HomePoliticsA Fertility Gap? A Fertility Gap? Lorie Byrd August 23, 2006 Politics 42 Comments Evidently liberals aren’t doing enough procreating. Sparkleblogging Cold Cash Congressman To Lead Katrina Tours Related Posts Salazar (D-Co) Breaks Campain Pledge, Considers Filibuster It's twue! It's twue! He Voted for it, Before he voted agaisnt it – II About The Author Lorie Byrd 42 Comments Jim Addison August 23, 2006 Heh. It seems the very thought of Bush ruins their mood. I apologize. Even Larry the Cable Guy would ask forgiveness for that one. 😮 eman August 23, 2006 I guess those Cindy Sheehan instruction videos aren’t having the desired effect. fatman August 23, 2006 eman said: I guess those Cindy Sheehan instruction videos aren’t having the desired effect. They are if you’re a conservative. King of Fools August 23, 2006 I believe they are counting on an influx from across the borders to counter this trend. So far, it seems to be working. Brian The Adequate August 23, 2006 Eman said: “I guess those Cindy Sheehan instruction videos aren’t having the desired effect.” Uggh. Now I need to spend the rest of the day scrubbing my brain with a brillo pad to get that mental image out of my head. Thanks alot. epador August 23, 2006 Marijuana impairs fertility. Beware! rightnumberone August 23, 2006 They do PLENTY of procreating. What they do too much of is abortion. jp August 23, 2006 I think its funny how liberal policies kill themselves off if left alone. Think about it, between all their socialist ideals and new deal programs that we are continually paying for its obvious we need workers(so have children) to sustain and pay for them. Problem is they also beleive strongly in secular culture of abortion, feminism, homosexuals, and the general ideas of not getting married anytime soon and living a carefree life until in their 40’s before settling down. P. Bunyan August 23, 2006 Rightnumberone hit the nail on the head. JP also added some good insights. I was gonna post pretty much the same comments but they beat me to it. There is, at least, one benefit to the left-wing’s legalized genocide (euphemistically refered to by some as “choice”)– it’s causing the left wing to slowy disappear. P. Bunyan August 23, 2006 Rightnumberone hit the nail on the head. JP also added some good insights. I was gonna post pretty much the same comments but they beat me to it. There is, at least, one benefit to the left-wing’s legalized genocide (euphemistically refered to by some as “choice”)– it’s causing the left wing to slowy disappear. DJFelix August 23, 2006 I read a similar article that called this the “Roe Effect.” Simply put, it is the effect of the Roe v. Wade decision on the liberal vote. The theory says that parents tend to have children that follow their political beliefs more often than not. The theory also says that liberals are more likely to have an abortion than conservatives. Therefore, liberals are more likely to have fewer children as a result of the legalization of abortion by the Roe v. Wade decision. If this theory is true, the article pointed to the 2000 Presidential election, where the decision came down to less than 1500 votes. Imagine for a minute if abortion were -*not*- legal, and the babies that were aborted in the 70’s and early 80’s were not aborted, and were now of legal age to vote. Considering the number of abortions in the US, there may have been enough extra liberal voters to push the state decisively in the Gore column. If that theory is true, it -*was*- abortion that lost Gore the 2000 election, and stands to continue to cost Democrats more and more in the future. Hence the term, the “Roe Effect.” Very chilling if you think about it for a minute. DJFelix August 23, 2006 I did a quick Google search, and found the Roe Effect article over at … Opinion Journal … from July 2005. Check it out at: http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110006913 agent bedhead August 23, 2006 Is this a bad thing? 😉 ed August 23, 2006 Hmmmm. 1. I wonder if there is a direct connection between progressive views and a lack of desire to become a parent? I’d guess many progressives are urban, educated and well on their way to attaining wealth. It costs a great deal more to raise children in an urban environment, and it requires a lot more sacrifices than in more rural settings. Mostly due to housing availability I’d guess. If you’re going to have a family then the absolute minimum would be a 2 bdrm house or apartment. More than 1 child would require, eventually, at least a 3 bdrm or more. These types of dwellings cost substantially more than a 1 bdrm that would be sufficient for most single or married couples. 2. I don’t know if there’s a direct path from being well educated to fewer, or zero, children. But one aspect of the progressive mantra is the impact of excess human fertility, i.e. children and population growth, on the planet. I’ve read a number of comments and missives from progressives that pat themselves on the back for not having children, and thereby saving some portion of the planet. 