Comments about ‘Single for life? The social costs of fewer families’

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Published: Saturday, Feb. 2 2013 6:00 a.m. MST

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American Fork, UT

Trying to guilt trip people about social costs isn't going to work. There are real benefits to not having to support a family, and it is personally fulfilling to know you don't have to be responsible for someone else in uncertain times.


Under the current US system, those without children are helping to educate the children if others. Making them pay for their own retirement

Millsap fan
Taylorsville, UT

Joseph Smith said that someday only Latter Day Saint women would want to have children...


Under the current US system, those without children are helping to pay for the education of other's children. This is done under the premise that eventually they will see a benefit from this contribution. If the tax/social security structure is changed so that those with children pay less (or none at all) into social security, or the retirement money collected from their children's pay checks is earmarked as for them only, it is entirely possible that the pushback will result in those without children not helping to educate children who will provide them no benefit.

The article hints at but does not explore one major flaw with the premise of continual growth. It is mentioned in the article that urban density leads to less kids. The article points to suburban living as a solution but than says that only works as long as there is space for suburban growth. Keeping in mind we need a certain amount of land for food and resource production, space is a limited commodity. The model presented in the article requires constant population growth - what happens when we run out of space for suburban living?

Bountiful, UT

A very interesting article, but the writer neglected an important part of the equation - immigration. The statistics focused on industrialized nations, but the birthrate has not dropped off nearly as much in Latin America and Africa. The elderly in industrialized places could be cared for by those born in poorer countries. The host countries would be affected - for instance, Europe will increasingly become Muslim, the United States more Latino, etc. Yes, cultural heritage might be lost and the demographics of nations would change, but I doubt we'd see the end of the human race. The more "conservative" parts of the globe are still having children. They'll just create a world very different from the one we know.


Time goes by so fast.... If I had somehow been DISTRACTED in my twenties from marriage and having children, well, I would not now, as a so-called senior citizen, have the life-long companionship of my thirty-something year old children and a posterity with which I am so happy and honored.

Hayden, ID

The greatest joys I have experienced in my life have been with my wife can children.

Salt Lake City, UT

Maybe we can all be like Britney Spears and divorce through text message or have a 48 hour marriage.

Kim Kardashian marriage? x7 weeks?

You want to see what is brining any 'harm' to marriage?

Look at the ones who abuse it.

Not the ones denied marriage.

Salt Lake City, UT

There are certainly a lot of people (married and single) who like to focus on this subject and think that they can generalize the profile of those who are single and married without children (and married with children).

Yes, there are certainly single people who have decided to remain single and there are a lot of couples who have chosen not to have children. But there are also a lot of single people (myself included) and married people without children who didn't expect to be in the situation we are in.

That being said, why penalize someone or a couple because they didn't have children? We all need to be good to each other, no matter what our personal situation. And, we should all strive to be happy, productive, and fulfilled people. I spend a lot of time supporting nieces, nephews, and children of my friends and I believe in family and care deeply about mine.

Remember - everyone has a story and no statistic will ever tell it. We need to respect, support, and love each other no matter what our personal set-up is.

Park City, Ut

Different strokes for different folks. I'm married 18 years with three kids. Would I wish that for everyone? Of course not. Not everyone wants a family and a fancy house, picket fence, two cars parked outside. That reality is not shared by or desired by all. So why worry about it? The population of the earth is nearing 7 billion people. We should be glad that not everyone is choosing to propagate the species. If we're so worried about people growing old single then we probably should be embracing marriages between consenting adults regardless of the gender make up of each partner. Something else we ought not be worrying about.

Tucson, AZ

As mentioned, immigration keeps national populations growing throughout Europe and America. Like in all of nature, species compete for space and resources. It's only the european related groups and the mainland chineese groups that have chosen habits that will remove them from the planet. Eventually, America will be a hispanic nation, while Europe will become Middle Eastern and African.

