Population and Employment in China
China's effectiveness in population control can be credited to the direct line of command through party and administrative cadres that extends from the leadership in Beijing down to the production team in a distant rural commune. The reason that the administrative machine has devoted so much attention to population control is twofold: the perceived limits of the natural environment, as indicated by slowness of growth of food supplies, and the difficulty of arranging productive employment for the large cohorts of the 1960s. The employment problem is intensified by mechanization in the countryside, and applies especially to the increasing numbers of middle school graduates. Raising the capital that would employ the new entrants into the labor force productively involves undesired commitments for repayment if money is borrowed abroad and risks political tension if the exactions from the rural population go beyond a certain point. Among other potential sources of division is the ambition of the young generation to get ahead with work and careers, and their fear that too many of the limited number of places are being held by the old. The one-child family now being promoted would avoid repeating about the turn of the century the pressures to find jobs now being experienced. On the other hand it would make for a very awkward age distribution as the births of the 1960s appear as claimants for old age security about 2040.