Sell Your Options Dearly: KIDS

Eddie Braverman's picture
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Andy note: "Best of Eddie" - while Eddie is on vacation we're throwing up some of his classic posts from the past. This one from June 2010 is part of the very popular "Sell Your Options" 5-part series. More to come later this week & next. If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

After reading my thoughts on marriage, you might think you know what I'm going to say about having kids. You may be surprised to learn that I actually enjoy having kids most of the time, but it's not something you leave to chance. Kids are not for everyone, and you should approach this particular milestone with sober and thoughtful reflection.

Once you have kids, there's no going back. Assuming you're not a total shitbag who is going to turn his back on his kids, they are with you for life. If you're at a place where you are really enjoying your life, doing what you want whenever you want, buying nice things and taking nice trips, you need to think long and hard before bringing a kid into the picture.

The birth of your first child is a momentous occasion for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it is both the first day of your child's life and the last day of yours. That might sound like hyperbole, but I assure you it's true. From that day forward, every decision you make has to be made with your children in mind.

I caught a lot of crap yesterday for my use (some would argue misuse) of divorce statistics. Alas, once more into the breach. The birth rate among Western industrialized nations has been collapsing for the better part of 30 years now. Part of that decline is simply a reflection of the unsustainability of the explosive birth rate of the Baby Boomer generation.

The majority of the decline, however, can be attributed to the wide availability of contraception and abortion in wealthy nations, euphemistically known as "family planning". Now take a step back and ask yourself: Why have birth rates remained steady or increased among poor developing nations, but have dropped off to the point of imminent extinction in wealthy industrial countries? Even in the U.S. the distribution of the birth rate is weighted along class lines, illustrated brilliantly by Mike Judge in this clip:

Again it comes down to lifestyle design. When you have a lot of money and you're having a good time in life, you're naturally reluctant to allow anything to change that. Maybe you have long term goals that would have to be put on hold or abandoned altogether if a kid came along. Maybe you want to wait until you're older and more established. There are many reasons to postpone having kids, or forgo it altogether.

There is really only one reason to have kids. Because you want them. Because you are absolutely committed to having a family and raising children, and you hope by doing it well that you might make the world a little better place. Because you'll always feel like something is missing in your life if you don't.

Anything less than total commitment to having a kid can be disastrous, so if you're on the fence about it do yourself (and your potential children) a favor and take a pass. I'm not even sure I'd recommend waiting until later in life, though I suppose it's possible for the urge to get stronger as the years pass.

I waited a long time. I was 38 when I became a dad for the first time (that I know of - haha). So I had a lot of time to think about it. And if I'm being honest, it's something I always knew I would do. Not only was it something I wanted to do, it was something I felt I had to do. So the commitment was there.

My dad was two years old when his parents dumped him in an orphanage. From what I've been told (it wasn't something he'd ever talk about), it wasn't for economic reasons. They just flat didn't want him. He grew up in the system, in and out of foster homes, and joined the Navy to escape it all at 17.

He sprang me from the London orphanage where I was born while he was stationed there after a couple tours in Vietnam. After his nightmarish childhood, you wouldn't expect a guy like that to be a great dad, but you'd be wrong. He was a natural (I'm not, unfortunately). He paid it forward big time, so I did too.

My wife and I adopted two brothers from a Siberian orphanage a couple years ago. They were 3 and 4 at the time, now 5 and 6. Imagine the balls it takes to get on a plane with complete strangers and leave the only home you've ever known at that age. It was less than six months before they got sick of hearing my pitiful Russian and switched to English full time (a language they'd never even heard before we adopted them).

They're tough kids, and I take comfort in the fact that no matter how badly I screw them up, they'll still be better off than they would have been growing up in an orphanage in the frozen shithole mining camp that sprung up around the concentration camp where Stalin exiled their great-grandparents.

When I look at these two fork-in-the-light-socket nitwits sometimes I think about the life we gave up to make them ours. My wife and I traveled the world at our leisure, pretty much came and went as we pleased, slept in when we wanted to, and called the kennel for the dogs when we wanted to split for a while. Now someone could offer me a week in Antigua and I'd have to decline. In fact, I'm taking my first week off in two years starting next Wednesday. That's a bitter pill for some people to swallow.

