Shorter Ross Douthat: Birth More Babies, Bitches!

Have a goddamn seat, sir.

20121202-124852.jpgRoss Douthat has (yet again) penned a piece befitting his nickname “Douchehat.” In his latest spectacularly abysmal attempt to be insightful, Douthat laments the decreasing fertility rates in America and implies — nay! — outright states that women who are “retreating from child-rearing” are lazy layabouts unwilling to make the sacrifice that is their earthly duty.

He scolds childless women, whether married or not, for being decadent — for not doing what they’re goddamn well supposed to do, which is have children and shut the fuck up about it:

In the eternally recurring debates about whether some rival great power will knock the United States off its global perch, there has always been one excellent reason to bet on a second American century: We have more babies than the competition.

~snip~

America’s demographic edge has a variety of sources: our famous religiosity, our vast interior and wide-open spaces (and the four-bedroom detached houses they make possible), our willingness to welcome immigrants (who tend to have higher birthrates than the native-born).

~snip~

Among the native-born working class, meanwhile, there was a retreat from child rearing even before the Great Recession hit. For Americans without college degrees, economic instability and a shortage of marriageable men seem to be furthering two trends in tandem: more women are having children out of wedlock, and fewer are raising families at all.

~snip~

The retreat from child rearing is, at some level, a symptom of late-modern exhaustion — a decadence that first arose in the West but now haunts rich societies around the globe. It’s a spirit that privileges the present over the future, chooses stagnation over innovation, prefers what already exists over what might be. It embraces the comforts and pleasures of modernity, while shrugging off the basic sacrifices that built our civilization in the first place.

What do I even need to say about this nonsense? The doucherocketry erupts from the page. It is dripping in privilege of every sort — white, male, financial — and is borne of rank stupidity.

It may come as some surprise to Douthat, but most people do not have the privilege of living in a four-bedroom detached house. Most people are struggling to feed their kids and hold down minimum-wage jobs, even as the GOP increasingly makes public assistance more and more unavailable while sneering about how half the country needs to get over its burning desire to sit around and collect “free stuff” from the Kenyan-in-Chief.

If Douthat is so worried about the low birthrates in this country, and if he wants women to squeeze out little worker bee-babies that can contribute to this country’s economic growth by becoming taxpayers, entrepreneurs, and workers, he should focus more on what he glosses over in his article: Making it easier to plan for, have, and raise kids.

That means providing paid maternity and paternity leave; ensuring that women get paid as much as men do in the workplace; providing public assistance when families run into financial trouble; spending more money on public education and training programs; providing more and better student loan packages so parents can send their kids to college without going broke; ensuring that women have full access to healthcare, including contraception (because being able to choose when to have children is more beneficial for this country’s economic viability than forcing women to either remain celibate or to have oopsy-babies when they’re not ready.)

As for Douthat’s claims that those who choose not to have children are somehow being decadent, it is fairly obvious that he is saying that women who choose to remain childless are selfish or damaged in some way. And for that bit of 1950s thinking, I offer Mr. Douchehat a hearty “fuck you.”

As a side-note, I congratulate the headline writer for this particular piece of pablum. Since I cannot imagine that Douthat wrote the headline himself, I agree with djw at Lawyers, Guns, and Money :

First: Kudos to the headline writer, who I have to believe was entirely aware of the dark humorous effect of putting the phrase “More Babies, Please” directly above Douthat’s sneering visage.

Indeed.

[cross-posted at ABLC]

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

113 replies
  1. 1
    muddy says:

    Pro-life right up until birth. He seems to have an issue with BC, he has expanded his anecdote about chunky Reese to an important sociological theory for all.

  2. 2
    some guy says:

    less fucking, more procreation.

    /wingnut

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    “The retreat from child rearing is, at some level, a symptom of late-modern exhaustion — a decadence that first arose in the West but now haunts rich societies around the globe.”

    This is Douchehat’s call for more Catholicism!

    If there’s one thing that church knows, it’s child rearing.

    Why, you practically have to hold a gun, or call the cops and the DA’s office, to stop them from child rearing.

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    How many kids hath Lady Macbeth Douthat?

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    Do you think he approves of wimmin wearing shoes?

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    @c u n d gulag: I see what you did there.

  7. 7
    sal says:

    You know, I can’t shake the feeling he means white babies. With God- fearing Republican parents. But mostly, white babies.

  8. 8
    Slugger says:

    How about some social policies that make raising children more practical? Better wages for young people, support for early childhood nursery schools, or direct rent subsidies would make children more practical.

  9. 9
    PeakVT says:

    The column is eminently fisk-able, but I will limit it to this (since I’m reading something related ATM):

    …our vast interior and wide-open spaces…

    Much of which has no water. A small problem that will only get worse, whether or not the Christianists believe it.

  10. 10
    Michael G says:

    Uteri Gone Galt.

  11. 11
    Haydnseek says:

    Being a mother
    is your duty to the lord!
    yes, I do home school!

  12. 12
    J says:

    @Slugger: + maternity and paternity leaves etc.

  13. 13
    Ruckus says:

    Git To Makin them Slaves, Damnit!

