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Old 10-17-2014, 12:47 PM   #41
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What makes you say that people who deliberately choose not to reproduce are "self-indulgent?"
Raising kids is hard work and extremely expensive. The costs are largely borne by the parents, but society as a whole benefits. Many of the younger generation(s) have simply decided to skip the hard work and expense in favor of amusing themselves (or whatever). This did not work out so well for Japan.
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:53 PM   #42
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Raising kids is hard work and extremely expensive. The costs are largely borne by the parents, but society as a whole benefits. Many of the younger generation(s) have simply decided to skip the hard work and expense in favor of amusing themselves (or whatever). This did not work out so well for Japan.
True, but whose life is it - yours or society's?
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:56 PM   #43
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True, but whose life is it - yours or society's?
Sounds like the watchword and countersign of the younger generation. But facts are facts.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:27 PM   #44
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Sounds like the watchword and countersign of the younger generation. But facts are facts.
Gen X here, so I'm not spouting a generational line (e.g., the Boomer line "don't trust anyone over 30"). That said, it does seem rather unfair to kids who toe the party line - study hard, get good grades, borrow lots of student loans, graduate from a good school, get a good job, slave for "the man" etc... all by their mid-to-late-20s, then are expected to get married, have kids, raise those kids to adulthood over the next 30 years, while still slaving for "the man", paying off student loans, paying higher and higher taxes, engaging in expected levels of consumption (to keep the economy going, of course), etc.... Only to finally get to retirement in their early-60s, without their youth (and in some cases health) to enjoy life? Even then, the Government looks with hungry eyes at any accumulated savings in order to feed its ever-growing bureaucracy.

Looking at all that, do you really have to wonder why Millennials question the wisdom of following the same path? While it may sound cynical/selfish, many are asking "what's in it for me?" This isn't a bad question to ask about most things in life, unless one is feeling charitable/generous.

Kind of reminds me of this scene from Good Will Hunting:

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Old 10-17-2014, 01:34 PM   #45
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Raising kids is hard work and extremely expensive. The costs are largely borne by the parents, but society as a whole benefits. Many of the younger generation(s) have simply decided to skip the hard work and expense in favor of amusing themselves (or whatever). This did not work out so well for Japan.
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Sounds like the watchword and countersign of the younger generation. But facts are facts.
What are the facts? Slower population growth is associated with a rising standard of living. Are millennials having fewer children, or are they having children at a later age than their parents? The real decline in the US birth rates is seen in teens and unmarried young women, while in women over 30 it's rising.

Appreciate everyone's effort to keep a friendly tone in what often ends up being a difficult subject to discuss.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:37 PM   #46
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What are the facts? Slower population growth is associated with a rising standard of living. Are millennials having fewer children, or are they having children at a later age than their parents? The real decline in the US birth rates is seen in teens and unmarried young women, while in women over 30 it's rising.

Appreciate everyone's effort to keep a friendly tone in what often ends up being a difficult subject to discuss.
Didn't take his comments personally. On a related note, we don't want our society to end up like the one in Idiocracy.

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Old 10-17-2014, 01:42 PM   #47
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Didn't take his comments personally. On a related note, we don't want our society to end up like the one in Idiocracy.
I loved that movie. It is scary how much of it seems to be not that far from the truth.
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:09 PM   #48
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Agreed... but kids these days need to stay off my lawn.
Nash, you are way too young to be playing that card
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:24 PM   #49
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You are the "Silent Generation" according to Wikipedia.

Generation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thank you Joe. So good to be acknowledged. Was worried

Anyway, here's what I have to say about that:
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:25 PM   #50
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Proverb of the Mexican fisherman comes to mind

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An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:09 PM   #51
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What are the facts? Slower population growth is associated with a rising standard of living. Are millennials having fewer children, or are they having children at a later age than their parents? The real decline in the US birth rates is seen in teens and unmarried young women, while in women over 30 it's rising.

Appreciate everyone's effort to keep a friendly tone in what often ends up being a difficult subject to discuss.
Meh. The self actualizing childless will never admit they contributing to a massive tragedy of the commons, so I see little point in debate. We are headed for a Japanese population model. Say what you like, but that is unlikely to work out long term.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:27 PM   #52
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Meh. The self actualizing childless will never admit they contributing to a massive tragedy of the commons, so I see little point in debate. We are headed for a Japanese population model. Say what you like, but that is unlikely to work out long term.
We probably aren't headed for a Japanese population model for one key reason - immigration. Japan greatly restricts immigration (always has), so population growth from faster reproducing immigrants isn't an option. Contrast this to Europe, which has had a similar reproduction rate decline and chose to address the problem by encouraging immigration from the Middle East, India, etc.... The downside, if you want to call it one, is that the "native" culture of many European countries is slowly dying off. Then again, this is how it's always been where immigration is encouraged.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:53 PM   #53
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I have kids in that Millennial generation and have had the opportunity to watch them along with their Millennial friends grow up together. Now sure, it is a small sample size, a dozen or thereabouts, but I certainly don't see any aversion to hard work, or for them trying to get something for nothing. Maybe partly because of the economic difficulties they have seen their parents go through from 2000, 2008 and now. They do seem to understand what they are up against economically.

