Did Vox just say we should have more babies?

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Did Vox just say we should have more babies?

Well…sorta. Some­how I missed this gem from Vox in November:

The US needs more babies, more immi­grants, and more integration

I did a dou­ble take, then read the arti­cle. Not sur­pris­ingly, rather than pro­pose doing things like pro­mot­ing fam­i­lies that might cre­ate sta­ble con­di­tions for rais­ing chil­dren, we instead get more government:

Here’s an idea that’s even more out there. Since tra­di­tional agri­cul­tural soci­eties enabled par­ents to “cap­ture” the eco­nomic rents of child­bear­ing because fam­i­lies shared income, the eco­nomic returns to child­bear­ing were large. This remains true in devel­op­ing coun­tries where fam­ily net­works share incomes, includ­ing through migrant remit­tances, but it’s not true in Amer­ica. We can fix that. We could set a small pay­roll tax on each per­son, and allo­cate it to their par­ent (with exclu­sions for cases of abuse or neglect, of course). Such a “parental div­i­dend” would alter the long-​run finan­cial cal­cu­la­tion of parenting.

This seems extra­or­di­nar­ily com­pli­cated instead of pro­mot­ing that whole fam­ily cul­ture thing…but appar­ently that’s too complicated:

Cul­tural forces, mean­while, can be extremely pow­er­ful but are dif­fi­cult to engi­neer, espe­cially in big, cul­tur­ally plu­ral­is­tic soci­eties like the United States. Douthat’s pre­ferred pre­scrip­tion (and my own), that peo­ple should be more reli­gious, may have a very lim­ited impact. Even soci­eties with high reli­gios­ity, such as in Africa or much of East­ern Europe, have seen falling birth rates.

Maybe birth rates are falling, but they are cer­tainly still high in those areas.

[cap­tion id=”” align=“alignnone” width=“500”] From Wikipedia.org[/caption]

And if you look, when peo­ple from those regions migrate, they keep doing what they are doing…which is why Germany’s birth rate is ris­ing.

And let’s not kid our­selves that some­how Islam has noth­ing to do with this. Islam as a whole pro­motes large fam­i­lies, and where it sits as a dom­i­nant cul­tural influ­ence, we see spikes in birth rates.

So we’re faced with a dilemma. We need more kids. We could push to build a cul­ture and soci­ety where we value fam­i­lies that pro­vide sta­ble envi­ron­ments to have chil­dren. But that would require us to acknowl­edge things like mar­riage is for a woman and a man, that most fam­i­lies work best where a par­ent stays home, and things like that.

So instead we talk about inte­gra­tion and immi­gra­tion, like some­how those things don’t hap­pen. But here in Amer­ica, we have the advan­tage in that we don’t define “Amer­i­can” by a spe­cific race. Any­body can be an Amer­i­can, regard­less of color or looks. That’s not true in Japan…I have friends that mar­ried Japan­ese women, and they are still not fully accepted by their in-​laws. In fact, it isn’t true in a lot of places. We’re sorta lucky that way.

And if we’re talk­ing about inte­gra­tion, let’s inte­grate every­body and not let cer­tain groups stay out­side.

We seem to be redis­cov­er­ing a lot of things in Amer­ica now: organic farm­ing prac­tices, self con­trol, careers that don’t require degrees and the like. Now sud­denly we’re fig­ur­ing out that being pro-​family is good for every­one. Hope­fully we’ve done so in enough time to set things right in the end.


This post rep­re­sents the views of the author and not those of the Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of the Navy, or any other fed­eral agency. Although the com­ment about self con­trol would help bring up recruit­ing in those agen­cies

Please be sure to donate to Da Tech Guy!

Well…sorta. Somehow I missed this gem from Vox in November:

The US needs more babies, more immigrants, and more integration

I did a double take, then read the article. Not surprisingly, rather than propose doing things like promoting families that might create stable conditions for raising children, we instead get more government:

Here’s an idea that’s even more out there. Since traditional agricultural societies enabled parents to “capture” the economic rents of childbearing because families shared income, the economic returns to childbearing were large. This remains true in developing countries where family networks share incomes, including through migrant remittances, but it’s not true in America. We can fix that. We could set a small payroll tax on each person, and allocate it to their parent (with exclusions for cases of abuse or neglect, of course). Such a “parental dividend” would alter the long-run financial calculation of parenting.

This seems extraordinarily complicated instead of promoting that whole family culture thing…but apparently that’s too complicated:

Cultural forces, meanwhile, can be extremely powerful but are difficult to engineer, especially in big, culturally pluralistic societies like the United States. Douthat’s preferred prescription (and my own), that people should be more religious, may have a very limited impact. Even societies with high religiosity, such as in Africa or much of Eastern Europe, have seen falling birth rates.

Maybe birth rates are falling, but they are certainly still high in those areas.

From Wikipedia.org

And if you look, when people from those regions migrate, they keep doing what they are doing…which is why Germany’s birth rate is rising.

And let’s not kid ourselves that somehow Islam has nothing to do with this. Islam as a whole promotes large families, and where it sits as a dominant cultural influence, we see spikes in birth rates.

So we’re faced with a dilemma. We need more kids. We could push to build a culture and society where we value families that provide stable environments to have children. But that would require us to acknowledge things like marriage is for a woman and a man, that most families work best where a parent stays home, and things like that.

So instead we talk about integration and immigration, like somehow those things don’t happen. But here in America, we have the advantage in that we don’t define “American” by a specific race. Anybody can be an American, regardless of color or looks. That’s not true in Japan…I have friends that married Japanese women, and they are still not fully accepted by their in-laws. In fact, it isn’t true in a lot of places. We’re sorta lucky that way.

And if we’re talking about integration, let’s integrate everybody and not let certain groups stay outside.

We seem to be rediscovering a lot of things in America now: organic farming practices, self control, careers that don’t require degrees and the like. Now suddenly we’re figuring out that being pro-family is good for everyone. Hopefully we’ve done so in enough time to set things right in the end.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency. Although the comment about self control would help bring up recruiting in those agencies

Please be sure to donate to Da Tech Guy!