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Donar
Friday, November 11th, 2005, 08:06 AM
Excerpt from Pat Buchanan's Death of the West:


EUROPE

In 2000, the total population of Europe, from Iceland to Russia, was 728 million. At present birthrates, however, without new immigration, her population will crash to 600 million by 2050. That is the projection of _World Population Prospects: The 2000 Revision Highlights_ released by the authoritative UN Population Division on February 28, 2001. Another study has Europe's population plummeting to 556 million by midcentury.3 The last time Europe's population showed a drop of this magnitude was during the Black Plague of 1347-52. Economics professor Jacqueline Kasun of Humboldt State University in California, author of War Against Population, considers today's birth dearth an even graver crisis:

With a plague like the [fourteenth-century] Black Death, maybe a third of Europe died, but it took the elderly as well as the young .... But this plunging fertility takes only the young. A couple still has parents and grandparents to support, directly or through their taxes. Since they've got fewer or no siblings to share that burden, having children seems even more unaffordable. So how do you dig your way out of a hole like a shrinking population ?4

Excellent question, and if Europe does not find the answer soon, Europe dies. How bleak is the situation? Of the twenty nations with the lowest birthrates in the world, eighteen are in Europe. The average fertility rate of a European woman has fallen to 1.4 children, with 2.1 needed just to replace the existing population. Says columnist Ben Wattenberg: This does not mean ZPG (Zero Population Growth), this means ZP-Zero Population.' Americans in NATO will soon be defending a vast Leisure World. If the present fertility rates hold, Europe's population will decline to 207 million by the end of the twenty-first century, less than 30 percent of today's. The cradle of Western civilization will have become its grave.

Why is this happening? Socialism, the beatific vision of European intellectuals for generations, is one reason. "If everyone has the promise of a state pension, children are no longer a vital insurance policy against want in old age," argues Dr. John Wallace of Bologna's Johns Hopkins University: "If women can earn more than enough to be financially independent, a husband is no longer essential. And if you can also have sex and not babies--and this seems to be true now of Catholic Italy as it is of secular Britain--why marry? "6

By freeing husbands, wives, and children of family responsibilities, European socialists have eliminated the need for families. Consequently, families have begun to disappear. When they are gone, Europe goes with them. But as Europe is dying, the Third World adds one hundred million people--one new Mexico--every fifteen months. Forty new Mexicos in the Third World by 2050, while Europe will have lost the equivalent of the entire population of Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway--and Germany! Absent divine intervention, or a sudden desire on the part of Western women to begin having the same-size families as their grandmothers, the future belongs to the Third World. As T. S. Eliot wrote in "The Hollow Men": "This is the way the
world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper."'

blanc
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005, 12:45 PM
THE WAR AGAINST THE PAST.

"To destroy a people, you must first sever their roots"- Alexander Solzhenitzyn.

How does not sever a people's roots? Answer: Destroy its memory.

Deny people the knowledge of who they are and where they came from.

".If we forget what we did, we wont know who we are".

QuietWind
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005, 03:08 PM
My question is always: what can we do? Seriously, how do we inspire the masses to have children? The problem is there and has been there. It is no secret. Do people really not care? Are they so content and focused on self and the present that they care nothing for the people and the future? It's the "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die" philosophy. The attitude is" who cares about tomorrow because we won't be there. Is there a way to break people from their egocentric thinking into a more folk oriented one?

I'm probably about to step on some toes here, but I don't think it helps when we have those on the flip side who still preach that a woman's sole duty is to have children and that she is nothing more than a uterus (to simply put it). The modern woman doesn't want to be a uterus. She wants to have a career and an education. Feminism ensured that. Generations of women teaching their daughters that they now have rights and can be what they want to be have guarenteed that. So, when we get those preaching that a woman should be a uterus, they majority of women balk and their regard to never has kids is strengthened.

Women need to realize that there is nothing wrong with gaining an education or in having a career, but that having children is one of the greatest joys in life. Having children is not about being a uterus, nor is it about doing a "duty" for "our people." It is about giving life to something precious that will give you the greatest joy and satisfactions in life. For those who need a more egocentric meaning added on, they can think about how a child will carry on their namesake, and memory even after they have passed on.

Anyhow, I'd like to write more, but I have to get my little one to her gymnastics practice.:)

Æmeric
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005, 04:06 PM
.The modern woman doesn't want to be a uterus. She wants to have a career and an education. Feminism ensured that. Generations of women teaching their daughters that they now have rights and can be what they want to be have guarenteed that.

Realistically, its difficult for a women to have a career & children. Children, especially infants & preschoolers are time consuming. It takes two surviving children per woman just to keep the population from declining. Working mothers have to pay for childcare which adds to the financial burden of having a child. Most can only afford 1 or 2. And childbearing will interfere with job advancement, so many educated professional woman remain childless. I believe many women would like to be stay at home moms, but the current economic situation makes that difficult. Globalization, immigration, & feminism have increased the labor pool, depressing wages, forcing many women into the labor market. For 35 years or so, housewives have been portrayed as lazy or some sort of parasites, and (white) women who do have large families are portrayed as freaks. Women should not be coerced into having children, but we need to adopt social & economic policies that will allow those that do want them to be able to afford them.

QuietWind
Saturday, November 26th, 2005, 06:11 PM
I agree with you that because of child care costs, etc. it can be difficult to have both a career and children. I am talking about when the children are older and of school age. Although I am a big advocator of staying at home and homeschooling, I also do not have a problem with a woman who chooses to work while her children are in school. With the use of technology increasing in society and also the way jobs are changing, it is not inconcievable that a woman could work while staying at home as well.

Rune Caster
Sunday, November 27th, 2005, 04:41 AM
I think that this is an even bigger problem than even the author realises. Reliance on the old age pension is only viable when there are enough of the younger generation to pay the taxes for it. With declining birth rates and the baby boomers moving into that pension age group, western governments really only have a couple of options: (1) bring in third world labour to make sure that the taxes are available to support the pension; (2) drastically reduce social welfare by introducing schemes whereby baby boomers put money away for their retirement (as they are doing here in Australia); or (3) encourage the younger population to have more kids by subsidising the costs of child care, schooling etc.

I think most governments have realised that option 3 just isn't going to work given the social attitudes and costs that exist because subsidies will never really be enough to tempt women away from that high-flying corporate job. Option 2 is also problematic because it doesn't resolve the shortage of labour needed for the economy to run efficiently and you just end up bringing in more immigrants anyway.

As pessimistic as it sounds, the only real option might be if the centre of civilisation moved away from the west. Even still, I don't think anyone in their right mind would want that as we've all seen how the centres of civlisation dominate and exploit the populations of the others--eg Rome, U.S and the middle East etc.

Ælfhere
Monday, November 28th, 2005, 06:37 AM
I read this book a few years back, very disturbing. :mad:

Cuchullain
Monday, November 28th, 2005, 09:04 AM
Well folks you already know the answer to this problem, large families all round then.:D

Slainte

Sifsvina
Monday, November 28th, 2005, 11:41 AM
Well folks you already know the answer to this problem, large families all round then.:D

I know, I know, shut up already (not you, the nagging in my head;-):valkyrie I'm trying to get to a place where I can at least contribute a bit!
:valkyrie

Cuchullain
Monday, November 28th, 2005, 11:44 AM
Relax my friend, all in good time.;)

Slainte

freya3
Monday, November 28th, 2005, 08:58 PM
I have been a busy bee here doing my part;) I have a 14 month old and one on the way in April.

But it isn't easy...Svifsvina is right by getting into the right frame of mind before delving into the joys(and sometimes pains) of parenting. It is worth it though, not only for ourselves, but DEFINITLY our future!

