December 2, 2012

"U.S. birthrate plummets to its lowest level since 1920."

"The decline could have far-reaching implications for U.S. economic and social policy."

Is this an emergency? Like global warming, it's simultaneously slow and fast. It's so slow, you may think it's not real — alarmism — or not a problem — we'll adjust. But it's fast too, because if we're going to attempt to control the trend, we need to get cracking.

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. 

In the style of the environmentalists — who would have us radically reorder life to stave off the perceived calamity — devise some policy. I encourage comic/dystopian brainstorming here, but please keep the foundation of reproductive freedom and other basic American liberties. I'm not asking for "The Handmaid's Tale." That's been done.

232 comments:

1 – 200 of 232   Newer›   Newest»
Surfed said...

Told my daughter & son in law just the other day I wanted that I wanted a granddaughter. Now. before Christmas. My exact sign off to them was - "Get cracking". Like minds think alike? Must be a 60's thing. Age and generation.

chickelit said...

How about an immigration policy which favors birthrates?

H1-B visas for parents, path to citizenship guaranteed; English required.

Matthew Sablan said...

Tax the hell out of contraceptives. There's a medical device tax, so simply because something is used to help people exercise their rights/privileges/etc. doesn't mean it can't be taxed. We tax tanning salons and the like. There are taxes paid to ensure people can use roads, despite there being a freedom of travel implied in America.

Just use the argument that the tax is being used to cover future taxes the now non-existent offspring won't be paying.

This is a terrible idea.

chickelit said...

Parenting is work after all--work that many Americans won't do.

Hagar said...

On a related subject: The ABQ Morning Journal-Democrat has an article today that may explain why UNM is prospecting for out-of-state students in Red China; UNM's retiree health insurance program is seriously underfunded.

Matthew Sablan said...

Or, maybe just add a tax incentive; the more kids per capita in an area, the more federal money that goes to them for education or something.

Fernandinande said...

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

But of course! Women get freedom, men get the bills.

rhhardin said...

Tie social security retirement payments to number of working children.

Inga said...

The Handmaid's Tale? I need a tag.

Michael Ryan said...

How about telling singles that they have to pay Social Security taxes at a rate that will actually fund their own retirements? Bumping them perhaps a factor of 4 or 5 (Say 35% of gross income?) No sponging off of other people's kids! In fact why not prorate it for the married as well?

Freder Frederson said...

How about doing what the Germans do? A year of parenting leave (which is available to either parent or they can split it if they want). Government pays 75% of the parent's salary and the employer must hold the position open. Also more and better subsidies for daycare.

Tom said...

Enact a flat tax at, say, 18 percent with no deductions save for individuals at 10k apiece and another 10k for each dependent. On top of that, let parents keep a significant amount of the deduction even after their kids are grown up.

ricpic said...

Democrats: If we don't important millions more Africans, Asians, Mexicans and South Americans immediately it's over!!!

Republicans: Well...okay.

deborah said...

In the seeds of Western civilization lie its demise.

Joe said...

I propose that any and all references to "over population" and an Erlich style "population bomb" be removed from our public schools.

40 years of that propaganda has led too many to believe that a reduction in population is a good thing. In a civilized society, advocating that would be considered a crime against humanity.

Bob Ellison said...

Clones. Definitely.

Tim said...

Actually, I'm going the other way.
Given America's looming fiscal failure (and I don't mean the fiscal cliff) and collapse, I've advised my nearing adult children not to have children, and not to join the military.

A people dumb enough to create this problem despite all obvious warnings (and numerous historical examples) aren't smart enough to fix it.

And, given the likelihood my "grandchildren" would be among those shafted with the bill for our current $16 trillion growing by $1 trillion per annum, how is it remotely responsible to ask my kids to have kids?

Think "Children of Men," but by choice.

john said...

Freder, that's gonna work really well.

The parents just have to make another kid while on leave for the first, then one of them will get a second year off. More kids born, less work time, government pays for it all, win win!

ironrailsironweights said...

A fairly obvious explanation is that birthrates have fallen because of poor economic conditions. Which means they're likely to rise when jobs become more readily available. No big social trends, no reason to panic.

Peter

Elle said...

Free contraception has consequences.

Bob Ellison said...

Or: do that Planet of the Apes thing, but make them freakisly philanthropic and hard-working. Maybe start with dogs instead of chimps.

Oso Negro said...

Fuck it.

Inga said...

Freder, unfortunately won't ever happen in this country. Another entitlement, even if it encourages procreation and future tax payers? Nah.

How about we teach abstinence only sex ed in every school across the country, that might bump up the birth rate some.

Oso Negro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shouting Thomas said...

I have absolutely no idea how to solve the world's problems, or even this country's problems.

My daughter announced over Thanksgiving that she's pregnant, so I'm going to be a grandfather. I'd like to have a mess of grandchildren, but producing them is up to my kids.

I wish I'd had a half dozen kids, but I didn't. So preaching to the young that they should do what I didn't do doesn't make a lot of sense.

Paco Wové said...

"How about doing what the Germans do?"

Germany's birthrate is the lowest in Europe - and falling fast

Bob Ellison said...

Tim, if America really does sit atop three trillion barrels of oil (roughly three times all the oil pumped since the dawn of time), we might be headed for a golden age. Two hundred trillion dollars' worth of energy resources would help the economy, unless we continue to allow anti-oil, anti-human people to keep it locked away.

Pastafarian said...

Yeah, Freder, that's a great idea. Employers can get the money from the big money tree all of the have out in their backyards. And while they wait for that other employee to return, they can just hire and train someone else for the interim. Or they can give customers 9 month lead times.

Hell, why do any of us have to go to work? Let's just have the government pay us all 75 percent of our salaries. When your only tools are a hammer and a sickle....

On a serious note: if we like the idea of young productive people shouldering the job of providing for retirees, with a system like social security, and we want such a system to remain at least somewhat workable, declining birthdate is a slow-motion catastrophe.

Maybe this is the wrong time for us to extend the tax benefits of marriage to unions that aren't really marriages, as any of us have understood the word for a thousand years, unions that produce no offspring. The whole point of that tax break was to encourage reproduction. Subsidize something and you'll get more of it.

So now we're subsidizing non-reproductive couplings and birth control, at precisely the wrong time. Why, it's almost as though certain people want to see us slide into the abyss. And it's exactly the same people who have been expressing their contempt for America, through screeds, bomb throwing, bad poetry, and worse policy for the last fifty years. How surprising.

Bob Ellison said...

The more I think about it, the better the Planet of the Dogs and Humans idea sounds like the right idea. Picture Obama doing a speech kinda like Reagan did on SDI: "We promise that when we perfect this technology, we will offer it in peace to the rest of the world so that humans and dogs can look forward to a glorious future."

Shouting Thomas said...

And, by the way, why didn't The Handmaid's Tale destroy Margaret Atwood's reputation and end her career?

As per usual with feminism, everything about the book is wrong and a lie.

Evangelical Christians weren't and aren't a threat to the liberties of Canadians. Moslems were and are.

Atwood is a complete fucking idiot and poseur. She misidentified the enemy and constructed a phony martyr... western white women.

The Handmaid's Tale should have earned her the status of a laughing stock. And, yet, years later, Althouse is pointing to it as if it weren't the usual feminist brain dead bullshit.

Clyde said...

Well, there's always the "Mother Heroine" route that the Soviets tried, with the title and associated medal awarded to mothers for bearing and raising ten or more children. There was also the lesser award of the "Order of Maternal Glory and the Maternity Medal, intended for women with five to nine children."

The Wikipedia article notes "They were also entitled to a number of privileges in terms of retirement pension, the payment of public utility charges, and the supply of food and other goods."

Of course, in the end, Russia's demographics have cratered, so it appears that the program wasn't successful. However, I'm sure that, like communism, our progressive leaders can get it right THIS time!

Forward!

Paco Wové said...

Now, Pasta, Freder's just using a nonexistent problem to advocate proven-unworkable solutions that will advance his true goal of bigger government. He can't help it, it's a reflex thing.

Amexpat said...

Don't see how this is a problem as there are millions of able bodied adults trying to get into to the US to work and have a better life.

ricpic said...

