December 6, 2012

"I’m not so sure why we want more people on our crowded, overheated planet..."

"... where world population is projected to increase by 2 billion before finally beginning to fall. But if [NYT conservative columnist Ross] Douthat really thought through what it means to have and raise a child these days, I’m sure he could come up with a lot of great ways to help women and families. The trouble is, he couldn’t be a Republican anymore. He’d be a socialist."

That's Katha Pollitt over at The Nation, reacting to Douthat's reaction to the plummeting birthrate in the United States, which we were talking about here. I'd asked:
If it is an emergency, what could be done? Is there a role for government? What if government wanted to get involved, really deeply involved? Suggestions? Don't violate any rights. This is a government of laws, in which women have reproductive freedom. But there is the taxing power and the spending power and so forth.
So I agree with Pollitt on where the solution to the problem lies... except that she's not ready to see how it's a problem.

97 comments:

damikesc said...

Pollitt --- you willing to give up ALL of your government benefits?

Because kids, see, THEY ARE THE ONES WHO WILL PROVIDE YOURS.

Current workers pay for retirees. And thanks to selfish shrews like Pollitt, there are fewer current workers to take care of the most useless generation America has ever produced.

damikesc said...

As far as solutions?

If you DECIDE to not have kids, you forego all benefits. Medical inability is a different beast.

Simple solution.

You want the money? Put something into the fund.

Shouting Thomas said...

In every one of my 63 years on this planet, leftists have invented a problem that demands centralized world government.

This crap is no different.

Same old bullshit. The purported "problem" that centralized world government fixes keeps changing, but the demand for authoritarian control is constant.

Pollitt is a Stalinist. The Nation is a Stalinist rag.

There is no problem. What we have here is a Stalinist searching for a problem so that she can apply her standard solution.

MadisonMan said...

Would you have an extra baby if you got a bigger tax deduction for it? If your boss let you work ten hours a day four days a week or one afternoon at home? If college was a little less expensive? (And how is that supposed to happen, I wonder, without massive government subsidies? See above: “tax cuts.”)

She displays a stunning lack of imagination re: College expenses. How about a huge cut in Governmental oversight that requires a phalanx of Assistant Deans/Associate Deans to manage paperwork? UGA, for example, has fewer Profs now than it did in the 60s. But there are scads more administrators. Why?

I wonder if her own employer offers flexible working conditions for people (like mine does).

And I question her idea that the planet is crowded, too.

Greg said...

That idiot science czar Erlich wrote books back in the 70's claiming the world would starve itself into oblivion by 1980. Paul 'Wrong Again' Erlich just keeps changing the dates and numbers. Some libertarians are at fault too, when they whine about paying taxes to educate kids. They are the freeloaders who pay nothing to raise the kids who will support them in their dotage.

Thorley Winston said...

If you DECIDE to not have kids, you forego all benefits.


If that means that we don’t have to pay taxes to support these programs, deal.

Shouting Thomas said...

Pollitt is one of the dumbest people on the planet.

"... what it means to have and raise a child these days..."

For a full explication of her stupidity, the first scene of Idiocracy is all you need.

Men, we really need to devise a strategy to defeat the idiot intellectual women. What that would be is beyond my imagination.

EDH said...

This is a government of laws, in which women have reproductive freedom.

And men do not.

DADvocate said...

Funny thing is that there seems to be an awful high correlation between socialist countries and low birth rates. If Pollit thought about that, she wouldn't be a liberal anymore. She'd be intelligent.

Shouting Thomas said...

Kathy Pollitt and The Nation beg the old question...

"Why does God allow evil to exist?"

dreams said...

I like this news/trend better. A story about my old place of employment GE's Appliance Park and a insourcing boom, less offshoring.

"What has happened? Just five years ago, not to mention 10 or 20 years ago, the unchallenged logic of the global economy was that you couldn’t manufacture much besides a fast-food hamburger in the United States. Now the CEO of America’s leading industrial manufacturing company says it’s not Appliance Park that’s obsolete—it’s offshoring that is.

Why does it suddenly make irresistible business sense to build not just dishwashers in Appliance Park, but dishwasher racks as well?"

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/12/the-insourcing-boom/309166/

Nonapod said...

Meanwhile the average lifespan continues to creep up. It may seem absurd but it's likely that advances in medical science over the next 50 years or so could in effect eliminate death in all but extreme trauma situations by developing either extremely effective treatments (if not outright cures) for all the cancers, autoimmune disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular diseases that currently plague later life.

