Uncle Sam wants YOU...to have more kids

Yahoo Finance

Last month James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute suggested in The Week magazine that perhaps one way to spur economic growth in the U.S. is to encourage families to have more children. He points out that fewer children mean fewer workers in the future and fewer tax dollars to pay for social programs. It's an interesting idea to say the least, one embraced by another world power...Russia.

Yahoo Finance asked economist and author Ben Stein what he thought of such an idea here in the states.

"I think it's an incredibly terrible Idea," he says. "I'm stunned that somebody coming out ot the American Enterprise Institute...would come up with that idea -- even if he was doing it as a joke it's not a very funny joke."

To be fair, Pethokoukis wasn't suggesting government mandated procreation, but rather incentives to grow the population. No matter how you slice it Stein says it simply wouldn't work.

"There's no evidence that countries that have larger numbers of children per family are richer than other countries," he argues. "In fact the evidence is entirely to the contrary.. But we know that when families in this country have children they often wind up being heroin addicts. That doesn't help the economy very much either."

Stein argues just because in some instances (white upper middle class instances he says) more children seem to equal more wealth, doesn't mean it's the children that caused it. He backs it up by positing, "the lower income groups in this country have by far the highest number of children per family."

Actual data aside, Stein says anything resembling such a plan is simply out of touch with the reality of parenting.

"I think the person that wrote this article must not be a parent because it's an incredible amount of work being a parent," he says. "To wish that upon anybody, to force anyone to undertake that kind of labor is akin to enforced and involuntary servitude. It's an incredible expense to have children so let's not have government telling us how many children we can have."

More from Yahoo Finance:
T-Mobile faces FTC charges of overbilling, risks looking more "un-caring" than "un-carrier"
World Cup Twitter action may have given shares a kick, but what now?
Frozen Tours to Norway Take Off as Film Tourism Reaches a Fever Pitch

 

 

Rates

View Comments (85)

Recommended for You

  • Zimbabwe economy takes another dive

    HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — It is 4 a.m. and people are already lining up outside Zimbabwe's main passport office — four hours ahead of opening time — in hopes of securing a passport that will allow them to escape their country's dearth of opportunities and search for work abroad.

    Associated Press
  • Florida man, 83, admits hiding $1.1M from IRS

    Code phrase "Hot Lips" was used in communications with Swiss bankers on secret accounts.

    USA TODAY
  • Dow 6,000: Wild prediction or worthwhile caution?

    Harry Dent says the Dow is headed to 6,000 in the next 2-3 years. Is this just another wild prediction or a helpful cautionary tale?

    Yahoo Finance
  • The 10 Most Dominant Warren Buffett Stocks

    When Berkshire Hathaway released its latest changes to its public equity holdings, what stood out the most was just how large some of the stakes have gotten compared to the total Buffett portfolio.

    24/7 Wall St.
  • Here's how much $100 is worth in your state

    A new map released by the Tax Foundation shows exactly how far $100 would go in all 50 states.

    Yahoo Finance
  • Play

    Previewing Alibaba and Other Fall IPOs

    Rapid Ratings President and CEO James Gellert takes a look at Alibaba and other hot IPOs on the horizon.

  • Apple ramps up spending on R&D

    As rumors swirl about new Apple products that may be on the way, one thing is for sure: The company is doubling down on research and development. That suggests Apple has much more in store than a new version ...

    San Jose Mercury News
  • Sprint takes T-Mobile pricing head on

    With a Sprint to the bottom in mobile-service prices, we now have exactly the wireless phone industry the government wants – and the one investors have feared.

    Yahoo Finance
  • Argentina Is Going Rogue

    Muted headlines about bond swaps aren't doing...

    Business Insider
  • The 'Tiny House Movement' and 'Binge Saving': The New Retirement

    Warning: This article is only for those committed to making a retirement savings change! One out of five individuals near retirement, or between the ages of 55 and 64, have absolutely zero money saved, according to the Federal Reserve's latest Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S.…

    U.S.News & World Report LP
  • Germany sees dizzying rise in housing prices

    London isn't the only place which is seeing a dizzying increase in property prices. Look no further than across the channel to Germany.

    CNBC
  • Can the S&P 500 Gain 20% in 90 Days?

    Stifel's Barry Bannister and Jesse Cantor just went from bearish to bullish on the S&P 500 in their most recent report. Where they once thought the S&P 500 would finish at 1,850--6.2% lower than yesterday's close--they now think it will finish 2014 at 2,300, a whopping 17% higher. Bannister and…

    Barrons.com
  • Play

    Peters: Not Buying the New Kinder

    Kinder's reorganization brings upside potential, but even after the change, its payout coverage is too thin for conservative income investors, says Morningstar DividendInvestor editor Josh Peters.

  • New energy company attracts Cramer's attention

    If you're looking for niche play on the energy renaissance, Cramer thinks this stock may belong on your radar. Get details.

    CNBC
  • Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board

    Former Microsoft Chief Executive is stepping down from the company's board after 14 years.

    The Wall Street Journal
  • Parents: Think Hard Before Borrowing for, With Your Student

    Earlier this month, the Department of Education issued new, draft rules that, if adopted, will change the eligibility criteria for both graduate and Parent Direct PLUS loans.

    U.S.News & World Report LP
  • Australia tycoon blasts Chinese government 'mongrels'

    Outspoken Australian tycoon Clive Palmer has labelled the Chinese government "mongrels" who "shoot their own people" in a televised tirade that was criticised by Canberra Tuesday as "hugely damaging". The billionaire politician, who was elected to parliament last year as head of the Palmer United…

    AFP
  • The 'short of the decade' and one willful bull's call for Dow 19,000

    The Nasdaq's rally to March 2000 levels and Google's 10-year IPO birthday have cast a nostalgic light on markets so far this week. And the way things are going these days (up, a lot) nostalgia seems to ...

    MarketWatch
  • Spotify's Top 10 most streamed tracks

    The following list represents the most viral tracks on Spotify, based on the number of people who shared it divided by the number who listened to it, from Monday, August 7 to Sunday August 17 via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify.

    Associated Press