The Economics of Birth?

As Greg has pointed out in his article below on the similarities between America and Rome, something is wrong with American society. A recent book review on the Gospel Coalition shows that this ‘something wrong’ is not only seen in the decline of moral values, the bitterness in Washington D. C., or the ‘serve me’ mentality in the average American, but also in falling birth rates. Kevin DeYoung’s review of the book What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster points out the economic troubles that occur when birth rates fall. The review and the excerpts from the book are both intriguing and worrisome, but the problem with low birth rates should not really be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention.

The United States is on the brink of a Social Security nightmare, when more Americans will be in retirement than working. Some politicians have claimed that the solution lies in raising the age of eligibility for social security payouts. What is noteworthy is that no one has suggested that this might current financial crisis might be the fallout from removing 50 million people from our population due to abortion.

I find it quite ironic that many historians will point to the Pre-Civil War Confederacy and suggest that slavery was economically unsustainable in the long term. And yet, no one seems to be examining the economic ramifications of our own social decisions. There is no self-examination or global examination of the results of American social policy; instead, social policy seems to be viewed as completely separate from economic policy, as though the two had absolutely no bearing on one another. As the emphasis shifts socially to what we want without regard for the national good or the good of others, social decisions that divorce procreation from marriage, create taxation that no longer promotes having children, and that undermine the family unit through abortion, no fault divorce, and legalized homosexual marriage will continue to be made without the thought of the economic results.

The most worrisome fact about the falling birth rates is not that very few have noticed that it is an economic concern, but that almost no one can connect the dots to see that our national social policies have created a climate where having children is no longer promoted. The birth rates will continue to drop until the connection is seen. Which gives yet another opportunity for Christians to engage their culture, both when asked why Christians have so many kids (statistically Christians have more children than non-Christians), and when talking to secular thinking Americans about social issues. Because to use the wise thoughts of Bill Clinton, everything in America about economics, (apparently even morality!)

1 Thought.

  1. Here is another feed into the US population that is going to cut off more and more: Immigrants. In the past, especially prior to the 90s, Indians used to dream about migrating to the US. Many acted as if, when you die, you go to America.

    That has changed for at least two reasons. One is that while India still has its struggles, its easier now to find work. The other is that many Indians have had a taste of American morality and they do not like it. If they come here, they come here just for a season and that only to make some money. After that they leave. They do not want to raise their kids here.

    I don’t have actual statistics to demonstrate this, however I think you can find many anecdotes to wit.

    ~ Raj

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