Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Prediction

In many parts of the world, large families are the norm. Development experts try to encourage smaller families with an eye to parents investing more in fewer children – better education, health care, conditions overall. It's a tough sell. Parents see a large family as insurance against infant and child mortality and also insurance in old age in societies where there is little or no social safety net.

In the next few decades, we will see large families become common again in the US. Democrats and Republicans alike advocate privatizing — or eliminating altogether — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. The more extreme want to eliminate public education (Dick and Lynne Cheney were among this number). The most extreme want only two public institutions — the military and domestic enforcement, largely to adjudicate contractual disputes.

A future without the social safety net on which Americans have come to depend. Large families will again serve as insurance against the infirmities of old age.

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