    Now that they can’t have black slaves they’ll have to settle for whatever shade they can get.

  14. 14
    Del says:

    This is the same guy that says that my wife and I would make inferior parents on account of the fact that we’d have to Rock Paper Scissors to decide who gets to breastfeed even though the only way we can have children is on purpose and when we’re ready. So now I’m supposed to care that he’s freaking out about about decadence and stagnation because people aren’t popping out children left and right? That we’re comfortable in our modernity and “shrugging off” sacrifices?

    What the hell would the white son of a New Haven lawyer, who attended private school and Harvard, know about sacrifice? Please, he wouldn’t know sacrifice if it kicked him in the ass.

  15. 15
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Yes, Ross, if we all just stopped being decadent (And stopped calling the cops every time some priest pokes a little fun at an altar boy) the whole country would be better off.

    Hard to believe that the NYT settled for Douthat when there are far more insightful editorialists working on America’s High School newspapers.

  16. 16
    jp says:

    Seriously, isn’t the NYT embarrassed by this guy yet? He basically writes the same column every week: “Teh wimminz is having teh sexytimes without making babies OH NOES!”

  17. 17
    Redkitten says:

    Yes because what society needs is MORE unwanted pregnancies. Jesus wept…

  18. 18
    jon says:

    How to get Americans to have more babies:

    1. Have pre-school be part of school.
    2. Make the school day be as long as a work day, not in a mandatory way (as in, children can be picked up after the educational portion is over, while other things go on in other hours,) but at least so it doesn’t require that working parents don’t have to beg their bosses for time off to pick up children.
    2a. And get rid of that stupid daycare/aftercare/beforecare industry that leeches the money of poor parents who have to choose between working and their children, if their bosses allow them that choice.
    3. Prenatal care.
    4. Healthcare coverage for all children.
    5. Paid maternity and paternity leave.

    It’s asking for a lot, but if we want people to work it’s best to not have a school system that decides to have early dismissal on Wednesdays, half days at random times, and charges parents if they can’t get their children picked up by a certain time. The schools should work for parents and children rather than parents and children and employers should have to figure out how to work around the school calendars.

    What Republicans offer:

    1. Reduced food stamps.
    2. “You are sluts.”
    3. “You should have thought about that before having all of those children.”
    4. Reduced daycare and pre-school programs.

    Which leads to:

    5. “There aren’t enough white babies.”

    You’d think the great Wingnut Six Sigma Brainiac Trustfund Elite Koch-Institute Reasonthought thinkers could figure that out as well as the average luckyduck woman looking forward to a replenished EBT card to restock her pink Himalayan salt shaker, but you’d be R-O-N-G wrong.

  19. 19
    gwangung says:

    Ross, dear….

    Can you do some arithmetic for me? How much does an average wage earner make in America these days? And much does raising a family cost?

    Get back to me when you put your shoes back on after doing the arithmetic.

  20. 20
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Ross Douchehat married Abigail Tucker in September 2007.

    I don’t know why Douchehat “retreated” and did not marry earlier than 27, but by my count the Douchehats should have 5 children by now.

    Why have Ross and Mrs. Douchehat retreated to a decadent lifestyle and embraced the comforts and pleasures of modernity, while shrugging off the basic sacrifices that built our civilization in the first place?

    Ross and Mrs. Douchehat should be very ashamed.

    Somebody ought to cockpunch that SOB.

  21. 21
    The Pale Scot says:

    And by the way,

    the douche has one child in four years of marriage?

    I suspect heresy!

  22. 22
    darkmatter says:

    This asshole’s byline should be: The Chaste Ross Douthat.

  23. 23

    Pat Buchanan would be proud. This is basically the thesis of his last book — the one that got him banned from polite punditry forever (praise the lord).

  24. 24
    Heliopause says:

    It is dripping in privilege of every sort—white, male, financial

    Don’t forget Roman Catholicism, the world’s oldest dictatorship.

  25. 25
    Mike G says:

    Repukes want the social mores of the 1950s, without having to pay for any of the policies that lead to the widespread prosperity and social stability that underpinned it. People led traditional lives because there was a very good chance that it would pay off in terms of a good, and rising, standard of living.

    You can’t have a cheap-labor, deliberately destabilized work force with grossly unequal income distribution and policies heavily rigged toward corporatism, and expect everyone to live Leave it to Beaver lives.

  26. 26
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    our willingness to welcome immigrants (who tend to have higher birthrates than the native-born)

    Waitwaitwait… What now? Since when is his side welcoming immigrants and encouraging them to be fruitful upon our shores?

  27. 27
    Anya says:

    @jp: NYT, has a lot to be embarrassed about: Chunky Bobo, MoDo, Mustache of Understanding, Bobo and many others.

    But seriously, those bitches are letting Real America down. First, they teamed with the darkies and elected the Kenyan usurper and now they’re refusing to use their wombs the way god intended it.

  28. 28
    jl says:

    I wish I could make some money just spouting nonsense. But, shame on me for being cynical. I implied that Douthat just types up fact free nonsense, hits the send key and collects a nice check. That can’t be true.

