5 thoughts on “Forbes post, “What’s Next For American Fertility Rates – And Social Security?”

  1. The drop in fertility is permanent unless a greater share economy goes directly to workers increases dramatically. One sister-in-law and her husband, both of whom are college graduates who never made it into college required employment because of their majors in college and a weak economy were quite blunt in why they had only one child. They said because that was all they could afford to raise. The other reasons are: 1) Women are marrying later in life with the average age of first marriage 28, but their eggs lose the potential to become babies for every delayed year until 90% of the eggs are unusable by about age 40. 2) Chemical exposures of both men and women in our environment are reducing fertility and increasing cases of cancer. This may also be why the first generation of immigrants in a family has above average fertility but as the family stays in the USA by the 2nd generation they also have a low birthrate. 3) Everyone with at least half a brain is concerned either automation or AI will eliminate their jobs and their children might not be able to find any job in the future with global competition for fewer jobs. 4) I personally stopped dating one woman because she was young enough to have the 12 children she wanted to have, while I knew I could not support such a large family even though I had 4 siblings. I saw her about 20 years later at a reunion event and she had 5 children, so apparently she either took a long time to find a husband who wanted a large family or being a banker got in the way of her goal. In both or our extended families the number of children is fewer than the replacement rate. 5) Too many people are greedy and know their own retirement may be impaired by helping their children and grandchildren. There are a lot of grandparents reluctantly raising their grandchildren and people who see that do not want it for themselves.

  2. Perhaps low birthrates are a good thing. Undoubtedly there will be economic pain with fewer young people to to pay into SS and Medicare, and there will be fewer healthcare workers to care for an increasingly aging society. However, in 50 to 100 years, a smaller US population might be better for everyone with respect to food, water and other resources. We live in a finite world, and economic growth models are ultimately unsustainable.

  3. Social Security needs to be funded with money. Babies and young people have the least amount of money, we have record low youth employment.

    You wanna fund social security? Tax the people who have the money. You want higher birthrates? Ask the people with the money.

  4. Interesting article. Not only are low birthrates bad for pensions and such, but pensions themselves contribute to low birth rates. In the olden days people would have children in order to have someone take care of them in old age, and could also send their kids out to work. But now with Social Security, Medicare, and child labor laws, children have become more of liabilities than assets. Taking in more immigrants can prop up the system for a while, but only as long as their home countries still have high birthrates, and that isn’t certain. That public pensions and child labor laws indirectly tax native child-bearing cannot help but fuel nativism.

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