X said...

I’m not so sure why we want more people on our crowded, overheated planet...

because your political philosophy depends on more new suckers being born every minute to stick with debt payments. and the planet is not crowded. you choose to live in a crowded place.

Jay said...

When you live in NYC or DC, you think the planet is "crowded"

When you take time to drive through vast swaths of America you realize the country is mostly un-inhabited.

It must be fun to have such silly myopia.

Renee said...

What would make a woman be comfortable having several children?

Having a good set of in-laws.

Mine are OK. They aren't my best friends, but they are close by and beg watch the kids.

Expat(ish) said...

I heard a comment on a stupid TV show that we like to watch (Castle) about how the world is always ending but making babies is the only reasonable response.

I like that.

'Course I'm done making babies now,so easy for me to say.

-XC

Birches said...

How come the liberals are always the ones who think having children is too much work without government help? I've got three children, will probably have more. All my children are amazing, smart little human beings that do without headstart, WIC, personalized college funds, and new clothes (for the most part). How will we make it? Scholarships, community college, jobs during school, teaching MY own children to read without paying someone to. Shocking, I know.

Greg said...

Hey dreams, I used to work for a company that made dishracks for Appliance Park, I heard recently they were going under since GE was their biggest customer. I'm sad for them but it is encouraging in general that they aren't abandoning appliance mfg all together, which was the trend. Another customer was in the BBQ business. They had offshored almost all of their mfg to China, but made the decision two years ago to bring most of it back.

AJ Lynch said...

The Nation description of Pollitt says "Katha Pollitt is well known for her wit and her keen sense of both the ridiculous and the sublime."

Now that is funny!

AJ Lynch said...

The Nation's owner, Katrina Vanden Huevel, a hateful, angry trust fund baby, requires its womyn writers to be just like her.

Shouting Thomas said...

You should read any of the various bios of this woman on the web.

She's a scientific illiterate and a math innumerate.

Ignorant as hell.

edutcher said...

She was born too late.

She would have been more comfortable about 80 years ago when people were doing that.

One gold filling at a time.

n.n said...

The world is neither overcrowded (per se) nor overheated. The problem is population density with respect to available resources. The problem is unmeasured immigration or converged migration. The problem is fanatical environmental policies which displace whole populations and leave them exposed and hungry. The problem is the principle of out-of-sight and out-of-mind, which defends progressive corruption.

The problem with "reproductive freedom" is that a large minority of men and women seem incapable of self-moderating their behavior, which leads to rationalization of murdering innocent human beings for convenience. The same cause underlies the preponderance of STDs, including HIV-caused AIDS, which is especially a problem for males engaged in homosexual behavior, but also promiscuous men and women generally.

The problem is that liberty is unsuitable for individuals incapable or unwilling to self-moderate their behavior. The problem is a fraudulent belief that instant gratification (e.g. pot of gold at the end of the rainbow) can be realized without consequences and is anything other than a fantasy.

Renee said...

"In 1993 her essay "Why Do We Romanticize the Fetus?" won the Maggie Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America."


I think she would have a stroke if she saw my Nativity for Advent, in which I have an picture of a fetal ultrasound, where the baby Jesus would lay, that says "Due Date: December 25th"


Everyone loves it.




Larry J said...

Jay said...
When you live in NYC or DC, you think the planet is "crowded"

When you take time to drive through vast swaths of America you realize the country is mostly un-inhabited.

It must be fun to have such silly myopia.


Last May, my wife and I drove from Colorado to Yellowstone. While there, we met a German couple who'd rented an RV and were spendign a month driving all over America. Sad to say, they probably knew more about American than most Americans, especially the coastal city dwellers who look down their noses at "flyover country" and are ignorant enough to believe all food comes from grocery stores and restaurants.

Seeing Red said...

--I’m sure he could come up with a lot of great ways to help women and families. ---


Oh, brother.

Smilin' Jack said...

... except that she's not ready to see how it's a problem.

Of course it's a terrifying problem. I live in constant fear of having a shorter commute to work and being able to find a parking space.

But long-term, Darwin has shown us the solution. Some groups of people have declining birth rates...but others don't. The consequences of this are demonstrated in the movie Idiocracy.

