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Old 05-24-2018, 03:02 PM
 
Location: OC, CA
9,862 posts, read 13,185,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post
The birth rates in almost all the civilized, enlightened Western European countries are lower, often considerably lower, than the US, despite their "stable" societies and family-friendly policies. (The only exceptions are Iceland and Ireland). Germany has the 9th lowest birth rate in the world. Why is that?
Ireland it's illegal to have an abortion so that makes sense.
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Old 05-24-2018, 03:15 PM
 
6,815 posts, read 4,408,035 times
Reputation: 11918
It's hard to disentangle culture from economics. American employment-policies might be particularly parsimonious regarding maternity-leave, but the American tax code, especially in its latest iteration, offers generous tax deductions/credits for children. But as society becomes less religious and less "traditional", there is both less prestige in having children, and less pressure to do so. This, I think, is happening across all "Western" countries.. and in plenty of non-Western ones. Still, in the more traditional parts of America, such as the small-town Midwest, it is still uncommon for able-bodied adults to not have children; or for the child-free to not feel a tinge of opprobrium.
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,242 posts, read 3,393,710 times
Reputation: 8778
Children are not that expensive in and of themselves. It's not like you feed them steak every day and baby clothes from Wal-Mart are like $2 or $3 per piece. In fact, baby-food is cheaper than the medical-diet food my dog eats (kidney problems).

The expense of children is the healthcare, the childcare, the lifestyle things they need (all the equipment for their sports, etc...) and especially their college fund.

The huge unanswered problem my wife and I have is - who will take care of the kid when we both work?? It becomes a 6-or-1 decision for one of us to quit working or to pay for daycare, which is practically equivalent to my wife's income. Our main concern is that if she quits, there will be an irreversible hit to her lifetime earning potential.

We take for granted how valuable housework is, and how valuable it was to have the wife and/or extended family pitching in. Ie: having kids is easy for my brother-in-law. He drops the kids off with grandma during the work-days and she loves it. I live nowhere near them to do that.
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Old 05-24-2018, 05:32 PM
 
Location: NYC
11,818 posts, read 7,691,265 times
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Having children is not expensive because plenty of folks are popping babies out left and right at the expense of tax payers.
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Old 05-24-2018, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Washington State
15,349 posts, read 8,020,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyinCali View Post
Pretty good article about the challenges facing young couples. I find the comment by Paul Ryan at the end to be the equivalent of "Let them eat cake". Completely tone deaf and total lack of awareness of the challenges faced by working families.



https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...amily-policies
Y R U complaining, you're HappyinCali.

Seriously, raising kids is tough and not for the weak.
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Old 05-24-2018, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,226 posts, read 477,838 times
Reputation: 2802
The trouble is that intelligent people who make good livings and can afford to educate their children are the ones not having children.


It's the uneducated poor that keep knocking them out like clockwork generation after generation. Why? Because more babies equals more welfare.


We are well on our way to Idiocracy.
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Old 05-24-2018, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Washington State
15,349 posts, read 8,020,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adjusterjack View Post
The trouble is that intelligent people who make good livings and can afford to educate their children are the ones not having children.


It's the uneducated poor that keep knocking them out like clockwork generation after generation. Why? Because more babies equals more welfare.


We are well on our way to Idiocracy.
Damn, you beat me too it...Idiocracy is real.
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Old 05-24-2018, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
4,550 posts, read 1,138,948 times
Reputation: 6517
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowexpectations View Post
I’m not sure where you are attempting to draw the line that I feel America is a hellhole or that I am cherry picking anything. It’s seems you have a comprehension issue as you’ve clearly misread what I said and fabricated all that’s in your response specific to me. Falling birthrates in the US are and should be a concern and it also can be if a concern in other nations. Maybe you could benefit a bit from taking a giant step back from your overdramatized approach. I guess if people dying of cancer is increasing in the US it’s not really a concern if it’s also increasing in other developed nations
You first responded to me with an irrelevant post trying to argue that the historical birthrate in America should be examined while ignoring the exact same trend happening in all developed countries.

I called you out on it and now it’s obvious you didn’t even read the article.

