Дочка получила уведомление о поступлении в Stern School при Yeshiva University. Воплей и писка не было, прямо-таки антиклимакс... но через десять минут девушка с блеском в глазах утопала к подружке. Поскольку она уже помогла сварить и приготовить много чего, возражений от менеджмента не поступило.
Хаг кашер вэ-самеах!
( Reuven amuses the neighbors' kids )
Всем хорошего, кашерного праздника!
The Breeders' Cup
Social science may suggest that kids drain their parents' happiness, but there's evidence that good parenting is less work and more fun than people think. Bryan Caplan makes the case for having more children.
By BRYAN CAPLAN
Amid the Father's Day festivities, many of us are privately asking a Scroogely question: "Having kids—what's in it for me?" An economic perspective on happiness, nature and nurture provides an answer: Parents' sacrifice is much smaller than it looks, and much larger than it has to be.
Most of us believe that kids used to be a valuable economic asset. They worked the farm, and supported you in retirement. In the modern world, the story goes, the economic benefits of having kids seem to have faded away. While parents today make massive personal and financial sacrifices, children barely reciprocate. When they're young, kids monopolize the remote and complain about the food, but do little to help around the house; when you're old, kids forget to return your calls and ignore your advice, but take it for granted that you'll continue to pay your own bills.
Many conclude that if you value your happiness and spending money, the only way to win the modern parenting game is not to play. Low fertility looks like a sign that we've finally grasped the winning strategy. In almost all developed nations, the total fertility rate—the number of children the average woman can expect to have in her lifetime—is well below the replacement rate of 2.1 children. (The U.S. is a bit of an outlier, with a rate just around replacement.) Empirical happiness research seems to validate this pessimism about parenting: All else equal, people with kids are indeed less happy than people without.
While the popular and the academic cases against kids have a kernel of truth, both lack perspective. By historical standards, modern parents get a remarkably good deal.( Read more... )
Father's Day is a time to reflect on whether you want to be a parent—or want to be a parent again. If you simply don't like kids, research has little to say to you. If however you're interested in kids, but scared of the sacrifices, research has two big lessons. First, parents' sacrifice is much smaller than it looks, and childless and single is far inferior to married with children. Second, parents' sacrifice is much larger than it has to be. Twin and adoption research shows that you don't have to go the extra mile to prepare your kids for the future. Instead of trying to mold your children into perfect adults, you can safely kick back, relax and enjoy your journey together—and seriously consider adding another passenger.
Bryan Caplan is a professor of economics at George Mason University and blogger at EconLog. His next book, "Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids," is forthcoming in 2011.
This afternoon I took the available children to Battleship Cove (Fall River, MA). All present judged it a success, despite Nahum's yarmulka blowing away when climbing the upper deck of the missile cruiser.