3. It’s much more difficult for a single person or a couple to attain wealth when trying to raise children. A single child in America can cost upwards of $200,000 USD from birth to entering college, and that doesn’t include the cost of college as well. I’d assume most urban progressives would prefer something more than a local community or state college for their child, so the cost of educating that one child could range from $100,000 USD to $200,000 USD for a 4 year degree. 4. A lot of people have remarked to me that they changed their politics once they had children. The views and policies that they could support when the direct consequences wouldn’t impact them as harshly became unsupportable once they had children. Particularly in the field of education. … It’s a curious thing. Almost a chicken-egg kinda of puzzle. Are they progressive because they don’t have children? Or are they childless because they are progressive? And please note: this is all very general and doesn’t accurately describe any specific or every individual. I’m posting this last note because there is bound to be some idiot twit who simply can’t understand that this note is implicit in any blog comment. Publicus August 23, 2006 It doesn’t matter to me whether liberals or conservatives breed more. But, I find it somewhat disturbing (if true) that 80% of offspring maintain the political views of their parents. So, what percentage actually think for themselves? scsiwuzzy August 23, 2006 Publicus, Agreeing with one’s parents != failure to think for one’s self. MyPetGloat August 23, 2006 Wingnuts are allowed to breed? Publicus August 23, 2006 “Publicus, Agreeing with one’s parents != failure to think for one’s self. Posted by: scsiwuzzy” Well, don’t you think if 80% (liberals AND conservatives) agree with their parents, that’s greater than chance? Doesn’t that imply a lazy mind and lack of critical thinking. One CAN agree with ones parents after evaluating various positions…but an 80% agreement rates suggests that very, very many children don’t think for themselves… Oyster August 23, 2006 Publicus, I don’t think it’s a matter of thinking for one’s self apart from one’s parents. It’s more a matter of life experience. For one small instance, a rural family has different experiences and require different solutions making them more likely to behave independently than a liberal family in an urban setting which may make them lean more toward a communal or social way of thinking. My family is a prime example. While my brother and I were raised in a semi-suburban setting and neither of us were taught any political philosophy at all by our parents. My brother moved to NYC right out of high school and lived there for 20 years becoming a staunch liberal Democrat. I remained in a semi-suburban setting and lean right of center. Many children who remain in a setting similar to or close to the one they were raised in may be more likely to adopt the same philosophy their parents do or did in that setting. And of course there are a million and a half variables dictating to what degree they do this. Just looking at the blue/red map shown by county of the whole country right after the ’04 election, only a blind person wouldn’t notice that the most congested areas were blue. I thought of the blue areas as more of an indication of “group think” and perception of one’s, perhaps crowded, environment rather than anything else. Of course, one may see that as a partisan statement, but it’s not meant to be. Just imagine someone raised in NYC constantly exposed to crowding, exhaust fumes, little sky, crime, etc. and it’s likely that person will adhere to a way of thinking that something’s gotta be done about it. And then contrast that with someone who grows up in Nebraska with clean air, open skies, miles between houses and little crime and the things the city dweller worries about seem remote and less alarming. All these things dictate how we’ll vote on a variety of issues. Mitchell August 23, 2006 Already did my part here for the Conservative Cause: Helen Elizabeth M. born August 5, 2006, a healthy little cub at 7 lbs. 11 ozs. We are piping tapes of Reagan and Bush II speeches and will be sure to coerce her into voting for Atilla the Hun or some other respectable conservative when she turns 18. By then, the whole country should be one big Red Map! Yeehawwww! LJD August 23, 2006 Recent birth rates suggest that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to have kids. Funny that the libs are having trouble with it. Mitchell August 23, 2006 Best of the Web guy has a lot on this. Another thought: notice how many liberals/Dems. through the years got wise and moved Right and became Repubs., but few, if any, Repubs. moved left and became Dems. They are legion: Reagan, Bennett, Barone, Kilpatrick, etc. All the good guys. And plenty smart. Dave