The West’s Baby Bust

With the exception of Israel, not a single Western country currently has an above-replacement-level fertility rate. American births have been in steady decline since 2008, and hopes of a coronavirus-induced resurgence of births have turned out to be misplaced. Wilfred Reilly comments:

As I noted in a recent article, . . . many members of Gen-Z seem to reject conventional dating and romance totally. Today, only 30 percent of senior high-school students have ever had sex even once, and only 21 percent are currently involved in a “sexually active” love relationship. About 20 percent identify as gay or otherwise “queer.” There are several possible reasons for the objectively rather-astonishing rise of childless celibacy as a trend among America’s young. Religiosity, which brought with it endless “moral” rules but also the formal duty to “be fruitful and multiply,” is on the wane—the fastest-growing religious identity in the United States if not the world is “none.”

But one additional and very obvious factor has received far too little attention in most past analyses of this topic. Almost certainly, one reason that many Americans—perhaps particularly urban liberal white women—are not having children is that they have been told throughout their entire lives that it is immoral or evil to do so. The extent to which this is the case almost cannot be overstated.

A recent large-[sample-size] survey found that fear of such variables as “climate change” influenced the child-bearing decisions of 53 percent of respondents. . . . [O]ne strongly suspects the people occupying Western civilization will figure out a solution to a problem like “higher sea levels”—rather than simply staring dully at the rising waters until we all drown. However, we may not as easily survive the downstream effects of our current fear of the rising waters.

Can the United States continue to lead the world? Sure. . . . But, to keep growing our population and retain our economic pole position while we do so, we will have to try something that we have not tried for decades—convincing our own citizens that having families is good. Suggestions on how to do that are welcome!

Read more at National Review

More about: American family, American society, Fertility


While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy