Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Persistent Drop in Fertility Reshapes Europe's Future [The Death of the West]
NY Times ^ | 12/26 | FRANK BRUNI

Posted on 12/26/2002 6:50:59 AM PST by twas

On a recent night at the Blue Elephant recreation center here, a clutch of parents watched adoringly as dozens of 3- and 4-year-olds sprinted through a colorful playroom, bounced on the cushioned floor or doodled on drawing pads, aglow with creative pride.

It was Italy as outsiders still imagine it: child-worshiping and family-loving.

But there was something wrong with the picture. Most of the parents were gazing at one, and only one, child. That was true of Gianluca Valenti, who said that giving his son any siblings would be too exhausting and expensive, and of Barbara Lenzi, who said that more than one child "doesn't seem to make sense."

It was also true of Rosa Andolfi, who responded to a question about having an additional child as if a vampire were near.

"Basta!" Ms. Andolfi more or less yelped, then made a cross with her index fingers and thrust it forward. That gesture was not just funny but telling; it touched on an increasingly worrisome reality for Italy and other European countries whose fertility rates have plummeted over the last decades, shifting one-child families close to the statistical norm.

In Spain and Sweden, Germany and Greece, the total fertility rate — or the average number of children that a woman, based on current indicators, is expected to give birth to — was 1.4 or lower last year, according to the World Health Organization.

In no West European country did the rate reach 2.1 — the marker that, demographers say, means an exact replenishment of the population. By contrast, the United States had a 2.0 rate, which demographers attribute to greater immigration.

While that trend has been evident for many years, its slow-building consequences are now coming into starker relief, as more West European countries acknowledge and take new steps to address the specter of sharply winnowed and less competitive work forces, surfeits of retirees and pension systems that will need to be cut back deeply.

In Italy, where the fertility rate last year was 1.2, according to the health organization, Labor Minister Roberto Maroni has announced that the cost of the state pension system will need to be reduced. Mr. Maroni said the government would offer incentives, which he did not specify, to keep people at work past the minimum retirement age of 57.

The United Nations recently published data suggesting that the population of Spain could decline to about 31.3 million in 2050 from about 39.9 million now. According to the World Health Organization, Spain's fertility rate last year was 1.1, the lowest in Western Europe. Many provinces in Italy's wealthy, well-educated north have rates well below that.

The rate in the province of Ferrara, which includes the city of Ferrara, has been under 0.9 for each of the years since 1986 that Italy's National Institute of Statistics kept track.

Ferrara officials talk about the dearth of young children in the streets, the closing of elementary schools over the last decade and a pervasive sense that something is missing.

"There's a lack of energy," Deputy Mayor Tiziano Tagliani said in a recent interview here. "The society is colder without children."

Nationwide, Italy's fertility rate has been so low for so long — under 1.5 since 1984 — that the country offers an especially good glimpse into the dimensions and dynamics of the trend.

For example, Italy now has the world's oldest population. The percentage of people 60 or older is 25, compared with 16 percent in the United States, according to the population division of the United Nations.

The division's experts project that by 2050, if current trends hold, 42 percent of Italy's population will be 60 or older.

Antonio Golini, a professor of demographics at the University of Rome, Sapienza, said that would be "unsustainable, from a cultural and even psychological point of view."

That sense of alarm was reflected in Pope John Paul II's first-ever address to the Italian Parliament in November. The pope said "the crisis of the birthrate" in Italy was a "grave threat that bears upon the future of this country."

In Italy, as in other West European countries, the low fertility rate is interwoven with an array of other issues — immigration, for one. While many people and many politicians in Europe would like to clamp down on the rising tide of new arrivals over the last decade, they may be forced to accept it, simply to fill jobs and maintain levels of productivity.

Europe stands out as the continent with the lowest fertility rates. The numbers are now starkest in East European countries like Bulgaria, Latvia and Ukraine, each of which had a rate of 1.1 in 2001, according to the World Health Organization. (Its figures sometimes differ slightly from those of individual countries, but provide a yardstick.)

But the trend hit Western Europe earlier, and has had more time to produce hand-wringing and soul-searching. Apart from welcoming more immigrants, no one knows precisely what to do.

Many governments have expanded tax breaks for parents, child care alternatives or maternity and paternity benefits, acknowledging that a high cost of living and more women in the work force can be obstacles to large families. In some of those countries, like France, the fertility rate has nudged slightly upward.

Spain is considering a variety of ways to address those obstacles: cheaper utility bills for large families; assistance for young couples who are trying to afford homes; the creation of hundreds of thousands of new preschools and nursery schools; and longer hours for existing schools, an accommodation for working parents.

Although the Italian government provides mothers with nearly full salary compensation for about a half-year of maternity leave, the city of Ferrara, like several other north Italian cities, added benefits that kick in after that period. They include cash supplements of about $350 a month for mothers who want to stay at home an additional nine months. Ferrara also has pumped millions of dollars into nursery schools and child care centers like the Blue Elephant.

But Italy's low fertility rate persists, suggesting that the reasons go well beyond the arithmetic of salaries and schedules.

"People are studying longer, and thus are finding work later, when there is work, and then are marrying later, which doesn't necessarily mean having a baby anymore," said Valerio Terra Abrami, head of the department of social statistics for Italy's National Institute of Statistics.

Contraception and abortion are more readily available. Divorce is more common.

Moreover, decades of prosperity have altered people's assumptions and expectations. Older people once poised to look after grandchildren now pursue other activities and travel more. As for would-be parents, their attachments to leisure time, conveniences and indulgences do not easily accommodate multiple children — or sometimes, for that matter, any children at all.

"It's never been at the top of my list," said Teresa Ginori, 41, a fashion magazine consultant who lives outside Milan. "It's never been in the top 200 things."

Ms. Ginori and many women she knows have never married, in part, she said, because of a facet of Italian life that she cited as one possible explanation for the especially low fertility rate here.

Many Italian men, she said, live with their mothers into their 30's. When they marry, they are not prepared to help out at home in ways that take pressure off women, especially if those women want to have children.

"Even the most open-minded guy — if you scratch with the nail a little bit, there's the mother who did everything for him," she said. "I hate the mothers of these men. These mothers are a disaster."

Parents also seem to feel that they owe more opportunities to the children they do have, a conviction that discourages large families.

That partly explained the prevalence of only children in Ferrara, where one-child parents at the Blue Elephant center mentioned siblings who had also stopped at one child. The center's coordinator, Monica Viaro, 37, has only one child, an 8-year-old son.

Ms. Andolfi, 32, who has a 3-year-old son, said a second child would limit her son and limit the baby. She conceded that her family's definition of what it needed was expansive.

"The cellphones aren't enough and the televisions aren't enough," she said. "It's a little selfish."

Ms. Lenzi, 32, who is also part of a two-career couple, said she liked to read to her 3-year-old son, adding, "It doesn't make sense to have three just to tuck them in at night and say, `Ciao, stella,' and that's it."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abortion; abortionlist; birthrates; catholiclist; contraceptives; enviralists; europe; fashionukraine; population; populationcontrol; prolife; un; unitednations; unlist
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-85 next last
As long as the "solution" to falling birth rates in western countries is increasing immigration, there appears to be little hope for survival.

Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we will be overrun.

1 posted on 12/26/2002 6:50:59 AM PST by twas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: twas
Many Italian men, she said, live with their mothers into their 30's. When they marry, they are not prepared to help out at home in ways that take pressure off women, especially if those women want to have children.

It is hard to imagine that a long time ago, these people's ancestors ruled the world for hundreds and hundreds of years. The best hope for Italy is:

1. A Catholic revival
2. Make it easy for people of Italian decent to move back
3. End the socialist gravy train

2 posted on 12/26/2002 6:56:17 AM PST by 2banana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2banana
End the socialist gravy train

This won't initially do anything to solve the problem because the people who will be hardest hit are the elderly who will (A) be unable to do anything about the birth rate and (B) will not have the children to take care of them. The absence of a welfare state to catch you when you are elderly, however, may get enough people to realize that children can be useful to them later in life.

3 posted on 12/26/2002 7:08:19 AM PST by Question_Assumptions
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: twas

But the trend hit Western Europe earlier, and has had more time to produce hand-wringing and soul-searching. Apart from welcoming more immigrants, "no one knows precisely what to do".

If I may be so bold….I know what to do……women have babies, that is the answer. Nothing new about this, it is called procreation. Governments have to reduce the tax load on families, by granting greater tax relief for married men with families….

4 posted on 12/26/2002 7:16:20 AM PST by thinking
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: twas
bump
5 posted on 12/26/2002 7:22:07 AM PST by Cacique
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: twas
and the birth rate for islam countries is 8.5....muslims to conquer world through numbers...
6 posted on 12/26/2002 7:25:37 AM PST by Bill Davis FR
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thinking
women have babies, that is the answer

What a drastic notion :-)!

I feel so sorry for these people ... the elderly with no grandchildren, the parents with nothing in their hearts but cellphones and cars, the children with no siblings, spending their lives in daycare centers ...

They are so blind. We are celebrating Christmas with six children under twelve ... all the ones who can talk are saying, "Can we have a new baby next Christmas? That was so much fun last year!" Sure it's a lot of work, but what else were you going to do with your life that's worth anything?

I guess I can plan a "Great Mosques of Europe" tour, someday when the kids are grown ...

7 posted on 12/26/2002 7:39:06 AM PST by Tax-chick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: twas
I have a question that I bet no one can answer: since Europe is losing its population (and I read the same thing is happening in Japan), US would be losing population except for immigration, and Africa and Asia have millions of AIDS cases with more on the way,
****WHERE THE HECK IS THE OVER-POPULATION everyone always bleats about?? That's one of the reasons liberals trot out for abortion, and a host of other stuff. I've been wondering about this for a long time....?
8 posted on 12/26/2002 8:11:00 AM PST by First Amendment
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: twas
Bump
9 posted on 12/26/2002 8:14:20 AM PST by Fiddlstix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thinking
Thinking, you are right on. The earlier poster implied what you said but you hit the nail on the head. What is also necessary is to have some sort of political or social upheaval in Italy to make Italians remember what life is all about and help them rediscover their faith -- not just increased church attendance, but their faith.
10 posted on 12/26/2002 8:29:52 AM PST by tom h
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: twas
One could write a whole book about this article...but I'll just make a few short points:

1) What is it that these childless people are counting on to care for them in their old age? It is the govt, and indirectly, the taxpayers. What if the govt goes bankrupt? What if there are no longer enough taxpayers to finance them in anything like the style to which they've become accustomed? In reality, these people are each making a calculation that they can squander their lives on themselves and materialistic pursuits, and that they can throw the responisibilities of caring for them in their old age off onto society and onto those people (whom they probably view as "suckers") who take the time and effort in their lives to raise children.

2) Notice how these discussions are always draped in the ideology of liberalism. As if everything would be fine in a world without children if we could only find some other way to finance our welfare state.

3) I'm afraid that it will take a severe economic crisis (which many of these old, childless people probably will not survive.....life is tough on the street at 80 with no kids and no socialism) accompanied by a resurrection of traditional western values to turn this thing around. Western people are too steeped in this culture of narcissism and materialism to be extracted in any other way but by cold, ugly reality. Excepting this, we will be displaced by other cultures who harbor values more conducive to survival and procreation.

4) I was at a Christmas party yesterday with 6 other couples aged 35-45....all highly educated professionals. Other than my two kids, one couple had one child and the other 4 couples had none. Twelve adults and only three kids....not a good sign for the future.

11 posted on 12/26/2002 8:34:27 AM PST by quebecois
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick
Tax-chick, you sound like one wonderful mom. I posted something several months ago that I am reposting below because while my wife and I have are members of the "big-family club" in America (3 children), I have witnessed the effects of post-modernism on the rest of my family. What this country needs are more families like yours and a Christian revival that teaches Americans what life is really about.

Jim Dobson reported this morning that since the promulgation of Roe v. Wade 29 years ago, there have been approximately 100 million American children born and 41 million American children aborted. 28% of the Roe v Wade generation will never know life on this planet.