When I was born the population of the United States was, give or take a few million, around 150 million. Now it's north of 300 million. If you love wide open spaces it's a catastrophe ALREADY. Basta.

Tim said...

Bob Ellison said...

"Tim, if America really does sit atop three trillion barrels of oil (roughly three times all the oil pumped since the dawn of time), we might be headed for a golden age. Two hundred trillion dollars' worth of energy resources would help the economy, unless we continue to allow anti-oil, anti-human people to keep it locked away."

Bob, we can't even drill a postage stamp lot in the shitty part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for 6 to 16 billion barrels...why would anyone ever bet we'd tap what we have elsewhere?

California had a plan to tap offshore oil about three years ago to help fix its yawning deficit, and the enviros killed it dead like it was a baby in utero.

So, yes, your point is well taken, but collectively, we're far too stupid to do anything sensible, so the prudent thing is let the idiots create their own dystopia.

I'll be dead by then. But even at that, I'm still sorry for my children. But there's no reason for my children to feel sorry for theirs, if they don't have them.

Tim said...

Freder proves my point.

The instinct of the idiots is more deficit spending and debt; more anti-business regulations.

Their policies create a vicious cycle, for which the majority has insufficient intelligence and self-discipline to correct.

It will get worse, far worse, before it gets better.

Why inflict that upon anyone, willingly?

AJ Lynch said...

Obama has not addressed our #1 problem because he is the cause of it- we have a huge confidence deficit.

Or IOW, what Peter said.

Joe Schmoe said...

Just take a few batches of Obama's sperm and artificially impregnate an army of Julias. God knows there are enough Sandra Fluke-like women who would line up for that. Then figure out how to clone the motherfucking offspring. Thousand year reign to follow!

Rusty said...

Inga said...
Freder, unfortunately won't ever happen in this country. Another entitlement, even if it encourages procreation and future tax payers? Nah.

How about we teach abstinence only sex ed in every school across the country, that might bump up the birth rate some.


Somewhere a litter of kittens has died.

James said...

Retailers in Japan now sells more adult diapers than infant diapers and Germany isn't that far behind Japan. Why should we replicate policies like deficit spending,"stimulus", parental leave policies, etc. when clearly then haven't worked in Japan nor Germany.

I should also point out that the payroll tax cut is equally deleterious to the viability of Social Security as the falling birth rate.

CWJ said...

Strange strange post Althouse. Global Warming? Really? At least we know what causes babies.

Look, Western civilization has been going down this road since the industrial revolution. Government policies short of China's have had little or no meaningful effect. (See Freder's suggestion, and Paco Wove's actual evidence).

I stopped reading the article as soon as I came to the first statistic. What is cited is NOT the Birthrate.

edutcher said...

Reminiscent of what the Indians did after Cortez conquered Mexico.

Talk about voting with your feet.

chickelit said...

How about an immigration policy which favors birthrates?

H1-B visas for parents, path to citizenship guaranteed; English required.


You mean the old, pre-Teddy Kennedy policy?

dbp said...

How about raising the social security tax to 20% (10% from employer, 10% from worker) but you pay 5% less for each child you have (for life)--so 4 kids and you pay zero. This will not only put more Dollars in the hands of parents, but also make them more attractive to employers too.

Also increase the per dependant tax deduction.

elkh1 said...

Babies? Who can afford them?

When one comes home to live in mommy's basement after saddling her with a student loan for a worthless degree, one is disinclined to make babies.

Sam L. said...

Lower taxes and regulations on business (see Obamacare's effects on business practices, 29-hour work weeks, etc.)could help them add jobs, help the economy, etc. But then there's the social problem of men not wanting to marry...

Pogo said...

1.2 million abortions in the US each year.
Unwanted pregnancies.

Contraceptives for unwanted pregnancies.

The birth rate is low because fewer and fewer people want babies.

The European disease has come to our shores.

I see the tragedy of the commons here, but I usually do in such massive behavior changes. It's all about incentives, and those arising from statism always end in nihilism and death.

chickelit said...

On topic, but I just made an audio visual of what the future sounds like: link

Sam L. said...

Global warming is a good thing. 15K years ago, Wisconsin was covered by glaciers. Or a bad thing, given UW in Madison.

Cedarford said...

chickelit said...
How about an immigration policy which favors birthrates?

H1-B visas for parents, path to citizenship guaranteed; English required.

================
Haiti, Fast breeding African nations, and the backwardsmost Muslim nations will happily take you up on that offer.

elkh1 said...

Why the hell would any responsible person want to make babies when he can't get a job to support himself?

leslyn said...

@Bob Ellison:

"Planet of the Humans and Dogs." Sounds like paradise to me.

My dogs already had me well trained. I'm sure they just would have added more walkies. And bones.

In return I'd love them as much as I always did, and they me.

I could live with that.

Cedarford said...

deborah said...
In the seeds of Western civilization lie its demise.

=========
no, the lack of new seeds of Western Civ believers vs fast-breeding weeds and copius seeds is the problem.

leslyn said...

P.S. Bob Ellison: Now that I think about it, they were good at picking out suitable men, too.

Akiva said...

There are segments of society that have maintained a solid or even exceptional birthrate. Perhaps you should take a look at them and see what they're doing right.

Mormons, Orthodox Jews, Evangelicals, to name a few. STRONG community usually organized around religion seems to provide a reliability structure.

chuck said...

Maybe the human species will go through one of those genetic bottlenecks. In 100,000 years the extinct branch from which Home Fecundus emerged will be call Homo Flukensis.

Cedarford said...

Joe said...
I propose that any and all references to "over population" and an Erlich style "population bomb" be removed from our public schools.

40 years of that propaganda has led too many to believe that a reduction in population is a good thing. In a civilized society, advocating that would be considered a crime against humanity.

=================
In your view, the overbred Malthusian nighmare places like Haiti and Egypt are paradises??

It looks like the Earth can sustain 20 billion humans and precious little remaining life and natural ecosystems outside what humans need as food to raise...and we all live at Haitian level. With of course no real freedom, as socialist planning will have to be in place from top to bottom to allocate scarce resources in the fairest possible way to those 20 billion.


Or sustain 3 billion, with people living on standards of living like Americans or Swedes, adequate resources, areas that can compensate for droughts and disruptions of resources of depletion of resources elsewhere - with natural ecosystems preserved.

A choice will be made on what Final Condition of the two options man ends up in.

Matthew Sablan said...

"If you love wide open spaces it's a catastrophe ALREADY. Basta."

-- There's plenty of wide open spaces; if we spread our population out more, that might actually be helpful so that we didn't have places like Detroit and parts of New York and D.C. that are so jam packed full of people.

wyo sis said...

Return the country to the conditions that favor large families. Government out of people's lives.
Respect for traditional families.
Low taxes.
Eliminate state social engineering.
Allow free market capitalism.

In short, return the United States to it's founding principles and allow them to work in people's lives.

Bob Ellison said...

leslyn, there are cat people, too, though. I like cats, and some of them like humans almost as much as dogs do, but I don't think Planet of the Cats will work.

But cat-lovers might need a concession. Maybe we could dedicate, say, the state of Maine to the Planet of the Cats just for those folks.

Then there are the peg pigs. Hmm. And they're said to be quite smart. Tasty, too!

Bob Ellison said...

Uh, *pet pigs.

Doc Holliday's Hat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Ellison said...

I could use help on the script for Planet of the Dogs and Humans. Anyone?

Doc Holliday's Hat said...

Kids are expensive. Simplest solution, reduce taxes, allowing people more leeway in what they spend on. Many (though certainly not all) will choose children because they will have more money, or more time (since they don't have to work as much to maintain a level of material comfort).

I'm kidding about the above, btw, but it comes from the fact that highly taxed states seem to be the ones with the lowest birthrate numbers and I actually do wonder if there's a bit of causation there.

Renee said...

The government can't do much about it, in terms of public policy directly related to child bearing. Baby bonuses don't work.


Make college and homes more affordable. Young adults spend their most fertile years, just dealing with these two costs. Also many parents do not want their young adults to settled down to get married and have kids. That doesn't mean more loans, that means lowering the actual cost of college and homes.


How many times do we hear a 50 year old woman make the claim she is 'too young to be a grandmother'.


College Students More Eager for Marriage Than Their Parents Are via Science Daily


"I think parents have a lot of fear for their kids that makes them want to delay the transitions to adulthood," Willoughby said. According to Census data, the median age for first marriages is 27. Willoughby says that what people say is the "right age" generally comes a few years before the actual marriage age. "What happens is that someone thinks that 25 is when they want to get married," Willoughby said. "So at age 25, they start changing their patterns around dating, and it takes two or so years to make the transition."


Tho social cues from young adults, isn't coming just from TV/Music/or even the government with subsidized contraception. The social cues are coming directly from our parents. They inform us we shouldn't be married until after college, travel, 'find yourself', and be able to mortgage yourself into a 500k McMansion.

I had good parents, who married young themselves, and were supportive of myself and husband getting married in our early 20s. I didn't want to live together with being married. I would of been a live-in girl friend who would just bitch and moan for a ring. Not living with a guy or sharing a joint bank account/credit, gave me the freedom to walk away from the relationship if we decided not to get married.

I never saw the benefit of co-habitation for women.

Bob Ellison said...

In Germany and other countries in Europe, the government pays people to have children. The money is called Kindergeld.

I am under the impression that the Nazis (please, I don't think this is a Godwin's Law situation) greatly favored this policy, but it remains today. Hasn't seemed to have helped Germany much, though.

Bob Ellison said...

I forgot to mention, just in case anyone is still reading my many posts, that Kindergelt allowances tend to rise with the number of children you have. So you might get a hundred bucks for one child, but you might get three hundred for two, and maybe six hundred for three. That's what makes it different from the USA's standard dependent deduction and child tax credit policies: having more children is encouraged.

Aridog said...

My experience living among three distinct minority groups is that Pew Research did some "weighting" of their data to fit their conclusion. Not quite bullshit, but close. Where they say foreign born families lead the decline I'd have to ask them to define where they measure and be specific about how representative their sample(s)were.

My observation, by no means "scientific," of local Detroit area African American, Mexican & Hispanic, and Arab communities says they are reproducing in prodigious numbers. In my immediate Arab neighborhood the rug rat numbers per family seem to be about 4 or more for every family.

These "studies" that "average" all groups are seldom, if ever, statistically sound and therefore imply nothing that can be correlated with various distinct populations...in other words, shape outcome to you desired conclusion by weighting averages.

Hagar said...

Renee,
It would be a good thing, I think, if more young women asked the question, "Cui bono?"

Renee said...

No my parents are not hippies, just Massachusetts Democrats, who claim they're independents.

Joe said...

@Cedarford: "In your view, the overbred Malthusian nighmare places like Haiti and Egypt are paradises??"

You should know that by the time he died, even Malthus wasn't a Malthusian.

You can't say you know the carrying capacity of the earth, because no one knows. Besides, the true bottleneck that concerns people isn't the total amount of raw material that the earth has. It's availability.

And availability increases as we get smarter.

Which brings up the fact that the only true shortage is a shortage of HUMAN BRAINS!

Regardless, we will leave the planet before we run out of whatever it is you think you want. Long before.

deborah said...

@c4

"no, the lack of new seeds of Western Civ believers vs fast-breeding weeds and copius seeds is the problem."


See the declining birthrate due to ennui and fatalism among white Europeans, compared to the influx of Muslims.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Ellison said...

Here's another modest proposal: young boys tend to love to throw things. Pay them to throw rocks at windows! This would encourage breeders to have more of them, and it would boost the economy by employing window-fixers.

In the interest of gender-balance, though, we need something for the girls, too. I'm a little afraid to speculate on that one. I have no daughters.

Fr Martin Fox said...

The U.S. isn't quite at crisis point in population trends, but we may be getting close; birthrates could recover--but not if the worshipers in the cult of contraception and planning have their way.

The thing is, most of the world has already been "disangelized" (my fanciful antonym for evangelized) in embracing contraception and sterilization. As it is, there are loads of people, here and abroad, who don't see the damage that's been done, and won't. For many, it's not about facts, it's about beliefs that are, in their own way, a kind of religion.

And progressives who continue on this path might note how eagerly racists and would-be Nazis join in; speaking of "Final Condition," since a "Final Solution"--to the "problem" of too many "weeds": dark-skinned people, too many Jews, Christians and Muslims--might be a little startling.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Bob Ellison:

The Nazis encouraged breeding among the "superior," and favored "population control" of the "inferior." Long before the Nazis erected elaborate systems for the "Final Condition"--er, I mean, "Final Solution," they had been promoting sterilization of "human garbage" and "unworthy" lives, and then euthanizing them. I believe that included abortion for the "inferior," but I don't have a citation handy. Abortion for "Aryans" was discouraged.

Renee said...

Fr. Marin,


I know several individuals who rejoice that we're below replacement level, and think it needs to be reduced further. Rather depressing to know individuals who may with complete genuineness care for all of humanity, but see the solution that there should be much less of us.

Bruce Hayden said...

H1-B visas for parents, path to citizenship guaranteed; English required.

We are pushing for something similar but just a little different - green cards for STEM college grads from American (or maybe even U.S. speaking) colleges and universities. And, yes, maybe extend that to the best and brightest STEM workers worldwide. I would probably throw in medical workers, esp. physicians, esp. if fluent in English.

Problem with the DREAM Act, etc. is that the wrong demographics are being recruited - those close to being functionally illiterate (i.e. HS grads and those working on graduating from HS - BFD). Sure, we can see how that translates into Dem votes, but do we really need more entry level, barely educated, workers and their large families? Or, might we do better recruiting the best and brightest around the world? Keep in mind that the people earning the minimum wage or slightly higher paying jobs just don't pay all that much in payroll taxes (and, nothing, of course, in income taxes). And, if they are recent arrivals tending towards large families, they tend to cost quite a bit in terms of subsidizing and educating those families.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add to my last post that the problems with H1B visas right now is first that they lack a clear path to citizenship, and that given the cost of obtaining such, etc., the people coming in on them are typically tied to the employer bringing them into this country. And, that results, to some extent, in quasi-servitude.

chickelit said...

You mean the old, pre-Teddy Kennedy policy?

Yes, the policies that favored a different flavor. We need to tweek diversity. My in-laws came over from Europe, just before the door closed.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Renee:

Yes, there are many motives. Some mistakenly buy the notion that this is a world of scarcity. Many fail to recognize that the greatest natural resource, the one that makes the most of all other resources, is human creativity.

The late Julian Simon--who wasn't a Christian, as far as I know, he was an atheist--made this point brilliantly. When the Malthusians kept at their false claims, he proposed a series of bets, that as I recall, were ultimately keyed to predictions about commodity prices.

As I recall, Paul Urlich, one of the more prominent advocates of population control, who predicted famine in the 70s, took one of Simon's bets, and lost.

Then you have folks who, as far as I can see, simply hate humanity. Even if you could show that there is, and will be, plenty of resources for all, they still want fewer of us. They consider humanity a pestilence on the earth. These are the folks who talk of voluntary extinction--their word! They dream of the demise of industrial and post-industrial civilization.

As Demographic Winter sets in during the next few decades, they may get some of what they want.

chickelit said...

@Bruce Hayden: The progressives could or should argue that automatic visas for STEM immigrants depresses the wages and earnings of native-born STEM students. OTOH, there is already lots of downwards pressure on wages and earnings because venture capital for start-ups is targeted, so maybe it's a wash.

Hagar said...

Yeah, Bruce,

I was just about to comment that you are a little off. The most "productive" of the newcomers look to me to be just those uneducated and indeed, sometimes illiterate, young people working their butts off cleaning yards and toilets, building garden walls, etc., to support themselves and get money to send their kids to school.

raf said...

Give married men an additional vote for each child they support. Watch the political landscape shift.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Intelligent and thinking people are too depressed to procreate. Or they are too absorbed in hedonism and feel that they have much more time to have children than they really do. So.....they wait until the perfect moment, until they have just the right amount of money and then...it is too late.

Idiocracy.

leslyn said...

@Renew,

The Problem:
"I would of been a live-in girl friend who would just bitch and moan for a ring."

