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No, Iran’s Leaders Aren’t Irrational, Cont.

By Taylor Marvin

The LA Times reports that the Iranian government, alarmed by a falling birthrate that threatens future welfare programs and productivity, is offering incentives to couples that have children.

“The government’s new family plan, which seeks to increase marriage and birth rates among those who are between 20 and 30 years old, offers a number of incentives to couples who choose to have larger families. Not only are they promised low interest rates on loans when they buy apartments, but working mothers are offered generous maternity leave, supposedly topped off with a gold coin after the birth.”

Hmmm. This strikes me as good news, for reasons I can’t clearly recall. Oh right. Last year Lee Smith wrote an idiotic Tablet piece claiming that Iran’s low birthrate was evidence the entire country was populated by suicidal maniacs impervious to the logic of deterrence:

“Perhaps most tellingly, the plummeting Iranian birthrate—from 6.5 children per woman a generation ago to 1.7 today—suggests that it is not just the regime, but an entire nation, that no longer wishes to live.”

So if the government’s trying to raise the birthrate above replacement rate, the regime must “wish to live.” Great news! I, of course, expect Smith to calmingly explain that the danger of the nuclear crisis’ now over, any moment now.

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