Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Ain't what they used to be

Over the last three decades, US birth rates among women under 25 declined while birth rates among women over 30 increased, dramatically so among women over 40. It's well known that mean maternal age at birth has increased substantially in the West over the last 60 years.

What might not be as widely recognized--I previously wouldn't have guessed as much--is that in 1950 absolute birth rates among American women over the age of 40 were substantially higher than they are among women over the age of 40 today (on the order of 50% greater). This even though a larger percentage of total births today are to old matrons than was the case in the middle of the 20th century.

Even with all the fertility treatment cheats, longer life expectancies, and bodies less battered by previous childbirths that middle-aged women enjoy today over what their grandmothers dealt with, the latter remained more fecund than the former all the way up to menopause.

Why there may never be another Republican president

In 2012 an unpopular president--presiding over a 'bad economy', supported by an unenthusiastic base, and having been out-debated by a credentialed challenger--won reelection by a comfortable margin. Time is obviously on the Democratic party's side, so as propitious as the circumstances were for the GOP in 2012, they'll have to be even more favorable in the future for Republicans to have a shot at winning a national election.

Texas births in 2014, by race:

When the inevitable consequences of this demographic transition flip Texas from red to blue (in 2032 if I had to guess), the game will officially be over. For those familiar with the American political landscape, that might seem difficult to fathom at first blush. Consider, though, that from 1952 through 1988, California was a solidly Republican state, voting Democratic only once during that 36 year period. Now, of course, California is one of the most reliably blue states in the country.

Parenthetically, this is not to bemoan the decline of the Republican party per se. To the contrary, I've come to view its diminution as a good thing (and not only because it means fewer military blunders into third-world hellholes). The sooner a critical mass of people realizes that the idea of the US as a unified political entity is unworkable, the sooner secession becomes conceivable. Effective one-party rule is a great way to expedite that process.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Show matrimonial love by spreading it around far and wide

Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority:
It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.
A graphical representation of data compiled from the GSS over the last few years:

No less respectable a media organ of the Cathedral than The New York Times reported the same half a decade ago.

If the presumption is that marriage precludes extramarital sexual activity, then it seems reasonable to argue that opening it up to same-sex couples does in fact "disrespect the idea of marriage".

Perhaps it's time for that aspect of the definition of marriage to change as well. Expect it to be the next big Cathedral objective after the holy warriors are done mopping up any residual resistance to transgendering.

Parenthetically, lest there be any doubt about the Cathedral's zeal for the gay cause, consider it utterly dispelled.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Not licked yet

Created using preliminary data on US births in 2014:

A few years ago the Census bureau announced that (non-Hispanic) whites no longer comprised a majority of newborns in the US, the implication being that in (less than) five years' time they would no longer constitute a majority of kids under the age of five, in (less than) eighteen years' time the would no longer constitute a majority of minors, etc.

Pew has a piece explaining the possible reasons for the premature announcement, though "wishful thinking" is conspicuously absent from among them. For the last three years whites have held the line at 54% of all births in the country.

In most states a majority of newborns are white. That is not the case in New York, Georgia, Florida, New Jersey, Maryland, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, DC, California, New Mexico, and Hawaii, however. Though the number of states is small, the number of people in these states is not, with the country's four most populous ones in the majority-minority column.

Politically, the Rubicon runs through Texas. When it inevitably flips from red to blue, the consequence will be 76 electoral college vote swing, ending any chance for a Republican to ever occupy the White House again. Florida is probably already forever lost to the GOP and Georgia is only a couple election cycles away from the same fate.

If you're of the persuasion that demography is destiny, there are two crucial determinants that shape the future: Immigration and differential fertility. These are the battlefronts.

In the interest of full disclosure, an indication of which side I'm on:

Friday, June 19, 2015

It's not good to be king

A naif might think that the putative benefits provided by white privilege and membership in the patriarchy, combined with the Potato Heading of the West, would see non-whites and women running from their oppressed statuses to enjoy the benefits that naturally accrue to white men.

Curiously, the contemporary high profile cases of race and sex changes involve whites 'becoming' non-whites (Dolezal) and men 'becoming' women (FauxcahontasJenner). These don't appear to be exceptions to prove the rule, either. There has been a pronounced flight from white evident in the US Census over the last several decades, and people from ancestries conventionally considered to be white, such as Middle Easterners and North Africans, are pushing for the creation of non-white categories to self-identify themselves as.

In 2004, the GSS asked respondents to choose from ten descriptors to answer the question "which is most important to you in describing who you are?" Respondents were also asked to select the second and third most important descriptors from the same list. Race/ethnicity was one of the options. The following table shows the percentages of respondents, by race, who identified race/ethnicity as the most important, second most important, or third most important aspects of how they identify themselves (n = 1,185):

RespondentR/E important

Another option among the ten provided was gender. The percentages of respondents, by sex, who identified gender as the most important, second most important, or third most important aspects of how they identify themselves (n = 1,201):

RespondentGender important

Quite the conundrum. It's almost as if being white and being male, rather than conferring tacit benefits upon a person, actually has a deleterious effect on one's social status and perceived moral worth.

Parenthetically, these data are over a decade old. I suspect the white and male identification deficits are even greater now than they were then.

GSS variables used: SOCID1(2)(3), SOCID2(2)(3), SOCID3(2)(3), RACECEN1(1)(2)(4-10)(15-16), SEX