Ross Douthat would like you to have more babies

Unless you are a single woman, of course. Oh and also if you don’t have babies, you’re being “decadent” and you don’t care about the future or the very fabric of society:

But deeper forces than the financial crisis may keep American fertility rates depressed. Foreign-born birthrates will probably gradually recover from their current nadir, but with fertility in decline across Mexico and Latin America, it isn’t clear that the United States can continue to rely heavily on immigrant birthrates to help drive population growth.

Among the native-born working class, meanwhile, there was a retreat from child rearing even before the Great Recession hit. For Americans without college degrees, economic instability and a shortage of marriageable men seem to be furthering two trends in tandem: more women are having children out of wedlock, and fewer are raising families at all.

Finally, there’s been a broader cultural shift away from a child-centric understanding of romance and marriage. In 1990, 65 percent of Americans told Pew that children were “very important” to a successful marriage; in 2007, just before the current baby bust, only 41 percent agreed. (That trend goes a long way toward explaining why gay marriage, which formally severs wedlock from sex differences and procreation, has gone from a nonstarter to a no-brainer for so many people.)

Government’s power over fertility rates is limited, but not nonexistent. America has no real family policy to speak of at the moment, and the evidence from countries like Sweden and France suggests that reducing the ever-rising cost of having kids can help fertility rates rebound. Whether this means a more family-friendly tax code, a push for more flexible work hours, or an effort to reduce the cost of college, there’s clearly room for creative policy to make some difference.

More broadly, a more secure economic foundation beneath working-class Americans would presumably help promote childbearing as well. Stable families are crucial to prosperity and mobility, but the reverse is also true, and policies that made it easier to climb the economic ladder would make it easier to raise a family as well.

Beneath these policy debates, though, lie cultural forces that no legislator can really hope to change. The retreat from child rearing is, at some level, a symptom of late-modern exhaustion — a decadence that first arose in the West but now haunts rich societies around the globe. It’s a spirit that privileges the present over the future, chooses stagnation over innovation, prefers what already exists over what might be. It embraces the comforts and pleasures of modernity, while shrugging off the basic sacrifices that built our civilization in the first place.

Here’s an idea: Construct a society where child-rearing isn’t a massive sacrifice. Construct a society where people without children aren’t stigmatized as indulgent or selfish. Construct a society where having a kid is just one decision among many — but one that is supported, and doesn’t (at least for women) tie to career stagnation and financial insecurity.

The truth is that when women can control their fertility, they do. Some women want to have a lot of kids, and that’s great and should be supported. But most women want one or two, and that should be supported as well. Some want zero. Right now, the incentives to have children are largely social and biological — “family” still largely hinges on having kids, and most people in America grow up with the basic assumption that you’ll grow up and have a baby or two (I certainly did). There are very few economic incentives beyond the long game (Social Security, pension pay-ins, etc) and, at least for women, almost no individual economic incentives.

Nonetheless, the vast majority of Americans do have children at some point in their lives. But as women increasingly have social, economic and political power, we are faced with wider options for a happy fulfilled life outside of the traditional model. In the conservative mind, having kids is apparently a fun-sucking awful sacrifice — and in many cases, that’s actually true. Having kids can be financially imperiling. It can destabilize relationships and marriages. For women, it means getting paid less and often watching your career stagnate. It means all kinds of potential health complications. Accordingly, women with the widest range of options — highly-educated women in well-paying careers — are the likeliest group to have children later in life or not at all.

Making childbearing a more appealing option for all women requires that we situate it as one good choice among many, instead of an individual sacrifice that must be slogged through in the service of the next generation. Through that lens, it’s simply good public policy to support reproductive health and women and men with kids, while also supporting women and men who want to remain un-parents — it helps to keep the economy humming, it lowers health care costs, and, yes, it helps us to build up that social safety net. Offering a tax break to stay-at-home moms — which is the Douthat solution, by the way — and then imploring people to sacrifice their own “decadent” single lives by having kids is not exactly a winning argument.

