My Fellow Americans, Have More Children by Ross Douthat

My Fellow Americans, Have More Children by Ross Douthat

In preparation for the State of the Union address on Tueday night, The New York Times asked 4 columnists what they would most love to hear the President to say.
Here’s the suggestion of NY Times Columnist Ross Douthat:

My fellow Americans:
I want to speak to you about a new challenge we face that few politicians talk about. That’s the challenge of falling birthrates, the fact that since the financial crisis in 2007, a smaller and smaller share of Americans is starting families, raising kids.
Our birthrate fell to a recorded low in 2020. That’s bad for our future: It means our society gets older faster; it means we have fewer workers for every retiree; it means fewer young people to take risks, dream big, come up with the invention or figure out the big idea that makes the world a better place. And it’s bad for all the Americans who are having fewer children than they want right now, who have dreams of family that aren’t being fulfilled.
This is a free country. It’s not the government’s job to tell anyone when or whether to have kids. But we can do more, a lot more, to make sure that Americans feel they have the support they need to take the plunge into parenthood.
And I also want to say something on a personal level to those young Americans who look at the world around them, who look at climate change or the pandemic or the threat from Russia and get worried about bringing a kid into this world. I’m not that young myself, as you may have noticed, which means I’ve seen a lot of history. When I was born, World War II was raging, we’d just gone through the Great Depression, and a big part of the globe was in the hands of ruthless totalitarian dictators bent on mass murder. And then when it came time to have kids of my own, the Cold War was on, and we all lived under the threat of nuclear war.
I’m not going to tell you that my life was easy. I’m certainly not going to tell you that raising kids was easy. I’ve seen a lot of struggle, a lot of tragedy, in the world and in my own family. But looking back, even with all the risks, all the danger, all the sorrow, I just want you to know: It’s worth it. It’s worth it. The challenges are big, but they’ve always been big — and the thing is, folks, human beings are bigger, and every new life you bring into the world is another candle lit against the dark.


  1. This gave me chills. Beautiful.

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