The US fertility rate is continuing to drop. Should we try to change this? Published by Jane the Actuary View all posts by Jane the Actuary
3 thoughts on “Forbes post, “What (If Anything) Should We Do About The Rock-Bottom U.S. Fertility Rate?””
I wonder if more clarity on what actual retirement quality will actually be received by those in their 40s-50s-60s might encourage a higher birth rate? I think people are consistently overestimating what will be available from social security, pensions, and 401(k)s. Larger families have in the past been one way to prepare for your own retirement years.
This makes me think of a National Review blog post from over 10 years ago, before John Derbyshire went completely crazy:
“…modernity and child-raising are a really poor mix, is surely true. Raising children is not much fun much of the time. It never was, of course, but our ancestors did not feel as entitled to fun as we do, and of course lacked reliable birth control methods.
My generation was I think the last in the Western world not to be consciously ‘raised’ at all. Our parents – not just my parents, ours, everybody’s – shoved us out of the house on every possible occasion. People who could afford to, hired other adults to raise their kids for them. The ancient paleolithic formula of keeping a child by the mother till weaned, then dumping him into the tribal peer group, still held. Then this guy [Benjamin Spock] showed up and everything went to hell.
The endless attentions we are supposed to lavish on our kids nowadays simply go against the grain of human nature. If you’re a parent, come on, admit it: There have been times, haven’t there, when, after some particularly difficult struggle with a child, you and your spouse have sat staring at each other gloomily across the kitchen table, till one of you says: ‘Isn’t this supposed to be rewarding? Pah!'”
I have had 3 children since this blog post from 2008, and I hate to admit that it still resonates with me. Unfortunately, I’m more attuned to the pain of raising children rather than the joy….