thA August 23, 2006 “So, what percentage actually think for themselves?” Well, 80% of those that have Republican parents and 20% of those that have liberal parents… About 50% in all, assuming an equally divided country. (-; scsiwuzzy August 23, 2006 Publicus, I think it not uncommon for people born and raised in a given environment (culture, economy, religion) to have shared values. It is one of the things that keeps societies stable. While there will always be a blind follower segment in society, I think 80% is far to high an assumption. I’ve found in my own exp that parents that have chosen their politics upon consideration raise children that apply the same rigor later in life. Assuming that the parents and their children share similar factors of economy, education, religion, etc, it isn’t surprising that they would have similar outcomes. I am curious to see what the numbers are in a less mobile society than the USA. That is, one with less social, economic and geographic migration. Herman August 23, 2006 From the article refers to: “As one liberal columnist in a major paper graphically put it, ‘Maybe the scales are tipping to the neoconservative, homogenous right in our culture simply because they tend not to give much of a damn for the ramifications of wanton breeding and environmental destruction and pious sanctimony, whereas those on the left actually seem to give a whit for the health of the planet and the dire effects of overpopulation.'” Couldn’t have put it better myself. Conservatives don’t give a damn that the population of the world has been increasing at unprecedented rates, while liberals give consideration to the well-being of future generations when reaching fertility decisions. Well, when you have one political philosophy ultimately based upon short-sighted selfishness and the other political philosophy based upon long-term altruism, what else can you expect? astigafa August 23, 2006 Thus it has always been with the higher and lower classes: the pure breds have one or two kids, the mongrels have litters. Thank Allah for Wal-Mart, eh? Synova August 23, 2006 Dave – LOL! I wanted to point out from the article… “The fertility gap doesn’t budge when we correct for factors like age, income, education, sex, race–or even religion.” I’d always thought that the fertility gap was related directly to religion, so that’s a surprise to me. It doesn’t *say* cost of living or urban/rural… but I really don’t think that rural people, even farmers, have large families anymore. Also, rural people are likely to be *much* poorer than urban people because there simply aren’t jobs to be had. Farmers may be worth a lot, but it’s not pocket money. This is probably right on the money… ” As one liberal columnist in a major paper graphically put it, “Maybe the scales are tipping to the neoconservative, homogenous right in our culture simply because they tend not to give much of a damn for the ramifications of wanton breeding and environmental destruction and pious sanctimony, whereas those on the left actually seem to give a whit for the health of the planet and the dire effects of overpopulation.” “ It’s the view of children as consumers and a net loss to the family and to the world. A person can love their child very much while believing that procreation is the biggest threat to the world today and a certain drain on family finances. It’s the belief that children make us poorer. They TAKE. They take from us and from the world. There’s a global warming ad on TV with a freight train that might illustrate this. A man says, 30 years to irreversable global warming doesn’t matter to me (implying he won’t be around to care) and he steps aside to show the cutest little curly blond girl standing in front of the freight train. The ad, of course, is assuming that people work from either selfishness or fear. But the *message* is that there won’t be a future for our children to live in. The future is “dire.” Who’d have children if they believed that the future they face is a terrible dark place? (And politically… is it surprising that liberals aren’t able to present their plans for an optimistic future?) T.G. Scott August 23, 2006 My husband and I are conservative, Republican. and childless by choice, so I guess we buck the status quo. However, I have realized this with the liberals for some time. They’re so into protecting their right to have abortions that they’ve scraped and suctioned out out most of their future voters. Genocide of their own ideaology. That’s why they want to brainwash your children–because they don’t have any of their own to carry on their agenda. Fellow conservatives, guard your little ones!! SilverBubble August 23, 2006 Herman, I’d expect that you have no grasp of the fact that 20,000,000 (plus or minus 10,000,000) babies not born in 30 years is not that big of an impact when you consider the fact that the earth’s population is around 6.5 BILLION people and rising. It’s like trying