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Old 02-04-2013, 10:29 PM   #41
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I always thought I was a poor fit for the Boomers, who I identified as WWII babies, ten or more years older than I was and who grew up in a substantially different world. I haven't seen this Generation Jones idea before, but it fits very nicely.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:38 PM   #42
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Makes me realize how bad things could have been. Rather than resenting what anyone may or may not have, I feel so bad for all, no matter what their age, whose hopes and dreams are dashed. I know, that is so corny but that is how I feel about the article.
I feel no joy when I see or hear of the suffering of others. I live in an "affluent" community, and I know of many people (some personally) who are struggling financially.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:12 AM   #43
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Every generation have their own problem. I was born in the early 70's and finished college in 1994 when the economy was going through a recession. I had 7 jobs during that period and didn't have a full time job till 1997. I had 2 jobs in 1998 and ended up being layoff 1 year later during the crazy Financial company merger days of the late 90's. From the period of 1994 to 1999, the 9 jobs that I had, no a single one of them still exist. Everyone off them have been elimated due to mergers/consolidated/or out of business. The current position I am in for the past 13 years, I started out at $30k and now making over $100k.

I have been to many retirement parties for co-workers in their 60's and they all tell me this story: graduated from Law school in the 70's. Couldn't find a job. Would have taken anything. Couldn't find any work for 2 years. 3 decades later.... made SVP and $5 million in their bank account.

Which generation haven't had to deal with crap? Seems like every generation is worse. I'm working with kids in their 20's and they all give me this sad story about their 100K student loan and having to marry someone with money because they worry about their debt. All these newbies with their Master degrees and making $50k and saddled with student loans in 6 figures. They have to deal with outsourcing and no mobility because people in their 50's and 60's didn't bother to save so they can't retire.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:00 AM   #44
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To you population worriers, that seems to be an issue with all affluent countries. Doesn't the USA's favorable position with respect to immigration choices leave us ahead of the game? It seems to me that state policy choices to increase birthrate are fraught with all the problems of central planning that you all decry with respect to our social safety net programs. State choices about immigration are unavoidable so let's give them some rational attention and stay out of the bedroom.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:35 AM   #45
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What would a pro-natal program look like?
France used to be the poster child for this and they had about the best birth rate in the first world. I don't know what has happened to all of that since the wheels came off the Euro economic bus.

Like Ha said, if you wanted to do something about it you would have to look at the causes of the problem and try to solve them. This is miles (light years?) away from being on the radar of anyone in power, so anything I say would amount to public mental masturbation. That said, if we ever wish to influence the birth/population rate we basically have two choices: incur the costs related to programs that would reduce the (huge) disincentives for educated, middle class Americans to have more kids, or incur the costs of integrating relatively uneducated immigrants (since the doctors and lawyers and whetever coming from overseas tend to react like educated Americans when they hit the wall of disincentives to have kids that exist here). Or we can do nothing and eventually look like Japan. I'd guess we will do nothing and either morph into Japan or we will bear the costs of integrating fecund immigrants because we do nothing about immigration control.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:49 AM   #46
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I am a baby boomer. I do not consider myself a victim. However, age discrimination does exist. Thankfully, I was not a victim of it myself (at least not that I know of) but I do know a number of people in their 50's and early 60's who have been told a younger person is wanted for a certain position. If they had it on tape, they could probably sue for a small fortune.

If any generation was a victim of their time, I think it would be my grandparent's. They endured the Great Depression and TWO World Wars.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:36 PM   #47
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I obviously don't know the specific circumstances of your friend but it seems to me that taking out a 30 yr loan when you are over 60 is not good planning for the future retirement. Who wants a mortgage during retirement?
Due to renovation costs it would be many years before she could hope to pay off the mortgage. Refinancing at a lower interest rate reduced the payment increasing her chances of keeping the house should the feared layoff occur.

Its interesting how differently folks evaluate decisions. Her new mortgage payment is equivalent to the current cost of renting an apartment. Her positive analysis is that she's now living in a nicely renovated home for the same "price" as an apartment.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:55 PM   #48
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France used to be the poster child for this and they had about the best birth rate in the first world. I don't know what has happened to all of that since the wheels came off the Euro economic bus.

Like Ha said, if you wanted to do something about it you would have to look at the causes of the problem and try to solve them. This is miles (light years?) away from being on the radar of anyone in power, so anything I say would amount to public mental masturbation. That said, if we ever wish to influence the birth/population rate we basically have two choices: incur the costs related to programs that would reduce the (huge) disincentives for educated, middle class Americans to have more kids, or incur the costs of integrating relatively uneducated immigrants (since the doctors and lawyers and whetever coming from overseas tend to react like educated Americans when they hit the wall of disincentives to have kids that exist here). Or we can do nothing and eventually look like Japan. I'd guess we will do nothing and either morph into Japan or we will bear the costs of integrating fecund immigrants because we do nothing about immigration control.
I'm not sure any country has succeeded for very long at implementing a program to increase birthrates. There are currently incentives in the US tax code that seem to have very little effect. It's interesting to note that the huge decrease in birth rates is happening in many countries, not only in the developed world. Practically all of Asia (excluding Muslim countries) and most of Latin America are now barely at replacement or below rates.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:04 PM   #49
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I'm not sure any country has succeeded for very long at implementing a program to increase birthrates. There are currently incentives in the US tax code that seem to have very little effect. It's interesting to note that the huge decrease in birth rates is happening in many countries, not only in the developed world. Practically all of Asia (excluding Muslim countries) and most of Latin America are now barely at replacement or below rates.
The tax incentives are laughable in the face of the other impediments.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:04 PM   #50
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Video urges Singapore couples to make babies – like, now – What's Next - CNN.com Blogs

Singapore has policy tools that would not pass muster here, but they apparently try other tacks as well.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:11 PM   #51
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I'm not clear on why this is neccesarily a problem. It's not like our population is actually dropping.

