Eating Our Seed Corn

Suddenly the word “Gerontocracy” is in everyone’s lips, as though they’d woken up this morning and realized our leadership is old beyond reason.

They’re not wrong. But they’re also not right. I mean, there’s old people and old people. And certain tendencies of old people do make the situation very perilous. As does the speed at which society is moving coupled with an older leadership. But then, since I was about 35, our society as been setup to eat the seed corn.

It’s essential to understand this, as well as to understand that while this is a side effect of the baby boom, it is not the boomers fault. (I will reserve the right to stone most boomers in politics and the media, but they’ve done that to themselves already, which is what causes our problem.) The fault is not in the culture (though some of the culture is the result of it) but of the giant, undisgested lump of elephant moving through the snake.

In a way — pardon digression, still on prednisone, which makes my thoughts spaghetti-like — it would have been better if the SF writers of the mid century had been right, and the boom had become the new normal, with large generations forever more. No, we wouldn’t be that overpopulated, and we might have found our way to the stars out of the fear of being so. But more importantly, it wouldn’t have made the boom a singular event that distorted society and economics for… will be a century before it’s all done.

We’ve had sudden and drastic expansions in population before — the renaissance — and it normally leads to more productivity, new lands discovered, etc.

But this was an anomalous big lump of people moving through. Bigger than before, and bigger than after. It’s hilarious that they’ve claimed half the sixties for the boom, because it’s so clearly and plainly wrong. I was born in 62 and moved through life in the shadow of the baby boomers who set the rules. They set the rules not by virtue of being bossy (okay, I also want to stone most of my boomer teachers “you teach me more than I teach you.” “Good. Give me a share of your salary.”) but because “most people in the population are in this age range” means that advertising, production, and accommodations for the stage of life you’re in caters to that big lump.

So, when I was in my twenties and just getting married, the big TV series was “thirty something” and all about having small children (which was treated like no generation had ever done it, ever, but that’s TV and marketing.) And SF magazines said no one under 35 (later 40) could possibly be experienced enough to write science fiction.

Actually what my micro-generation, stuck somewhere between boomers and Xers got to experience was a bizarrely foreshortened adulthood (Probably part of the reason I feel very weird with turning 60 this year, let alone with being considered a “venerable figure” in my field.)

My experience will do, but I’ll mention others of similar bend for other industries. You see, I started trying to get published at 23. And yes, okay, I had extra challenges. But when I was 31 I read a huge magazine editor talking about how no one under 35 could have enough experience to write professionally. A couple of years later the other major magazine editor upped that to forty. I got published at 35. By the time I was 40, the echo boomers were starting to come of age and scribbling. Suddenly editors and agents were telling me that I was too OLD to write, and they needed to buy these highly-privileged, never-lived kiddies “to connect with the young people.” (No, that didn’t work. Most of the ones accepted and pushed to the hilt then have already left the field, or are scrounging at the margins, because these fetuses — not even the age, but age and extreme privilege — knew nothing of the world but mommy and daddy’s money and the wokeness they’d been taught.)

In other fields, I have friends who overshadowed by the big-group-of-boomers, were treated as “the young kid” well into their fifties, and now suddenly find themselves being called “the old man/woman” and finding they are too old to be affordable.

This is partly because the indigestible elephant was not only very large, but also had longer productive lives than previous generations. (Part science advance, part necessity. You can’t support that many not-working old people, and expecting it was semi-nuts.)

So that is one huge source of the distortion. Demographics are like the law of gravity. They influence everything. The influence might be stronger or weaker, but it is always there. And a huge demographic disruption will touch everything.

But unfortunately (or perhaps inevitably, because of the factors that brought it about) the baby boom happened at a time when the industrial society had reached the idea that centralized/mass/from the top down everything was better. Which not coincidentally also obsessed on the “rule by experts.”

This and the fact that a larger proportion of boomers went to college than any previous generation, created the idea that once they graduated and worked for a few years, they were “the experts.” (Even true in relation to younger people. Not older, but again college and Chesterton’s fence was gone for good and being trampled over.)

The fact that the colleges at the time were already a stomping ground of Marxism made it worse, because Marxism is “revealed truth” (A cult without a god, you could call it) which means that it can’t be penetrated with logic and observation. Which means it can’t adapt. And minds trained and possessed by it cannot adapt, and cannot change.

Years ago, I heard that it’s impossible to change your politics/religion/etc after forty five, no matter how big the event that discomfirms your beliefs.

I’m not sure that article was right. In the last few years, I’ve witnessed much older people become red pilled, blue pilled or black pilled well past 45.

I think what the article was observing — it was written shortly after the fall of communism — was that those who had bought whole heartedly into the communist “just so” story didn’t seem able to snap out of it.

I think that’s because Communism is such an appealing “logical” system, which works fine in a closed mental loop, but melts at a touch of reality. Those who committed to it because inured to reality and sacrificed everything to protect the beautiful system in their minds.

So, yeah, nothing could penetrate.

Anyway…. demographics.

Right now the demographics are grim. And by that I mean “Will our heroes and heroines escape a civilizational crash?” grim.

Look, we don’t actually know how many people there are, but if I had to guess, and from just the discrepancies I’ve seen in my life (like when Portugal supposedly had 7 kids per woman, I knew two families with more than 2, and heck, most people only had one, already, in the early sixties. And granted we were near the city, but we were not affluent, nor were our neighbors. And the government at the time actually paid per child. Just an example.) I’d be shocked if we have half the world population the UN guesses at.

That a population crash is already under way and has been for the last 20 years or so is the only way to explain some truly bizarre things going on in the economy. (And unfortunately if it’s correct, real estate is not a good long term harbor for capital.)

But the point is that if a population crash is already underway in most of the world, of course you’d have a gerontocracy. The boomers are now elderly, and they are still the largest group in the population.

BTW, this is all relative. BGE says, and he’s right — though I think our ingenuity and our adaptability is what saves us — that there’s hope for the US, not so much for the rest of the world. However, my mom visiting 20 years ago was overwhelmed by how many children there were around everywhere. They weren’t that many. One of my alarm bells is that we’ve normally lived in neighborhoods with our contemporaries, but my kids never had the “dense pack” of neighborhood kids I had growing up. Even accounting for different child rearing, I could usually count one or two kids in an eight block radius. And most of their classrooms were half-empty. However, by comparison, yeah, the US was hopping with elementary school age kiddies.

Does the third world have more kids? I don’t know. I haven’t been out of the country in person in the last few years, except to Europe.

The picture that demographers paint is of younger countries, but with birth rate falling at a clip. But I have reasons to suspect this, beyond “These countries couldn’t count their population with two hands and a seeing eye dog.”

Look, local wars, terrorism, incidents of violence have fallen worldwide. There’s fewer “settle this with fists” even in the Middle East and/or Latin cultures.

Yeah, yeah, we’re so much more civilized. Oh, wait. No. The only thing that would do that is the fall in young males. It’s pretty much a demographic game.

Why hasn’t Europe erupted? No young people. That it’s got bad enough for people my age to lob Smart Cars at the Arc du Triumph tells you how bad it is, but that no one has been ala lanterned tells you there aren’t enough young people to commit violence.

But even in the middle East or in the East, these things start and fizzle. Things get bad enough that they start, but then they don’t…. continue. Because there aren’t enough young people, and revolution is a young (mostly, despite female contributions and the fact the person writing this was a hellion) man’s game.

There has been a distinct lack of rioting, looting, fighting in the streets all over the world, for at least twenty years, and falling fast. Oh, sure, it’s happened, but compared to historic norm, it’s much lower than it should be. And in the US it’s largely astro turfed, and the young people are paid to riot. It’s a ninetofive. It’s a job. And there aren’t enough of them for it to mean much.

However note that astroturf rioting is enough to scare Supreme Court Justices, who are very old and whose view of the world comes from a past filled with youngsters, who could ignite a civil war if they got upset enough.

Which is where we come back to gerontocracy.

The world has more or less always been ruled by the old. Young rulers taking over and being good was a shock.

But there are two elements to this: their old weren’t as old as our old. And they had more young people to keep the system in check.

So, yeah, commies and others dispute this — rolls eyes — but I want them to take a hike (off a short peer.) As much in shock as I am at turning 60 this year, and as much in bad shape as I feel (I really need to recover from the move, and exercise more, and live better) sixty isn’t what it used to be.

I still tell people this, and I don’t know if it makes any sense, but when people over sixty — even sixty two — died in the village, it was “Well, it’s sad, but he/she was old.” I met my first eighty year old when I was in my teens. And he looked worse than Joe Biden, and more like we expect a 100 year old to be today. 100 year olds were rare enough that my dad doubted they existed and thought they were just bad record keeping. But about every five years or so, they interviewed a 100 year old on TV.

If someone dies under oh, 75 these days, we hear “That’s terrible. What happened?” (I’m starting to hear it for 80 to 85. Unless the person was in bad shape or known to be ill.) My parents are late eighties/early 90s, and living by themselves, a pretty much normal life. And if my friends in healthcare are correct, there are a lot of 100 year olds in and out of the hospital, and up to about 120. (Used to be thought 114 was the hard limit, but that’s getting pushed.)

Now, of course, there’s great individual variety. We lost our first friend of natural causes five years ago. And some are wrecks in their sixties and seventies. (Hello, Brandon.) But it seems to be fewer and fewer people undergoing that.

In fact, due to the elephant in the snake, old-age health care and ways to stay productive and active and independent longer are likely to improve markedly in the next ten years, unless it all crashes.

Problems with this?

Well…. Look, one of the reasons I’m sympathetic to student loan forgiveness (one of my kids has significant ones, but we also paid a large amount for each of them, so it’s not that. Also, he has a plan to pay back, and if all else fails we will do it. We also have a plan. Belt and suspenders. But we’re rare.) is that it became clear to me thirty years ago as tuition started to climb that it was a way to farm the young to keep the aging elephant in the snake in comfort in its old age. It only got worse. (Yeah, yeah, massive debt, blah blah, blah. My feeling is we gave more than that to the Taliban. And don’t get me started on the stimulus. Forgive the damn debts, already, so maybe some kids can have kids while there’s time, okay? Yeah, it will cause some universities to crash. And this is bad, because?)

The problem is that society distorts to serve the most populous element. And that there aren’t enough young people to keep it in check.

The problem is that our old are very old indeed. Your view of what the world is like is set somewhere around your youth. This is why we continually hear women whine about lack of opportunity for women, or publishers rebel against the eternal (and largely imaginary) fifties.

The supreme court was easily scared by antifa rent-a-riot because the picture in their minds is of the sixties, with a vast number of (largely leftist-indoctrinated) youth who could set the country on fire.

The congressional dems and not a few gop are convinced that socialism is the future, because the picture in their heads is the fifties and sixties, full of USSR agit prop.

And so it goes. Remember that a proportionately large number of the voting public is that age too, and stuck with that mind-image.

Yeah, they’re trying to import millions of youngsters, willy-nilly, forgetting that people are not widgets, these people are net drains in a tech society, and will largely leave, as we already saw in the early tens, because it soon becomes obvious there’s nothing for them here.

(Also they haven’t realized yet a lot of the youngsters coming in are vaccinated against socialism. Don’t tell them. I’m hoping those stay.)

So, what does it all mean?

It means we’re eating our seed corn. My situation, being the youngster until I was suddenly “too old” is nothing to my kids’ generation. I suspect, given improvements in medicine, they will be “the kid” well into their seventies.

It means a slowing down in innovation and more importantly, problems adapting to change. (Our governing organs are already having issues with it.)

It means an ossifying of structures that frankly are already not working.

It means having fewer and fewer kids, because the time you can afford them recedes to the farther and farther future. And thus worsening the situation.

So, what can you do?

If you’re young enough? Have a kid. Have two. Have three. Dear lord, I beg you with tears in my eyes, have a dozen! And I’m desperate enough to say if you’re not married, have a kid anyway, even if artificial insemination is not really licit in most religions. Find a friend to help you raise the kid. Find a mutual support system, and do it.

The future is made of people, and we don’t have enough of them. We need — need — to turn this around, or civilization will crash hard.

Ignore the nattering of the idiots about how having kids is for the dumb, or kids are problematic. Stuff a sock in the lecturing fools’ mouths, and HAVE ANOTHER KID. Right now, there is no more important work. The only work as important is raising and educating those kids to be productive, decent and able to think. (I’m thinking of the line in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress: “Had kids, paid their own way.” That ladies, gentlemen and octopi, is success.)

Of course, I can’t contribute to that fight. To be fair, even when I theoretically could, I was very, very (supremely) bad at it. As in, fertility of a small rock. Otherwise there would be eleven of them running around now. (Minimum.)

So, what I plan to do is keep my mind as flexible as possible, with new books, new learning, new experiences.

And living long, getting meaner and crazier every year, like the boss in Puppet Masters.

On the serious side: staying independent and not a burden on anyone as long as I can, encouraging young people to have kids, and do my best to pass on my belief in individual liberty.

Gerontocracy is a problem, but the peculiar jaws of our dilemma are more fine-grained than that, and might not happen again for a long, long time.

And sooner or later Pelosi will run out of young Chinese blood for transfusions, and go the way of all flesh. As will all the other corruptocrats.

And the world will change.

How will it change? I’m not sure. So I’ll poke at it tomorrow and see if anything spits out.

Meanwhile, you go and build, and think and remain as flexible as you can.

(Exits to the tune of “staying alive.”)

542 thoughts on “Eating Our Seed Corn

  1. “In other fields, I have friends who overshadowed by the big-group-of-boomers, were treated as “the young kid” well into their fifties, and now suddenly find themselves being called “the old man/woman” and finding they are too old to be affordable.”
    YES! So that’s what happened to me.

    1. At where I work, the in-between gen has been much luckier. So much of what we do is complex tribal knowledge, we’ve been transitioning from “the new kid” to “oh bleep, how the heck am I going to train these so-new-they-squeek kids?”

      The really big problem is as the old hands retire, we’ve been necking down from 4-5 experts at any given thing with a century of experience between them, to, maybe one guy, who is also the expert in 3-4 other things that also used to be covered by 4-5 experts of its own.

      This year was the first time I got the “hey, have you considered mentoring some new people?” talk. I was immediately reminded of that time in Neverwinter Nights 2, when my character got put in charge of a city, and my immediate emotional response was “…can’t you just give me a quest to go fight some eldrich horror or another? Please? Surely there’s one around here somewhere? No?”

      Gonna be interesting times…

      1. They made mentoring into part of my job description.

        Yes, this made me want to run screaming into the night. I’m not a mentor! I just keep pointing out the things the kids should have learned if they had a decent education, about the different mental and linguistic hardware of cultures all around the world, and about “adulting”, and about the internal logic of bureaucracies…

        Wait, what do you mean that’s mentorship?

        1. Yup. Did a lot of that in my last decade working for the U.S. Navy. But Flight Test is a profession unto itself. Unmanned aviation has its own long list of oddities. Combine the two?

          1. Oh, good gracious, I’m neck-deep in manned aviation, I don’t even want to think about adding unmanned into that.

            Sometimes it’s the straightforward (for bureaucracy) things, like “Sir, they changed the regs in 2018, so as per the latest FSISMs, A-10 IP’s are no longer subject to the centerline thrust restriction. So you don’t have to take the test again, you only have to do a paperwork shuffle with a DPE, or your FSDO.”

            Sometimes it’s the “Oookay. So this pilot is acting extremely squirrelly, you say? And you can’t figure out why he’s incredibly cagey and doesn’t want to give his name, wants to pay by gift card, and is generally more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs? I’ll take it, and we’ll review after.

            …Dude. So, the pilot is named Ivan blahblahchenko. Yeah. The name should have been an extreme clue, there. His bank’s either locked up in sanctions, or offline due to the war, and he’s probably been moving money through China onto visa gift cards to get around it. I’d be interested in what visa he used to get out of Ukraine into the USA, but dude’s been through enough, already. He’s fine, totally fine.”

            I have good coworkers. They just don’t think enough to realize any time there’s destabilization elsewhere in the world, the pilots are going to flee to the USA if they can. They fled Hong Kong, they’re still coming down from Canada ever since honk honk, We got a small wave out of Ukraine, and even a few out of Afghanistan thanks to Operation Sacred Promise. And every time, they’re going to be non-standard, and require special handling. And attempts to get my coworkers to learn, recognize, and apply this… is apparently mentoring.

        2. I mentored a few new science teachers; most didn’t listen worth a damn. They honestly think they know it all.
          As for my own kids, I had three – if I was to do it again, I’d both have more, and do a better job with it. I was took busy trying to get back into working for a living. I’d have taken the job of raising kids more seriously.
          ONE kid had 3; one has, at present, one (but he is male, so who knows?). The third is a religious sisten, so doing her part ot halp being up kids as her vocation in special ed.

      2. Yeah, I’ve been the Old Hand With The Institutional Knowledge since I came back to this department 14 years ago, when I was still in my mid-30s. It’s weird some times.

      3. I am the only person trained for my job. My boss joked the other day, if I ever quit, to give him a 5 minute head start. And that doesn’t even account for the outside the box work I do to allow others to do a job that I have had foisted upon me. That one, at least, gets done by others when I take time off.

      4. I explained rubber-duck debugging and Sneakernet to some young programmers in my current job.

        1. Sneakernet I’m familiar with, but what is rubber-duck debugging? The mental image it conjures is dumping a container of rubber ducks into the ocean and seeing where they wash up.

          1. 🙂 I had to look it up too. Technically done it plenty of times, just never had a “Rubber Duck”. I just talked to the computer a lot. Used the “Senor Programmer” method too. Or “I do not know what I’m doing wrong. Here is what is going on.” Walk through process, about halfway, then go “Oh. Um. Thank you. Never mind. Got it.”

            The rubber duck debugging method is as follows:

            Beg, borrow, steal, buy, fabricate or otherwise obtain a rubber duck (bathtub variety).
            Place rubber duck on desk and inform it you are just going to go over some code with it, if that’s all right.
            Explain to the duck what your code is supposed to do, and then go into detail and explain your code line by line.
            At some point you will tell the duck what you are doing next and then realise that that is not in fact what you are actually doing. The duck will sit there serenely, happy in the knowledge that it has helped you on your way.

            Note: In a pinch a coworker might be able to substitute for the duck, however, it is often preferred to confide mistakes to the duck instead of your coworker.

            Original Credit: ~Andy from


            1. Yes, that is also known as the “cardboard programmer” method. Very effective in either case!

              1. To be fair. My jobs ’90 – ’02, I didn’t have anyone else that was working on what I was. In ’90 – ’96, that was absolutely no one else. At least ’96 – ’02 I had someone who I could go to when dealing with accessing embedded functions through C (embedded team). They’d just add that to the C library for the device. Otherwise they weren’t particularly helpful for the other C stuff (file access, file keys, user interface), let alone the Windows user interface C++ or Visual Basic. Not that they couldn’t have. Just getting them up to speed wasn’t worth it and they had their parts to play. Thus learning to work whatever out, even if it meant looking crazy (talking aloud) to work it out … um, okay. To the point it was really ingrained at the ’04 – ’16 job. Made worse because anyone actually listening to me had no clue what I was working out … Unless of coarse I was actually asking for help (which usually was company library functions that were so well documented … as in NOT, nothing, nada, zip). Even then I rarely had to ask. Just too used to figuring it out, no matter how often I had to run it through the Debug tracking process.

            2. Also the duck will not pester you to continue after you said “Nevermind.” Only had one co-worker do that, but it was annoying.

            3. And if the duck fails, break out the second set of eyeballs, because it is a chunk of code that you’ve stared at so long that you aren’t seeing it any more.

                1. Back around when I was in Jr high, my dad would bring home 4+ inch thick stacks of fanfold printouts of mainframe core dumps and lay on the living room floor going through them to try and figure out what went wrong. I served as the rubber duck many times.

                  David Lang

              1. if the duck fails, break out the second set of eyeballs

                Generally that is when I start the file dump “of 1, 2, 3, 4,..” etc., or other substitute. If nothing else, if that fixes the problem, then I know, “well c*** that means I’ve got a pointer that isn’t playing nice” in a “tool where programmers don’t have to deal with pointers”. (Boy could I have sold a lot of bridges and beach front swamp land, none of which I own, to gullible programmers. Every tool uses pointers. Some tools hide it from programmers, and that can mess things up.) Or it shows me I was looking at the wrong section of code. No wonder I couldn’t find it!

                Hey. It has only taken me 6 years, but I’m not waking up with “That is how to solve that problem” for just about anything I’ve ever worked on. OTOH I have had the “Oh No! Didn’t log into the time tracking system. Now how am I going to prove I actually worked, to get paid?” No. I am NOT working on anything. I haven’t not once, since my last day of work. Dang Stress Dreams.

