Jonathan Last, author of What to Expect When No One’s Expecting, wrote America’s Baby Bust, one of the most insightful, educational pieces on the effects of a population that doesn’t value babies and life.
As a mom of a large family, I have, perhaps, a heightened awareness of the temperature of the culture’s and even my community’s attitude toward children. Ironically, as large families are ostracized, babies are killed in the womb, and almost everyone clings to the idea that fertility is a highly personal decision, it yet remains one of the issues that most dramatically affects all of us. We are not autonomous on this one. The world’s hatred of babies may affect you more than you know!
There are so many good points in this article. I’d love to know your thoughts!
“Once a country’s fertility rate falls consistently below replacement, its age profile begins to shift. You get more old people than young people. And eventually, as the bloated cohort of old people dies off, population begins to contract. This dual problem—a population that is disproportionately old and shrinking overall—has enormous economic, political and cultural consequences.
For two generations we’ve been lectured about the dangers of overpopulation. But the conventional wisdom on this issue is wrong, twice. First, global population growth is slowing to a halt and will begin to shrink within 60 years. Second, as the work of economists Esther Boserups and Julian Simon demonstrated, growing populations lead to increased innovation and conservation. Think about it: Since 1970, commodity prices have continued to fall and America’s environment has become much cleaner and more sustainable—even though our population has increased by more than 50%. Human ingenuity, it turns out, is the most precious resource….
There have been lots of changes in American life over the last 40 years that have nudged our fertility rate downward. High on the list is the idea that “happiness” is the lodestar of a life well-lived. If we’re going to reverse this decline, we’ll need to reintroduce into American culture the notion that human flourishing ranges wider and deeper than calculations of mere happiness.”
Jonathan Last, America’s Baby Bust