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Demographic Collapse: U.S. Fertility Hits All-Time Low

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According to a Reason report, the total fertility rate in America dropped below 1.73 births per woman.

Ronald Bailey drew data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

This is a new record that beat out the previous nadir of 1.74 births per woman back in 1976.

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These birth rates are similar to other developed countries, where fertility is also plummeting.

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In the European Union’s case, the 28 members’ birth rate is 1.6 births per woman, Japan stands at 1.4, and Canada is at 1.5

According to a 2010 study, University of Connecticut anthropologists Nicola Bulled and Richard Sosis discovered that fertility falls as female life expectancy increases.

Global average life expectancy increased from 52.6 years in 1960 to 72.4 years today. On the other hand, the global total fertility rate dropped by more than half, from 5 to 2.4 births per woman.

The causes behind these birthrates are heavily disputed.

Some experts argue that lowering birth rates are a consequence of the current stage of capitalism which requires both parents to enter the workforce. Similarly, rising cost of living in major metro centers has been blamed as a factor behind people deciding to put off marriage and having children. Coupled with increasingly burdensome student loans, the prospects of starting a family seem bleak for many younger people who are financially hamstrung due to economic circumstances.

Others see this trend as a sign of a cultural decline where people prefer to live in the moment and not leave behind offspring. They cite feminism and a culture that encourages more casual sex as some of the reasons explaining declining birth rates.

We may never find out what is truly behind these trends, but policymakers should consider some solutions such as tax incentives like tax relief for couples who decide to have multiple children in order to incentivize family formation.

This is one issue where conservatives can blend low tax policy with family formation to create strong economic freedom and traditionalist coalitions.

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Greg Abbott Signs Executive Order Keeping Violent Criminals from Going Back on the Streets During the Wuhan Crisis

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After the Wuhan Virus was confirmed in several Texas jails in the last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on March 29, 2020 that makes it more difficult for several inmates to be let out on “no-cost, personal recognizance bonds.”

Abbott tweeted, “Today I issued an Executive Order preventing [email protected] of dangerous criminals from prisons & jails. We want to prevent the spread of #COVID19 among prison staff & inmates. But, releasing dangerous criminals in the streets is not the solution. #txlege #coronavirus

Several cases of the Wuhan Virus were discovered in the Dallas County Jail and Harris County Jail last week, two of the state’s largest jails. In addition, a handful of cases were confirmed in state prisons. According to NBC DFW, the virus’ outbreak was “followed by demands to reduce the inmate populations by releasing, immediately and without bond or judicial delay, those held on misdemeanor crimes or awaiting trial on misdemeanor crimes. Some also called for non-violent felons to also be released on no-cost bonds.”

Abbott said Sunday that “releasing dangerous criminals makes the state even less safe” and issued a proclamation to prevent judges, and others, from releasing some inmates without a paid, cash bond.

In his executive order, Abbott declared that a person convicted of a crime that involved or threatened physical violence, or a person arrested for such a crime backed by probable cause, or a person with a criminal history of violent crime, cannot get out of jail on a no-cost personal recognizance bond.

With a PR bond, a defendant is released without having to post any money for his or her bond on the promise they’ll show up to their next court date.

Instead of virtue signaling and buying into the criminal justice reform movement’s desire to foment anarcho-tyranny, Abbott has held his ground by promoting public order.

A crisis like the Wuhan Virus pandemic does not need to be exacerbated by opening up the prison floodgates.

This is one case where American policymakers should use logic not emotion to craft prison policies in times of a pandemic.

Failure to do so will put the U.S. on the road to institutional failure.

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