Today’s Doonesbury

Today’s Doonesbury made me laugh out loud.

The scary thing is that it’s a real study, by Philip Longman. I wonder if New America will put up a link to the Doonesbury.

19 Responses to “Today’s Doonesbury”

  1. Jody Says:

    “I’m still too tired” completely cracked me up.
    Of course, the Longman study appears to miss the boat completely regarding women and progressive values. WHEN you first marry and begin having children dramatically affects your fertility, not only because older women have more trouble (on average, we’re talking statistical averages here) but because older women have fewer years available to conceive children in the first place.
    In other words, women raised to pursue advanced degrees and/or professional status, to the extent that they delay childbearing to do it, will have fewer children than otherwise.
    The idea, however, that children from large conservative families will, all other things being equal, replicate their parents’ choices strikes me as … well, deserving of further rigorous investigation. And meanwhile, all other things aren’t equal. Parents of older children might be able to support their offspring for longer periods in their twenties and thirties, thereby making it easier financially for those children to start and maintain families that include children.

  2. Jody Says:

    Parents of ONLY children, ONLY children. Not older.
    And I even previewed. Sigh.

  3. Jody Says:

    Parents of ONLY children, ONLY children. Not older.
    And I even previewed. Sigh.

  4. landismom Says:

    yeah, though somehow it didn’t make me want to run right out (lie right down?) and start number 3.

  5. amy Says:

    No, no, we want this. All these industrious conservative kiddos tithing and beavering away to support our standard of living in our old age. Takes the burden off our young artists, entrepreneurs, philosophers. Don’t be scared. Enjoy it.

  6. jen Says:

    I don’t think we can assume that a child who receives a conservative upbringing will in turn become conservative themselves. You’re from Iowa, aren’t you Amy? How many Iowa conservatives can say that all their kids still live in Iowa? Not very many. Isn’t it Iowa that’s offering cash on the barrelhead to college graduates who actually stay in-state?
    I live in Chicago, that bastion of liberalism, and the whole town is full of transplants from very conservative areas in Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, you name it. Then again maybe they’re just coming here for the great baseball. 😉

  7. Mrs. Coulter Says:

    My husband ran to show me this, because I have jokingly commented on many occasions that as good, educated, progressive liberals, we have a social duty to reproduce.
    Of course, the problem with these arguments is that the politics of the children do not necessarily follow from those of the parents, otherwise there would have never been hippies. So, there’s no need to panic. Yet.

  8. amy Says:

    It was a joke, Jen. I hadn’t heard about paying kids to stay here, btw, but now I wonder what’s in it for the parents. We got a live Iowan right here.
    Actually Vilsack did a multistate tour some years ago, trying to convince Iowans to come home, and the response he got was “we’d love to but we can’t afford to.” It’s a terrific place to raise kids and live a generally sane life, and ex-Iowans are generally appreciative of it, despite the miserable bleak winters. Unfortunately, the salaries are low and in many places the jobs nonexistent. Not a problem for everyday living, since the cost of living is also low, but it’s a big problem if you’ve got school debt to pay off, retirement to save for, or kids to send to college. You also find yourself at the bottom of a housing well if you want to move away. I was looking at a grad program at the University of Utah, for instance, and even though our current housing is regarded as outrageously expensive for Iowa, the prices in around the university in Salt Lake are another 30-70% higher. Don’t even ask about Denver.

  9. Jane Doe Says:

    I wonder if I could use this to convince my husband that it is our sacred progressive duty to reproduce. We should do it for our country…(remember that song from the Grease sequel?) just one more time?!!??

  10. jen Says:

    Amy, I hear you re: paying off student debt.
    What I don’t understand is why, in this age when you can live anywhere and work via the internet, there hasn’t been more dispersion in living arrangements. Why not work from Iowa and take advantage of the cheap housing? Why are we crowding into cities more than ever?
    When I visit my folks in Cedar Rapids my biggest reaction to Iowa is just that it’s boring. Nothing to do but go shopping and work on the lawn. And certainly no good Mexican food. Although downtown Iowa City (what’s left of it anyway after the tornado) has some great Indian food, and of course the best bookstore in the entire midwest.

  11. amy Says:

