ZPG A Boon or a Curse?
Things have changed since then and now people are concerned about a lack of children being born in many nations. Many European nations have negative birth rates and it is beginning to concern thinking people. Russia is actually taking steps to encourage childbirth. China's One-Child Policy is a malthusian sucess and an economic disaster waiting to destroy that rising nation.
Some leftists have noted that Fundamentalist Christians have more children than they do, and if they pass that faith onto their children and secure it through home or religious schooling, that would lead to them having more children themselves while the "responsible" leftists have fewer children, it will result in an even more religious dominated America within a couple of generations. That does not exactly work into their plans but encouraging more births also goes against the grain of what they believe.
(The fertility rate of Islam is well noted and needs no comment).
Don Feder, a columnist for FrontPage Magazine also comments on this and he has more interesting observations. He points out that Pope Benedict (please note Mr. Feder is a Jew) calls the problems that lead to Negative Population Growth as "eclipse of love" and "materialistic visions of the universe, of life and human fulfillment" . He also quotes an American Economist Robert J. Samuelson saying "Europe as we know it is going out of business. Talk of a united Europe challenging America is a fantasy. It’s hard to be a great power if your population’s shriveling,"
I am kind of a centrist on this issue. I believe that we do need to be responsible in the number of children we bear, but I also believe that we need to give birth to enough children to sustain our society, culture and economy and that every segment of the population should maintain its numbers. There is danger in going too far in either direction. A few decades ago we may have been having too many children and now we are not having enough.
Having never, to my knowledge anyway, fathered any children I cannot be too harsh on those who have never had any children, but I sometimes do feel unfulfilled when I see people I went to school with playing with their grandchildren. I also feel that I failed to fulfill my obligation to the human race in this manner, but at this point all I can do is encourage others not to repeat my mistake.