You can benefit from comprehending your argument before trying to respond to other posters who are pointing out the faulty logic in the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyinCali View Post

The article uses the birthrate as a pretext to point out all the challenges of having a kid in America. Of course there are other factors, which have been pointed out in this thread. Of course, the article is biased - it is an OpEd.
And those challenges are no different than any other country. America isn’t a utopia, imagine that.

But to use declining birthrate as the basis for an argument, a trend that is not even exclusive to America, is just bad writing that even an OpEd should refrain from. The idea is to construct an argument that’s can’t be undermined with easy common sense, which the OpEd fails to do.

Last edited by Rocko20; 05-24-2018 at 07:09 PM..
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Old 05-24-2018, 07:06 PM
 
651 posts, read 685,432 times
Reputation: 1600
Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
Children are not that expensive in and of themselves. It's not like you feed them steak every day and baby clothes from Wal-Mart are like $2 or $3 per piece. In fact, baby-food is cheaper than the medical-diet food my dog eats (kidney problems).

The expense of children is the healthcare, the childcare, the lifestyle things they need (all the equipment for their sports, etc...) and especially their college fund.

The huge unanswered problem my wife and I have is - who will take care of the kid when we both work?? It becomes a 6-or-1 decision for one of us to quit working or to pay for daycare, which is practically equivalent to my wife's income. Our main concern is that if she quits, there will be an irreversible hit to her lifetime earning potential.

We take for granted how valuable housework is, and how valuable it was to have the wife and/or extended family pitching in. Ie: having kids is easy for my brother-in-law. He drops the kids off with grandma during the work-days and she loves it. I live nowhere near them to do that.
I don’t know what I would have done if it wasn’t for having two sets of grandparents to help raise my son, one also being an elementary school teacher and later school principal. I didn’t have to worry about daycare or after school costs at any point. Even in high school, there wasn’t this pressure to have my son in organized activities that seems to be prevalent now. It wasn’t until late junior year to college that the real costs seemed to kick in and thankfully one set of grandparents helped with that as well.

I’m glad he was my only one and I didn’t have more later after I married my husband. (We agreed that we weren’t doing it since we recognized the expense very early on.) It’s crazy when I hear the costs of daycare and the difficulties in balancing raising children with work demands and time off. Living in the best school districts is not cheap and if you’re not in a good school district, then there’s potentially private school costs. Not to mention, all the activities (sports, plays, music lessons, etc), the grand productions that proms have become, electronics and iPhones, all the stuff kids take to college, oh, let me not forget the “gap years” to travel Europe... parents are doing waaaaayy too much for their children now. Notice I haven’t even talked about actual college tuition and PLUS loans yet...

The other thing is lifestyle. With children you’re scheduling your time off, your vacations, and your weekend activities around them. For years. For a lot of people that’s a commitment they don’t want, especially with them already giving so much time to their jobs. When is there time for people to have to themselves and persue their own interest? It’s cheaper to travel with one or two vs three/four/five. Disney every year? Umm, no. It’s also cheaper to travel on the off seasons which is typically when kids are in school. How can one ever get ahead if everything they do and every bit they seem to make becomes about the children?

In general, I think more people are becoming adverse to long term commitments originating from too much uncertainty in life now. Divorcing a spouse is one thing, but the commitment to the children doesn’t end.

It’s interesting and sad at the same time, but I’d rather people make wise decisions to not have children then to bring them into the world only to be uncommitted the children’s upbringing and wellness during their life before adulthood. There’s too many parents who are just fine with schools, TV, and any other outside, non-familial entity taking on parental responsibility of their children.
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Old 05-24-2018, 07:31 PM
DKM
 
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
2,060 posts, read 670,106 times
Reputation: 2215
Quote:
Originally Posted by adjusterjack View Post
The trouble is that intelligent people who make good livings and can afford to educate their children are the ones not having children.


It's the uneducated poor that keep knocking them out like clockwork generation after generation. Why? Because more babies equals more welfare.


We are well on our way to Idiocracy.
I can assure you, that is not the case at all where I live. Instead, its the black sheep of the family, overall losers or the liberal uneducated friends who go childless or just have one. Just the way it should be.
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