America's Fertility Decline

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
America's Fertility Decline
23
Tue, 02-05-2013 - 2:36pm

I thought the following article from the WSJ was pretty interesting.  It talks about how a society with declining fertility puts it at risk of having skewed age demographics, which causes many problems due to an aging population.  It claims that issues we are facing in the U.S., such as the economy, are caused by declining fertility rates: 

Low-fertility societies don't innovate because their incentives for consumption tilt overwhelmingly toward health care. They don't invest aggressively because, with the average age skewing higher, capital shifts to preserving and extending life and then begins drawing down. They cannot sustain social-security programs because they don't have enough workers to pay for the retirees. They cannot project power because they lack the money to pay for defense and the military-age manpower to serve in their armed forces.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323375204578270053387770718.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

They suggest that the decline in the U.S. is caused from stagnent middle class wages, more women getting college degrees and entering more varied careers than in past years.  I also think that high daycare costs, not to mention the basic costs of having a child, play into the decision to have fewer offspring.  

The articles gives a few ways to improve the fertility rate by making changes to social security, decreasing the costs of college tuition and improving infrastructures to make commuting more cost effective.  

What are your thoughts on the article?  With the current economy, do you think it's feasible for families to have more children? 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Mon, 02-18-2013 - 7:42am
I meant steering my kids in the direction of a job that allows them to earn enough money to put themselves through college.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Mon, 02-18-2013 - 7:45am
But what does it matter whether tuition is run through a credit card, paid with a check, or run through PayPal (which my last tuition payment was). It all comes out of the same bank account.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
Sat, 04-06-2013 - 4:44pm

The fertility decline is partly due to telling people they have to be 100% ready to have a child. This means they have to finish college, finish grad school, get a firm foothold in their career and buy a house. By the time someone has done all that, they may be 35 or close to 40; and no longer able to conceive without help from doctors.

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