In response to:

The Baby Bust Generation

Homeschool Mom3 Wrote: Dec 17, 2012 11:14 AM
In the homeschooling community we have families with more than the average number of children (the average is 4 and families with 5-12 are not uncommon) yet the majority live on one average income. Below average incomes are not unusual. They do it with no government aid and a large number of them have no debt at all. How? Living with different priorities. They share bedrooms, eat basic meals, buy used clothes, give humble gifts, drive old vehicles, vacation in tents, own less expensive houses, etc. They live frugally and focus on their children over stuff and careers. They didn't live on two incomes before they had kids or down scaled mercilessly . That's why Mitch Stevens called the hs community "The Kingdom of Children" in his book.
AudiR10 Wrote: Dec 21, 2012 11:55 AM
That's just what my parents did. Neither of them ever earned more than $10,000 per year during their entire working lives. We had everything we needed and we travelled extensively in the USA; two of us girls went to university and none of us went bad. We all believe we had a really good childhood. It can still be done.
lshort Wrote: Dec 17, 2012 2:55 PM
It does sound like for that to work, reproducing has to be your number one goal, no exceptions. I see nothing wrong with that being the case, but for some of us, it would not work psychologically--I personally would not be able to be happy devoting all my energies to reproduction. I suspect many other people are the same. I wouldn't dismiss us in a knee-jerk fashion as "selfish," though--for instance, I have devoted energy to defending our country and to manufacturing lifesaving vaccines. These too are worthy causes, I think--but I could not have done it and had 5 or more children at the same time. I would not have had the time for both.
ksatifka Wrote: Dec 17, 2012 2:36 PM
Except for your large amount of children (which is unsustainable in the long run), I totally agree with your more communal, non-materialist ideals. However, the US economy is built on the exact opposite premise. As we have given away much of our industrial base, 70% of our economy is now based on consumption by consumers. If the US moves toward your model (which would be a good thing and will be ultimately necessary) it would spark a depression such as we have never seen before. However, I fear bad times are coming no matter what we do.

FERTILITY IN AMERICA has been declining for years. According to the Pew Research Center, the nation's birth rate hit an all-time low in 2011 – just 63 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age. It was almost twice as high – 123 births per 1,000 women – at the peak of the Baby Boom in 1957.

As babies and children disappear from a society, what takes their place? One answer, as journalist Jonathan V. Last observes in a forthcoming book, "What to Expect When No One's Expecting," is pets.

In surveys taken from the 1940s to the 1980s, fewer...