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  1. I absolutely agree, the more the State asserts it’s dominance over individuals the fewer babies will be needed or wanted. Not a desired position to be in, counter productive.

    Comment by Auto — February 6, 2013 @ 9:10 pm - February 6, 2013

  2. Yes – I meant to imply that it was a bad thing!

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 6, 2013 @ 9:19 pm - February 6, 2013

  3. I guess abortion rates have nothing to do with it.

    Comment by Richard Bell — February 6, 2013 @ 11:59 pm - February 6, 2013

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

    because living standards rise. (Kids stop being a help on the farm; start being expensive.)

    This is universal across all developed countries. My guess is that a government’s greatest influence on birth rates has more to do with that government’s policies that have an effect on standard of living and less to do with anything else (including policy that is designed to influence birth rates) (unless the government is really big, like in China).

    Sorry if this comment is unclear (It’s pretty late).

    Comment by Rattlesnake — February 7, 2013 @ 1:26 am - February 7, 2013

  5. RS, I think you’re right.

    RB, I indicated my interest in hearing other(s’) theories. If you have one, perhaps you could state it constructively?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 7, 2013 @ 2:03 am - February 7, 2013

  6. What’s the point in having children just to have someone else raise them?

    One of the key failures of modern conservatism is the promotion of the nuclear family, as is on display here. The government obviously needs the warm bodies to pay for all the debt and obligations they”ve accumulated. But I don’t think the populace sees any benefit to having more children when they are already stretched thin financially and it would just mean plopping them in a pen with complete strangers while they continue working. :(

    Comment by Tim in MT — February 7, 2013 @ 4:25 am - February 7, 2013

  7. A population must have at least a 2.1 birth rate to replace itself. When a population drops below that rate it is in decline and that is usually found in developed nations with high standards of living.

    The common household today is comprised of two wage earners who pool their money. The “threat” to them of children is that one of them will have to stay home and the cost of the child and the loss of income is too much to consider.

    Many couples wait until the wife is in her mid thirties or even forties to have a child or two. This is due, in part, to too many men and women postponing marriage until their middle years. It is also due, in part, to rising up the income ladder and having a bit more money. However, the wife is still mostly thinking of getting back to work and the couple has “planned” out handling the costs of nanny care or day care.

    But there is also a growing sense of “hopelessness” about where things are going in the world. Many people in the cities live in cramped quarters where space for “stuff” is at a premium. They box themselves in and they often develop a “boxed in” perspective. However, when you get into the ethnic areas of the city, children pop out of from everywhere. Day care is not a problem, because the people ignore the socialist laws and rely on the community to provide the surrogate grandmother or the surrogate mother who “baby sits.” They work things out in way the greater city always did on a personal basis, not on a welfare basis, although the welfare premiums are often a stimulus for more children.

    All across open countryside America there is a growing number of family oriented couples who have a small tribe of children, live on one income, home school and belong to a large church with a congregation of 5,000 or so which is extremely community centered. For them, faith trumps “hopelessness” every time.

    However, a study in Norway found that women will fill up the available slots in government day care centers. Build it and they will procreate. Perhaps this type of socialist answer works in a firmly established socialist environment.

    Deflation in Japan has caused lower profits and a tightening of the size of the work force which limits both employment and career opportunities. The economic conditions cause the birthrate to drop. The decrease in the number of people working equates to less tax income for welfare and support for the elderly. So, the welfare taxes rise to offset the decline and that leads to decreased wealth and a drop in consumer spending which causes further deflation and the merry-go-round is begun.

    We hear people talk about the red states seceding from the union and building a country on the foundations set by the constitution, but absent all the statist socialism and micro-managing regulations. The core belief in this is that we can handle our problems at the local level and that cities are by and large unmanageable and essentially unneeded.

    All across the blue states there are cities with rotten cores and whole areas of high crime and large sections where people are trapped in welfare ghettos. In these areas, there are lots of children being raised on the welfare dime and too many of them are almost feral in their habits.

    We veered off on a notion of wanting everyone to have a college degree and be “skilled” and “employable.” How many “skilled” and “employable” college graduates are living with mom and dad and working at the pizza parlor?

    We are headed toward what Japan has to face. Government organized wealth transfer doesn’t work. It creates a high paid bureaucracy that pees away the dimes left over on what is too often stupid stuff. More of the same social justice “progress,” like Obamacare, will mean higher taxes, more government bureaucrats and less health care. It is always the same.

    The government can only “fix” this situation when it finally gets out of the way and lets people do “what comes naturally” in carving out a living and building a family.

    Comment by heliotrope — February 7, 2013 @ 9:37 am - February 7, 2013

  8. Agree. And fascist leader Putin is attempting to get Russians to have more children. Their birth rate is around 1.2. But with so many drunken men in Russia, how can they get it up?

    Comment by davinci — February 7, 2013 @ 9:45 am - February 7, 2013

  9. Another factor that will continue to depress birth numbers is the College Debt Bubble. People are coming out of college with essentially a mortgage payment they must service on low wage jobs. That seriously hinders the formation of new households.

    Comment by Chris H — February 7, 2013 @ 11:11 am - February 7, 2013

  10. I’ve seen data before that shows how birth rates are negatively correlated with education level and with other supposed signs of progress. This is true across the industrialized world. Of course, the availability of birth control and abortion have an impact, as well. I believe birth rates are also correlated with religious belief, so that the more secular the society the lower the birth rate tends to be, as well. The last point may be the more important one, as, anecdotally, at least, the folks I know with many kids tend to be more religious than most of those with fewer or no kids (though as Heliotrope points out, the inner cities are a different world entirely).