I'm of two minds when it comes to the timing of having children. If you're truly committed to parenthood, you might be better off getting started earlier than later. Don't get me wrong, I got to enjoy my youth and was definitely in a better place financially at 38 than I was at, say, 22. But it's a double edged sword.

If you have kids early in life, you probably won't know what you're missing. In that case, ignorance is bliss. If you've never jetted off to the Caribbean at a moment's notice, you won't miss being able to. Your kids will be mostly grown by the time you're my age, and then you'll have the time (and presumably more money) to enjoy life.

By the same logic, though, getting started early might have a negative impact on your career. We all know about the woman suing Goldman for being put on the "mommy track". As silly as that particular case may be, there is definitely an argument in favor of remaining fleet of foot in the early stages of your career.

In the end, it all comes down to a personal decision. Letting your family life dictate your career path makes far more sense than letting your career path dictate your family life. You don't have to look very far in our business to find someone whose family can't stand him because he's never there. You don't want to be that guy.

So I guess my advice would be: Have kids if you really want them. If you think you might want them, don't do it until you're absolutely certain. If you never get to that point, that's okay too. I can't imagine anything worse for a kid than to wonder if they're really wanted (except maybe knowing that they aren't).

Kids have the same impact on your life that Fat Man and Little Boy had on Japan. You'd better be ready for it before you do it.

But there's nothing better than hearing your kid laugh and seeing the joy in their eyes.

Either way, good luck.

Sources:
http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/censusstatistic/a/aa...
http://pewsocialtrends.org/pubs/753/american-birth...

Comments (61)

Jun 17, 2010

Interesting read . I became a dad at 23(see avatar pic) and have found him to be my main motivator in a lot of what i do and who i am. I dont think i could have waited to be 38 like yourself, but to each their own.

While being a parent isnt for everyone, it is incredible to see the change that occurs (imagine walking zombies) in people once they have a dependent rolling around on the floor.

That little investment is worth their weight in gold 100x over when you have had a shitty day and you come home to see him pop his head around the corner of the hall with a huge smile " hi dad!!!!"

Keep up the writing.

C

Jun 17, 2010

i tell ya what. i'm still pretty young yet i've spontaneous started thinking how i'd raise my kids if i had them

and yet, i know and accept that i may decide never to have children. i can't tell how life will turn out. (in a way, all the above thoughts would be for nothing)

Jun 17, 2010
zbb:

i tell ya what. i'm still pretty young yet i've spontaneous started thinking how i'd raise my kids if i had them

and yet, i know and accept that i may decide never to have children. i can't tell how life will turn out. (in a way, all the above thoughts would be for nothing)

as someone else who's young (20), I know that raising kids is my ultimate goal in life. My parents have literally provided me with anything i could have ever wanted for my whole life. Ive been spoiled in the sense that my parents have always provided me with the best possible quality of life that they possibly could. They put me (and my sister for that matter) before themselves in about every decision they make, and I'm humbled at the way ive been brought up when looking at the families of everyone around me.

I know that my ultimate goal is to make as much money as i can, not so I can live the life, but so my kids can live the life. My ultimate happiness will be found in giving my children the fantastic life that my parents provided for me. As much as I always "want" for things here and there, looking back i couldn't ever really want for anything more than that which Ive been provided. I wouldnt change anything about my childhood, and I hope to have kids that will feel the same way

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Jun 17, 2010
blong131:
zbb:

i tell ya what. i'm still pretty young yet i've spontaneous started thinking how i'd raise my kids if i had them

and yet, i know and accept that i may decide never to have children. i can't tell how life will turn out. (in a way, all the above thoughts would be for nothing)

as someone else who's young (20), I know that raising kids is my ultimate goal in life. My parents have literally provided me with anything i could have ever wanted for my whole life. Ive been spoiled in the sense that my parents have always provided me with the best possible quality of life that they possibly could. They put me (and my sister for that matter) before themselves in about every decision they make, and I'm humbled at the way ive been brought up when looking at the families of everyone around me.

