Liberal cities, no kid(ding)

Liberal cities, no kid(ding)

Here’s a surprise. The nation’s most liberal cities are experiencing a shortage of children. San Francisco leads the way, followed by Seattle, then Boston, Honolulu, Portland (Ore.), Miami, Denver, Minneapolis, Austin, Atlanta… detect a trend?

All those hip, trendy DINKs (dual-income, no kids) in those Blue cities have made those cities too expensive for people who actually have kids to live in them. In Boston, the city requires certain employees, such as firefighters and police, to live within the city. But because it’s so expensive to live there, many of them have to moonlight just to make ends meet.

There’s nothing more sterile than a community without children. Have you ever been in one of those retirement communities where kids aren’t allowed? Picture perfect. Too perfect. There’s no life or vitality. The article refers to those cities as “vibrant” (oh, how I hate that word), but how they’re not vibrant, they’re lifeless.

Something else to consider: In liberal cities, where so many people are pro-abortion, is it any wonder that there aren’t any children? They are de-populating themselves, while pro-lifers, and especially faithful Catholics out-populate them. In the long run, we win every time. It’s called the Roe Effect.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • Oh, no! Does this mean the “creative class” (viz. Richard Florida) in “cool cities” forgot to reproduce? But – but that wasn’t on their list! Ooopsie! Damn those unintended consequences!!!

    Dom, you echo what one of the Portland moms says at the end of the story:
    “Portland is a great city that attracts a lot of educated people,” she said. “But the real estate is becoming outrageously expensive. And then you get wealthy singles and wealthy retirees. What’s missing are kids. And that feels really sterile to me.”

    Sterile. Eggsactly.

    I’m just surprised that the NYT found this at all newsworthy. Aren’t they supposed to protect DINKy folk from the consequences of their thought and behavior?

  • As an actual Boston resident, can I take a moment to go “phthbtpt!”

    Yes, certain rich neighborhoods have few kids. But was the Back Bay ever kid-heavy?

    Get out of the tourist neighborhoods and the problem you find is that there aren’t enough resources for the kids who are here – unless you think it’s normal that parents have to line up starting at 5 a.m. for the 9 a.m. opening of registration for programs at the local community center (I take my chances; I don’t tend to get there until 7).

  • Meanwhile those of us raising children in these expensive cities- Boston or the vicinity are slowly going broke trying to meet our expenses while the costs of everything keep going up and up and up.  And if we don’t provide each child with what the liberal cities have deigned that they need- a seatbelt for every child, a bike helmet for every child, education, etc. you risk DSS coming in and taking them away.

  • Dom,

      Boston cops have to moonlight to make ends meet? Give me a break. Check out the salaries of those economically challenged civil servants. They’re about the only ones who can afford the city.

  • Adam,

    Yes, certain rich neighborhoods have few kids. But was the Back Bay ever kid-heavy?

    Yes, it was. My mom grew up on Beacon Hill. There were a lot more kids in those days than there are now.

    And it i’sn;t just an anecdotal survey of the “tourist neighborhoods” but an accounting of the whole city. Compared to “Red” cities, Boston has one of the lowest birth rates. All of Boston.

    …the problem you find is that there
    2005-03-27 09:52:16
    2005-03-27 13:52:16
    The “Equal Pay” law shoved through by LBJ and the industrialists (thus destroying the ‘family wage’) was arguably the single most significant contributor to the demolition of families with children.

    Its effects included the diminishment of wages paid to a father/husband; the attraction of wives/mothers to the workplace; the sudden and significant increase (still going today) in the price of single-family housing; and a massive increase in ‘consumerism,’ fueled by extra incomes.

    But that increase also fueled a massive increase in short- and long-term debt.

    All to achieve “equality,” eh?

  • Before the advent of birth control back in the late fifties, and in the era where people took what the church taught seriously, yes, Catholic Boston must have been full of children. 

    The scarcity of children is reminiscent of Europe’s problems.  We are going there slowly but surely.  What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

  • Greed is the cause for the “lack of money” in peoples’ pockets.  Children are not the cause. 

    When a person is greedy, no matter what your expenses are, there isn’t enough money for them.

  • I have been entertaining the idea of starting a blog about this topic for the last few months.  michigancatholic mentions greed, and this would be a major point in the blog.  I am interested in how greed and artificial birth control form an interdependent, self-reinforcing relationship.  One of the major results of this is a significant cultural retreat in the affected society.

  • Michigan Catholic, I don’t think you are completely correct. I used to think it was very inexpensive to raise children especially if done in an appropriately austere way i.e. no carribean cruises, etc but when your children get to be teens their expenses increase especially in regards to education.  College I don’t worry about- growing up in a family of 9 children we made it through college somehow, usually be working 3 jobs. But Catholic school (we have 5 attending) is expensive.  I don’t begrudge it and I’d spend my last dime on it but it isn’t easy.    The outrageous housing costs in Boston with expensive heating costs are difficult to meet and has anyone seen the price of meat lately????  I don’t mind not having any money and I think it’s good for all of us but it is diffcult for people who want to have large families to make ends meet in Boston and greed has nothing to do with it.                 

  • Mary,

    Thank you for your inspiration in raising a large family.

    I think the points that you and michigancatholic make are indeed reconcilable.  michigancatholic essentially states that greed begets more greed.  I’ll skip the heating cost and meat issues because I don’t know why they are so expensive, but I can comment on the price of Catholic education and housing costs.