The Question:
"I never saw the benefit of co-habitation for women."

The Solution:
[NOT getting married] ...."gave me the freedom to walk away from the relationship...."

leslyn said...

Low birth rate...Except for Social Security, which we already know will have to be changed, I don't see why this is a problem. Unless you think perpetuating your own group is best?

BTW, Hagar's got a point.

Hagar said...

It is amazing how many businesses around town were started by people who came her with nothing but the clothes they were wearing at the time.

kentuckyliz said...

The first two minutes of the film "Idiocracy" explains it all.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I don't think the problem is getting too many poor and illiterate people; we've always gotten plenty of such folks. They built this country.

The problem is that we don't do them, or our nation, any favors with the ready-to-go welfare state, with a generous ladling of multi-culturalism poured over it.

I realize we have it now, and we have to account for it. But let's not sell our nation short.

One of the great things about our nation is that it absorbed vast numbers of the "inferiors" as the racists and elitists would call them, and--with some elements of providence as well--we built ourselves to the greatest military and economic power ever.

And, unlike so many cultures in the world that simply cannot digest racial or religious minorities, we have taken in people of every color and religion, and formed a remarkably cohesive society nonetheless. It's the multi-culty advocacy that is creating problems, not the presence in our midst of people of different languages, races and creeds.

Renee said...

@leslyn

Break up with cohabitation is messy, atleast when married you have the legal remedy of divorce.
Saw friends deal with breaking leases, negotiating who pays what bills.

Get married, everything goes into the pot. Also the nice part of marrying young is marrying poor. None of his stuff/my stuff.

Joe Schmoe said...

I've often wondered how our evolution away from labor-intensive activities like farming have affected birth rates. When agrarianism was predominant, larger families meant more hands to pitch in.

Saint Croix said...

More honesty. Movies about abortion and how it affects women. Movies about missing out on having children, and how that affects women. The single-minded focus on sex as stimulation has been bad for women, and bad for our society as a whole.

Also exposure of the nutjobs in the government who want to curtail human reproduction.

Show our people the evil of socialism and expose the monsters in our government who want to remove unwanted people in order to improve our society.

Saint Croix said...

Tax abortion and tax credit for having a baby.

Lydia said...

Shouting Thomas said:
And, by the way, why didn't The Handmaid's Tale destroy Margaret Atwood's reputation and end her career?

I think the first few years after 9/11, Atwood may have suffered the tiniest bit of embarrassment, but it was pretty much not talked about, and the book now seems to be enjoying a resurgence in popularity.

Some of the customer reviews on Amazon say the book put them in mind of the lives of women in Muslim countries. So, a twofer for Atwood -- the book actually takes shots at Christians, but, hey, it's really all about Muslims.

Just watched reviews of the book by a couple of young women on YouTube that focus on how scary the future could be for women. Sounded like stuff directly out of the Obama campaign.

Saint Croix said...

And sex education that doesn't skirt the truth.

Lydia said...

leslyn said...

Low birth rate...Except for Social Security, which we already know will have to be changed, I don't see why this is a problem.

Here's what the Population Reference Bureau says:

The problem with low fertility is that it reduces population size not at all ages but only among the young. Low fertility produces an age structure that creates a momentum for future population decline, a situation that must be stopped at some point if the population is to be demographically sustainable. Also, populations with low fertility can fall in size at an extremely rapid rate. The longer low fertility is maintained, the harder it becomes to reverse population decline. Countries wishing to avoid this situation need to be aiming at attaining higher levels of fertility while their age structures still provide momentum for population growth.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Lydia:

Let's think forward: we know that the government, abetted by a lapdog media, is harping on how high medical costs are predominantly associated with care for the elderly. And the gov't has put in place it's care-rationing system.

Meanwhile, the efforts to legalize euthanasia continue apace. It's slow going, but it's coming along.

Add in the fact that before long, the people making the decision about "what to do with mom and dad" (or grandpa and gramma) will be the survivors of mom and dad's celebrated "choice" to either keep or kill their offspring. (I have to wonder what that feels like: to find out, as the youngest, that you had one or more siblings who was killed in utero. How can one not wonder, "did they think of killing me?")

The thought will occur: "Turnabout is fair play." "It's your duty, mom."

Oh, and by the way, in Europe, it's increasingly non-consensual. "It's for the best."

Terenthia said...

I am currently 32 weeks pregnant, by IVF/Donor Eggs, so I think I have a unique perspective on this problem. There are people out there who would dearly love to have children (about 8% of couples in child-bearing age) who are infertile. Provide a (large) tax credit for infertility treatments, and you'd have a significant lift in birth rate from people who actually want kids.

Also, providing incentives/help for pregnant women would be a good idea. My husband wants 3 kids; I don't know if I want to go through the pain and discomfort of pregnancy 3 times. If there were help/mitigation for this time, that would make it more likely I would choose to go through it again.

Aridog said...

Homo Sapiens; the only species in all of nature to intentionally self-suppress fecundity to the point that survival of some more advanced demographics is in doubt.

Not too sure we're the best and brightest after all?

Saint Croix said...

I don't see why this is a problem.

Particularly if you want a world dominated by Islam!

Captain Nerd said...

A people who live in hope have children, people who don't, don't. America the idea was always powerful enough to attract people who hope to have a better life in the future, and who feel like their efforts can bring that better future about. These people feel that they can leave a better world for their children and heirs, but when you start whittling away at the hope, when you start showing how hard work and sacrifice are futile and even stupid, you start to take away the desire to bring children into a world that won't be better, and even worse than it is now. Can this trend be reversed? Possibly, but it will likely take someone who can reach people in their hearts, and such people can't always be trusted with power.

Philip Van Styn said...

Eliminate Social Security.

Chip S. said...

I wonder what this thread would've looked like if the same data had been reported as, "Birthrate among foreign-born US residents plummets; rate among others nearly unchanged."

Which is what the Pew survey actually reports.

Bob Ellison said...

Terenthia, what you write makes sense. Some existing policies help mitigate the price of pregnancy already, but perhaps not enough. I favor pro-baby, pro-family policies, including some degree of help through tax authorities. I also favor a cultural shift, however it can be encouraged, toward valuing babies and families more. Feminists could lead the way on that.

Saint Croix said...

And the most common name in the UK is...

Fr Martin Fox said...

Another factor I suspect may be at work:
In a world run by lawyers and governed by an overall policy of lawsuit-avoidance, the adoption process is far more difficult than it used to be.

There are couples who would love to adopt, but can't get through the hurdles.

Of course, the problem of all those children that were aborted, or avoided, and thus not available for adoption, remains primary. However, even if there were lots more children to adopt, risk-avoidance would still gum up the works.

For this and other reasons, we're headed toward baby manufacturing. I assume someone's working on an artificial womb, so that the manufacturing of babies, completely apart from marital acts, can proceed full steam.

Hmmm, what happens if insurance companies decide that baby-manufacturing is safer than through acts of love?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Chip S.:

Well, fwiw, I've been plain about it. I consider plunging fertility for humanity a crisis, regardless of race or nationality.

Chip S. said...

Why?

n.n said...

Reproductive rights does not include elective abortion. It is a human rights violation. It is also unconstitutional to deprive a citizen of their life without due process of law. Apparently, construction of euphemisms is also a progressive enterprise.

As for progressive dysfunction which corrupts human beings and sabotages the viability of society, the first step is to replace "sexual education" and teach biology. People are already vulnerable to corruption and we should not promote confusion or unproductive behaviors as normal.

The cause of corruption is a dissociation of risk. The cause of evolutionary dysfunction is a dissociation from reality. The solution is clear but unpalatable to individuals who dream of instant gratification or who suffer from confusion. Efforts to normalize these behaviors has produced the intended results.

Anyway, the problem is comprehensive. We should begin the correction with removing incentives for exploiting differentials and gradients. People who exploit incidental features to advance their political, economic, or social standing should be marginalized and lose their legitimacy. They are of the same class as the eugenicists, the supporters of "Roe vs Wade", etc., and promote a general dysfunction for their personal benefit.