Author: has written 5268 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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62 Responses

  1. EG
    EG December 3, 2012 at 9:38 pm |

    Oh, fuck off Ross Douthat. I like how he pays lip service to economic concerns and then says, with a grand total of no evidence whatsoever, that the real issue is a shift in “values” (a negative one, of course) that apparently just descended upon us because we are worse people than previous generations. First of all, bullshit. Fix the economics and then get back to me about these values, and second of all, the shift that says that women don’t exist merely to produce children whether or not they want to is a damn good thing. And third of all, a low birthrate is not a problem. I mean, it might mean that the US might have to not be so hostile to immigrants, but I don’t consider that a bad thing.

    In conclusion, Douthat continues to be the douche he always has been.

    1. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl December 4, 2012 at 11:52 am |

      These days whenever I see Douthat making the rounds on TV I just imagine the wahwahwahwah adult voice from the Peanuts cartoons in place of whatever he’s saying. It saves me a lot of time and aggravation that way, because it’s always a safe assumption that whatever he’s spewing is flat out nonsense…

    2. Gordon
      Gordon December 4, 2012 at 5:06 pm |

      My personal favorite non sequitur in the piece was his assumption that the only way to make a creative contribution to the future is to produce children, and its corollary, that anyone who chooses not to produce children does so only for selfish reasons. No possible nobler motive, such as that some people recognize they would make terrible parents and are better off contributing in other ways, is considered.

      On a lighter note, in the many posts and comments I have read about this op-ed piece, I have marvelled how all the commenters restrained themselves from calling him Ross Douchehat. You came close, EG.

      All right, cheap shot. Guilty as charged, but it does just sort of capture the spirit of his mindset, doesn’t it?

  2. Pseudonym
    Pseudonym December 3, 2012 at 9:40 pm |

    The retreat from child rearing is, at some level, a symptom of late-modern exhaustion — a decadence that first arose in the West but now haunts rich societies around the globe. It’s a spirit that privileges the present over the future, chooses stagnation over innovation, prefers what already exists over what might be. It embraces the comforts and pleasures of modernity, while shrugging off the basic sacrifices that built our civilization in the first place.

    The retreat from child-rearing is also, at a more accurate level, a symptom of late-modern movements to recognize women’s reproductive rights and to develop the technology to let people choose when to have children. You might even call that innovation, but Pope Douthat wouldn’t. Having only had one child in five years of marriage he’s apparently still embracing the comforts and pleasures of modern decadence himself, but he’s not one to shrug off the basic sacrifices that built our civilization in the first place—you know, like sacrificing women’s careers, bodies, and even lives. How noble of him.

  3. Peter
    Peter December 3, 2012 at 10:03 pm |

    Here’s an idea: Construct a society where child-rearing isn’t a massive sacrifice.

    This is so true, and it’s so frustrating that Douthat nods to France and Sweden but completely ignores what those countries actually do. I should not be frustrated by this, but I am. So ridiculous.

  4. Donna L
    Donna L December 3, 2012 at 10:04 pm |

    In the conservative mind, having kids is apparently a fun-sucking awful sacrifice

    And all of us here know exactly how fun-sucking it is, don’t we?

    1. EG
      EG December 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm |

      According to my recollections, it sucks a full 70% of the fun right out of your life!

      1. Donna L
        Donna L December 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm |

        I figured I’d let someone else do the punch line!

        1. Safiya Outlines
          Safiya Outlines December 4, 2012 at 8:21 pm |

          *Applause*

          Funny forever and ever.

      2. tomek
        tomek December 4, 2012 at 5:09 am |

        this a bit extreme, child can be fun too. sucks of 50% or 60% of fun from life at most.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L December 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm |

          I told you that this is performance art.

  5. Donna L
    Donna L December 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm |

    By the way, his attempt to explain the increasing support for same-sex marriage is one of the more ridiculous things I’ve seen in a while, and just goes to show what a complete fucking asshole he is.

    1. Pseudonym
      Pseudonym December 3, 2012 at 10:53 pm |

      It’s a bit ironic that his opposition to fucking assholes is a big part of what makes him one.

    2. William
      William December 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm |

      I don’t know…while I’m diametrically opposed to the value judgments he makes, I think this might be one area in which Douthat might not be entirely wrong. A big part of homophobia comes down to a fear of The Other and, I would argue, a fundamental jealousy that some straight people have of the ability of LGBT folks (and straight couples without children) to “cheat” by getting all of the benefits of being in a relationship without having to pay the costs demanded by Abrahamic morality. I think that as those morals have fallen by the wayside and more people have had the social and economic freedom to pursue relationships they want rather than relationships that have been prescribed that gay marriage looks both less like The Other and triggers less jealousy.