    But, you know, this is numbers stuff, so very difficult to know the truth. Lies damn lies and statistics, as they say.

    One might claim that vital statistics are some of the highest quality social and epidemiological statistics we have. Or that the effect of economic fluctuations on fertility rates is a very well established fact in economic demography. But you would merely betray your commieness.

    It did take me all of less than a minute to get up some hits on google, with same findings for Japan, US and Sweden: declines in fertility go along with economic hardship. That might be a long time to wait for important pundits who have TV appearances to make. We need to show understanding and be civil.

    Now, being egghead stuff, the nonsense I cut and pasted below is just commie garbage, but I will post it just to show you the dangers of doing research. Beware. You have been warned.

    Why does Sweden have such high fertility?
    Jan M. Hoem
    DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH 2005

    From conclusion
    As is evident from the account above, the family politics of Germany and Sweden
    reflect quite different priorities. In Sweden, the emphasis is on gender equality, on
    inducing women (and of course men) to go into the labor force and to stay there, on
    using flexible educational and labor systems to promote these goals (and, as a
    consequence, improving the compatibility of parenthood and labor-force participation),
    and on providing children with professional pedagogical opportunities that families find
    attractive, also when the children are very young. In Germany, the emphasis is on
    promoting the classical single-earner family and encouraging mothers to stay at home.
    Germany suffers some consequences of these priorities. At this time and day, better-educated German women evidently prefer to limit their childbearing or to go childless
    rather than to endanger their job; other women may catch the same trend.

    http://www.demographic-researc...../13-22.pdf

  29. 29
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    You really have to hand it to Young Master Douchehat. He has failed spectacularly far upward with his contributions to society being precisely 1 – the name Chunky Reese Witherspoon.

  30. 30
    RaflW says:

    I’ve just been in Stocholm and am now in Amsterdam and I notice two things:
    1. Both cities seem New York crowded and 2. Both seem not to be overly decadent or stagnant.*
    But of course doucherocket thinks that flat populations are some euro-inspired tragedy that I cannot fathom.
    For one thing, has Doubtthat noticed that resource scarcity is gonna be a major 21st century problem and that popping out moar kiddies and building moar 4 br suburbs are both bad ideas?
    I know – collectivisim of the worst Lenninist nightmare must be what I’m aiming at.
    *I mention this because coservatrols like to worry about Europe’s flat birthrate.

  31. 31
    danielx says:

    “There aren’t enough white babies.”

    This.

    That’s the whole underlying theme of this disgusting asshat’s entire column, and the whole fucking thing is addressed to “reasonable Republicans” who aren’t procreating enough.

    Shorter Douchehat:

    If we (by which I mean you) don’t start having more babies, we Republicans are never going to win another presidential election because black and brown people have more kids than we do. Of course this applies only to the right sort of people, that is, white people who read my column and pull down at least $200k per year. Any other people who have children, particularly women who procreate outside the bounds of holy matrimony, are irresponsible hedonists and sluts unworthy of reproducing.

  32. 32
    nancydarling says:

    I read the column this AM, ABL. I read a few of the comments and most of them were slicing and dicing Chaste, Chunky Bobo. To your hearty fuck you, I add my hearty fuck you, Douthat.

  33. 33
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    And meta-wise, more blog posts should have cute baby pictures. Even better than puppy pictures. I feel less snarky already.

  34. 34
    Citizen_X says:

    a spirit that privileges the present over the future, chooses stagnation over innovation, prefers what already exists over what might be. It embraces the comforts and pleasures of modernity, while shrugging off the basic sacrifices that built our civilization in the first place.

    What is…the Roman Catholic Church, Ross?

  35. 35
    gene108 says:

    You guys have it all wrong.

    There’s a well documented way to increase fertility rates.

    Step 1: Deny educational opportunities to women.
    Step 2: Deny access to birth control to men and women.
    Step 3: Allow the age of consent for girls to get married to be back down to 12 or 13.

    Mix together and you have a bunch of illiterate to semi-literate females, who will be married to a man from about the start of their child bearing years and will have nothing else to do but bear children and remained married.

    This formula has worked like a charm in Third World countries and is less expensive than up thread ideas of more vacation time, parental leave, job security, etc.

  36. 36
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    If he’s seen Idiocracy recently, that would explain this column. Unlikely, though on account of the swears and smoking and loose morals in it.

  37. 37
    jl says:

    @gene108: And define down (eidt or better, define away, or ignore, or permit routine) rape, that helps too.

    Edit: Come to think of it, a few GOP candidates started working on that policy during the election, didn’t they?

  38. 38
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    You know who’s got a flat birth rate and stagnant economic growth? Japan does. They’ve basically failed to climb out of their ’90s slump yet. They have an aging population, and a large number of people above retirement age, with relatively few new workers to support them. But we are not Japan by a long shot, Other Ross.

  39. 39
    Felonius Monk says:

    A Ross DoucheCap column is pretty much like coming upon a fresh pile of dog shit on the sidewalk. Nothing to get excited about, just don’t step in it. Someone, maybe even Mother Nature, will come along and wash it away before long.

