Last month, columnist Ross Douthat set off quite a controversy when he pointed out that civilizations rise and fall based on their birth rates. America, he said, owes our prosperity in part to our longstanding fertility—something which has declined in recent years, during the Great Recession.
But it isn’t just economic: if data from the Pew Center holds true, Americans have simply decided that having children isn’t as important as reaching their personal goals and achieving the quality of life they want. Even marriage, Douthat says, has been decoupled from procreation in the mind of average Americans.
Douthat calls this unwillingness to have children decadence, and explains that we have a responsibility to sacrifice in order to bring the next generation into existence even if it means personal sacrifice.
Douthat caught flack for it, but he’s absolutely right. And though not everyone can have a big family, unless we re-learn the value of children, America’s decline will be quick. I’m John Stonestreet.