The EFM Feature

A reader pointed me to the cover story of this week’s Newsweek, called “Beyond Babies” that talks about the looming depopulation crisis in Europe and Asia”:

Powerful social and religious taboos (in Greece) labeled childless women as barren spinsters, and cast suspicion on the sexual preferences of single, middle-aged men. No longer. In the space of a generation, that tight social corset has largely vanished, thanks to an array of factors, including better education and job options for women and Greece’s entry into the cultural mainstream of the European Union. The result: a marriage rate below the EU average, and a birthrate among the world’s lowest, at 1.3 per woman.

A subsequent essay by Maggie Gallagher responds:

So Newsweek tries to stuff perhaps the biggest story of our time–the sudden collapse of childbearing to below-replacement levels in virtually every free, democratic and affluent nation on this Earth–into a happy tale of a new generation’s lifestyle liberation from that old ugly “social corset” of marriage and family.

She goes on to say, however, that America is the exception:

Between 1980 and 2000, while Europe, South Korea and Japan’s birth rates plunged, the U.S.’s fertility climbed from 1.85 back up to 2.06. Immigrants, who bring their “less developed” family values to our shores, are a part of the explanation. But American college-educated white women (to name one of the least fertile groups) have birthrates that would be the envy of Europe. Something is different about America. Consider this both a reassurance and a warning: The future belongs to the people and peoples who dare to give themselves to love.

As you may already know, Gov. Romney and his lovely wife Ann have five sons (Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben and Craig) and nine grandchildren. Check out a photo of the lovely crew here. While reading through all the debate on the “constrictions of family life,” I realized that having such a good family represented in the Oval Office would be an unforeseen benefit of electing someone like Gov. Romney. Unlike what Newsweek implies, Gov. Romney demonstrates that a large family and professional accomplishment are not mutually exclusive.
Hat Tip: Family Scholars

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