One of the most serious and growing problems facing developed countries is the declining birth rate that threatens to starve the necessary workforce of needed labor and undercut financial support for the countries’ social welfare systems.

We wrote about that phenomenon in the United States here early this week that threatens the Social Security system as well as economic growth. The U.S. birthrate is well below the replacement rate to maintain a population.

But it’s not the only country. Hungary, for instance, now offers a tax-free lifetime to women who have four children.

Now comes the northern French town of Montereau. The mayor there, Jean Debouzy, came up with a neat stunt perhaps to help stimulate local births, attract new couples as residents and draw attention to the broad decline in rural communities.

A sense of decay and despair in the countryside has contributed to France’s recent wave of unrest.

The population of children in Montereau is dropping and threatens the viable future of both community schools.

So, Debouzy is offering free Viagra to couples to encourage and facilitate a certain activity that can often lead to the production of babies.

“A village without children,” said the mayor, “is a village that dies.”

The French government already provides substantial subsidies and tax breaks, as well as childcare services and parental leave to age three, to encourage families and stem the declining birth rate.

Since the mayor is not a doctor, the possibility of him obtaining a substantial supply of Viagra to distribute without a prescription is questionable. But he’s already got many people around the world writing about the specific broader issue and his town’s plight.

Britain faces a similar birth problem. Regulatory authorities addressed it differently. They have now reclassified Viagra as an over-the-counter drug, wherever customers live.