    On a related note, James Taranto used to write about what he called The Roe Effect, suggesting that a more conservative population was likely to develop in the future as the more culturally conservative members of the population reproduce at a much greater rate. What he didn’t anticipate was that even though members of some minority groups might have some markers of cultural conservatives (Hispanics and Catholic faith, for instance), it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be conservative voters because many of them are content with big government.

    Comment by Kurt — February 7, 2013 @ 11:45 am - February 7, 2013

  11. How much of our nation´s growth been stunted by the abortion mills. Teen age girls fall for the line, ¨if you really love me.¨Then they´re dropped like a hot potato. Since many clinics will fudge the the stats the girl has it done without parents having been notified. When I was a teen a girl who kissed on the first date was considered fast. Then it went to a first date kiss earned subsequent dates. That´s now passe´, if a girl wants to be asked out she has to spread them on the first date or there won´t be any more callers. Single business women, who see the unplanned pregnancy as a mistake and a deterrent to her progress, prefers to have it killed rather than put it out for adoption. I wouldn´t be afraid to bet that that same woman opposes the death penalty. The falling birth rate is related to the liberals decline of moral values.

    Comment by Roberto — February 7, 2013 @ 1:52 pm - February 7, 2013

  12. when you get into the ethnic areas of the city, children pop out of from everywhere. Day care is not a problem, because the people ignore the socialist laws and rely on the community to provide the surrogate grandmother or the surrogate mother who “baby sits.” … the welfare premiums are often a stimulus for more children.

    That’s interesting. I think the dynamic there is, the Welfare State has replaced fathers as the “provider”; the woman receives some serious financial support to not work, and having more kids may even help her get more of those benefits.

    And that counters my earlier suggestion, that Welfare State policies can’t raise birthrates. Perhaps they can: if they pay entire communities of women to not work; if they systematically destroy fathers, and the work ethic. Perhaps the real “problem” with the Germans’ policies is, theirs don’t.

    a study in Norway found that women will fill up the available slots in government day care centers. Build it and they will procreate.

    The Spiegel article suggested that, too. But I couldn’t tell for sure if the women were actually procreating more, or if they were just self-selecting in (procreative women moving into this town that has the daycare, from other towns).

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 7, 2013 @ 1:52 pm - February 7, 2013

  13. ILC

    Bad suggestion. You know what will happen. The top 2% will be required to kick in more ¨fair share.¨

    Comment by Roberto — February 7, 2013 @ 3:08 pm - February 7, 2013

  14. Last night, I worked late at the office and didn’t get home until after midnight. I was tired, but I could not got to bed just yet. My kids wanted their time with me, to talk to me, to get that connection they need to know someone in this world cares about them. And regardless of how tired I was and regardless of the fact that I still had to be up at 0530 to get my youngest to Bible Study, I still had to give them their time.

    And that, or something like it, repeated daily for years, or a lifetime, is parenthood. It’s not for wimps, and its not for the self-centered.

    Perhaps, the reason the birthrate is declining is because so many people are self-centered wimps.

    Comment by V the K — February 7, 2013 @ 3:37 pm - February 7, 2013

  15. Falling birth rates directly correspond to the education and workplace participation and productivity of women. The rising cost of living includes (or such measurements should include) the rising cost (and scope) of government. As government grows, taxes follow suit. As taxes rise, there is a greater need for both spouses/parents to work in order to maintain a certain standard of living. This postpones and even supplants childbirth. Both finances and time/energy compete for the attention of potential parents; as more and more couples choose to delay procreation, the age window for optimal procreation begins to close; as more and more couples choose not to procreate, it becomes fashionable. Those that choose families often take a career hit, while those that don’t remain upwardly mobile. And environmentalists have been arguing for decades that choosing to remain childless is the responsible choice.

    Comment by Ignatius — February 7, 2013 @ 6:51 pm - February 7, 2013

  16. As government grows…there is a greater need for both spouses/parents to work in order to maintain a certain standard of living. This postpones and even supplants childbirth.

    Good point. I think it fits with my earlier points, but gets to the root better. While still allowing for heliotrope’s point, namely, that if Big Government is going to enable particular communities of women to refrain from working, then their birthrates need not fall.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 7, 2013 @ 7:15 pm - February 7, 2013

  17. This comes from The Weekly Standard:

    …. according to statistics in a new book by Jonathan V. Last, it might have been a wiser move for Putin bring in a pro-life group instead. The book is titled What to Expect When No One’s Expecting.

    Russia’s demographic disaster (…) is being exasperated by the fact that abortions are outpacing live births in Russia. “Abortion is rampant, with 13 abortions performed for every 10 live births,” writes Last. “Consider that for a moment: Russians are so despondent about the future that they have 30 percent more abortions than births.”

    (…) “This might be the most grisly statistic the world has ever seen. It suggests a society that no longer has the will to live.”

    Comment by heliotrope — February 8, 2013 @ 4:38 pm - February 8, 2013

  18. All while the muslims continue to breed like cockroaches.

    Comment by LesbianNeoCon — February 11, 2013 @ 7:02 am - February 11, 2013

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