Are We Educating Ourselves Out of Existence?

Very young twins

I recently received this disturbing press release from the U.S. Census Bureau–Census Bureau Reports “Delayer Boom” as More Educated Women Have Children Later.  For me, this is the money-line:

Women 35 to 44 (corresponding with the 25 to 34 age group in 2000) with at least a bachelor’s degree had 1.7 births, while women who had less than a high school education had 2.5 births . . . “Our findings show that a ‘delayer boom’ is under way, where highly educated women initially delay childbearing but are more likely to have children into their 30s,” said Census Bureau demographer Kristy Krivickas. “But these women do not fully catch up to the childbearing levels of women with fewer years of schooling.”

So, with more and more women getting a bachelor’s degree does this mean that we are educating ourselves out of existence?  We need a birthrate of 2.1 to maintain current population levels, a birthrate of 1.7 spells doom . . . just the fact of demography.

Elizabeth Warren’s September Smackdown in The Wall Street Journal

Fat Sam

Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, who is a new member to the Obama team,  received a tongue-lashing in the Wall Street Journal on September 30th.  She is also the acclaimed author of “The Two Income Trap” which delivers a message which is critical to restoring the power of families in America.

I am sympathetic to author and Law Professor Zywicki’s criticisms of Warren as we come from the same libertarian George Mason cloth.  And, I do understand that he is mostly attacking her questionable data analysis.  I agree with him that this is troubling and the Senate should have had the opportunity to address these issues with Warren before Obama appointed her to lead an extremely powerful new agency named the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which as Zywicki says has the power to

regulate or ban almost every consumer credit product in the country, yet it is beyond Congress’s power of the purse because its budget is guaranteed as a percentage of the Fed’s annual revenues.

She does avoid a discussion about the need for lowering taxes despite her presentation of Tax Foundation data showing that taxes increased significantly during the relevant time period.  Instead, in the second half of the book which is committed to her policy solutions, she discusses remedies like bank regulation, the institution of usury laws, etc which should be completely ignored.

Taxes have been eroding family wealth for a good period of time and not just for the so-called middle class.  A Univ of Chicago Law Prof recently drove this point home when he posted his family’s finances on his blog to show that he is hardly making it despite a combined two-parent income of over $250k.  Liberals immediately jumped all over him as an elite snob who can’t possibly relate to his poorer compatriots.  However, he was making a powerful point that The American Dream is becoming The American Nightmare.

We are clearly not as well off as we should be with student loans, credit card balances and mortgages consuming the typical young family.  If you assume the Chicago Professor and his presumable Ivy League wife had student loans from Ivys, that alone may be enough to break the bank for them.  So-called richer white collar people in America with jobs are typically just broke at a higher level than their poorer brethren with more expensive student loans, houses, cars and clothes.

It is really only those who own their own businesses that are “wealthy” but even that dream is being eroded with financial regulation, the federal health care bill and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.  For a family of four making $150k, for example, your tax bill will be going up by $4510 (see The Tax Foundation calculator to find your own burden).  Who has an extra $4510 laying under their mattress during The Great Recession ?  Shouldn’t that $4,510 be put into a savings account instead of Uncle Sam’s account ?

Despite her wreckless policy solutions and the data landmines she has laid, Elizabeth Warren does deserve a huge pat on the back for making an obvious point which most people continue to ignore: the two-parent working household does not work.  I hope social conservatives are not blinded by her liberal public policy solutions and chumminess with Obama and his liberal friends.  Instead, I hope conservatives will keep in mind that there is an opportunity for bipartisanship as she identifies a problem that is at the heart of the social conservative agenda:  the family.

Choosing to be a Single Mother…Choice or Consequence ?

Test tube baby 1

My husband passed on this gem of an article as he knew it would get my blood boiling….he loves to tease me. In the July 5th edition of the Charlotte Observer, Leigh Dyer write about a woman who used a sperm bank to have a baby on her own. The woman’s 7-year marriage ended in divorce and without children.  She says she gave herself until age 38 to find the “one” and if at 38 he hadn’t appeared, she would turn to a sperm bank.

Well, what about her first husband….how do you go 7 years and not have a child (assuming you’re able to biologically).  She doesn’t address her role in the divorce but instead jumps right into how she setting a trend along with Hollywood stars like Tina Fey, Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Aniston starring in movies as women in similar situations.  She says,

“Some critics say single moms like me are selfish for depriving their children of fathers.  I’ve done the research, and I’m confident that the quality of parenting is more important than the quantity of parents.”

Really ?  In a study published this July by Marquardt, Glenn and Clark titled “My Daddy’s Name is Donor: A New Study of Young Adults Conceived Through Sperm Donation, one of the major findings is that

“Donor offspring are significantly more likely than those raised by their biological parents to struggle with serious negative outcomes such as delinquency, substance abuse, and depression even when controlling for socio-economic and other factors.”

Another popular and now wealthy woman Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love (now playing in theaters starring Julia Roberts) takes little responsibility for the failure of her first marriage.  Gilbert, like the sperm recipient above, had no children from her first marriage.   And in her recent book Committed, she says she has “chosen” not to have children.  There is much red meat in Gilbert’s books that I’m certain to write about in future blogs yet I digress.

The shared story between these two women are their divorces and thus lack of success with traditional marriage.  As a result of their divorces, they lean into the wind of the feminist agenda of “female power.”  It is a sad kind of female power that leaves the former to be rooting around sorting through IQ and hair color for the father of her child and the latter Ms. Gilbert who marries her second husband, chronicled in her latest book Committed, only because he was deported from the U.S.

If I were to write a book, perhaps the title would be, “Having your Cake and Eating Your Children.”  You can’t have it both ways as a woman….to have the killer career, someone or everyone must be outsourced….husband and children.  You have to partially outsource your role as wife and mother to please your boss.  Thus, daycare, after school care, Applebees-to-Go, expensive toys and clothing for the children, and vacations with the husband.

I can’t believe that women want to be implanted with anonymous sperm and at age 80 be surrounded by cats instead of grandchildren.  American women, have you gone mad ?