But there are also another side I see. They want to work hard and make money, but not doing something that hurts the environment by pollution or contributing to global warming, etc. They are very much into protecting the environment in whatever they do.

In addition, while my boomer generation tried to help eliminate racism and sexism from life, they don't even see it. They don't seem to even see distinctions of race, gender, or sexual orientation in their world view. In my boomer generation we would sometimes pride ourselves in the advances in fairness to differences in race or religion. These Millennials don't even understand what we are talking about. What would race, gender or sexual orientation have anything to do with anything? I doesn't seem to matter at all to them.

These similarities seem to cut across the spectrum of those kids with conservative leanings and those with liberal leanings (usually mirroring their parents).

I see them wanting to get educated, knowing that hard work is necessary, realistic about the future, but at the same time wanting to protect their environment. A small sample size, but from what I see, they will do well and make us proud (if not even a little envious that we could achieve as much as they will).
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Old 10-17-2014, 04:05 PM   #54
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Raising kids is hard work and extremely expensive. The costs are largely borne by the parents, but society as a whole benefits. Many of the younger generation(s) have simply decided to skip the hard work and expense in favor of amusing themselves (or whatever). This did not work out so well for Japan.
Do you think Boomers had all those kids for the good of society, or because they wanted kids and thought it would be rewarding (i.e., self-indulgent)?
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Old 10-17-2014, 04:08 PM   #55
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I dont have kids, and i never will. But i coach high school sports. Parents generally are happy to give me their children, and often request that i beat the crap out of them.

So rent, don't own.


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Old 10-17-2014, 05:29 PM   #56
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Do you think Boomers had all those kids for the good of society, or because they wanted kids and thought it would be rewarding (i.e., self-indulgent)?
It does not really matter. What matters is that they had the kids.
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Old 10-17-2014, 05:43 PM   #57
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I think there is an innate bias to think one's generation is better than all subsequent generations, especially when comparing to the most current one.
I don't know about that.

I've always been annoyed that I was part of the "baby Boomer" generation. I don't "identify" with much of the stereotype.

Lumping people into groups based on something like birthday seems kinda silly to me. But that's probably just me being ornery.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:05 PM   #58
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In addition, while my boomer generation tried to help eliminate racism and sexism from life, they don't even see it. They don't seem to even see distinctions of race, gender, or sexual orientation in their world view. In my boomer generation we would sometimes pride ourselves in the advances in fairness to differences in race or religion. These Millennials don't even understand what we are talking about. What would race, gender or sexual orientation have anything to do with anything? I doesn't seem to matter at all to them.

These similarities seem to cut across the spectrum of those kids with conservative leanings and those with liberal leanings (usually mirroring their parents).
I see the same things with my high school and college age kids. It's a good thing.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:06 PM   #59
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It does not really matter. What matters is that they had the kids.
Of course it matters. You accused the abstainers (the child-free) of being "self-indulgent," in a way that suggested great disdain. Your tone was with their motives as much as it was with their actions. I'm merely pointing out that those who reproduce have the exact same motives (i.e., self-indulgence), merely different values. Neither did what they did for the good of society. Moreover, a case could be made that those who have abstained from having children are the ones actually providing the most benefit for society, as many models suggest that the planet is already over populated.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:16 PM   #60
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Of course it matters. You accused the abstainers (the child-free) of being "self-indulgent," in a way that suggested great disdain. Your tone was with their motives as much as it was with their actions. I'm merely pointing out that those who reproduce have the exact same motives (i.e., self-indulgence), merely different values. Neither did what they did for the good of society. Moreover, a case could be made that those who have abstained from having children are the ones actually providing the most benefit for society, as many models suggest that the planet is already over populated.
I agree. We don't need a greater rate of re-production. A google search will show that the US population has gone up close to 1% every year from 1970-2010. There hasn't been much of a reduction in the growth of the population in the last decade but even if there was, why is that a bad thing. Maybe it means there's better education in contraception leading to less unplanned pregnancies by those not mentally of financially ready for children. No one should ever feel obligated to procreate.
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