The Washington Post acknowledges the baby crisis of low fertility rates in the U.S., but doesn’t seem too worried.
Acknowledging that “some worry” about a baby crisis, and claiming that too high a birthrate is a bad thing just like two low a birthrate, is a tactic designed to keep readers complacent. But the fact that fertility rates have reached a historic low means it is ridiculous to tell readers about the alleged problem of too many births.
There’s another difference. Parents feel the costs of children. They don’t feel the economic consequences of a baby crisis until and it is too late.
Thus, the Washington Post’s headline, “The U.S. fertility rate just hit a historic low. Why some demographers are freaking out.”
The United States is in the midst of what some worry is a baby crisis. The number of women giving birth has been declining for years and just hit a historic low. If the trend continues — and experts disagree on whether it will — the country could face economic and cultural turmoil.
According to provisional 2016 population data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, the number of births fell 1 percent from a year earlier, bringing the general fertility rate to 62.0 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. The trend is being driven by a decline in birthrates for teens and 20-somethings. The birthrate for women in their 30s and 40s increased — but not enough to make up for the lower numbers in their younger peers.
The article goes on to present a supposedly balanced view of birth rates. Then it gets to the source of the demographic problem.
“It’s about millennials,” says Donna M. Strobino, a professor of population, family and reproductive health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Those supposedly entitled young adults with fragile egos who live in their parents’ basements and hop from job-to-job — it turns out they’re also much less likely to have babies, at least so far.
It is indeed millennials. And it’s not just the economy and the college debt trap. It is also “technology” and “individualism,” which are new euphemisms for porn and masturbation:
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