Science

U.S. Fertility Reaches All-Time Low as People Choose Things Other Than Children

The global total fertility rate fell by more than half, from 5 births per woman in 1960 to 2.4 today. But don't panic!

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The U.S. total fertility rate has dropped to below 1.73 births per woman, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics. This record low edges out the previous U.S. fertility nadir of 1.74 births per woman back in 1976.

U.S. rates appear to be following the downward trend seen in other developed countries. The overall total fertility rate for the 28 members of the European Union is just under 1.6 births per woman; Japan is at 1.4, and Canada is 1.5.

In a 2010 study, University of Connecticut anthropologists Nicola Bulled and Richard Sosis found that fertility drops as female life expectancy increases. As global average life expectancy rose from 52.6 years in 1960 to 72.4 years today, the global total fertility rate fell by more than half, from 5 to 2.4 births per woman.

Is this a bad thing? A newly popular argument is that "late capitalism" has made it too hard to balance life and work, which is causing women to have fewer kids. In a New York Times op-ed, the writer Anna Louie Sussman blamed employers for failing to make parenting more compatible with having a career and argued that the government should intervene to make family creation easier.

So far, no developed country has succeeded in using pronatalist policies to sustain fertility above the "replacement rate" of 2.1 children per woman. Denmark's efforts to use wealth redistribution to make child-bearing more appealing raised the country's fertility rate from 1.4 births in 1983 to 1.7 now, or about where the U.S. is.

We do know, however, what policies have historically sustained high fertility rates: low incomes, low education levels, high levels of violence, defective rule of law, extensive corruption, lack of property rights, and despotic government. I doubt that even the most ardent natalists would advocate a reversion to such conditions as a way to boost fertility.

Modernity offers people a multitude of life options that compete with the bearing and rearing of children. Evidently, the trade-offs people make are reducing fertility. As with most things, it would be nice to have it all: 2.1 children, a great job, a big house, a short commute, the perfect school district, enough time and money for our favorite entertainment, and more. In lieu of utopia, however, we have the freedom to choose. That's a good thing.

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  1. This is really good news. There is little to suggest we need a higher fertility rate. I suspect that when the population stabilizes you may see more incentives to have and raise children. I also agree that much of this comes from education and more affluence. This is particularly true for women, who now have more options than just to raise children.

    1. “who now have more options than just to raise children” — BLATANT B.S. LIES!

      Women have ALWAYS had those “options”.. Except before those options weren’t being subsidized, getting free-advertising and down right being employed by force of guns. Now it’s all about having a “buffet of options” all offered at the expense of someone else.

      Now it’ll be even more!!!!! – “Anna Louie Sussman blamed employers for failing to make parenting more compatible with having a career and argued that the government should intervene to make family creation easier.”

      I guess making the public pay for their house, food, wasted female studies schooling and children just isn’t enough ‘subsidizing’. The government needs to subsidize their impulsive ‘dreams’ too!!!!!!

    2. “This is really good news”

      The genocidal misanthropic always rejoices at the thought of a declining humanity.

      “There is little to suggest we need a higher fertility rate.”

      There is little to suggest we need a terrible piece of shit commenting, but here you are.

      “I also agree that much of this comes from education and more affluence.”

      You’re wrong.

      “This is particularly true for women, who now have more options than just to raise children.”

      Training women to be taxpaying robots and mindless consumers, instead of caring mothers having and raising children is something genocidal misanthropes generally approve of.

  2. This is great news for us Koch / Reason libertarians. It provides additional justification for unlimited, unrestricted immigration.

    #OpenBorders
    #ImmigrationAboveAll

    1. With cassettes, CDs, and now streaming music, I had almost forgotten what broken records sound like. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

      1. You obviously don’t consistently read the predictable opinions from Reason magazine.

    2. Mass immigration drives up housing prices and drives down job security and wages.
      Meanwhile, taxes rise and rise and rise.

      Declining fertility of the US working and middle class is a *policy choice*.

  3. I made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m aade such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve mabout it. Here’s what I’ve been doing…… Read more

  4. A newly popular argument is that “late capitalism” has made it too hard to balance life and work, which is causing women to have fewer kids.

    No, capitalism has given more people more opportunities, which causes women to have fewer kids. Mainly, it’s given more people more opportunities to not be dead. Aside from the fact that sex is one of the few pleasures poor people can enjoy just as well as the rich and having a little money expands your choices for pleasure, having a little money means you’re not dependent on having 12 kids to ensure that one of them might live long enough and well enough to take care of you in your old age.

    1. Making two income, work outside the home, couples the norm along with easy divorce has made it harder to raise children. The market has just adjusted itself to that reality and the perhaps unintended consequences of that, it is not the direct cause of it.

    2. “…you’re not dependent on having 12 kids to ensure that one of them might live long enough and well enough to take care of you in your old age.”

      If only my mom had known! She could have stopped at 5 (I am the 5th).

  5. Where’s the link to Steve Sailer’s “Most Important Graph in the World”?

    1. Why is it a bad thing to have declining population growth? Let the population be whatever it naturally chooses to be. It’s probably better for the species and the planet that there are less of us. I take this trend as a positive correction and would assume that we would see growth again if levels started dropping too low

      1. “Why is it a bad thing to have declining population growth?”

        Because if the native born population declines and the borders are closed, Reason.com’s billionaire benefactor Charles Koch won’t have a large enough labor force. That’s why we need open borders — to import highly skilled doctors and engineers from Mexico and South America.

        1. Jesus f-ing Christ.

        2. “Charles Koch won’t have a large enough labor force”

          *Chef’s kiss*

      2. This wasn’t supposed to be a response to you. Damn squirrels

      3. The worst part of a declining population is the design of the government safety nets require a growing base like most ponzu schemes.

      4. I don’t think it’s fair to say the population is what it naturally chooses to be. I mean there have been surveys showing that most people want more kids than they end up having. Of course people want a lot of things and have to make trade offs – so that’s part of the issue. But there are also government policies and cultural norms that impact that. If housing were a free market (and therefore affordable) and people weren’t going into debt and spending half a decade on degrees of dubious value then they might have more kids.

      5. It isn’t declining population growth, it is a declining population that reflects a decline in social energy and confidence.

    2. In the garbage, where it belongs.

  6. I donated my remaining 0.1 to the poor.

  7. That there is choice is a good thing. That we are choosing extinction is not, especially when the other aspect of this is the other that we are short of human capital and need to import the population we are not producing commercially which means we are not passing our cultural values down as well.

    1. What’s wrong with extinction? Honest question. Why do we really care whether or not we’ll be around forever?

      1. Who wants to love forever. Who wants to love foreeeveeerrrr.

        Highlander made me not want to love forever.

        1. A song from people who were immortal as long as they didn’t chop each other’s heads off.

        2. I had to wait for Highlander 2, 3 and 4 to wish for my demise.

      2. Extinction is how you lose the game.

        It is also that if you like these values, then a birthrate as a result that makes the culture unsustainable is bad. At some point that means that the culture will have to adopt more sustainable values before it fades away or that it will be replaced by a culture with values that enable it to thrive. In any case, if our current value system must result in depopulation, then it is a very temporary condition.

      3. To speak of “we choose extinction” is grammatically and philosophically correct. To speak of “why do we care” is not. You may care, or not care; I may care, or not care, or care less or more or differently than you; but your question assumes you have a frog in your pocket.

      4. “What’s wrong with extinction?”

        We’ve been playing evolution for 4.28 billion years.
        To lose this late in the game, just as we’re on the cusp of going interstellar, is bad form.

  8. “late capitalism” has made it too hard to balance life and work, which is causing women to have fewer kids.

    That must be why poor people have more kids.

    1. I had a teacher in high school who said poor countries have higher birth rates because they have no money to spend on entertainment, so teens and young adults find the most fun thing they can do for free

      1. so teens and young adults find the most fun thing they can do for free

        “You’ll never live like common people
        You’ll never do whatever common people do
        Never fail like common people
        You’ll never watch your life slide out of view
        And then dance and drink and screw
        Because there’s nothing else to do”

  9. Young women choose to have fewer kids then, as older women, they “choose” to spend thousands on fertility treatments!

    1. The current statistics in the West and its offshoots are the result of cultural engineering.

      1. Exactly — No other blame than that of gov, “cultural engineering”.

  10. In lieu of utopia, however, we have the freedom to choose. That’s a good thing.

    Not according to Bernie “Who Needs 23 Kinds Of Deodorant?” Sanders. More choices = more opportunities to make the wrong choice. And it’s certainly not fair that some people have more choices than others. It’s much better that everybody be given the same one choice and one choice only – to do what you’re told voluntarily or to do what you’re told forcibly.