        2. I had to explain that to IT here too! Even got some rubber ducks from a crane machine and handed them out. (Mine is a tiger/duck hybrid. I call him “Tucker.”)

    2. Ditto. I’m older but still ran into this until suddenly I wasn’t the “youngster” then I was “too old”. Part of this was software which is a “young people” field. As if. So called youngsters sure haven’t been able to *produce or stick it out at the last firm I was at.

      It isn’t that hard. It just isn’t. Also a software job that doesn’t have the deadline pressure. A wide of variety in what is worked on. Yet trouble tickets can be whipped out, multiple per day, plus ones created yourself as clients need support. OTOH not cutting edge development.

  2. And if you’re in a hiring manager position, pay attention to the older women coming back into the work force after having kids.

    Part of the problem is we keep telling girls they need to spend their 20’s and 30’s getting their career going before they can even think of having a family, and that just doesn’t work.

    I also suspect we’re going to need to figure out ways for the grandparents to support the kids when they’re having the grandkids as well. I don’t think that’s going to be a bad thing; more functional family is usually good, but it will be a big social change for everyone.

    I think we may see more of this as remote work becomes more standard, and it actually is viable for the married children to live in a wing of grandma’s house, while the son in law has an actual full time job, but it will be a big transition.

    1. I think that we’re going to be seeing more multi-generational households; three generations at least, living in the same house or in halves of a duplex, with the grandparents doing childcare, while the parents work.
      It’s certainly what I am doing, with my daughter and Wee Jamie all living in my house. Here’s hoping that someday we can afford a family compound, of several houses, and a house for my sister and brother in law and their children, as well…

      1. On the upside, I gather that grandparents who are actively involved in childcare tend to live much longer and healthier lives.

        And yes, when we were looking at houses, I was specifically looking for one with at least one bedroom that could become grandma’s room.

        1. Part is that health makes that easier. I have an uncle who was the daycare for the grandchildren until he had a stroke

          1. I think the care makes the health easier too. Being up and moving helps you keep moving, and you’ve got people making watching your current state to make sure nothing important has fallen off.

            Had a coworker who had a bad stroke. He survived, but as far as I know, never really recovered. Part of the problem was no-one was home when it happened, so it took around 12 hours before anyone found him.

            If someone had been there when it happened, he would likely have been in much much better shape.

            1. Dad was lucky where he has his stroke. And people recognized something was wrong. At work. His boss had a co-worker and friend take dad straight to the clinic, who then bypassed emergency getting him in to the hospital surgery specialist. Next day he was in surgery, to clean out the one not 100% clogged carotid artery, that or let him die. At that there was a 50% chance of a clog breaking loose and killing him. In fact when it was learned what had happened, a number of friends of my folks had their carotid’s checked. Three had the same procedure done as it was a matter of when not if. Two had strokes while on the surgery table, one died. Their odds of it happening were no more than 25% because they were in better shape going in.

            2. Same thing happened to one of my coworkers. Except he had a series of small strokes within a short period and by the time he realized something was seriously wrong it was too late.

              1. The symptoms of asthma and heart failure are externally identical. It’s bad enough that if you are an adult male with asthma, you are very likely to get incorrectly categorized as having heart problems and treated exactly the opposite way for it. (Asthma treatments tend to involve using adrenaline derivatives to open the airways, which you would not want to give to a heart patient.)

                It still gals me that when I cued off of an boss having what I thought was asthma problems, that I did not put the two together. A couple of months later he had a widowmaker while he and his wife were on vacation.

                The symptoms are exactly the same, because it is the same core process that is failing (getting oxygen from the air into the blood stream) and the system tries many of the same things to compensate for the failure. (Increase available surface area for exchange, remove obstructions from the external exchange, run the internal pump faster, bump up the secondary pumps to compensate/increase flow).

        2. There’s a theory in anthropology that the purpose of menopause in humans is to provide families/tribes with older women who can still provide childcare and food gathering while not creating more mouths to feed. That is, allowing for stable population growth instead of explosive growth that couldn’t be sustained.

          1. From what I understand, I believe it has been found that menopause actually extends women’s lives. I gather it was found that inhibit img menopause itself through hormone supplements actually significantly increased health problems in older women.

            The biological cycle is very costly for women, even without the cost of producing children in the mix.

      2. In my case, I didn’t have a choice. Lost the apartment down in the East Bay-the “reasonable” two bedroom in ’99 at $850 became $2600+ in 2016. So, I had to move back in with my family, and that meant a move up north to the Petaluma area.

        Which meant a three hour commute for work.
        Which meant that the few friends I had in the SF Bay Area…drifted away…and the people I met up here were not the sort of people I wanted to be around.
        Which meant I was dealing with all sorts of issues, not the least of which was the ability to step back and look at the people involved.

        I’m also looking at the age demographic thing, and I think a lot of the issues we’re seeing in our industries is the Boomers holding on for far too long. And, in the process of creating their perpetual palaces where they could make the world work (for a short period of time)…things went wrong. Badly wrong.

        And, we’re having to deal with the wreckage.

    2. Multi-generational household used to be SOP. Oldest son did not move out but moved spouse in to the generational castle. Depending on the estate, could be true of all surviving sons. The daughters moved away to their spouse home. Each couple got their own suite, with an adjoining room for young children. As children entered school age, they moved to the appropriate dorm/school room. Not something that was ever common in US. But is something that seems to be common in the more wealthy (something about the house isn’t actually owned by anyone in the family, but instead owned by a trust, and the trust has multiple homes and apartments).

      My niece, her parents take care of the grandchildren, even before the pandemic began. Started when grandpa retired from retail. He feels that he missed out on his children growing up.

      Son has two friends where the grandparents are 100% involved. One because son’s spouse is legally blind (juvenile type 1 diabetic) and two children. Not all living in the same household. The other the couple with two children is living with his parents. With housing costs, rental or ownership (apartment or condo or house), in the area that isn’t changing anytime soon.

      Our son hasn’t moved out. Not that he doesn’t have the money. He does. He saves. OTOH on paper he can’t rent because rent to net monthly income doesn’t pencil out. Even buying would be a challenge on paper. Oh regarding “get a roommate”. Technically he has roommates. Roommates he 100% knows will actually pay their share (just saying).

      1. My middle brother ended up living with our folks while working for nearly a year.

        Not because he didn’t have the money; he was getting paid quite a lot and was getting tons of overtime.

        No, the problem was he literally did not have time to look for a place to stay. For about a year, his life was get up, eat, go to work, work, come home, eat, sleep, repeat. Sundays were laundry and catch up on sleep days.

        1. Dad’s family, the youngest son didn’t marry, and stayed with the parents, then when they died he was cared for by the inheriting son’s family, that had of course been taking up the slack in the family business as the parents waned.

          With mom’s family, the eldest daughter was supposed to be married and take care of the parents, then get the home when they passed away.

          … mom and her mom got along very poorly (and mom was “of course” never going to be married) so they had warning THAT wasn’t going to happen, but both families kind of just assumed that the Designated Kid would go along with the program, even when the usual provisions for the Responsible Offspring weren’t made, and none of the other offspring were going to do anything.
          Mom had to throw an abject FIT to keep the other siblings from “fairly” dividing the family home’s value, culminating in her very publicly signing her “fair share” over to the sister that had been an unpaid nurse and any other labor their mom demanded or needed, and of course there’s still drama about the brothers being embarrassed enough to go along with it.

          Dad’s family, none of the local brothers (joint inheritance) had kids, which really ruins the “someone to take care of you in your lonely old age” part of the deal.

          On the inlaws side, I “got” to see the “live near mom, take care of her, all the paperwork is lined up” thing go horribly wrong through a BIG series of dropping the ball.

          ….and yes, after all of that, I do still like the idea of normalizing multi-generational homes, mostly because Americans are ornery enough to stop most of the big abuses.

          1. Youngest of the family not marrying and staying home on the homestead to take care of the parents was suppose to be maternal grandfather’s fate. To the point his parents were forcing him to quit school after 8th grade (because HS meant “living in town”). His older sisters said “H No!” At which point the inheriting eldest built their home and took over managing the homestead.

          2. Since I’m the only one not married with a family, I bought Mom and Dad’s home from them with the understanding that I would take care of them until they passed–which they now have, but some of my siblings want “their share” of the house I have been paying for while taking care of our parents.

            I wouldn’t bet on ornery being enough to stop human nature. Grief does weird things to some people.

            1. Mom has a new neighbor that has an interesting situation. He is the grandson of the original owners. When grandpa died, because the two kids were, um, (how do I put this) worthless, um never mind, grandma put the estate, including the house, into a trust. 50/25/25% for daughter, son, and grandson. The money is gone, the house and property is trashed. The son has been in/out of prison I don’t know how many times. Right now he is out. The daughter and one of her 3 lived in the house, the other two escaped didn’t. The grandson tried to live there as he was entitled, but couldn’t handle them, and got out. Just recently the daughter passed away unnoticed by her daughter (an unattended death, cremation is being delayed, no will, so probate). Note, daughter is in really bad shape and barely mobile herself, no suspicion of foul play. So the grandson is now back.

              Paying for aunt’s cremation, death certificates, and court probate costs. (Although this may eventually come out of what he is paying for the aunt’s share of the house. For reasons, his dad is signing his rights over to him.)
              Rehoming the cats (likely to be put down, elderly and they are in bad of shape from neglect)
              Rehoming a pitbull (I guess sweet but 8 years old and no training, he has his own small dogs). I recommend he contact a local trainer that specializes in evaluating, training, and rehoming pits, and other high maintenance large dogs (including the mals).
              He is also paying for everything to get the daughter to her sisters’ in Montana.
              Pay a lawyer to get the house out of the trust and into a condition he can live in it, with a paying roommate.
              Note. His dad will not be moving in for free room and board. His son made that loud and clear. He’ll flip the property, at a cost his father cannot cover, and leave the area, before that would happen.

              Nice young man (mid-late-20’s). He could have grown up neglected if not for grandma. My parents were there too if he needed them, but he didn’t. Glad he is back. Will be nice to have neighbor who will actually take care of that house and yard.

            2. It got very ugly on my mom’s side of the family when my grandmother finally passed. She’d had dementia, taking care of her had already caused divisions and it turned out she had promised the same items to each of the children at one time or another. One branch of the family completely separated themselves, and it was years before some of the others would speak to each other again.

      2. My son is living at home in his early 20s, and welcome to stay as long as he wants. He has a job and could move out if he wanted to, but we’d miss him terribly, so we’re not encouraging him to leave. I do wonder if he’s going to feel cramped…or ideally, meet a suitable mate…and leave us lonely by ourselves at some point, though.

        “…treated as “the young kid” well into their fifties, and now suddenly find themselves being called “the old man/woman” and finding they are too old to be affordable.”

        That rings a bell. Was hired in as the young new guy (although almost 10 years older than the typical college grad at the time) at my previous job, and I was still “junior colleague” to the boomers in charge when I left 15 years later — for a job where I’m now definitely “the old guy.”

        Good thing about that, though, is that I moved out of an ossified higher-ed environment into a private business that desperately needed someone with my skills and experience, and was highly aware of that need. So I’m doing challenging work that I’m quite good at and getting paid double what I made for most of my time in the university gulag. Oh, and also trying to mentor younger colleagues…waaaay outside my comfort zone (and competence), but I’m glad they value me enough to expect/request it.

        1. Laughs, at both points. Our son, came back with his degree (fully paid for), in early 20’s. Not working in his chosen career, but working. Plus has worked his way into shift supervisor, fairly quickly (I suspect Eagle more than his degree). Has no desire to move into the Salaried next step. He makes more than his manager because they work so much overtime.

          He’s been back home now for 10 years. Welcome to stay as long as he wants. Or maybe we should just say we are living with him; he is an only and gets everything anyway. We’ve noted that he might have better luck meeting someone if not living at home. OTOH him meeting someone, he works 4 PM – 2 AM shift.

      3. We moved out from behind enemy lines in Illinois a a family. Son 30, Daughter 28. She started nursing school, he started new career in real estate and is now in 6 figure territory after 1 year. Really took to it. Home is rented while we figure out where and what. We pool most expenses and they jokingly say they are renting from this nice older couple. It has worked well. The long term plan is to buy or build on property a couple of houses so that we older folks can look after the kids as both of ours want multiples, ie more than 2.

        I think it is a plan that works and a model based on most of human history. The one home one family routine was a result of a VERY prosperous society. Not supportable in the long term and may well be undesirable for a strong culture.

        Meanwhile learn, grow and stay prepared.

        1. Very good exercise.

          And then, once you get some, you have more fun and exercise chasing them around.

          Good for the heart.

  3. I’m also sort of OK with student loan forgiveness.

    The debt is also a way to control or coerce people. I know someone who was paying off their $300,000 in loans, but when the pandemic hit they faced a choice: either leave their career and the ability to make the payments or get two injections of mRNA, which they did not want. They gave in and got the shots.

    I know that sacrifices have to be made to pay back any type of loan, but this is going too far.

    1. Thing is, though, wouldn’t anyone who’s $300,000 in debt be in a similar bind?

      Unfortunately, there’s no good way out of the mess.

      1. No, they wouldn’t be, because student loans are uniquely difficult to discharge in bankruptcy. The legal standard is “hopeless to repay,” and judges have ruled that minor problems like becoming blind or disabled don’t meet that criteria. The best you can get is income-based repayment, where you pay 10% – 15% of your monthly income for 20 – 25 years (there are two versions of the program) at which point the balance is forgiven. And imputed as income to the IRS. In my case, this means that the $180K I took out for six years of undergrad and three years of law school has turned into $330K twelve years after the fact, and if I continue in my IBR program, I’ll owe approximately $600K at the time of forgiveness. This will result in an income tax bill of around $180K — you know, the amount I originally owed. This bill, I have five years to pay off, but if I can’t after five years, I have the option to declare chapter 7 and get it discharged.

        I don’t want a blanket student loan forgiveness. It’s not fair to the people who were able to pay off their loans. I just want the ability to discharge them in bankruptcy, like I could if they were literally any other type of debt. I’ll take the hit on my credit — hell, I’ve already lost a house in foreclosure and come back from that.

        And as for the cost? The government is going to have to write off billions of student loan debt anyway, through the IBR program. The only difference between letting folks declare bankruptcy now or waiting until their IBR is complete is that the numbers will be smaller now because they won’t be padded with decades of interest.

        And if we’re so worried about the moral hazard of letting folks with expensive degrees discharge their student loans so they can go on to get rich, how about this provision: when student loans are discharged, a permanent hold is placed on the student’s transcript, so it can’t be used for any professional license. The only people who will make that trade are those who realize that their degree was a mistake they just want to pretend never happened.

        1. I’m more than okay with student loans being dischargeable in bankruptcy like any other type of loan. I think most people are, and it’s completely fair to make it so. There’s no reason for it not to be, and it would work to help everyone involved. But because that would actually make sense, and not unduly penalize anyone, that’s the one option that will probably never happen.

          1. As is often the case, the reason for the exception to the bankruptcy laws was a rare although significant problem that could have been handled much more easily: some doctors were graduating from medical school and then declaring bankruptcy immediately. Amy’s suggestion would of course take care of that problem without causing all the current issues.

            1. Which is why the Education Act in 1976 imposed a five-year requirement (absent severe hardship) on discharging loans through bankruptcy. Subsequent revisions of the bankruptcy act and other legislation extended the moratorium to seven years and made it applicable to all federally funded or guaranteed loans or those offered by non-profit institutions. Which to my knowledge is all of them except the for-profit universities that have their own issues, and which still accept government-guaranteed loans.

          2. Yeah, look, the thing is we don’t have a say on this, and I’m convinced Brandon will just make them go away with a pen before the elections.

            1. Asking “the right” to not take the stupidest option among all possible universes? You should ask the left to stop raping kids while you’re at it, they are more likely to listen.

              Fortunately having reality on their side helps save the right despite their best efforts.

  4. It’s worse than eating the seed corn.

    We are grinding it up, poisoning it and throwing it in the trash.

    Literally. Killing perfectly healthy babies and throwing them away.

    The sheer evil of that is really beyond comprehension to me.

  5. I’m from the ‘boomer’ population and I’m now pushing 70. So… I ain’t having any more kids but the idea is very good and extremely valid – go you youngsters, go! My Mom and Dad were a product of the depression, WWII and the following “boom” of the 50’s on. I was one of those boomer kids but grew up in small town rural mid west and thus have / had a different outlook on a lot of things. Mom passed in her 60’s (cancer) but Dad went to 93 and stepmom/aunt went to 89. I got lucky in the gene pool and look a lot younger than my actual years and figure I’ll go a ways yet.

    I get carded when I want the senior discount and during my last year at work the ‘new kids’ who were hired in our office didn’t believe my age and I had to actually show them my ID to convince them. The final irony of being the “old guy” was I did all the computer stuff and our only other IT troop was the same age as me and we could tell stories about punch cards, DOS and other fun underpinning stuff to all the whiz bang tech of today.

    All that our host is saying is a very real thing and I’ll agree with all of it but one small thing – Not doing “Staying Alive”… I used to use that song when teaching CPR courses and to me that’s what it represents so, I much prefer “I will Survive” as the walk off, mic drop song:

    Yup… gonna keep on going on!

    1. I was taught the two best songs for timing CPR were, “Staying Alive,” and “Another One Bites the Dust.” Probably better to use the first one.

      1. As an ED nurse, one of the most important realizations for me when facing a code blue: “just remember, you can not make the situation any worse — they’re already dead”.
        It definitely helped the situational stress and anxiety and resulted in better performance as a nurse.

        I would go with Queen as well!

          1. Ow indeed.

            On a couple of occasions, I’ve had to start CPR compressions for a frail, elderly lady (80+, <100#s).
            One of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.

            Very first compression, multiple ribs broken. Every compression after, the bones grinding away.
            I hear and feel that deep in my soul to this day.

            I absolutely could not understand why either lady wasn’t DNR (both probably hadn’t recognized family for a couple of years and likely no longer knew what planet they were on).

            PLEASE everyone, have those conversations, get an advanced directive and living will completed.
            Not saying make yourself DNR, just saying make certain your wishes are clear.

      1. Don’t forget the Portal version

        A different song by the same name was used as the theme for Mirror’s Edge:

  6. So, yeah, commies and others dispute this — rolls eyes — but I want them to take a hike (off a short peer.)

    And pull in their peer with them!

        1. Speaking of getting many birds with one stone– did you ever consider that the asteroid that got the dinosaurs has got to have the highest rate of dead-birds-to-thrown-stones ever?

              1. I love that the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars managed to include that line. Well, more accurately, Luke “[exits, pursued by Wampa.]”

            1. I think it’s next to the kimchi grenade launcher. Reloads for both are in the airtight container, below the gas masks.

          1. the asteroid that got the dinosaurs has got to have the highest rate of dead-birds-to-thrown-stones ever?

            I’m sure the dinosaurs were impressed:

      1. Given how much of the aristocracy is Marxist, I’m fine with sending Marxists to climb atop and jump off a short peer. ;-p

  7. Regarding student loan forgiveness:

    We DID have SLF up until (I believe) 2006. It was better known as bankruptcy. The bankruptcy reform bill ended that for student loans.

    This is one reason I tend to be pessimistic. The Republican Party won a big victory in 2004 on a very conservative platform, and then enacted laws that were harmful and unpopular with everyone who was not a billionaire, ignoring the people who voted for them. Why would I assume that they will do different this time?

    1. Ended including student loans in bankruptcy so banks/whomever would loan student loans to those who otherwise couldn’t qualify. Look where that got them.

      Hubby and I both got student loans. Had to have our parents back them, even on the government no interest loans and don’t start interest or paying back until 6 months after graduation. At then 3% and 4% (when interest rates were way higher than that). Yes. We paid both back.

      When it came time to get our son student loans, the only type he qualified for were 6% Parent Plus, immediate start payment, loans, when we could get a home equity loan for < 2%. Screw the former. Didn’t do the latter either. Between what we already had set aside, continued saving, him as well as us, the three of us got him through debt free.

      Yes. I resent the Heck out of Loan Forgiveness, across the board.

      I don’t resent Loan Forgiveness or adjustment for those who follow a military track. Or an organization who chooses loan payment to recruit teachers or medical into inner city, rural, or reservation, work. Latter isn’t so much “loan forgiveness” as give us X years and we’ll pay off those loans for you, and give you salary.

      1. Yes. I resent the Heck out of Loan Forgiveness, across the board.

        I don’t blame you. I regard taking mine as a mistake, but I’m still paying them down as I can and am proud of never having tried to weasel out of it.

        If my loans ARE canceled by law I plan to call my lender and ask if they’re allowed to continue taking payments anyway. I don’t WANT to welch on my debts if I can help it.

