Comments about ‘Nation's falling fertility rate is the cause of many of its problems.’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Ogden, UT

I wish the Deseret News would at least cite the blatant political bias of the authors it provides links to. Jonathan Last is with the Weekly Standard, an admittedly conservative organization. It's clear that the DesNews is on a real traditional family kick as of late and is grabbing whatever material it can to support this, without providing a counterbalance. You know, like journalists are supposed to do.

Would Last's conservative stance matter if he made a reasonable argument? No. But he doesn't. The linked WSJ article is extremely weak, providing little compelling evidence for his assertion that lowered fertility rates are the root of "most of our problems". Last then provides a litany of truly bizarre and speculative solutions to the crazy cost of childrearing, including discouraging college and improving the highways. There are several wildly speculative false correlations in his article. He even cites Julian Simon, a real fringe activist economist who among other things believed that resource scarcity on earth isn't a problem because eventually we will be able to find resources on other planets. Not exactly balanced thinking.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Tough economic times have historically done this.


liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

This silliness has to stop, the idea that the earth has an INFINITE carrying capacity is beyond ridiculous.

The world's optimal population may be 2 billion, or it may be 10 billion, but at some point population will have to stop increasing. The idea that population can grow forever is the ultimate Ponzi scheme, which may explain Utah's affinity for large families, and Ponzi schemes!

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

The DN is as subtle as a sledge hammer.


From the article:

"By 1973, the U.S. was below the replacement rate, as was nearly every other Western country. Since then, the phenomenon of fertility collapse has spread around the globe: 97% of the world's population now lives in countries where the fertility rate is falling.

Which leaves us with outsourcing our fertility. We've received a massive influx of immigrants from south of the border since the late 1970s. Immigration has kept America from careening over the demographic cliff. Today, there are roughly 38 million people in the U.S. who were born elsewhere. (Two-thirds of them are here legally.) To put that in perspective, consider that just four million babies are born annually in the U.S.

If you strip these immigrants—and their relatively high fertility rates—from our population profile, America suddenly looks an awful lot like continental Europe, which has a fertility rate of 1.5., if not quite as demographically terminal as Japan."

Ivins, UT

Liberal Larry,

There are other forces at work that will take care of this. In the meantime leave the population increase up to those of us who can reaise superior children. Our kids will help you receive your social security and other government benefits.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It’s really hard to see how having more kids will solve the unemployment problems, the immigration problems, the size of government problems, the medical care problems, the morality problems, the grownup kids living in my basement problems, the dirty air problems, etc. etc. etc.

Having more kids would of course be beneficial to religions, churches, charities and most other business operations that feed off the labor of others.

When a rancher wants more cattle, he usually provides more food.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

OTOH, a lower birth rate also reduces the number of dependents in society, thus less need for schools and lower crime rates. These are savings that somewhat offset the social costs of an aging population. (Still, I'm all in favor of babies.)

American Fork, UT

All the growth in consumerism we 'need' is already here, in the form of the ballooning middle class in china and india. There's no way the capacity of our planet to sustain infinite growth is going to go unpunished, and we owe it to ourselves and our posterity not to make such stupid decisions.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The name of the social security system in many countries is "kids".

Dietrich, ID

People produce and make jobs are an asset not liability to planet made for them.

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