Philip Longman writes about the scary possibilities of the coming population decline. He and New America Foundation colleague David Gray have been working on a "new social contract." At the root such a contract they propose policies and cultural changes to assure that there is a new generation to have a social contract with.
One of the reasons population decline is scary is that in the future there won't be enough workers to support the retirement and medical entitlements of retired workers. Longman and Gray, therefore, propose that the payroll tax for parents be reduced by a third for each child while the kids are under 18. Parents of three children would pay no payroll tax while raising those future workers. Employers would keep putting in their share, though, and come retirement, the parents would get their full benefit from a grateful nation/economy. Longman and Gray propose to make this full benefit contingent on the kids graduating from high school, which is coming to be a minimum credential for workers.
This proposal seems to me to be sensible. The solution and the problem are tied together rationally. The policy would be simple to figure out and do. And policies that support the next generation of workers are not only good for the economy, they are good for all the family values of the nation.