to empty the ocean with a thimble. Also, the average birthrate in America is 2.09 children per woman. I believe the average needed birthrate to maintain or increase a population is at least 2.6 children per woman. That means that without immigration in America, our population would be in danger of DECLINING, especially since one of the largest portions of Americans are over 65. If you really want the earth’s population to stabilize or even decline, then perhaps you should try to implement policies of, oh, abstinence before marriage. Given the pregnancy rate among unmarried women, I’d say it has far more impact on population than us evil conservatives and you self-righteous liberals. Or, if you really want to control the earth’s population for the benefit of future generations, stop giving aid to third-world countries and let the people die. Stop giving health care to those in America who can’t afford it and let them die, too. A higher death rate means less people in the long run. If you really cared as much about the future as you say you do, then you would have no problem letting millions of people die in anguish and poverty, through starvation, dehydration, disease, and murder. I’m guessing your entire comment was an attempt to make political hay by setting up an illogical but easy-to-form arguement that has no bearing on reality at all. Synova August 23, 2006 I won’t ask Herman to explain why Europe having a negative fertility rate and the US having an ever so barely possitive fertility rate and a looooong tradition of assuming the absolute nature of exponential growth equates to “the population of the world has been increasing at unprecedented rates.” It would require *math*. There is no logical or factual support for the run away population theories of a century ago, but that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that the early proponents of birth control and abortion were racists who were mostly interested about making sure that the right sorts of people had more children and the wrong sorts of people had fewer children. It doesn’t matter that economic development and education *not fear* leads naturally to reduced family sizes in all cultures and that the only thing that will keep that natural reduction from happening is if economic development is hampered. It doesn’t matter that the greatest resource for good in the world is children… it’s still “short sighted selfishness” to have them. The liberal scare machine has been convincing people that they are selfish to want children and they’ve been transfering their anger at that imposed sterilization on those who see through the lies and have the children they *want*. When are they going to wake up and focus the anger they feel about their never born children on those responsible? Synova August 23, 2006 “Or, if you really want to control the earth’s population for the benefit of future generations, stop giving aid to third-world countries and let the people die.” SilverBubble, I’m going to assume you weren’t serious but just trying to get Herman’s goat. If you’re serious you’re a sick puppy but also *wrong*. High mortality levels *always* mean high fertility in return. Even after incredible die-offs due to war or epidemic, population levels recover in only a generation or so. The more people die, the more they have babies. The *poorer* they are, the more they have babies. The richer they are and the less they die, the less they have babies. Economic development naturally leads to reduced fertility rates *everywhere*. Basic services… electricity means people can study in the evenings, first all the boys go to school, then people can start sending their daughters to school. Labor intensive agriculture and employment, where more children/workers enrich the family, is replaced by more profitable automated practices that reduce the incentive to have a large number of children. Improved medical care means parents can be reasonably confident that children born will live to adulthood, also reducing the incentive to have many children. Taking away the economic imperative to have children… something related to being POOR because having children is the only way to *improve* your life (if nothing else, you can sell them… better than owning a goat.) People can have the number of children they want rather than need. Not everyone even wants kids. Many people are more than happy to have neices and nephews. Most people want kids but don’t want more than one or two anyway. Some people want a fuller house and some *very few* people just LOVE to have children and have double digits. The population nazis should leave well enough alone because every indication is that it all evens out. And even *that* statement is optimistic, because from what we *observe* (rather than “believe blindly”) left well enough alone fertility may *naturally* settle at less than replacement levels. SilverBubble August 23, 2006 I definitely wasn’t serious about