6-27-16 – Vermonters can’t afford kids

by Rob Roper

UVM economist Art Woolf writes this week that the number of Vermont births in 2015 was the lowest since the beginning of the 20th century, and probably the lowest since before the Civil War. Despite our long, dark, cold winters only 5903 babies were born last year, down from a peak of 8500 in 1989.

This isn’t a national problem, where birth rates spiked to give us the Millennial generation, the largest since the Baby Boomers. Since then, nationally births rates have cooled and leveled off, but they have not dropped precipitously as they have in Vermont.

Woolf doesn’t offer an explanation for the lack of fertility, but folks on social media have not been as shy weighing in. For my own part, the answer is obvious: kids are expensive, and the government takes away the money parents need to raise them.

Before parents can spend a dime on raising the next generation they first need transfer a large portion of their paychecks to previous generations in support of Medicare and Social Security. They are mandated to buy health insurance or pay a fine under Obamacare. They need to pay their income taxes, and housing costs, including rent or a mortgage, property taxes, electric bills, etc. Often they have to pay off tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. They need to feed themselves. Only if there is anything left over after all this can you – responsibly — think about bringing a baby into your life.

As government has succeeded so spectacularly in making so many aspects of young people’s lives more expensive than they used to be – college, healthcare, and housing, not to mention child care, especially, it’s no surprised that young people aren’t having as many kids. That liberal Vermont and our fellow deep blue New England sates are leading the pack in this negative population trend is no surprise either. Turns out having government in your wallet is a bigger turn off than having them in your bedroom.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Doug Richmond July 2, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Just reviewed my Senators, the infamous 6Pak ‘for’ Chittenden Co, and Reps..
With voting like that, you need to work for the gov’t to afford living. The new mandate$$ on ‘child care’ will further sour plans for families. College education and “how to wash dishes” and many more mandate$ – unbelievable!

I am totally disgusted, now GMO bull crap for 1/2 of 1% of the countries population?? Hope we can at least buy toilet tissue here in Progressive Paradise.

Obama advertizing how many ‘civilians” he has personally killed with HIS drones.
No recruiting for terrorists there!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

Latest News

VT Left Wing Media Bias Unmasks Itself

July 24, 2020 By Rob Roper Dave Gram was a long time reporter for the Associated Press, is currently the host of what’s billed on WDEV as a...

Using Guns for Self Defense – 3 Recent Examples

July 24, 2020 By John McClaughry  The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal last week published eleven news stories about citizens using a firearm to stop a crime. Here are...

FERC ruling on solar subsidies could help Vermont ratepayers

July 21, 2020 By John McClaughry Last Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission finalized its updates to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), in what the majority...

The Moderate Left’s Stand for Free Speech

July 17, 2020 By David Flemming Harper’s Magazine, a long-running monthly magazine of literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts, is hardly what you would call a ‘politically...

Trump’s Regulatory Bill of Rights

July 16, 2020 by John McClaughry “President Trump [last May] issued an executive order entitled  ‘Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery.’ The executive order includes a regulatory bill...