  11. Advocating against traditional (and in this case biological) gender roles leads to selfish, materialistic nihilism… whooda thunk it?

    1. ^^Winner!!! …And yet so many still think those Billions wasted on cultural engineering (i.e. Propaganda / PSYOP ) operations hasn’t affected their logic. Its baffling the garbage people believe today; 100-years ago today wouldn’t just be a comedy film – it’d be a down right ‘too stupid’ to be funny film.

  12. I actually think the problem here is really simple.

    Every time I see kids while in the USA they look like sullen, miserable beings. When I see parents, they look like they hate their kids.

    Why on earth would someone want to spend huge amounts of time, money and resources on someone who winds up despising them?

    Here in Costa Rica, mothers and children seem to love each other and so I see plenty of them. The culture here makes kids a priority over making money, of which there is little. If I had kids, I would want to have them here instead of the US.

    For Americans, the real solution is to Make Kids Fun Again. If we can somehow figure out how to make them fun and happy, people will start having them again.

    But how? Maybe a lot of the problem is that the schools constantly tell pupils that America is a lousy place and they should apologize for their lives. Who would want to be a kid under those circumstances?

    1. makes kids a priority over making money, of which there is little

      Perhaps if you changed some priorities, you’d have more money.

    2. I’d place a bet that Costa Rica doesn’t have the ‘feminist’ PSYOP’S going on like it does in the U.S.

  13. Can anyone cite examples where having hordes of people was actually a good thing (on net), or led to good outcomes?

    1. You can’t cite opposing examples either, can you?

      I will cite theory with no examples. Simple enough that even you can understand!

      Twice as many people means twice as many innovators — inventors, scientists, researchers, artists, writers, musicians — and all those things can be shared, unlike manufacturers, farmers, taxi drivers, etc.

      In other words, much faster progress. We will get to Mars sooner, and have FTL drives sooner, and vacation in Saturn’s rings sooner. We will have computer-brain interfaces sooner, quantum computers sooner, better flying cars sooner, and tourism into the Marianas Trench sooner.

      1. A gathering of experts is different from masses of people. The Manhattan Project succeeded because a few clusters of smart people collaborated, not because the population of the US reached 136 million. And claiming that gross population numbers leads to more innovators, and more prosperity, is the same as claiming that the same population growth gives us more Hitlers, if you excuse the cliche.

        My examples? Are people, on average, better off and happier in big cities compared to small towns? Do the average people, not the elite, actually accomplish more with their lives? And attain self-satisfaction?

        As for simple understanding, FU.

        1. Didn’t answer me, bub. Twice as many innovators gives twice the progress. Manufacturing and farming don’t soak up twice as many people to produce twice as much, leaving far more than twice as many thinkers and innovators.

          Simple arithmetic, how does it work? Obviously you’re not one of them.

          1. Obviously, that is why China and India rule the world. /s

            1. Or did and will.
              It’s also pretty much the only reason why Australia and Canada don’t have the same global impact the US does.

        2. If I owned a machine that was producing 10% saleable product and 90% rejects, and I wanted to increase production, I think I would try making the machine work better so that less product had to be scrapped before I added more machines to make more stuff that was mostly junk.

      2. By this logic, the Black Death, which killed off something like one-third of the population of Europe, should’ve been followed by a generations-long decline in science, invention, philosophy, and art. Instead, we got the Renaissance.

        1. Black Death and the Renaissance stemmed from the same root: better travel. Ships carried the disease, but they also carried new ideas.

          But that’s not hordes. It’s folks with gumption. Sometimes they loose (picking up the nasties abroad), sometimes they win (Hey lookie what I just learned / found /borrowed/bought/ stole!) But it’s not about numbers.

          1. lose?

            Damned English spelling!

        2. Black death did in roughly half the Europeans at the time. World wars one and two combined killed something less than 4%.

  14. It is clear that anti-natalism is baked into ‘late capitalism,’ – capitalism where women play a significant role in the economy as opposed to sitting on their asses at home all day. After bearing a child, a women’s labor is discounted by the labor market and she can expect a cut in pay. The disincentives to child raising can scarcely be clearer.

