Testing the One Child Rule

China’s rule for couples was to have only one child or face a financial penalty. This meant couples with more money could treat the law as a tax and simply pay their way to a larger family. That seems like an expected outcome. However, I just read the news about a more drastic evasive technique:

Some of the breaches of the one-child policy only came to light during corruption investigations.

One legislator had four children by four different mistresses.

The official Xinhua news agency said some officials had not been adequately punished for their birth-control crimes.

It argued that this failure to enforce the law within its own ranks had led to the decrease in the government’s ability to enforce its birth-control policy.

Step one, attain an official position. This is similar to the Bush administration’s philosophy of rule. Once in office, some leaders clearly think they rise above the law. For example, Bush sent out a clear “click-it or ticket” warning to all motorists, and then drove around in front of reporters without his seatbelt on. Minor nit, but it makes the point nicely. There are dozens of examples, all of which say Bush and his cabal would probably go out of their way to have many more children if a law was passed in America that forbid large families.

Step two, closely examine the terms of the regulation. Does an official with four mistresses count as four couples, each entitled to a single child, or is there a patriarchal subtext — a man can only have one offspring? Here too the Bush administration has shown it uses highly creative interpretations. Cheney might say he is in the executive branch when he wants its protection, but that he is not in the executive branch when he want to avoid its regulations. Clever fellow, some might say in the US, as the Bush games come to light and are argued out in public.

China says they are holding “corruption investigations”. In America…?

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