Skip to comments.What is the Cause of Low Birth Rates?
Posted on 06/01/2007 11:27:39 PM PDT by Sleeping Beauty
What causes low birth rates? I have debated this issue at some length with blogger Conservative Swede. Among the reasons frequently cited are the welfare state, feminism and secularism. However, if you look closely at the statistics from various countries, the picture gets quite complex, and there doesnt appear to be an automatic correlation between low birth rates and any one of these factors.
The United States has the highest birth rates in the West, but this is largely due to ethnic minorities. If you compare white Americans to white Europeans, the American birth rate is somewhat higher than those of the Scandinavian nanny states, but still lower than replacement level. Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden do have elaborate welfare states, high degrees of feminism and are not very religious, yet have some of the highest birth rates in the Western world (though still below replacement level.) They are certainly much higher than those in Catholic Poland, perhaps the most conservative religious country in Europe. And they are much higher than those of South Korea, which has more traditional sex roles and where Christianity is booming these days.
The gap between the Western world and the Islamic world in birth rates is clearly caused by religious factors, but the differences between industrialized nations are far more difficult to explain. If the cause is not welfarism, feminism or secularism, then what is it?
1. Pay people to have children. Offer government support for children. Pay for their food and health care.
2. Get rid of Social Security so that people are forced to have children to take care of them when they are too old to work.
What do you think? Does it matter?
Well, first, you have to take your pants off,...then,......
My wife and I have six kids and we frquently hear the “you know what causes that, don’t you” line. (We had suspicions that required further testing to verify.
From this headline, I have determined that it’s everyone else who doesn’t know “what causes that.”
Well, it’s “The Pill” ... birth control. I.e. the explanation is technological. This was widely understood and commented on when “The Pill” was first introduced, but once the radical and farreaching ramifications were realized in fact, they were no longer remarkable.
If current rates continue, it is estimated that 35% of all women of reproductive age in America today will have had an abortion by the time they reach the age of 45.
- Guttmacher Institute. State Facts About Abortion. 2003. -
I was just thinking about “lost knowledge” regarding how things really were in the past.
It wasn’t until after the pill became common that for the first time, I heard someone react negatively to the announcement that a woman was having a baby. Prior to that day, every baby announcement was met with celebration.
Once upon a time, children were relied upon as a workforce by their parents. You know-— farm hands and coal miners.
Since we have moved away from an agrarian and industrial culture, the need to have children has diminished. Children are no longer a resource, they are a liability.
For cultures and societies that still believe children are a resource, birth rates are higher. Where they are a liability or a novelty, the birth rates are lower.
If you paid people to have children (welfare already does this, AFAIK) you get a higher percentage of poor people having children (IE, they are now a resource (or an asset) that monies can be generated from). However, these children will essentially be wards of the state until they are eighteen.
Have a good look around you. There is a reason abortion clinics are big business. As a society, we no longer value children because they no longer needed for our own financial survival. Therefore, in the eyes of some, they are nothing more than an eighteen year commitment (the humanity of the fetus is either ignored or irrelevant).
As far as human nature is concerned, ALWAYS filter out altruism. Humanity does not function like that.
Most women now work. This is the single main reason not to have kids. They can work more and get more stuff and they do until they start to get older.
At 30 or so they start to think it not all that much fun to work all the time and maybe a kid might be nice.
Then they have to find a man who is worth a poop. This may takes 5 years because most men these days just want the milk but no cow, so now she is 35 years old and having their first child. This is too late to have a big family so they just have 1 or 2.
We really need to just state the fact that we need more people to have large families. (If you said this in any of the schools today they would flip out but abortion is OK to talk about) In our PC world it looks like we can never say or do what is best for our country so we just import our next generation from Mexico like cheep China made toys.
It’s sad really.
White American fertility is bimodal. The aggregate is below replacement level (about 1.8 cpw ), but when you separate conservatives and liberals you get quite a different picture... liberals 1.44 (rapid extinction!), conservatives 2.08 (replacement). In other words, it's the white liberals who are killing themselves off (and good riddance). But we conservatives are not going anywhere.
There was no breakdown of types within conservatism; I'd hazard a guess that religious conservatives are well above 2.0.
True so far...
