For decades, the left-wing propaganda machine that disguises itself as “science” has been lecturing the world about the dangers of overpopulation. Anyone watching the math already had reason to be skeptical, as Western Europe dealt with population shortages. Now, according to the numbers from the Center For Disease Control & Prevention, the United States, it turns out, has the reverse problem—apparently the people of this country aren’t having enough children.
The “replacement rate” for a society is about 2.1—if the average family has that many kids, the nation will replenish itself. The United States hasn’t been above that rate since the 1970s, and is currently on 1.93. It isn’t as bad as the situation in Western Europe, and the immigrants from the south have at least delayed the day of reckoning for the U.S., but this is also a problem not going away anytime soon.
Jonathan Last, writing in The Wall Street Journal, correctly notes that every problem Washington currently debates—from the budget, to tax policy—is essentially irrelevant in the face of a societal decline like this. The gradual disappearance of the population was going to roll on regardless of who won the election and regardless of who controls Congress.
Mr. Last goes on to identify several causes and solutions, not all of which I agree with. Liberal feminists will likely get angry at the suggestion that women going to college and being in the workforce is a key cause of the problem, and this would be a place where I can’t say I’d blame them for being ticked off. I’m going to guess most of us can think offhand and identify working women in families with a number of kids above the replenishment rate. From a policy standpoint, it’s not that Mr. Last’s ideas aren’t good—I’m all for continually altering the tax code to favor larger families—but those who believe in limited government should also understand the limits of government.
There are two key points in the article where Last hits it on the head. When it comes to the cause of the problem, I think most readers here at Catholic Vote probably already quickly indentified the big one, and it’s the fact that the links between sex, marriage and childbearing has been broken. And when it comes to solution, Last acknowledges that no one should be forced to have children they don’t want, but we can start encouraging people to go ahead and have the kids they do want.
I’m inclined to return to a point I alluded to at the top and it’s to re-examine why exactly why we listen to the advice of those who pass themselves off as “science” today. They delivered a firm analysis that our population was going to explode, and the exact opposite has happened. True science is based on examination of fact, rather than surrender to ideology. And an examination of science’s track record that’s done…well, scientifically…tells us they’ve been way off the mark. To continue to listen to them would be akin to a sports fan listening to me tell them who’s going to win the Super Bowl today after my repeated errors along the way.
I don’t have kids myself, so I’m certainly not going to be the one to tell other people they have to have more to save civilization. Nor should anyone else. I won’t be the one to sit in judgment of those who, in the past, may have broken the sex/birth control/childbearing triangle. This isn’t about deciding who is perfect and who isn’t. We’re all broken to some degree, and society is an amalgamation of our collective brokenness.
What I am saying is that the Catholic Church and its definition of morality and its approach to science have been proven correct, and that of the left-wing “science” industry has been proven wrong. No one who wants to follow the Church today and have a large family should have guilt shoved down their throat, and they deserve societal support.
Dan Flaherty is the author of Fulcrum, an Irish Catholic novel set in postwar Boston with a traditional Democratic mayoral campaign at its heart, and he is the editor-in-chief of TheSportsNotebook.com