Shortages of Labor, Life and Love
America's fertility rate is dropping. That's hurting our economy.
Any economy needs a growing population to sustain its economic growth. This is a basic tenet of economics. No workers, no work.
And that means America is in trouble.
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control issued a report showing that our “fertility rate fell to the lowest point since record keeping started” in 1909. In the first three months of 2016, there were slightly less than 60 births per 1,000 women. That’s down from 123 births per 1,000 women in 1957.
This trend is having a very serious effect on our economic growth. As The New York Times — ironically, perhaps the nation’s leading popular purveyor of the culture of death — noted earlier this month, it’s “the lack of workers, not work” that “weighs on the nation’s economy.” “After eight years of steady growth, the main economic concern in … a growing number of … states is no longer a lack of jobs, but a lack of workers.”
Recipe for Childlessness
What are the reasons America’s population growth rate is in decline?
A lot of it has do to with abortion: Since 1973, more than 60 million unborn children have been killed in their mothers’ wombs. Many would themselves have had children.
The anti-life industry is big business. The “contraceptive market” could rise to $33.6 billion in 2023.
Then there’s widespread access to contraception of all types. According to the Guttmacher Institute, “In the United States, the average desired family size is two children. To achieve this family size, a woman must use contraceptives for roughly three decades.” The United Nations’ 2015 report on “Trends in Contraceptive Use” says that 75 percent of Canadian and American women use contraceptives.
Seventy-five percent using contraceptives for 30 years. Add abortion to this reproductive mix and you have a recipe for relative childlessness.
Often, advocates of abortion and contraceptive access and use sound very noble about their efforts.
But the anti-life industry is big business. The research firm Global Market Insights last year issued a report saying that in the U.S., the “contraceptive market” was going to rise from $19.8 billion in 2015 to $33.6 billion in 2023.
And as Sarah Terzo observes, “performing abortions can be easy money.” She cites the example of former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino, who said in a 2015 speech that “you make a lot of money doing abortions … In my practice, we were averaging between $250 and $500 for an abortion, and it was cash. That’s the only time as a doctor you can say, either pay me up front or I’m not going to take care of you.” Terzo concludes, “When you consider that a first trimester abortion takes less than 10 minutes to perform, you can imagine how much money a doctor can make in one day.”
Consequences of Casual Sex
What can we do to cause our fellow citizens to see that children are a blessing, not a burden? For one thing, we should keep hammering against the lie that at-will sex is fun and harmless. Consider just three “factoids” that prove this point:
- In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that “nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in this country, half among young people aged 15–24, and account for almost $16 billion in health care costs.”
- A survey of “over 3,900 heterosexual college students from across the United States about their casual sex behaviors and mental well-being,” published in 2013, found “higher levels of general anxiety, social anxiety, and depression among students who recently had casual sex.”
- There is indisputable evidence that abortion can have serious, even deadly, health consequences for women. It is also linked to profound feelings of guilt, sadness and depression. “Women who have abortions are 81 percent more likely to experience subsequent mental health problems,” according to a 2011 study published by Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists.
We also must rid ourselves of the idea that children are not worth the bother.
Kids Are Worth It
It is hard to be a parent. With two children starting college this year, I look back on the past almost two decades as one seeing things in a dream. The emotional, financial, professional, and recreational costs have been high for my wife and me.
The rewards — spiritual, emotional, experiential — have been vastly higher. Having children also does something many of us find a bit embarrassing: Kids reveal your selfishness, your gnawing, gripping sense of egotism. That’s painful but, for a truly good life, more valuable than one can measure.
Children mean prosperity economically and well-being personally and socially. Destroying or just not having them is the triumph of the self over love.
Sound tough? I agree — it does. It also has the advantage of being true. And remember: Truth leads to goodness, beauty, and meaning. Good trade-off, that.