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Friday, September 27, 2013

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HAVE CHILDREN?


Last month, TIME had a cover story on The Childfree Life.  I have no children that I know of, so I'm biased in tune with that theme, and just saw an article by someone named Quentin Fottrell on KIDS.  Not sure if this is his photo to the right, but Wikipedia indicates that there is a person by that name from Ireland, while another, and possibly the same person, is from Marketwatch.  This posting is based on some of his thoughts.

There are ten things, but I'll only touch on a few :

1.  The cost of raising a child from birth to 17 is higher than the average American home:  child = $241,000  and home = $203,500.  If your family earns over $105,000, this child will then probably cost you $400,000.

2.  The birth itself is usually subsidized by your medical plan for $32,000 to $50,000, of which  you will be docked about 12% ($4K to $6K).  You must also add lost earnings and the fact that highly skilled mothers will in 10 years be earning 25% less than their counterparts who skipped this experience.

3.  Parents with children suffer more depression than not.  The happiest people are couples earning $50,000 to $70,000 with no kids.  This from Dan Gilbert (right) of Harvard.  Families with working mothers paid $143/week for child care.

4.  If you feel compelled or responsible to send this child to college, it will set you back from $100,000 to $200,000.  Mind, you, this is in addition to the $400K for those making more than $105K.

And, arghh...the above is FOR ONE CHILD.  Another report indicates that, when you add up all the costs, each child will cost you $1.1 million.  And the chances are high that at some point this child will say I hate you.

Anyway, we already have too many people on Planet Earth with more than 7 billion.  Click on:

   THE FUTURE OF POPULATION

to absorb some details.

China still has a one-child policy, but allows exceptions.  Shanghai is one location where you can have two children.  However, for the above reasons, it is not working, for the fertility rate in this city is 0.88, while the national average is close to 1.8.  Children, simply, are not worth the bother and cost, especially if you are not on a farm and otherwise feel reasonably comfortable that you will not need them to take care of you when  you get old.

In the USA, one in five women in their early forties is childless, double the rate of a quarter century ago.  An increase of 15 IQ points decreases the odds of becoming a mother by 25%.  The U.S. birthrate today is at an all-time low.  Here are the international birthrates in terms of births/year/1000 (I'm averaging from various sources):
  • Hong Kong and Singapore  7.5
  • Germany and Japan  8.5
  • China  12
  • Russia  12.5
  • USA  14
  • World  19.4
  • Afghanistan  45
  • Niger  50
Japan's population, currently at 126 million, will drop to 111 million by 2045, while the USA in this timeframe will grow from 324 million to 393 million.  Niger will jump from from 18.5 million to 48 million.  Russia will sink from 142 million to 129 million, while the Philippines will grow from 101 million to 149 million, a larger projected population than Russia.  In 2045, the world will exceed 9 billion.  Interestingly enough, China will drop from 1.4 billion to 1.3 billion, while India will increase from 1.3 billion to 1.7 billion.  Africa is the Population Bomb, with a billion today, and expected to grow to 3.6 billion in 2100.  Now the seventh largest, Nigeria's 175 million, could rival China at the turn of the century.  


Planet Earth could then exceed 11 billion.  These undeveloped countries will continue to grow because of compelling economic and sociological imperatives.  I'll next week continue the focus on population and food, and provide some historical insights from Thomas Robert Malthus and Paul Ralph Ehrlich (at the age of 81 is still functioning at Stanford).

BUT, OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS, TO PROVIDE ENTERTAINMENT BALANCE, I'LL INDULGE IN HEDONISTIC EPICUREANISM, FOR I'LL BE SPENDING FOUR DAYS AT THE FOUR SEASONS HUALALAI.  AS AN ADVANCED ALERT RELATED TO ONE OF MY EARLIER POSTINGS THIS WEEK, AMC HAS THE FINALE OF BREAKING BAD ON SUNDAY, WHILE HOMELAND'S NEW  SEASON ON SHOWTIME BEGINS THAT EVENING.  IF YOU WATCH THE NFL, THEN YOU NEED A RECORDER WITH THE OPTION TO CAPTURE TWO PROGRAMS AT THE SAME TIME.

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