We all ought to be ashamed of this tragedy. I count seven abortions in my own family:

- My mother had one a couple months before she was married in 1953;

- My youngest sister (age 41, currently married, childless, and infertile) had one at age 16 during an "oops" with a boyfriend

- My older sister (age 47, never married, Hollywood mentality) has had four -- like Russian women, she uses them as a birth control technique

- My father's second wife had one, because she got pregnant before they were married.

My wife and I are dedicated Christians and have three lovely children. They are the only grandchildren my parents have.

Do any of you ever read the obituaries? Do it and see how many elderly that pass away have large numbers of grandchildren -- maybe 1 in 4. It seems like a shame that an 85-year old woman will die with 3 or 4 grown children and one grandchild. The rest were aborted, or the children were too self-centered to marry or perturb their selfish lives with the distractions of children.

Isn't the legacy of the left, and the death culture, grand?

12 posted on 12/26/2002 8:37:19 AM PST by tom h
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: quebecois
Twelve adults and only three kids....not a good sign for the future.

Demography is history. At last year's Eastern Oklahoma Catholic Homeschool Association Valentine's Day party, I counted 74 children ... but they weren't holding still, so I probably missed some. Sometimes I miscount my own kids ...

As if everything would be fine in a world without children if we could only find some other way to finance our welfare state.

Europe thinks they've found it ... import a few million Moslems a year. Is there a mathematically gifted FReeper running a pool on how long it takes before all the governments of Europe are Moslem?

People just don't understand what they're missing. Parents deprive themselves of babies, and then complain that they don't find any fulfillment in their families. (IMO, babies are the reward for moms; Cub Scouts are the reward for dads!) They deprive their children of siblings, and then insist that the children need government-supported "socialization."

If people don't give love, they're not going to receive any ... unless we get the Revival first, or a full-scale jihad (alternate plots in my future-history novel ...) the Social Security Revolution is going to hit a lot of baby boomers right where they live.

13 posted on 12/26/2002 9:00:21 AM PST by Tax-chick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: twas; Admin Moderator
"In no West European country did the rate reach 2.1 — the marker that, demographers say, means an exact replenishment of the population. By contrast, the United States had a 2.0 rate, which demographers attribute to *greater immigration*."

Those Hispanics may save us yet...

P.S., Moderator, I think we can only publish excerpts of NYT articles...I know WaPO articles need to be redacted. FYI, thanks

14 posted on 12/26/2002 9:11:37 AM PST by HumanaeVitae
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: twas
It's the BIRTH rate, not the Fertility rate. They are fertile, just not using it. I have a friend who lost her only 9 year old son to a bicycle accident, and her husband has had a vasectomy...they have a remaining daughter. Two is not enough. Her husband outsmarted himself, and the boy's grandfather gave away his Marine Corps sword.
15 posted on 12/26/2002 9:17:29 AM PST by PoorMuttly
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: twas
No children?! Who will pay our debts?!!! Who will maintain our temples and palaces?!! The leech has two daughters, "Give! Give! they cry!"

Proverbs: When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive. He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich-both come to poverty. A large population is a kings glory, but without subjects a prince is ruined.

16 posted on 12/26/2002 9:27:05 AM PST by Life of Brian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HumanaeVitae
Osama bin laden has 4 wives and 40 children. The last wife being around 14 years old. You think the west will keep up with these curs?
17 posted on 12/26/2002 9:33:09 AM PST by oldironsides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: twas
With modern times in the west, comes the need for both parents to work full-time. I believe it's mostly economic. Governments giving incentives isn't the answer because with these incentives, comes increased taxes, forcing both parents to go to work. Unless the western world wants to go backwards, and become more like the third world countries, this is the way it is.
18 posted on 12/26/2002 9:37:56 AM PST by stuartcr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pram
If you look at the sidebar in the New York Times article, you'll have your answer: Niger, Yemen, Somalia, Uganda, Mali, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Liberia, Burkin Faso, and Burundi are the top 10, with average births per woman ranging from 8 to about 6.4. AIDS hasn't even begun to make a dent in this explosive population growth rate, and what's more, since they begin reproducing at very early ages, the growth rate is even higher than it looks, due to tightly packed generations all living at the same time.