    2. In 2004 we weren’t actively pushing out the scum. There is still a lot to shovel, but the Gopes are nervous enough that they feel the need to submit NFA repeals as their bills-to-do-nothing when they are out of power.

    3. Yeah, but the dems won (cheated) in 2006. And it was till 2009. Obama changed it.
      So, you’re very pessimistic, because you have no clue who was in charge?
      GOT IT.

      1. Blackpill requires that the subject ignore everything (and hooo boy is there a pile) that has gotten better.

        The most ridiculous part of the whole thing is how the blackpilled are so certain that they are the only true opponents of the Enemy, when they are exactly the type of person the Enemy seeks to create because they are completely useless for the fight.

        1. They’re much worse than enemies. The enemy at least has the virtue of making people on our side angry enough to fight, but the black-pilled lack even that. Trying to convince our fighters to stay off the field makes them basically traitors. spit

    4. @ Ken > I agree with your assessment of the GOP, however, my impression of the SLF controversy was that far too many (although certainly not most) graduates had included “bankruptcy” in their ongoing business plan, just to get out of repayment.
      If I’m wrong, would welcome corrections.

      1. Well, why not? If the rules allow you to borrow enough money to buy a house, waste it all goofing off for four years, and then get out of having to pay it back, the rules are stupid, not you.
        The government can mandate stupidity, but they can’t make it not be stupid.

      2. That had always been the concern, but the data doesn’t support it.

        When the first move to restrict student loan bankruptcy was made, it was in response to journalistic speculation with no actual evidence presented. The doctors who were getting their loans canceled so they could get rich were a real as the pill parties where teenagers dumped their parents’ medicine cabinets into a bowl.

        1. BTW I’m somewhat puzzled by the entire “Students just party” idea. My kids went through college the last ten years. Are there loud, drunken, sex parties? SURE. But you know who is at them? The student athletes who have a full ride.
          90% of the other people are working two or more crummy jobs AND trying to squeeze studying around it, and yes, still taking loans because the tuition is that expensive.
          This is not the 80s or the 90s. These kids DO NOT have the kind of life students had then, unless they’re extremely rich (I know nothing of the ivies) or on scholarship.

          1. The kids that people see tend to be the ones partying– in the 2000s, the same trust fund babies that I grew up with, and you were informed were your replacement to Reach Kids These Days.

            I don’t have as big a window on it, but the folks who are being used as public faces of stuff? Also party a ton. Because that’s how you get picked up, casting couch style.

          2. It’s kind of like the “nobody is having kids,” from folks who are in places where you can’t afford to have kids, anymore– like the guy who pointed out his two bedroom apartment bleepin tripled in cost in the last decade or two, so he and his family are gone.

            My grandmother in law saw the same on Coronado, next to San Diego. It went from where they bought because it was next to the base and cheap, to the houses being where only the super rich could possibly maybe be.

            This, obviously, had an effect on the local schools….

    5. Student loans first became non-dischargeable in bankruptcy unless showing (undefined) “undue hardship”, or for five years after graduation, in 1976. Four years before I was born, and THIRTY YEARS before you think it started. That was the Higher Education Act. Then in 1978 the Bankruptcy Reform Act made education loans payable to government units and non-profit institutions (which most universities are) non-dischargeable for five years, and without undue hardship.

      1979–loans provided by government entities (Federal student loans)
      1990–conditional grants of money for education nondischargeable. ROTC scholarships must be paid back if recipient failed to follow conditions of scholarship (this is is about when Don’t Ask Don’t Tell started, and for exactly this reason). Discharge period (the period of time during which you have to be making good-faith payments before declaring bankruptcy) increased from 5 years to 7 years.
      2005 Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act–Congress specified that loans could not be discharged if they were made, insured, or guaranteed by the government, or if made under any loan program funded in whole or in part by the government or nonprofit institution. That’s pretty much all of them.

      1. Yes, the first restrictions were in the seventies. But there’s a big difference between 1978’s “direct federal loans only dischargeable after five years and in cases of undue hardship” and 2006’s “direct federal and federally subsidized private loans are all non-dischargeable even if you’re blind or bedridden,” don’t you think? Oh, and the justification for it, the doctor who discharged his loans and went off to get rich? In all the congressional debate, not one example of this was offered for the record. Less than one percent of all debtors who declared bankruptcy at that time had any student loans.

        These restrictions from the start were a way to enrich banks and universities based on a media created panic.

        1. You realize I’m agreeing with you, right? I’m merely responding to Ken’s contention that it all started in 2006, and blaming the wrong people for it. It’s been a continuous thing for, at this point, nearly fifty years. It just keeps getting expanded as to what it covered. Coincidentally just as the government was expanding its guarantee of loans. Which are not, in fact, offered by either banks OR universities. Tuition rise followed the expansion of federal loans. It did not precede it.

  8. There are a lot of very interesting sci-fi universes where ‘rejuv’ of some sort has been introduced, and a handful of them cover the first few generations where the established people stick around for several lifetimes, blocking the rise of the younger set. (an interesting twist to this is when there are multiple sets of rejuv where the first set out gives you a much smaller benefit than the later set)

    Or for a real-life example, look at the British monarchy. The Queen has lived so long that it’s a fair question of if her power should go to her son or her grandson

    1. Partly her son’s fault, if one cares to be picky about the whole thing. British don’t want a “short reign”, the resent Charlie divorcing Diana, they want Elizabeth’s grandson/Diana’s son, instead. YMMV

      1. yes, the public does want to avoid Charles for several reasons, but realistically it’s not clear that he will outlive his mom by very long. And I don’t think anyone would be surprised by her outliving him.

        David Lang

        1. A lot of Charles’ problems seem to have been that he knew his cousin, Prince Wiiliam of Gloucester, who was the Dashing Handsome Playboy — the one who managed to get himself and his co-pilot killed. Charles seems to have decided early on that he should model himself on that uncle. Possibly Andrew did, too.

        2. yes, the public does want to avoid Charles for several reasons, but realistically it’s not clear that he will outlive his mom by very long.

          We need to think about the kind of world we’re leaving to Queen Elizabeth and Keith Richards.

      2. Elizabeth and her consort always seemed like fairly salt of the earth types. As monarchs go.

        Pity about their offspring.

        William, however, doesn’t seem like such an inbred moron or criminal. And his wife seems relatively sane.

        But, but all in all, it is a good thing that bunch are mere figureheads at this point. The blood seems pretty thin.

        1. Well, keep in mind that William and Kate have to compete for the limelight with William’s father (who has no problem opining on stuff like the climate), and Harry (who was foolish even before he married Ms. Markle; he’s the prince who wore a Nazi armband to a costume party). Given that, it’s not hard for him to look reasonable in comparison.

        2. “Elizabeth and her consort always seemed like fairly salt of the earth types.”

          Never forget that Elizabeth was never meant to be Queen…nor her father to be King. Which meant that they were raised without the full-bore bow-and-scrape from courtiers.

          1. @ Mike > sadly, we can’t make that the paradigm, because then the seconds will just be treated like the firsts from the beginning AND you will have disgruntled firsts that would have to be disposed of.
            That kind of succession only seems to work when it’s a surprise.

          2. Also, there are pictures of Elizabeth during WWII in uniform, working under the hood of a truck, so much more contact with the real world than her decendants.

            David Lang

    2. Fortunately, the U.K. has changed the way its governance works enough that it’s not that important that Elizabeth II has a blithering idiot as the primary heir.

    3. Charles talks to trees, which isn’t so much a problem, but he believes they talk back, which might be. Admittedly, he wouldn’t be the nuttiest man to ascend to the British Throne, but it might be just as well if his mom outlived him.

      One thing that does seem clear from looking at the pattern across history is that a long time as the heir to the throne–or the heir to anything, really–doesn’t do anyone any good.

      1. exactly, as lifetimes get longer and childbearing age remains close to the same, heirs will wait longer to inherit and spend a far smaller percentage of their lifetime after they inherit (be it a Monarchy, a business, whatever) So they need to figure out something productive to do with their lives in the meantime.

        When you have people who are too isolated from contact with reality (due to their family wealth), you end up with people who focus on really nutty things, thinking that they are really important.

        David Lang

        On Sat, 23 Apr 2022, According To Hoyt wrote:

  9. I’m 63. Barely adult. Perhaps it’s because I have an elven sort of view of life; elves not being considered adults until they reach the age of 50. I might consider myself to be old by the time I’m 100. However, age is more a function of functionality that chronology. If you’re pain-free, full mobility, have your strength and working senses, then you’re not really old, regardless of what the calendar says. And I’m still getting the appropriate physiological reactions when looking at pretty young things. Maybe I should convert to fundamentalist Mormon and pick up a couple more wives and have more kids? /laugh

      1. Mom says old age is past 90. At least for now. A concision she’s recently made. Used be old age was her age + 5. She’s shortened it to her age + 3, or maybe just rounding it up to nearest “5”. In 3 years it’ll be past 95 again … She might concede she is old in early 2035, when she is 100+.

        Me? I can’t be old. Mom is still alive! 🙂 So are her siblings.

          1. Three of dad’s siblings are still alive. Ages: 80, 73, and 71. Um. My husband is 70, his older brother is 73, and surviving older sister is 75. Mom is 87, her younger sister is 84, her younger brother is 75. (Seeing a trend?) There is a reason her younger brother, and dad’s youngest two brothers, were called the “little boys”, until the older grandchildren hit college … one of my cousins is 68, just barely 3 years younger than the youngest uncle 🙂

            Was also a theme when we got married. Hubby’s nieces and nephew were absolutely shocked that their grandparents were as old as my grandparents. Heck one of their moms, hubby’s oldest sister is 16 years older than I am (she’d be 81 now, she passed away 18 years ago). They kids didn’t get to meet my uncles because it was just immediate family, grandparents, parents, siblings and their families, at the wedding (bigger reception at my folks place in Eugene with extended family, but hubby’s family, invited, but didn’t drive over).

  10. Ken says:
    “We DID have SLF up until (I believe) 2006. It was better known as bankruptcy. The bankruptcy reform bill ended that for student loans.”
    “Federal student loans became nondischargeable in bankruptcy proceedings in 1976. Before then, debtors could discharge student loan debt along with most types of consumer debt.
    That ended in 1976 when Congress amended the Higher Education Act of 1965.”,Higher%20Education%20Act%20of%201965.

      1. Bankers have a very powerful lobby…Every lawyer I know thinks that the elimination of bankruptcy protection was scandalous, and should be reversed by any means possible…

        1. I never did understand why the bankers get blamed for this, the vast majority of student loans are backed by the government at issuance and then sold to Salliemae. I haven’t checked recently, but student loan interest had been the third largest source of government revenue after tax and mortgage interest.

          There is a certain amount of lending beyond the guaranteed amount, it tended to default, so the bankers wanted more guarantees before they agreed to execute a Democrat party public policy and expand student lending.

          1. “…student loan interest had been the third largest source of government revenue after tax and mortgage interest.” So they really are farming the young. Bunch of financial vampires. Again, progressivism is a death cult.

            1. yep. Banks carry very little of it on their balance sheets, what they do is service the loans, much like Fannie and Freddie mortgages. Congress wanted to expand student lending beyond what the federal programs offered and the banks said, only if you give us protection. The come out of law or medical school and then default was a real thing and those loans were not in the federal programs. They deny all this of course by mixing the real issue with medical and dental graduates with sob stories from people with MFA’s in puppetry and people in the federal programs and then blame the banks for doing what they told the banks to do. It’s like Biden blaming Putin for inflation whilst ignoring the two trillion of additional federal spending and then blaming the Republican for not having a plan to fix the problem he created.

          2. “So the bankers wanted more guarantees before they agreed to execute a Democrat party public policy and expand [student] lending.”

            Now where have i heard that before? Or seen where bankers had to hedge their lending bets and develop new financial instruments in order to make any money because every other method was constrained?

            Give me a minute and I’m sure i’ll think of it.

          1. One time at the post office I saw a letter lying on the counter and did a double-take when I noticed it was labeled “Department of Revenge.” Took a closer look and realized it actually said “Department of Revenue.

              1. It was certainly attention-grabbing. I was thinking “Wait, the government HAS one of those?!?”

                Of course, more recent events have only shown how naive I was…

  11. Our “leaders” are certainly doing everything they can to discourage us from having kids…The 84% increase in Millennial deaths last year (unprecedented in history) from the vaxx, and the likely sterility effects aren’t going to help…Nor is the un-affordability of most housing thanks to the scamdemic and the Fed….It all puts America in a demographic hole…Hate to say it, but there need to be very substantial financial inducements and support for young families…

    1. I’d prefer a recreation of the Appian Way under Crassus along I-95 with most of our bureaucrats and politicians. I’d settle for Pennsylvania Avenue thought.

      1. Why remove price controls on milk when you can have a price control and also some subsidies?

        Opportunities for graft and power must always go up. To do otherwise in unthinkable.

        1. “You can beat any system. All you do is turn the handle the way it goes, only more so.”

      2. But get rid of the disincentives.
        I see people stopping at 2-3 kids partly because the car-seat rules make a vehicle to carry more children legally unaffordable. Yes young children are safer in a car seat than hanging out in a station wagon wayback like my age group did – but compare it to not existing in the first place…

          1. Flat State had them based purely on size . . . until the lawyer for a lady who was 4′ 10″ tall and had been driving for decades pointed out that they don’t make booster seats compatible with a steering wheel. OOPS! Law changed to age/weight/size rather than height alone.

            1. @ TXRed > a woman I knew that size in South Texas earned good money as a welder because she could go in between the double hulls of the big ships.
              I don’t think I ever saw her in a car seat….

          2. Washington state was originally by height– not much shorter than me, I’m short but I drive even big pickups without a booster– which they lost when sued by a short lady, so they added it was required under I think 13.

            1. Then you get the 12 year old that is as tall and bulkier than (his) mom … (Nephew, gets it from his dad).

              Our son outgrew boosters long before the current required age for Washington and Oregon, and he isn’t that tall or bulky.

          3. And, that change was due to some very wealthy graduates who cynically took advantage of the laws, and dumped the debt that the banks had been on the hook for.
            I’d be in favor of a re-vamped program, that has several provisions:
            1) The lender, the parents, the kid, and the school are PARTNERS in the loan. All have a stake in making sure that it is paid back. So, they will do what they can to reduce the size of the loan, by: AP/CLEP of some classes, using community colleges for some of the less important classes, making sure that the kid does NOT go to the priciest school he is accepted at, and forgoing unpaid internships for either year-round school or work that supplies school year living expenses.
            2) The size of the loan is related to the major – engineers and other STEM majors get more. Communications, fine arts, and social work/social activist/”studies” majors get less. Not punitive, but related to the likelihood of getting a job that pays enough to pay the money back.
            3) Any changes of major have to be OK’d by the partners (step 1). That, alone, should reduce the size of loans. Also, no ‘drops’ without approval of the guys paying for this.
            4) Any consumer debt has to be approved by the partners (do you see a trend here?). MANY students use student loans to fund a cushy lifestyle, vacations, and other such treats. For all but the very wealthy (who should be paying their own way), college should be a frugal time of life, not party central.
            5) Students with loans need to meet some qualifications – minimum GPA, full course load with requirements FIRST, ACT/SAT scores comfortably in the middle of the range of students accepted at that college, and mid-term reports (or, even. monthly) given to the Partners of any loans. A lot of kids get into trouble academically, because they are overwhelmed and no one notices. They are, generally, KIDS (excepting those returning from military or family responsibillity – and, those older students always used to be better students than the more age-appropriate ones).

            1. Re 4) I was appalled when I walked around downtown Oxford, Mississippi and saw all the obviously high-end apartments and trendy boutiques. I was Kraft macaroni and cheese poor in college (to quote Jeff Foxworthy) and proud of it. (My undergraduate career pre-dated Ramen noodles).

              1. Egg and Cheese Toast Sandwiches for me. Macaroni & Cheese too, but not the packaged stuff. Pizza, for about 6 months, because I got a free one when I worked a shift.

                I did have meat (deer & Elk) and trout, too. But only because I could go shopping in mom and dad’s freezer. I have related my Salmon story (that was when I was doing seasonal work) – Salmon steaks, patties, roast, sandwich, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, for 6 weeks!!!! I remember more than once going shopping with saved change between pay checks for milk, eggs, cheese, or bread. I kept powder milk for JIC (won’t drink the stuff, but it works for cooking too).

                1. To be fair, one of the places son lived was the super new and expensive apartments owned by the college.
                  He did that at our demand (and we paid the rent.) Like this: He was paying $400 (which he made from odd jobs) to live in a sketchy area of town (regular shoot outs) with an iffy roommate. The apartment complex wasn’t bad, but maintenance left something to be desired. As in, the apartment next door caught fire out of a clear blue sky. Electrical.
                  The university had just put these apartments up. They were DESIGNED to share with four strangers. Your en-suite bed/bath had an external lock. Common areas were kitchen and tiny living room.
                  As it happened 4 of his friends were looking for places that summer. The cost was $500 a month AND IT INCLUDED UTILITIES. Yes, technically the area he got was smaller. In reality because he went in with friends, it was perfectly comfortable. And it was safe as heck.
                  So we insisted to the point of paying for it.
                  Oh, he also saved money on parking, because he could walk to classes (Parking at the school was $250 a semester. Else, you had to go to remote areas, and wait for the bus. This was an issue as he often stayed in labs late.)
                  …. so you know, his lowest expense was to live in one of those fancy buildings. (Shrug.)

                  1. We did the same for our son. OTOH our planning was different than my parents planning. Parents planning was “You are going to college.” They paid room and board freshman year. I paid everything else. After that I paid … well if I needed help come spring, they covered the shortfall. Did not have a car until Junior year and I took fall term off to afford it. My Junior year my next younger sister was also in college. They “paid” her room and board all the way through teachers 5th year (she lived at home). As I graduated, after winter term, my youngest sister started that next fall, with a 75% scholarship, at Stanford. I got loans starting my sophomore year. (Technically they paid my room and board my two junior year terms … I commuted from home. Although I did have to pay my fuel costs. Two hours a day, 100 miles round trip. Then it seemed a long ways. Now? Not so much. But didn’t let son do it.)

                    Our son, we had the state 529 plan. (Not that it helped other than tax deduction because Oregon State 529 crashed just before he started. “Ride it Out” wasn’t an option. Didn’t loose any principle. But we could have done better in stocks and paid the dang tax.) Plus he worked summers before heading to college. He had a partial scholarship. He lived in dorm first two years, then two years in quads (private, but same as what you describe), and final year in single apartment with no lease. He’d been in the quad again but they had a 9 month lease, if one class hadn’t gotten canceled on him fall term, he’d been done that fall. It wasn’t offered again until spring. Since he had to stay anyway, he got some extra classes winter term too. Paying for son’s college was a family effort. I’ve stated why he didn’t have student loans before. We said “no” to the 6% Parent Plus loans and couldn’t find anything else we could tolerate.

        1. There’s mini-vans and full size vans. They aren’t as cool as an suv, but the car seats do fit. Friend has 5 kids aged 13-2 which she hauls around in her mini-van. Very fun family. Mini-vans when I looked were not necessarily more expensive than an suv.

          1. Big shout out for the Kia Sedona– I still miss ours– reasonable price, drove well, great space.

            Once you get to where you have 5 or more, or EVER want to bring passengers? The prices go through the roof.

            We switched over to basically a crew-hauler and it was priced much higher than SUVs– I just looked to see what was available now, and can’t find anything that didn’t max out at seven for under $40k, used, not looking at condition. In contrast, there are new SUVs for just over half that price.

            Yeah, markets are screwy right now, but the market manipulation with fuel and safety standards and all kinds of other “we want to manipulate people into doing A Thing” nonsense is making stuff really, really messy.

            1. I knew a family of eight kids. They were stuck buying the only car on the market at that time that had seat for all the fam.
              At some point, buy a school bus.

              1. The families with septuplets, or even sextuplets + older twins … Even a coworker of mine who had triplets. Sure standard vehicle worked once they were out of car and booster seats, maybe (depends on how big the boys got eventually, if the size of my nephew, no), before then? No. Took at least a 7 seats. Because the middle bench seat won’t fit 3 booster seats, let alone 3 car seats, in most rigs. The big Suburban SUV type, maybe. They had a 7 seat van. (Having 2 dogs didn’t help.) The front passenger seat is a no go.

              2. When the stated issue is can’t get past 2 kids due to car seats, pointing out that minivans are a reasonable solution that takes you to 5 kids seems reasonable. After all, to get to 6 is however many years it takes to get to 5 (for most people will be at least 5 years)….

              3. Good luck with that (the school bus). If I’m not mistaken the seats and safety equipment in a school bus don’t meet even the minimum requirements for transporting children (or for that matter, adults) in a private vehicle. Sorta makes ya think, don’t it?

