In response to:

The Baby Bust Generation

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...