Thursday, December 20, 2007

Population Bomb

According to this article the US fertility rate has just hit a new post-1971 high of 2.1, meaning that we are all having just barely enough babies to sustain the population.

Among industrialized countries the US is nearly unique in having at least a stable population, all of the others are on the verge of losing population, or at best stable. France being the only exception, also being at about 2.1.

The problem is age. My personal life is an example. I always wanted kids, a bunch of them. But I didn't get married until 34, and my new wife was 32. We had two kids in the next couple of years. Birth is hard on women past 30. We decided to stop at 2, meaning that the odds are we will be below replacement by the next generation.,1,3414915.story

And here is a shallow and ignorant article from the Chicago Trib bemoaning teen pregnancy. Teen pregnancy is in the eyes of liberals everywhere a terrible and life shattering event, I suppose because being pregnant requires responsibility and limits your 'choices'.

Having your kids in your teen years can be a hardship, especially if you follow the modern path by living away from your extended family, spend every dime you make on consumer junk, run up huge credit card bills and don't bother to get married. Teen pregnancy and the liberal lifestyle do not go together. I suppose that is why liberals hate it.

But from a more thoughtful standpoint, the late teen years should be the very best time to have kids. A young woman's body is in its prime of fitness at 18 or 19. She will never be as healthy or have that energy again. She can have as many kids as she wants and still be free while she is young enough to enjoy middle age. She can be the fun and energetic grandma in her 40s and 50s instead of the bedridden crone that late-bearers so often are.

You 'sacrifice' your freedom while young, to regain it during your middle years.

The 'problem' is not teen pregnancy, but our modern society's reaction to it. Teens with babies need family support. They need to have been taught adult values, patience, responsibility, a future-oriented outlook, in their early years, so that they are mentally prepared for the strain of rearing a child. Instead we treat teens as children themselves, and expect nothing but friviolity from them.

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