                I suppose it’s because school bus drivers are so well-trained and so competent that accidents are just not possible…

                1. not to mention all the licensing and inspections required for driving a commercial vehicle with passangers.

                  David Lang

                  1. True, but that wasn’t my point. I’m not sure exactly how the laws read, Federal or state, but I suspect that a former school bus used as a private vehicle would have to pass “safety” standards (seat belts, child seats, airbags, etc, ad nauseum) to operate on the public roads or be in violation of the safetycrat decrees. Of course, the rules are different if it’s used by an “official” organization, as the lack of any such safety equipment in actual school buses makes clear…

                    1. OK; thanks. I’m not sure how that applies to school buses sold into private use, since the requirement for child safety seats doesn’t, I believe, have any exceptions for vehicles without belts (which are required for safety seat use). I’d guess that would mean that children in the relevant age/height/weight range would be forbidden from traveling in such a bus, even though they do so by the millions when the buses are used “officially”. The usual rules written by morons…

                      I found a doc at that is about clear as mud regarding private bus use (big surprise…), and only applies to Michigan.

                    2. Translating the federal regs, it says “you don’t have to put in belts on a bus with these qualifications unless local law says so, this thing will tell you how to do it if you do.”

                      The specialized license needed to drive a vehicle that can hold more than….argh, 16?… people would be the bigger target.

                    3. OK; thanks again. I found a table of laws by state (, but I haven’t been able to locate anything about Federal law (as contrasted with NHTSA recommendations) on the subject, or any state law info about child seat use in vehicles without belts. I think we’ve beaten this bloody, so I suppose it’s time to let it drop… 🙂

    2. Ah ha! That’s it! It’s not being unfaithful to your spouse. It’s conducting fertility testing in the wake of experimental COVID inoculations. Yeah, right. And I have some prime off shore Florida real estate to sell too.

  12. The Left doesn’t eat our seed corn. It burns it, and proclaims the smoky bonfire a public good.

  13. To be fair, even when I theoretically could, I was very, very (supremely) bad at it. As in, fertility of a small rock.

    Hmm, yes another indication that our Sarah is The Mother Of the Nation. Sarah from the Bible didn’t get around to that whole child thing until very late in life.

  14. My son and I find ourselves re-reading John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar at least once every decade. Different takeaways, each read, his President Obomi, didn’t ring any bells in earlier re-reads, nor his EU before ’93.

    Eating the seed corn: Seed corn that’s left not of the best quality. The mid point IQ, 100, adjusted downward, at lest twice in my, to date, lifetime.

    Too many old folks? Maybe extending childhood too many years. Was a time when a 14 year old might lead a regiment, today many 40 year olds truly couldn’t lead a horse to water.

    Yep,the fecund need be prolific but I think the gene pool needs cleansing as well. Our safety first, bubble wrap all, OSHA, protect against risk no matter what, is, in my humble opinion, leading to un- natural selection.

      1. There is a psychometric idea called the Big Five, meaning personality traits that show up over and over in different studies (and, looked at cynically, might have shown up in enough so that you can’t account for all the evidence by research fraud). But their names don’t always mean what they sound like they mean.

        For example, I’ve taken a couple of inventories, and I rate at the extremely high end on Openness to Experience. But from the questions, openness to experience doesn’t mean that you’re ready to bungee jump, or hitchhike through Brazil, or put your meds in a dish with everyone else’s and take a couple at random, or practice sexual kinks, or go to the International Space Station . . . any of which would count as “experience.” It means you’re interested in the arts, and you read books, and maybe you eat at restaurants that serve non-American cuisines; that is, you have the pattern of behavior that’s a typical marker of having gone to college. (On one of our visits to C’s father before he died, we and he and her sister and brother in law all went to a Chinese restaurant, and they were visibly surprised—other than C—when I asked for chopsticks.) So “openness to experience” is a measure of something, but it’s not the something that it sounds like. (And yes, my cultural tastes make me “left wing”—but my political and economic views definitely don’t.)

        I read the epigraph to Glory Road in my teens, with the line, “He is a barbarian, and thinks the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.” And that’s one of the things I’ve always read science fiction for—to read about futures where the customs of our tribe and island are forgotten, or viewed as unimaginably weird. (I think this is what Darko Suvin called “cognitive estrangement.”) But increasingly, now, it seems that science fiction envisions futures where the only changes in custom are to have everyone do what the Left now demands, and the only past customs that are viewed as strange are the unwoke ones. And perhaps that’s associated with the change from its being written by techies with writing as a sideline to having it written by English majors and even English PhDs.

        (The University of California at Riverside has a program in “technoculture.” It’s headed by a woman who’s published a good deal of science fiction. But the faculty who support the program, recruited from multiple departments, include not a single person from any natural scientific or technological field. John W. Campbell must be spinning in his grave.)

          1. The wife and I were just talking about this earlier today. Politically, economically, and morally, we’re quite conservative, culturally, etc., we’re both basically hippies.

            1. yeah. We tend to gravitate to areas of cities full of lefties, because of how we live. I cook for recreation. We read. We go to museums. We discuss philosophy…..

          2. Eh. I read (and write a bit) sci fi. The left doesn’t get to claim my culture. They haven’t earned sh!t from me but scorn. They also want to claim blue collar workers, non-white people, artists, and folks that don’t quite fit.

            Ain’t happen’ for this old redneck.

            And, being low in agreeableness (i.e. stubborn as a mule), that ain’t likely to change, either. The left doesn’t want me to exist. The establishment right doesn’t know what to do about me.

            I wonder if it’s possible to change an entire culture with stubbornness. Sounds like an interesting experiment, no?

          3. I know I’ve got a more than few oddball cultural and entertainment tastes that put me in a similar area as all of you, though economically and politically I want nothing to do with leftism.

            1. Over these past few years I’ve come to believe a thing. There’s a lot of folks that fall under the broad tent of “anti-Communist.” You may substitute leftist, woke, socialist, marxist, progressive, democrat, or liberal for Communist. It all means basically the same, far as I’m concerned.

              We may- well, we do disagree on a lot of stuff. And most of us are pretty okay with that. You may not think shutting down the IRS, Dept of Ed, BATFE, (etc, etc) completely is the right thing to do. You may disagree with me that there are still a few stalwart, patriotic souls in the fibbies that might be able to salvage the department (though it’d take a miracle at this point). We may disagree over the flat tax/fair tax thing, over tar-and-feathers vs. exile to a private island with no way off.

              As to that last, I much prefer a private asteroid. Let ’em work for a living for once. Consequences might be brutal. For them. But I’m willing to live with that. So long as it gets humans into space with lower cost to orbit.

              If we could get all the anti-Communist, anti-Establishment folks together, there’s no way the current Proggie/Establishment RINOs could stop us. Trump nearly did it, despite all the backstabbery and putting faith in the wrong folks, he united a p*ssed off and proud of it part of the country all together.

              We can argue about the little stuff later. If we focus on booting out the ones that don’t represent us- from BOTH parties- we’ll be far better off than we were. I’d much rather face off against a guy that I disagree with, but I know has the country’s best interest at heart. So long as we agree on what we’re aiming for, we can wrangle the details on just how that’ll happen.

              But the Romneys, the Cheneys, the McConnells need to go. They do not represent US. It’s time they were reminded who they work for. The local GOP establishment is just as bad, mind, in most places. Don’t forget about them neither.

        1. @ William > “But their names don’t always mean what they sound like they mean.”
          That’s also true of the labels that Myers & Briggs put on their Personality Type Inventory traits.
          Their definitions aren’t totally in-line with the normal meaning of the words, and so people make inferences from the names of the Types that aren’t really warranted by the traits themselves.

      2. Our across the street neighbor is a very low IQ guy. Literally. I’ve known him since he was in grade school and he never did graduate high school, which this day and age you definitely have to age out to not graduate.
        Not smart in any way shape or form. He is however, a very hard worker, hustles like no one I’ve ever seen, honest as they come, helpful to all in need and is supporting his family just fine.

        He can’t read past a second grade level but married someone who can and his three kids will never go hungry or wear rags as long as he breathes air.

        That used to be the way of the world for longer than college has existed.

        If it was an either or choice the nation would do better with more of him and fewer Harvard grads.

        1. @ SusanM > “If it was an either or choice the nation would do better with more of him and fewer Harvard grads.”


      3. Once one removes the population that scores below about 85, one stdev below the mean, there is no correlation of IQ with, well, anything. You don’t need an IQ test to identify that population.
        Therefore IQ tests are completely useless.

        All this leaves Murray’s question from the Bell Curve though, what does a society do with the people “down there?” We dismiss Murray at our peril since his predictions in the Bell Curve have proved to be scarily accurate.

        1. Following Murray’s suggestions would be a good start. There needs to be an honorable place for every person of good character. Keep the regulations and laws simple, so that even the simple-minded can understand and follow them. Guide people into jobs that they can do.

        2. I’m pretty sure IQs well above that (>= +2 SD) correlate quite well with success in certain professions, e.g., programming, engineering, physics.

      4. Many people think that IQ is innate, but there are two data points that argue strongly against it. First, your IQ score will change over your lifetime. (And will also vary quite a bit depending on whether you got enough sleep the night before the test, etc.). Second, there’s some hard data from Norway that shows that two extra years of school increased IQ by an average of 7 points. Which means that IQ is increased by good schools, and will presumably be decreased by bad schools.

        Now think about that fact, and about the abysmal average IQ scores found in some countries in Africa, where the average IQ score in some countries is less than 50. Do you really think that the average person in those countries is in the can’t-even-take-care-of-himself range of human intelligence? Or do you think that that’s really an indictment of the schooling system in those countries?

        SO many people think IQ is only about genetics, and therefore The Bell Curve was racist. When in fact, those lower IQ scores between the races (assuming those differences in average score were real) are a glaring indictment of the schools in majority-black neighborhoods.

        1. There’s also the issue of “who is taking the test, and why?”

          I’m quite sure that the ASVAP (test to qualify to enter the military) took a major dive in results when the folks testing went from “people who want to be in the military” to “absolutely everyone in the class, and if you finished early you could leave for lunch.”

          1. My son went to Cleveland municipal schools, and when he took the ASVAB, he maxxed out the scores for the CITY. He pretty much had his pick of jobs. He ended up in digital electronics, a field where he has supported himself for many years, and is currently running a company for his boss, who retired to FL a few years ago.
            And with only about 1 year of college. He has resisted his father’s blandishments to continue and get the degree. Just not interested.
            He’s 53, and a father of a 6-year old. He marches to his own drummer.

            1. Sigh. I maxed out the ASVAB score. I was being vetted for officer training. Then during the physical they were shocked, so shocked even the med doc blurted out, “Do you know you’re almost legally blind? You don’t act as blind as you are!” And THAT was the end of my military service aspirations.

                1. Oh, I feel him. It broke my heart as well though having heard from too many on how the military scammed them by telling them they would go into one high level training before they signed on the dotted line, and then once signed in put in the grunt section, might have been a pure s-show. (I definitely would have been what is called a ‘career captain’, because at the time, I was too darn blunt. I’ve since mellowed. 😉 )

                  1. well, that really depends on the service. The Marines are particularly known for shuffling you wherever they want, and sometimes you spend six months waiting for the training that they decided you needed to open…

                    The army, you have a contract for a specific job, and if you dont flunk out of the course you get it. The AF, i dont know.

                    1. Oh, I wanted the AF, and they did want me. They put in for a waiver, but they determined I was still too blind. But before that they were asking me if I was interested in signing up for ten years of my life, and I’d do a year enlisted, then be sent to ROTC, and then come back an officer for the rest of my time.

                      Sigh But that is a path I will never know what would be.

        2. @ Robin > “the abysmal average IQ scores found in some countries in Africa, where the average IQ score in some countries is less than 50.”

          We have friends who immigrated from Liberia as adults, and all of them are smart, hard-working, successful people, while their kids are clearly of average or better intelligence.
          Schools have a LOT to do with those scores, and they were clearly brought up in the better ones.
          They also were not taught that excelling in reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic was only something done by white supremacists.

    1. I posit a lot of what you’re taking as poor quality seed corn is people and psyches bent in awful ways by perverse incentives and influences, especially the ones that keep folks from following God or having children.

      Like, gosh, folks do stupid and counterproductive things when there’s nothing beyond themselves and their wants of the moment. Wonder how that could possibly have happened.

  15. Thinking through the student loan mess, a large part of it seems to be that the universities found a way to offload the risk of making insane loans to sell worthless assets onto the tax payer.

    I find myself wondering if the dual solutions may be figuring out if those universities are actually still on the hook for those debts (i.e. they were sold under false valuation or some such) and in future making loans for non-transferable assets also non-transferable? I.e. if you loan someone money for something that you cannot reposess, then you can also not sell the loan in turn.

      1. Honestly, I expect they’ll cancel it before the elections. Because it’s become a hot potato. And they’re terrified of the back lash if they don’t. Also, because they think it will hurt us.

      2. Which means the universities basically looted trillions of dollars from the public purse and get to keep it. Not surprised his administration is pushing this, but it is corrupt as anything.

        I honestly don’t know what the solution for that sort of misdeeds are. I suspect it’s more likely than not to simply end up tearing entire systems apart.

        It’s frustrating for me, because my original field is one of those that the university system is (if properly run) ideally suited for. And I actually really enjoyed it, and was one of those people well suited for it, but it has become corrupt, to the point that I don’t think I can trust it, even in the areas where it is the best likely system for it.

        I think I’ve mentioned elsewhere, this generation of Star Trek really should have been about a captain and crew who genuinely believed in the Federation’s stated ideals, running smack into a Federation who had perverted them into meaning the exact opposite. Heck, they could even have brought Picard in as a wise old mentor character who remembered when their words meant something too.

        But that was not what they did, because they’re part of the problem too.

        1. a captain and crew who genuinely believed in the Federation’s stated ideals, running smack into a Federation who had perverted them into meaning the exact opposite

          Hasn’t that pretty much been the single most consistent theme throughout the entire franchise?

          1. Which is why it would work.

            Oooh, could’ve made it set at the University, and then have Picard going in with a desire to echo … argh, Bigbe? Bigby?

      3. That’s the PR spin. When you look into it, that ‘wipe away’ is insidious. It’s only the PRINCIPLE which is erased. All the interest the debtor is still on the hook for. Which the interest is usually many times more than the principle. I know I looked into it, as I definitely felt defrauded by one grad school. But when I saw that, and how you had to still be in dire straights, even if the incident happened years ago, and I just growled and moved on.

    1. THIS. The universities aren’t going to be hurt by cancelling student debt; they’ve already got their money. If anything, it’s going to make them richer as they raise prices and say, “Don’t worry, you can take out a loan for it, and you almost certainly aren’t going to have to pay any of that money back…”

      The one compromise I would take would be a complete end to federal student loans: the existing ones are forgiven, but we make no more ever again. If you can find a bank to lend you the money, more power to you, but banks look more closely at who they think can pay it back. Yes, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth and talk about how much we hate the poor because we won’t encourage them to go hundreds of thousands into debt for a degree in gender studies, but thems the breaks.

      1. The universities completely have the money. There are two local universities with pass through rates of under 10%. That means less than 10% of each entering class ACTUALLY graduates! And most of the kids going to these universities are from poor families. And it’s not kick them out straight away, it’s leading them along for years. I mean YEARS. There’s all these ‘catch up classes’ which are basically high school level, and so the student doesn’t hit the hard stuff until the 3rd year, or worse, never does and finds after 5 years, they aren’t getting any more loans due to time limits, and have no credits which won’t actually turn into a degree. (Long story on how this works.)

        And one is public, so the government is fleecing this children. Because remember they go in at 18!

        So no degree, just debt. Loads of debt. Well, maybe it doesn’t seem like much to a middle class person, but to a poor person, $5,000 might as well be $500,000.

        1. I went light on loans but a lot of that is very familiar to me, especially when I left one of the state’s flagship universities for a small private college. I lost credits due to residency requirements and the time limits combined with family issues have left me without a degree 15 years later. Thankfully there wasn’t much debt to deal with so it could be a lot worse but getting out of manual labor and the stuff Sarah went over in Expectations is still a heavy burden in its own way.

          1. Oh, I understand. I went from manual labor insanely poor, and to an insane physics career and upper middle class. I went well into debt, but for me, but for me I feel it was worth it. I saw what happened to another family member and they are still doing retail. I jumped way out of retail.

            Sure it would be nice to get the debt written off, but I’m actually more concerned about those people who were lied to and lives destroyed just so some professors can have a nice ride. If those people, who were not only taken advantage of, but also told they were losers as insult to injury, can be given a life again, I’d be happy.

        2. @ zanoliver & all: This kind of debt servitude was the plan all along.
          Can’t have a government bureaucracy getting paid to manage the Welfare System if there aren’t any people on Welfare because they can earn their own living.
          Biden Inc. might do a one-time debt forgiveness to buy votes, but they will hedge it up so somebody gets at least part of the repayments, and very few actually end up free to join the Deplorable Middle Class or the Workers of the World (funny how Marxists don’t much care about the proletariat any more…)

  16. “Build, and think and remain as flexible as you can.” Great line, and ‘some’ of us are doing that into our seventies. In my previous line of work, we were known collectively as ‘Graybeards’, because we’d been there and done that for real. The kids had ‘played’ at it, but never confronted those actual decision processes IRL, nor had they ever had to do it without software to back them up. It was eye opening for them, and hopefully a few of them took those lessons to heart.

  17. I would support student loan forgiveness if and only if the debts were paid out of the universities’ multi-bazillion-dollar endowments. It wasn’t random taxpayers selling “fill-in-the-blank studies” degrees as great investments to minors and their parents. (These debts should be dischargeable in bankruptcy, so much more reform is needed.)

  18. On student loans: At present, I believe the loans are mostly held by the government. If that is the case, then the interest should be “forgiven,” but the capital not forgiven. That is, the original cost of tuition, room and board should be repaid. Compounding interest charges are what really get debtors in trouble. It would be appropriate for the government to front the cost of a degree, but it is not appropriate for the government to prevent young people from setting up their own household.

    Large amounts of student debt discourage innovation and risk taking. It also reduces the amount of tax revenue, in the long term, as it discourages marriage and family formation.

    As for having children outside of marriage, I think the advances in DNA science will change customs in that area. It is now possible to prove a child’s parentage, something that was not possible in earlier times.

    (As an aside, it is shameful that the president and his family will not acknowledge his illegitimate grandchild.)

    1. I’m going to say that it would be better to stick the universities with it. If it destroyed the majority of them financially, it would be a good thing.

      1. I’ve never heard a good justification for universities with 53.2 Billion Dollar (US) endowments. Harvard, I’m looking at you. Princeton has a mere 37.7 billion. Those numbers are from their own websites.

    2. Given how corrupt the president’s family is, their refusal to acknowledge the kid might leave the kid better off in the long run.

    3. Ahh, but you have it backward! They are giving forgiveness of the principle, for those defrauded. But all that accumulated interest? It still has to be paid back.

      I try and talk every kid out of college, or if they feel they must, I tell them to go to the local university with a greater than 90% pass rate. But do they listen to me? Of course not. But even then, not everyone has someone like me in their life.

  19. I don’t know about baby boomers continuing to work. I was born right in the middle of the true baby boom. I held off on signing up for Social Security till I was 69 (I had meant it to be 70, but we needed to fund a move out of California); I’m still working and have no plans to retire—in fact I had an unanticipated rise in income in 2021. But when I was thinking about when to retire I looked up Social Security, and found that it was legal to start taking it as young as 62; and I read that 62 was in fact the commonest age to do so.

    Which is really just crazy. When Social Security was invented, you started at 65, and a lot of people were already dead before getting to 65, and those who did had a few years of drawing a little financial help before they too died. (Still true when FDR put it through in the US, but probably even more true when Bismarck invented it.) But now when I hear of someone dying before 70 I think “They were so young!” I think that you have to be around 80 to be in the shape 65-year-olds used to be in. The retirement age ought to have been moved up. It’s only been increased at all very recently, and at a glacial pace.

    And so I have the impression that we have a great crowd of boomers who stopped working in their sixties, and now expect to live off of income redistributed from the young for two decades or longer. If you want to know why it’s hard for young people to afford families, don’t leave that out of your calculations.

      1. That could account for the data, and if it’s true, it’s a good thing.

      2. After 55 you’re in a “protected class,” whatever that means.

        Dad was let go at 54 1/2 (one of 5 people in the same category, laid off the same day, no one else affected by the supposed layoff) and every job he applied for from that point on he was “overqualified.” After cashing out his retirement and running down his savings, he took SS at the earliest possible moment just to survive.

    1. I worked it out. I paid about $160,000 into Socialist Stupidity in a 40-year career. If I start collecting at 65, and live to 80, I will be ‘entitled’ to about $350,000. If I live to 85, that will be over $500,000. If 95, almost $760,000.

