Centuries of war ...
Not everyone who wants to have children is married. We can't always make
our timelines for our lives a reality, and it's possible that women in
their late 20s aren't having children not because they'd rather work
but because they haven't found a stable relationship they want to introduce
children into. I second what everyone else has said about student loans,
the need for a college degree to get entry-level jobs, and higher costs of food,
housing, and healthcare. This may mean that even when women are in stable
relationships they have to work to make ends meet and can't take time off
to have kids. Of course you can have kids and work, but then you have daycare
costs. Instead of increasing immigration, which will increase competition
for jobs and demand (and price) for housing, the government should work to lower
the cost of healthcare and incentivize house building (greater supply=lower
@JRL"kids these days" gets you're dander up? I blame their
raising myself.That said? Used to be that a high-school drop-out
could get a respectable middle class job, his wife didn't need to work, and
he got a pension to boot. Now you can't even get a 401(k) kick-in without
a college degree, both parents have to work, and your nosy neighbors will call
the cops if you leave your kids playing in the front yard for five minutes.Y'all broke the world. And then you complain that we're being
I have to admit that I am biased in this debate. I get my dander up rather
easily when people start listing "prerequisites" to having children. My
parents never met anyone's definition of being ready to have children,
whether you call it stuff or stability - at least, not until all the kids had
already come. They did not pay for our college; we didn't have dental
insurance or maybe even medical insurance for much of my growing-up years; I
have no idea how much retirement savings they have. Many family members
criticized them for having children. But we thrived. We did receive public
assistance once - when my dad broke his ankle and was out of work for 6 months.
All 11 of their kids are stable, contributing members of society. And so,
without all of the "prerequisites," they have had a very full life,
where lots of people would have said it was impossible or irresponsible. So I
say humbug to it all. This is simply a matter of priorities. If
"stability" is your priority, then seek it. I just hope that you are as
happy with it as you expect to be. To all the young couples out there hearing
that they can't possibly start a family yet, I say you can. And you should
if you want to.
I think it's a combination of what people are saying in their posts. The
costs of housing, education, and health care are definitely much higher in
relation to income than they were 30 years ago.That said, I see
young 20-somethings looking at what they call "starter homes" that are
in the $300,000 area. That is not a starter home. Too many young couples want
to start with "toys" and possessions that it took their parents several
decades of hard work to acquire. I know young couples that claim they
can't afford to have kids, yet they drive very nice cars, go on cruises,
buy boats and ATVs, and have every high-tech gadget available. The truth is
they can afford kids if they re-examine their spending and stop trying to
impress their neighbors.
@JRLI'm not sure we're prioritizing "stuff" over kids.
We're making *stability*, in finances and home, a prerequisite. So needing
a college degree for entry level positions, the ever-escalating coat of
healthcare and insurance, student loans, home prices... Stability is expensive.
Especially if you don't want to repeat your parent's mistakes.
I should clarify - I am not blaming people for not having children. That is up
to each couple to decide. What I do have a problem with is people telling
youngsters that they shouldn't have children because they need
"stuff" first. That is backwards. I think children are the best thing in
the world, and prioritizing stuff over kids is a recipe for heartache.
I can tell you why - people believing the lies about what stuff they need to
have. We have more stuff than any other group of people ever in the history of
the world, and we believe that we need all of it to survive and be happy. That
is nonsense. If a person is willing to do without the things that their
grandparents did without, they can afford to have babies. But the lies are so
often repeated that most people accept them without question.Now I
know that people are going to start naming things that our grandparents did
without, like certain medicine, etc. That is not what I mean. I mean the new
cars, endless entertainment options, electronics, prepackaged food, etc., that
eat up so much of our budgets but aren't necessary.
Hrm...Student loans, saving for a house down-payment, while also
caring for my adult "medically complicated" sister.Oh, and
even when we have a house, we'll have to save up a few more thousand for
either adoption or surrogacy costs. Not that adoption would actually help the
fertility rate anyway.So yeah. We'll probably be late-30s men
before we get around to raising children.Or to put it another way: I
blame the world we inherited.
This economist idea that we can/should just keep growing is silly. "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."
-Edward AbbeyWe need to stop thinking we can always grow our way to
prosperity, particularly when almost all that prosperity just goes to the 1%.
Meh, school loans, proof that we can lose jobs good or bad. High cost of
housing. I was raised not to have a child until I was paying on my own home with
a steady job and a start to my retirement fund. Lots of luck meeting those BASIC
requiremtns. Also, why have kids anyways? There are lots of things to do as an
adult and most married people and parents do not look THAT happy anyways.
One of our children told us they do not want to bring a lot of children into the
kind of world and society we have now. They are also struggling to pay off
student loans, trying to save $ for a down payment on a home, and would want to
be more stable even if they decide to have a couple of kids. We are not paying
for all of those things for them as we are trying hard to be prepared for
retirement years and not be a burden to them in our older years. We are also
caring for elderly parents at our end and spending money there. The sandwich
generation is as challenging in many respects as the Millennial generation. We
have many friends that also have Millennial children back living with them to
try and pay off student loans or save for a house, or due to divorce and need
help with the kids. There are many raising their grand children due to their
children's mental health or substance abuse issues and that is not your
retirement dream either. We are living in challenging times for
every generation and families in general. Everything costs a lot more and wages
in most jobs are not going up to keep up with everything that is going up.
Wealth and income are increasingly concentrated at the top, a trend that's
been going on since Reagan (briefly reduced some during the recession but is
right back to levels similar to 2007 and 1928).
Millenial Snow noted many good reasons why people don't have children
anymore, and our current remake to achieve 'greatness' will make many
of those conditions much worse. Of course, people have the right and are
welcome to not have children. So, it stands to reason that if we make it hard
for them, they won't do it.We could answer this problem with a mini
refugee and immigrant boom, and solve our demographic problems with ready made
motivated workers and consumers. After all, what we're seeing as a problem
here is not a problem beyond our land.
My dad bought a house in Sandy for 23k in the 70's. His starting wage at
the telephone company with no college degree was 40k.Starting wage
at the telephone company for the same job with a degree is 40k but his old house
is worth 250k.Any questions?
For some it is a conscious choice not to have children. I see this even among
the active LDS church members. For some they put off having children until they
are on the cusp of their biological clock running out and then cry because they
are not able to have children. But we also have those who limit
themselves to one or two children while there are some who after two or three
children are unable to have more children because of health reasons. Personally
I wish I was still young enough to bring more children into the world.
Oh I can tell you why.I'm a millennial in my early thirties. My
husband and I are still paying off student loans.We have two small
children and retired parents who have health problems and are not totally
prepared for retirement. My husband and I are priced out of starter homes by
investors and pay over a grand a month for childcare. If I lose my job we will
lose our health insurance.At every single turn, we are working just
as hard but not getting any further along. My income does not stretch as far as
my parent's did. Healthcare is more. Education is more. Housing is more.
The reason Millennials are not having children is because their
world is one of instability, debt and an older generation who sucks up
retirement but refuses to raise taxes to pay their bills.