Are We in a Reproductive Recession?

In February, Businessweek carried an article by Charles Kenny about the current reproductive recession. It began with, “Americans just don’t make babies like they used to.”

American women are expected to have, on average, fewer than two children.  The U.S. birthrate is the lowest in nearly a century according to the Pew Research Center. In 1970 the average woman gave birth to 4.7 children in her lifetime, but today across the globe the figure is 2.5 children. By 2050, according to the United Nations, “48 countries out of a world total of 229 will have smaller populations than in 2010.  In 1980 the median age was 23; by 2050, it will be 38. Already, the burden of supporting aging populations with a shrinking pool of able-bodied workers threatens the solvency of government in advanced countries.” That is probably the most truthful part of Mr. Kenny’s article as it went on to say, “Policymakers and the public will have to adjust to changes in the way we allocate resources and define work.”

There of course is no mention of the 50 million American citizens who were aborted for the general population’s pleasure.  Those citizens are needed today. They would have balanced out population shifts and been contributors to society. What many pro-choice advocates don’t know is that planned Parenthood has its roots in race eugenics.  Would society have been better off had President Obama’s mother selected that route or the mother of Dr. Ben Carson of Johns Hopkins University?

Affordability is a key factor many couples consider when they are deciding whether or not to have children and how many they should have. In 1992 my father, Tony Keating was 83 years old. My brother and I were in our 40’s.  Normally, if your parent is in their 80’s one would expect to be in or around 60. I remember asking my dad why he had married so late.  What a feeble question on my part— like life is a bed of roses. Dad easily answered that he couldn’t afford it.  He graduated college in 1932 right in the middle of the depression, which is why his generation was called the “greatest”—because of what they survived. Lying between the depression and World War II are fifteen lost years. 

There are others factors today contributing to our population deficit in addition to affordability—lack of stable families and an uncertain economy also play a part. People can’t afford the cost of raising children— even their own.  Little effort is made to teach young girls the consequences of premarital sex, which can and has led to many mothers with several children from multiple fathers.  And everyone knows the value of two parent families, but since we can’t be judgmental, it’s not often said. The uncertain economy and the breadth of welfare programs that must be funded by taxes mean that even though you may limit your family, you are still paying for someone else’s child. There are 46 million Americans on food stamps—a real American tragedy.

High tax rates, illegitimacy and abortions are some of the key reasons the population is in decline. With the advances in medical science and technology we should be on the verge of creating a society with economic opportunities for all.   Yet we are squandering these opportunities with unstoppable government spending designed to keep re- electing office holders.

The low birthrate of our country will have a detrimental effect on our nation in the future. Children are the future of this country, and they are needed to sustain a healthy economy. Italy, Japan and Russia are already facing the problems of a decreasing population size. The declining birth rate has not been beneficial for America, and our children are not better educated and our society is not better off. 

Daniel Keating is President of Summit Consolidated Group, a national brokerage and insurance company with offices in Oklahoma, Texas, Connecticut and Louisiana. Mr. Keating grew up in Tulsa graduating from Cascia Hall. He holds a B.S. degree from Tulsa University and a MBA from the University of Oklahoma. Following college, Keating joined the United States Marine Corps and completed Officer Candidate School. Daniel Keating served a thirteen-month tour with the Fifth Marine Regiment in Vietnam and later retired from the Marine Corps Reserve with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Daniel Keating is a past president of Valley National Bank in Tulsa where he presently serves on the Bank’s Board of Directors. In 2002, President Bush appointed Mr. Keating to the Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities. Daniel Keating has been a delegate to three Republican National Conventions. He was also appointed by Oklahoma’s Speaker of the House to the Cigarette and Tobacco Tax Advisory Committee and was later elected its chairman. Mr. Keating also serves as Chairman of the City of Tulsa’s Transportation Advisory Board, and is a member of Oklahoma Wesleyan University Foundation Board of Directors. In 2012 Governor Mary Fallin appointed Mr. Keating to the Tulsa Community College Board of Regents. He is also the President Pro Tempore’s appointee to the Professional Responsibility Commission. Daniel and his wife, Kathy have two sons, Matthew and Bryan.

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