See this link http://www.worldpress.org/profiles/niger.cfm?startat2=5 for the ugly details on Niger, including: 48% of the population is aged 0-14, 13.6% of population over age 15 is literate (so there's little chance of any significant number of those 0-14 year olds ever learning to read, since there are almost no adults who know how to teach them), only 1.35% of population has AIDS.

Overpopulation is a localized problem more than a global problem, but it's very serious in the areas where it's a problem, creating breeding grounds for brands of violent extremism which can appeal only to ignorant and desperate people, but which can so easily spread terror and cultural/political destruction into other parts of the world.
19 posted on 12/26/2002 9:40:27 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr
With modern times in the west, comes the need for both parents to work full-time. I believe it's mostly economic.

"Modern times in the west" had better figure out a way for people to have enough kids to bring the birth rate above 2.1 or so, or it's headed for extinction. That's simple mathematical reality.

Of course, long before that takes place, some more fecund folks will move in and turn the few remaining "modern westerners" into dhimmified slaves in their 9th Century Muslim paradise.

20 posted on 12/26/2002 9:43:16 AM PST by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr
Actually, if one isn't totally obsessed with expensive doo-dads and recreational pastimes, sequencing is the simple answer. With modern reproductive technology most women can safely put off child-bearing until their mid to late 30s and in many cases even later (and inexpensive tests can tell you in advance how your fertility level is holding up).

I don't believe for a second that a couple in which one parent works full time from college graduation to age 60-65 and the other works full time from college graduation to age 35-40, can't raise 2-3 children while maintaining a very high standard of living. They're not having children because they like their expensive cars, electronics, parties, and vacations better.
21 posted on 12/26/2002 9:47:53 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Campion
Perhaps this is the way things are supposed to progress.
22 posted on 12/26/2002 9:53:16 AM PST by stuartcr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: GovernmentShrinker
There is a big difference between what people can do, and what they want and will do. You said it yourself, why they are not having more children. Coupled with the fact that it is more expensive, they just don't want to.
23 posted on 12/26/2002 9:57:08 AM PST by stuartcr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: quebecois
My own family's recent history illustrates this trend.

I am the eldest of 5 siblings, born in 1951 to staunch Roman Catholic conservatives in SoCal. They had a child every 2-1/2 years for mor than a decade ('50s-'60s). My sister and I (the oldest) have 3 children each. My next brother has 2 children, and the 2 youngest brothers (though married) have none. Since all the wives are now well into their 40s, more children for the extended family are unlikely.

8 children out of 10 adults sounds a lot more like Italy than the America I grew up in a half century ago.
24 posted on 12/26/2002 10:11:21 AM PST by LeftCoastLurker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: twas
This makes me want to cry. Are we so selfish a culture that we commit cultural suicide rather than have a second or third child?
25 posted on 12/26/2002 10:20:21 AM PST by Godel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HumanaeVitae
Those Hispanics may saveconquer us yet...
26 posted on 12/26/2002 10:28:31 AM PST by Godel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Godel
Are we so selfish a culture that we commit cultural suicide rather than have a second or third child?

Yes we are that selfish a Western culture. The government, especially the socialist professional bureaucrats of the US and Europe, are ferociously discriminatory against children, all under an astonishingly brazen cover-up that they do it all "for the children."

This explains the Left's lust for high taxes, amorality, abortion on demand, their systematic removal of all trace of religion from public life, etc.

There is an overwhelming pressure against children here, worse in the more socialist states of Europe. I remember this de-population problem first appeared in communist Eastern Europe in the 1960's. It has spread, like the plague it is, ever Westwards. Actually the Black Plague will ultimately be shown to be less deadly that this new plague of cultural suicide.

27 posted on 12/26/2002 10:40:19 AM PST by friendly
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: friendly
There is an overwhelming pressure against children here, worse in the more socialist states of Europe. I remember this de-population problem first appeared in communist Eastern Europe in the 1960's. It has spread, like the plague it is, ever Westwards. Actually the Black Plague will ultimately be shown to be less deadly that this new plague of cultural suicide.