      Fewer and fewer people believe that human relationships must revolve around creating more parishioners, that means that fewer people are going to be opposed to relationships unlikely to create more parishioners. I’d argue that thats a good thing, Douthat seems to think its a bad thing, I’m not sure that ruins his observation.

  6. DSJ
    DSJ December 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm |

    I’d like to challenge one of the assumptions underlying Douthat’s article, which is one not unique to him but is pretty much become common across the entire spectrum of the enlightened Western commentariat and international studies community– which is that how many people a country has will determine what country is on the “global perch.”

    Let’s see– the United States has been at the top of the world for a century now, and during this time, it’s never had anything close to the most people. The U.S. has had at most 5% of the world’s population. Africa has x4 as many people as the U.S., yet most Americans can’t even be bothered to think of it. China has been the world’s most populous nation for the last 200 years, during which it was humiliated, brutalized, invaded, and then became home to the largest number of poor people on earth. Even today, for all the hype China is far behind the U.S. India will soon have even more people than China, but it’ll still be even poorer than China. A large population doesn’t guarantee anything but either mass poverty or unsustainable consumption. I hate how it’s become fashionable in recent years for the experts, even those at respectable International Affairs Schools, to talk as if numbers in themselves are destiny. They aren’t.

    If Douthat’s motivation is a “second American century”, it’s not going to be determined by the U.S. population, it’ll be determined by how the U.S. uses what it has. The fact that the U.S. spends more on the military than the next 20 countries combined. It’ll be determined based on whether the U.S. can respond to climate change, whether the U.S. can respond to peak oil, whether the U.S. can respond to Arab democracy, whether the U.S. can keep itself out of devastating wars, whether the U.S. can keep its political system functional and serving the people, whether the U.S. will invest in infrastructure, technology and education and continue to welcome the best and brightest from around the world. Douthat should be worrying about these things. If it’s down to population, the U.S. is doomed, because we’ll never have more than 5% of the world’s population, even if the birth rate skyrockets.

    1. tomek
      tomek December 4, 2012 at 5:13 am |

      africa is not country

      1. Alyson
        Alyson December 6, 2012 at 12:04 am |

        Zie didn’t say it was…

  7. mxe354
    mxe354 December 4, 2012 at 12:20 am |

    Douthat? More like douchehat. Or something like that.

  8. Sarah
    Sarah December 4, 2012 at 3:52 am |

    Here’s an idea: Construct a society where child-rearing isn’t a massive sacrifice. (…) Construct a society where having a kid is just one decision among many — but one that is supported, and doesn’t (at least for women) tie to career stagnation and financial insecurity.

    This sounds familiar. How does 60 weeks of fully paid parental leave – with that time split between mothers and fathers sound ? How about subsidized high-quality childcare for every child ? Would universal healthcare, co-payment free both for children and all reproductive-related services sweeten the deal ? Fully paid sick-leave which include if your child *or* the person normally watching your child is sick.

    The suggestions above aren’t named “utopia”, they’re named “scandinavia”, they work, and they cost the tax-payers *nothing*. (infact less than nothing, they bring a profit)

    Here’s why: When you make it practical and comfortable to both have kids, and a career, you get more working-moms, and more workers translate to more tax-payers, thus the tax-rate does not need to rise to cover the policies listed above.

    1. Pseudonym
      Pseudonym December 4, 2012 at 4:53 am |

      Ideally I wish we could have a society where not only the workplace was accommodating but the rest of life was as well. People shouldn’t have to completely sacrifice a twenty-year chunk of their lives to the supposedly inevitable drudgery of raising children; we should make it possible to include raising children as part of an active and interesting life. Douthat seems more than willing to discount child-rearing as a horrible experience and sacrifice people must make (as a way of avoiding “decadence” and earning penance for those occasional dirty sexytimes), though of course in his view it’s only the women who have to pay that cost. Why should we consign ourselves to his miserable existence? Society today fetishizes the sacrifices that parents (i.e. mothers) make for their children, but do we want to raise our own children in an environment designed to make them miserable when it’s their turn to care for the next generation?

