Monday 7 April 2014

Falling birth rate? Let's have a baby competition!

The Spies travel agency in Denmark made note of the declining birth rate in the country and came up with a novel plan to turn things around. Making note of how a romantic holiday leads to more sex, they created a competition to create babies. If you can prove you conceived during your vacation (hopefully a vacation booked with Spies), you are eligible to win a prize. Of course, you have to be Danish as you are supposed to be doing your duty for your country.

Published on Mar 26, 2014 by Spies Rejser
Do It For Denmark! (2:00)
No one has found out how to help Denmark's falling birth rate. Until now. Spies Travels announces a competition where you have to make a baby to win.

official web site: Do It For Denmark! (Click on British flag in upper right for English)

Let's save the future of Denmark with romance

Denmark faces a crisis. Our birthrate is at a 27 year low. At Spies we’re concerned. Fewer Danes mean fewer to support the ageing population - and tragically, fewer holidaying with us. Research shows that Danes have 46% more sex on city holidays and since more sex equals the chance of more kids, we are prescribing a romantic city holiday to save Denmark’s future.

How it works

Saving Denmark also saves you money when booking your romantic city holiday here. After booking, expect an email confirming your participation in the competition.
Travel to your preferred destination and let the city work it’s magic. We’re talking romance.
Send us pictures of your positive pregnancy test and your vandrejournal* to prove that you indeed conceived a child on your holiday to compete.
4. WIN
Having a beautiful little baby is a prize in itself, but to help make the first few years go smoothly, we are offering fantastic child related prizes.

*vandrejournal = a pregnancy chart which you carry with you whenever you go to the doctor, hospital or midwife

Having a beautiful baby is a prize in itself

But you’re going to need some baby stuff and Spies want to help. If you’re the lucky winner, look forward to 3 years supply of nappies from Libero, a beautiful ZIP baby pram from Odder and to top it off, a relaxing family holiday at a Spies Sunwing resort.

Wait. What?
It all sounds romantic and cute. Who doesn't get mushy over a baby? But then the cold-hearted businessman in me remembered reading an estimate of $250,000 as the total amount of money somebody has to spend to raise a child to the age of 18. Yeah, yeah, I did say "cold-hearted"; however are you going to think about the prize as opposed to the hundreds of thousands of dollars and the decades of time you have to commit to a child? Is this like somebody telling me they'll give me ten bucks if I spend a thousand?

I consulted the following documents.

Wikipedia: Cost of raising a child

NY Times - Nov 12/2012
The Cost, in Dollars, of Raising a Child By Nadia Taha

U.S. Dept of Agriculture - Aug 14/2013
What Does It Cost to Raise a Child?
Posted by Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services

The above sources confirm that at least a quarter of a million dollars is necessary to raise a child to the age of 18. I say "at least" as some of the estimates go higher than that. Adjust for inflation then add in what is necessary for college and university and wow, you are talking about a lot, I mean a lot of money. But those children are worth it, right? Right!?!

I win a 3 years supply of diapers, a baby pram, and a family holiday at a Spies Sunwing resort in exchange for the next twenty to twenty-five years of my life and anywhere from four hundred thousand to one million dollars. I am sure that anybody who is a father or a mother is going to burn me in effigy but I have to seriously ask in anybody tying the knot truly understands what they are committing themselves to. - May 29/2013
Finances remain leading cause of divorce by Alaina Sullivan
In an article by Ron Leiber of the New York Times in 2009, the odds of a marriage ending in divorce due to finances is approximately 45 percent.

That's a lot of failures. Would you drive your car if there was a 45% chance of having a accident? Would you eat in a restaurant if there was a 45% chance the food was contaminated?

National Post - Mar 8/2013
Book Review: "Dollars and Sex, by Marina Adshade" by Stacey May Fowles
Want to become cynical about and repelled by the ins and outs of love? You need only look at it through the unforgiving lens of economic theory.

While the starry-eyed among us comfortably assume that love is found in verse, sentiment and the chemistry of pleasure, Professor Marina Adshade has instead spent the past decade building a convincing (and depressing) argument that love’s true reasons are found in our wallets.
In 2008, Adshade piloted a highly popular undergraduate course, The Economics of Sex and Love, and encouraged people to take an alternative dollars and cents look at everything from wedded bliss, to online dating, to ladies’ night drink specials at the local bar.
Marriage is transformed into a conversation about goods and services, and casual sex a cost-benefit analysis. Want to live with your partner before marriage? You’ll be treated to statistics on how you’ll fare much worse economically, accumulating less wealth while facing a higher rate of divorce. Want to take your husband’s name? You’ll have more children, fewer job offers and earn less than women who kept their own. Are you a lesbian? It’s likely that you’ll be better at saving money than your heterosexual counterparts. Wondering if we’re facing an economic downturn? You need only look at lipstick and lubricant sales.

Final Word
Do we fully understand what we're doing? Does a goldfish know it's living in a fish bowl? I am more and more convinced that we blindly do things without any conscious assessment as to the validity of our actions. Would you sit down in a restaurant and order a meal if you didn't have the means to pay for it? Would you go on vacation without a credit card or cash? Would you get married, buy a home, have one, two, or three children, get a cottage, acquire a second car, and sign up for a timeshare all without figuring out how you're going to pay for everything? A three-year supply of diapers? Pshaw. That's the least of my worries.

As I said, any parent is going to vilify me as I seem to have missed the joy of having a child: walks in the park, learning to ride a bicycle, helping with school work, attending sports events, etc. Yes, I guess in that regard I am being cold-hearted. I still wonder, though, if we properly assess what we're getting ourselves into when we sign on the dotted line.


Spies Travel Agency (Danish only)

Google search: Cost of raising a child

Marina Adshade: Dollars & Sex
The book, the blog, and the homepage for Marina Adshade, PhD.


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