Think of a baby like the 10-year Treasury note. Or maybe an 18-year T-note? Stick with us here.
Having a child means investing in the future, feeling hopeful about at least the next year or so. When you consider the climate crisis, you also have to consider what things are going to look like over the next couple decades or more.
All that contributes to America’s record-low birthrates, says Notre Dame economics professor Kasey Buckles, but she’s not ready to call it a crisis yet.
“Where I think that it’s potentially a crisis, though, is if there are people who do want to be having children and feel like they can’t,” she said. “I really worry that that says something about the way we’ve structured our economy in our society.”
The causes and effects of a declining birthrate stretch much further than the pandemic. On today’s show, Buckles will help us put the birthrate in context and unpack the immigration, climate and economic implications. We’ll also talk about the politics around child care and family leave.
Later on, we’ll talk about vaccine revenue, big banks returning to work and an update on the mess at Basecamp. Plus, listeners weigh in on the death of the mall and the return of cruise ships. Finally, acting Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel answers the Make Me Smart Question.
When you’re done listening, tell your Echo device to “make me smart” for our daily explainers. This week we’re explaining movie theaters, Mother’s Day and “Star Wars” (May the fourth be with you). And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter! You can find the latest issue here.
Here’s everything we talked about today:
- “U.S. Population Over Last Decade Grew at Slowest Rate Since 1930s” from The New York Times
- “Half a million fewer children? The coming COVID baby bust” from the Brookings Institution
- “Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States” from the Migration Policy Institute
- “World’s population is projected to nearly stop growing by the end of the century” from Pew Research Center
- “Pfizer’s Covid vaccine revenues hit $3.5bn in first quarter” from the Financial Times
- “Deutsche Bank NYC Staff to Work From Home Until at Least July” from Bloomberg
- “Goldman Sachs just told its US staffers they need to be back in the office by June 14 in one of Wall Street’s earliest pushes to get employees back in person” from Insider
- “How Basecamp blew up” from Platformer
- Subscribe to “Marketplace Tech” to hear Molly’s three-part interview with acting FCC Chair Rosenworcel!
Finally: We need your voice memos! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood to answer! Here’s how to do it.