The National Center for Health Statistics, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention subagency, reported this week that America’s fertility rate dropped for the sixth consecutive year. Total births declined by 4% in 2020, down to 1,637.5 children per 1,000 women. The statistical replacement rate for the U.S. population, by contrast, is roughly 2,100 births per 1,000 women. Overall, the 3,605,201 births last year in the U.S. represented the lowest number since the Jimmy Carter presidency.
It is perhaps too early to tell whether yet another annual incremental birthrate decline is anomalous, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or flows naturally from existing demographic trendlines. Sociologists and demographers will pore over the data, but it is difficult to ignore the broader trend and place the blame squarely — or even predominantly — on the virus and the myriad draconian lifestyle restrictions the virus engendered. On the contrary, many had speculated before this week’s report that the extended COVID lockdowns might lead to a one-time annual increase in the birthrate as couples sheltered in place together for months on end.
This bleak demographic reality is inconsonant with Americans’ stated child-rearing preferences. According to polling data revealed by American Compass in February, 45% to 50% of Americans who do not report that their families are still growing say they have fewer children than they would ideally desire, whereas 0% to 10% of Americans without growing families say they have more children than they ideally would have had. Put simply, Americans want more babies, but for various, complicated reasons, they are not having them. A drastic incongruence between stated preferences and lived reality is the definitional case for good public policy, and there has been a resurgence of interest of late on the realignment right to rediscover the tools of economic statecraft as it pertains to family policy.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, recently released his Family Security Act plan to provide direct monthly cash benefits for young and school-aged children. Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, came out in support of a further increase in the Child Tax Credit for young children. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., unveiled a new “Parent Tax Credit” that the American Principles Project’s Jon Schweppe has labeled the “most pro-family, pro-marriage, pro-life, pro-adoption, pro-work, pro-everything-that-conservatives-love economic proposal offered … in recent memory,” and American Compass itself devised a rival “Family Income Supplemental Credit” policy. There are other competing ideas, too, such as University of Dallas professor Gladden Pappin’s 2019 proposal for a generous direct support system called “FamilyPay.”
This economic policy fermentation is deeply healthy. Elected Republicans in Washington, D.C., ought to eventually coalesce around one proposal, but for now, the intellectual vitality of the present policy discussion is intrinsically beneficial. There are also innumerable avenues for noneconomic policy — the realms of sociology, technology, religion and so forth — to help lay the foundations for a possible new baby boom. Here is one exceedingly straightforward idea to add into the mix: Stop incessantly bashing America and telling young parents and children to hate America.
As a matter of public discourse and increasingly as a matter of education policy, impressionable young would-be parents and their even more impressionable children are indoctrinated in rank America-hatred. The most sordid forms of this indoctrination come packaged in woke-speak such as “critical race theory” and “anti-racism,” which dovetail with The New York Times’ insidious “1619 Project” in making an affirmative case for America’s purported “systemic racism.” This is no longer a fringe theory relegated to the cesspool that is the modern American academy; in the aftermath of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s recent guilty conviction, no less a figure than President Joe Biden himself seized the moment to decry the “systemic racism that is a stain on our nation’s soul.” Indeed, in the year 2021, condemning the United States’ incorrigible “systemic racism” is perhaps the Democratic Party’s foremost call to arms.
Holding aside the fact that this is a noxious lie — America has not been “systemically racist,” with the possible exception of the anti-Asian racism of affirmative action education policies, since Jim Crow — there are tangible effects of this rhetoric for the body politic. Put simply, inculcating America-hatred logically ought to disincentivize young, healthy couples from procreating. After all, who would rationally want to bring forth new life into a country that is irredeemably “systemically racist” to its core?
Demographers often associate falling birthrates with falling confidence in a nation’s future. The U.S. in the year 2021 is no exception. Fortunately, some of our plummeting confidence is baseless — and self-inflicted. The most straightforward way to help accelerate birthrates again could be as simple as ceasing the collective self-flagellation of leftist America-hatred.
To find out more about Josh Hammer and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
It’s also a good way to fix a plummeting economy. Biden had a golden opportunity handed to him on a silver platter and he threw the platter out to the dogs. For no other reason other than Trump did it, he has turned everything upside down and he has created an absolute mess of all that had been put in order. As Forrest Gump said. ‘stupid is as stupid does”.
The quickest way to return the American birth rate to one of national replenishment is to educate and convince the American public that living in the image of their CREATOR, whose basic tenet is to create human life, wealth and happiness, rather than living in the secular Democrat sponsored image of the great CONSUMER, whose basic tenet is to redistribute personal wealth and property from the creators to the consumers until sooner you run out of other people’s creations and your society becomes extinct. During past times of Blackouts, lockdowns forced by power outages, hurricanes and other natural forces, the natural human response was to make love in seclusion like Banshees, and 9 months later produce a surplus of human created babies. This unnatural, fake politically created, fear mongered, COVID election stealing lockdown produced nothing but the creation of fear for the future, and the diminishment of the human spirit in the fake media pronounced and created reluctance for even the people of creation to bring human life into a socialist created failing American hell they created here on earth. There is nothing natural in what they believe in and nothing natural in the manipulated outcomes of this pandemic, or we would be swimming in birth babies 9 months after the fact. This is not our WWII post war empowered American troops returning from war for a 1950’s baby boom, but our Biden Democrat fear infested dis-empowered post COVID war girly men leading America to its own self-destruction.
Another way, would be to stop ALL THE DAM ABORTIONS!
There are many people who have married late in life and by then it may be too late to have babies. Also, because of covid, I have heard some people talk that they want to delay having babies because of the disease.
Japan has a low birth-rate; “anti-Whites” don’t tell it to assimilate with millions of non-Japanese immigrants.
Why? It’s non-White.
Finland has a low birth-rate; “anti-Whites” tell it to assimilate with millions of non-White immigrants.
Why? It’s White.
Diversity is just a code word for White Genocide.
I wonder, what the birth rate is in the mid east??
With the me too movement men are afraid to make a pass at an attractive woman lest they lose their job. Also with the normalizing of deviant behaviors the LBGQ etc folks have no incentive to act normal.
Good point. With the MGOTO movement, and all the rabid feminazis constantly bashing men all over the place, MEN ARE JUST NOT Bothering trying to date. Ergo no nookie. ERGO A LOWER BIRTH rate.
A declining and eventually disappearing birth rate is precisely what the regime and the left want. The plan after the passage of the “Equality” Act is the abolition of standard sexuality, traditional child-raising and the family. By the time the fundamental transformation of the dying First American Republic is done, childbirth will consist of production of a small number of offspring as dictated by the new state religion, Gaian paganism. Lesbians will be artificially inseminated from homosexual and transvestite donors, and the resultant “theybies” will be taken from their mothers (as one takes eggs from a hen, Orwell said), and raised and indoctrinated in public institutions until they come out. Recusant “breeders” will be re-educated, treated with hormones and eventually dealt with more harshly if necessary. The goal will be to convert heterosexuality into a despised perversion, practiced in the shadows by a benighted minority.
I wonder, if they ever saw films like Gattica, or The Fortress, and saw that kids being born NORMALLY was the “abnormal” in those societies, and thought “GEE THis is what we want to happen for realZ!
Falling birth rates are not a money problem. Mitt Romney just wants to stuff more into his own pocket. That’s all he and so many politicians are about. At the moment, Americans are in a battle for their country. Not a physical one yet (in most places), but like the first American Revolution, it is a struggle for control of our own lives and choices. We need to concentrate on winning that political and sociological “war”, and what the statistics tell me is that American birth rates will rebound. Also women who wait a few years to have children tend to have multiple births naturally. An explosion of twin births in the US has already been predicted. So let’s not get hung up on births and take our country back!
The second I see Mitt Romney, I turn off. Worthless, lowlife, garbage, socialist masquerading as a republican.
Sterilizing people in the guise of “transitioning” them doesn’t help the birth rate much, either.
Not to worry. The libs are replacing them with ILLEGAIAL ALIEN children. They the Illegal Alien children will claim 6 adults as their parents and let them get into America so they can VOTE Democrat! With all the Democratic illegal voting, they will let the vote from out of the country. Dominion voting machines will let the vote by internet from their country.
I wouldn’t be shocked to find that MILLIONS OF ILLEGALS are already VOTING IN OUR elections, from their home nation, via way of their anchor kids in our nation…
Maybe the Govt could take the $500 Billion they give to Planned Parenthood for aborting 60,000 babies a year and use it to help pay for the Child Tax Credits proposed by conservative politicians like Hawley that might create a double-dose of new babies…those saved from the ice picks and suction hoses and the newly-discovered pleasure of having a family.
AND how’s about we make folks wanting kids, but can’t have them normally, START ADOPTING FROM OUR OWN batch of kids in foster care, RATHER THAN going overseas all the damn time.