Denigrating individual dignity has its consequences. Devaluing human life has its consequences. Dissociating risk from actors and actions through involuntary redistribution schemes has its consequences.

Zorro said...

Shoot all the feminists.

Everything will self-correct overnight.

Chip S. said...

When the birthrate is up, we hear all about the coming pressure on worldwide food supplies and the spread of disease.

When it's down, we worry about who'll pay for publicly funded retirement benefits.

The latter is a self-made problem, and fixable. Lots of countries have already reformed their social security systems. We're way behind the curve on that.

Aridog said...

Chip S. said...

... "Birthrate among foreign-born US residents plummets;" ... [snip] ... Which is what the Pew survey actually reports.

I've already call BS on what the survey reports. Not scientifically mind you, but from 40 odd years of observation of three distinct minorities, two of them at least half foreign born.

The report is only semi-valid if Pew is measuring foreign born fecundity before emigrating versus fecundity upon arriving here. Then, even with reduced births, the foreign born still more than replace themselves, frequently by double.

Maybe it is different in other parts of the country. Around here folks who choose get paid for having more kids, by both state and federal subsidies. Sometimes those kids aren't even here yet, if ever...not to mention that marriage is not required either.

Pew needs a re-do on this one. The weighted averages to arrive at their apparently pre-concieved conclusion.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Chip:

First, because--in line with the work of the late Julian Simon--I consider people and their gifts and creativity to be the primary and most valuable resource we have.

People are not a drain or a burden on our society, they are the wealth of human society. We don't have a "too many people" problem, we have lots of other problems that are misdiagnosed as, "too many people."

Now, in theory, you could have too many people; and certainly, lots of places in the world fail to make the most of the people they have--for a variety of reasons, many places fail to have the conditions necessary for their populations to flourish. That's certainly true; but the issue isn't "population" but other factors.

Hong Kong is a highly populated place with relatively few natural resources, other than its people. Why is it rich? Because it has laws, values and other conditions fostering human potential. Haiti, on the other hand, lacks so many of these conditions, despite having natural resources Hong Kong lacks.

So, even if the trends were stable, rather than toward decline in fertility and eventually, population, I'd consider that a problem, although not a crisis. It'd be a missed opportunity.

But we have declining fertility, which not only leads ultimately to a population crash, but it also creates distortions that will create lots of problems along the way.

We're already experiencing some of them: the financial problems with Social Security, and the larger debt problems. Decades ago, the plan was for a gradually broadening base of younger workers, or at least not a quickly contracting base of workers, to sustain the commitments to retirees, and in the case of debt, to service the debt. While I'm not a fan of the presuppositions at work here, they were more workable than what we have now.

If you look overseas, you can see other nations further along toward a demographic, and eventually, a population, crisis. Japan, Russia, Europe, even China. Russia loses approximately 700,000 people a year, deaths over births. As the average age of the population rises, this will worsen. All manner of problems will likely overtake Russia as a result.

All these things are being written about in the secular press; usually on the financial pages.

Bob Ellison said...

The question is: do you prefer helping the people already here (or expected), or do you prioritize helping the species as a whole?

If the former, then subsidies, tax deductions, and other policies might do the trick. If the latter, then Zorro's suggestion starts to make sense.

Maybe you prefer something else, thinking humans are chosen by (a) higher being(s) to have a particular place in the universe, and/or that serving that (those) higher being(s) porpoises is the most important thing. That's out of my water.

Scott Anderson said...

The big difference is, global warming doesn't exist, while low birthrates are directly attributable to leftist policies. Ref: all of Europe, for about the last 100 years.

Lower marginal tax rates. Get out of the way of businesses. For God's sake, stop making it more economically attractive for people with low levels of education to rely on government than to form stable families.

R.C. said...

Obviously it's vital that the country subsidize contraceptives on the employer's dime, and religious liberty be damned.

Otherwise we'll be overrun with babies.

Carry on.

n.n said...

The Earth's system follows a chaotic model. While its behavior is bounded, it cannot be predicted outside of a limited frame of reference. This is due to an incomplete characterization of the system and its unwieldy composition.

The human system also follows a chaotic model. It is capable of limited influence on external systems, but unbounded destruction of itself. Is follows an order (i.e. conscious) independent but bounded by the natural order. However, unlike its influence of the natural order, it is capable of overriding the order of another human system through manipulation of perception and overtly brutish methods (e.g. murder, abortion).

While anthropogenic global warming is a fraudulent metric, and local and regional effects are speculative, the consequences of elective generational suicide can be observed after a single generation (approximately 2 decades).

The two are not equivalent, other than they are both associated with schemes to consolidate wealth and power with a minority, through the marginalization and evisceration of competing interests.

Segesta said...

Hmm. In a most dark, dystopian future, there would be no internet pr0n, and men would be forced to spend money on, have pointless conversations with, and listen to the interminable stories of, women. Resulting eventually in copulation and reproduction.

A frightening vision, I know.

n.n said...

Fr Martin Fox:

The problem of overpopulation has been mischaracterized. It is a concern, but not as it has been presented. The issue is principally concerned with density and resources, both natural and human. This is why illegal (i.e. unmeasured) immigration and converged migration are such a threat. Not only do they increase population densities, but they also challenge adaptation when occurring within a short period. The same problem can follow from reproduction within an indigenous population; but, unlike the other two processes, a native process is subject to self-moderation, especially when the people are capable of self-moderating behavior.

Koblog said...

"...reproductive freedom..." maybe, just might, be the problem.

Since 1973 and as of 2008, 50,000,000 women and men have been aborted. And in Sandra Fluke's Obamaworld 2008-2016, there are and will be many, many more.

America's made plenty of babies.

She simply killed them all -- and her future.

n.n said...

Fr Martin Fox:

There are several problems with the contributory entitlements, Social Security and Medicare, but the principal problem is compensating for inflation, which has been strictly progressive at around 2% per annum for at least the past 50 years. This has ensured that few people are able to pay for medical care and retirement without insurance and without a progressive pension, respectively.

The real problem is dissociation of risk, which has distorted everything in our society, engendered progressive corruption, and undermines our ability to effectively manage risk.

Fr Martin Fox said...

N.N.:

I understand. I don't know how old you are, but I'm 50--and I can remember, not so long ago, when there was pretty widespread beating of the drum for "population control."

What your comment rightly treats as overly simplistic was the argument that was presented, very widely, and simply taken as obvious truth: that the world faced a population "bomb" and all measures, why even drastic ones such as Red China's vicious policy, had to be countenanced.

Well, yes, the "experts" at some point started to see they'd created a monster. The political types continue to flog the "population bomb" claim, in order to sustain the public policy that supports their efforts. Maybe they still believe it, who knows? But "Planned Parenthood" folks will eat glass before they'll ever admit their prescription was bad medicine for the world.

Ten or 20 years ago, folks who challenged the "population bomb" were either laughed at as if they were flat-earthers, or vilified, or ignored. But they are being vindicated as we speak.

I think the 21st century may be marked by the "revenge" of Natural Law, and not just on this subject.

Jason said...

Abolish Social Security. This will give young people more money with which to start families, and more incentive to both save for their retirements and produce children who can help them in their old age.

Withhold the legal benefits of marriage from any couple that hasn't produced at least one child. Do not offer welfare benefits to single (non-widowed) mothers.

Repeal no-fault divorce. Make paternal custody the legal default in all divorce cases. Women, who initiate at least 60% of all divorces, will be less likely to do so if they stand to lose both their children and their income as a result.

Overturn Roe v. Wade, then outlaw all abortions-of-convenience, and require compelling evidence of rape before allowing abortions of rape-induced pregnancies (with severe criminal penalties for any woman who falsely claims rape in order to abort her child). Require doctors who perform abortions to save the mother's life to demonstrate that the mother's life was actually endangered, on pain of loss-of-license and imprisonment.

We won't see an end to socially pathological behavior until we stop rewarding it.

ALP said...

This is why polygamy is the next big marriage fight and the next evolution in family structure. Think about it - its tough for TWO people to raise kids. Add a third or fourth adult...think of what can be achieved. One can stay home and two can work...or two can stay home and two can work...

Either that or the extended family has to be revived.

Charles said...

Sssshhhhhhhh....