  40. 40
    Rich (In Name Only) in Reno says:

    Hey, Douthat; Hitler wanted more babies too. (Buzz! Goodman violation!)

    From Wikipedia `Women in Nazi Germany:’

    “Sexuality was banned, unless for a reproductive goal; liberated young women were considered “depraved” and “antisocial”. Mothers were encouraged to have children: thus was created the “Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter” (in English: Cross of Honor of the German Mother) for mothers having brought into the world more than four children. A “German Mothers’ Day” was also created; during that of 1939, three million mothers were decorated.

    Concerning abortion, access to services was quickly prohibited, until in 1935, the medical profession became obliged to report stillbirths to the Regional Office for State Health, who would further investigate the natural loss of a child; in 1943 the ministers of the Interior and Justice enacted the law `Protection of Marriage, Family and Motherhood,’ which made provisions for the death penalty for mothers convicted of infanticide.”

    (Buzz! Goodman violation!)

  41. 41
  42. 42
    Jay C says:

    Among the other stupid, disgusting nonsense in Douthat’s column (of course, being as it’s Douthat’s column, it’s composed virtually exclusively of stupid, disgusting nonsense, but never mind for now) is this howler:

    our willingness to welcome immigrants (who tend to have higher birthrates than the native-born.

    IIJM, or do I not recall that whatever their birthrates in their “native” countries, for most recent immigrants (even those presumably ultra-prolific South Asians), the average number of children-per-family tends to decrease down to the general American norm within, what? One generation?

    Though of course, St. Ross The Scold is probably trying to make a “moral” point rather than a practical one, niggling things like facts are secondary….

  43. 43
    JBerardi says:

    @jp:

    Seriously, isn’t the NYT embarrassed by this guy yet? He basically writes the same column every week: “Teh wimminz is having teh sexytimes without making babies OH NOES!”

    Much in the same way that so many rich people very conveniently believe that a lower tax burdon for them is obviously the best thing for our whole society, Douthat very conveniently believes that the kind of sexual behaviors that make him personally uncomfortable are obviously the thing that’s destroying society.

    Dude can go fuck himself. Which, for him, probably involves a heavy dose of guilt-ridden, tearful prayer after pawing through the Victoria’s Secret catalog for an upwards of 90 seconds.

  44. 44
    quannlace says:

    Hey, Mr. Chin-Pube’s. Why don’t you adopt a baby from China? You’llbe adding to the population here, and taking one away from our biggest economic rival.

    Win, win!

  45. 45
    Quarks says:

    Or, it’s entirely possible that I’ve chosen not to have kids not just out of selfishness, but because I know with my various issues I’d make a terrible parent. Combine this with knowing that the human species is not exactly in danger of dying out, and I’m pretty comfortable with my decision.

  46. 46
    quannlace says:

    our famous religiosity

    I’m not even sure what that’s supposed to mean.
    It sounds like a slogan for a fast-food chain. “Try our famous religiosity!”

  47. 47
    Origuy says:

    @Rich (In Name Only) in Reno: I think you mean “Godwin” violation, unless there’s an internet tradition I know nothing about.

  48. 48
    Chris says:

    @RaflW:

    *I mention this because coservatrols like to worry about Europe’s flat birthrate.

    They are. They’re terrified to death that Lousy Stinking Hajjis are going to outbreed white people in Europe and create Eurabia. Part and parcel of the hysteria you see with their concerns about America becoming a nonwhite-majority country, and it pretty well lays to rest their fucking bullshit about how “it’s not race it’s culture” and all the other apologias they’ve ever come out with.

    I do find it funny that Europe is the symbol of everything evil, decadent, socialist and un-American, to be loathed and rejected, until such time as we’re talking about the survival of the white race, at which point they backpedal crazily and become very, very concerned with “preserving European identity.”

  49. 49
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I think I can see the outlines of a Charlie Pierce column here. Outlined in withering snark and highlighted by ridicule. I can hardly wait.

  50. 50
    equs_personus says:

    And even with all the stupid, near the end, (capitals mine):

    More broadly, a more secure economic foundation beneath working-class Americans would presumably help promote childbearing as well. Stable families are crucial to prosperity and mobility, but THE REVERSE IS ALSO TRUE, and policies that made it easier to climb the economic ladder would make it easier to raise a family as well.

  51. 51
    suzanne says:

    I suppose it would be sensible for me to assume that this little bullshit burrito that Douchehat just expertly rolled for us means that he and his social peers will be helping me financially should I decide to have Little Liberal #3.

    Oh, wait. I forgot. How dare I have kids I can’t afford. Or something.

  52. 52
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Rich (In Name Only) in Reno: Godwin, not Goodman. :)

  53. 53
    Mike in NC says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    Ross Douchehat married Abigail Tucker in September 2007.

    Congrats, Abby! From that photo, your husband looks like he just walked off the set of “Justified”.

  54. 54
    slightly_peeved says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    Or trouble in paradise, perhaps. If my partner complained in a national newspaper about how people like us weren’t fucking enough, I’d have some questions.

    It’s probably irresponsible to speculate, but it seems like Ross has no trouble inserting his creepy face into anyone else’s bedrooms.

