Originally WSJ notes were going to be compiled into one post, but this seemed like something that should be read before the weekend, and give people a concept to ponder on Labor Day.
"The Fertility Gap," by Arthur C. Brooks (8/22/06, p. A12)
He starts off talking about efforts to get young people to vote, especially by Democrats who assume that younger people will vote Democratic. Then he veers off into this:
But the data on young Americans tell a different sotry. Simply put, liberals have a big baby problem: They're not having enough of them, they haven't for a long time, and their pool of potential new voters is suffereing as a result. According to the 2004 General Social Survey, if you picked 100 unrelated, politically liberal adults at random, you would find that they had, between them, 147 children. If you picked 100 consevatives, you would find 208 kids. That's a "fertility gap" of 41%. Given the fact that about 80% of people with an identifiable party preference grow up to vote the same way as their parents, this gap translates into lots more little Republicans than little Democrats to voter in future elections. Over the past 30 years this gap has not been below 20% -- explaining, to a large extent, the current ineffectiveness of liberal youth voter campaigns today.
The fertility gap doesn't budge when we correct for factors like age, income, education, gender, race -- or even religion. Indeed, if a conservative and a liberal are identical in all these ways, the liberal will still be 19 percentage points more likely to be childless than the conservative.
I know there are plenty of flaws in his logic. It's just food for thought.