This may takes 5 years because most men these days just want the milk but no cow
Due to women's choices, most men are now forced to wait past 30 to get married. Even those men who start out committed to staying virgins til marriage (and, actually, it's a higher % than women nowadays), find it awfully hard to hold out that long.
Of course, sex is easy to get. Those hot 20-something career women who won't marry, or have kids, or date an oldfashioned guy who wants those things, are perfectly willing to "put out". In other words, it's a lot easier for a man to get laid, than to get married --even if marriage is what he really wants. Free milk everywhere, but if his ethics require him to buy the cow first, nobody will sell him one!
I speak from experience. Despite some very attractive offers, I declined all opporunities to forfeit my virginity until at 38 I finally found a wife. That extended span of celibacy did lasting damage to my psyche. What's important to note, is that I was willing to marry at 18 or 19, but absolutely no women were in that mindset when I was that age. They wanted to date/fornicate with so-called "cool" guys, and a marriage minded anachronism like me was anathema to them.
I think the biggest issue is that it costs ALOT of money to raise children. I guess they think that thousand dollar per child tax credit is enough to raise the child for a year. We have three and will have one more if God allows us to, but still they are quite expensive even if you just factor in regular living expenses without the frills. I am definitely not saying that the government should do more, but just putting the facts on the table.
My mother said this once(I’m paraphrasing): If I were a man today, I would never get married. It’s not worth it these days for a man to get married. What do women have to offer? They can’t cook. They refuse to clean. They don’t wan’t kids. Their income is inferior to men’s yet they insist on careers. They don’t respect men. They expect to be coddled and when they aren’t they demand a divorce for which they need no reason. Then they take his money. Only a fool would marry a woman these days.
I declined all opporunities to forfeit my virginity until at 38 I finally found a wife.
The thing is you are not alone in this. I went to a wedding of a high school friend who both waited to have sex until marriage and they are both 38. Obviously they could have lied to me about that, but I don’t know why they would. I was a bit luckier to find my wife and marry her at 23, but did not have children until 28 almost 29 (both of us). I know that I am glad that we waited to have children (we have 3 currently) because even though everyone is yelling for more children on this site. You still MUST be responsible and ready both emotionally and financially. It does astond me when people say “don’t worry about the money aspect. Just have children to save our Country.” Ridiculous comment if you ask me.
My grandmother used to say: “When you send a girl to college, you send her straight to hell”
Things have changed alot since her days. People don’t have a very solid connection to reality anymore. My grandfather used to say “War is necessary to keep people sane. Without the hardship of war once every generation, everyone forgets what’s important in life.” Maybe this is what’s happening to us. The men are ruined from lack of war. The women are ruined by opportunity, prosperity, and education.
When a man is taught to earn a greater income, he uses it to woo women. When a woman is taught to earn a greater income, she uses it to distance herself from men.
What lesson is learned by this? Is there any wonder that the bible has the story of adam an eve? This story is a lesson in human nature.
I’ll let someone else attempt an interpretation here. It is painfully obvious to me what the problem is.
Here’s here’s one more example. When a very busy very successfull man is asked what one thing would he change about his life if he could, he responds “I wish I had more time to spend with my family”. When a very busy very successfull woman is asked the very same question, she responds “I wish I had more time to myself”.
Need I say more? I’d say my grandmother was a genius and a saint.
IMO, you’ve nailed it. While the factors the original poster mentioned certainly influence birthrates, when children become a net economic liability birthrates plummet.
In the 50’s one person was required to work to support a family; today, two people must work to have the same standard of living as in the 50’s; and the reason is that one pay check is going to the shit hole our great politicians have created for their own self engrandizement (you know, like fighting aids, global warming, or ruling the planet, or some other happy crap like that).
I mean, come on, if you are spending (taxing) 3 trillion a year and in hock for another 8, do you think this federal beast is no going to turn every stone for a buck?
Quite frankly, everyone out there is putting on a show about how well off they are but it’s all debt, and they know that they can’t afford children unless they go for a way lower standard of living and they are NOT going to do that.
It’s not the whole story. Paying people to have kids won’t fix it. We already pay people to have kids. Earned income tax credit...welfare...wick, etc. It’s not working.
Cell phones? Tight shorts? Bad nutrition? Bad overall health? Abortion? All our possibilities.
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