  55. 55
    millekat says:

    directly above Douthat’s sneering visage.

    Personally I genuflect to the Blessed Charles Pierce, who coined the “D’Artagnan starter kit” as an apt description of said visage.

  56. 56
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @gene108:

    This formula has worked like a charm in Third World countries and is less expensive than up thread ideas of more vacation time, parental leave, job security, etc.

    You’re ignoring the elephant in the room: Food (pdf). Food is population fuel. Decrease food surpluses, you decrease population growth rates. Decrease the amount of food grown, you’ll decrease the population.

  57. 57
    nellcote says:

    @Anya:

    NYT, has a lot to be embarrassed about: Chunky Bobo, MoDo, Mustache of Understanding, Bobo and many others.

    But Politico insists the NYT is a liberal rag.

  58. 58
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @Mike G: Well the Conservo/Repugs are known for letting their little heads do the thinking over their big heads.

  59. 59
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Mike in NC: I thought he looked like a young Bill Bailey, but with far less talent or sense of humor.

  60. 60
    jl says:

    @Chris:

    Central and Southern Europe have a flat fertility rate, which does not seem to respond much to economic upturns.

    Numbers indicate that Scandinavia has a higher rate than the rest of Europe and is the only area of Europe where it is steadily rising.

    But that can’t be true, Scandinavia is the epitome of the degraded taker parasite society, without traditional morals.

    Unskew the Scandinavian fertility statistics, somebody, please.

    European fertility rates, total and by age
    http://appsso.eurostat.ec.euro.....38;lang=en

  61. 61
    Arundel says:

    Superbly well said, Imani. Douthat seems obsessed with women and their sexuality in a creepy way, he makes lady-business his business, constantly. I second or third your hearty, “F-ck you” to him, he’s insufferable.

    As people have said, looking forward to Charlie Pierce’s take on this. He seems to take an especial glee in dissecting Douchehat, it’s always enjoyable.

  62. 62
    jl says:

    @jl: Sorry, meant Scandinavia and Finland.

  63. 63
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Who’s going to raise the kids that my wife and I are unable to have while we both work 12+ hours a day?

    Don’t answer that, I’ll just get even more pissed off.

  64. 64
    Sly says:

    Shorter Ross Douthat: “Having more children is necessary to improve society at large because shut up, and luckily there are plenty of female martyrs who can suffer in order to advance my obscurantist and morally reprobate philosophy. Just lie back and think of England America!”

  65. 65
    Ash says:

    I fail to see how less children in this country is a bad thing? As it is we don’t have enough jobs or all the people who want to enter the job market. Eventually all the olds will die off, and the young will take over, and if we get into another era of surplus jobs, more people will have babies. I’m a 26 year old women and have absolutely no interest in having children because I know it’s unlikely that I’ll ever be able to give them as good of a life as my parents gave me. How is that bad?

    I also know nothing about economics. Whomp whomp.

  66. 66
    kc says:

    Wouldn’t we run out of wide open spaces if we all bred like Douthat thinks we should?

  67. 67
    Bill D. says:

    Excellent points, ABL, but I have one quibble on a side point.

    Most people are struggling to feed their kids and hold down minimum-wage jobs

    Yes, lots of people are stuck in minimum wage jobs. Many others earn above minimum wage but still struggle to make ends meet regarding basic life necessities. However, that does not mean that “most” people earn minimum wage.

    The Social Security website below shows the 2011 median wage in the U.S. at $26,965.43. Assuming a work year of 2088 hours, this works out to $12.91 an hour, very far from affluent but still well above the current federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour.

    I count my lucky stars that I’m not on minimum wage or anywhere close to it. Long ago I did earn minimum wage (which was actually quite a bit higher than today’s minimum wage given inflation since then) for a little while and I did not see how you could live on it, even when being very frugal.

    link

  68. 68
    Ecks says:

    there has always been one excellent reason to bet on a second American century: We have more babies than the competition.

    So THAT is why the Palestinians are doing so much better than Israel economically, they have way more babies!

    Though per the rankings on Wikipedia, we should prepare to welcome our new economic overlords from Niger. Their highest birthrate in the world clearly ordains them as the new coming superpower.

  69. 69
    JGabriel says:

    Of course Douthat wants women to have more babies: he needs to eat.

  70. 70
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Maybe Douthat should get to work on our pathetic infant mortality rate.

  71. 71
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Who’s going to raise the kids that my wife and I are unable to have while we both work 12+ hours a day?

    Funny you should ask; I was just on my way to make this (bolded) addition to ABL’s otherwise excellent and comprehensive litany (yes, it’s kind of implicit in the paragraph but IMO needs to be spelled out explicitly):

    That means providing paid maternity and paternity leave; guaranteeing convenient and affordable child care; ensuring that women get paid as much as men do in the workplace; providing public assistance when families run into financial trouble; spending more money on public education and training programs; providing more and better student loan packages so parents can send their kids to college without going broke; ensuring that women have full access to healthcare, including contraception (because being able to choose when to have children is more beneficial for this country’s economic viability than forcing women to either remain celibate or to have oopsy-babies when they’re not ready.)

