Green Room

Smaller cars will lead to smaller families

posted at 6:35 pm on May 20, 2009 by

And smaller families will lead to demographic decline which will eventually lead to a Euro-style death spiral.

As Mark Steyn said earlier today, “not to be gloomy, but. . . .” Well, these are gloomy days.

Steyn wrote last month about car size influencing family size. In light of Obama’s emissions decree, it’s worth revisiting:

Europeans often ask, “Why do Americans need those big cars?” The short answer is: Because Americans have kids and Europeans don’t. So Italians and Spaniards and Germans (and Japanese) can drive around in things the size of a Chevy Suburban’s cupholder because they’ve got nothing to put in them.

If you’re a soccer mom schlepping three kids plus little Jimmy from next door around, you need a vehicle of a certain size. In the old days, you could just toss ’em all in there and they’d roll around as you took the hairpin bends in fourth gear. But now you can’t stick kids in the front and you need baby seats for the youngest and booster seats for the oldest and soon nanny-state regulation will require every American under 37 to be in a rear-facing child seat, which is a pretty good metaphor for where the country’s going.

And, if you mandate small cars and child-seat regulations, don’t be surprised if the size of the American family starts heading south, too. The difference between U.S. and European vehicles isn’t an emblem of environmental irresponsibility or American corpulence but of something more basic and important.

The Foundry calls the new emissions standards Obama’s Ban on Soccer Moms. It’s also a “ban” on large- and even medium-sized families. When the typical car comes equipped with four seat belts it conveys the message that two children is the default option of family size. Independent-minded Americans will continue to act and think for themselves. But the sheep among us will limit themselves by accepting the implied default option as the more popular, and therefore better, course of action.

The US birthrate is just at replacement level. To implement policies that discourage families from having children will push us ever closer toward Euro-blivion.

Related: Cars and families, See the USA in your Chevrolet

Cross-posted here.

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That’s the general plan.

steveegg on May 20, 2009 at 8:42 PM

But are people really going to stop and have this conversation?
“Honey, I’d like another baby.”
“Me too, Sweetheart, but we’ve only got the 2 child-seats.”
“Oh, good point. Yeah, forget what I said.”

It’s not the size of cars that’s going to shrink American families… it’s the increasing expense across the board, and in some cases a general trend toward selfishness (if I have kids I can’t party/travel/live hand-to-mouth, etc.).

MaxPower on May 20, 2009 at 10:56 PM

This is so racist,I mean what will the wetbacks,(OPPS un titled guest employees) use to commute to work and messico in.
How are we gonna get the yard guys out to Brentwood to take care of the goreacles lawns.As to family, size gay is self limiting for the most part.Lez seems the same. Liberals abort so it is us gringoes and the new folks that will be america.You can also make out real well in a Suburban and kids do happen.

Col.John Wm. Reed on May 21, 2009 at 5:49 AM

But are people really going to stop and have this conversation?
“Honey, I’d like another baby.”
“Me too, Sweetheart, but we’ve only got the 2 child-seats.”
“Oh, good point. Yeah, forget what I said.”

It does sound absurd, but I can easily imagine different versions of this conversation, especially from couples who are on the fence about another child. A smaller car might cause a couple to delay having another child, and a child delayed is a child who may never be conceived, since couples don’t become more fertile with the passage of time.

Seemingly small, mundane realities like the size of the average car can, I think, influence thinking by changing social norms and expectations. Once something becomes the norm fewer people choose to go in another direction.

I agree about economic factors and selfishness. And don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to convince anyone to have more children. But it’s bad for everyone when the government provides incentives against larger families. Smaller and smaller families are a feature of Euro-socialism and eventually spell death for a culture.

Pundette on May 21, 2009 at 6:47 AM

Hmmm. If I buy clothes two sizes to small will that lead to me losing 20 pounds?

Disturb the Universe on May 21, 2009 at 7:36 AM

If you’re wearing clothes that fit you now and you start to gain weight, feeling squeezed, along with the thought of spending time and money on a new wardrobe, might be an incentive to try not to “expand.” (That’s a real diet tip, btw, to wear fitted clothes. Having the smaller clothes in the closet doesn’t work so well. I’ve tried it.)

Pundette on May 21, 2009 at 7:59 AM

All part of the plan.

See the “georgia guide posts” (aka the elite’s epitaph for the “profane”—that would be you and me):

1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2. Guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity.
3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
4. Rule passion – faith – tradition – and all things with tempered reason.
5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
9. Prize truth – beauty – love – seeking harmony with the infinite.
10. Be not a cancer on the earth – Leave room for nature – Leave room for nature.

They also have a one-world religion prepared for us….know what that is?

That’s why the assault on Christianity and America …. both stand in their way to their planetary “utopia.”

If I had to name one living person to focus on for pulling the world in this direction, it would be David Rockefeller.

He’s the primary head, member, leader, initiator, funder of every secret and non-secret society, foundation, commission, council, institute, and think-tank on the planet.

Obama is Rockefeller’s puppet.

Can you handle the truth?

ex-Democrat on May 21, 2009 at 8:32 AM

The problem with small cars is that kids have this nasty tendency to grow. Try putting a couple of six-foot teenage boys in the back of compact car for a trip over an hour. 🙂

Which is probably why the preferred car of the Scouting (Boy or Girl) families I know is a minivan, a SUV, or a truck with an extended cab, even if the family has only one or two children. (Not to mention the gear that also must be schlepped around…)

The alternative is to use more cars to move the same number of people and gear, which negates any gas savings. Kind of like having to flush the low-flow toilets twice to move stuff through the pipes. 🙂

March Hare on May 22, 2009 at 11:25 AM

1,200 pound small car? In a crash with a medium sized pickup truck, count on being dead at the scene. Yes that is 1 way to have smaller families.

seven on May 22, 2009 at 10:26 PM