Santa Ana, CA

All the people who choose to be single may be unpleasantly surprised and forgotten senior citizens. Who will care for the elderly? Without children or extended families, I foresee the extremely costly warehousing of millions of elderly in the coming years. People living the "me first" life early on will reap sorrow and abandonment to, at best, a sterile system in their final years. Life is a bell curve with dependency on others at both ends of the curve.

Another Perspective
Bountiful, UT

If he doesn't have a girl friend or only one that he see's infrequently, this seems like a lonely kind of life.

Bakersfield, CA

I'm the oldest of six, have five children from 29-39 yrs old, none married, no grandkids. My sister 11 yrs younger has 6 grands, 5 from one 29 year old! My sis two years my junior has 10 kids (3 steps), and 10 grands. No rhyme or reason, no forced marriages...

But my southern Cal "pagan" children are not stressed about getting hitched or procreating under threat of a bioligical clock. They'd rather "do it right". While we all love the cousins and grandkids immensely, it is obvious which families have the bulk of the work. Maybe mine are reticent about jumping into the diaper bag life, maybe they love their toys and sports too much...

But I prefer the grankids' arrival with the anticipation of planned acceptance, to the hectic lives the cute little "oopsies" caused! Oh, wait- I had a few of those myself back in my Mormon days. Darn that Brigham Quiver-full Philosophy!

At least there's no regrets for the lives God sent into each home. That should be the goal.

Layton, UT

I will always be grateful towards my LDS membership for the very reason that had I not had a spiritual reason to marry and have a family, I probably never would've even bothered with dating. I was one of these single dudes very content to do my own hobbies and pursue lesser goals. It wasn't til after I got married and had kids that I realized just how fortunate I have been to be a part of it. It is a great challenge, full of hard work, sacrifice and the need for strong character, but it is also the most rewarding thing I've ever done.

They say no success in the world can compensate for failure in the home, but I say, No failure in the world can cloud over a successful loving family life. I've had setbacks at work, in professions, education and physical health, but my loving family has kept me positive and happy to keep going and trying harder. Families are forever!

Ogden, UT

With 6 billion people in the world, we need to promote the idea of single-for-life and staying childless. The earth can only support just so many people before we run out of resources. It is irresponsible and selfish to have more than two children.

Albert Maslar CPA (Retired)
Absecon, NJ

The historical fact is that society depends upon families for survival of the race and survival of the culture that collapses in the absence of the family. It is no wonder there are so many violent acts on a nearly daily basis as there is no common respect for life and that unfortunately starts at the very top of government. Disrespect the smallest life and soon disrespect for all life.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

What makes a house a home? It's a family to me. It seems that every thing is upside down, and the meaning of words aren't the same what I thought they mean. So to me there is a homeless problem.

Gainesville, TX

One of my granddaughters and her husband have chosen to have one child. That child will be faced with the care of her parents plus the four grandparents as they age. I'm assuming I will be dead as will be her other great grandparents. If she marries a man who is also an only child, They will be faced with the care of 12 parents and grandparents. This is an impossible tasks. There will be no one to share the burden. I'm not even considering the possibility of that couple having a child. Multiply this scenario by millions and society will not be able to handle the care of the aged who will have to be abandoned left to their own devices. Probably euthanasia of the aged will be the answer unless they have someone to agree to care for them.

Harley Rider
Small Town, CT

Before one has kids they should be able to show that they can-

* Provide for them - ie- be able to SUPPORT Them
* Be an on hands Parent - Social Services is not suppose to raise your children and neither is their grandparents.

The government has chosen to reward un-employed people by paying them to have babies. And to pay them extra if each new child born is from a different father. (How many Baby Mommas You Gots) So those who have 5 or 6 children can be paid quite well. Sadly when our government signed all those trade agreements ( Nafta Gatt) the manufacturing jobs by the millions went with them. So instead of working they manufacture babies as their job.

These young yuppies think that traveling the world , picking up and moving whenever the mood strikes them is what life is all about, well they will miss out on life's biggest joy - holding their newborn , watching their kids grow up and fly the nest and all in between. And then one day the grandkids start arriving and the cycle repeats.

But each has to seek their own path and not all have what it takes to be a parent.

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