      1. William
        William December 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm |

        Society today fetishizes the sacrifices that parents (i.e. mothers) make for their children, but do we want to raise our own children in an environment designed to make them miserable when it’s their turn to care for the next generation?

        Their turn? I’m all for making having children less onerous for parents, but no one has an obligation to participate in the process.

  9. Jennifer Frances Armstrong
    Jennifer Frances Armstrong December 4, 2012 at 7:33 am |

    Decadence is posed as the opposite to what? Primitivism. In the past, people did what came naturally, without much thought about it. They would have had a lot of sex and killed each other when they got angry. They would have had to make plans according to the seasons and environmental changes, to catch enough animals to eat and clothe themselves. This was before humans became decadent. Many children would have died, but you kept having more without knowing where they came from. Life was a lot shorter in these pre-decadent times, too. A person who made it to 40 would have been considered old indeed.

    1. EG
      EG December 4, 2012 at 8:13 am |

      When, exactly, are you talking about? Because what you’re describing doesn’t sound like any society I’ve ever heard of, almost all of which, I must say, understood the connection between sex and pregnancy.

      1. karak
        karak December 4, 2012 at 8:39 am |

        I’m going to state about 50,000 to 30,000 years ago, Pre-history, where man were men and women were women, where we hunted the mammoth!! Before these decadent times!

        1. Jennifer Frances Armstrong
          Jennifer Frances Armstrong December 4, 2012 at 6:04 pm |

          That’s it.

        2. EG
          EG December 4, 2012 at 6:13 pm |

          OK, well, there are a lot of options other than contemporary western civ and 50K years ago. Douthat’s wrong about everything, but those aren’t our only options.

      2. Donna L
        Donna L December 4, 2012 at 6:21 pm |

        I’m pretty sure that Jennifer is joking, and making fun of Douthat’s column. At least, I hope so.

        1. EG
          EG December 4, 2012 at 6:24 pm |

          Oh, uh, I totally knew that! I did!

          No, I didn’t. How embarrassing. I think tomek has broken my ability to tell.

  10. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie December 4, 2012 at 8:33 am |

    Let’s face it: this is thinly disguised racism. What he wants is for more WHITE American women to have babies.

    1. moviemaedchen
      moviemaedchen December 4, 2012 at 9:07 am |

      Exactly. It’s nauseating that this douchehat continues to be published.

      1. Pseudonym
        Pseudonym December 4, 2012 at 9:12 am |

        Give him a little credit for not being explicitly racist in this particular column. I find the more notable bit of bigotry to be his studied ignorance of exactly who was making almost all of the sacrifices required for constant child-bearing and -raising and who has only recently and only in modernized nations gained the ability to choose when and whether to be pregnant. Hint: it’s not him.

    2. Foxy
      Foxy December 4, 2012 at 10:39 am |

      Amazing find huh

    3. SamBarge
      SamBarge December 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm |

      And no different than every generation’s (since at least the Victorians) well-publicized and racist “but where are our babies” breakdown.

      Really, if the exact same arguments weren’t being made to white, middle-class women at the turn of the 20th century, I might think Douthat was moderately original in his sexism/racsim.

  11. Jeffrey Kramer
    Jeffrey Kramer December 4, 2012 at 10:06 am |

    The retreat from child rearing is, at some level, a symptom of late-modern exhaustion — a decadence that first arose in the West …

    When all his adolescent peers were reading Atlas Shrugged (leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world), our man Ross instead chose the path of cultured conservatism, and read and reread “The Waste Land” and “The Hollow Men” (leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world).

  12. MO
    MO December 4, 2012 at 10:11 am |

    Sorry, Mr. Douthat. I prefer not to add another person to the 7 billion already here.

    1. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan December 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm |

      Especially American children, which use up a ridiculous amount of resources compared to children in most other countries.

