In the 26 September issue of the New Scientist there is an essay by Paul and Anne Ehrlich. They write:
Somehow, cultural attitudes toward large families everywhere need to be changed. It should be considered immoral to have excessive numbers of children - an attitude that already exists in most industrialised nations with low birth rates. Nothing is more clearly a governmental responsibility than keeping a nation's population size sustainable by benevolent measures.I completely agree with them in that it is indeed necessary to change the general conviction prevalent in many countries that having many children is a virtue. In the U.S. where the abnormally high religiosity of the general population is probably at least partially responsible for the tendency to have large families, which is the norm even among the more educated segments of the society and which creates an exception among industrialized nations.
However, I don't quite understand what a government can accomplish in this respect especially if the government itself is openly or covertly on the side of the religion.