Aug
04
2013

Regarding the Baby Bust.

Interesting (H/T: Hot Air Headlines):

The U.S. fertility rate will rise from its 25-year low of 1.89 children per woman in 2012 to 1.90 in 2013, according to a report released yesterday from the analytics firm Demographics Intelligence. While the increase is slight, it represents the first time the birth rate has risen since the recession hit. In 2007, the rate was 2.12 children per woman.

[snip]

Part of the reason for the turnaround is that religious women are having more babies, the report finds. Women who attend weekly religious services intend to have 2.62 children, while those who rarely or never attend services plan to have 2.1 children.

At the other end of the spectrum, some women are choosing not to have any children at all, according to this week’s Time magazine cover story, “Having it All Without Having Children.” In it, author Lauren Sandler, who has made a name for herself by establishing the case for being and having an only child, argues that more women are opting not to become parents, and instead are looking for new paths of acceptance “in a culture that often equates womanhood with motherhood.”

I know quite a few people who would call that last paragraph a “self-correcting problem.”  I was noting something similar on Twitter earlier: there’s a certain long-term demographic feedback loop that occurs when any particular group’s personal, moral, ethical, and/or religious beliefs causes its members to deliberately scale back their fertility.  Just ask the Shakers*… well, OK, you can’t.  Which is the point.

Besides: this may not even really be a thing.  Fertility rates are somewhat hard to codify, as even a cursory examination of What to Expect When No One’s Expecting will reveal.

Moe Lane

*What’s that?  You think that I’m suggesting that the Gnostic disdain for, and rejection of the world, that informed certain sects in the 19th century is alive and well and exists in various quasi-secular denominations commonly found among my political opponents? …Well, you might say that; but I couldn’t possibly comment.

22 Comments

  • AndaO says:

    Darn it. I may just have to donate to your habits again. Because… darn it. You are staring to be the first thing I look up in the morning. Just to get the day rolling as it were.
    Please note: I have four children ( and two steps). None are going to match me for offspring. deep sigh. I have scaled down my expectations for 2 dozen grands. I will celebrate whatever I can get. The sad part is.. if the children voted.. they voted for O. And 4 out of 6 believe in global warming. Sigh

  • jbird says:

    We did our part. But then we also regularly attend religious services too. Should people who CHOOSE not to have children be allowed to collect social security? I think they should do the right thing and opt out.

    • Cameron says:

      Excuse me? So just because I make a choice not to have kids, I should “opt out” of Social Security? Will I get all the money back that I’ve been forced to pay into it for the past 28 + years? And from that point on am I allowed to keep more of that money?

      • Cameron says:

        Oh and do I get all the money back that was taken out of my property taxes to pay for your childrens’ schooling? Just wondering.

        • jbird says:

          Social Security is a tax. There’s no account like a 401k. You and I are simply paying for the prior generation’s current retirement. Don’t know about you, but there’s not going to be any social security by the time I retire anyway.

          Also, tried the schooling you are paying for. My kids came home and told me we are running out of oil and the oceans are turning black. Now I pay for school because the schooling you are paying for sucks. Unless you live in my town, you’re not paying for it anyway, property taxes are a local government issue (as most taxes ought to be). When I can get federal school choice vouchers, we can re-negotiate my kids paying for your retirement, if it still exists. 😉

          • Cameron says:

            And yet you didn’t answer my other questions: If I “opt out” do I get the money back that I’ve been forced to pay and would I get the money back from property taxes?
            .
            If you’re going to claim that I should not pay into this system just because I don’t have kids, I’m interested in seeing what I get in return.

          • jbird says:

            I told you, your social security payments went to your parents’ generation. You’ll have to go see them if you want your money back.

            I would suppose your “return” is not paying the $250k* it costs to raise a child to the age of 18.

            *-according to the USDA

          • jbird says:

            Hardly seems fair for me to pay $750,000 to raise my kids and then have them turn around and pay for your retirement.

          • acat says:

            Sure, Cameron .. right after you accept that you won’t receive any benefits that jbird’s kids bring to society.
            .
            Best hope you don’t need jbird’s (or others) kids to wipe your {ahem} when you’re old, eh?
            .
            Mew

          • Cameron says:

            Really, acat? I pay money for long term insurance, save for retirement, and invest in plans that care for me if I’m unable to. But because I don’t have kids, “don’t expect other people’s kids to wipe my *ahem*”?
            .
            Sounds more than a little condescending from where I’m sitting.

      • sicsemperstolidissimum says:

        If you decide to rely on social security instead of raising children or salting away the oppurtunity cost of children in savings, it isn’t my problem. If there is any question about the integrity of the money supply, the best way to provide for old age is to have children.
        .
        When you are young and able, you can provide for yourself. Money is a way of storing the profit of your current efforts for use later. However, money that you store and spend in college age is backed by the ability of the future labor fore. For the money to be useful then, the future labor force must have the size and productivity to provide that value.
        .
        Social security has the downside, because it isn’t structured to favor productivity or childrearing, of encouraging people to think their old age is provided for when they haven’t put a priority on economic productivity or child rearing.
        .
        If I don’t have kids, that is my problem.

        • Cameron says:

          If you decide to rely on social security instead of raising children or salting away the oppurtunity cost of children in savings, it isn’t my problem.
          .
          Agreed. And I have given up quite a bit of income and poured it into my retirement account. I’m annoyed about Social Security because it’s collapsing but I’m still not allowed to get out of it and put the money to better use.
          .
          the best way to provide for old age is to have children.
          .
          There’s no guarantees on that front either.

          • acat says:

            “Certainly the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you, if you don’t bet you can’t win”. -RAH
            .
            Mew

          • jbird says:

            I’m just yanking your chain of course. I’d love to get out from social security right now too. However, it is a system that is built on the young paying for the retirement of the old. So, if there aren’t enough young around to fund it, well, you and I aren’t getting our money back. So start breeding!

    • zamoose says:

      If we stack the IPAB correctly, they won’t have a choice!

  • midwestconservative says:

    So liberals are starting to not have children. That’s good but how do we deal with all children of Republicans that keep on going full Ronulan/Michael Moore on us.

    • Cameron says:

      As a recovered liberal, I’ve observed that the solution is usually a matter of the parents being good role models and countering the idiocy we learn in school.

    • acat says:

      Fix colleges. More conservatives .. or at least right-leaning moderates .. need to become professors.
      .
      Mew

  • Darin_H says:

    Well, we’re keeping up our end of that bargain… church and 3 kids. And our congregation has about 40% of its “members” under the age of 10, we’re multiplying (and hopefully bringing them up right*). Funny how those who value life have value for more life.

  • Nancylee says:

    Well, we did our part. We have 7 children including 1 set of twins, and 8 grandkids as well as 2 steps.

    And the secret to preventing them from absorbing all the Leftist pap is to talk to them a lot, and give them an example by the way you live.

    We did. And we raised 7 Conservatives, including one Navy petty officer and a Marine staff sergeant.

  • earlgrey says:

    As a woman, I did not want to have children at all until early 30s. I wish I had more than the 2 I have. I have found nothing more fulfilling. I should have started earlier.

    I don’t blame anyone for my choices, but I do wish there was more talk about how wonderful having kids can be (and not just the stupid stories of the magic of giving birth).

    • jbird says:

      I wonder how long until the left gets panicky about their pyramid schemes not having enough suckers at the bottom and/or being out bred by the right. Will we see motherhood medals like the soviets used to give out?

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