      Now multiply those numbers by 70 million, and ask why the government is going broke.
      ‘Progressives’ suppress free speech because they don’t have the means to suppress free thought.


      1. That’s one of those government programs whose operation depends on continuing population increase, to spread the growing burden of the retired over a larger number of younger workers. The ratio has been falling for a long time, even by official statistics.

    2. We both took our individual SS at discounted 62. Hubby’s is less discounted because his full SS (baring stretching it out to 70) was still 65. Mine is discounted from almost 68 (making age 70 even less than ideal). Our reasoning? SS isn’t full taxed. We either took SS now or pulled more taxable income from savings. We Had No Non-Taxable savings. We did the math. OTOH that math was not based on the 8% annual increase your SS increases every year delayed. Which, lets face it the last 10 years is a return one could not get taking the money and throwing it into savings, for most. Our investments OTOH have repeatably average 10%+ year to year not accounting for what we pull to supplement pensions (because mine, at $121/month is soooo big) and the SS. (Not actual amounts, but will get point across. Example: Accounts up $60k over prior year balance. But over the year we pulled $40k so reality accounts earned $100k year to year. But if we weren’t pulling in SS the earnings year to year would have been the same $100k earnings, but we’d have had to pull another taxable $50k, netting only $10k over prior year. Making the net year to year < 10% as we calculate it.) Note on investments. While not excessively conservative, not risky either. Oh, a 1929 black Friday would be not good. But even the wild rides recently have been hurtful either. We’re not gambling like day traders. (Heck no, that would be Work, and can’t be done from the golf coarse, I mean, really now. I know what is being done. I don’t do it. That is hubby’s thing. But I do get a veto on how it is done.)

    3. I took SS at 62 because I was unemployed at the time and didn’t want to run down my savings quickly. Then I got a job and my SS benefits were withheld because I was making too much money; they did add the time of withholding to my effective retirement date, so in effect I retired at 64.

      I would probably do it again the same way because I don’t trust the government’s promise to pay future benefits of any kind.

      1. I did, too – couldn’t get a job, not even as a temp, to augment the military retirement. The pension was barely enough to pay the mortgage and a couple of significant bills. SS let me afford to do repairs to the house, and purchase groceries,
        I’d never be able to afford a vacay on a cruise ship, but then I wouldn’t want to do that anyway. A trip on a floating lemming colony with occasional stops in foreign ports … bleah.

  20. Meanwhile, in Shanghai…

    The Guardian is reporting (among other things) that thousands of uninfected residents in the Xihui district were told by authorities to relocate out of Shanghai so that their district could be disinfected.

    1. They’ve really gone Bathsh-t crazy over there. I’m hearing that they’re starting to shoot government officials, senior government officials, They were told, “military order” mind, it was to end by last Wednesday and it didn’t. I almost, almost, feel sorry for them. On the one hand you have food riots and your MIL complaining about quarantine, whilst on the other hand they’re going to shoot you if you don’t stop the spread of what’s essentially a cold.

      if only we could ship Fauci over there. He could live out his creepy totalitarian dream, and then they’d shoot him when he failed and save us the trouble.

  21. I see the logic behind wanting people to have more kids and raise them well, but it’s a heck of a sentiment when real inflation is 25% per year, food inflation is even higher, and stores are rationing baby formula because they can’t get regular shipments.

    Sure, have kids. When you’re stable enough to feed, house, and clothe them. We already have a lot of people putting a strain on the welfare programs. We don’t need to purposely become Communist Romania and make it worse.

    1. Shades of the “we can’t afford to homeschool” arguments….

      Look, as badly as inflation sucks, there still isn’t a big chunk of the population that is only eating because they get food stamps, or are eating out of the food pantry.

      There is massive room for basic fraud recognition, and if demand was actually as high as they want to act, they wouldn’t keep forcing expansions to people who don’t want it– for example, the number of people receiving nutritional assistance includes students on free or reduced lunch. Which they’ve forced some schools to blanket apply. Even when I was in high school, they kept signing me up for it– eventually, I quit eating in the lunch room, because we didn’t need food help.
      During the COVID shutdown, my old school was driving around dropping off food to every single enrolled kid, because that’s what the program required.

      I know elderly couples who were signed up for SNAP without their approval, and they weren’t allowed to decline or they’d lose everything. (They were, thankfully, not forced to spend it!)
      I vaguely remember something about screwballery with some VA stuff, as well.

      1. A dozen of our local churches run a food bank. Demand has dropped in the last few years; I can remember days when we’d get over 40 singles/families a Tuesday. Now it’s exceptional to get more than a dozen.
        Mind you, the food bank requires you to meet some standards, while other local groups are doing, “come one, come all,” which might partly explain it. (Wry grin).

  22. I don’t know for sure if it’s general or particular to us, but our Russian Orthodox parish has many large families. The average number of children per family of child-bearing age seems to be about four, with a good number of families having significantly more than that. It could be because we’re in east Tennessee too, I suppose, but all I know for sure is we’ve got kids coming out of our ears. Kinda fun, actually…

    1. It’s not just that one.

      I suspect it is a combination of that church being heavily convert based in the US, and systematically encouraging marriage and families. I’ve also observed that the Russian churches seem to also prefer to have married priests more than a lot of the other branches do.

      So you get a combination of a subculture that encourages families, with a subculture that is not even remotely affected by the conquered culture issue a lot of the US cultural blocks have right now, and I think you’ve got a recipe for growth.

      1. I’ve always felt that the Orthodox have a good compromise on priestly celibacy. Priests are allowed to marry, which I think is an important part of being able to provide good pastoral ministry. On the other hand, the church leadership are almost all monks, who, lacking spouse and children, have the freedom travel where needed and devote all of their time to the church. The system manages to combine Timothy’s “a pastor should be a good manager of his household” and Paul’s “I wish all could be as I am.”

        1. Specifically, a married man may be ordained a priest, and only with the consent of his wife.

          Priests are considered to have to much power to go courting after they have been ordained. Now, there are situations where a priest needs a wife, but those are handled by their bishops, and the Bishop generally picks someone for them.

          The priest’s wife also ends up being a position of respect, though their role is entirely informal.

          It is kind of funny. At our parish a pretty significant fraction of the little kids there are the senior priest’s grand kids. He does children’s sermons after the end of the main service and is clearly having an absolute blast. He is a character and a half.

          One time in the middle of some really long service, my little brother had gotten out ahead of us. He was being so good that Mom had let him get out of immediate arms reach.

          Well, the priest was out doing some part of the service, and he just reached up, tugs on his sleeve, and whispers (in true 50db child whisper) “How much longer?”

          The priest leaned over and whispered back, “About another hour.”

          Poor Mom. The only reason our youngest brother survived the night was because his older brothers were both to tall to vault, and to broad to be helped aside, and killing him afterbthebfact would have just made the scene bigger.

    2. Ours is the same. Well, except we’re Antiochian (as of tomorrow), so the translation and the most common potluck foods are probably slightly different.

    3. Iowa’s the first place I’ve run into a lot of folks my age who were one of five or more kids– four or five isn’t uncommon at our tiny parish, either, though most of the kids are upper end of high school right now. (Appears to be a generational cycle thing- the other family with three or more under ten make up the older little kids, but there’s a nice sized lump of preschoolers or babies now!)

    4. The young families at the church where I sing (Protestant) are all 2+ kids. The largest I know of has four kids, and I suspect a fractional kid. 😉

    5. In NYC there’s a strange phenomenon that 3 is the new 2. It’s so expensive to raise children here that having 3 children shows that you’re fairly rich, or you’re Hasidim, they tend to be very poor but manage all the same.

      1. My mother, who grew up absolutely poverty stricken and never lived in a home that had an indoor toilet or running water until she married Dad told me “If you have one kid he takes up all your time and all your money. If you have 6 kids they also take up all your time and money. You might as well get your money’s worth.”

        Cheaper by the dozen don’t you know.

        We found that once you have a kid the major stuff is already there and the rest are pretty cost effective.

        We raised 6. And when we started out home loans were at 15%. But we managed to get a home. We also managed to homeschool. I was 60 years old before I ever had a new car, etc. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I would have spent the money on something, who knows what. But the only thing you can give your kids that absolutely no one else can give them is siblings. So it’s a good investment in the long run and I feel extremely blessed to have them all. They love each other and even though we are far apart in distance we are a close knit group.

        As Himself has said. “Choose life that you and your children may live.”.

        1. “If you have one kid he takes up all your time and all your money. If you have 6 kids they also take up all your time and money. You might as well get your money’s worth.”

          :laughs: I can vouch for this!

          It also helps if you either have family in the area, or choose to homeschool– I don’t know how folks who use public schools manage it, my sister in law with only two in grade school spent most of her day in the car juggling their stuff, and they weren’t doing anything special!

          1. Our answer to all the people we know who we’re waiting until they could afford it to have children was you can never afford it, but you can do it all the same.

            We had three, wanted more but they didn’t come along.

          2. Absolutely. Homeschooling 6 kids was a bit of work, no doubt. But not nearly as big of a hassle as dealing with the school district and 2 careers.

            And that was back before homeschooling was a thing so I was basically on my own to do it.

            But it gave us time for the kids to be in soccer, YMCA basketball, wrestling, church stuff, homeschool groups, and we built and ran a BMX track for the kids of the town, ran soapbox derby events and other stuff.

            All because I ran our kid’s education plus the household and we didn’t have to waste time with public school.

            If anyone, anyone at all, is thinking they might want to do it, go for it. It is a great lifestyle.

          3. @ Foxfier > “It also helps if you either have family in the area, or choose to homeschool– I don’t know how folks who use public schools manage it”

            Since we are encouraging people to have more kids and get their money’s worth from the initial investment in the first one, it may be helpful to know that you can, in fact, raise five (or more) progeny-units without local family, using public schools, and still end up with reasonably sane, socially and economically productive off-spring.

            NOTE that these caveats may not be applicable to every familial situation, but this is how we, and our friends with large families, managed circa 1985-2005.

            (1) It really, really helps to have a two-parent family. One parent should be the designated home-based care-giver (work options are a lot more flexible now, and the choice doesn’t have to be a permanent arrangement, depending on the jobs situation); two off-site working parents have a much more difficult task. Single parents might team up with each other somehow, but it’s a lot harder to divide up the responsibilities without problems.

            (2) A strongly supportive church congregation can make up for some of the help that isn’t available from family because they: live too far away, aren’t willing to or can’t help, or don’t exist in the first place. I don’t personally know of any comparable secular organizations, but that doesn’t mean there are none.

            (3) There are, even today, some school systems or particular campuses that haven’t signed up with the Devil completely, but they are getting harder to find. One thing that helped: we (in the person of the designated home-based care-giver) made personal contact with as many teachers as was feasible, even in high school (easier in the smallish-town we settled in to raise the brood).

            (4) To minimize the stuff juggling, we deliberately bought houses within walking distance of the elementary schools (twice); were selective about their extra-curricular activities; and piggy-backed them where possible, even if one kid had to stay after school until another one was finished. Luckily, several of them had the same interests (band, orchestra) and all five were in the theater program. What saved our bacon is that none of them was sports-focused.

            Sadly, parents are not as welcome in the schools now as they were back then, when any type of volunteer aides were treasured rather than shunned.
            But then, at the time, at least in our Texas district,<b< the teachers weren’t doing things that they didn’t want the parents to know about.
            IMO, if more parents were physically present in the schools, they wouldn’t be doing them as much today either. When most of the parents agree with the woke indoctrination, the only recourse is changing schools or home-schooling.

            One positive development is the increase in private schools (not necessarily public-chartered ones) that are in-between the large public factories and individual homes; one set of grandkids landed in an exemplary institution to get out of the covid shut-downs, but their dad makes more money than both-of-us-put-together did at his age, so that’s not a viable solution for everyone.
            Some home-schooling families form groups for sharing resources and educational skills. There is a lot more support for that now, especially with on-line curricula and just general accessibility of information.

        2. “If you have one kid he takes up all your time and all your money. If you have 6 kids they also take up all your time and money. You might as well get your money’s worth.”

          That was essentially my argument. Might as well have a second, I’ve already left the workforce. We’re planning to homeschool. How many more years will it take to add another to the queue? Now, my particular children have some can’t sleep for the irritation without soothing which makes the first two years particularly exhausting. So my kids are more spaced out. Can’t have another until I can sleep through the night!

  23. Suddenly editors and agents were telling me that I was too OLD to write, and they needed to buy these highly-privileged, never-lived kiddies “to connect with the young people.”

    And by young people, they mean the ones who are EXACTLY how they imagine themselves to be, in their deepest flattery.

    …works just as well as the “doing guitar masses to connect to young people” thing that is also done, because all Young People are just like their self image….

    1. yep.
      I mean, look, if you’d been writing at the time, I think you’re about the right age, but you’d at least be in the Navy and KNOW something beyond “am in college, and this is what they tell me.”

      1. There’s a reason I recognize the type. 😀 And yes, the trust fund babies about my age, who repeated all the fashionable stuff from the progs of the sixties, with the popular spin, got picked to Appeal To The Youth.

        Most of them are STILL doing so at 40, and only the ones that can purge bad-think from their areas (think like college teachers) are having any luck.

    2. Yep. That’s yet another factor in the decline of mainline Protesant denominations, too. Water everything down to “appeal to young people,” when probably a good many young peop,people, would be fascinated by older ritual.
      (Then there’s, “water down doctrine so we don’t hurt anyone’s feelings,” like refusing to use the masculine pronouns for God the Father because some people were abused by their fathers and to use the word “Father,” in reference to the Deity might turn them off.)

      1. One thing I’ll grant the Catholic leadership in El Paso– and that is not going to be a long list!– is that they set up a parish that does Latin Mass, in a wonderfully historic church, and are by and large leaving it alone. The two priests there are both young (Well, were, when I was there last) and most of the folks at the Latin Mass were young, with a horde of kids, and the fathers of those kids actually came to Mass, as well!
        Which is good, because that church is in a really nasty area of town, now, but it was wonderful to see how well it worked.

        (Digression, but I was amused that our ants-in-the-pants son sat still the whole time, because with all the decorations there was always something he could look at closer.)

      2. The church where I sing is one of two in the denomination’s regional cluster that still has a fully traditional worship. Which probably explains why we have started to grow, and are attracting younger people.

  24. I think as far as the demographics go, the US is somewhere in the middle. We did a little bit better than the rest of the world with reproducing, so while when the boomers all retire it will blow a big hole in our workforce, we at least still have younger generations that are reasonably large and can eventually fill those roles, compared to places like Japan, China, Canada, etc where when their boomers retire (Soon for most of these places) and die off (Soon for Japan and Russia at least,) their populations will be significantly lower.

    The US has 35+ more years before we start hitting where Japan was in the 90’s, and where China is now, if the next generation doesn’t step up and hit replacement levels.

    Everyone should have 2 kids at least if they can, Some people should have more to make up for those who shirk that duty. I’m unfortunately in that camp because my wife can’t have a second kid. In the 2.0 to 2.5 range is healthy for a society.

    1. China also has the huge hole that is caused by the ‘one child’ policy (which thanks to ultrasound and abortion resulted in a generation very heavily skewed male).

      David Lang

      1. Yeah, because of that, China’s demographics are crashing harder than anyone else’s. They won’t get there first, but their crash will make the rest look minuscule, both because of their higher starting point, and because of just how quickly they went from being over 4, to being very close to 1, and at half the replacement rate. If it wasn’t for the life expectancy going up, they’d be already feeling that drop.

    2. We did a little bit better than the rest of the world with reproducing

      Actually, no, we did better than anyone else AFAIK. The rest of the world has a hole or an insignificant blip where we have “millennials”. For all of their crimes, the boomers in the US at least had some kids.

      In the 2.0 to 2.5 range is healthy for a [stagnant] society.


      1. Well, over 2.5 is good if you have a frontier for people to travel to, so once we’re building our squid farms on Mars, we should ramp it up to 3-5. 2.1 should give us basically a static population in the very long term, so 2.5 would be small growth.

        Yeah, as far as developed countries, we’re doing better than anyone else. The countries that are beating us on replacement rates are mostly developing, or are just reaching developed.

        Gen X also ended up with the reasonably decent sized Gen Z for kids, so we didn’t slack off as much as the rest of the world either, despite our smaller size. We’ll have to see how well the millennials do for keeping up the population.

        1. Well, over 2.5 is good if you have a frontier for people to travel to, so once we’re building our squid farms on Mars, we should ramp it up to 3-5. 2.1 should give us basically a static population in the very long term, so 2.5 would be small growth.

          Assumes both that we have any reason to have substandard growth in the pre-interplanetary era, and that the growth doesn’t cause a greater impetus to expand and create a frontier.

          1. The question is what you would want to do to get that growth. I’m personally not a fan of laws saying you must have at least this many children, and there’s a limit to how much you can do by just incentivizing people to have kids in other ways. I doubt you would be able to reach the level of 5 across the entire society without putting people into gulags if they don’t have kids, or if they absolutely need the labor to work on farming.

            Should remove any fetters, such as relaxing the car seat laws, and getting rid of any penalties in the tax laws for having more kids at least. We don’t want to go the route of the Council Wars series of books though and reduce our standard of living to preindustrial to encourage more births.

            1. The question is what you would want to do to get that growth.

              Nothing. Why the unholy fuck would I want government to Do Something for that?

              1. We wouldn’t, and that’s why it’s unlikely that we’ll get very high birth rates. We have to basically make it popular again by way of the culture, and hopefully we can reach the 3.0 level. It’s not a matter of us wanting to limit ourselves to something, it’s more that we need to find a way to push our way up to that level. Even 4.0 society-wide is wildly optimistic with a well developed society.

                1. No, this is as dirt simple as dirt simple can possibly be:

                  Stop culturally punishing people as hard as humanly possible for having kids, and they will have kids.

                  1. I agree with the policy position. I disagree with prediction of the outcome. We might get up from our current 1.9ish to 2.3 or 2.4, but I doubt we’ll get over 3 from just that change.

                    1. Considering that it is a common story from women that they want kids but have been shamed into thinking that they shouldn’t want them, or shouldn’t want more than 1-maybe-2……

                      That is just one phenomena. There are many like it. Every single one points in the direction of low birthrates being entirely an artifact of active suppression.

                    2. Have heard about men that were shamed into vasectomies after they had their one of each sex, or three, whichever came first.
                      Usually “for” their wife.
                      …not infrequently, with massive external pressure.

                    3. I never said that the 2.x should be equally distributed. Political leanings are largely heritable genetically. Let the inner city leftists have their 0-1 kids, and the Libertarian leaning should have 5+ kids and culturally know why it’s important, Eventually we’ll be at higher than 3 all around and a better political climate.

                      As for the vasectomy thing, my wife’s mother did that, had 2 kids then forced her husband to have one… Then got divorced and remarried, had one more kid, then forced her new husband to get one as well… I told her that I wasn’t ever going to do that.

                    4. and culturally know why it’s important

                      This, basically, is why homeschooling is A Thing.

                      This is probably biased by my own childhood, but– so dang many of the issues we’ve hit, boil down to “my parents assumed we were actually being taught.”

                      My dad was horrified to find out that I had zero, zip, nada idea of who “Charlemagne” was, even by any other name. Charles the Great? Carolus Magnus?
                      Me: Uh… I think it came up in some fiction? As a side character? Are there actual stories about this?
                      Him: History?
                      Me: I know you are familiar with the mess they made of World War II and Vietnam, because you AND mom came in for those parent teacher conferences….

                    5. Math.

                      Our son’s math teacher. “You aren’t doing him a favor by tutoring him.” We didn’t say anything. We just kept tutoring. Son did the work. Then son would go over the work with (after advanced Algebra, I can do it but not as easily) with dad. Son would do extra unassigned problems if dad had to help too much until son understood it. (Teacher translation: “Making me look bad. Not fair to other students.” Take your pick.)

                    6. That… makes less than no sense.

                      Agree. Why we didn’t respond. I mean what could we say? (That wouldn’t impact son?) If the teacher thought our silence was agreeing. Not our problem.

                    7. I’m with Ian here. It’s taken a concerted cultural effort to get to where we are today. Girls are told college or bust. They’re told it’s wrong to want babies, that the earth can’t support it. They’re told that babies are nuisances. (See the exercises where they give the girl a doll and make her care for it by the book so that she doesn’t want to have a baby because it’s just boring work). In order to destroy pair bonding from sex, hookup culture has been pushed (have sex with lots of people so that instead of functioning as a helpful marital parental glue, it’s just an appetite to feed). If a couple starts a family after doing all they are supposed to,she is likely 30 years old. First births suck, generally speaking, and its easy to stop there, if you think its like that every time, etc.

                    8. Which is when they made the “crack baby” version, and then started programming the babies to specifically disrupt sleep patterns and require kids to take them home for a week, while doing normal school activities.

                      I did the grant proposal for my high school getting a couple that were used as extra credit options, some of the options were downright propaganda level nonsense.

                2. I can vouch that the social pressures are huge– having kids is selfish, having more than three is dang near murder, oh you have two girls? Don’t fill the house with girls trying to get a boy! Oh, you got a boy! So you’re done now, right?

                  Don’t dare have more children than you can care for by yourself, it’s irresponsible. What, you have two kids under five? Don’t you know what causes that?

                  Seriously, if I never again had folks that barely know me ask intimate questions about the status of my husband, and my own, reproductive organs– I would be very, very happy!

                  I’m working to change the culture…mostly by just being out, and about, with our kids. When we can.
                  I’ve had more folks than I’m comfortable thinking about strike up conversations that boil down to:
                  “Wow, are you a daycare?”
                  “No, my husband and I just have a lot of kids.”
                  “So they’re all yours?”
                  “…I wanted five. We have two.”

                  1. Yeah, definitely takes a lot of work at the cultural level to correct that issue. I think that once we have the space colonization of mars it’ll be easier to push that line. Of course, the people who want 5 aren’t necessarily the majority, so they’re going to be backfilling a lot of the society that have 0 or 1.

                    1. Of course, the people who want 5 aren’t necessarily the majority, so they’re going to be backfilling a lot of the society that have 0 or 1.

                      The sample isn’t big enough to mean much right now, BUT… almost all the folks my age or younger that have at least four siblings, that I know, want to have at least four kids as well.

                      I hear a lot of “my family had a bunch of kids, so I don’t want any” from folks who are getting a bit long in the tooth to be grandparents, nevermind have a new baby.

                      Four kids is about where the “to heck with social pressure, we’re willing to be publicly shamed to have kids” point has kicked in, so even if they only average say 3.5 kids, that’s going to be a quickly growing segment of the population.

                  2. @ Foxfier >
                    We got the same kind of questions with our five – even more so because they were all boys.
                    My favorite answer to “So they’re all yours?” was one I cribbed from an old Reader’s Digest story:
                    “No, we checked them out from the library.”

                    Since we got most of our books from the library anyway, sometimes we even had the props with us.

                    1. My favorite answer to “So they’re all yours?” was one I cribbed from an old Reader’s Digest story:
                      “No, we checked them out from the library.”


                    2. We had three boys in a row. Then a girl. The comments we received when I became pregnant with # 5 we’re unbelievable.

                      People were astounded that we had more after we Had Our Girl. #6 did not create as many comments because apparently we were insane on some level so no point in mentioning it.

                      We did get asked “Don’t you know what causes that?”. My husband would always answer, “Yes my wife likes me”. Or sometimes, “Yes and we’re good at it. We can give you pointers if you’d like”. Whichever he thought might embarrass the questioner the most.

                    1. my sister who has eight

                      Must be Envy … 🙂 What else could it be? After all they don’t have to feed, cloth, and raise them. That is how she should take it.

                      Congratulations on the nieces and nephews.

                      Wish we could have had more than one. (Well we did. But in this conversation, do not think the 4 legged fur siblings count.)

        2. Well, Iowa’s having a baby boom, for a very small data point….

          One of the things that annoys me the most is that our data is just horribly inaccurate.

          We can look at births and get a good basic idea– but the fertility rate involves several guesses, one of which is the population, which we know is inaccurate. And the more generations go on, the bigger that inaccuracy gets, because the estimated-to-exist women aren’t having kids.
          (To be fair, some of them do exist and are probably having kids– it’s just not in the US, they went home with mama and now only exist inside the country as far as various aid programs are concerned.)

      2. ^^^ This. ^^^. American demographics are not that bad, not expanding but no major contraction either. Now the current generation needs to step up and beget.

        South Korea might beat China to it. Russia may have already done so. What will make China so dramatic is it’ll happen all at once and unlike Japan, they aren’t rich, but they do have Japan’s current debt level, the after thirty years of decline debt level. It’s terrifying.

          1. And good wife material is in short supply. Not to mention the Right Next Door factor.

                1. Someone has to pay my pension

                  Hey. That is my line.

                  Seriously. We joked regularly that each month we kids, and cousins, were paying our grandparents and parents SS. With some left over. (Remember one set of grandparents lived to be 95. Some of you are still paying for my mom 🙂 not to mention us. Well okay, our kids are paying moms.)

                  1. @ d > “We joked regularly that each month we kids, and cousins, were paying our grandparents and parents SS.”

                    Since AesopSpouse and I never expected to draw SS ourselves (experts kept predicting the fund would be gone by the time we retired), we just reframed our payments into the system as routing support to our grandparents through the government.
                    It was a big surprise to us last year that we could actually get benefits ourselves.

                    1. AesopSpouse and I never expected to draw SS ourselves (experts kept predicting the fund would be gone by the time we retired), … It was a big surprise to us last year that we could actually get benefits ourselves.

                      Same here. We were shocked!!!

                2. When my husband and I were first getting together, I told his parents once that the money I was contributing to Social Security was paying for their SS payments. I fully expected the program to crash by the time I was old enough to retire with “full” benefits. Now that I’m 4 years and 8 months away from “full retirement” age, I still have my doubts that it will still be there when it’s my turn to collect.

                    1. College mid/late ’70s. We were told the same thing. Heck we took SS at 62, because we don’t expect it to last. Sure we did the calculations against using our savings or waiting for full extended SS at 70. But don’t think for a minute we still believed we weren’t going to get shorted if we waited. That we were wrong? Doesn’t change the calculations. So we were right to take SS at 62.

                  1. I never counted on getting a nickel of the money taken by Socialist Stupidity back. If I do, it will be an unexpected bonus.

                    I saved and invested enough to retire without SS, but for now I’m still working part time. Gives some structure to the week, and I still feel useful.

              1. And you know we’ve got our fingers crossed for you! Especially those of us unlikely to be parent to anything other than cats for a variety of reasons…

            1. History will probably show that a certain brand of politics poisoned the well for both women and men with respect to finding a proper life-mate for at least a generation. Would I like to marry and have children? Sure. Is it likely, at my age? No.

              Still and all, the horrible scolds are losing. They’ve been discredited at nigh every turn, despite what one might hear from the newsies. Perhaps upcoming generations will see this and realize what a scam it all was, the feminism, the racial politics, the hyper sexualization, the WTFBBQ alphabet crazies.

              For the men and women now grown, realizing that they’ve wasted their best years for starting a family? That sucks. You don’t get that time back. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. You never know what might happen tomorrow.

  25. Part of the reason for the Dems being a gerontocracy is that their leaders are the scions of Wave 5 immigrants…and Wave 5 is aging out of the immigration pipeline into full assimilation.

    Quite aside from the fact that they regard their offices as their identity. Giving up those offices is a form of death…to be followed by the form involving a funeral within three years or so.

  26. I’m NOT good with student debt forgiveness. These kids took on the burden of their own free will. Chose to major in Party, Booze, and Drugs (aka Useless Studies) of their own free will. And now you propose to make folks like me, who spent my five years in college studying Calculus, Subsonic Aerodynamics, and Thermodynamics pay for them? Or the folks who went out and learned a trade? How about NO! Hell, NO!

    A greater cleanout might be sell-able. All college endowments are confiscated and used to pay down the student loans. Useless Studies programs get shut down. ALL of them – with a team of the worst-tempered engineers available making the determination (I’m available, and bad-tempered enough). College tuition eligibility for being tax-deductible will be conditional on the administrator/instructor/student ratio…one of the reasons that college became so expensive was a massive growth in administrators, mostly to conceal the uselessness of most majors. As for the students with remaining debt? They can work a way to pay it off, or cough up their voter registration.

    I’m a very strong believer that the Founding Fathers were right to limit the franchise…at the time of the American Revolution, the poorest 30% of free adult men could not vote. Was it “fair”? Maybe not…but it produced leaders like Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin. Which is a strong recommendation.

    1. These kids took on the burden of their own free will.


      Every single person in their lives hammered them incessantly with the idea that they were worthless without a degree and it didn’t matter what degree so long as they had one.

      And the stupid kids actually listened to their elders.

      1. Even if a degree is the right option for someone in your cohort, and even if they pick a good major to study, using it later can be badly messed up by listening to all of the Education majors, and their ‘college degrees automatically translate to obtaining steady, reliable work’.

        The situation with the Education majors is freakish compared to other economic activity.

        The other majors mostly do /not/ work that way, nor translate into the same sort of work availability that you basically have to be criminally insane to screw up.

        Mike knows how he translated his degree, other training, and other abilities into a career. No matter how well the senior engineers try to explain the methods of success to newbie engineers, some of them don’t have what it takes to grasp what the senior engineers are trying to explain. PResuming that societal changes haven’t actually butterflied things to uselessness.

        Mike also has learned the ‘common sense’ to conclude that he is not secretly a woman, and that taking life advice from certain scholars is a good way to ruin your mental health. Lots of secondary students seem to be exiting without that.

    2. Echoing what Ian said– there are significant chunks of my family that are still in mourning about how I wasted my life, by going into the Navy instead of college.

      Because only stupid people go into military, or the trades.

      That I proceeded to be married and have LOTS of kids, which I then cared for myself instead of hiring someone to do that, just means that I clearly wasted my apparent intelligence, or I wasn’t really that smart in the first place.

      I know people who were basically told they’d go to college, or they were disowned.

      I watched folks who have been punished for decades, now, because they went and got a job instead of going to college– while their siblings that were more obedient have been bouncing around, because the incomplete college degree is useless for repaying the loans.

      It’s just not NORMAL to be stubborn enough to over-rule every adult in your life and NOT go to college. Even I didn’t manage that– my parents didn’t pull any of the borderline shunning stuff on me. (Mom got close when I got out, got married, and proceeded to live without going and getting a college degree after all– her mental path was that I would, of course, be getting a real job when our 2.5 kids went to school.)

      1. That I proceeded to be married and have LOTS of kids, which I then cared for myself instead of hiring someone to do that, just means that I clearly wasted my apparent intelligence, or I wasn’t really that smart in the first place.

        I realize that the opinion of guy-on-internet #34,714,632 probably means far less than that of your disapproving relatives, but personally I think you should be held up as a role model to young girls in this matter. “You too can breed your own, personal army, girls!” 😉

        But seriously, we’re going to need lots of smart, well-educated young people to fix this country, so thanks for doing your part. In the long run I suspect it’s the best use of your intelligence you could have found.

        1. :laughs: It’s good to hear, anyways.

          Honestly, part of my coping mechanism is to make it so that folks HEAR anything else. I was able to think through it, I know other people can– but the sanity-check of “yes, others have run through it, and got the same result” is helpful.

          Weirdly enough, the thing I have the most luck getting through to folks with?
          “How smart could the people in Idiocracy be, if they were too stupid to figure out how to reproduce?”

          1. Glad to help. 🙂

            Hadn’t thought of the Idiocracy angle. I’ll have to keep that one in mind.

            1. You’re probably familiar with the likely result, but when you make someone who spent the last ten minutes gloating about how having kids SHOWS you are stupid, based on a movie, feel like they are stupid…they take it poorly, and you’re a meanie.

    3. I remain surprised some President (probably of the left-leaning sort) hasn’t tried to sell a program to “work off,” student debt by working some sort of government job. Premixed, instant brownshirts.

      1. They do.
        If you work for:
        Governmental organizations – Federal, state, local, Tribal
        501(c)(3) organizations
        A not-for-profit organization that provides specific public services, such as public education or public health

        And make 120 loan payments, on time, every time, with the right kind of loan and the right kind of forms filled out, then it can be forgiven.

        Mind you, I only know of few people who managed to jump through all the hoops and get the forgiveness, because it’s as stupidly bureaucratic and unhelpful as you’d expect a program that gets rewards for denying people things to be. Both worked in EMS, which is a career field you can gut out for 10 years with no interruptions, where teachers who start in the inner-city with idealism and flee once they realize it’s a war zone and people who start all shiny in a 501(c)(3) and come to realize that it’s often grift and graft, and catering to people who don’t want to get better, have a hard time sticking out 10 years. Which means you get forgiven, in practice, if you are a bureaucrat.

      2. You mean like “public service loan forgiveness”? Is already a thing. And the definition of “public service” is…interestingly broad.

    4. You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. No, seriously. Colleges have turned poisonous. They will deliberately keep people from graduating. They will change programs mid-stride. They play horrendous games.
      NOTHING to do with booze and partying. Yeah, there are those, but that’s not normal.
      Universities are LARGELY a scam.

      1. I’ll add that the universities also tend to encourage the “arts and parties” course of action. Even 20 years ago, when I was looking at schools, the most common thing I heard from the admissions officers was, “You’ll learn more outside the classroom than you will in it?” To which, even then, my cynical thought was always, “Yeah, but I’m paying you all this money for what’s IN the classroom. If that’s so valueless, I suspect I could go to a four-year summer camp for much less.” But I think a lot of kids take it to heart and try to maximize their out-of-class experiences. Why take four or five classes a semester, when three will let you have so much more of the “college experience”? Why do your homework rather than go to that kegger when you keep being told that the latter will teach you at least as much as the former?

        That’s not even counting the administrators who explicitly said, “Don’t rush through college! You should take five years! Or even six! Rushing through things in four years (or less if you try to use your AP credits) is something you’ll regret later in life.”

        tl;dr: Yes, the students party too much, but I think it’s at least partially because the Powers the Be want them partying too much.

          1. ^^THIS And they rich parent kids were NOT on student loans. They had BLANK checks from mom and dad. Heck, one even had their parents buy them a house because it was cheaper than the dorms, and a better return on their investment after four years. NOT KIDDING. I know TWO who did that!

            1. Uncle did this for his two girls. They did go to the same college. But he didn’t know that when he bought the house. Oldest had rent paying roommates (from the same HS). Then little sister moved in too. After big sister graduated and moved out, little sister had rent paying roommates. I think uncle sold it after youngest graduated and moved out. Note. Same college son went to, at the same time, not a co-ed house. (Not that he, or we, really know these cousins well. Last time he met them he was 8. They would have been 10 and 8. The annual regular big family gatherings stopped in ’86 after grandma died. Came to a screeching halt after our 12 year old cousin/niece hit-and-run funeral in 2000.)

              1. I’m sorry for the loss in your family. After a tragic automobile accident, my own family jumped in a hand basket and as a small wee child, I could only ask, “Where are we going and why is it so dark?”

        1. I spent most of my time in college partying, barely graduating, although only one-third of the attendees ever graduated, so that put me in the top third of my class .

          But I think that was actually the best use of my time there, because I never before (or after) had so much socialization. I might have become a hermit if I hadn’t gone there.

      2. I am about to discover how bad this is in two or so months, when I finish this semester. Two people that I know that have graduated from the same school very nearly had to take another semester because they had missed a bonehead English requirement.

        After everyone they talked to told them it wasn’t a problem.
        With e-mails and proof that they had been told it wouldn’t be a problem.

        And, it doesn’t help that three out of four of my teachers are…off in not good ways. One is just dropping the ball on a number of assignments. The second is someone that I keep thinking rings around, and when you’re talking about character archtypes and you have to have The Hero With A Thousand Faces explained to you… And the third isn’t a bad woman, but she freely admits that she’s just running someone else’s lesson plan.

        But, I need the paper and once I’ve graduated, I’m done.

        1. Keep in mind your contract with the university is your ENTERING year course catalog. Not your CURRENT year course catalog. Thus, the need for careful review on sub requirements.

          1. Which was one of the reasons why I was so very insistent with the counselor and my academic advisor before I put down any money for this semester. And, I printed out all of my e-mails, so I have a log of what’s been going on.

        2. Younger son finally gave up. He might or might not go back in at some point, but RIGHT NOW? He’s so burned out it’s not funny.
          I suspect his real issue (not the million little made up glitches) was writing under his own name for this blog. There have been indications that way.
          I told him at the time it was a bad idea.
          BUT that’s the other thing: be right or insufficiently left in some way and you’ll NEVER FINISH with a degree. This is known. And yep, even in STEM.

          1. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that I can scream to high heavens that this was what I was promised, I have documentation, and if they decide to pull the rug out from under me…well, I could probably bring suit in civil court for fraud and I might even have a good case. We’ll see.

              1. But if he can’t get the degree, how employable is he anyway? Does he have any job prospects at this point?

                It might be a case of “nothing to lose, so make the bastards pay.”

                1. As someone in tech without a degree, not having a degree does limit what companies are willing to even look at me, but not badly enough for me to go back to school to get one. Instead I treat is as a filter “If a company won’t even look at me without a degree, what else are they going to be doing stupidly, it’s just as well that I don’t work for them”

                  I got my foot in the door by doing IT work as a volunteer for a non-profit and tinkering at home. That got me through interviews for a night operator job (at that time I was thinking that I would go back to school, so a night operator job would mesh well with that plan), and a month into that job they offered me a 50% raise to move up.

                  David Lang

                    1. Unfortunately, folks, she’s right…. and it’s not just companies. File a malpractice lawsuit and see how many doctors you contact are taking new patients…..

      3. They will advertise “year-round enrollment” and then only offer classes in a particular sequence of semesters so you have to wait half a year or more for the next class and then have to pay a $650 per semester fee in addition to tuition (for no particular reason I can see. No explanation of the components of the fee or what it pays for ) even for online students.

        I might be slightly bitter. TA pays for half tuition, but none of the fees.

          1. Why I don’t have a double major. I couldn’t take a required math course, as it was ALWAYS opposite a required physics course. ALWAYS. Every freaking semester!

        1. Yes. The sequence classes were a problem when I was in school, both times (’74 – ’79, and ’84 – ’89, second round started taking classes one a term, so if next sequence not offered just took another needed class, bigger problem when was back to full time). But generally the classes were offered at least twice a year. Usually Fall or Spring.

          It was a much different story for son. Classes only offered once a year, and not enough “seniority” to get in before class was full (note class, not classes). Or offered twice a year, but somehow one term or another got cancelled. Kept him from considering contracting with Air Force through ROTC. (He could have enlisted. He chose not to. Obama’s cuts were a huge factor too, did not help. Others were affected too.)

      4. THIS! The whole education system needs a DRASTIC over haul. A DRASTIC one, and the children have been abused by it for decades as ‘study’ after ‘study’ lines the pockets of academics.

        The whole toxic environment of universities and the PASS THROUGH rate should be challenged. Any with a pass rate of less than 50% should be CLOSED as they are FAILURE factories! But so many of those are public schools with bureaucrats in nice comfy jobs. I think they enjoy twisting the knife into young hopeful students.

    5. You are much much too optimistic.

      I’m fairly sure that universities need to be over, with a switch to field/discipline specific schools being necessary.

      Which is basically having just enough confidence about good people remaining within the institutions that even I am not willing to simply hang all of the faculty.

      Some fields, like law, very definitely have faculty who need to swing.

      There are entire disciplines, like climate science, where it is fair to joke that we should kill everyone involved, and see if the replacements form the same conclusions before we even consider following their recommendations.

      Additionally, the administrators are not the sole core of the problem. Some of this is carried by academics seeing each other as fundamentally the same thing, and hence doing things like wildly assuming the validity of multi-disciplinary research. The ‘scholars’ are heavily conventional thinkers, and their convention tends to be to accept too much of what other fields do.

      Lots of other issues are baked into the current concept of a ‘degree’, partly by federal funding requirements. My suggested ‘reforms’ there may dilute the degree to the point of being without value.

      1. THIS. THis. THis.
        Some law faculty, like Glenn Reynolds and the people at Legal Insurrection should be allowe dto rebuild. BUT the universities need burning with fire.
        For instance, being a known conservative most places nowadays means you WILL NOT GRADUATE. No matter what.

    6. I don’t want to cofescate the college endowments, I won’t want to normalize the idea that the government has the right to do such things.

      But I do think that the colleges need to have skin in the game and furture loans should be backed by the college so that they lose if the student can’t pay it back.

      I dropped out of college when I could no longer afford it (and shortly after got a new job that paid 3x as much, and didn’t have a 70 mile-each-way commute), but ended up busy enough to not get around to going back.

      The vast majority of people with huge student debts are not the poor, it’s the rich, why should they get relief at the cost of those who didn’t go to college, or who already paid the cost?

      David Lang

      1. Yes. There needs to be a balance between “if your students don’t get jobs in their field the day after they graduate, the .gov takes all your money,” and the current “we have no problem with a college charging an arm and a leg for nothing more than a brand name and the opportunity to network. Too bad if you made a lousy career choice. Pay up.”

        1. for every year of college (including room and board), you owe the school X% of your income for Y years (let the colleges make offers so different schools set different values of X and Y, potentially for different majors)

          David Lang

          1. My thought is no.

            Might limit my ability to cut a better deal by living at home.

