More babies, please

  • Article by: ROSS DOUTHAT , New York Times
  • Updated: December 2, 2012 - 11:24 AM

American fertility plunged with the stock market in 2008, and it hasn't recovered.

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traderbillDec. 2, 1211:47 AM

Interesting article. In Tom Friedman's book, From Beirut to Jerusalem, he mentioned that the average Israeli family had TWO chidren...the average Palestinian FIVE! Note that this was in 1990. Also, many of those children were nearing age 18! Is it any wonder there are major problems there? Remember Zero Population Growth, which pushed for Americans to have no more than two children? Our families have become smaller partly due to childcare and education costs while wages haven't risen commensurately. That means there are for the first time fewer young Americans to support retirees. Europe, and Japan are much worse off than we are and it is being seens in their economic problems. This is not a pro-life, anti-abortion stand as each family has to determine how many children they can support...which in turn lessens the number of children to care for them in their old age...a vicious cycle...but prohibiting abortion would only add to the already burdensome social costs...a quagmire.

cks1950Dec. 2, 1212:19 PM

This country is going further into debt at the rate of one billion dollars every six hours. Why would you bring an American child into this world only to have it subjected to the misery that's coming?

goldbrickerDec. 2, 1212:22 PM

My wife's miscarriage at 10 weeks cost $2K in medical bills. Our son that was born cost almost $100K because he was in the special care nursery for a little over a week (fortunately only had to pay 10% of that out of pocket). I'm not as quick to blame the economy as I am the out of control healthcare costs in the U.S.

west336Dec. 2, 12 1:04 PM

Maybe the Government can offer a "Cash for Diapers" program, where they either subsidize diapers to be tax-free to give families with newborns another (or larger) tax credit? That'd make me want more babies!

workforit1Dec. 2, 12 1:13 PM

Why bring a baby into this world anyway? Out of control spending by the left, we have enough people how dont want to work, so you would only be supporting them, and who wants to do that. Plus, at the rate RT Rybak is importing failure (non U.S. citizens) I dont see a lack of people who can work and pay for social security (which is not funded for thoes who are recieving it), but a lack of work ethic. In the 30s,40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, partents worked and showed a role model, now we have kids who dont even want to work, but think everyhting should be given to them. ie..occupy. No thanks.

monkeyplanetDec. 2, 12 1:17 PM

Not procreating in a world already overcrowded with people can be an extremely ethical and altruistic choice. Leave it to Douthat, under thrall to Catholic dogma, to call it "decadence." Maybe alongside this there should be an article describing deforestation, disappearing habitat for wildlife, and resource exhaustion due to global population growth. I have no idea how this writer continues to have a career.

liora51Dec. 2, 12 1:25 PM

Maybe this is the "invisible hand of the marketplace" at work. Survival of the fittest and wealthiest--the BUILDERS. Why do they need to have a larger population base to succeed than just themselves? We just had a season of insanity wherein one party claimed that half of all of us were dependent on the government to help our families--that we felt we were entitled to food, shelter, healthcare and god knows what else!! Takers, parasites who are bringing down this great nation with our healthcare costs, education costs, social safety nets for families--and don't forget our need to close the boarders after evicting the children of illegal immigrants. Douthat is a conservative blogger. Who would have expected he would suggest a European model of family supports?

gbill7Dec. 2, 12 1:29 PM

Oh, please! When I was born, there were 2.5 billion people on the planet, and now there's more than 7 billion! This global population explosion is not sustainable, and it's going to have far more drastic consequences to us all than any domestic economic problems. At any given moment, there are literally billions of people suffering in the world, most of whom would be delighted to move to the US to work and be tax-paying citizens. Let's take care of the people already living on this earth before we start increasing the birth rate!

scottyhomerDec. 2, 12 2:17 PM

I'm ok with the birthrate declining. As someone born on the trailing edge of the baby boom, I've seen what happens when too many people are trying for the same resources. Reducing our workforce will be a pain for my generation because fewer people will be contributing to things like Social Security, but over time it will all work out. China has already experienced overpopulation, as has India. Do we want to be like them?

Mippy1Dec. 2, 12 3:06 PM

Children cost money. Except for the very wealthy, Americans work more and earn less now than they did 35 years ago. The average middle class family probably can't even afford one child, considering the 80-plus hours per week required to pay for essentials and to save for the retirement that will probably be stolen from them anyway. Perhaps Mr. Douthat should propose requiring the truly wealthy to have numbers of children in proportion to their disposable income in order to keep America great.


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