12:26 PM, Feb 4, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Our own Jonathan V. Last, writing in this weekend's Wall Street Journal, on America's baby bust:
For more than three decades, Chinese women have been subjected to their country's brutal one-child policy. Those who try to have more children have been subjected to fines and forced abortions. Their houses have been razed and their husbands fired from their jobs. As a result, Chinese women have a fertility rate of 1.54. Here in America, white, college-educated women—a good proxy for the middle class—have a fertility rate of 1.6. America has its very own one-child policy. And we have chosen it for ourselves.
Forget the debt ceiling. Forget the fiscal cliff, the sequestration cliff and the entitlement cliff. Those are all just symptoms. What America really faces is a demographic cliff: The root cause of most of our problems is our declining fertility rate.
The fertility rate is the number of children an average woman bears over the course of her life. The replacement rate is 2.1. If the average woman has more children than that, population grows. Fewer, and it contracts. Today, America's total fertility rate is 1.93, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; it hasn't been above the replacement rate in a sustained way since the early 1970s.
The nation's falling fertility rate underlies many of our most difficult problems. Once a country's fertility rate falls consistently below replacement, its age profile begins to shift. You get more old people than young people. And eventually, as the bloated cohort of old people dies off, population begins to contract. This dual problem—a population that is disproportionately old and shrinking overall—has enormous economic, political and cultural consequences.
Read the whole thing here.
While you're at it, be sure to get a copy of Jonathan's new book, What to Expect When No One's Expecting, available in stores and online now.
11:25 AM, Dec 14, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, widely believed to be a potential Republican candidate for president in 2016, has an op-ed in Friday's Wall Street Journal encouraging the government to permit the sale of oral contraceptives without a prescription. Here's an excerpt:
10:25 PM, Dec 9, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
The Wall Street Journal editors are unhappy about the present correlation of political forces. Who isn't? They're also, I gather, unhappy about "Beltway sages" who, facing the fact that the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year, have suggested Republicans accept a modest increase in tax rates for the wealthy while leading the charge to keep taxes from rising for 98 percent of the American people.
10:08 AM, Nov 23, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
I happened to read Michael Connelly's first mystery, The Black Echo, when it was published twenty years ago. I've been a fan every since. His books are now bestsellers, but it's always a nice feeling to have discovered someone (or something) before everyone else did—even if one deserves no particular credit for it.
11:33 AM, Oct 29, 2012 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
There are two U.S. economies. Well, not really. But there is the economy reported in the New York Times as part of its pre-election coverage, and far different one reported in the authoritative financial press.
How we learned to stop worrying and love Bibi's bomb chart.11:59 AM, Sep 28, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
During his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a drawing of a bomb to illustrate the threat of Iran's nuclear program. Several media types pooh-poohed Netanyahu's chart, including the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg. "It is precisely because Iran's nuclear program is such a threat to Israel that turning to cartoon bombs to explain the issue is a lousy idea," Goldberg tweeted yesterday.
12:19 PM, Aug 2, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Wednesday was Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, and Americans flocked to the fast food restaurant in response to criticism of COO Dan Cathy's opposition to same-sex marriage (as well as threats from the mayors of some major cities
10:00 AM, Sep 20, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new survey of 1,000 registered voters has found that 60 percent of respondents say state employees should contribute more to their pension fund, and 60 percent also say they are against raising taxes to pay for state budget shortfalls. The poll was conducted by veteran Democratic pollster Douglas Schoen on behalf of the Manhattan Institute. Schoen writes more about his poll's findings in the Wall Street Journal:
1:01 PM, Apr 12, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Today is Equal Pay Day, which supposedly "symbolizes how far into 2011 women must work to earn what men earned in 2010." But in today's Wall Street Journal, Carrie Lukas explains the disparity between average wages for men and women in economic terms: