"South Korea recently broke its own record for the world’s lowest fertility rate. Figures released in November..."
"Lee Jin-song, who has written books about the trend of young people choosing not to get married or have a baby... pointed to a common joke that in South Korea, 'if you are not dating by the time you are 25, you’ll turn into a crane, meaning if you’re single you become non-human.' She said society considers her, and others like her, selfish for not conforming to the traditional expectations of marriage and children, 'neglecting their duties for society only for the sake of their happiness.'"
There's a problem with that pro-child propaganda. To my ear, it conveys the message that you'd should not have children. You're supposed to do it for the good of the group, not for your own happiness, and the more money they throw at you, the more it emphasizes how expensive it will be to have a child. And that crane "joke" is just overtly dehumanizing.
Even if you want to do what is good for society, how much can your one or 2 children change such a gigantic trend? It's such a huge personal change to have a child, but it has only a tiny effect on the country as a whole. That's why they've resorted to big economic incentives (along with bullying). But it's still not enough.
A 0.79 birthrate!