Every Western populist’s favorite anti-communist, Viktor Orbán, has just nationalized fertility clinics because “fertility is not business”. In 2019.
Six fertility clinics have been nationalized overnight and their services made free in order to ensure that the king’s breeding policy may somehow end up showing results (that are not satisfied cronies and German carmakers who made a killing on state subsidies). And as the last juicy bump on the population’s age tree, a cohort of people who are the grandchildren of the victims of the communist abortion ban in the 1950s, are now 40 and above.
The sudden and unannounced (as usual) move followed a few weeks of cringeworthy fertility-scaremongering by assorted government officials, who opined, one after the other, spontaneously, that the nation’s reproductive organs might be in poor shape and the state has to do something. Because, you know, this government is totally not a central planning, socialist, collectivist bunch of old communists.
Once they even opined that “according to the government’s data” men are behind half the fertility issues. No kidding! That’s how I knew they meant business, because they went as far as associating males with women’s issues, like childbearing. (And I would die to see their “data”.)
The amusing thing is that Orbán has been king since 2010 – when the target age group of this fertility drive was in their early 30s. But Orbán has been busy cementing himself in power and removing all checks balances – while he was also building his long-time dream, a cohort of hand-fed oligarchs that depend on him and EU funds to keep flowing. He made them rich while the rest of us were priced out of the housing market. Maybe they should pull their weight by creating new taxpayers, not the victims of the housing market boom, the young and not-so-young people who couldn’t afford children even if they wanted to.
But now the young are not just the target of the fertilizing project – but also that of condemning and reproachful old men discussing how frivolous “youth” are and how their “values” have changed. It is the Hungarian version of Boomer vs Millennial, but without the rich Boomers (because communism). Politicians are always eager to express their post-midlife little thoughts and imposing them on the world wielding the power of the state.
It sounds like the king has finally listened to his demographers. He may have initiated a massive loan-for-babies program before he listened to them – but still generous of him. We have to appreciate the little things (because there aren’t any big ones). Mind you, he would still not listen to opinions that suggest that letting women off the hook of a decade of lonely childcare had worked elsewhere. No. He listened to the old men who whispered that the juicy, fat wave of breedable females on the age tree are running out of time. And there’s a state-subsidized, central planning policy solution for everything, and Orbán is nothing if not generous with other people’s money. He just decided where his generosity is directed – i.e. football, bureaucracy, oligarchs, stadiums and now breeding the reluctant, but not healthcare, pensions or just letting us live.