At some point, doesn't the population have to stabilize? If it grows forever, we're going to face serious resource constraints at some point.


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I think this is going to be a huge problem over time. There have been massive disincentives put in place to have kids today and so people my age and younger have responded as rational economic actors generally do. Of myself and my 3 siblings, I have two kids, my younger sister has one and will probably have a second (and suffer dearly for it money-wise). My other two siblings and their spouses/SOs will have zero. That is half the replacement rate, not including premature deaths. DW and her sisters have done better, but between 3 sisters they only have one surplus kid in excess of the number of parents. None of us feel like we can afford more than one or two kids and the sister with 3 is stretched, to put it lightly.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:13 PM   #52
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I'm not clear on why this is neccesarily a problem. It's not like our population is actually dropping.

At some point, doesn't the population have to stabilize? If it grows forever, we're going to face serious resource constraints at some point.
Go look at Japan. Look at SS. Do a tiny bit of math.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:22 PM   #53
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So the point is if I have 10 kids they each get a &10,000 share of the debt we are leaving them instead of $100,000? Why not just open the borders would that not accomplish the same thing? I have gone with an equal replacement. Two kids is all I have the energy to handle. Why would I want more? I do not have a farm for them to work on.

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Old 02-05-2013, 03:28 PM   #54
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You can solve it yourself, just figure out why regularly employed, taxpaying Americans are not having many children today, and reverse engineer to what might make them able to have more. Ha

We've gone from 8 in my boomer generation to 5 offspring in the next. No babies among the 5.

As for more reproducing, the issue for my very bright, college-educated, hard working niece and her husband are jobs. They work "semi-professionally" in what used to be entry level jobs that now go nowhere. So far no proceeding on the long-wanted (at least by my niece) baby. Her husband is concerned they can't afford kids.

This is a huge problem. Admittedly, it's true that my niece graduated in German and philosophy. I as a boomer had an undergraduate decree in anthropology but was able to self-finance a professional graduate degree. The financial returns on many graduate degrees are now degrading. In this thread, I mentioned a friend recently fired. Her biggest plus right now is that her dd wants to be an engineer.

I'm so grateful I only had one child. And can pass-on assets amassed in part from opportunities (educational grants, job opportunities, pension) that aren't as readily available to my kid, nephews, niece.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:43 PM   #55
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The tax incentives are laughable in the face of the other impediments.
I guess I'll have to go back to my original question - so what would work as pro natal policies?
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:50 PM   #56
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I guess I'll have to go back to my original question - so what would work as pro natal policies?
Again, I will point to France, as they appear to have had some success. A very lazy search found the following:

"
France was a country with concerns that professional women were choosing not to have children. The government were worried that the population was not going to replace itself over time.
The policies that were put in place to encourage three-children families were:
  • a cash incentive of 675 monthly (nearly the minimum wage) for a mother to stay off work for one year following the birth of her third child
  • the 'carte famille nombreuse' (large family card), giving large reductions on train fares
  • income tax based on the more children the less tax to pay
  • three years paid parental leave, which can be used by mothers or fathers
  • government subsidised daycare for children under the age of three, and full time school places for over threes paid for by the government
This has resulted in mothers considering having children and remaining in work. The fertility rate in France is one of Europe's highest."

BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Case study: pro-natalist policy in France

I am not necessarily advocating what France did as a model since I have no idea if it would translate well to the US, but it is an example.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:01 PM   #57
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Sure, we'll have some demographic problems, but those will have to come eventually, either in this century or the next, or we'll all be stacked like cord wood on top of each other.



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Go look at Japan. Look at SS. Do a tiny bit of math.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:13 PM   #58
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Again, I will point to France, as they appear to have had some success. A very lazy search found the following:

"
France was a country with concerns that professional women were choosing not to have children. The government were worried that the population was not going to replace itself over time.
The policies that were put in place to encourage three-children families were:
  • a cash incentive of 675 monthly (nearly the minimum wage) for a mother to stay off work for one year following the birth of her third child
  • the 'carte famille nombreuse' (large family card), giving large reductions on train fares
  • income tax based on the more children the less tax to pay
  • three years paid parental leave, which can be used by mothers or fathers
  • government subsidised daycare for children under the age of three, and full time school places for over threes paid for by the government
This has resulted in mothers considering having children and remaining in work. The fertility rate in France is one of Europe's highest."

BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Case study: pro-natalist policy in France

I am not necessarily advocating what France did as a model since I have no idea if it would translate well to the US, but it is an example.
So France does all of the above and they have a fertility rate of 2.08. US does none of the above (except for the tax deductions) and it has a fertility rate of 2.06. Doesn't sound too encouraging for government programs to increase fertility does it?
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:14 PM   #59
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I guess I'll have to go back to my original question - so what would work as pro natal policies?

a booming economy would help the birth rate.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:20 PM   #60
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So France does all of the above and they have a fertility rate of 2.08. US does none of the above and it has a fertility rate of 2.06. Doesn't sound too encouraging for government programs to increase fertility does it?
I suppose it might be more appropriate to view before and after stats, since there might be just a few differences between France and the US (or so I am told).
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