Wednesday, March 3, 2021

A Barometer Of Despair

I just read an interesting article that addresses something that's been on my mind all during the lockdowns:

Experts sound the alarm on declining birth rates among younger generations: "It's a crisis"

The article works off an interview with a USC professor who studies demographic trends, Dowell Myers. While most experts expected the lockdowns to lead to a baby boom--nothing else to do, when you're shut up at home. That didn't happen. 

New data is confirming [that] a baby boom that some doctors expected was actually a "baby bust." Health departments in more than two dozen states provided records to CBS News, showing a 7% drop in births in December — nine months after the first lockdowns began. 

Researchers say it continues a much bigger plunge in fertility in recent decades.

The reason?

It’s not the main reason births have declined during the pandemic, but social distancing doesn’t exactly lend itself to romance.

No, the main reason seems to be an increase in anxiety and insecurity--financial concerns.

The coronavirus pandemic is also making the problem worse — despite what some people previously thought.

"We thought, oh, we would see a baby boom. But we just haven't seen it," said Dr. David Jaspan, chair of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. 

Jaspan said patients are not only worried about their health, but their finances as well.

There's a fairly extended discussion of the crisis this birth dearth is fueling. The focus of concern is the simple fact that there are more and more old people to be supported during their longer life spans, and fewer and fewer younger people to do the supporting. And the lockdowns have exacerbated an already worsening trend. Bringing in low skill, high health risk, people over the border isn't the solution. This leads, toward the end of the article, to this disquieting observation by Myers:

Dowell Myers ... worries the declining birth rate is also a "barometer of despair."

Myers said he never expected to be talking about a global declining birth rate during his lifetime. 

Asked what changed, he pointed to "the burdens of life."

"The cost of housing, the cost of education, all these things have become more and more difficult," Dowell said. "I think the boomers themselves don't realize how much harder it is for millennials today. And they think, 'Oh yeah, when we were young we had to live, you know, on very little money, and we made do, and you can do the same.' That's the story, right? Well no, it really is a lot harder for young people today. It's amazing how much harder it is.

I suspect that these realities will continue to fuel the populist movement in America. It's no mystery to those who have followed these things that these trends--which were inevitable in themselves--have been greatly worsened by the outsourcing of American industry and the seizure of public institutions by the Boomer Left. The middle class and working class have been disinherited by the Boomer financial elite and their public pensioned enablers, who now seek to effectively disenfranchise them. If the under-educated Millennials ever figure out what actually happened to put them in this position there'll be hell to pay.


  1. Related ...

    It’s not just birth rates, but with those already born and growing up in this mess.

    I had a child who tried to sequester himself in his bedroom, barely leaving it, and barely doing any online school work. My wife and I forced him to come out and do his work in the living room. This allowed his grades to be better and, more importantly, his mental health.

    This lockdown/mask mania is a cult. Yes, a real cult that invites and promotes practices that lead to mental breakdowns. There was and is no reason for it.

    I love Trump and his ideals, but in this instance, he trusted his “science” folks like Fauci too much. That is on Trump. Biden, who is cognitively impaired to the point that he should haven ever been a candidate, let alone elected president, is trying to further this madness.

    Thankfully and finally, the states are starting to wise up. Sadly, it’s too few and the cult thrives.

    Oh, in person school in my area means every student is on a computer doing online work with a “teacher” present or not.

    1. Giving Fauci pretty much free rein, allowing him to become the Left's science god (despite his lack of cred) = big mistake.

    2. @TD, I can imagine--and my wife and I were discussing this--that these must have been very stressful times for parents and children, especially adolescent children. One of my doctors was mentioning this to me back in November.

  2. More crisis - the cities are collapsing - 20% more people are leaving than left last year - and there aren't any homes for them to buy.

    Meanwhile the cities are home to gangs more heavily armed than police...

    There are a couple embedded links to videos of LA showing previously wealthy neighborhood businesses all closed up