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In defense of big families

  • By Alan Knott-Craig
  • December 30, 2012

You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around – and why his parents will always wave back.  ~William D. Tammeus


For a couple of decades now (maybe longer), rich/educated people have been telling poor/uneducated people, “Stop having so many children!”


It got so bad that China legislated the infamous “One Child” law, limiting couples to a single offspring.


There are many reasons for this advice, several of which are valid, but it is perhaps not entirely prudent. Especially when you consider retirement. Citizens of the West have assumed that their employers and governments will support them in their old age via pensions and social welfare, hence one of the major reasons for having many children was negated, i.e.: The more kids you have, the more support you have in retirement.


Anyone who has looked at the balance sheets of these governments and pension funds will quickly be the harbinger of bad news: There is no way there are enough savings to support the long-lived retirements of the baby-boomer generation.


Furthermore, the spate of inflation that is being experienced in most major economies (see Inflation in America) is quickly eroding the purchasing power of post-work income, which will inevitably lead to retirees finding it impossible to fund the lifestyles to which they have become accustomed.


Which may cause many people reconsider their views on having big families.


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