Caplan’s case basically boils down to this: Too many Americans are reluctant to have more children because we overestimate the resources (time/money/effort) it takes to raise a happy, well-adjusted child.
Those vocabulary flashcards? Not worth it. Your son hates piano lessons? Don’t put yourself through the pain of forcing him to go. You don’t have time to cook dinner? Get takeout. And perhaps most subversively, if you need a few minutes to compose yourself, don’t be afraid to let Cookie Monster babysit your kids for half an hour…
Most pro-natalist books make the case that having more children is good for all of humanity. And “Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids” does have one such chapter. But, as a libertarian, Caplan’s book does not contain any laundry list of government programs designed to make bigger families more common.
Instead, Caplan’s book is about how parents can learn to enjoy parenting more.