Cuchullain
Monday, November 28th, 2005, 09:02 PM
Congratulations on your forthcoming arrival Freya.:)

Slainte

freya3
Monday, November 28th, 2005, 09:05 PM
Thanks Slainte(cool name BTW)!

We are excited too :D

Cuchullain
Monday, November 28th, 2005, 09:44 PM
Slainte means good health in Irish gaeilge. It's a sign off not my name.;)

Slainte

Weg
Monday, November 28th, 2005, 11:55 PM
Better late than never. However, keep in mind that after 30 y. o., it gets less easy.

Sifsvina
Tuesday, November 29th, 2005, 01:45 AM
Better late than never. However, keep in mind that after 30 y. o., it gets less easy.

Hence the reason I'm getting impatient! I really don't want to have a younger child when I'm in my forties much less a babe in arms. I suppose if that's what happens it will be better than nothing though.
I'm in the right "frame of mind" :-) Just not in the right health/place/situation yet. It would be futile to wait for perfection but there are certain standards that I require to be met as much for the children's sake as mine.
I yearn for a small close community where people can share the stresses and responsibilities as well as the joys. Modern society makes it so much harder than it needs to be.
And if worse comes to worse and I can't manage at least one I need to be somewhere where I can contribute to children somehow! It's defiantly not where I am now. Besides regular child care stuff I can just picture myself teaching all the local girls how to knit and sew. Sharing the heritage behind it and not just the skill. Have them all making their own dirndles by age 10!

Hurray Freya3!

:valkyrie

freya3
Tuesday, November 29th, 2005, 02:46 PM
Hence the reason I'm getting impatient! I really don't want to have a younger child when I'm in my forties much less a babe in arms. I suppose if that's what happens it will be better than nothing though.
I'm in the right "frame of mind" :-) Just not in the right health/place/situation yet. It would be futile to wait for perfection but there are certain standards that I require to be met as much for the children's sake as mine.
I yearn for a small close community where people can share the stresses and responsibilities as well as the joys. Modern society makes it so much harder than it needs to be.
And if worse comes to worse and I can't manage at least one I need to be somewhere where I can contribute to children somehow! It's defiantly not where I am now. Besides regular child care stuff I can just picture myself teaching all the local girls how to knit and sew. Sharing the heritage behind it and not just the skill. Have them all making their own dirndles by age 10!

Hurray Freya3!

:valkyrie

There is NEVER a perfect time or unfortuantely in this country, right place. Kentucky is beautiful compared to Alabama, but the same diseased state this country is in is everywhere. I am learning right along w/my toddler on our FOlk and it is really cool to see her little eyes light up when we say good morning and good night to our anscestors and Nature. We have also gotten a few children's books (Aesop's fables and Grimms) that we read every night...Sewing and knitting and candle making are later down the road ;)

And 32 is not getting old! People are having kids late into their 40's. Like you, I don't want a baby to take care of a babe then either when I am in my forties (unless Freya thinks differently), so I have become content with no sleep and little sanity. We want 2 more after this one. 4 is about all I think we'll be able to handle! It will be well worth it in the end...

You have got what it takes talking to you and reading your posts! Any child would be lucky to have you as a mom :)

Ewergrin
Wednesday, November 30th, 2005, 02:23 AM
In my opinion, mid 30's should be the cut off age for women to bear children. Science has proven that the closer a woman gets to 40, the greater the risks for birth defects, like Downs Syndrome. In fact, a situation just occured in my family where this exact thing happene,d and the baby was given up for adoption. The whole thing could have been avoided if my sister-in-law would have not decided to have a child so close to 40 (I think she is 38.)

Siegfried
Wednesday, November 30th, 2005, 03:11 PM
In my opinion, mid 30's should be the cut off age for women to bear children. Science has proven that the closer a woman gets to 40, the greater the risks for birth defects, like Downs Syndrome. In fact, a situation just occured in my family where this exact thing happene,d and the baby was given up for adoption. The whole thing could have been avoided if my sister-in-law would have not decided to have a child so close to 40 (I think she is 38.)