    1. “It is clear that anti-natalism is baked into ‘late capitalism,’”

      It is clear you’re peddling more bullshit.

      1. The disincentives to child raising can scarcely be clearer.

    2. After bearing a child, a women’s labor is discounted by the labor market and she can expect a cut in pay. The disincentives to child raising can scarcely be clearer.

      That’s a conclusion with blinders to dozens of other contributing factors.

      The ‘cut in pay’ you refer to is often accepted willingly by the mother. This has been adequately argued by honest social scientists– pointing to studies that show that women generally prefer shorter working hours, better work-life balance, time to raise children etc.

      It’s not so much the cut in pay that probably drives lower fertility rates, but more the general lack of dependence on child manual labor to keep food on the table that an agrarian existence demands.

      You think pioneer women on the farm were ‘sitting on their asses’ all day? No, they were working AND having children. Your characterization encompasses a popular vision of one very narrow time of the 1950s, where men were still doing most of the work, but automation had given women the freedom from daily toils such as hand-washing clothes, dishes etc. It was that automation that essentially allowed women to pursue work outside the home because there was less and less required of them IN the home.

      1. Further, it presumes that a woman would prefer sitting in a cubicle for 8-10 hours a day, making 24 cents more an hour instead of having a child and raising a family. That’s a huuuge presumption about the nature of those two endeavors.

        Just to name a couple, it presumes that women are the SOLE caretakers of the child, and the father is predominantly absent– continuing to work long hours and earning the highest possible dollar.

        It presumes that all desire to have children and raise a family are exclusively the domain of the mother. It presumes hetero-normative relationships in the bearing of children. And needless to say, it suggests that the bearing of children and raising of families are based on a simple economic calculus.

        1. “Further, it presumes that a woman would prefer sitting in a cubicle for 8-10 hours a day, making 24 cents more an hour instead of having a child and raising a family”

          Raising a child is a very expensive endeavor. Education, housing, medical care expenses are all getting more expensive by the day. Throwing in a pay-cut on top of all that hardy sweetens the deal.

          1. I can’t disagree with that, but it’s still the narrow view. Why then, do poorer women who have to work a full time job, sometimes two choose to have children– often multiple children. You seem to be contending that the bearing of children is a pure economic calculus.

            1. ” Why then, do poorer women who have to work a full time job, sometimes two choose to have children– often multiple children.”

              I’m only able to point out the anti-natalism behind the practice of pay cuts to women who bear children. Not everyone will respond in the same way. Criminal behavior is even more strongly disincentivized, but our prisons are fuller than ever. Incentives and disincentives will only take you so far, after that personal tastes and inclinations take on more weight.

      2. “The ‘cut in pay’ you refer to is often accepted willingly by the mother.”

        I’m not sure she has a choice, and if she did why would she choose a pay cut? And if women prefer shorter working hours, more time with their children etc, why are they choosing the opposite ie putting in longer a working week?

        1. It’s like you didn’t read my message.

          It’s been shown, repeatedly, that on surveys, women generally (in aggregate) prefer shorter working hours, better work-life balance, and time to raise families.

          Some women choose longer work weeks then decide later in life to have children after they have an established career. Many women HAVE to work full time but still choose to have children. Some women choose not to have children to pursue a high flying career. Some women choose not to have children to pursue a career that has low pay with the potential of high pay and prestige that never materializes.

          Some working women have children but only have one to keep their career from being derailed– this contributes to the ‘lower birth rates’.

          Now, if you want to argue that late stage capitalism has “forced” women to work when they’d PREFER to sit on their asses and raise children, I’ll let you take that up with the second wave feminists.

          1. Overall, women are having fewer children, regardless of what SOME women choose. That’s how you get declining birth rates. It’s not such a difficult idea.

            1. I guess maybe I’m not getting your point. Your initial point seems to be at least in part similar to the traditional conservative complaint about our modern economic condition: Women are being thrown out of their traditional role of motherhood and childbearing because of rising inflation and taxation forcing them out of the home.

              However, your point seems to strictly revolve around the loss of 24 cents an hour.

              Yes, it all results in declining birth rates, but it’s not just that– and probably not even much of that. Most of it is second-order effects from an advanced society’s lack of need for high birth rates: Lower infant mortality, lower CHILD mortality, no longer an agrarian economy etc.

              When all of the above were in play, having multiple children was the only thing standing between you and starvation.

