Skip to comments.Why are so many adults in rich countries refusing to have kids?
Posted on 11/03/2023 9:36:09 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Humanity has never had it better.
Especially the couple of billion lucky folks who live in the United States and Canada, Western Europe, and East Asia (including, now, much of China).
The details of the miracle that is modern life are worth repeating, since they are the water we swim in and easy to forget.
Deaths in childbirth and childhood are nearly nonexistent. People live longer than ever and can expect to be (physically) healthy into their seventies, not stooped by hard farm, industrial, or household labor. War and conscription have largely ended. In Europe and East Asia, all deaths of violence are stunningly rare.
Formerly unthinkable material luxuries are not merely common but expected. Inexpensive, nutritious food is available everywhere. After facing the prospect of famine for all of human existence, we suddenly must deal with obesity.
Cars and airplanes have made movement easy. Once exhausting and risky, travel is now so cheap the biggest problem is the crowds it creates - of tourists and migrants.
Free schooling through adolescence has turned literacy from a luxury of the rich into a basic right. More recently information technology has opened the deepest banks of knowledge to anyone with an Internet connection, which is everyone.
In the face of this unprecedented bounty of knowledge, health, and abundance, more and more humans have responded by —
Refusing our most basic biological drive and failing to have children.
This depressing reality hit me again recently, after the wedding of a couple I know. Husband and wife are in their early thirties, stable, employed, apparently happy and in love - and insisting they will not have children.
Of course, they could change their minds. But they have been together for several years and have always agreed they want to be childless. I find that choice even more depressing and confounding than people who are childless because they cannot find a partner. These are heterosexuals who have decided to pair for life (theoretically, anyway), yet they do not believe having children is their natural next step.
They are far from alone.
The “replacement rate” - the number of children a woman must have on average to keep population stable - is about 2.1. Birthrates have been below that level in many wealthy countries for decades.
(With 23 million people, Taiwan will have about 130,000 babies this year - not even half as many as it needs to keep its population steady. The country is erasing itself.)
You are probably aware of the baby bust. But you may not know how bad it has gotten. Since Covid, birth rates have fallen off a cliff.
Women in Asian countries like South Korea and Taiwan are now expected to have fewer than 1 child on average. Men do not have children (despite what the LGBTQIABCDEFGH+-* crew sometimes pretend), so you don’t need a degree in statistics to figure out that birthrate translates into demographic catastrophe.
Fertility disruption from mRNA Covid jabs may be contributing, but it is not the primary factor. The baby bust is occurring in countries that did not use the shots, too.
This choice represents individual tragedy and societal failure on an unprecedented scale.The American left pretends the baby bust is economically driven, blaming a lack of subsidized child care for young kids and the overall expense of raising children in the United States. As one feminist author said in September:
I had really been talking about a lot of these issues like paid leave, lack of childcare, and how they affected parents, primarily in the United States… People are not having their ideal number of children, even when they become parents, because they just can't make it work.
The only problem with this theory is that births are lower across Europe and Asia than the United States. And Northern European countries, which have much less income inequality than the United States, as well as the parental leave policies, heavily subsidized childcare, and national health insurance that the left demands, have seen some of the biggest recent declines.
No, whatever is happening cannot reasonably be viewed as economically driven. It is a cultural trend. And it is phenomenally powerful, because it is happening all over the world, across ethnicities, in countries and societies that are otherwise vastly different.
And it is overcoming basic human biology.
So what is it?
I don’t know if that question has an obvious answer, but I intend to explore it in the months to come. And I hope you will contribute your own views on the subject in the comments.
I’m not exaggerating when I write that nothing less than the future of humanity is at stake.
Gets in the way of their “kick ass” lives.
Sometimes it’s a self-centered lifestyle....sometimes they’ve read the news.
Maybe they don’t want their potential progeny to be delivered into a life of perpetual slavery by government.
Ask why pets now outnumber kids. But unlike the latter, they will not be there 35 years after birth. Other than consecration to God, the norm is marriage. But children take care, and being much a matter of delayed reward, being prosperous, selfish and with 12 types of contraception plus infanticide rights (20% of pregnancies) then short term gain, long term loss is preferred.
But devout Muslims will provide.
Humanity has entered Universe 25 (look it up).
Free stuff for everyone else raises the cost on those who actually work to produce. Furthermore, because of the growth of managerialsm non productive jobs have grown in salary and importance compared to productive jobs [much of which we have already exported anyway].
Geeze. You introduce birth control and what do you think is going to happen
• The enemedia's denigration of a family unit, consisting of a father, mother and children
• Delayed marriage by males (to go to college)
• Delayed marriage by women (to go to college and have a career besides being a wife and mother)
• Student debt (which further delays marriage)
• Easy availability of birth control
• Ease of divorce
• Urban living
Because they much rather “poke” cellphones all day and night.
Feminism, atheism, selfishness, short sightedness. Mostly women have rejected all manifestations of motherhood and femininity. But all these women will die surrounded by photos of them in Thailand, Machu Pichu, and of their pickaninny trip to save an African village.
Feminism. You spend three generations indoctrinating your best and brightest women into believing that they have something more important to do than being mothers, and this is the obvious and logical result. Western Civilization committed suicide by feminism. And it did it 40 years ago, the corpse just hasn’t stopped twitching quite yet.
YOLO mentality. I’ve even heard the parents of beautiful large families groan about having more.
If we were as prolific as we profess to be “pro-life” most of our political and cultural problems would not exist.
The “universe 25” theory does make sense in densely populated urban areas where young people do not see a way to have space/land/single family home for their kids.
That is certainly the case in Japan and probably Taiwan.
In the US urban dwellers can move to lower cost areas with land and much more affordable single family homes if they want to do so.
In agricultural societies children are put to work at a young age—my wife grew up on a farm and she was taking care of the animals are bringing in firewood when she was ten years old.
Western societies have made child labor illegal so kids cannot contribute to family finances at all—once they are adults they can leave the nest if they wish.
The economics of having children do not work in that environment.
Humans have a tendency to act first and justify after the fact—so I am not persuaded that cultural attitudes caused people to act differently.
Just read the laws and settlements regarding divorce.
I look at it as a lack of purpose. There is no challenge to stay alive. I do not know what to do about it, but as the author pointed out, we are in an unprecedented era of abundance and safety, to which we may well be psychologically maladapted.
Another factor: socialism replaced family-ism, taking away the parent’s return on investment for raising children. The parents do all the work, the government takes all the profit, and the parents subsist on socialism in old age.
Contraceptives. Fewer people would have had kids in the past if the pill had been available.
Also, a lot of sacrifices are required and there’s no guarantee that your children won’t end up hating you.
With all the difficulties young people have forming relationships this is unlikely to get better.
As noted above, a side-effect of the Calhoun “Universe 25” that humanity has developed into.
Possibly a biological cue for organisms like us: an environment of abundance means we don’t “need” as many offspring to sustain the community, except that we’re overcorrecting. Malthusians/overpopulationists like to claim that we breed uncontrollably and overrun any place we spread into, but I think what we’re seeing with the population drop is a refutation of that idea; humanity does not act like a bacterium/virus, replicating without regard to resources. We seem to respond (albeit slowly) to our environment, and do not mindlessly outstrip our resources.
If the latter is a factor, then as population drops and societies begin to deteriorate, the humans that are left will have more kids as a response to the impetus to improve things again.
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