My 2 cents:
David, your comments are quite inciteful. Americans’ definition of “need” is wildly distorted; very few of us actually need anything. We want any number of things, as you point out.One thing you didn’t mention in your discussion is the increased acceptance of the childless career woman. Last century’s “old maid” is this generation’s poster woman for gender equality.
On one hand this is not necessarily a bad thing. There are women who make damn lousy mothers but could run a business or a classroom far better than I could. If that’s the case, that’s exactly what they should do.
On the other hand, there’s no mystery why working women have fewer children: there aren’t enough hours in the day to do both. Career women simply don’t have the time or energy to properly care for the children they do have, let alone have more.
There’s no need to look under the bed for a conservative agenda – the facts of life explain matters fully.
I recommend this article by Caitlyn Flanagan for further reading.