  72. 72
    Neil says:

    My wife and I were talking about having another kid the other day. I would like to have one more (we have two) but we’re just doing a hair better than paycheck to paycheck right now. One more and we’d be screwed. If only it were the 50s or 60s and we all lived in a single earner household, right?

  73. 73
    Heliopause says:

    I forgot to mention; as a conservative, Douthat disapproves of women having children out of wedlock. As a conservative, he disapproves of society creating tens of millions of jobs wherein a single earner can support a spouse and several children. When conservatives figure out a way out of this conundrum they can get back to us.

  74. 74
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    I notice the “everybody should be making babies” trope got a lot more play starting right around the time same-sex couples started winning the right to marry. Suddenly every right-wing loon came forward to sagely inform us that a Real Marriage must involve babies factory-made by both spouses’ DNA; adopted kids or pre-existing kids from prior relationships are deemed not good enough.

    And now the previously-uncontroversial reality that people use birth control is Too Shocking To Insure, or something.

    I remain baffled by the idea that it’s “selfish” to give to people who are already here, but “unselfish” to add to the population. Maybe, instead of making little Rosses, Mr. Douchat could adopt one of the foster kids I work with, seeing as they already exist and need homes? (Don’t worry, I’d never really wish that on a kid in foster care – they’ve suffered too much already!)

  75. 75
    dantoujours says:

    So we should just grow the population until the planet collapses under our feet? A single American family of 4 consumes more than 20 African families of 20. We don’t need higher birthrates. We need to change our economic system to something sustainable or at least so that it doesn’t resemble a ponzi scheme.

    We are already on the brink of an ecological collapse with rainforest depletion, overfishing, climate change, resource depletion, etc. Ugh! As a species we’re no better than bacterii in a petri dish.

  76. 76
    ruemara says:

    I had a hyster when I was 30. Years of no real ob/gyn care. So if you had wanted me to have babies, I would have needed some sort of American National Health Service. I would have liked to adopt, preferably 2-3 siblings, even with special needs. Plus a big fluffy dog, but that’s besides the point. By now, at 43, I was supposed to have a comfortable 4/2 outside the city, a car and some kids in school to drive me mad, along with a mid-level pro job. Funny that, seems to not have materialized, despite me working myself sick. Anytime Douchehat wants to sit down with me to discuss his ideas, I would love to. I will also be sure to bring this here nice hefty stave and some sharpened throwing knives. To illustrate the point for him. Gently.

  77. 77
    Donna Gratehouse says:

    I love how we’re expected to produce children for society and commerce yet society and commerce have no corresponding obligation to ensure that those children have educations, employment, and security.

  78. 78
    Dantoujours says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    Yet Japan has managed to retain a prosperous, wealthy society with low unemployment. What people need to realize is that we’re all going to be Japans someday and find ways to make that work, even if it means thinking outside the economic box.

  79. 79
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Not sure why ABL chose a Black baby for this post since Douthat is probably aiming his “please have more babies” plea to White American women — and not those of the moocher class that Romneybot was forced to decry.

  80. 80
    Diana Vernon says:

    ABL, I just love your choice of picture for this post.

  81. 81
    Roy G. says:

    Too bad they can’t have white babies from all that chicken fucken that they do.

  82. 82
    jl says:

    @Dantoujours: We will all only be Japans someday if we continue to follow bad macroeconomic and social policy. As I pointed out above, Scandinavia and Finland have found a way to increase fertility rates towards replacement levels, in Europe of all places.

    And Japan has some microeconomic and social policies that strongly discourage poor, or people who have trouble finding steady employment, from having kids.

    I sympathize with somewhat with commenters above who worry about sustainability of population, particularly with global warming. But, being able to have some control over population growth is good, and that goes both ways, if population age structure changes too rapidly, that will create counterproductive economic and political problems.

    But there is no way we all need to be Japan some day, in any event.

  83. 83
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    If he’s seen Idiocracy recently, that would explain this column. Unlikely, though on account of the swears and smoking and loose morals in it.

    Oh, I doubt if Douche-hat has made it through Idiocracy. If Chunky Reese Witherspoon was too much, my favorite redhead as Attorney General “Funbags” would have terrified him.

  84. 84
    WereBear says:

    Just this morning I ran across this blog post: a woman with four children.

    Terrified of another pregnancy, desperate to make Catholic family planning work, knowing abstinence places terrible strains on both of them…

    Fear, Prayer

  85. 85

    So how many children does this asshole have? I’m guessing fewer than the five or six he and his wife could have if they’d been doing what he says we all should be doing. It makes me think of Jonah Goldberg, who told us how desperately we needed to Fight the Terrorists!™ in Iraq, and when somebody asked why he wasn’t over there, he answered that, among other lame reasons, his family couldn’t afford to lose his income. I wonder if we’ll learn that Douthat would loooove to have 58 children, only his family “might have a hard time dealing with all the inconveniences of a big family” or some such bullshit.

    Whenever a conservative tells people what they should do or how they should live, you can safely bet that they’re doing the opposite.