Since our race is in such a dismal demographic position, I'm tempted to say any European couple that wants to have children should be supported, regardless of their age. I agree with you that ideally women bear children before their mid-30s, as I think it would be better for both mother and child. In any case I'm all in favour of prenatal screening, which becomes all the more useful the older the women in question is.

Vanir
Wednesday, November 30th, 2005, 03:18 PM
Well folks you already know the answer to this problem, large families all round then.:D

Slainte
The SURT line begins next year, my delightfully methodical & taciturn Anglo-Saxon Ogress has decided....
Anyone know what vitamins/minerals/supplements might influence the female physiology to produce twins?

Siegfried
Wednesday, November 30th, 2005, 04:26 PM
Anyone know what vitamins/minerals/supplements might influence the female physiology to produce twins?

Not sure if anything to that effect has been scientifically checked. Even if such vitamins/minerals/supplements exist though, they would have to be taken either before pregnancy (to trigger two eggs instead of one) or in the very early stages of pregnancy (to trigger the splitting of the single embryo in two; which is how identical twins are created). If the pregnancy has progressed and the embryo developed, I don't think any supplement could cause healthy twinning.

Sifsvina
Thursday, December 1st, 2005, 01:58 AM
There is NEVER a perfect time or unfortunately in this country, right place.

Yeah, but there are tons of better places than where I'm at right now!


You have got what it takes talking to you and reading your posts! Any child would be lucky to have you as a mom :)

Awh thanks! I think I'll do pretty well but I want some other, at least somewhat, like minded people around to back me up. All us "good moms" should just move somewhere together (with our men of course);-)

I'd like to slip under the 35 cutoff but if that is not possible I'll try anyway and be especially careful, I'm taking folic acid already just in case. I have no problem "letting go" of a defective child and hope I will not be given an "iffy" situation. I feel it is very important to pass on what I have, more than just my skin color.

Twins is either in the genes (without any way to make it more likely that I know of) or caused by fertility treatments. If either of you have a history of twins in the family you might get lucky, otherwise you might look into fertility treatments -I haven't heard about other side effects besides multiple births:-)
:valkyrie

Weg
Thursday, December 1st, 2005, 02:23 AM
Don't worry Sifsvina. My own mom was 35 (even more) when she got me. And I'm "mostly" OK. :) Of course, ideally -at least to me-, women should have children in their early 20's, but 30's is still OK. Just don't start at 40.

Dbv
Thursday, December 1st, 2005, 10:55 AM
A severe change of attitudes is needed if we are to overcome this problem. As Anglo-Hoosier said: White females who have more than two children are often looked down upon, and the women themselvs, alot of them anyway, don't see having a family as the noble and rewarding thing it is. Instead focus is put on the downsides, such as the change in their physical appearance, wich in these times of unnatural beauty-ideals, is a grim aspect. I have heard numerous young women utter that they will never bear children, because they dont want to become "ugly". A sad thing when motherhood is considered as uglyness. :(

Furthermore the capitalist powerholders: Cooperationists, whose only interest is the money they have and how they can make more, need to be forced by law to decrease their demands of, and sanctions on employees who choose to have children and go on maternity leave.

Men need to make drastic changes in their convictions too, they need to make use of their rights for leave following fatherhood where such exists. They do in Denmark, but they are rarely taken advantage of as the carreer comes first and apparantly cant be put on hold for a brief time, ofcourse those who do it are quite often punished by their employers as well despite law, but if the majority of the male employees suddenly unified with each other and with the women and claimed their rights, employers would have a much harder time trying to impose their greedy claims on their workers.

