The patriarchs shall inherit the Earth


In Foreign Policy, of all places, there's a long article by Phillip Longman called "The Return of Patriarchy." The thesis paragraph is near the end:

Advanced societies are growing more patriarchal, whether they like it or not. In addition to the greater fertility of conservative segments of society, the rollback of the welfare state forced by population aging and decline will give these elements an additional survival advantage, and therefore spur even higher fertility. As governments hand back functions they once appropriated from the family, notably support in old age, people will find that they need more children to insure their golden years, and they will seek to bind their children to them through inculcating traditional religious values akin to the Bible’s injunction to honor thy mother and father.
I find this encouraging, particularly since I've been more than a little frustrated by money lately. The Washington area is a tough place to raise kids for a variety of reasons, not least financially. But if my four children are going to promote a patriarchal way of life in America, it's worth it!

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Just don't start talking about yourself in the 3rd person:

"The Patriarch desires porcini mushroom risotto"
"Thus sayeth the Patriarch: it's bedtime"

The article is on-line:


Being the eldest of four sons I can assure you that your large family will indeed come back to benefit you (maybe just 30 or 60 fold, rather than 100 fold). The reasons cited in the article are valid demographic and political concerns; but moreover, the incredible act of faith it takes to be open to conceiving that many children in our nation today displays your faith openly for all the world to see. If we humans, with our mortal eyes, can take notice, how much moreso will our heavenly father peer into your loving soul and thereafter manifest the blessings He has laid aside for you? God certainly will not send you journeying along a path which you have not the abilities to walk.

may God bless you, your wife and your children,


Thanks, Lilo -- I forgot the link.

I appreciate the encouragement, Tom. Most of blessings may be in the future, but when I'm around my kids, I feel amply blessed presently. (Except right before dinner, when they often go nuts.)

why do they go nuts before dinner? Is it because the cooking is "SOOOOOO good"? (that's a quote from Strong Bad's "Teen Girl Squad")

Since it takes younger workers to put money into social security to keep it solvent with reasonable benefits to the elderly--it would be interesting to see if a fair way could be found to have social security retirement benefits--at least in some small way-- tied to the number of children raised. Why shouldn't my wife and I who financed the raising of 4 kids (while paying taxes callibrated against families in spite of deductions and exemptions) get somewhat higher benefits than my neighbor who purposely had only one kid so he and his wife could still afford European vacations and a summer home in Vermont??

John, the kids go nuts because of low blood sugar, simple as that.

Deacon, I've heard a proposal floated that would give retired parents one-third of their children's taxes. That would tie their Social Security benefits to the number of children they had, and how economically productive they are. Sounds good to me.

As for your point about the unfairness of the current tax structure: Amen. If dependent exemptions had kept pace with inflation over the last few decades, they'd be something like $9-10,000 a person. A family of six with a mortgage would pay no income tax at all, unless their household income was far above average.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric Johnson published on February 28, 2006 10:57 PM.

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