And though I don't have any kids, and I appreciate the concern of those who do, I'm not too worried about my old age. With the money I save by not having kids, I'll just hire your kids to take care of me. Oh dear, but then who'll take care of you....?

Astro said...

"The trouble is, he couldn’t be a Republican anymore. He’d be a socialist.

Riiiight. Because all those years when the US population was growing rapidly the government was there to provide those services women needed to raise children.

And yeah, it's waaay harder to give birth and have a healthy child now than when my grandmothers both had 6 children back in the 1920s and 1930s.

Katha Pollitt is a asshat.

Bryan C said...

"..our crowded, overheated planet..."

Overpopulation scares represent the fascist environmentalist power fantasy in its purest form. Superstitious twaddle.

Renee said...


"And though I don't have any kids, and I appreciate the concern of those who do, I'm not too worried about my old age. With the money I save by not having kids, I'll just hire your kids to take care of me. Oh dear, but then who'll take care of you....?"


How much are willing to pay? There will be a lot of old people fighting for personal butt wipers.

Bryan C said...

"The problem with "reproductive freedom" is that a large minority of men and women seem incapable of self-moderating their behavior, which leads to rationalization of murdering innocent human beings for convenience."

Self-moderation relies on an effective feedback loop. People don't moderate behavior that has no negative consequences for them. You can't deaden the nerves while expecting the pain reflex to save you.

SteveR said...

A lowered birth rate hasn't hurt Western Europe. Oh wait

chickelit said...

No woman should be cajoled into having a man's baby, but she shouldn't be surprised if another women steps up to the task.

chickelit said...

@MadisonMan: Outstanding comment at 1:36 PM

YoungHegelian said...

Has there ever been a state-sponsored program that actually increased a country's birthrate over a period of, let's say, fifteen years?

This is a real and not a rhetorical question.

If anyone has got some empirical data, I'd sure as hell like to see it.

chickelit said...

How much are willing to pay? There will be a lot of old people fighting for personal butt wipers.

Perhaps some will be able to train their dogs to do this.

Sorun said...

"But there are scads more administrators. Why?"

Was hiring excess people a way to deal with AA/diversity requirements?

Smilin' Jack said...

Overpopulation scares represent the fascist environmentalist power fantasy in its purest form. Superstitious twaddle.

Absolutely. Why should we do anything to limit population growth when the Four Horsemen will do it for us?

But hey, maybe technological advances will defeat them too, and then the only remaining restraint will be the laws of physics. Imagine the glorious future awaiting your progeny then: a solidly-packed mass of human flesh expanding at the speed of light. Yippee!

Sorun said...

"How much are willing to pay? There will be a lot of old people fighting for personal butt wipers."

Butt-wiping and adult diaper-changing is a promising use of robotics. Thank you, Japanese. Masturbation accessories extra.

Renee said...

@chicklit

They're teaching canines to drive in New Zealand.

"Three dogs in New Zealand have been taught to drive a car by an animal rescue charity, local media reported. After weeks of indoor training in how to change gear, brake and steer, canines Monty, Ginny and Porter have finally been allowed behind the wheel of a real car - with a little help from their handlers."

Smilin' Jack said...

How much are willing to pay? There will be a lot of old people fighting for personal butt wipers.

Well, since those who don't have kids will have saved more money than those who do, I think you can guess how that will play out....

ricpic said...

Katha doesn't like crowding but LOVES no holds barred immigration. The point is that as a hard core commie the bitch is NOBLE so shut up!

Rocketeer said...

Whenever you run across some Manhattan-based writer screeching about the planet being overcrowded, you should realize that you've encountered nothing more than a terribly dull-witted parochial scold who's never driven outside the Eastern Time Zone.

My advice to her would be this: Fly to say, Riverton, Wyoming, Katha - rent a car, and start driving in pretty much any direction. You'll either quickly realize what a fool you are, or you're invincibly ignorant.

Paul Ciotti said...

Does anyone in America really feel there aren't enough people around? I grew up in the fifties. I never felt any lack of people then, even though the US population was half of what it is today.

If you're worried about global warming the easiest way is reduce the human footprint is to reduce world population, not drive yourself nuts trying to exist without burning oil or natural gas.


I notice that some people here have argued that we need population growth to pay for their health and retirement benefits. In the olden days people worked to within a year or two of their deaths. Nowadays most people have decades between their retirement and death. If you are worried about retirement, you could do what a lot of people do around the world, which is to work as long as you feel fit.

Besides, here in California most of the immigrants we get (or their children) never earn enough money to pay enough taxes to support any retired people (they and their children rather require benefits all their lives). This is one reason California is bankrupt and will never recover.

SteveR said...

Was hiring excess people a way to deal with AA/diversity requirements?

Sure and to adminster the programs which demonstrate such things and the other box checking jobs needed to keep the fed money coming. Nothing to do with providing a good, affordable education.

Renee said...

"I grew up in the fifties. "

Children for your generation, not for your grandchildren.


There are lot of children today with no siblings or cousins. All they see are aging baby boomers, telling us there should be fewer children.

damikesc said...

But hey, maybe technological advances will defeat them too, and then the only remaining restraint will be the laws of physics. Imagine the glorious future awaiting your progeny then: a solidly-packed mass of human flesh expanding at the speed of light. Yippee!

If you believed the nonsense to be true, you'd have already killed yourself.

That you're alive is proof that you're full of shit.

Does anyone in America really feel there aren't enough people around? I grew up in the fifties. I never felt any lack of people then, even though the US population was half of what it is today.

Again, if you believe overpopulation is a problem, kill your family and then yourself first before expecting others to go down that asinine path.

The overpopulation brigade are awfully cavalier with the lives of other people.

I notice that some people here have argued that we need population growth to pay for their health and retirement benefits. In the olden days people worked to within a year or two of their deaths. Nowadays most people have decades between their retirement and death. If you are worried about retirement, you could do what a lot of people do around the world, which is to work as long as you feel fit.

Given that people like me and, eventually, my kids are expected to carry the load for those who cannot/will not work --- the selfishness of the overpopulation brigade is duly noted.

When the young finally wake up, it will be really, really ugly for the elderly.

Besides, here in California most of the immigrants we get (or their children) never earn enough money to pay enough taxes to support any retired people (they and their children rather require benefits all their lives). This is one reason California is bankrupt and will never recover.

That's just because the CA electorate is, as a majority, retarded.

Rocketeer said...

With the money I save by not having kids, I'll just hire your kids to take care of me.

No, you won't - my kids will have better options than wiping your ass for a living.

And I'm not worried, because after eight hour days of fulfilling work they want to do (for more money than you can afford to part with for professional rump-swabbing), they'll stop by on the way to their beautiful homes and their own beautiful wives and children to wipe mine out of familial love.

Scott M said...

"... where world population is projected to increase by 2 billion before finally beginning to fall. But if [NYT conservative columnist Ross] Douthat really thought through what it means to have and raise a child these days, I’m sure he could come up with a lot of great ways to help women and families.

I suppose the first thing that shoots that whole thought in the foot is the notion that we're going to get 2b more people before the population numbers start falling. I mean...they were so RIGHT about peak oil, weren't they? Surely there's no way they could be off about this...

Seeing Red said...

Ann Clwyd has said her biggest regret is that she didn't "stand in the hospital corridor and scream" in protest at the "almost callous lack of care" with which nurses treated her husband as he lay dying in the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

Clwyd, the Labour MP for Cynon Valley since 1984 and Tony Blair's former human rights envoy to Iraq, told the Guardian she fears a "normalisation of cruelty" is now rife among NHS nurses. She said she had chosen to speak out because this had become "commonplace".

Describing how her 6'2'' husband lay crushed "like a battery hen" against the bars of his hospital bed with an oxygen mask so small it cut into his face and pumped cold air into his infected eye, Clwyd said nurses treated the dying man with "coldness, resentment, indifference and even contempt".

Owen Roberts died on Tuesday, 23rd October from hospital-acquired pneumonia.

To take another example, Anthony Browne, former health editor of the Observer, and former passionate believer in the NHS, wrote:

Last week's report into the case of Thomas Rogers, the 74-year-old grandfather who bled to death after lying undiagnosed on a trolley in an accident and emergency ward at Whipps Cross Hospital for nine hours, is shocking. What is even more shocking is that it is hardly unusual. Equally awful stories worm their way out past NHS obstruction every week. And nothing changes.

Seeing Red said...

That's who will be wiping bums.

Greg said...

Seeing Red:
I turned off the London Olympics broadcast before I threw a brick through my 60 inch high def when they had that tribute to the NHS during the opening ceremonies

Crunchy Frog said...