            There are something like three main functions of current tertiary education. At least, WRT to bachelors degrees, and employment.

            One is the certification that X major degree means formal meeting of Y requirements, due to department faculty deciding on required coursework Z.

            Two is the actual results of somewhat competent instruction/testing in all of the required courses/frequently taken courses in major M, which can be similar to Z, or Z+.

            Three is situational, and not deterministic. There is a difference between excellent instruction, and merely competent instruction at the tertiary level, and what the bureaucracy tells the student is good may have zero to do with good. There are two variables. One is the competent to excellent instructors at a school, what their strengths are, and what courses they teach. Two, is the background, foundation, and interest of the student. When they line up, some really nice results can occur. Whether they line up is wildly variable, and the bureaucracy spends a lot of time discussing ‘problems’ that they believe exist, and believe are deterministic.

            Uni PR focuses on a deterministic state space model of the situation, and on claims that various metrics prove how awesome their state space is. And or whining about something meaning that underserved minorities are doomed to suck, and that they need this or that service from the university. Where the specific claims have truth in them, they are out of context and badly analyzed.

            You could screw over the status quo by satisfying one with a ‘transcript/certification’ that lets you count courses from any source. Issue is, this would allow gaming of a sort that could allow for both two to be satisfied extremely well, and extremely poorly. I’m not sure that you could sort out a way to evaluate quality of results, which would mean that employers would value the alternate certification less.

            Anyway, this has probably been the most progress that I have made in years in terms of viable progress towards a university alternative.

            1. note that X and Y are not fixed, they can be negotiated (to cover living at home, existing credit, partial payments, working at the school, number of classes, etc)

              I also don’t think that all degrees are equal, and in many ways accredidation of the school is an anti-competitive scan (with a nugget of meaning under it that could possibly be addressed in other ways, like giving the school a stake in their graduates results rather than them getting all the money up front, no matter what the results)

              I think that rewarding the school based on how well the graduates do would (over a decade or so) have a very significant impact on the quality of schools. Poor schools that just met the letter of the requirements would see their funding decrease, good schools would see their funding increase.

              The results of this would be fairly public (what are the school budgets, what rates of X and Y do they offer under some fairly standard conditions), especially if the breakdown can be by major and would end up being FAR more objective than any school rating organization could hope to be.

              David Lang

        2. Put what happens when the college IS the government?? I’ve been bamboozled by a public uni, not the private one. I mean out right LIED to by a public university. Including a professor who in private made some exceedingly racist and misogynistic comments. But he was PAID by the government. He had massive government grants. He had a government salary.

          Do you really think the government is going to do that to their own?

      2. The vast majority of people with huge student debts are not the poor, it’s the rich, why should they get relief at the cost of those who didn’t go to college, or who already paid the cost?
        WHY do people have this idea? It’s not even vaguely true. Sure “huge” in absolute terms. But try being a working-class kid with 40k debt.

        1. Or a guy who was trying to get out of the barrio and the slums, and was funneled to college because “Everybody knows the bright and smart go to college to be middle class”. Was admitted due to being the right skin colour for DIE, but, having the education of an inner-city public school, was woefully unprepared, flunked out, and now has $60K of debt and nothing to show for it.

          1. Again, younger son’s loans are manageable, because we paid most of it, but he has nothing to show for it. Well, he does, weirdly, have KNOWLEDGE, but you know…..
            The fact that there are EXTREMELY scammy schools that guarantee you’ll remote-finish your degree in a year, for an exorbitant amount, and that those degrees COUNT FOR HIRING reveals the nature of the scam. It’s all a scam.
            (Yes, I know people who were in younger son’s position. Parents took second mortgage – after eight years — and shelled out 40k for a year. They got the paper. Both have jobs and are DOING WELL AT THEM. One has a high prestige job. He will tell you it’s the education he had before, when he was bizarrely always short some requirement to graduate that did it, but it’s the expensive paper that allowed him to get a job. Yes, I offered to do this for younger son, but he growled at me.
            ANYWAY– I have no sympathy for universities at this point. NONE.

            1. LOL I considered one of those schools, when I ran into the games at grad school. I considered it, then realized, why did I need to PAY for a piece of paper when I was ALREADY doing the job! Sure the company promised me a raise if I got the initials behind my name, but it wasn’t as much as I’d have to put out to get such initials, I was already out a lot of time, money, and stress. So the ROI was just all screwed up. And for grad school, it really is all about paying someone to put a stamp of approval that you can … work on your own!

              1. Or that you have completed the required coursework so that you can work the 3000 hours and take a test for a certification. Instead of just doing the 3000 hours.

              2. when I was ALREADY doing the job! Sure the company promised me a raise if I got the initials behind my name,

                Same. Already had a bachelors, just not in coding. Had the AA in coding (was going for bookkeeping/accounting originally which does require some certification) after the forestry gigs (stupid owl, stupid mountain) dried up. Employer at the time was not looking for graduate, but wanted the CS bachelors. Employer paid for successful completion of classes, fees, and books. At least until they moved the firm to Portland, then I finished up on my own. Part of the reason I didn’t have to put up with some of the B* S* the school tried to pull. A local employer was behind me being there. Had all the “Oh we need …” signed sealed and locked up before the employer left the area. (“You need to declare a minor!”, “Okay. Forestry.”, “Forestry isn’t offered here.”, “Already have the degree.” I did not add “stupid”. Wanted to. Didn’t. PTP above waved the requirement. Now, some 35+ years later, they have a co-degree, or two, through both universities.)

  27. Between Biden, Feinstein, Pelosi and Lightfoot, it’s like the country is being ruled by rotting liches.

      1. One of my biggest fears about life-extension is that we’ll be saddled with politicians for even longer. My biggest is that they’ll discover it while Hillary is still with us.

        “Hillary Clinton For President 2064: It’s Her Turn”

    1. Seriously, we don’t need to fear any human. But that does not mean we should be fatalistic, foolish, or feckless. Bring all your fecks to the fight.

  28. Got a new one for you. Tor Nightfire, the horror imprint, has bought a book by a transwomen “Gretchen,” where two transwomen are running around in a zombie apocalypse killing not zombies, but biological women (for being mean meanies who don’t recognize them as women). Meanwhile, there are also feral men running around killing women, but, like, that’s totally not the same thing.

    Anyhow… the highlight of this brilliant work of imaginative fiction is burning down J.K. Rowling’s castle and killing her, for being a Scottish McMeanie woman.

    The misogyny is truly stunning and brilliant, as is the power of the official woke victim stack.

    Tor, ladies and gentlemen.

      1. I think I wrote a better zombie apocalypse story. At least going by the description, even a shoddy bit of hack work would trump a thinly veiled revenge fantasy in a niche genre.

        Just one more reason that the big publishers are failing. I’m sure they did not spend, say, David Weber money on this dude-in-a-dress’s book. But spend they did. And will that book ever earn out its advance, do you think? Ha. Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

        Let them die, says I. The publishers want to turn themselves into niche vanity press? I’m old enough to remember what that means. I’m sure there are others here, too, that can recall the same.

        And when they are gone, may authors remember that their paycheck depends on telling a story that entertains. You get more readers with stuff that appeals to the broadest swathe of the public. And pssing off potential readers with current blatant era politics *reduces your pool of paying customers.

        The emptors are caveat-ing. You can pitch to a small crowd if you want. But especially in the current constrained economy, there’s increasingly less to go around for those that do.

        1. Article turned up on my Twitter feed regarding Hallmark, which rolled left when pressured by the LGBT-etc crowd to be more “inclusive,” in its movies. Of course, this ignores the notion people were watching Hallmark to get away from the edifying inclusive stories. Someone has started hiring Hallmark stars away and appears to be setting up a channel to do what Hallmark used to do. Be interesting to see if they can pull it off. (The new group’s acronym is GAC, fwiw).

    1. Saw something like a bit of gossip somewhere, apparently about some school folks complaining about the alleged increased misogyny of school boys.

      If true, I have no idea where the kids could be getting ideas like that.


      There was always a downside of the left’s pretense that they had to pander to those who had disordered emotions and or thoughts. Which was the implication of the argument that we had to shift because of someone’s hurt feelings, or because they felt something. That downside being in first part that the left had to scare up a few people with disordered minds in order to club us for the sake of those few people. That downside’s second part is that they told those few people that they /should/ have no external constraints on their behavior. The combination is bad for the mental health of people who already had challenges there.

      So, some of their pet activists screwing up and visibly displaying full psycho is a hazard of the strategy.

      There is a reason that I have long held it proper to troll people over the theory that they must accommodate other people who sincerely hold deep convictions about reality that do not conform to reality as understood by the ‘tolerant’ group.

    2. So, they’re killing off both men and women while the human race is on the verge of extinction? Maybe it’s my cisnormative hatemongery, but how is the species supposed to survive?

      1. “If the species is dying, at least I will have my deepest feelings validated before I die!”

      2. It has been my experience that the LGBTALPHABETSOUP writers are particularly poor in worldbuilding where reproduction is concerned.

        May be a mistaken impression, give the generally low quality there.

              1. Nah. My grandfather smoked. Since we had a small living room, he could walk across it if he rested in the middle.

    3. I’m glad Brandon Sanderson has conclusively proved that Tor needs him more than he needs Tor.

    4. The reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads are interesting. 5 stars that clearly haven’t read the book and the 1 stars, too.

  29. @ Bob..Fool > “There is a reason that I have long held it proper to troll people over the theory that they must accommodate other people who sincerely hold deep convictions about reality that do not conform to reality as understood by the ‘tolerant’ group.”

    No disagreement with your observations until the final sentence.
    That sounds reasonable, but sometimes nonconforming convictions are actually the correct ones (for certain objectively discernable values of correct).

    Galileo, Newton, that guy who said ulcers were cause by bacteria instead of stress, the outlier who wanted doctors to wash their hands between dissecting corpses and delivering babies — all challenged reality as understood by the tolerant group (of course they weren’t really that tolerant, but they were the larger faction at the time, which is what I am assuming “tolerant” means in your statement).

    I understand that you are trolling the “snowflakes” who prioritize the self-absorbed feelings of the sincerely insane wokesters over the outraged feelings of the (hopefully larger) reality-based public, but they are driving the collapse of society because they have successfully conflated their small-group-conforming insanity with the formerly rightly-prized eccentricity of non-conformist thinkers.

    So, maybe reformulate to say “deep convictions about reality that do not conform to reality as it actually exists, and is understood by the ‘tolerant’ group.”

    1. Actually, I suspect that most of those wokesters are insincerely insane. Stirring up hate and discontent makes them feel important.
      Does the Left drive those idiots barking mad, or were they drawn to the Left because they were already batshit crazy?

  30. The passing of the Baby Boom and the smaller size for the succeeding generations has another implication that few consider.

    Government agencies grew to provide the needs of the Baby Boom generation. Now they either have to downsize or find more people to pour into their system. Have you ever heard of a government agency that said, “Welp job’s done.” and turned out the lights? The answer is none. Even the old Interstate Commerce Commission, which has no regulatory powers anymore, is still there gathering information in case the government needs them again. I hope not. No properly functioning bureaucracy is about to downsize and will fill their rolls with illegal immigrants then dare the people to do anything.

    Closing down military bases after World War II was a real problem until Congress foisted the job onto the Base Closing Commission. We now need what is the equivalent of an agency closing commission to right size our government. In fact I would even suggest another branch of government, the Lean branch, to root out these bloated agencies that have failed or outlived their usefulness. Lean will do it’s job if for no other reason that it will have no budget but derive it’s budget from a percentage of the agencies & programs it shuts down.Use bureaucrats against bureaucracy.

    I’d also like a formalized process for federal recall where a plurality of the states can recall any legislation, any court ruling, and any unelected government official or employee.

  31. William Tyndale, the man who was martyred in 1636, for translating the Bible into English (he knew 8 languages), is still heavily-quoted today (most people have no idea about how saturated English is with his words). His life was almost like a spy story. It may be educational to all of us, regardless of our religion.

    1. Tyndale was not killed for translating the Bible into English (which had been done before, albeit in pieces rather than wholesale — although honestly, a lot of the Bibles glossed by unknown persons were really a complete translation, and we have of course lost most of the Old English and Middle English religious literature that used to exist, so who knows whether it was already done).

      He wasn’t even killed for doing a really bad job at translating the Bible (which Wycliffe did, and again, he was far from the first).

      Tyndale initially got in trouble three years before he requested permission to translate the Bible, when he preached heresy and his bishop got mad at him. He then went ahead and asked to be allowed to put out a translation, at a time when the English publishing market was already flooded with various Bibles and parts of Bibles, and the king and Parliament were enacting laws to prop up publishers’ losses by mandating the purchase of Bibles by various people (who were rich enough).

      So he moved to Germany and translated anyway. His NT translation allegedly had over 2000 errors in it, some of which were apparently on purpose for his own doctrinal reasons, and some of which were just his mediocre language skills.

      He was killed for teaching and preaching weird Protestant ideas that threatened the kings of Europe, as opposed to his other weird Protestant ideas that didn’t. More to the point, he was killed for doing it inside the lands of the Holy Roman Emperor, who was not amused by some foreigner doing it.

      After Tyndale’s death (which was facilitated by Henry VIII), and after Henry’s break with Rome, the king continued to pass laws demanding that every cruddy Tyndale translation be destroyed, because it was so terrible that it worried Protestants as much as it worried Catholics.

      Tyndale’s Bible is the Empress Theresa of Bibles.

      1. I will say that I’m surprised that more people contemporarily don’t hold up Tyndale’s claim that women could be priests and confect the Eucharist. But of course, most Protestant groups that have women ministers and priests don’t actually believe that anyone confects the Eucharist. So maybe that’s why.

        (Basically, it wasn’t so much that Tyndale supported women priests, as that he thought any random person could confect the Eucharist. If I’m reading correctly.)

        Anyway, not much support for Tyndale’s position among Protestant leaders of his day, although I suppose it might have led to some of the smaller English dissident Christian groups like the Quakers and Shakers and so on, which had women ministers or no leadership.

          1. The key point is that Banshee is a religious historian who looks at non-English sources that focus on the specific topic at hand.

              1. I’m not a religious historian, sorry to say! But I do read primary sources when I can.

                It’s not insulting to anyone’s religious beliefs or teachings to say that they usually get killed for being inconvenient to whoever is in power. I mean, think about it. If your shocking departure from religious orthodoxy was “You must play pick-up-sticks with Jesus in order to be saved,” most people would just roll their eyes at you. If your vision is that God told you that every house must have a mylar blanket to pull over the heads of your family when the aliens attack, and “Watch the skies,” nobody would care. Even the manufacturers of mylar blankets.

                People get killed for religious beliefs when there is something disturbing to the status quo, in a way that makes an outward difference to life or the worldly order of things.

                1. I do translate old Bible commentaries from early Christianity and early medieval Christianity (and one early modern Christian book) and I’ve spent way too much time reading history and religious stuff from childhood. But that’s not where my degree was, and I only have a bachelor’s.

                  Basically, I’m an extreme example of what happens when a person starts doing Google Books searches in Latin. It’s very tempting to keep on reading.

                2. You’re not a PAID religious historian.

                  I’ve spent quite a bit of time investigating your research to argue against it; note the lack of comments doing so.

                  There’s a difference.

                  1. That is an amazingly beautiful compliment and while I don’t know when I’d ever find a way to use it, I feel a need to keep it in my pouch anyway. 😀

          2. Sarah, God bless you and Suburbanshee.

            We are constantly confronted by credentialed and well-read persons who do not see truth.

            I don’t see how Tyndale’s imperfect translation justified his murder. Nor do I see the justification for the characterization Suburbanshee provided. But I do know better than to listen to banshees, selkies, and all the rest.

            As Tyndale translated, “Let there be light.”

          1. Given that the Catholics may have killed more Christians than the “Turks” ever did, we might need to agree to disagree…

            1. Vaguely possible, though only if you include all-causes killing including self-defense, if only because Catholics are even now the largest percentage of Christians and the Turks while punching rather high over their weight, are and were less common.

              1. Watch the day of the siege and realize that was the background of the Reformation. Part of the reason Austria nearly fell was self-proclaimed Christ-followers were more interested in killing each other than stopping the Muslim armies invading through the Balkans.

                300,000 nominal Turks against 25,000 defenders of Vienna (before help arrived from Poland and Lithuania).

                It was a much different Europe back then.

                1. :looks at Europe only just now figuring out that hey, Putin might not be willing to stop with the same neighbors they sacrificed to Stalin last time:

                  I wouldn’t be so sure.

  32. At the church anniversary dinner and yes, the population of it was “too old”; though that might have been a function of the function, as it were Still… all the younger families there had at least three kids and one had six.

    One old couple at the table asked my soon-to-be-cylindrical daughter “what she wanted to do; what college are you going to?”

    I know she’s starting a business and taking online bookkeeping classes, but she pointed to the family with six kids, and said “I want what they have”.

    And she is not alone. A young lady who switched home-school co-ops two years ago told me at the 12th Night ball that she was switching her plans to something “that’ll let me have kids”. She had been adamantly career-first last I spoke to her.

    I think there’s a lot of hope for the kids, themselves.

    We can do our part by pitching in as gran-parents and Aunties and Uncles for the young moms and dads. Not so much with money (though that too) but our time.

    Tell them all the stories.

  33. “…if you’re not married, have a kid anyway, even if artificial insemination is not really licit in most religions…”

    I hope you’re kidding here. It’s not just a religious issue but a human one. You must know that children raised by single mothers are at greater risk for “lower school achievement, more discipline problems and school suspension, less high school graduation, lower college attendance and graduation, more crime and incarceration (especially for boys), less success in the labor market” (

    There’s also the emotional aspect – when I was in group therapy, I saw grown men in tears talking about the sense of loss and grief caused by never knowing who their fathers were, or being abandoned by them at a young age. I couldn’t intentionally inflict that kind of pain on another human being. (Yes, I know not everyone raised by a single mother feels that way, but a great many people do.)

    1. There are ways to get around the single mother issue, and at any rate is it “single mothers” or “divorced mothers”?
      Note widows don’t have these issues.
      Kidding? No. I don’t trust those studies, either.

      1. It’s not only “studies” – Peter Grant has said (based on his experience as a pastor and prison chaplain): “The primary reason crime and violence have spiked in our inner-city neighborhoods is that the nuclear family has effectively been destroyed” ( – he also talks about the connection between fatherlessness and crime in his book “Walls, Wire, Bars, and Souls.”

          1. There’s also the influence of class there, which is important to not lose track of. A woman who lacks resources, and whose family lacks resources, is likely going to be a single parent through carelessness, and that carelessness is going to carry through when raising a child.

            A woman who has the resources to pursue single motherhood through technological reproductive assistance methods is going to be able to offer her child or children a lot better possibility of success than the poor lower class woman is. And the child will be better for society than another parasitic feral, as well, even if they are still handicapped by only having one parent.

            Also, it is perfectly legal for a man with the resources and desire for children to find a surrogate to bear him a child that he will have custody of as well, to be a single father. It’s just not really a concept that most people are willing to accept or pursue.

            1. “A woman who has the resources to pursue single motherhood through technological reproductive assistance methods is going to be able to offer her child or children a lot better possibility of success than the poor lower class woman is.”

              Sounds good, but the reality tells a different story: “Regardless of socioeconomic status, donor offspring are twice as likely as those raised by biological parents to report problems with the law before age 25. They are more than twice as likely to report having struggled with substance abuse. And they are about 1.5 times as likely to report depression or other mental health problems.”

              1. First, that’s one study. Second, it compares donor children to those being raised by biological parents. Parents, plural. Not ghetto mothers with multiple baby daddies. Nor does Sarah’s original point have to be anonymous donations. I will note that many of those donor sperm families are for same-sex couples, and there could be all SORTS of confounding variables there. Not to say that children who grow up in such conditions will uniformly have issues, just that the possibility of scientists looking into it is nil.

                Personally, I’m open to adoption if my husband and I can’t conceive naturally, but that does tend to get very expensive very quickly, especially if you want a baby rather than an older child.

                1. open to adoption if my husband and I can’t conceive naturally, but that does tend to get very expensive very quickly, especially if you want a baby rather than an older child.

                  Sister & BIL first child -> $16,000 (and they got off cheap. I know of another couple where each of their children were $30k, each …)

                  Their children 2 – 4 -> $300 each (their insurance deductible). Okay. If you count the IVF, that didn’t work, they technically cost more.

                  Direct quote from BIL on announcement of their 2nd once coming. “At least it will be cheaper. We’re still paying on the first one.”

                  This was before Insurance is help paying for any medical costs of adoption, and any tax deductions allowed for adoption fees.

