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Letter: Why have kids? Adult-centered world will become our downfall

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  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 5:22 a.m.

    "Lifestyle" is not the reason I chose not to bring children into this world. Republican "leadership" in a state that has the most toxic pollution in the nation is one reason. Greed-driven leaders and people who have failed to recognize climate change and the impact it will have on future generations is another reason.

    Tell your children "this is the world left to you by people who claim to cherish children" and you'll be correct.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 7, 2012 5:47 a.m.

    I dont understand your concern Jessica. You write

    "The fertility rate in order to replace the current population is 2.1. Today the replacement rate globally is 2.33;"

    So, by your own admission, the population is increasing.
    Had the replacement rate been significantly lower, you may have had a point.

    I fail to see the need for exponentially increasing world population.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 6:19 a.m.

    1. A primary reason young couples are putting off parenthood right now is the economy. That's wise; those who cannot afford to provide for children shouldn't have them.

    2. We have over 300 million people in this country, double the population of just ~40 years ago. We are in no danger of becoming extinct from a fertility rate a few tenths of a percent below 2.1.

    3. "Imagine if your parents had decided the cost of children was not worth it. You would not exist" Logical fallacy. Parents who have 4,5,6 children should then feel guilty about the lives they robbed by not having the 5th,6th,7th child.

    4. You could have an interesting discussion about why the "selfish" impulse to not have children is morally worse than the selfish impulse that fuels a successful capitalist economy.

    5. Every resource supply problem is made worse by increasing population. Jessica, tell me how you plan on providing water to 6 million Utahns when last year's drought threatened the supply for the current 3 million of us.

    6. Give up your per child tax break before dictating the social and economic responsibility of parenthood to us.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 7:09 a.m.

    It only takes having 1 kid to take your family from adult-centric to kid-centric. Just saying.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Dec. 7, 2012 8:33 a.m.

    I'm always a bit confused by people who claim we should live within our means one moment and then try to guilt us into having large families the next. I already have the greatest daughter a man could ask for and if I don't have another, I'm more than happy. Parenthood isn't a contest.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 7, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    "Parenthood isn't a contest."

    KJB1 - Maybe you have never lived in Utah.

    The number of children and grandchildren one has certainly can be a competition. I have seen it many times.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    If I chose not to have children largely due to "Republican Leadership" then I would be an embarrassed Utahn as well. I find it amazing how many people's lives are centered on political ideology.

    Although the population rate may be slowing, I am not concerned about us going extinct anytime soon. I also try not to criticize people for their decision of whether or not to have children or how many they choose to have. (For some people, they don't have a choice.) Looking down at someone who doesn't have kids as "selfish" or likewise looking down at a large family as "enemies of the environment" is just foolish in my opinion.

    I think families are great. Functional families are the best kind. I admire anyone who puts in the time, effort, and love necessary to raise good kids even though the outcome is never guaranteed.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    We need to have as many kids as we have room on the rear window of our SUV's to put family members stickers on.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 9:44 a.m.

    Whether or not you marry and have a family is your own choice. But what you give to your children you may have need in getting in return in your old age. This includes monetary support (SS and more), help with meals, bathing, changing your diapers, etc.

    I hope those who have not bothered investing in children have other ways they have prepared for their future.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    Honestly, I doubt many people make the deeply personal decision to have children or not have children because of the impact it will have on public policy. How about instead we don't judge the way other folks choose to live their lives?

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    Christian 24-7 makes a good point. Have kids, lots of them, and at least one of them should be nice enough to take care your old, worn out body :)

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    Christian 24-7
    Children as retirement plans and adult diaper-changers, huh? Very noble.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 10:25 a.m.

    "The fertility rate in order to replace the current population is 2.1. Today the replacement rate globally is 2.33; conversely, we were at a 4.95 replacement rate in the 1950s. Continuing this trend will eliminate our population."

    Uh... the replacement rate is how many kids you need to maintain the population. Going from a replacement rate of 4.95 to 2.33 shows that we have vastly improved in areas like preventing infant mortality. I think the argument the letter writer wants is that the birth rate has declined.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 11:03 a.m.

