Friday, August 23, 2013

Where Have All Of The Children Gone?

I have been reading a very interesting book on demographics, What To Expect When No One Is Expecting by Jonathan Last. His point is pretty simple and backed up with a ton of stats, namely that we are facing a demographic disaster even as certain academics continue to warn of overpopulation. This is an argument I have been making for some time and it is just common sense. As people live longer thanks to improved medical care and nutrition while at the same time people have much smaller families to replace those workers that die or retire, we are inevitably heading for a major crisis. The best thing we can do to ensure the viability of Social security is not to keep paying our Social Security taxes, it is to have children who will be future tax payers.

Anyway I read something interesting that I wanted to share from the book:

This does not mean people have stopped having children- merely that in the Second Demographic Transition, procreation became an act of self-actualization. And because raising children is difficult, resource intensive, socially inhibiting, and (if can be candid) often unpleasant, it is not an exercise many people want to put themselves through multiple times.

What To Expect When No One's Expecting, pg 93

There is some definite truth to that. Having children is often seen as a milestone in our own personal quest toward an adult bucketlist but it also is something that seems more about the parents than the children.

The second sentence is also quite interesting. Raising kids has always been time and resource intensive but in spite of all of our cultural noise about how important kids are we are at the same time doing everything we can to make raising kids more and more difficult.

Anyway, just thought that was interesting. The full review is coming out soon as I finished the book a few days ago.


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