                  Niece was adopted as an infant. Came home from the hospital at 3 days old. Held her on birth day. The other couple? They adopted infants, but they were not newborns. The difference? Who was involved. Niece was private adoption through an open adoption group. The other two infants were through child unwelfare.

                    1. Given how many children mysteriously disappear from the foster system, and how many of them mysteriously reappear as trafficking victims (and not because they ran away), I wouldn’t put it past the p*do lobby.

            2. And again, it doesn’t compare to ghetto conditions. And note I’m not ordering anyone to do it. I’m saying the situation is desperate enough some might consider it

            3. Actually, illegitimacy is a better predictor of both infant mortality and juvenile delinquency than race and class combined.

      2. Never married mothers are worse at it than divorced mothers, who are worse at it than widows.

        Apparently knowing that your father is dead helps alleviate the effect of his absence.

        1. Apparently knowing that your father is dead helps alleviate the effect of his absence.

          That makes sense. As long as it wasn’t suicide there’s no issue of intentional abandonment; dad just didn’t have a choice about not being there.

          1. I will point out that at this point the only EFFECTIVE way of adopting in the US is “fetal adoption.” It’s on the low end of price (around 14k) it’s not guaranteed it will take, but if it does, you’re rescuing a baby frozen sometimes for decades. Look up snowflake babies.

    2. I hope you’re kidding here. It’s not just a religious issue but a human one

      Like having a kid by following the song “all that she wants is another baby” isn’t?

      :eyebrow raise:

      Incidentally, I do recognize having that as a hot button, especially in scifi infected areas.

      She’s looking at “this, or extinction,” though.

      1. Surrogacy, especially in India with the “dorms full of pregnant women having kids for wealthy Westerners” thing… it has a lot of horribleness. Not slavery, not prostitution, but….

        Also, if one judges by Reddit stories about entitled relatives, an awful lot of younger siblings and youngest daughters are being pressured to serve as surrogates for their siblings and parents, carrying their own siblings and cross-cousins. Eughhh.

        1. Since there have literally been cases where the “parents” sued the lady who was pregnant to KILL THE CHILD, because it belonged to them and they didn’t want it, “slavery” seems pretty obvious.

          Which makes the recent uptick in “adoption is human trafficking” make some sense…..

        2. Basically, I hold this on par, morally, barring the “killing kids” angle, with polygamy.

          There are instances where the vast abuse of human dignity can be argued against, though I am not sure I’d go so far as to say it’s morally acceptable.

          1. I don’t think it’s morally acceptable, but it’s also not ALL like that. I know people who have had humane and sane surrogacy contracts for good and sufficient reason.
            Is there a ton of room for abuses, sure.
            More with that than with artificial insemination, for obvious reasons.
            What I was trying to convey though is that, yes, I think the situation is THAT serious.

  34. A boom every generation, are you kidding me?????

    America is becoming a dysfunctional and crowded nightmare with 300 million people and you think a BILLION will improve things?

    Also… there are no new lands to discover. This is it. The paradigm has shifted. Let’s get to a stable, replacement- level growth rate while we can still enjoy the view of the night sky here and there without light pollution and the sound of rubber on asphalt.

    Texas was a much nicer place 30 years ago when I didn’t need to make reservations months in advance to visit the state park. Enough!

    1. So, your reading comprehension is zero, or perhaps less?
      WHY DO YOU THINK THERE ARE 300 million in America? Oh yeah. I know. The government tells you so. (Yes, that is sarcasm.)
      America is crowded? Dear Lord. Did you go to college to be that stupid? Or are you an European? Or a New Yorker, which comes to the same.
      Can you please make substantial arguments beyond “There are peons in my state park, Jeeves. It’s UNBEARABLE.”
      Also, we advise you study economics, history and logic, beyond reading comprehension.
      Your idiotic take is that wealth just exists, humans don’t create it, I guess.

      1. Hey, hey, hey! I’m a Brooklyn boy.

        One of the biggest coming issues in the US is the proportional decline in young people from Mexico and Central America. They provided the slack capacity that we’ve needed. I know that’s a very unpopular view among many here, but moderate population growth is critical and Central America has been providing it.

              1. Son is like this today, being SUPER literal minded on purpose.

                That’s… a little weird.

                I read your “Every Generation” post on the same day you said this. When I got to the part where you said “they tried to convince the kids to sign agreements they would never reproduce when they were thirteen,” I had the urge to say that I agreed kids should never reproduce at 13; they should wait until they’re older.

                I stopped myself on the grounds that the joke was a little too literal, but I had to consciously think about it and restrain myself.

                  1. I meant it’s weird that he and I independently both got the urge to pester you with literalist jokes on the same day. You’ve said I remind you of him before but a detail like that is pushing it a bit.

    2. As Sarah pointed out in the blog you were supposedly responding to, the disfunction is largely connected to the baby boom being abnormal, rather than that large group of people having a normal number of children.

      Incidentally, the numbers don’t back up your feeling that parks are massively more crowded because there’s so many more people now:
      Second link is the annual summary report for national parks, going back to 1904.

      In 1921, they recorded 1,101,697 at 28 parks.
      In 1941, they recorded 20,487,633 at 141 parks.
      In 1961, they recorded 78,933,900 at 169 parks.
      In 1981, they recorded 238,592,669 at 280 parks.
      In 2001, they recorded 279,873,926 at 345 parks.
      In 2021, they recorded 297,115,406 at 388 parks.

      The big difference is that now, instead of going to the park and finding there’s a sign that says the camp ground is full, you can go online and book your camp site.

      1. Yes. The popular parks, Yellowstone, Tetons, Yosemite, etc., are busy. Parts of NP are busy – Going to the Sun, Glacier, the southern accesses are less busy. Kings Canyon or Devils Post Pile National Monument are not as busy as Yosemite. Redwoods NP is not as busy.

        There was a resurgence of RV’s sold over the last two years, 2020 used RV’s could be sold for a premium (not new prices, but > 50% more than normal), and were. The I get “National Parks to beat the crowds”, “How to book you campsite when the online sources do not have any that match your criteria” (answer Call) emails all the time from different sources. Same for VBRO/AIRB&B and sites like But none of this is a reflection of “more” population. Just a reflection of which parks are popular. FYI. Even those popular parks one can show up with a small RV combo (<30′), or tent, and get sites without reservations. We did this repeatably up until 2020 when we finally used the reservation system (>30′ combo).

        Same can be said for State parks. We never went to a state park for camping. Oregon Coastal State Park campgrounds and most USFS campgrounds have required reservations clear back into the 60’s. The Cascade campgrounds … first come first serve required someone (grandparents) to be there Thursday Night, been that way since at least the mid-60s.

        Wilderness areas? Depends on where. Even Cascades easy to get away from people. Just stay away from the Pacific Crest trail. Or at least the popular trailheads. National Parks? There is a reason backpackers get funneled into specific camping locations VS true dispersed one sees in non-national park wilderness (and some of them have designated camp sites too – Moraine Lake, Obsidian Falls), which then triggers permits, sometimes lottery, sometimes first come reservation. As far at the new Cascade permit cost system? I’ve seen the steady line of people headed up from Moraine Lake campsites (all full), and from the trailhead, but north or south of the lake on the PCT? Nothing. Mathews Lake off of 242? PCT between 242 and Big Lake? Both busy. North of Hwy 126? Not so much, until reach Hwy 22 and Mt Hood Wilderness. It isn’t that there are a lot more people, it is there is a concentration of people at popular locations.

        Frankly it is a PIA when your favorite getaway suddenly becomes popular and crowded. But this is not a reflection of population pressure, it is a reflection of popularity.

        1. It’s also a reflection on the availability of camping gear, and perceptions of camping. I mean, I grew up with used army surplus gear, and hiking in to a campsite we cleared and made ourselves, pitching tents, gathering deadwood for the fire and chopping to size… this is the normal view of “camping”, right?

          Turns out somewhere along the way, that became hiking, and “Camping” involves RV’s and trailers and electrical hookups and greywater / blackwater dumps and bitching because the mobile home on wheels they call a camper is too big for the parking spots made in the crowded “Campground” that everybody is parking in cheek to jowl. And G-d help you if you start chopping up deadwood, you’re supposed to bring in your charcoal briquettes, and purchase only pre-approved plastic wrapped bundles that have been certified free of invasive buggies and fungus. While the signs all lecture you about overpopulation and climate change.

          Even hiking… well, I remember when the AT was still this thing that very, very few people actually completed. With the increase in support, the improvement in gear, the availability in nutritious camping food (no expired MRE’s for through-hikers these days!), the promotion in magazines and movies… now actually being on AT segments is like going to a weekend festival more than going for a hike in the woods. Overcrowded trail shelters overflowing with trash, reeking of marijuana and bug spray from a hundred yards downwind, designated camping spots that you can hear people all around you snoring and snacking and such…

          Do I hate this? Well, I prefer being alone with my thoughts without anyone within 50 miles unless it’s a good buddy. But then, I also moved up to Alaska and flew up there for years. So we have a good gauge on how screamingly antisocial I am. On the other hand, once you get away to the less popular state parks and unpopular trails, you can still have a wonderful time.

          On the gripping hand, if this means we’re moving even 3% of the urban population occasionally out into the woods, that’s 3% that has a vague connection to reality outside the concrete & steel rat’s warren. That has to emerge from their parochial little slice of hell, and realize there is an entire rest of the country out there, vast and completely different from their own concerns and lives. And, not insignificantly, leaving the money they otherwise drain out of the rural areas behind.

          Tourists are a renewable resource. Used wisely, never trusted, they can be a valuable addition to an economy even with all their headaches. The opportunity to educate them – and yeah, 98% of them you never get to see any beneficial effects, but 2% keep you motivated, and later, much later, you begin to realize that you affected a lot more… and while the exposure and education you provided weren’t the tipping point, they built the changes to mental architecture that allowed the change that came later.

        2. This was before mountain biking ruined, ahem, popularized Utah’s national and state parks, but Capital Reef had three other cars in the three days my family was there. The park ranger we checked in with was flabbergasted that we came in via Muley Twist Road. Cathedral Valley was completely empty, and beautiful.

          1. mountain biking ruined, ahem, popularized

            We have some ruined popular hiking mountain biking trails too. They are still hiked, but … Mostly around the reservoirs. Nice thing about the Cascade Wilderness Trails, is wheeled vehicles Not Allowed.

  35. My father is pretty sure the census is about right because why would they lie? He still has faith that the people counting are basically honest. And for corroberation he said they’re probably counting correctly because they tracked him down when he attempted to not fill out the census that one year and made him fill it out. Oh well. He likes grandchildren. He celebrates the arrival of more. 🙂 Once conspiracy theory at a time I guess.

    1. WTF,O? Why would they lie? Hell’s bells, why would they NOT?

      Start with, Congressional seats are apportioned based on population. So are state electoral districts. Some federal ‘programs’ hand out money based on population. Why do you think Kalifornia goes to so much trouble to count every illegal alien at least once?
      My grandpa voted Republican until the day he died — but he’s been voting Democrat ever since.

      1. Since he’s not anti children in the first place, convincing him that the population figures are off is lower down on the priority list. Right now, I’m working on things that have documentation. He’s very much a show me the evidence person. Since the population argument works on inference, not on primary source evidence (at least, when I go looking, I don’t see much primary evidence) it’s a harder sell.

        My current schtick is telling all my relatives holy moly, humanized mice and their products are an evil and a horror. One thing at a time. I thought monoclonal antibodies sounded harmless. Turns out, humanized mice… well. I don’t think I can convey it. Not sure how appropriate for the venue.. But I want nothing to do with anything developed with a humanized BLT mouse. Even wikipedia bears out my understanding. And these products are being developed for EVERYTHING. Eczema to cancer and everything in between. So I want to tell my friends and my family so they don’t get tricked into using something with a morally horrible origin. Since it appears that a good slice of medicine of the future is coming from them. But it doesn’t say anything on the individual medicine. So if you don’t know, how would you know about it?

        1. so do you think that the tests that are currently being done on mice should be done on people instead? How should the testing be done?

          David Lang

          1. Oh, yes, that is totally a rational response to someone looking at HUMANIZED MICE and pointing out it’s horrifying is to suggest testing it on ‘people’.

            Wait… it makes no sense at all.

            Especially on a scifi fan site.

            1. I don’t consider animals people, even if they have some human cells transplanted into them.

              David Lang

              1. The human cells were a baby until someone decided not to be pregnant. A second trimester healthy baby. Just because the death would take place anyway, doesn’t mean it’s ok to use the parts to make medicine.

                The monoclonal antibodies are not just tested on the humanized mice. They are generated by the mice, then identified, extracted and mass produced (not using mice). These medicines would not exist without humanized mice. So, while the mouse is not human, a humanized mouse requires a human’s death.

                  1. careful about that logic, that leads to trimming your nails or getting a haircut == murder

                    David Lang

                    1. That is keratin, not so much living cells.

                      The complaint is:
                      1. Fetus aborted for tissue samples/human murdered for cells
                      2. cells cultured for more cells
                      3. cells put into mice
                      4. mice used for research <- you are here

                      Plus, the people overseeing this stuff are apparently carefully killing the programs that might find ethical precursors, like adult stem cells harvested by non-murderous means.

                      If we could do this stuff with keratin, or simply did this stuff instead with ethically sourced cells, the issue would not be there.

                      a) testing on humans, in an ethical society, would mean less methods available to cheat in unethically sourced material, and less ability to test stuff in violation of informed consent.
                      b) one of the less obvious implications, medical doctors were already trained in ways t hat could have dubious effects on sanity, before Obama worked to really meddle with the teaching. LEtting folks get away with unethical acts wrt human life, degrades their sanity worse, and can escalate to mass murder.
                      c) the determined resistance to correction is evidence of depravity of mind
                      d) it is not clear that these people are any longer compatible with civilization, and killing them may be the only means to ensure the safety of others

                    2. Says the guy who leaped from objecting to killing a member of a species and suggested the reasonable alternative was conducting experiments on… members of that species.

                    3. The idea that products of destroying an human with individual DNA is the same as trimming your nails is repulsive enough that I HAVE to believe you don’t realize what you’re saying.

                    4. By this David Lang’s logic, were an adult human killed and their tissues taken and inserted into mice and then the mice used to produce new medicines, that would be a moral and acceptable act and way of producing new medication. It would be no different than taking said adult human’s toenail trimmings or hair from a hair cut.

                    5. where did I every say that it was moral to kill someone.

                      using human cells is not always killing someone.

                      saying that any use of human cells is the equivalent of experimenting on humans is what I objected to.

                      David Lang

                    6. where have I ever voiced support for that? I just said that the use of human cells in mice did not make the mice human.

                      I do not support killing humans (of any age) for the purpose of getting tissue to experiment with.

                      But you are putting words in my mouth to say that I support such things when I say that the mere use of human tissue transplanted into mice does not make the experimenting on mice morally the same as experimenting on humans

                      (there is also a separate argument around not being able to change the past, so using the results of a killing that happened before a researcher was born is something different from the researcher doing a new killing to get the tissue, but I don’t think that’s what we’ve been arguing about)

                      David Lang

                    7. No I think you simply didn’t know how they created humanized mice, and somehow glossed over that.
                      I assumed you know.
                      So I wasn’t putting words in your mouth, we talked past each other. Sorry.

                    8. And yes, even if you’re not religious opposed to abortion, it’s a bad thing. Because yeah, it ends up being “We just killed this elderly person two weeks early, because we can use the cells for–” And eventually is “Well, he wasn’t happy, so–“

                    9. David,

                       The thing you seem to have overlooked, is that the thing of letting medical researchers cross these lines has already hit apparent tipping points into medical types being insane and dangerous to others.
                       The most limiting model of medical professionals being dangerous and out of control would be to take the covid lockdown as licit. 
                        If you do this, you are left with the unjustified partial walkback for 'racial justice'.  One of the claims in favor of lockdown was allegedly 200k in avoidable deaths.  But, this was less important than racial justice. Issue is, an upper bound can be set on the yearly 'racist cop' related deaths, it is probably fewer than 10k per year.  Lesser evil would have been delaying racial justice a year or two, to ensure that the covid mass deaths did not occur.
                        There is no reason to conclude that the covid and racial justice policies have caused any real mitigation of risk to human life.  The decision to support those policies caused deaths, and was an abuse of medical professional trust.  
                       A lot of them are crazy, and not exhibiting appropriate judgement.  In that context, the mouse thing looks a lot like a criminal's efforts to also implicate others, for the purposes of evading judgement.  It is very likely a deliberate and knowing effort to violate the boundaries set by others, and 'creepy' or 'scary' are not unreasonable emotional reactions.
                       The key here is that while a past event cannot be reversed, handling the results of that event is evidence wrt the occurrence of future events.  
                       Suppose a med school faculty is a legit capital felon, and executed.  Perhaps extra-judicially, but fairly legitimately executed on solid evidence following conviction by a jury of peers.  Dead is dead, so can simply anything be done with the body?  What is the message conveyed by sending the body parts to other medical school faculty?  If you are sent a severed human head, without or without the suggestion that you watch your behavior, one reasonable takeaway is that it is a warning that you could be next, if you do not change your behavior.
                       Current social context is definitely not so ordinary, routine, and predictably stable that everyone must conclude that handling of human remains/samples is never a threat display.
                    10. you seem to be against doing any research with human cells in any form. while I agree that using body parts of dead people to help the living could lead to killing people to get their body parts, that’s not the same as it frequently or even legally happening. (lots of sci fi novels have been written in worlds where it was legal, they are warnings, not instruction manuals)

                      David Lang

                    11. We’re arguing about whether a researcher may use the tissues from the 2nd trimester healthy abortions that occur on an ongoing basis to conduct research. Not 5 abortions that happened in the 1960s. Also, this isn’t one a year. This is collect them all (hundreds) and sell them off wholesale. I say no, you appear to say yes. Correct me if I’m wrong.

                      What part of “Fillet while alive” does not compute? That’s what is necessary to make a BLT mouse. You cannot make a BLT mouse in any other way. That’s in the name of the product. Human Bone-marrow, Liver, Thymus Mouse. From a 2nd trimester abortion. Not an adult or a child sample extracted via biopsy. I have a specific concrete objection. Which you are avoiding.

                    12. please quote the exact post where I have supported ‘2nd trimester healthy abortions’, if you can’t then you are slandering my by claiming that I have done so.

                      David Lang

                    13. no, I said the use of human cells, nothing about supporting abortion.

                      David Lang

                    14. Wow.

                      Not only did you not have any idea what you were talking about when you came in swinging, you didn’t even bother to read when the lady explained it to you.

                    15. Again, no. She’s talking about the process. You jumped in as though you knew the process, so we assumed. She’s not slandering you. You’re both assuming things and talking past each other.

                    16. David, I assumed that you read my post, in which I objected to BLT mice, then the next post where I discussed the process of creating a BLT mouse. You replied as though to the things written there. I assumed you were replying to my statements regarding BLT mice.

                    17. I read and reply via email, so if you make multiple posts, I won’t have seen later posts before replying to earlier ones.

                      David Lang

                    18. read and reply via email


                      if you make multiple posts, I won’t have seen later posts before replying to earlier ones.

                      100% guilty myself.

                      Suggestion? When I find myself where you and others are, I make a point of finding the comment and reading through the stream. Easier now with new formatting, if it is coming through on your email, click on either the commenter at the top, or being responded to. Takes you to Sarah’s site to the comment stream.

                      Definitely have been arguing past each other.

  36. Two years ago, I went to a pro-life all saints day bonfire. The demographics were, for the first time in my life anywhere, correct, as far as my back brain was concerned. The younger the person the more people there were. So many children.

    The US is very lucky that we don’t have state mandated birth control. I thank the second amendment every day for that.

    I think the demographics will work out in the end.

  37. Late to the party again. On the demographic side of the question, Peter Grant found this gent for me Peter Zeihan, interesting fella, not saying I agree with him on a lot of things but he does know his demographics. Been watching some of his stuff for short time since. One of the most interesting was here at about 11:00 minutes into the video. Link below. Most relevant portion to this discussion only goes for a couple of minutes. Basic breakdown on the US in the presentation at Ft. Benning he does previous to the stuff on China is “we’ll be ok, but recruiting will be a problem with Zoomers and Ho. Lee shitte do the Chicom’s have problems on the way. Not the 2100 stuff you’ve probably seen.

    No, it’s much much worse. Think 2050!

    And being it’s from the ChiComm’s. Well… take a lot of salt with you before believing any of it. Data report as of January 2020.
    Quote at end of that demographics part:

    “They Over counted population over 100 million people. The yellow bars don’t even exist. If this is true, most of us will witness the end of the Han ethnicity by 2050.”

    I think he talks about the difference of men to women by something like 80-90 million (couldn’t find it while at work)

    watch at least until about 13:25. Please!

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