  13. Amber Dru
    Amber Dru December 4, 2012 at 11:57 am |

    Mass Immigration: An ‘Ecological Ponzi Scheme Jeremy Beck Numbersusa
    https://www.numbersusa.com/content/nusablog/beckj/september-17-2012/mass-immigration-ecological-ponzi-scheme.html
    Mass Immigration: An “Ecological Ponzi Scheme”
    By Jeremy Beck, Monday, September 17, 2012, 9:15 AM EDT
    A group of forty former world leaders, including President Bill Clinton and South Africa’s President Nelson Mandela, have sounded the alarm on population growth and water scarcity, according to Reuters (“Twenty more “Niles” needed to feed growing population – leaders”). The subject is famililar to Clinton who in 1993 established a Council on Sustainable Development. One of the council’s objectives was to chart a path towards the stabilization of U.S. population. Among the immigration-related recommendations:

    Develop comprehensive and responsible immigration and foreign policies that reduce illegal immigration and mitigate the factors that encourage immigration.
    Increase research on linkages between demographic change, including immigration factors and sustainable development.

    Back in 1993, the U.S. granted 903,916 immigrants Legal Permanent Resident status. Since then, the United States has admitted more immigrants than in any other period in U.S. history. The recommendations of the Council on Sustainable Development went unheeded by Clinton and the Congress.

    Twenty years later, in 2012, the former world leaders warn that global population growth will “require another 1,000 cubic km (240 cubic miles) of water per year….equal to the annual flow of 20 Niles or 100 Colorado Rivers.” The demand for water, they report, will be led by three nations: China, India, and the United States.

    In this video, Environmental Planner Leon Kolankiewicz explains how America’s environmental impact is greater than other countries’ because of our greater affluence and technology. Our immigration policy affects the rest of the world.

    Americans in the Southwest may be the first to feel the effects. In “Population, Immigration, and the Drying of the American Southwest,” Kathleen Parker reports that immigration is responsible “for more than half of population growth” in regions dependent on the Colorado River, and Brad Udall, director of the University of Colorado’s Western Water Assessment says, “We’re on a collision course between supply and demand.”

    Only Congress can stabilize U.S. population growth. At current levels of immigration, the U.S. population could not stabilizeeven if native-born fertility dropped to less than one child per woman. Politicians, however, rarely take the long view of immigration policy. They don’t consider the impact their policies will have on future generations.

    In a recent paper, Parker writes: “Wall Street and other growth advocates—the people who brought us the banking crisis—wring their hands in despair over a recent miniscule decrease in national fertility rate, even as they ignore critical carrying capacity issues that could have catastrophic economic and other consequences.” We have seen the same hand-wringing in the media, the same obsession with never-ending growth.

    As the naturalist David Attenborough says: “The notion of ever more old people needing ever more young people, who will in turn grow old and need even more young people, and so on ad infinitum, is an obvious ecological Ponzi scheme.”

    JEREMY BECK is the Director of the Media Standards Project for NumbersUSA

    1. tomek
      tomek December 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm |

      maybe true. but how get woman be more reponsibel and have less child? as see on here website, woman get offended when suggest think about factors other than own desire for children when have children.

      1. EG
        EG December 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

        Why is it women who need to be more responsible? If men responsibly got vasectomies and stopped irresponsibly donating sperm, the birth rate would drop.

        1. tomek
          tomek December 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm |

          but when child is haved it usual because woman want. men dont want child as often.

          also donate of sperms is biologic inevtable for man. in the sex, man can not stop the sperms from donating, let me insure you

        2. librarygoose
          librarygoose December 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm |

          1.) Prove it.

          2). Vasectomies.

        3. EG
          EG December 4, 2012 at 4:29 pm |

          If men don’t want children, they can get vasectomies.

          You don’t know what sperm donation actually is, do you?

        4. Donna L
          Donna L December 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm |

          also donate of sperms is biologic inevtable for man. in the sex, man can not stop the sperms from donating, let me insure you

          I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s entirely possible that this is all a very impressive example of performance art. It’s almost too perfect not to be.

        5. tomek
          tomek December 4, 2012 at 4:41 pm |

          i thought you say donation as euthemism. man stopping donate of sperm to sperm location will not reduce baby. only one sperm need for baby, but sperm module of man have million and billion of sperm. so if only single man make donation, million of baby can come.

        6. Donna L
          Donna L December 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm |

          I’m just going to view Tomek’s writings as poetry from now on.

        7. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm |

          I’m just going to view Tomek’s writings as poetry from now on.

          I vote we rename him e.e.tomek.