  86. 86
    MBL says:

    I crushed my mother-in-law’s soul on Thanksgiving. My wife and I have a fifteen-month-old, our only child, and my sister-in-law is unable to have children, so the wife and I are the only possible outlet for additional grandchildren. She made the mistake of choosing the worst imaginable time to push me for when we were going to start working on a second, and I went thermonuclear. Pinned her down on child care costs and asked her if she was planning on providing me with the hundreds of dollars per month (childcare for three days a week for the kid we have is over half the cost of our mortgage, and the daycare we use is average in cost) that it was going to cost to keep a second child in day care, or what she thought I might be able to do in the next year to increase my salary that much. She kept trying to weasel out of talking about the financial issues and I kept pushing it until she dropped the subject entirely.

    Simple fact: I don’t want another kid because I don’t like babies very much, and despite everyone I know insisting that it would be different when it was mine, it wasn’t. I absolutely refuse under any circumstances to ever have another infant in my home, and my wife did NOT enjoy being pregnant at all. But even if I wanted to, there’s no way my wife and I could afford another. It’s just not in the cards without some sort of massive income increase.

  87. 87
    grandpa john says:

    Next time someone needs to make the point to someone young about the reality that “life isn’t fair” Point to the moron as a prime example.
    If life was truly fair, this POS would be working a minimum wage job sweeping floors and cleaning toilets in a Catholic school or hospital.

  88. 88
    Lojasmo says:

    @sal:

    Of course. The Blah wimmenz are always having more to escalate their limitless welfare dollarz, and the browns are catholic, and their numbers are skyrocketing.

    Need to maintain that majority-majority of good godfearing protestant republicans.

  89. 89
    pkdz says:

    @danielx: Exactly. I was reading Kos the other day. He was talking about the growing Hispanic vote. The median age of a Hispanic in the US is 18 years old. The median age for a white person? 41.

  90. 90
    MzRAD says:

    Ha ha: so should I have had a baby with my abusive first husband and thus be genetically chained to that dumbass for my whole life? Or, now that I’m in my early 40s, should I try to have a baby with my fabulous second husband even if Down Syndrome runs in my family, especially when the women giving birth are older? How dare these fucktards presume to suggest what women should be doing with their bodies and lives. Do they just need to produce this dreck to fill space so as to justify their paycheck? How dare he assume to know what works for people who aren’t living his very own life? Ross: shut the fuck up.

  91. 91
    Betsy says:

    @ruemara: I am with you totally. A parallel series of events took place in my life. Looking back, I see now I was fucked from the beginning.

    I wanted three kids. Because of shit jobs and , underemployment, none.

    Forty percent — forty percent! — of gen x women had no children. The reason is economic for the most part. I was one.

  92. 92
    DW says:

    Douthat, like most socially conservative public intellectuals, is gutless. He’s kind of got a point – a demographic decline and aging population can cause problems. However his diagnosis is “decadence” – in some misty Spenglerian way people have lost the urge to have babies. This raises the question of why Germany, Italy and Poland are more “decadent” than France and Sweden. For that matter, why is Japan even more decadent and how did South Korea become decadent so quickly? And why is Singapore the most decadent of all? There’s an obvious alternate explanation already stated in this thread – raising babies in a post-industrial society is labor intensive and therefore expensive. It is no accident that the baby boom coincided with what Krugman calls the Great Compression. Of course this leads Douthat into dark scary places that would lead to a break with his right wing patrons. Safer to stay gutless and blather about decadence.

  93. 93
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Chris:

    They’re terrified to death that Lousy Stinking Hajjis are going to outbreed white people in Europe and create Eurabia.

    Tell me, are you eager to live under Sharia law?

  94. 94
    Bill D. says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I doubt any of us are. However, there’s a difference between justified fears and paranoid fears. For instance: Tell me, are you eager to live under North Korean rule? North Korea certainly might do something crazy but they are not about to take over the U.S.

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I forget, which European country with a lot of Muslim immigrants has abandoned their current system of law and replaced it with sharia law — was it France or Germany?

    ETA: Wait, I bet it was England, right? After all, they’ve been getting Muslim immigrants from Pakistan for years, so of course they must have completely switched their legal system to conform with sharia law as a result.

  96. 96
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Tell me, are you eager to live under Sharia law?

    Right now it is highly unlikely that Muslims will ever outnumber the native non-Muslim population in Europe. If Muslims were to achieve a majority in Europe and adopt a Sharia legal code, it would be as much European in character as it was Muslim — because it had been adopted by Europeans.

    Quite aside from that, your statement is anti-Muslim bigotry, plain and simple.

  97. 97
    The Pale Scot says:

    Slowwww moving Troll Alert!

    wah! wah!

    What took u so long T&H? Heavy traffic home from the Bund meeting?

  98. 98
    Alex SL says:

    It may have been mentioned in the tread above (too long to read now, sorry), but the best thing we can do at this point is having one child per family for about four generations or so anyway. Globally, of course.

    Not gonna happen, I know. Especially because, and that is my quibble with this post, poverty usually seems to increase birth rates, presumably not directly but perhaps mediated by lack of education.