    I used to wonder about that too, with the telecommuting, and my tentative conclusion is that the telecommute is a little like the paperless office. The face-time thing, the same-page culture, and the social connections are important enough that managers aren’t in general great fans of the invisible salaried employee. Too bad, because otherwise, yeah, Iowa and lots of other places would be marvelous for strung-out city/suburb families.
    I agree, Iowa is very, very boring. And patient, safe, moderate, orderly, slow to intolerance, respectful of education, largely style-free, mannerly. That’s why I’m here. I have more than enough vibrating crazy of my own. Plus the Unitarian social-welfare flakiness of the IC is a tonic for the New Jersey in me.
    Plus we got a mighty good grocery store. Love that organic lamb. Hell of a nice meat loaf we had last night. (Want to hear about the hostas? Kidding, I don’t have any.)
    I’ll tell Paul you said that about Prairie Lights.
    Actually re birthrates I am seeing something interesting at the shul here: well-off liberal families wandering back into Judaism, not quite religiously and not turning conservative, but having lots of kids. In the last month we’ve had dinner with two 3-kid families, each considering having a 4th, with the women closing in on 40. Even in my grandparents’ Modern Orthodox community, I can’t recall that any of their friends had four kids. We’ve actually come under some pressure to have more, even though people know we’re separated, scraping by, husband’s chronically ill, I’m one of those asshole writers who ignores people and won’t grow up & make money, I don’t want more kids, etc. Not a great setup for kids, I mean. But the pressure’s there not to stop at one.

  12. jen Says:

    Amy, do you think that birthrate thing is a jewish thing in your circle? Is it tied to religion in some way?
    In my Chicago neighborhood the Anglos are pretty much 2- and 3-kid families. Every once in a while you run into more kids, and there are a handful of only children. The Filipino-American extended family on my block is not afraid of 4+ kids; the Guatemalan and Mexican-American families also have 3 kids or more. Although these families live in big intergenerational setups in their 2-flats and honestly I have trouble keeping straight who’s a sibling and who’s a cousin.
    I tell ya though that intergenerational setup doesn’t sound so bad these days! The idea of having your sibling or parent or niece/nephew around to help with the child care, pick kids up from school, chop the dinner veg … sounds like a pretty good setup to me. And I might be willing to have more kids if I weren’t so locked into the “each child must have their own bedroom and you must be able to transport your entire family in a single vehicle at one time” Anglo mindset. (Not to mention college savings.)

  13. amy Says:

    yeah, my mom grew up partway in a triple-decker with her mom’s whole family. Wartime and just after with the men away. All the cousins were little. She seems to’ve liked it, though they got their own place as soon as they could.
    I don’t really know what’s behind the “have more” thing, but I hear it discussed on the yenta board, too (“Jewish Families”). The push is definitely there from the very religious, very right-wing orthodox, and the women complain about the sense of competition, but I don’t know what explains it in the liberal families that are making some kind of return to Judaism/Jewishness and exploring it, cobbling together their own observance and connection. It could be that moderate-observant Judaism has eroded so far that returnees are looking to the ultra-orthodox for guidance/education, or maybe it’s something else. I don’t know.
    Come to think of it, the Reform rabbi here also has four. And come to think of it again, all these four-kid families have Hebrew names for the kids. I mean those are the kids’ everyday names; they don’t have English names, too.
    I’m fine with kids sharing rooms; I grew up sharing, and it still shocks me to see these enormous houses where little tiny kids each have their own rooms. I just don’t want to spend that much of my life taking care of kids. One is good. If we had some kindly, indefatigable grandma who wanted to move in and do the job, and was guaranteed to stay healthy & interested for the next ten years, I might be persuaded. If we had a mom/wife, in other words. Though I still don’t know what we’d do about college.

  14. dave s Says:

    When my first kid was in kindergarten his teacher told me that in his class of 23 there were 10 onlies, 10 from families of 2 kids, and he was one of only three from families of three or more. Why? well, my guesses are: two is the style, it costs so damn much to buy a house that you don’t get one til you are so old that more than 2 is unlikely, in most families both parents work so you face the extra costs of a 3rd kid in terms of child care/lost income immediately. And (let me tell you!) when they outnumber you, it’s a lot more work. Of the families we know with three or more, pretty often the last pregnancy was twins.

  15. merseydotes Says:

    “And I might be willing to have more kids if I weren’t so locked into the ‘each child must have their own bedroom and you must be able to transport your entire family in a single vehicle at one time’ Anglo mindset.”
    Wow, does this hit home for me. I come from a mixed family (Dem wife, GOP hub) and we joke that our kids are going to rebel by NOT VOTING and NOT CARING (LOL). Even though we are just adding apathetic slackers to the political mix, we have always said we’d like three kids. However, for me, that has always meant a 4 BDR house, which in Alexandria, costs a small fortune or, truthfully, a large fortune in certain neighborhoods. I wish I could lose the Anglo mindset, but – alas – I fear I am just too WASPy!

  16. Sandy Says:

    My husband actually read that out loud to me. Like, as a hint.
    Poor guy!

  17. Mieke Says:

    If I were richer and younger I would have had more children. I loathe minivans too and we are already crowded in our sedan so that was another strike against more.
    The boys are doubled up in their room because they like it -not because they have to be. But in the land of LA where I am paying for preschool and will probably have to pay for $20,000 a kid for elementary school -one more kid just can’t happen.

  18. dave s Says:

    Well, once you get away from the coasts, maybe people’s priorities change…

  19. amy Says:

    Dave, I guarantee you I am not looking for a 12-year-old virgin. Or any virgin. Not even for free. I’m too tired for that, too.

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