In an article titled “Bye-Bye, Baby” posted April 4th in The New York Times , the (toilet) paper of record, authors Michael S. Teitelbaum and Jay M. Winter contend that the crashing birth rates seen around the world are nothing to be worried about.
I once thought it would be fun to rebut all the garbage printed in the New York Times, but that would be a full-time job, and someone else is already doing it:
Whereas in a previous blog post here I contended that the issue was receiving far too little attention, according to Teitelbaum and Winter, who work at Harvard and Yale, the issue is receiving too much attention and causing hysteria. In order to buttress this claim , they name three publications that have written recently on this topic, although I’m not sure that a few articles appearing in the Times and the Economist constitutes a wave of hysteria.
The authors go on to conflate the dire predictions of the Ehrlichs and the over-population crowd with the new warnings about the dearth of births, trying to show how they are two sides of the same misguided fear coin. Our Ivy League professors opine that writers and bloggers and even politicians who are sounding alarm bells are just “chicken littles” , and that we are suffering from a massive and unnecessary case of anxiety.
They do take one paragraph to discuss Russia’s near catastrophic population decline in the 1990s, but they assure us that the overall decline in population was only ‘modest’ and that besides, her birth rate has now climbed back to 1.6, so everything should be just fine.
Teitelbaum and Winter state that, while falling fertility poses challenges, it also has rewards- more rights and opportunities for women. While women may or may not gain greater economic opportunity from having fewer children, too many women entering the workforce and postponing and even forgoing altogether family life clearly does not bode well for our collective future.
In their summary, the Ivy Leaguers declare that ‘population doom’ is a recurring fad that should be ignored and that we should focus on our real problems. Given that this was printed in the Times, I guess that ‘real’ problem would be how to send even more money to Israel?