Sunday, September 23, 2012
Where have all the children gone?
I was watching one of those Sunday morning talking head shows. The issue of immigration came up. One man argued that with so many Baby Boomers entering retirement we need immigrants to provide workers to replace the Boomers and fill their jobs, and to pay the taxes needed to help support those Boomers on Social Security and Medicare.
I understood his point, and I don't object to welcoming immigrants, but it occurred to me that one reason we need immigrants to do those things is that we Boomers and post Boomers did not produce enough children.
My generation was one in which married couples - those who bothered to marry - had fewer children, or none at all. I thought of all the couples I know who had one child or none - not enough to replace themselves, and certainly not to take our generation's places in the work force.
Some folks were not able to have children - that's not their fault and that's not who I'm talking about.
But some waited so long to have children - so that children did not interfere with buying or building that dream house, enjoying expensive vacations and toys, getting careers off the ground, etc. - that when they finally got around to thinking about having children it was too late: They were too old to do so. Others did not want children at all - for the same selfish reasons - and still others did have children but limited them to one or two at most. I also know many couples who in their first marriages chose not to have children right away, and then their marriages broke up. By the time they found a second spouse, they were too old or too set in their ways to produce children.
And how did we limit our children? Birth control and abortion - the "sacred" soloutions put forward by Progressives and codified in the platform of the Democratic Party. Imagine if we'd had those 50 million babies who were slaughtered in the name of choice: The talking head's call for immigrants to fill jobs and pay taxes would have been unnecessary. But of course he could not cite our anti-baby policies. That would have called into question the progressive agenda he and others promote and our own selfishness.
Ironically, some of those people who did not have children are now seeking out technical assistance to help them do what they chose not to do naturally when they could have - through surrogates, invitro fertilization, and other unnatural and Church prohibited means. Even, sadly, Catholics. (I was in a room with several Catholic women who talked glowingly of two instances of surrogates - in both cases women choosing to bear the children of siblings.)
Right now, our economy is facing an uncertain future because of this lack of children.
And we have only ourselves to blame for our demographic woes.
Pax et bonum