Cheaper and better childcare-services would benefit much as well, but it wont do the trick alone. The change in attitudes is more important - Todays individualism is too profound, most people can see no further back, nor ahead than their own lives and thus values such as family legacy have lost their importance. The only valid achievements in life are those that can be seen on the bankaccounts, thats the problem...

freya3
Thursday, December 1st, 2005, 07:59 PM
I too agree w/Evergreen that it is ideal for a woman to have a child by 35. And, there are vitamins to help keep birth defects down, if the woman starts on them BEFORE she gets pregnant. And Weg, my mom had my brother @ 38, and other than being a pain in the #$%, he is a healthy, normal teenager. So, it can happen. With all the nutrition we now have available, that should keep birth defects down. However, there is no vitamin or herb available right now to increase the chance of twins( my hubby is a MD, I asked). Only genes can determine that for now. The fertility drugs available though are a different story...

So, that is why I am a busy girl. I am 30 and this one is due before I am 31. I want ot be finished by 35. That is the plan at least...It just takes a while to get physically, and mentally ready for the next. But, I want 2 more...hubby wants 3 or 4 more... My only regret is I waited too long.

Svif, you need to come to KY. Get out of CA!!!! I think you would like it here. This was the place my husband wanted to come to. I was very reluctant, but now that I am here, this is the most kid-friendly place! My daughter has just THRIVED here! Just can't find any Odinists around here...

Chlodovech
Saturday, January 28th, 2006, 12:35 AM
The feminist agenda three decades on

10-12-2005 - Muriel Newman - newman weekly


Last month, when the public furore erupted over an airline policy that bans men from sitting next to unaccompanied children, I wondered whether the feminists were celebrating. A few years ago, the mere suggestion that a man on a plane could be a likely child molester, would have been greeted with derision. Now, however, not only has the concept been taken seriously by the airlines, but some public servants – including the Commissioner for Children - have said it’s a good idea.

Stuart Birks, Director of the Centre for Public Policy Evaluation at Massey University, explores the emergence of this worrying trend towards the denigration of men, in our guest opinion piece in this week’s NZCPD Forum (click here to view).

The unfortunate situation we are in today can be traced back to the agenda set in place by radical feminists some thirty years ago. While the key objective of most of the women who have enthusiastically joined the women’s liberation movement has been equality for women, the movement appears to have been taken over by those who want to pursue a socialist agenda.

A booklet entitled A Strategy for Women’s Liberation produced in 1974, explains:

“The socialist who is not a Feminist lacks breadth. The Feminist who is not a Socialist is lacking in strategy. To the narrow-minded Socialist who says: ‘Socialism is a working class movement for the freedom of the working class, with woman as woman we have nothing to do,’ the far-sighted Feminist will reply: ‘the Socialist movement is the only means whereby woman as woman can obtain real freedom. Therefore I must work for it.’

The booklet outlined the rationale behind the feminist movement:

“The oppression of women began with the origin of the patriarchal family, private property and the state. Anthropological evidence has shown that in the primitive communal society, women held a respected and important position. The basic economic unit was the maternal gens or clan, in which the family as we know it did not exist. In this clan, goods were shared among members equally. Women played an important role in the providing of food and shelter and were not tied to individual men economically, nor was there any compulsion to remain with one sexual partner.”

“With the development of an economic surplus and the individual accumulation of this surplus as private property, the clan system gave way to the setting up of separate households. This was the beginning of class society and the patriarchal family. Women became isolated from communal activity, and monogamy for the wife was strictly enforced to ensure legitimate heirs.”

“Today, the nuclear family unit remains as the basic economic cell of class society and women continue to be isolated in individual households, dependent on individual men for economic survival. The family also serves to perpetuate capitalist rule by inculcating in children the values of the private property system.”

Radical feminists believed that the only way to achieve true equality for women was through liberating them from the bonds of husband and family. Further, they could see that if women were freed from the traditional requirement to remain loyal to one partner, the whole system of private property rights - which relies on the creation of legitimate heirs and is a fundamental tenet of a democratic free market economy – would ultimately collapse.

The Labour Government of the day embraced these feminist goals and introduced the Domestic Purposes Benefit as a vehicle for change.

