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Falling birthrates

Why do some nations’ birthrates fall? And can Big Government boost them?

[Germany] spends some €200 billion ($270 billion) on promoting children and families per year…But its birth rate, at 1.39 births per woman aged 15 to 49, remains among the lowest in Europe…

…The web of benefits is so complex that even experts don’t fully grasp it: There’s a “child supplement,” “parental benefit,” an “allowance for single parents,” a “married person’s supplement,” a “sibling bonus,” “orphan money” and “child education supplement,” not to forget the “child education supplementary supplement.”

The article suggests that the reason that German women don’t have kids is because the government isn’t funding enough daycare and preschools to make it easy for them.

I have a different theory. My guess is that birthrates fall:

  1. because living standards rise. (Kids stop being a help on the farm; start being expensive.)
  2. and because the Welfare State gives people the illusion that government will take care of them in old age.

My second point would mean that Big Government measures won’t, over time and on average, raise a nation’s birthrates. The more the State does – the more it hands out benefits and asserts its dominance in citizens’ lives – the less urgent its citizens will feel about procreating. Agree/disagree?

Americans not liking the age of Obama

I’m late on this news, but still think it’s worth noting.

Fewer than four-in-10 Americans (39 percent) rate the US in a positive manner – the most negative feedback the country has produced since 1979.

A new Gallup poll finds that Americans are as negative about the country’s prospects as they have been in more than three decades…[whereas] fifty-five percent of Americans say the state of the nation five years ago was positive…

…The three previous points in time when ratings were as low as or lower than the 2013 rating were in August 1979 (34 percent), April 1974 (33 percent), and January 1971 (39 percent).

Where were these people, last Election Day? If they voted for Obama (and we know that some must have): What were they thinking?

Of course, a lot of them were/are deluded um, “low information voters”:

Seventy-five percent of Democrats gave positive reviews of how the nation will be five years from now…

Happy Birthday, Ronald Reagan!

On the Gipper’s 102nd, we share with you one of his greatest speeches, delivered in October 1964 in support of Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign.

And note how Reagan focuses not so much on the candidate he backs, but the ideas he espouses.

It was that commitment to the American ideal of freedom which would define the Republican’s political career and help account for his success — and his greatness.

Secretary of State in Drag

Did John Kerry really say “I have some big heels to fill?”  Yes, yes he did.  (H/T Michelle Malkin)

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Maybe he didn’t want to make any jokes about pantsuits.  As if the thought of John Kerry playing the part of Secretary of State weren’t bad enough, now we’ve got to imagine Kerry playing the part of Secretary of State in drag.  In all truth, though, by using this sort of humor to introduce himself, he only reminds many of us (especially those of us who didn’t vote for him in 2004) about this photo.

The administration has hit the “reset button” with the State Department once again, and somehow I don’t expect the second go-around will be any better than the first.

Meanwhile, here at home, the “Department of Homeland Security” (in quotes because I can’t imagine it being any more ironically named at this point) is advising people faced with “an active shooter situation” to “huddle like sheep and die,” in the words of William A. Levinson at American Thinker.  Levinson writes:

The bottom line is that the Obama administration, of which DHS is a part, has published a training video whose guidance can easily kill anybody who relies on it.  These are the same people who want to tell us what kind of firearms are “reasonable” for us to own for self-defense.  FrontSight, by the way, posted an interview with a senior citizen who needed 11 rounds of 40 caliber — that’s one more than Dianne Feinstein and four more than Andrew Cuomo thinks he needed — to stop two armed home invaders
If huddling like a sheep doesn’t work, then DHS advises the use of improvised weapons like scissors.

And if scissors don’t work, I’m sure you can use things like tacks and glue on the floor, since those kinds of techniques worked so well in Home Alone.

Karl Marx wrote that “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.”  With events like the ones described above, it’s hard not to view these first few weeks of Obama’s second term as a farce, but I’m certainly not laughing.