Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Demographic Destiny in Blue

Birth rates in New England are among the lowest in America according to The Boston Globe:

U.S. Census Bureau report says that in 2006, New Hampshire's birthrate was 42 babies per 1,000 women of childbearing age. The national rate was 54.9 births per thousand. Vermont had the second lowest rate, at 42.2. Counting Washington, D.C., Rhode Island was third lowest, at 45; Massachusetts had the seventh lowest rate, at 46.1; and Maine the eighth lowest, at 47.3.

New England is also leaning hard left politically, especially New Hampshire. The Granite State had been a conservative outpost in New England, but not anymore. It’s blue as can be now. Is there a correlation? Definitely. Is there a cause and effect thing going on between left-wing politics and low birth rates? I strongly suspect there is.
Four years ago I read accounts by several people who were noticing that liberal areas of the country were not reproducing. Writing about the election of 2004, David Brooks in the New York Times said:

You can see surprising political correlations. As Steve Sailer pointed out in The American Conservative, George Bush carried the 19 states with the highest white fertility rates, and 25 of the top 26. John Kerry won the 16 states with the lowest rates. In The New Republic Online, Joel Kotkin and William Frey observe, "Democrats swept the largely childless cities - true blue locales like San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Boston and Manhattan have the lowest percentages of children in the nation - but generally had poor showings in those places where families are settling down, notably the Sun Belt cities, exurbs and outer suburbs of older metropolitan areas."

The red-state/blue-state map isn’t as revealing as the one divided into counties. Hanging in my classroom are the red-county/blue-county maps from the elections of 2000, 2004, and 2008. After looking at these, anyone can see that Kotkin and Frey’s analysis is dead-on. Densely populated liberal cities like San Francisco, Manhattan, Boston, Seattle and Portland are surrounded by a sea of red with a blue island here and there. The coasts are blue-fringed and the rest of America was almost all crimson. New England on the 2008 map, however, is an exception to this pattern. Maine’s Piscataquis County is the only one in all of New England showing up red. It’s Maine’s second-biggest county in area after Aroostook, but it’s the least populated with fewer than twenty thousand people.

Coincidentally, I happened to be up there just before the election last fall and I noticed a majority of lawn signs with conservative candidates. There were twice as many McCain/Palin signs than there were for Obama/Biden, and the same pattern held for the US House and Senate races.

So why is rural New England so blue now? I’m not sure. It could be continuing in-migration of liberal retirees from Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It could be that students indoctrinated by ubiquitous left-wing teachers and professors are voting age and going to the polls. It could be that a left-of-center view of the world prevails in the region because it reached a critical mass early in the 21st century.

How long will the trend continue? Hard to say. It depends on three factors, I think. First: Will Republicans return to conservative roots and articulate their message effectively? Second: Will Democrats in control of our federal government rescue our economy with twelve-figure spending bills, or will they bankrupt us all? Third, will conservative families continue to out-breed left-wingers?

As for why leftists don’t have children, I can only take them at their word. They claim a higher calling to preserve a natural environment as if human activity is outside of, and averse to nature, or rather - Nature - since they tend to deify it. So, having children is a violation because more people means more use of Nature’s resources which are better left in their natural state. Other organisms are more noble, more natural, and more deserving of those resources than homo sapiens.

Leftists champion abortion for America, and everywhere else too. One of Obama’s first acts as president was to authorize American tax money to fund abortions around the world. They’re okay with destroying unborn humans, but every other organism must be preserved at all costs. Even though more than ninety percent of organisms that ever existed on earth are extinct due to natural processes, we must spare no expense to prevent any more from disappearing. Remarkably, leftist environmentalists don’t perceive any contradiction here. They believe they know better what life should be preserved and what life should be destroyed.

Whatever motivates them, blue leftists aren’t reproducing. What does that mean for our future? We’ll just have to wait and see.


Anonymous said...

An answer to your parting question ......

Blue-leftists do not need to breed because:

1. 10-15 million illegal aliens will be granted amnesty, become US citizens, and guess what party they will endorse? Answer: The party that doles out entitlements. Game over for the Republicans - We will become a one party nation; and

2. The census control has just been moved to the executive branch - Team Obama under Rham Emanuel's competent hands. Gerrymandering, Chicago-style will snuff out any pockets of red resistance.

- TS

Anonymous said...

The idea that blue states are less “fertile” than red states doesn’t shock me. However, this isn’t because I somehow believe that blue states are practicing abortion willy-nilly, or are somehow “sacrificing” themselves in the name of the environment. I do, however, agree that the level of education in these “blue” states plays a large role, and I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing.

According to a 1997 CDC study the there is an inverse correlation between birth rates and educational attainment. The more educated, and dare I say, informed, a woman becomes the fewer children she is likely to bear. It would then logically follow that the less educated a woman is, the more children she is likely to bear. (Also, not to point out the obvious, but the less likely she is to be economically capable to care for those hypothetical children and therefore more likely to seek public assistance in forms that conservatives, generally speaking, abhor.) It is also true that there is a direct relationship between the level of education of parents and the likelihood that children will attend college. While I do believe that having children is a wonderful and important thing, I’m not 100% sure that we should be advocating for a larger, less educated populous solely for the sake of numbers.

You cite the “ubiquitous left-wing teachers and professors” as inspiring young voters to get out to the polls. Again, not really an egregious offense. For a democracy to work, as a government “for and by the people”, people must actually be involved. And, might I add, not just those who agree with the status quo. I also find myself being more inclined to want to learn from those who are more educated than I am. Wouldn’t the definition of “education” imply that they actually know more than I do? The argument that listening to people who make a living teaching, studying and learning is a bad idea seems counterintuitive to me.

The fact that the places where liberal voters tend to live, generally speaking, have more colleges and universities, more arts and cultural centers, and a more educated populous is not surprising. I do, once again, need to point out that this shouldn’t be thought of as a bad thing. Our democracy was built by and on the backs of well-educated and cultured people. The conservative argument for spreading and encouraging democracy abroad seems to be undermined by an argument against a well-educated, informed, and active populous.

I can’t speak for all “leftists,” but there are many reasons I do not yet have children. One of them being that I don’t want to have children that I don’t yet have the capital (economic and otherwise) to ensure that they are provided for to the best of my ability. In an economy where, more often than not, two parents need to work full time to make ends meet, it seems to follow that people might put off having children, or have fewer children in order to properly provide for the needs of those children. This seems like the responsible, thoughtful, conscientious decision making for which conservatives often advocate. Maybe we’re really not that different after all?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your article, Tom. It reminded me of one of my postings of December 2007, which I would like to copy here:

"Australian News:

Baby tax needed to save planet, claims expert

A WEST Australian medical expert wants families to pay a $5000-plus "baby levy" at birth and an annual carbon tax of up to $800 a child.
Writing in today's Medical Journal of Australia, Associate Professor Barry Walters said every couple with more than two children should be taxed to pay for enough trees to offset the carbon emissions generated over each child's lifetime.
Professor Walters, clinical associate professor of obstetric medicine at the University of Western Australia and the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth, called for condoms and "greenhouse-friendly" services such as sterilisation procedures to earn carbon credits.
And he implied the Federal Government should ditch the $4133 baby bonus and consider population controls like those in China and India.
Professor Walters said the average annual carbon dioxide emission by an Australian individual was about 17 metric tons, including energy use.
"Every newborn baby in Australia represents a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions for an average of 80 years, not simply by breathing but by the profligate consumption of resources typical of our society," he wrote.
"Far from showering financial booty on new mothers and rewarding greenhouse-unfriendly behaviour, a 'baby levy' in the form of a carbon tax should apply, in line with the 'polluter pays' principle."

@ JDCantel
I think you did not get the point.
And yes, it is ok if you do not reproduce!

Anonymous said...

Another ridiculous rant by a right-wing retard.

Jenn said...

Another great column, Tom. Not much I can add!

Glad to see the drive-by gutless wonder still roams your blog. He/she uses such inventive alliteration. It provides such illuminating insight into the idiot's inferior intellect.

Anonymous said...

Good thing we're producing more than oil in Alberta ;-)