              1. “Yes, it all results in declining birth rates, but it’s not just that– and probably not even much of that. Most of it is second-order effects from an advanced society’s lack of need for high birth rates: Lower infant mortality, lower CHILD mortality, no longer an agrarian economy etc.”

                These are all valid points and I don’t dispute them. But we can attribute them to improved public hygiene, something that’s been going on since the 19th century, at least in countries on a par with Europe. It’s also evident in socialist countries like the USSR, at least according to official figures. Late capitalism, which I define as capitalism with significant economic participation of women, hasn’t got a lot to do with improved hygiene; it’s more about the workings of the labor market, which is my point, given that the article goes to the trouble of dismissing the notion.

                1. hasn’t got a lot to do with improved hygiene; it’s more about the workings of the labor market, which is my point, given that the article goes to the trouble of dismissing the notion.

                  I think on this we broadly agree, but where we disagree is I don’t think it has anything to do with an extra 24 cents an hour. I think it has more to do with washing machines, dishwashers, coupled with the long decline in our dependence on agrarian economic principles.

                  You might be interested in listening to some of Camille Paglia’s dissertations on feminism because of ALL the feminists out there, she probably has the most historically grounded observations about women’s roles in society and how they’ve evolved (and why).

                  It’s also probably why so many modern feminists dismiss her.

                  1. “I think it has more to do with washing machines, dishwashers, coupled with the long decline in our dependence on agrarian economic principles.”

                    I agree with all that, but these innovations came before ‘late capitalism,’ when women were significantly taken up into the economy. This effect I’ve been talking about wouldn’t have been operative during the ‘middle capitalist’ period of dishwashers, washing machines and other innovations, but only after.

                    I think I got through some of Paglia’s work, but got bored. I remember a lengthy catalogue of Roman perversion.

              2. Trueman is like a very poorly written boy. His comments have only vague connections to anything said.

                But I found your comments here very interesting, Reynolds

                1. Damn it autocorrect
                  “poorly written *bot”

        2. “I’m not sure she has a choice” — Ya; logical beings think that NOT being able to On-Demand get their preferred-life, preferred-pay, preferred-skill, preferred-hobby, preferred-school, preferred-mate, preferred-family, preferred-friends etc… etc… etc…

          Is signalling a cultural induced problematic lack-of-choices. /s

      3. “It was that automation that essentially allowed women to pursue work outside the home because there was less and less required of them IN the home.”

        Never thought of that.
        Good call!

  15. “late capitalism” = lefty-speak for “prosperity”.

  16. Don’t panic about fertility, but advocate mass migration and demographic replacement to combat low fertility!

  17. So the population drops, it’s not as if H. sap. is about to die out. At least not from underpopulation.

    We’ve built up a tremendous amount of physical and intellectual capital over the past couple hundred years. If population were to drop significantly, the unused physical capital plus the stuff we’ve learned could make this planet a pretty nice place. Everyone could be quite well off, and it would be a much reduced drag on the non-human world.

    Looks like a win-win to me.

  18. Ah, so prosperity makes it so people don’t want to have children.

    That’s interesting. And all those immensely rich and powerful families with shoals of children? That doesn’t actually happen?

    It’s not prosperity that’s making people put off children. It’s leftist propaganda. Malthusianism. Endless AGW overpopulation rhetoric from K thru Ph.D. And that’s been the overbearing drumbeat for nearly a century now.

    Here is how things SHOULD function–

    Kids hit puberty
    Kids start showing interest in reproductive activities
    Kids become young adults*
    Young adults get together and spit out babies.
    Babies are raised with the help of young grandparents
    Babies become kids, then young adults and parents become young grandparents
    Young grandparents become extremely young great grandparents and hit their late 40s with a large support structure, a stable job, and a retirement of leisure looming ahead.

    But none of that empowers the collective.

    1. “Ah, so prosperity makes it so people don’t want to have children. ”

      No, you’ve completely misunderstood my point. A pay cut and attendant loss of prosperity and economic security makes it so people don’t want to have children. It isn’t that hard to understand.

      Most Americans don’t have the option of dragooning their great grand parents into caring for their kids, so back to the drawing board.

  19. “……Sussman blamed employers……..”

    EVERYTHING IS SO TERRIBLE AND UNFAIR! ™

    Haha. She sucks.