Men, we really need to devise a strategy to defeat the idiot intellectual women. What that would be is beyond my imagination.

So long as they do not reproduce to pass their defective genes onto future generations, the problem takes care of itself eventually.

Rocketeer said...

So long as they do not reproduce to pass their defective genes onto future generations, the problem takes care of itself eventually.

What's "Lysistrata" backwards?

raf said...

Well, since those who don't have kids will have saved more money than those who do

I don't see this happening. I see childless couples living beyond even their affluent means.

slarrow said...

Sarah Hoyt (another Instapundit co-blogger) thought the birthrate decline was actually a function of losing faith in the future and was, contra Pollitt, more likely IN socialist countries. She put it this way:

'We have kids, we create, we try in the face of often overwhelming odds, because we can dream of the big jackpot. “My kid will be the first man on Mars.” “My book will show people a whole other way of looking at things.” “My invention will push back old age and death fifty years.”

We know chances are we’ll fail and we’ll throw our lives away on it, but it gives us something to reach for: the dream. It makes everyday struggles and mountains of diapers worth it.

Change that. “My kid will have a secure existence as a mid-range functionary.” “My book will be one of many echoing received wisdom.” “My invention is too expensive to push back old age and death for everyone, and besides old people are a drain on the state. But people will have fewer colds in their seventy some years of life.”

Exciting? Worth giving up your present comfort to obtain? Don’t be ridiculous. Most people choose instead to sleep later, have more fun, live a stress free existence, even if devoid of future.'


Food for thought

Crunchy Frog said...

Perhaps some will be able to train their dogs to do this.

They lick their own asses clean all the time. Should be able to lick mine too.

The problem is training them to gargle with mouthwash before licking my face afterwards.

Alex said...

The planet isn't crowded, Bangladesh is.

Alex said...

Interesting that these pointy-headed intellectuals tie themselves in knots about having kids, but the riff-raff out there is popping them out like oranges.

Marshal said...

If it is an emergency, what could be done? Is there a role for government?

The solution is to make people pay for their own consumption rather than trying to take from whoever's around when the old people need it.

McTriumph said...

When I hear the left talk this way I wonder if they ever get out across America or do they just gang around the blue ant farms on the east and west coast.

Tibore said...

I'm late to this thread, but: "Overcrowding" is too often used as a false meme. If people were willing to put up with population densities resembling, say, Seoul, you could fit them all in an area the size of Texas.

Digression: If you want the math, 1 sq mile = 27,878,400 sq ft., Texas would be 268,581 sq mi which equals 7,494,270,000,000 sq ft. Presume 7 billion people, divide that by the area, and you get ~1,070 sq ft of area per person. Which isn't huge - my tiny 2 bedroom condo is 800 sq. ft., and it's tiny - but is possible to do. Anyway, this presumes one person per building, 1 storey... my point is that it's doable if we're just talking living quarters. Expand that out several times for city areas, work, other infrastructure and you're still talking the middle of the US. The ultimate point is that there's plenty of space on the planet, even if you are only talking the reasonably easily inhabitable areas.

What some of these "overpopulation" advocates are trying to get at is the effect of having so many people in given areas. What's the food situation? The water utilization? Waste management? Etc. Those aren't small problems, but at the same time they're not necessarily fatal ones. What I'm ultimately getting at is that the "overcrowding" meme is a hyperventilated one, and while there are definitely huge challenges (see current cities water and waste handling; it involves a lot of work and resources), they're not prima facie fatal ones. "Overcrowding" is a nice scare argument, but it way exaggerates things.

Smilin' Jack said...

No, you won't - my kids will have better options than wiping your ass for a living.

Sure they will...employment prospects for recent grads just keep looking better all the time.

And I'm not worried, because after eight hour days of fulfilling work they want to do (for more money than you can afford to part with for professional rump-swabbing), they'll stop by on the way to their beautiful homes and their own beautiful wives and children to wipe mine out of familial love.

Well, I guess the important thing is that you believe that.

PfMoen said...

The big block of states, Kansas, Nebraska,South Dakota,North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming have about 8 million people and nearly 550,000 sq. miles. Manhattan has 1.6 million and 23 square miles. No wonder stupid people think the world is crowded. Those western states also have food and energy. Manhattan, not so much.

Dante said...

Men, we really need to devise a strategy to defeat the idiot intellectual women. What that would be is beyond my imagination.

Encourage them to separate into their little lesbo Queendoms.

I remember out of college, my almost first girlfriend from Rice and I met after college. She brought along one of her converted girlfriends, who explained to me in ultra certain terms, that she had decided it was wrong to separate from the evil male society, but instead to work within it to change it.

Out of deference to my friend, I didn't say "Too bad, you would do the world a favor if you would go for it and make your own lesbo world." And that took a lot of self control. That's the answer to them "Stop demanding shit from me: go off and create your own world and LMTFA."

Marshal said...

Greg said...
Some libertarians are at fault too, when they whine about paying taxes to educate kids. They are the freeloaders who pay nothing to raise the kids who will support them in their dotage.


Libertarians believe people should pay for themselves. Your position requires us to believe that having one stupid program then requires us to support others. It's nonsense.

A good reform to higher education is vouchers instead of direct subsidies. Universities then have to compete more for the public's dollars. Most libertarins support this, and it doesn't necessarily increase the cost to the student either.

Of course if libertarians had their way your taxes and other costs would be significantly lower also, so you could save more for these expenses.

Rabel said...

YoungHegelian asked:

"Has there ever been a state-sponsored program that actually increased a country's birthrate over a period of, let's say, fifteen years?"

These guys had a plan that worked pretty well though there were a few complications. All it took was a strong, popular leader. And as a plus, there is empirical data and a few parallels with Douhat's column.

"It is no descent into materialism to welcome an increase in prosperity. A people can grow only when its prosperity is assured. That is the Führer’s true goal. When gray misery was the regular guest at the table of most workers, they lacked the courage to begin a family and raise healthy children. A decline in population threatened us in 1932. The birth rate had fallen so low that there was a danger that the death rate, increased through countless desperate suicides, would surpass it.

The unlimited confidence of the German people in their Führer is shown by the fact that even in 1933 numerous citizens found the courage to begin the family they had long postponed. The number of marriages reached record heights. There were 122,000 more marriages in 1933 than in the year before. !934 showed the tremendous success in reducing unemployment. 223,000 more young German men took brides than in 1932. 6,521,400 men and women were married between 1933 and 1937. Nearly 460,000 more families began than in the five years before the National Socialist takeover. That is probably the best proof of the absolute confidence the German people have in the Führer’s policies and in the future of the Reich. The Führer’s main concern is for healthy growth by the German people. That is why he implemented marriage loans of as much as 1000 marks as early as 1933, which are repayable in easy installments. A quarter of the loan is forgiven at the birth of each child. About half of all couples took advantage of these generous loans in 1933. Improvements in the economy were such that only a fifth needed them in 1934. In the past five years, 878,000 loans were made, and reduced as the result of the birth of 708,000 children.

The total number of births far exceeded that figure. The best evidence for the inner rebirth of our people is that the desire to have children has risen strongly, and that more and more have realized that the future of the German people depends on a large number of healthy children."

AJ Lynch said...

Today's mothers tend to comlain a lot about being so busy.Yet today's women are way less busy and have much more free time and timesaving devices than the mothers of the 40's 50's and 60's IMHO.

Smilin' Jack said...

Those aren't small problems, but at the same time they're not necessarily fatal ones. What I'm ultimately getting at is that the "overcrowding" meme is a hyperventilated one, and while there are definitely huge challenges (see current cities water and waste handling; it involves a lot of work and resources), they're not prima facie fatal ones.

Absolutely. If we all put our hearts and minds into it, I'm sure we can overcome all those huge challenges and find a way to fill the entire planet with people standing shoulder to shoulder. Let's do it!!

Dante said...

You want to increase the birth rate? Bring back poverty. It works for the rest of the world.

Seriously, if you want to bring back children, you have to have a society that supports them. You could start by encouraging the extended family, and finish by trying to get back to one worker for the home.

Now, before feminists start getting upset, I didn't say it had to be a woman. Though I think in general women are probably 2 sigmas better at being nurturing than men, that still leaves about 16% of men who are better than the average woman in the nurturing department.

gutless said...

Besides, here in California most of the immigrants we get (or their children) never earn enough money to pay enough taxes to support any retired people (they and their children rather require benefits all their lives). This is one reason California is bankrupt and will never recover.

Not so fast. We traded 30 million American babies for those immigrants via the expediency of abortion. We need to pep these kids up or give them the boot.

Jake Diamond said...

Another thread with the usual suspects saying predictably stupid things. Just another day at Althouse. Ho hum.

pst314 said...

Katha Pollitt giving her silly opinions? When all you have is a hammer and sickle, every problem looks like a prole.

chickelit said...

We traded 30 million American babies for those immigrants via the expediency of abortion.

That simplified scenario potends a future preference for robotic butt-wipers vs. imported human ones.

Right-to-privacy and all.

Cedarford said...

Jay said...
When you live in NYC or DC, you think the planet is "crowded"

When you take time to drive through vast swaths of America you realize the country is mostly un-inhabited.

It must be fun to have such silly myopia
==============
You are right. The US could probably pack in another 100 million 3rd and 4th worlders from lands where explosive breeding growth has outstripped arable land and fresh water resources.

We could end up the 1st spanish-speaking nation with joint official religions of Islam and Catholicism if we continue to import excess unskilled population from the rest of the world.

Talk about silly myopia!!

Mitchell the Bat said...

You know what?

That part where Achilles comes back from the boats, and he's standing on that giant rock, and his golden armor is gleaming in the sun, and his fucking head is fucking on fire, and he's got the fucking goddess Athena standing behind him?

I mean, wow, that is pretty fucking awesome.

Oh, wait a minute, who the fuck is Katha Pollitt, again?

AllenS said...

Do you want American citizens to have more children? Reduce taxes. All of them.

chickelit said...

Cedarford objects: You are right. The US could probably pack in another 100 million 3rd and 4th worlders from lands where explosive breeding growth has outstripped arable land and fresh water resources.

I think you miss the point that Pollitt just wants to pack them densely into NYC--not the rest of the country. Close-packed living quarters are always the preferred mode of living for the urban-firsters.

Crunchy Frog said...

Has there ever been a state-sponsored program that actually increased a country's birthrate over a period of, let's say, fifteen years?

The GI Bill.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

When you live in NYC or DC, you think the planet is "crowded"

When you take time to drive through vast swaths of America you realize the country is mostly un-inhabited.


Amen to that. Myopia. The idea that your life, where you live, how you live and the way you think are the only ways.

The link here shows just how uninhabited and dark at night most of the world is. The Black Marble

Are there are places where people are actually IN the dark at night. I live in one of those areas. The populations who live in those dark areas are sparse.

Strelnikov said...

We could certainly do with a few less people at The Nation.

edutcher said...

Renee said...

"In 1993 her essay "Why Do We Romanticize the Fetus?" won the Maggie Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America."

I think she would have a stroke if she saw my Nativity for Advent, in which I have an picture of a fetal ultrasound, where the baby Jesus would lay, that says "Due Date: December 25th"

Everyone loves it.


I know I do.

YoungHegelian said...

Has there ever been a state-sponsored program that actually increased a country's birthrate over a period of, let's say, fifteen years?

This is a real and not a rhetorical question.

If anyone has got some empirical data, I'd sure as hell like to see it.


The Homestead Act.

Jake Diamond said...

Another thread with the usual suspects saying predictably stupid things. Just another day at Althouse. Ho hum.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Diamond tells us whose side he was on in the Cold War.

Birches said...

Seeing Red:
I turned off the London Olympics broadcast before I threw a brick through my 60 inch high def when they had that tribute to the NHS during the opening ceremonies


I started watching Call the Midwife on PBS, then realized that every episode had a little moral about how NHS saved Britain. Disgusting government propaganda disguised (not very well) as entertainment

Lucien said...

On the assumption that the human population of earth cannot grow indefinitely without limit, then we will eventually want to achieve zero population growth.

The ineluctable arithmetic of zero population growth is that the number of people dying per unit time equals the number of births per unit time.

Because so much of the current global poplulation lacks things like clean water, refrigeration, and reliable medical care, and because those advances increase life expectancy significantly, it seems likely that the number of people dying per unit time will be decreasing for the next several decades, at least.

So long as off-world migration is not possible, the population will get closer to global carrying capacity for many, many years.

THose of us in the rich part of the workd like the fact that we can grow grains, feed them to livestock, and then eat some nice fat pigs, cows, and chickens (I know I do). If we ever get close to carrying capacity, there will be pressure to produce edible calories in more and more efficient ways, which will not include dry-aged ribeyes.

Scarcity is a good catalyst for conflict, too.