        8. EG
          EG December 4, 2012 at 5:55 pm |

          No, that’s not what sperm donation is.

          Why am I even having this argument? Why am I engaging? I honestly do not know. I’m probably procrastinating about something…

      2. toastygod
        toastygod December 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm |

        Women do not want children more than men. That is an old myth used to propagate the erroneous assumption that all women have some sort of natural yearning to be incubators…er…mothers. Here is a recent study showing that men seem to want children more than women, probably because they don’t face the physical consequences of pregnancy:

        http://mobile.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/12/06/best_break_up_video_ever_she_doens_t_want_kids_he_does.html

        And no man wants children less than this bitch rigjt here. Trust.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L December 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm |

      For God’s sake, now we have someone coming here and quoting an article from a right-wing anti-immigration website, the kind of place that thinks ending “birthright citizenship” is one of the most important issues facing the U.S. today? Go away. Pah!

      1. Foxy
        Foxy December 4, 2012 at 11:18 pm |

        Of course immigration is increasing the population

        1. Donna L
          Donna L December 4, 2012 at 11:54 pm |

          So?

  14. librarygoose
    librarygoose December 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm |

    My only contribution is that I keep reading this dude’s name as “Douchehat”.

    1. Donna L
      Donna L December 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm |

      I imagine that’s occurred to every single one of us!

    2. Angel H.
      Angel H. December 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm |

      OMG! I thought I was the only one!

  15. Evening…White Power, Church Guns, FU Disabled, Ted Nugent Rant…Reads « Sky Dancing

    [...] is one solution to this…at least according to Ross Douchehat: Ross Douthat would like you to have more babies Unless you are a single woman, of course. Oh and also if you don’t have babies, you’re being [...]

  16. Philip Finn
    Philip Finn December 4, 2012 at 7:11 pm |

    Is it my imagination, or is the only solution people like Douthat can come up with to just about every “problem”, real or imagined, is more of the same?

  17. Philip Finn
    Philip Finn December 4, 2012 at 7:12 pm |

    Is it my imagination, or is the only solution people like Douthat can come up with to just about every “problem”, real or imagined, is more of the same?

    1. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl December 4, 2012 at 9:39 pm |

      No, you’re not imagining it. Being a pious little Catholic wagging his finger in disapproval at all the heathens is pretty much Douthat’s raison d’etre. We all must repent and live in fear of his God’s wrath (and Douthat’s finger wagging and tsktsking) lest we let ourselves get pulled further into our naughty, selfish and self absorbed personal aims. In other words, anything that involves having fun and not being a pious little Catholic just like Douthat.

      He totally reminds me of the former altar boy of the church in which I grew up who used to police the exit doors in order to chide those who attempted to sneak out before mass was over.

  18. Goldenblack
    Goldenblack December 4, 2012 at 7:26 pm |

    The retreat from child rearing is, at some level, a symptom of late-modern exhaustion…

    Man, I wish I could find the link to the research about women’s reproductive tendencies when they have access to overtly socially accepted contraception, sexual choice, and general family leave where it’s accepted for males to take it as well.

    The result is that on average people have children enough to jusssst hit replace rate, but no further. Which makes a lot of sense really – the biological cost of having children is gigantic, but they’re fun to be around if you’re into them. And no one likes living in insanely crowded environments. Even better is an extended family with non-related people so you can get some downtime and those without kids can ‘borrow’ if they want. Some people have more, some people have less, but usually you get increased health outcomes for everyone and balance.

    Humans aren’t stupid. We don’t want to live in overcrowded places, we don’t want to live in utterly empty ones. We like living in comfortable environments.

    This is not a symptom of a malaise. It’s a symptom of success.

  19. Nanani
    Nanani December 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm |

    Articles like raise have only one interesting question : Is the writer (A) a raging racist who doesn’t mind a little misogyny; (B) a raging misogynist who doesn’t mind a little racism; or (C) a raging racist misogynist?

    There’s no point discussing the merits of ARGUMENT that women need to do what the writer says because that is always bullshit.

  20. stonebiscuit
    stonebiscuit December 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm |

    Sorry, Ross Douthat, I can’t hear you over the sound of my decadent childless lifestyle. I’m too busy eating Cheerio’s for every meal to have babies.

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