I know, its SICK. We are taxes so much and women have to work instead of staying home to build a family, and we have to pay for college etc so that children become an economic burden. Meanwhile in the third world, they have 6-8 children, and they dont even have to worry about supporting them, because good ol USA and Europe will feed them. No matter how many kids the third world has, we'll ship them enough grain, medicine, etc to take care of them, while our own nation goes extinct. When I hear leaders talking about the AIDS "crisis" in Africa which doesnt even make a demographic blip, while ignoring the genocide of historic proportions occuring here and in Europe, it makes me sick. I'm glad to see the New York times reporting this, I've been banging the drums on this issue for over a year, ever since I started reading UN birthrate statistics and realized the truth. I feel like Cassandra from Greek Mythology, destined to know the future, but ignored and powerless to alter it.

So many horrible events have come to together at once to wipe us out, birth control, abortion on demand, massive taxation/socialism making children a burden on those who work, radical feminism encouraging women not to have children, selfish materialistic men determined not to start a family, massive third world birthrates, a liberal media telling us we're morally obligated to work even harder, having less kids, in order to feed and clothe the third worlds 8+ kids per woman, massive immigration hiding the problem from us so that we don't realize it until it's too late.

28 posted on 12/26/2002 10:58:06 AM PST by Godel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: twas
What about all the illegal immigrants to this country from Latin America? Couldn't we send a lot of them to Europe? They are at least Christian and speak a European, Christian language.
29 posted on 12/26/2002 10:59:17 AM PST by aristeides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quebecois
Western people are too steeped in this culture of narcissism and materialism to be extracted in any other way but by cold, ugly reality.

Germany was turned around by military defeat in 1945.

30 posted on 12/26/2002 11:01:18 AM PST by aristeides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Godel
So many horrible events have come to together at once to wipe us out...

The Perfect Storm is set upon us.

31 posted on 12/26/2002 11:08:53 AM PST by friendly
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: twas
fertility rates have plummeted over the last decades,

This is misleading terminology. I doubt that "fertility" rates have dropped, the Italians are probably just as "fertile" as they have ever been. It's the birth rate that has actually dropped as more people in developed countries practice birth control and abortion to prevent and eliminate pregnancies caused by their "fertile" state of being. The opposite of "fertile" is "sterile."

32 posted on 12/26/2002 1:18:12 PM PST by PLK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pram
****WHERE THE HECK IS THE OVER-POPULATION everyone always bleats about??

By definition, this issue only applies to non-white "human weeds." Margaret Sanger's heirs focus a lot of their abortion "service" marketing on minority communities, in faithfulness to her eugenics vision. The irony is -- the sword she forged to wield against the "lesser breeds" has decimated the liberal sophisticates.

33 posted on 12/26/2002 1:36:56 PM PST by TomSmedley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: TomSmedley
the sword she forged to wield against the "lesser breeds" has decimated the liberal sophisticates

Interesting point, Tom! The "religious fanatics" (us! ... and the Moslems) and the immigrants are still having children, while the "superior" types are disappearing from the landscape.

And I have to object to the "both parents must work" and "can't afford a large family" explanations. I know too many large families with one income (including us) to buy into that. They don't have everything the people with two jobs and one child have, but we all have homes, vans :-), food and clothing, zoo memberships, books for our kids, college scholarships when it's time for college ...

I sympathize, though, with the people who think it's impossible, because often a couple doesn't know anyone with more than two children. I was fortunate during a critical time, when we had our girl and boy and everyone expected us to be "done," to meet families with 6, 8, or 10 children who were happy and comfortable.

Three children is the hardest; after that it gets easier. I'm looking forward to having a full "staff" of 10, before I retire from the Baby Thing!

34 posted on 12/26/2002 2:36:27 PM PST by Tax-chick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: oldironsides
It's the averages that make history. A few rich men have multiple wives, while some poor men have none. There aren't enough women (with sex-selection abortion, illegal or not) for even all the men who can afford it to have more than one wife.