Of course, modest increases in US birthrates will not do much to alter overall population, but there is that whole tragedy of the commons trap to watch out for.

Gene said...

damikse: Again, if you believe overpopulation is a problem, kill your family and then yourself first before expecting others to go down that asinine path.

The overpopulation brigade are awfully cavalier with the lives of other people.


Have you always had a problem with reading comprehension? Or is just when you post on anonymous blogs.

Deciding not to use tax money to pay for other people's children isn't murder. It's prudent tax policy.

Gene said...

Dust Bunny Queen: The link here shows just how uninhabited and dark at night most of the world is.

That's great. Let's keep it that way. Why do we need more people? Don't we have enough right now for all normal purposes?

cafferty92 said...

Both POVs expressed here seem pretty vain and selfish in general. It's like watching a bunch of babbits squabble over a dinner check. Pathetic.

My reasoning on the no kids side is that it would be terrible to saddle my kids - who I would love above all else- with mortality and quite probably a banal existence in a failing world with imperfect DNA that will likely not turn them into the rulers of the temporal universe they would need to be to eek out a few good decades before the inevitable death they will always be aware of lies just over the horizon - most certainly not that I want to sleep late and have more $$$.

And the other reasoning, that you should reproduce so someone will be bound to wipe your butt when you are old or else fuck you?

Christ.

Your kids, if they have a nice life that is, most likely will be commuting globally and will not really have the time to stop by and wipe your butt even if they want to. You'll be relying on care insurance and other options that most well-off types rely on today in very well-appointed retirement communities that lock down all your assets, every single penny, and fight your kids should they contest.

Even with the equivalent of millions by today's standards, you'll likely spend your last few years on the state doll in substandard conditions - because that is how these places are designed to work. It's the business plan.

And why wouldn't you want to care for the elderly as a society whether they were related to you or not?

Most of you guys are bitter, old asshats. You really are. I really hope you're all drunk.

mccullough said...

The government is going to grab the asserts of old people with no kids since its out of money. People like Smilin Jack are going to get the red pill and cremated. No place for spinsters like Smilin Jack in the Brave New World.

I Callahan said...

Absolutely. If we all put our hearts and minds into it, I'm sure we can overcome all those huge challenges and find a way to fill the entire planet with people standing shoulder to shoulder. Let's do it!!

Are you going to address the points made in the comments to this post, or are you just going to be a snarky asshole?

I Callahan said...

Another thread with the usual suspects saying predictably stupid things. Just another day at Althouse. Ho hum.

Another enlightening comment by Jake. Grow up.

chickelit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickelit said...

@cafferty92: You conjecture-up a nice rosy future with plenty of wealth for everyone but just remember that nothing in life is certain save death & taxes and...if you live long enough...someone wiping your butt.


chickelit said...

Unless you've been a "martyr to the piles" in which case no one's gonna want to go near you.

Carl said...

The sad news for Pollitt is that the inevitable end result of the demographic collapse she abets is the rise of patriarchy, because the future belongs to those who show up, and that will generally be the many children from big families produced by a woman who gets along famously with men, doesn't mind leaving the messy issues of politics and business to them, and simply adores the idea of being a mother of seven.

Pollitt's ideals will die with her, and her great-granddaughter (if any) won't have the luxury of asking "What will induce women to have more children?" because it won't be up to women any more. Their choices will be to become nuns, whores, or mothers.

That's the way it goes with crude biological reality. Doesn't matter how many votes you have, or what a convincing argument you muster. Nature always bats last, and she won't bother to meet you halfway, or become flexible if you threaten to hold your breath until you turn blue. Adapt or die.

Rustling Leaves said...

It was 70° yesterday. If an overheated planet means more days like that in December and winter, then thank you Lord for global warming!

Rustling Leaves said...

The socialists just don't seem to understand that we can't have the overpopulation crisis cake and eat the fix social security cake too. The middle ground would be to end social security and mind your own fucking business about whether or not your neighbors have children.

Molly said...

I'm so late to this party I doubt if anyone will read this, but if the government wanted to increase the fertility rate it would be very simple. Examples:

1. Tax the hell out of contraception.
2. Increase the per child tax deduction.
3. Think about your local competitively selective public high school. Now put children who have at least two siblings at the top of the list.
4. Have colleges (and law schools) give extra points to applicants with more than two siblings.