I know that my ultimate goal is to make as much money as i can, not so I can live the life, but so my kids can live the life. My ultimate happiness will be found in giving my children the fantastic life that my parents provided for me. As much as I always "want" for things here and there, looking back i couldn't ever really want for anything more than that which Ive been provided. I wouldnt change anything about my childhood, and I hope to have kids that will feel the same way

That is the way to look at it

Jun 17, 2010
blong131:

I know that my ultimate goal is to make as much money as i can, not so I can live the life, but so my kids can live the life. My ultimate happiness will be found in giving my children the fantastic life that my parents provided for me. As much as I always "want" for things here and there, looking back i couldn't ever really want for anything more than that which Ive been provided. I wouldnt change anything about my childhood, and I hope to have kids that will feel the same way

^ This is my view as well ^ (except I did not have a fantastic life)

+1

Jun 17, 2010

I will most likely never have kids. I think out of all the other factors edumundo mentioned, kids by far are the largest limiter of options. You can't divorce a kid (at least not without being a terrible person), you can't pay off a kid, and finally, unlike in previous points in history, kids are a depreciating asset.

There is a reason that as a society develops the birthrate drops. When you are a poor farmer in India, having multiple kids is liking getting cheap labor. As they get older they work in the fields and eventually they will feed you in retirement. Compare that to developed societies where kids consume more and more resources as they grow up. And there is no longer any society enforced family commitment (individuality and freedom are encouraged) so the kid(s) could move across the world and no longer be there to help you survive retirement. Basically all the economic incentives are gone and only costs remain.

Jun 17, 2010
proforma:

I will most likely never have kids. I think out of all the other factors edumundo mentioned, kids by far are the largest limiter of options. You can't divorce a kid (at least not without being a terrible person), you can't pay off a kid, and finally, unlike in previous points in history, kids are a depreciating asset.

There is a reason that as a society develops the birthrate drops. When you are a poor farmer in India, having multiple kids is liking getting cheap labor. As they get older they work in the fields and eventually they will feed you in retirement. Compare that to developed societies where kids consume more and more resources as they grow up. And there is no longer any society enforced family commitment (individuality and freedom are encouraged) so the kid(s) could move across the world and no longer be there to help you survive retirement. Basically all the economic incentives are gone and only costs remain.

A pretty clinical view, but by no means incorrect.

Jun 18, 2010
proforma:

There is a reason that as a society develops the birthrate drops. When you are a poor farmer in India, having multiple kids is liking getting cheap labor. As they get older they work in the fields and eventually they will feed you in retirement. Compare that to developed societies where kids consume more and more resources as they grow up. And there is no longer any society enforced family commitment (individuality and freedom are encouraged) so the kid(s) could move across the world and no longer be there to help you survive retirement. Basically all the economic incentives are gone and only costs remain.

Yes, but birthrate only declines from poverty to middle class. There is evidence that birthrate from middle to upper-middle to upper, are actually increases with income.

It makes sense, if you're middle class, for your child to have the same or better life than you, the brat needs good high school to go to college, good college, perhaps help with buying a house in future etc. You can only finance 1/2 children this way on a middle class household income.
http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/08/demographic-rever...
Of course, most banking people will fit into this category, but perhaps the mentality is different amongst this particular demographic of the upper-middle to upper classes.

Your last comment....C'mon, if you treat and bring up your kids well, will they really abandon you in your old age?

Jun 17, 2010

One thing that unnerves me about kids is the statistics that show the people with kids take a significant drop in their happiness levels that don't recover until their kids are adults. With the research out there its seems that most people are fighting the inevitable thinking they are the outliers. Unfortunately we can't all be outliers. I don't really know but its seems as though the idea of having kids is far better than the process. I can see young kids being amazing but once they get older, especially teenagers, those have got to be some pretty damn rough years.

Jun 17, 2010
ke18sb:

One thing that unnerves me about kids is the statistics that show the people with kids take a significant drop in their happiness levels that don't recover until their kids are adults. With the research out there its seems that most people are fighting the inevitable thinking they are the outliers. Unfortunately we can't all be outliers. I don't really know but its seems as though the idea of having kids is far better than the process. I can see young kids being amazing but once they get older, especially teenagers, those have got to be some pretty damn rough years.

I feel bad that my parents had to deal with me during my teenage years. Those must have been miserable for them.

Best Response
Jun 17, 2010

The comments about making as much money as possible for their kids are kinda sad. Kids, especially young ones, don't care about material possessions, they care about quality time with their parents. Going to parks after school, playing sports on weekends, help with homework, camping trips, etc. Unfortunately, you usually can't be making tons of money while having the free time to be a parent.

If your goal in life is to be the best parent possible stop thinking about money and start thinking about how you can create a career path that allow you to have minimal hours (40-50) and stress while still making a decent wage. Don't be that guy that comes home at 7, 8 or 9 pm, always checking the blackberry and stressed out about his job. Be the dad that is home by 5 and plays a game of H-O-R-S-E, helps with the science project or goes for a bike ride.

Stuff is just stuff. If you want your children's love give them your time not your money.

Jun 17, 2010
ke18sb:

The comments about making as much money as possible for their kids are kinda sad. Kids, especially young ones, don't care about material possessions, they care about quality time with their parents. Going to parks after school, playing sports on weekends, help with homework, camping trips, etc. Unfortunately, you usually can't be making tons of money while having the free time to be a parent.

If your goal in life is to be the best parent possible stop thinking about money and start thinking about how you can create a career path that allow you to have minimal hours (40-50) and stress while still making a decent wage. Don't be that guy that comes home at 7, 8 or 9 pm, always checking the blackberry and stressed out about his job. Be the dad that is home by 5 and plays a game of H-O-R-S-E, helps with the science project or goes for a bike ride.

Stuff is just stuff. If you want your children's love give them your time not your money.

just as a follow up to my original comment, my dad doesnt make boatloads of money, but he makes enough for everyone in the family to live comfortably. Hes a label salesman. He works sub 40 hrs a week, and will spend any moment with me that i wanna spend with him. Everything i know about woodworking and general tinkering i know from him, because we used to spend hours in the workshop. He taught me how to shoot a gun and how to ride a bike. He took me to every soccer practice, came to every track meet, and takes the 2hr drive to see me in NYC all the time. I have no plans of having kids until i can dedicate that kind of time to them. I also don't plan to get into IB.

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Jun 17, 2010
ke18sb:

The comments about making as much money as possible for their kids are kinda sad. Kids, especially young ones, don't care about material possessions, they care about quality time with their parents. Going to parks after school, playing sports on weekends, help with homework, camping trips, etc. Unfortunately, you usually can't be making tons of money while having the free time to be a parent.

If your goal in life is to be the best parent possible stop thinking about money and start thinking about how you can create a career path that allow you to have minimal hours (40-50) and stress while still making a decent wage. Don't be that guy that comes home at 7, 8 or 9 pm, always checking the blackberry and stressed out about his job. Be the dad that is home by 5 and plays a game of H-O-R-S-E, helps with the science project or goes for a bike ride.

Stuff is just stuff. If you want your children's love give them your time not your money.

That's fine, but you don't want to be the father that can't afford summer camp for his kids or a baseball team membership or field trips or decent clothes or a decent private school (when you live in a terrible public school district) when all of your child's friends are doing it.

Happened to me a lot when I was growing up. Again, my father was home at 5 and just watched TV, so maybe he wasn't the best father either. Now it's going to be very hard for them to retire and they want me to buy a house in suburbia with them instead of spending my 20s in the City.

Again, I do not want to get into IB.

Jun 18, 2010
ElijahPrice:
ke18sb:

The comments about making as much money as possible for their kids are kinda sad. Kids, especially young ones, don't care about material possessions, they care about quality time with their parents... Unfortunately, you usually can't be making tons of money while having the free time to be a parent.

If your goal in life is to be the best parent possible stop thinking about money and start thinking about how you can create a career path that allow you to have minimal hours (40-50) and stress while still making a decent wage.

That's fine, but you don't want to be the father that can't afford summer camp for his kids or a baseball team membership or field trips or decent clothes or a decent private school (when you live in a terrible public school district) when all of your child's friends are doing it.

I agree with the original comment 100%. BUT. Life is damn expensive now. Back-of-envelope calculations suggest one kid would require a total investment of around $500,000 at a minimum, just to start out life "normally" (graduate college without debt). Look up "the two-income trap" by Elizabeth Warren on Google video, it's a pretty jarring look at the current state of the middle class.

The middle class is getting squeezed worse than ever, or so it seems. I just don't see how people can raise a family of any more than 2 kids in middle class. And 2 kids per couple is below the minimum level needed to replace the population. To not be able to afford even 2 kids (since even to have 2 kids the avg. American must go deep into the red) is f-ing sick. I don't want that, if I can help it.

