How did things ever get this way? One reason, I think, is simply that people are going longer and longer without having any children and are used to living mostly around other adults whose circumstances are the same. It is perfectly normal now to be married and over the age of 40 and childless. In wealthy urban areas children are increasingly regarded as a luxury good that only well-established responsible people know how to take care of. I suspect, too, that our world-historically moronic dog culture has contributed to the problem. “I keep Buddy quiet at the dog park!” is an actual argument I have heard evinced by someone at a supermarket in Northern Virginia who thought my daughter should be slightly less enthusiastic about doughnuts.
Here is some far-out science: My kid is not your stupid pet. You might put it in a stroller and dress it and have birthday parties for it and refer to yourself as “Mommy” or “Daddy,” but that makes you a delusional loser, not the winner of this debate about what any decent society should expect of the most vulnerable members of the human race.