are in Europe and the USA, most of our most intelligent and productive people live in families where both parents work. This means fewer children. They also spend way too much of their income in taxes to sock away for college for more than two.
As usual, modernity wants to solve itself by using modern methods, but those lead us right back to the same disaster we had in the first place, which is too many lower-class people leading to class warfare, revolt, and liberal democratic government.