The problem is in the average birthrate of the average married couple, not in the exceptions, either the few naturally infertile, or Osama bin Laden and Abdulaziz al Saud.
35 posted on 12/26/2002 2:41:56 PM PST by Tax-chick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: TomSmedley
****The irony is -- the sword she forged to wield against the "lesser breeds" has decimated the liberal sophisticates.****(sorry, haven't firugre out italics here yet)

Call it poetic justice? Karma? As you sow, so shall you reap?
36 posted on 12/26/2002 3:40:07 PM PST by First Amendment
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: PLK
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=fertility%20rate
37 posted on 12/26/2002 3:51:55 PM PST by briant
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: twas
When the governments answers continue to be throw money at it, there is going to be MAJOR problems.

Quit taking so much of your producers money for these programs, and they may actually have MORE children on their own. Why? because they will have more money to raise them.

Why didn't they think of that? Because they don't!!
38 posted on 12/26/2002 3:59:15 PM PST by Aric2000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aristeides
They are at least Christian and speak a European, Christian language.

Plus Spanish isn't all that different from Italian ---those who won't learn English would be better off in Italy where they wouldn't have that much to learn.

39 posted on 12/26/2002 4:21:36 PM PST by FITZ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Aric2000
Quit taking so much of your producers money for these programs, and they may actually have MORE children on their own. Why? because they will have more money to raise them.

That's the part that doesn't make any sense. The producers have to pay for all the immigrants and their children that they can't afford children of their own. Ending all welfare programs and lowering taxes would go a long way in solving the problems.

40 posted on 12/26/2002 4:23:47 PM PST by FITZ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: twas; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; american colleen; annalex; ...
Abortion and Contraception are contributing factors as well as an anti-family, anti-church, self-centered mindset. I blame the UN and liberals.
41 posted on 12/26/2002 7:48:38 PM PST by Coleus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quebecois
**4) I was at a Christmas party yesterday with 6 other couples aged 35-45....all highly educated professionals. Other than my two kids, one couple had one child and the other 4 couples had none. Twelve adults and only three kids....not a good sign for the future.**

Indeed, not a good sign for the future!
42 posted on 12/26/2002 8:02:48 PM PST by Salvation
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: twas
Contraception and abortion are more readily available. Divorce is more common. Moreover, decades of prosperity have altered people's assumptions and expectations. Older people once poised to look after grandchildren now pursue other activities and travel more. As for would-be parents, their attachments to leisure time, conveniences and indulgences do not easily accommodate multiple children — or sometimes, for that matter, any children at all.

And there folks is the jist of the problem, a post Christian W. Europe. Funny, in Russia, with the economy recovering, the birth rate has started to go up and the abortion rate to drop. While the churchs are bursting at the seams.

43 posted on 12/27/2002 2:47:19 AM PST by Stavka2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick
A crazy notion is also doing your duty for your nation and for your people, creating a new generation strong enough to defend itself.
44 posted on 12/27/2002 2:50:32 AM PST by Stavka2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: tom h
- My older sister (age 47, never married, Hollywood mentality) has had four -- like Russian women, she uses them as a birth control technique

This was/is only the case because under the soviets there was no birth control. As is, the numbers are steadily dropping and with the improved economy of the past 3 years, the birth rates are nudging up. In the end, Russia will be the only hope of Europe against the Islamics...well, with Serbia included.

45 posted on 12/27/2002 2:56:22 AM PST by Stavka2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Godel
My wife and I are working on a second and if I have my way, we'll give the Russian race a third a forth and a fifth, while we are at it. My sons will learn to how to soldier and to serve and defend their God's people and their lands. The islamics want our Icons, come and get them, the bullets will be primed.
46 posted on 12/27/2002 3:07:21 AM PST by Stavka2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: briant
I tend to think in medical terminology:

"fertile - Capable of reproduction" (Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary)

See post #15, too. Anyway, thanks for the reply and the info.

47 posted on 12/27/2002 6:49:17 AM PST by PLK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: FITZ
If you lower taxes, how will the defense industry expand?
48 posted on 12/27/2002 7:25:34 AM PST by stuartcr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
Did you pose the question to any of them, as to why they have small or no families? If so, what was the general answer?
49 posted on 12/27/2002 7:27:08 AM PST by stuartcr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr
They don't need to cut defense, they need to eliminate all government handout programs ---so away with all welfare.
50 posted on 12/27/2002 7:31:35 AM PST by FITZ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-85 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson