Another ’30s German Echo: Will Trump Bring A Baby Boom?

In post-election pieces attempting to determine the causes of GOP President-elect Donald Trump’s win, many commentators have drawn on white socioeconomic dysfunction or pain to dance around the stirrings of whites finding an identity in being white. Trump’s bucking of Republican national election performance trends with success in the upper Midwest and even the northeast maps along the heroin deaths, the lower life expectancy and even the lower fertility white populations of America.

Will there be a Trump baby boom?

It’s easy to laugh at the question, as there is no change to trends. Nothing culturally or socially has changed yet. Economic incentives have not been discussed much. As argued here at Social Matter by Mark Yuray, throwing money at the low fertility problem is not an adequate solution. There is something deeper at play here, and not just re-orienting society to give women greater status for motherhood than careerism. Trump has no plans in the works that approach anything like the lavish benefits European nations are using to lure prospective parents.

How much do economic incentives matter? Maybe a touch on the margins as evidenced by the slight increases to fertility in different nations that have tackled the problem with social welfare programs.

But Trump baby boom pushers might have a case. Re-industrializing the forgotten areas of America will help some families in their quest for a second or third child. On the margins, how many whites have not had children or stopped at one because they want to afford to live in a good school district to avoid the third world invasion? Deportations and closing the immigration window could push up the white fertility rate in a reproductive sigh of relief that one’s English-speaking child will not be the minority in their school district in five or ten years. “Whites do not breed in captivity” is a common refrain. There is an element of truth to this.

There’s a historical reference here. Weimerica, the echo of Weimar Germany, can look at the past to see how pride in one’s identity and the struggle for greatness can boost family formation. Weimar Germany saw a decreasing, even plummeting fertility rate. The numbers are undeniable.

One thing to note is that while the German birth rate had decreased from the mid-19th century to 1914, the total number of surviving children had not changed much. German families had switched from having four children and two surviving to have slightly more than two and all children surviving. This varied by region, and with industrialization and urbanization, the total fertility rate dropped along with economic growth in cities.

After the Great War, soldiers came home and the total fertility rate rebounded to pre-war levels. This did not last long. Weimar Germany was plagued by communists revolutions, coups, and street fighting, in addition to disastrous economic processes like hyperinflation, war reparations, reparation negotiations, and efficiency demands. Weimar Germany also pushed through multiple social welfare policies, saw social mores and norms erode, and changed prostitution and abortion laws. In an era of neither economic, nor political security, the birth rate bottomed out and was at war-era levels by 1932.

Look at those links with births graphed again. Hitler comes to power and they immediately jump. No policies were enacted, no changes in the culture or social situation in 1933, and yet the jump is unmistakable. The Nazis would later go on to push women out of the workforce, encourage women to focus on family, and even award women medals for having four or more children. Note there was not just an award, but young men were to stop on the street and salute these mothers. It was public approval that granted positive status to these women and that role of motherhood. That award did not come into being until 1939, and we can see the change in birth rates already by the mid-’30s. There were immediate changes. but the promise of a greater tomorrow, that belonged to them, was repeated over and over in media and speeches.

Skeptics could point out how there was no black baby boom with Obama’s victory in 2008, but his arrival was accompanied by our modern economic depression and would have less effect on an r-selected population. In fact, all groups have seen fertility drops since 2008, similar to all groups rising after leaving the late ’70s-early ’80s peak abortion era. Abortion must have been the hot new thing for Boomer women to try just once, but the Reagan-era optimism could have affected all groups.

This is a Western problem, and implicit in that idea is a white problem. Trump’s civic nationalism is a call to all Americans to make America great again, but the reality of America is an empire of tribes competing for control of the state. Consider who spends all of their time hating America’s past versus waving flags? The civic messaging is reducible to a coded message to the tribe that still loves America. Trump’s victory and message is one of hope and a future worthy of America’s past achievements. On the margins, deportations, re-industrialization and investment in our communities’ infrastructure could nudge enough Americans to not just have pride in their nation but consider it worthy enough to leave to their children.

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11 Comments

  1. Three or four kids is the norm in my group of friends, but among my high school friends, whom I rarely see anymore, most are unmarried, and at most, might have one illegitimate kid. The most telling factor seems to be urban vs. rural/suburban. Living in cities almost always means less kids. It seems that millennials/hipsters love their urban lifestyle, which will most likely result in even less white kids.

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  2. Abelard Lindsey January 8, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    A “Reagan-like” economic boom ought to bump up the fertility rate some. No Reagan-like economic boom and there is zero possibility of a rebound in the fertility rate.

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  3. “Consider who spends all of their time hating America’s past versus waving flags?”
    The tide is turning, the alt-right is taking charge,
    but,
    STAY ANGRY.

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  4. Fertility is most strongly collated with women’s status. Reduce thier status and they have lots babies. Increase it and they have fewer. It’s likely tied to how turned on a woman is by having sex with a higher status man.

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  5. Self described white right wingers have 40% more children than leftwingers. And the top IQ quartile is more fertile than the bottom IQ quartile. For whites in North America, the future belongs to us, and for whites, right wing views are eugenic.

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  6. Laguna Beach Fogey January 8, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Not a big family man, but I’ll do my best to contribute to a baby boom in my community.

    Wish me luck, chaps!

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    1. Are you implying illegitimate children? That’s not really a benefit. Single mothers don’t raise very successful children. The presence of a father is a huge factor in prosociality. If you don’t want to raise them keep it in your pants.

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  7. Regarding a Baby Boom in America, I don’t think so. Conditions are nothing like they were in the 40’s – 50’s. Too much atomization, labor market is too weak, to many distractions keeping young people from setting down and having children

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    1. I agree. In the 1930s the kind of individualism we know today didn’t exist even in the biggest cities. The amount of distractions and “possibilities” is simply too high for a broad attempt of the population to breed.

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  8. If just 10% would have like 60% of all newborns that would be already a great step forward. We need fewer and better people. And you can’t bribe people into having kids anyway.

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  9. By the Way, the Birthrates in germany DROPED in the 1930s constantly and just got a little rise during the late 30s. The Nazis had always a lack of people and thats why they tried to collect all those scattered german people in besarabien and the balkans. German birthrates were untill the first world war high enough to fuel Hitlers movement, but not the following war.

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