Why the American Birth Rate Has Collapsed

Ross Douthat in the New York Times, discussing the recent news that the American birth rate, once resilient, has now collapsed–falling, all but incredibly, below that of Britain and France:

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.

Like Paul Rahe, I have some thinking to do. In considering the country’s future, I can almost shrug off the recent political defeat. I can’t shrug off “late-modern exhaustion.”