  20. I have no problem with dropping fertility rates in developed countries. It seems like the natural way of things. What I can’t figure out is the politics of it.

    If a country (and I’m thinking of various ones in Western Europe) have very low fertility rates, and then the leaders of the countries declare there aren’t enough people in said country to fill the necessary jobs. Which means countries with low fertility rates are effectively depending on countries with… let’s say… ‘surplus’ fertility rates.

    So that raises a question to me: If the world in general is moving towards first world status, and we can presume that all countries will start to have dropping fertility rates, who will fill these jobs that simply must be filled by waves of new immigrants?

    I’m not proposing answers, because I don’t know. I’m guessing automation will continue to answer a lot of these problems. But obviously automation can’t answer them now, because we’re told we desperately need immigrants to take the unfilled jobs due to declining birth rates…

    1. I won’t defend his behavior in his personal life nor his bigotry towards the Chinese, but this video is a fairly solid response to the claim that we (in this example Japan) don’t have enough people and need immigration.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C18_G6wIh-Y

      1. I’ll look at your link a little bit later, but it seems people are trying to have it both ways on this debate.

        Yay! Prosperity! Declining birth rates!
        Open the borders!
        *Why*
        Because we need immigration to fill the employment gaps due to our declining birth rates!

  21. “We have the freedom to choose. That’s a good thing.” That is irrelevant and beside the point. But whether a decreasing birthrate per woman in the US is a societal good for the country overall is certainly something worth debating and should not be so flippantly dismissed.

    1. Nonsense. There’s no such thing as a ‘societal good’, because society is not a real thing. It’s illusory. A society is just a bunch of individual people. A society doesn’t want things, doesn’t value things, and doesn’t act.

      There are only individuals. Individual good (across all individuals) is all that matters. Individuals want things, value things, and act. If the individuals don’t want things on their own, how could the group possibly and *validly* want differently?

      People claiming ‘societal good’ are merely trying to force their values onto other people. That’s up-front and unquestionably evil. If you can’t persuade them with your words, suck it up and stop trying to force people.

      1. “If you can’t persuade them with your words, suck it up and stop trying to force people.”

        And you’ve failed

        1. Well, he provided one angle from the standpoint of the debate. Now let’s hear from some others.

          1. Did he?
            The “there’s no forest, only trees” line is tired, and doesn’t really address the point raised – it’s just libertarian virtue signaling.

            1. Well, he indicated that there is no societal good, only individuals, which further suggests that there is no national sovereignty, borders or shared ideals with the people in those spaces.

              As a libertarian, I don’t like the idea of someone setting some kind of national policy to push or nudge people into having children to goose the national birth rate.

              But at the same time I do accept that nations are clearly worried about it, because stemming from declining birth rates, comes arguments of the desperate need to increase immigration.

      2. “Individual good (across all individuals)”

        All individuals are society. Society is a collectivity. Like a pack of wolves or a pod of whales. With people it’s a little more complicated. Couples, families, teams, platoons, nations, reflect the rich diversity of social organization absent among our friends in the animal world.

        1. Individual 1: Excuse me sir, the *checks notes* individuals from *checks notes* Germany are rolling over our social construct with tanks and airplanes, killing individuals and demanding our surrender.

          Individual 2: And… why do I care about this?

      3. “People claiming ‘societal good’ are merely trying to force their values onto other people. That’s up-front and unquestionably evil.” — Perfectly stated…. I don’t know why there’s any kickback on this when that REALLY is what separates the left from the right’s ideology. It’s what separates socialism/communism from individual rights/freedoms.

        WELL SAID Squirrelloid!

  22. Whether whether a decreasing birthrate per woman in the US is a societal good for the country overall is certainly something worth debating and should not be so flippantly dismissed is certainly something worth debating and should not be so flippantly dismissed. Some of us would take the position that considering “societal good” is collectivism and women should just have as many or as few children as they want and whether that’s “good” or “bad” for society doesn’t matter because society exists for the benefit of the individual and not the other way around. Asking or urging or demanding women have what they personally believe to be a sub-optimal number of children for the common good is just prioritizing the collective over the individual.

    1. Yea, nobody mentioned forcing women to have children but you two railing against the “collectivist” strawman.
      “Assuming declining birthrates as a good” is the topic

    2. Having a birthrate below replacement means that that society will not last and the values that result in that low birthrate are not a survival trait and will be replaced one way or another.