The future belongs to those who show up, and the only groups who are procreating are Evangelicals, Mormons and [conservative] Catholics.

So let the greenies continue their ZPG mindset. Let the liberals continue to postpone families until their late-30s. Let them adopt the "one and done" motto, (for the good fo the planet.)

The only long-term chance for liberalism is massive immigration. (But after a generation or two the above trend reasserts itself.)

Peter said...

It's actually pretty simple. End the war on religion and bring back traditional Christianity. Our four kids and eleven (so far) grandchildren will be footing the bill for all of you that went with the one, late in life designer children. Of course, that is, no doubt, your intention.

There are a whole slew of folks out here, away from the leftist bastions of the big cities, who are wondering why your bad choices are our problems?

Peter said...

It's actually pretty simple. End the war on religion and bring back traditional Christianity. Our four kids and eleven (so far) grandchildren will be footing the bill for all of you that went with the one, late in life designer children. Of course, that is, no doubt, your intention.

There are a whole slew of folks out here, away from the leftist bastions of the big cities, who are wondering why your bad choices are our problems?

Renee said...

Fr. Martin,

I have so many older relatives (your age plus), who believe only if the Church accepted contraception there would be more people in the pews.

Only if!

I know it's your job to share the Good News, but I'm amazed at the cradle Catholics who are so ignorant of the Church's teachings and so unwilling to learn them proclaiming like Joe Biden that Vatican II meant moral relativism was now Doctrine.

You would think they would be happy that I embracing the Church's teachings, instead I get crap for being 'conservative'.

Balfegor said...

Collapsing birthrates is only a problem because you end up with workers supporting too many retirees, either directly (one grandchild supporting 4 grandparents) or indirectly (through social security or other wealth transfers). We're late to this party -- Japan has been struggling with it for maybe two decades, Korea for perhaps a decade? I think Europe has encountered it too. No one has found a solution to the underlying problem.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with an aging population if you can circumvent the support ratio problem, though. And the answer, I think, is massive investment in poor, fertile countries. Invest in and gain control over their capital assets, so we are entitled to a share of their revenues 10 or 20 or 30 years hence, when we are old and feeble, and need their currency to buy their products. Invest in long-lived IP rights that will continue to provide us with revenue. Rejigger the international IP property regime to provide longer protection terms for patents, so we can extract rents from other peoples in the more distant future. Is there any reason they should put up with this? Not really. But if we lay the trap now, perhaps we can get buy-in from their elites and power-brokers, and frustrate popular attempts to overturn the system a generation or two hence.

Also, robots.

Renee said...

Charles, In the mean time my children and Peter's grand children are going to be burdened with the Baby Boomer bubble.

Renee said...

Bal,

"I think, is massive investment in poor, fertile countries. Invest in and gain control over their capital assets, so we are entitled to a share of their revenues 10 or 20 or 30 years hence, when we are old and feeble, and need their currency to buy their products. "


Many of these countries have family planning initiatives to lower their birth rates, they see children as a threat to their development not an asset.

Balfegor said...

Sorry, underlying problem = too few children.

kurt9 said...

How about telling singles that they have to pay Social Security taxes at a rate that will actually fund their own retirements? Bumping them perhaps a factor of 4 or 5 (Say 35% of gross income?)

Why social security? Put the money into a 401K or IRA makes FAR more sense. Just raise the limits on IRA contributions to 35% of gross pay.

Seriously, this is a non-issue. It certainly does not justify manipulating the tax system to force people who don't want kids into having this. This is dumb. What makes you think forcing people into having kids would even be good parents?

Anyways, I think radical life extension will put paid to this problem over the next 20 years:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/09/george-church-outlines-pathway-to.html

http://carcin.oxfordjournals.org/content/26/5/867.short

http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/11/continuous-supply-of-rejuvenated-stem.html

Balfegor said...

Re: Renee:

Many of these countries have family planning initiatives to lower their birth rates, they see children as a threat to their development not an asset.

True enough, although I'm not sure how successful they are in the aggregate (if you factor out how in many countries, they used to have 10 children, but half of them died in infancy, etc.). That said, you raise an excellent point! WE support lots of these initiatives. We should stop.

ALP said...

Bruce Hayden:
Let me add to my last post that the problems with H1B visas right now is first that they lack a clear path to citizenship, and that given the cost of obtaining such, etc., the people coming in on them are typically tied to the employer bringing them into this country. And, that results, to some extent, in quasi-servitude.
********
I did business immigration as a paralegal for 10 years. H-1B's already have a clear path to citizenship - the three step, employer-sponsored green card process. And there are rules in place to allow them to change employers fairly easily - even while a green card application is pending. The idea of H-1B's being "stuck" to their employers has not been true since Clinton changed the rules back in late 1999 or so.

Further, having slug hundreds of H-1Bs - you'd be surprised at how small the families are. The only large families from India are those that keep having daughters and are trying for sons! Ditto those from China - they seem to carry the "one child" rule to the US. Oddly, the largest families were some of the Canadians...and those Catholics from South American countries. But, overall, the foreign nationals I have worked with have the same birthrate patterns as native born US citizens.

FlyoverRed said...

The future belongs to the fruitful. Optimistic parents have children...and in our religiously observant Jewish neighborhood, the average is 3+...despite the fact that living an observant Jewish life is expensive: keeping kosher, paying day school tuition and Jewish summer camp, plus Israel summer experiences and a year in Israel after high school. Liberals tout gay rights, birth control and abortion...fine; they'll put themselves out of business in another generation or two! There will always be a faithful remnant of the Jewish people...and we're not liberal!!

Renee said...

Bal,

They see it as 'choas'

Nigeria: High Fertility 'Chaos' for Nigeria

"If women continue having an average 5 children each, the number of school age children requiring education could exceed 33 million, instead of 20 million projected.

Resources required for primary school teachers to handle them could top N4.4 billion.

According to the estimates, Nigeria would have to import 400 million extra tonnes of rice to feed its population.

It would also need to create up to 1.5 million additional jobs. Unemployment among young people last year stood at 71%."


The world's answer is to restrict a woman's reproductive freedom on how many babies she is allowed to have, rather then work on the economy.

Seldon said...

Find ways to reduce the cost of raising a family like ceasing attempts to keep the housing sector inflated and lowering taxes. It is no less important to lower the average age women have their first child. I suggest shortening both secondary and post-secondary education by a year. Most deep economic slumps experience a drop in birthrates. So for the fast part we may just have to make do while in the meantime put into place policies of the sort I mentioned that can most take advantage of the rebound when it comes.

Joe said...

This is a bad thing only if insist on the younger generation paying the increasing debts imposed by the older. While the earth could probably destroy twice or three times its current population, do you really want to live there?

jeff said...

"Freder, unfortunately won't ever happen in this country. Another entitlement, even if it encourages procreation and future tax payers?"

What jobs will they be doing to become tax payers? Is that our current problem? Too many jobs, not enough workers?

Erika said...

I'm doing my part.

Had three, adopted one. Would love to have had a couple more, but it wasn't in the cards.

I have abandoned the feminism I was raised with and tell all of my kids that while they have many gifts to apply to the world, the most important thing they will do is to marry, preferably in their 20s, and have children, preferably lots of them. I also tell them that the Lord tasks very few people with jobs and concerns that are so important that they are more important than their families.

It scandalizes my divorced girl power feminist progressive mother!

sustainliberty said...

In short, we need a society where people can enter the productive world while young.

Reduce the cost of single-family housing.

Discourage the high school to university track. Encourage more employment direct from high school. Education should more often come in the form of on-the-job apprenticeships for the most promising candidates.

leslyn said...

So, Lydia the answer is yes, we're concerned about reproducing our own group.

Aridog and St. Croix say so too.

Renee said...

Get rid of long summer breaks in high school/college. Graduate a year or two earlier for many.

leslyn said...

Poor Renee; if only we were producing at the chaotic rate of Nigeria, things would be great. If only.

BTW, re yr previous post on how divorce is less messy than a non-marital split-up--are you sure you're from this planet?

Inga said...

So, let me get this straight, no one is really concerned about immigrants having more children, or minorities, it's the white birth rate that is causing all the angst here?

More Quiverfull families needed I suppose.

Lee Reynolds said...

The birth rate is low because hope for the future is also low.

Our nation is falling into ruin on multiple fronts and people are expected to bring children into this picture?

Not bloody well likely.

Unless and until our nation rights itself and begins moving in a good direction, don't expect potential parents to assume the risk and responsibility of raising children.

Want to see more kids being born? Fight for your freedom and the freedom of others. Fight to purge our nation of the poisons that are currently dragging it down.

Dave said...

My fertility plan is to abolish Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid and repeal all laws concerning parental discipline, school attendance, and child labor. Abuse and exploit your kids all you want, but remember that you'll be dependent on them someday.

I don't expect Congress to pass this law; but they'll achieve the same effect by spending us into third-world poverty. If you're childless and infertile, EBT-less single mothers will be happy to sell you all the rugrats you can handle.

leslyn said...

Renew said,

"Get rid of long summer breaks in high school/ college. Graduate a year or two earlier for many."

And??? What does this accomplish? Turning out more young people into the world to get married when their brains haven't even finished developing yet?

Or perhaps it's to eliminate parenting classes for pregnant mothers and the fathers who choose to stay in school?

2littlemuch2late said...

Throughout the world, developed "socialist" countries with high exploitation levels of their citizens experience population collapse, and someone actually thought government subsidy of infertility treatment to women who didn't want the pain of childbirth was a good idea????

leslyn said...

Lee Reynolds said,

"Fight to purge our nation of the poisons that are currently dragging it down."

And these would be...? I know I'm interested to find out.

Brett said...

Programs like Social Security and Medicaid effectively make children a collective good; Even people who don't bother having them get supported in their old age by taxes on the children others sacrificed to raise.

The classic solution to a collective good being under produced is to stop making it collective. My answer:

Make SS payments dependent on the taxes paid by the recipient's children. Then you'd have a strong incentive, for your own good in old age, to both have children, and make sure they were raised to be productive.

Fat Man said...

"Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen."

The Elite have taken the advice of this poet:

The Solution
Bertolt Brecht

"After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writer's Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts.
Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?"

One less quarrelsome and more submissive, to play the role of Morlocks to their Eloi?

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

Leslyn, my same exact thought, name the poisons.

2littlemuch2late said...

Throughout the world, developed "socialist" countries with high exploitation levels of their citizens experience population collapse, and someone actually thought government subsidy of infertility treatment to women who didn't want the pain of childbirth was a good idea????

V10 said...

Sam L. (and others): "But then there's the social problem of men not wanting to marry..."

And this is the rock upon which everyone's schemes and policies is wrecked.

If I marry and have kids, I run about a 40-50% chance of it ending in divorce, and being locked into indentured servitude for decades, or even life in some jurisdictions. And if we don't pay, or can't pay because we're un(der)employed in a terrible economy, we go to jail. And then we're expected to magically produce alimony/child support payments while we are incarcerated and unable to earn a living.

Where do I sign up?

So, until a bachelor tax or other incentive scheme costs me and other men MORE than years of post-divorce payments and legal bills and lost time and a criminal record, nothing will change. Oh yes, there will be some new revenue streams for the tax collectors, but not more children.

leslyn said...

ALP said...

"This is why polygamy is the next big marriage fight and the next evolution in family structure."

Peter said,

"It's actually pretty simple. End the war on religion and bring back traditional Christianity."

Dave said,

"If you're childless and infertile, EBT-less single mothers will be happy to sell you all the rugrats you can handle."

And here people on this thread thought The Handmaid was discredited.

Renee said...

leslyn,

Our brains are delayed due to cultural influences, not biological, the concept of being a teenager is only over 100 years old.

Naturally we're adults much sooner, at puberty, but it is our parents that convince that we're not mature enough and refrain from giving us a skill set of grown-ups. Why make us fertile, when we will not have children for another 15 years, from an evolutionary point of view that makes no sense.

I know plenty of older adults that had babies and went to work as teens, they're perfectly fine.


"The factory system doesn't work in the modern world, because two years after graduation, whatever you learned is out of date We need education spread over a lifetime, not jammed into the early years—except for such basics as reading, writing, and perhaps citizenship. Past puberty, education needs to be combined in interesting and creative ways with work."



leslyn said...

V10 said,

"If I marry and have kids, I run about a 40-50% chance of it ending in divorce, and being locked into indentured servitude for decades, or even life"

Most parents don't consider it indenture servitude. (Well, maybe on a bad day....)

You're right, I don't think you're good father material yet. Like that Sargento Cheese commercial, your "ready" box hasn't been checked.

leslyn said...

Renee said,

"leslyn, Our brains are delayed due to cultural influences, not biological,...."

Cite one credible scientist who can demonstrate this.

Renee said...

Remind you, I said nothing about making babies. All I was doing was condensing secondary education by getting rid of long breaks, what individuals choose do whether get married, be single or to have children is up to them.

wildswan said...

What about looking at those who ARE having children right now and finding out why they did have children? And how do they differ in their ideas (or values or whatever it is)from those who do not have children? And how can one be changed into the other?

Renee said...

Trashing Teens from Psychology Today published in 2007, and reviewed in 2012

" IQ is a quotient that indicates where you stand relative to other people your age; that stays stable. But raw scores of intelligence peak around age 14-15 and shrink thereafter. Scores on virtually all tests of memory peak between ages 13 and 15. Perceptual abilities all peak at that age. Brain size peaks at 14. Incidental memory—what you remember by accident, and not due to mnemonics—is remarkably good in early to mid teens and practically nonexistent by the '50s and '60s."


"Teens in America are in touch with their peers on average 65 hours a week, compared to about four hours a week in preindustrial cultures. In this country, teens learn virtually everything they know from other teens, who are in turn highly influenced by certain aggressive industries. This makes no sense. Teens should be learning from the people they are about to become. When young people exit the education system and are dumped into the real world, which is not the world of Britney Spears, they have no idea what's going on and have to spend considerable time figuring it out."


-------------


Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Birth rates always fall in socialist or near-socialist countries because, for a little while, people actually believe "the state" will take care of them in older years.

It never works, of course, because declining birth rates pull the rug out from under old age programs.

Renee said...

"Although headlines tell us that teen turmoil is caused by an immature “teen brain,” the teen brain is a myth perpetuated by drug companies to make us put our teens on prescription drugs. And it's working: We're now giving more psychoactive drugs to our teens than all other prescription medications combined, including acne medication and antibiotics." –DREW PINSKY


Maybe teenagers wouldn't be so depressed, if we just let them be adults with adult responsibilities.

Balfegor said...

RE: leslyn:

Renee said,

"leslyn, Our brains are delayed due to cultural influences, not biological,...."

Cite one credible scientist who can demonstrate this
.

I'm not sure I follow exactly what Renee is saying, but her basic point seems to be that humans can reach effective maturity around the age of 14. Which lines up well with basic historical experience. One of my great-grandfathers, for example, married at the age of 14; my great-grandmother was 12 at the time, if I recall correctly. That said, a prolonged adolescence isn't exactly unheard of in history -- apparently, average age of marriage in England for women has hovered around 25 for a long time, and for men it has been a little higher. It's not that Korean brains mature faster than English brains -- at least, certainly not 10 years faster. It's culturally determined.

ambienisevil said...
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ambienisevil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
2littlemuch2late said...

Which then raises the question "Why are we being pushed to follow Europe?"

Balfegor said...

Re: Bart Hall:

Birth rates always fall in socialist or near-socialist countries because, for a little while, people actually believe "the state" will take care of them in older years.

I don't think that's the only thing at work here -- look at Hong Kong, for example. Hong Kong has historically had low levels of welfare spending (although I think it was strengthened after the Asian financial crisis). Nevertheless, today it has one of the lowest birthrates in the world. I think a lot of that is explained by super-expensive housing. But also, I think it's because -- common to the rest of the developed world -- it offers a lot of fun things to do which you really cannot do with children. The opportunity cost of having children is much, much higher, given the amusements available to single people in the modern world.

At the same time, the rise in personal autonomy has meant that children no longer feel the same need to obey their parents when they are ordered to (a) marry and (b) start producing heirs.