    I attribute the rising cost of Catholic education to greed.  First, Catholics as a whole, not necessarily individuals such as yourselves, have failed to tithe to their parishes.  This means families have to pay more for their children to attend the Catholic schools rather than share the cost among all parishoners.  Second, the decline in religious vocations requires substantially more lay teachers to fill those positions.  Lay teachers cost more than those of religious orders.  I attribute the decline in these vocations to an unwillingness to recognize the value of sacrificing for God’s glory.  This selfishness is a form of greed.  We can see how this higher cost of education might tempt people to have fewer children.  It’s a self-reinforcing problem.

    Others on this thread have spoken to the high real estate costs resulting from these two income families without kids driving up the cost of property.  This is a simple supply and demand thing.  I’ve seen it firsthand as I am trying to buy a home in Cambridge.  It is easy for those two income couples to out bid me.  Again we see the self-reinforcing problem as greed begets more greed.

  • Dear CambCath, I understand your points. However, the school my children attend is non-diocesan I could not countenance sending a child to a so-called Catholic school where they will be indoctrinated in liberalism, socialism and sex education.  The school my children attend is run by sisters and brothers who are not paid but the reality is that our monthly tuition bill (ten months of the year) is $735/month.  A bargain for 5 children I agree but still difficult to meet. You can add to that gas for driving them and school supplies- and come up w/ at least $1000 monthly.  Happily we have realized that by the time the oldest graduates the next child will be attending so we will never have more than 5 in school at any one time.  But we will have 5 in school for at least the next 10-15 years.  My husband is a white collar professional and we have difficulty making ends meet. How can someone who works in the trades or has a lower paying job possibly afford to raise 8-10 children in Boston?  I just don’t see how it can be done.  I also agree that the lack of vocations is a big problem. After VII we saw the number of religious sisters plummet. To me that is the most shocking statistic in the Index of Leading Catholic Indicators and they provided the education and nursing for our finest schools and hospitals. Lets hope in another generation or two we can restore the vocations.  On the issue of the lack of tithing I have to disagree with you.  I stopped “tithing” to the Diocese when I saw that children were being raped and their rapists protected and transferred.  I also stopped when the sermons I was hearing, denied Hell, denigrated the Rosary, discussed overpopulation, and elaborated on the merits of reading Playboy magazine…. and I could go on and on.  I’ve pretty much sworn off anything diocesan- Mass attendance, tithing, CCD (also corrupted w/ sex ed) and school.

  • We are seeing the results now of not paying nuns a living wage or social security because as elderly people now, they have no money. Maybe it was greed to take their labor and pay less for it than it was worth.  Also, I went to school with 55 children in the class.  Not going to happen these days and not because of greed.  It was a terrible thing to do to those nuns.  Bad place to go.  Also if you look at the tax structure of the fifties versus now you’ll see another reason why people could afford more then than now. 

  • Sock it tuum, Mary Alexander.

    A few years ago we visited Vero Beach where a lot of Boston’s retirees live.  We went to church on Sunday and the place was filled – average age about 400 years.( I jest, it just seemed that way.)  Then a 15 or 16 year old girl walked down the aisle.  Every head in the church turned to look at this strange sight.  But, if you have attended a latin mass anywhere lately, you known it wouldn’t happen there.

    R & B

  • Jane M,

    I disagree.  Those nuns expressed their love for God through the ministry of teaching.  If the Church and the state cannot support them in their retirement, then shame on all of us who have benefitted from their sacrifice.

    I am interested in learning more about the evolution of the tax structure.  Perhaps you can shed some light on this subject.  My initial suspicion is that higher rates have eroded our ability to give to the Church and the inefficiency of the state in this capacity has diminished our potential to fulfill the Works of Mercy.


    I ask myself the same question about how people of lesser means can afford to send their children to schools.  I have a cousin whose parents pay for their grandchildren to go to Catholic school.

    I sympathize with your frustration with the failings of the diocese.  I only hope that when I have children that things will be better.  I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide our Archbishop in renewing the diocese.

    Lately, I struggle with the question of what parish to fully devote my energy.  I sort of spread myself around.  My local parish is depressing, but at the same time I feel like I should devote my energy there and work to build it up.  I assume you can relate to this in some way as it sounds like your local parish is frustrating.  What are your thoughts?

  • Hi CambCath,

    We abandoned the “local parish” when we heard one too many dirty stories from the pulpit and more importantly the children did. Went the Holy Name in Providence Latin Mass route and now attend that Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel in Still River (also Tridentine).  Have never looked back. Regrettably had to attend a N.O. in Toronto when my fil was dying. I was refused Holy Communion b/c I was holding my 1 yr old baby and wanted to receive on the tongue. (My hands were full but that wasn’t good enough).  Wrote to the Bishop of Toronto and Papal Nuncio for Canada and was basically told, “too bad”.  I think good, Traditional Catholics who are trying to hold onto the Faith will be pushed or kicked out of the local diocesan parishes and I’ve seen it happen to a few of my friends who thought I was crazy.  I know several good priests who are orthodox but still seem to allow the liturgical shenanigans that I cannot countenance- Teen Life Masses, guitars on the altar, etc.  Leave it all behind- go Latin Mass- we’re not all weird- at least I hope not! LOL