    3. “Asking or urging or demanding women have what they personally believe to be a sub-optimal number of children for the common good is just prioritizing the collective over the individual.”

      — ANOTHER Great Comment.. America. The land of Dictation or America. The land of the Free?

  23. There is good reason the birth rate is down when the government can and does send a parent to jail if they don’t treat the children as the government thinks the parent should and at the same time parents who mistreat their children they get off with very little jail time.
    It is getting to the point that both men and women are getting to be treated as if they are brood stock. When the child is born even though the government does not take it away from the parent(s) the government tells the parent what they can and cannot do. The parent is now just a nanny with the state telling how to raise the child.

    1. “There is good reason the birth rate is down …”

      It’s not good enough. Japan has an incarceration rate about one twentieth that of the USA, yet is probably the world leader in declining national fertility. Time to join the others at the black board of sloppy thinking.

  24. Ask Eurabians what happens when you stop having children and you flood your country with Moslems and people from North Africa…

  25. Have you met any children? In the main, they are awful little things.

    1. Children are awesome before today’s lifestyle and propaganda starts to take a hold on them. It’s neglected or children of crappy parents that are awful little things.

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  28. Everyone knows why birth-rate is down. The feminist PSYOP movement has turned the female population into the most self-centered species on the plant, the government has passed sooooooooo many regulations, indoctrination, and freedom-biting laws in connection with the cliche call of “its for the kids” that the…

    The juice is just no longer worth the squeeze.

    It’s actually quite impressive how effective cultural engineering has been.

  29. Choosing not to reproduce isn’t like choosing a job, or a paint colour.

    There are only three defining elements of life, birth, reproduction and death.

    Life is a continuum. The living carriers of the complete ancestry of two heterosexuals combine at conception creating a new human which is the continuation of the two.

    Of all our choices, choosing not to reproduce is to tap out of life. To have no investment in the future.

    Why should the rest of us let someone have any impact on the future, when they have chosen to have no personal investment in it?

    1. So, to be fair, one’s ability to influence the future should be proportionate to how many babies they make? One vote for each child, perhaps? But then, why should the rest of us grant more impact on the future to others simply because they reproduce profligately?

      1. If you’ve tapped out, it’s over for you.

        1. So it’s okay if I stop paying my school taxes? And what about people with no grandchildren? It’s “over” for them, too, right? Or great-grandchildren? How shall we retroactively erase the “impact” of those whose germ lines have failed? For how many generations must we keep track? Please flesh out your program for us.

          1. Do you blame your parents dipshit?

            1. And will people get any credit for adopted or foster children?

  30. The big drop in breeding is not a problem.

    The fact that smarter and better educated persons throughout the world are the ones who breed less, the problem is that the brood is becoming ever dumber, all the while polluting the world and costing us non-breeders a fortune in taxes to mis-educate them.

  31. “Is this a bad thing?”

    Yes. It fundamentally shows people don’t believe in the future. This is driven by the fundamental idea of libertarianism: consumption. Instead of family and building something bigger than yourself, the awful idea of nihilist consumption has set in. This is something libertarians have been pushing for as long as I can remember.

    “We do know, however, what policies have historically sustained high fertility rates: low incomes, low education levels, high levels of violence, defective rule of law, extensive corruption, lack of property rights, and despotic government.”

    You’re a fucking idiot.

    1. And yet, he’s correct.

    2. Israel is a prosperous highly developed country. Women fully participate in the economy, government and military. Yet they are an outlier with the highest birth rate in the developed world of 3.2. It is true for secular Jews and Arabs, not just the religious.

      Why is that? I don’t really know. The only real answer is because they want them. The whole attitude toward children and family is positive and optimistic.

      Somehow that is being lost here.

  32. Birth rates are declining yet the population of the US keeps going up and is at an all time high, so I’m not sure what anyone is stressing about. The US population could fall by half and we would merely be back to what it was in 1950.

    I think the interesting political angle here is that small groups tend to be closer to the sources of power (local vs national politics being easier to influence). More density such as in cities leads to more convenience but also more progressive politics and calls to control the citizenry.
    If the population goes down there will be a trade off in convenience but a trade up in freedom, is my guess.

  33. why should the rest of us grant more impact on the future to others simply because they reproduce profligately?

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