Lastly, contraception has successfully decoupled sex from reproduction. So the evolutionary carrot that got us to reproduce in the past no longer works, except with those too stupid or too incontinent to use contraception.

Balfegor said...

Re: ambienisevil:

Japan has one of the worst cases of this, but look at it realistically. They don't have much space - without going to war to gain it. They have too many people. Once the population is down, it'll be better, and reproduction rate will kick back up.

They actually have plenty of space; it's just that rather than sticking around in the countryside, everyone is moving to the mega-cities, where space is at a premium.

Inga said...

Getting married and having children when the couple feel the time is right, with age and financial situation guiding them, is still the best bet, IMO. Liberal, conservative, religious or not, the drive to procreate is still strong. All the angst over the number of children a couple chooses to have is ridiculous. Worried? Go have a half dozen kids yourself and quit bugging everyone else about their choices.

2littlemuch2late said...

Neat thought, but my children would have to support you.

Rustling Leaves said...

This would kind of piss me off because I just payed off my student loans, but I do think some student loan forgiveness would help the situation. More generous child tax credits. Lower college tuition (this is a HUGE future fear for young parents) and more tracks to earning a living that involve apprenticeship and trades. This would help twofold, one to alleviate parent worries about their children's future and also to get current twentysomethings on a path that gives them the stability to raise a family. Maybe it IS time for a bailout for ordinary Americans. I was against the Wallstreet bailouts and for a long time against bailing out anyone. I am starting to agree with some of the occupiers, the greedy banksters got theirs, maybe it is time to give something back to the people.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

None of you get it.

Children are undervalued because they are easy to produce and they don't die young anymore.

Simple economics.
Prior to 1800, the majority of children died before they reached puberty, so child-raising was a valuable skill and children a valuable commodity.

Now, it takes zero skill to raise a child to puberty, child-raising is NOT a valuable skill, so children are not valued.

There is no way to reverse this while still maintaining the whole "reproductive freedom" crap.

It's like saying, "Let's make men want to get married! But we have to respect everything that contributes to overblown hypergamy."

Yo. Due to hypergamy, most men can't measure up to women's standards and there is no cultural incentive for them to try.

You can't maintain "reproductive freedom" - access to the very drugs and abortion procedures that helps make children culturally low-value, while insisting you want to raise the birth rate.

Ann is a pure blonde.

Balfegor said...

re: Inga:

Go have a half dozen kids yourself and quit bugging everyone else about their choices.

I don't think anyone would particularly care, if it weren't for the redistributive wealth transfers built into social security and medicare.

2littlemuch2late said...

Well that explains the lowest birthrate EVER title.

Balfegor said...

Re: Rustling Leaves:

This would kind of piss me off because I just payed off my student loans, but I do think some student loan forgiveness would help the situation. More generous child tax credits. Lower college tuition (this is a HUGE future fear for young parents) and more tracks to earning a living that involve apprenticeship and trades.

Everything there except, maybe, apprenticeship/trades, has already been tried in Japan and/or Europe. College tuition, in particular, may be a huge fear for young parents here, but it's irrelevant for parents in, say, Germany, which has a total fertility rate is 1.39.

Those policies failed.

SH said...

heh; that's only part of the problem.

If were are going to be a soft dictatorship (ah la EU) run by various government agencies... I'm outta here... which of course means my family / kids already here. See ya serfs.

Inga said...

Judeo Christian principles say we are all bothers and sisters, no longer true? I see that we as a society are becoming more nuclear, tighter family units, less open to strangers in need. Helping care for those of us who are infirm, old, no longer a priority?

So if the couple ends up childless, due to choice or biology, should they be excluded from collecting SS?

leslyn said...

@Renee: Psychologist Robert Epstein? The Berkeley/San Francisco Epstein?

"He gave students in one of his classes at University of California, San Diego extra credit for taking part in affection building exercises. [5] At one time he used himself as an experimental subject to investigate this. [6]"

Sorry, not taking my kid to him for lessons in responsible adulthood.

That's the best you can do re:biology?

2littlemuch2late said...

If they make up 50% of the population. Yes.

Joe Schmoe said...

You people are overthinking it with tax breaks or social security incentives.

Just offer a free iPhone with every baby. Problem solved.

Lydia said...

leslyn said:
So, Lydia the answer is yes, we're concerned about reproducing our own group.

Just who’s the “we” in that “we’re concerned”?

The linked Washington Post article indicates policymakers have been hoping the opposite is true:
“A continuing decrease [among foreign-born women] could challenge long-held assumptions that births to immigrants will help maintain the U.S. population and create the taxpaying workforce needed to support the aging baby-boom generation.”

2littlemuch2late said...

Besides, if they end up childless by choice, aren't they getting their benefits up front?

Palladian said...

It scandalizes my divorced girl power feminist progressive mother!

And that's what it's all about, isn't it!

leslyn said...

a-i-e said,

"Four young people should not have to work just to pay for one spoiled, corpulent boomer's social security, right?"

Agreed. Soc Sec is supposed to be a safety net. Remove the limits on contributions, institute means-testing, and those spoiled, corpulent boomers will be out of your hair in no time.

2littlemuch2late said...

Judeo-Christian doctrine is to go forth and multiply.

jr565 said...

Maybe actually make abortions rare. (or rarer). How many millions of babies have been aborted since abortion became legal?

leslyn said...

Doctrine??

Balfegor said...

RE: Inga:

So if the couple ends up childless, due to choice or biology, should they be excluded from collecting SS?

If we have to pay for social security, then we legitimately have an interest in the behaviours (e.g. not having children) that increase the burden on us. If we don't have to pay, then we don't have an interest.

The premise of this entire discussion is that we have to pay, so we want to find some way to get people to have children, so the per-person burden will be reduced. If you don't like that -- and you seem not to -- the alternative is to say we don't have to pay at all, and we can all go our own ways.

2littlemuch2late said...

teaching. semantics.

Balfegor said...

Also, Inga. Re:

Judeo Christian principles say we are all bothers and sisters, no longer true?

I'm neither a Christian nor a Jew, so I don't particularly care what "Judeo Christian principles" say.

I see that we as a society are becoming more nuclear, tighter family units, less open to strangers in need. Helping care for those of us who are infirm, old, no longer a priority?

Is this a one way street -- pay and STFU? That's absurd. If you want national community, it needs to be two way. People who are getting the wealth transfers have a social responsibility they need to live up to too. A heavier one than the ones who are paying for it all.

2littlemuch2late said...

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005067.html

I can't find ANY info to suggest it was this low in the 20's. Any suggestions?

Inga said...

Hear Hear Leslyn! Means testing is a must do if they are serious about entitlement reform.

I'm all for those who wish to have lots of children, feel free have them. But putting a few things in place to make it easier for couples to have more children, isn't acceptable Americans either.

You want people to have more kids? It's gonna cost ya up front.

Philip Van Styn said...

Bret @ 4:03 PM

Wrong! Get the gov't out of it altogether!
Get our children out of the village commons. Shrink the village commons by transferring it into the the private sphere. Leave a means tested safety net, if you must. Before SS, private philanthropy eschewed waste; that was means testing w/o gov't.

Inga said...

Even though SS isn't an entitlement.

n.n said...

Fr Martin Fox:

I'm one generation removed from you.

It's not a coincidence that individuals in high density population centers are predisposed to corruption. As population density increases, so do competitive pressures.

If the trend persists, the 21st century will exhibit a progressive dysfunction. However, there is still a chance we can avoid conclusive corruption. There is evidence to suggest the "progressive" cycle is concluding. The only question is if there will be a critical mass to avoid the evolutionary cliff, and if the correction will not overshoot the mark (i.e. lead to another extreme).

leslyn said...

Balfegor,

This thread has been all over the place, not just Soc Sec. Perpetuating our own kind, religious imperatives, etc.

To go back to an argument that children should leave school earlier because they are fertile and thus adult, for instance.

That may have had importance when life spans were short, child mortality high, and a significant need existed for unskilled labor. But those things went out the window generations ago. Even farming requires knowledge of crop science these days.

I don't understand the bias against education I see so often here. American employers are in need of more skilled workers, not less.

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