The effect of the DPB was to pay women to separate from their husbands and partners. It paid them more money to have more children, and it didn’t matter how many different fathers were involved. In fact, it was not even necessary for the woman to name a father on a child’s birth certificate.

The DPB also encouraged single women to have children on their own, to the extent that the number of women now receiving the benefit who have never married, has eclipsed the number of women who were married but separated. This shows that rather than helping women to adjust from failed marriages, the DPB has created single-parent families.

Further, as the DPB has caused parenting and inheritance lines to become increasingly blurred, men have been prevented from using modern DNA technology to establish paternity - unless the mother agrees. But the consequence of placing all of the power and control in the hands of the mother is a continuing erosion of the fundamental rights of fatherhood.

Thirty years on, with state funding what was essentially a radical feminist agenda, the family unit has been significantly undermined, transforming society in a way that is putting our children at risk.

Throughout the ages, the nuclear family has traditionally been the safest environment in which to raise children. Yet, with the DPB effectively incentivising family breakdown, child abuse and neglect have escalated to the point where it is estimated that almost 50,000 children will be referred to our child welfare service this year alone. With literally tens of thousands of children now living in dangerous family situations, governments have clearly sacrificed the safety and wellbeing of children in order to satisfy the on-going demands of radical feminists.

And radical it is. Back in 1974, feminist leaders warned: “With its thrust against the family institution, the women’s liberation movement is profoundly revolutionary”.

These women put in place a well-organised plan of action some thirty years ago. The changes have been introduced incrementally and they are now well on the way to achieving their key goal which is the replacement of the traditional patriarchal family.

Bridie
Saturday, January 28th, 2006, 08:34 AM
I disagree with this part of the above article....

"Throughout the ages, the nuclear family has traditionally been the safest environment in which to raise children."

The normalisation of the nuclear family unit is a relatively new thing. Previous to its high incidence in recent times, extended families were the norm thoughout the "western" world. Extended families are still the norm in developing countries where the fertility rates are high.

The extended family ensures that there are more than just 2 responsible adults to care for the children, lightening the load for parents and that SAHM's aren't likely to be socially isolated inside their homes all day everyday. Loneliness would not be a problem in most cases. Nor would our older folk be thought of as redundant as soon as they reach retirement age. Everyone wins in this scenario. :) (As long as everyone in a household works at getting along! lol)

I have read some stats too before showing that married women who live near their own mothers are more likely to have more children. Support is a HUGE issue for many mums worldwide.

I've done a lot of reading on this subject. For anyone who's interested there's a great little book called "Oh No, we forgot to have children! - How declining birth rates are reshaping our society" By Deirdre Macken. The author explores reasons for the declining birth rates as well as examining what solutions there could be. Great read.

Basically Deirdre Macken's well-informed opinion is that the declining birth rates are caused by the following factors....

1) The advent and wide-spread availability of the Pill in the 60's.
2) The reshaping of feminism in the 70's.
3) Changing economic opportunities for women.
4) Rampant capitalism.
5) Environmentalism.
6) Increased materialism.
7) Biological advances in reproductive technologies. (Encouraging more women to delay motherhood - thinking that if they encounter any fertility probs, IVF will take care of it. In many cases, IVF doesn't succeed, particularly in women over 35 yrs of age.)
8) Media culture.
9) The changing shape of the family.

Great thread!

Haplotype I
Saturday, January 28th, 2006, 10:20 AM
I think it's a Three Part combination.

1. Technology makes the human think reproduction is less needed for survival. There is not the dangerous urge there. Not the panic.

2. Lack of courage increases with technology. So Films and Art show less courage. Effeminate men who prefer cars to women. Masculine women who prefer a house and car to being a Mother. TV ADs selling commercialism as a replacement for feelings, love and life.

3. Racial groups - The Jews, which have a predatory and leeching modus operandi will and are latching onto another Race and they do aim to increase any present negative, destructive instincts in that Host Race (presently Europeans around the world).

It's a combination, yes we are being preyed upon, yes we have weaknesses, and yes technology plays a part, but the reproduction issue must be seen as a whole to fix it.

Sifsvina
Saturday, January 28th, 2006, 11:13 AM
I have been thinking of another possible contributing factor that don't think I have seen mentioned anywhere yet. There are many animals that with not have babies in captivity or under stressful situations, some will even die just because they are not in their natural environment. For those people who are 'sensitive' enough to see the dead end this modern track is leading humanity may have a unconscious suicide instinct. The lower classes can't see a whole lot wrong or think the solutions promised by government parties will actually work but the more the higher minded learn about the true nature of humans the more they despair on a deep level. It is ironic that the most worthy of us (in my opinion;-) should be the ones (not) breeding ourselves out of existence, a catch-22. We have to learn to overcome that natural instinct to cull a failed experiment! Some of us have been taught this by our upbringing but the influence of traditional family/culture has been so eroded there is not much keeping us human any longer. Without a reasonable hope why should we breed? We can look back at so many of the things that spurred our ancestors on and see where that has lead us. Sigh, I don't think I'm explaining myself very well.

And I very much agree with Brigid, an (healthy)extend family is most natural and best. The nuclear family is quite recent and while sometimes necessary certainly not ideal because of the tiny bit of truth in the quoted feminist booklet "women continue to be isolated in individual households, dependent on individual men". This is one of the main things that I think lead to the feminist movement in the first place. The rest of the booklet is fantasy trash. I remember back when I didn't know just how silly most of that feminist tripe was. The overall article is very good.
:valkyrie

mathydd
Monday, January 30th, 2006, 10:39 PM
I disagree with this part of the above article....

"Throughout the ages, the nuclear family has traditionally been the safest environment in which to raise children."

The normalisation of the nuclear family unit is a relatively new thing. Previous to its high incidence in recent times, extended families were the norm thoughout the "western" world. Extended families are still the norm in developing countries where the fertility rates are high.

I've come to regard family as the ideal source for a support structure. I think possibly the “nuclear” family, that is, a father, mother and children only is probably not the best set up. An extended family presence is really what is needed. I'm not suggesting that in laws live with you, just near you.
My wife and I are very fortunate to have both our parents as well as our siblings families living in the same town as us. My children see both sets of their cousins every week. All of us have young children and the women are continually trading out every child item imaginable from clothing to cradles. My wife also has friends with young children to loan and borrow with.
It is not just physical items that are traded but valuable personal experience and knowledge also. When my daughter has a doctor's appointment my wife will leave our son with her sister and vice versa. Family members can be hard to get along with at times but (in our family at least) there is a loyalty to each other when times get tough.
I remember my wife being so amazed and perplexed by the behavior of many of the Katrina hurricane victims that were portrayed on the news. It didn't make any sense to her why the people wouldn't leave ahead of time, but even beside that, it appeared that it was an “every man on his own “ situation. My wife knows that if we were faced with a similar situation, the first thing I would do is find my brother and father and secure between us the things necessary for our families protection and well-being.
The men in our family are always willing to help each other out hauling trash, moving furniture, landscaping, fixing cars, etc. Many pieces of furniture in our home are hand me downs from relatives. Our sofa set was given to us by my aunt and uncle who also live in the same town as us.
Even though I don't see the nuclear family minus extended family as the ideal arrangement, it is vastly preferred to the single parent home. I've only been a parent for less than three years now, but I cannot imagine how single parent homes function. Raising children is hard work, I would be a wreck if I had to do it on my own. It amazes me that there are so many single parent homes, mostly headed by women, that are present in this country.
Nothing beats the natural networking that mothers can do on a local level with each other to ease the burden of child rearing.

Janus
Tuesday, January 31st, 2006, 12:04 AM
Partly nonsense atleast for Germany.The socialist east Germany had a higher birthrate because it was really easy and cheap to give the child to some kind of kindergarten over the day and so the woman could still work while in the west the women couldn't do that.