    Just saying people provide for their declining years in different ways. Those who don't have children should have a lot of money they saved by not having those kids so they should be prepared to pay someone for these services. That is way okay with me.

    Please don't leave it to the government. They will do a lousy job for you, and I would rather spend my hard earned resources on raising my family than spend it on higher taxes.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    My wife and I struggle for many years in our early marriage with infertility.

    I'll never for the ire we endured back then,
    the judgement by others,
    the caustic attitude, - about our "selfishness"....like somehow we had a choice in the matter.

    30 years and 4 children later, we've been "blessed",
    but YES, I'm still bitter by how were treated during that time.

    Judge not...

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 12:16 p.m.

    Why am I reminded of the movie Idiocracy?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 12:26 p.m.

    The problem isn't having kids.

    The problem is that people like Jessica refuse to shoulder the costs of motherhood and child upbringing.

    We're dead last in per-pupil funding per student. And yet, people like Jessica want MORE kids into the system?

    How about we figure out a way to pay for the kids we already have first.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Dec. 7, 2012 12:44 p.m.

    It is funny to hear the liberals make all of their claims about having many kids. They think that kids are not a retirement plan, yet that is precisely how SS was set up. The liberals figured that people would have large families, so that there would be many workers for each retired person.

    Also those who say that they don't want many kids for economic reasons are typically just big kids. The fact is you don't need a huge house to raise a lot of kids. As long as you have money to feed, clothe, and house your kids that is the primary responsibility. Kids don't need flashy gadgets and toys. 4 wheelers and campers are optional.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 2:26 p.m.

    Redshirt,
    You are making a litany of bizarre accusations and assumptions that have little to do with anything anyone has posted here today. Off in deep space, I suppose.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 7, 2012 3:31 p.m.

    Is this another High School assignment they don't really believe but have to do?

    If you look into it more than the assumptions of the letter the world's population will probably reach 10 billion and then level off. Where in the world do you get the idea the population is going to decline any time soon?

    Birthrate has a lot to do with progress. Look up a TED talk or two and learn before burning the electrons. At least no trees were harmed with such a pointless and erroneous assumption.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 7, 2012 3:41 p.m.

    I will add that birthrates tend to decline as a society moves from basic agrarian structure to a modern division of labor, lawfull structure. Read some Steven Pinker.

    India has high birthrates because kids (sons) actually are the retirement plan there. Isn't that the original retirement ponzi scheme? Yes it is, dismissed.

    Infanticide and abortion of females is very high in India. Social Security systems the world over actually reduce female infanticide, abortion and overall birthrates. Children and better cared for and more adored. Oh, the calamity of it all.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 4:23 p.m.

    Please, let those who don't want kids abstain from having offspring. It will be a service to mankind, social Darwinism at its finest. Perhaps LDS Liberal has forgotten to principle of forgiveness, he still hasn't gotten over it.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 5:17 p.m.

    Taks a step back for a minute. Adults should be able to decide for themselves if they want children or not, without the guilt trip.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 12:45 p.m.

    Human beings seek economic security before bringing children into the world, if there are means to manage the process, ie, birth control.

    Part of the fallout from the Great Recession is a realization of just how tenuous individual economic success is, and the recent political rancor about "givers and takers" leaves many with the impression that standing on one's own two feet is the only moral and safe way to participate in our economy, as taking public assistance is not just immoral, but socially repugnant.

    This means thoughtful, cautious young couples will put off having kids until they've acquired enough of a nest egg to not have to rely on the kindness of strangers, or worse, government, should they encounter economic hard times or tragedy.

    They work, and wait, then work some more, and wait some more, until they're at risk for birth defects, or just never feel quite secure enough. Some will have kids in their thirties and forties, some won't.

    Maximum liberty means max responsibility, which means lowered birth rates. This really shouldn't surprise anyone.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 6:15 p.m.

    Adult centered world? Has this person watched TV lately?

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 10:17 a.m.

    LDS Liberal - Thank you for giving me hope.

    Personally I don't think our population is in any danger. There will always be those lower species among us who have 10 kids, and a diffent daddy for each.