  99. 99
    Yutsano says:

    @Amir Khalid: Fascinating how you live in a Muslim majority country yet Malaysian jurisprudence is influenced by Sharia but is not totally subject to it. Not to mention non-Muslims are not compelled to follow Islamic court decisions. But we really shouldn’t let facts get in the way of Special Timmeh’s bigotry.

  100. 100
    Helen Bedd says:

    @Arundel:

    “Douthat seems obsessed with women and their sexuality in a creepy way”

    quite right….In fact, his nicknane “Chunky BoBo Brooks” is based on a sexual encounter that Ross famously wrote about, as comments #1 and #29 allude to and is immortalized in the Ballon-Juice Lexicon

    “Chunky Reese Witherspoon = Ross Douthat.

    While blogging professionally at The Atlantic, He published a memoir using this phrase to describe a fellow collegian whose feminine wiles he claimed to have resisted due to his distaste for her birth-control-pill-popping, hedonistic habits.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/b.....con-a-h/#C

  101. 101
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Helen Bedd:

    Yeah like

    The retreat from child rearing is, at some level, a symptom of late-modern exhaustion — a decadence that first arose in the West but now haunts rich societies around the globe

    Everything this man writes is about his goddamned impotence

  102. 102
    AA+ Bonds says:

    The problem with a good half to 75% of the stuff that ABL lists here is that it is actually Catholic doctrine to provide it to women and thus anathema to Douthat who is a heretic; the rest of it consists of things that most Catholics in the United States believe should be provided to women and again, if the Church is for something, Douthat is against it.

  103. 103
    Interrobang says:

    I think he’s sort of half right with that one quote. Nobody’s having kids because we are all exhausted. Working ever longer hours for stagnant wages and trying to keep ahead of the debts and trying to manage everyday life and everything is frequently exhausting, never mind trying to add kids into that mix.

    Of course, it’s not like he works hard by even the standards of a white-collar person with a desk job, but still manages to pull down shit-tons of wingnut welfare, so this never crossed his feeble little mind.

    I’m not married (at age 37) in large part (there are other reasons, but still) because developing a relationship of that sort takes time and, given that I graduated from school at age 23 just in time to watch the dot-com boom go bust, I’ve spent most of the last 14 years just trying to stay alive. Thanks, shitty employment opportunities and chronic health problems! Couldn’t’a done it without you!

  104. 104
    jon says:

    @JGabriel: You’re thinking of this guy. Douthat only wants the little boys and girls to serve him.

    Also, too: I love “My style is impetuous.”

  105. 105
    Tone in DC says:

    @jp:

    jp Says:

    Seriously, isn’t the NYT embarrassed by this guy yet? He basically writes the same column every week: “Teh wimminz is having teh sexytimes without making babies OH NOES!”

    LULz.

    Speaking of having kids… anyone else think that Grover Norquist and Ross were separated at birth?

  106. 106
    Deb T says:

    @dantoujours:
    I’m of the generation that read Paul Erhlich’s book, Population Bomb and took it to heart. It is the key to maintaining earth’s resources.

    Anyone remember the old Star Trek TOS episode where Kirk is kidnapped to infect a young woman in a society that has no disease. There’s a great picture at the end where the teeming crowds are pushing and shoving. Having any kind of personal space is considered a luxury.

  107. 107
    Deb T says:

    @dantoujours:
    I’m of the generation that read Paul Erhlich’s book, Population Bomb and took it to heart. It is the key to maintaining earth’s resources.

    Anyone remember the old Star Trek TOS episode where Kirk is kidnapped to infect a young woman in a society that has no disease. There’s a great picture at the end where the teeming crowds are pushing and shoving. Having any kind of personal space is considered a luxury.

  108. 108
    LAC says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: I know! Isn’t that boo scrumptious? Still want to tell Douchat to go fucking fuck himself with a straight razor, but with a smile on my face. lalalalala…. :)

  109. 109
    LAC says:

    @Ted & Hellen: is it a law that allows us to duck tape your useless ass over a highway bridge during a rainy day? ‘Cause if so, ALLAALLAALLAH!!!!!!

  110. 110
    BaritoneWoman says:

    Ross Douthat’s concerns are at least TWELVE years too late.

    Back in June 2001, Stephanie Mencimer, a contributing editor to The Washington Monthly, spelled out the situation:

    “Conservatives thought that if they only made it harder for mothers to work, women would stay home.
    Instead, women stopped having kids.”

  111. 111
    deering says:

    @slightly_peeved:

    Yeah, that’s the same vibe I was getting–Mrs. Douthat either doesn’t want any more children or isn’t producing them enough, so this is husband’s passive-aggro revenge. Whenever Bobo does one of his irate “ebil women are outnumbering men in college” pieces, one gets the impression he’s having major issues with (the wealthier) Mrs. Brooks.

  112. 112
    ParsleyCarrots says:

    Wait, whatever happened to the good old boy mantra of “cain’t feed ’em, don’t breed ’em”? Did someone change the bumper sticker while I wasn’t looking?

  113. 113
    Jackie says:

    @Haydnseek: Of course you do

Comments are closed.