I loved, loved, loved this article about the dangers of depopulation.
" Less than 50 years ago (1957, the year Lyle Lovett was born, to be precise), the U.S. birthrate hit a record and began to decline. From 3.7 births per woman -- well over the 2.1 required to maintain a level population -- our birthrate has been falling since. It is now hovering just below replacement rate.
In Europe, birthrates are even lower. As a consequence, by 2050 the population of Europe will have fallen to what it was in 1950. Mr. Longman says this is happening all around the world: Women are having fewer children. It's happening in Brazil, it's happening in China, India and Japan. It's even happening in the Middle East. Wherever there is rapid urbanization, education for women and visions of urban affluence, birthrates are falling."
He goes in to explain the reasoning behind why? Because the economic incentives have fallen directly against raising and training our next generation. Never mind that that is one of the most important things we can do as a society.
"They're expected to get educated, get a job, find a nice neighborhood, etc. By the time they do that, they've missed their best years for reproduction. Basically, our societies have put a tax on nurture. Parents create value, but they get little of it."
I love that idea, we as a society have put a "tax on nurture". Parents create value, more than any other job in society, by far, but get little of that value back.
We are about to have our fourth child, and people wonder how we're going to do it. And we are, by the way, committed to giving each of them as good of an education as we possibly can (as any parent is).
But when its not your own child, this concern for education drops precipitously. If we truly cared about education, that would be our most important societal investment.
By the way, we just enrolled our daughter in the Chandler's Children's Choir and it is awesome. I went to a rehearsal last Tuesday and they are preparing to sing with a community orchestra and it was wonderful.
My daughter will also get an opportunity to sing patriotic songs before a Diamondbacks game as well as a lot of other community events.
Do public schools have choirs doing as much? Maybe some do, but there's no reason why they couldn't. It just takes a little extra money (when spread out across the community), a bit more of a sacrifice.
Any parent would want their child to have this kind of opportunity (or opportunities like it).
We as a family have made a decision to have more kids, make a sacrifice to raise them the best way we can. And society will mooch off our labors later. :-).
Just be sure to thank us (and every other family that has decided to raise more rather than fewer kids in a society where its increasingly difficult to do so) later.