the “let them die” thing. Synova August 23, 2006 Okay, good. I thought you probably weren’t serious but some people do really think that genocide and epidemic have an up side. Thanks for clarifying. (Speaking of which… what was the name of that “bird flu wiping out 80% of the human population might not be so bad for the world” college teacher we heard about a while ago?) Red Fog August 23, 2006 New Hillary campaign slogan: “Abort the Vote!” or the confounding “Mother’s for Choice” Mitchell August 23, 2006 Or, “Have you had your D & C today, Dear?” Or, “Children: They’re for the Yobs” Or, “Life Begins with ME!” Publicus August 23, 2006 scsiwuzzy The 80% I cited is taken from the article wizbang is citing. I don’t know whether or not it’s true. I worry that people on both the left and right don’t really understand the opposition’s position, and may not even be exposed to it. I don’t think we have to agree, but we should understand both sides before coming to a conclusion. The 80% figure suggests to me (but doesn’t prove) that a very high percentage people don’t really even consider other opinions. “While there will always be a blind follower segment in society, I think 80% is far to high an assumption. I’ve found in my own exp that parents that have chosen their politics upon consideration raise children that apply the same rigor later in life.” SCSIwuzzy August 23, 2006 Publicus, But it is your assertion that this figure means people don’t think for themselves, not that of the author, He makes no judgement statement about the why of this pattern, he just follows the logical progression that results. For all I know, this is just some weird manifestation of the Pareto principle. Notice, I’ve never mentioned sides or parties. 🙂 I just have a more optimistic view of how people get their values, IMO. fatman August 23, 2006 Synova said: Okay, good. I thought you probably weren’t serious but some people do really think that genocide and epidemic have an up side. Thanks for clarifying. You mean they don’t? 😮 Mitchell August 23, 2006 I have now fully programmed my newborn to hate people who have no sense of humor, history, perspective (i.e., liberals, Lee, Groucho, 914, ilk) not because they are so weak and pathetic, but because they endanger all the rest of us. Sorry to be so negative. I just want my daughter of 2 weeks to 1) live a long life, and 2) be aware of her surroundings/times and 3) support the country against the terror that will continue to plague us all. She’ll be a good little citizen. Wish I could say the same for the Dems./Libs./anarchists in our midst. Synova August 23, 2006 Congratulations on your procreation, Mitchell! As for the 80%… My parents have four children. Two are social conservatives, one is a liberal academic, and then there’s me. All of my siblings frustrate me because conservative or liberal they have the same basic ideas about what government is and should be. This is why libertarians mean it when they say “Democrats and their clones the Republicans.” The disagree on the details but not on the underlying assumptions. I was interested in current events and political issues when I was in high school but I *did* default to Republican like my parents because NO ONE could answer my most burning question… What is the difference? Explain to me the difference between what Republicans believe and what Democrats believe? And NO ONE COULD. So what’s to choose? As an adult after years of personal observation I can say the Republicans and Democrats have different sorts of fringe loonies but other than that the difference is primarily a difference of emphasis and rhetoric. Conservatism isn’t a philosophy any more than progressivism is a philosophy… they’re both going to the same destination in the end, the conservative just wants to take things a bit slower with a bit more care, to avoid some avoidable problems. Mitchell August 24, 2006 Synova, I agree. I started out a Repub. because my parents were, I can’t deny that. But I stayed that way for the same reasons. I couldn’t get logical answers to issues that the Republican/Conservative position seemed to have answered satisfactorily. I don’t mind my friends being Dems. But it is interesting that, even with the smartest ones, when they come up against a good conservative argument, they sort of end the conversation with a “well, unhuh” instead of a reasoned idea. I have observed they operate on a different principle–they often judge issues by their feelings of guilt, fear, prejudice, etc. rather than from their heads. It always amazes me how strong a factor fear can be–it can trump all other things and cut off reason. M ed August 24, 2006 Hmmm. @ Herman Well, when you have one political philosophy ultimately based upon short-sighted selfishness and the other political philosophy based upon long-term altruism, what else can you expect? I look forward to your not having children and salute you sir for it! Well done! Well done indeed!