...The original poster said that you should look to work 40hrs/week and make a decent wage. But where are those people, where are those jobs? I see a massive split between the "middle class" (it's a stretch to call it that sometimes), making circa $120k in household income and struggling to get by, and bankers, who eponymously make bank, yet work so much that they hardly even know their families.

None of this should detract from my agreement with the original poster's comment. Kids need more than a piggy bank for a dad. They need a father. They need someone to show them what a man must be. Teach them right from wrong.

If you think that all a kid needs is money, man, just look at how many millionaires/billionaires' kids turn into complete brats, have no compass in life, squander their inheritance, and are still deeply unhappy. A commenter on Edmundo's post about marriage described his current girlfriend, who's in this exact category. Oh, and let's not forget that these kids also often hate their parents - the same parents who sacrificed their entire lives to provide for their kids.

I don't know what the answer is. So far i-banking looks like the best option to me, in spite of the heavy cost. Because at least you can always exit from i-banking into less intensive work. You cannot exit the middle class the same way.

Clive Owen's excellent dieing line from the Bourne Identity comes to mind:
"Look at this... Look at what they make you give..."

Jun 17, 2010
ke18sb:

The comments about making as much money as possible for their kids are kinda sad. Kids, especially young ones, don't care about material possessions, they care about quality time with their parents. Going to parks after school, playing sports on weekends, help with homework, camping trips, etc. Unfortunately, you usually can't be making tons of money while having the free time to be a parent.

If your goal in life is to be the best parent possible stop thinking about money and start thinking about how you can create a career path that allow you to have minimal hours (40-50) and stress while still making a decent wage. Don't be that guy that comes home at 7, 8 or 9 pm, always checking the blackberry and stressed out about his job. Be the dad that is home by 5 and plays a game of H-O-R-S-E, helps with the science project or goes for a bike ride.

Stuff is just stuff. If you want your children's love give them your time not your money.

I want to make a lot of money. Why? So that I can send my kids to great private schools, and allow them to study whatever they wish. I appreciate everything my parents did for me to help me get an education, but at the end of the day, my parents said I had to do something that will have an ROI. I would love to be able to finance my kids philosophy doctorate, so that he/she won't have to worry about money but can instead contribute meaningful knowledge to society. Just because people want to make a lot of money doesn't mean they want to waste in on stupid shit.

Jun 17, 2010
<span class=keyword_link><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/finance-dictionary/what-is... rel=nofollow>LIBOR</a></span>:
ke18sb:

The comments about making as much money as possible for their kids are kinda sad. Kids, especially young ones, don't care about material possessions, they care about quality time with their parents. Going to parks after school, playing sports on weekends, help with homework, camping trips, etc. Unfortunately, you usually can't be making tons of money while having the free time to be a parent.

If your goal in life is to be the best parent possible stop thinking about money and start thinking about how you can create a career path that allow you to have minimal hours (40-50) and stress while still making a decent wage. Don't be that guy that comes home at 7, 8 or 9 pm, always checking the blackberry and stressed out about his job. Be the dad that is home by 5 and plays a game of H-O-R-S-E, helps with the science project or goes for a bike ride.

Stuff is just stuff. If you want your children's love give them your time not your money.

I want to make a lot of money. Why? So that I can send my kids to great private schools, and allow them to study whatever they wish. I appreciate everything my parents did for me to help me get an education, but at the end of the day, my parents said I had to do something that will have an ROI. I would love to be able to finance my kids philosophy doctorate, so that he/she won't have to worry about money but can instead contribute meaningful knowledge to society. Just because people want to make a lot of money doesn't mean they want to waste in on stupid shit.

If you've read any modern/post-modern philosophy, you know that degree will definitely NOT help society.

"The American father is never seen in London. He passes his life entirely in Wall Street and communicates with his family once a month by means of a telegram in cipher." - Oscar Wilde

Jun 17, 2010

I'm going to have a gayass moment of sentimentality here and say that I was really touched by this post. Very heartfelt and frankly written. Thank you for the story and the insights, Edmundo.

Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark.

Jun 17, 2010

^^^ End of the century?

France will be majority Muslim by 2025. The others aren't far behind.

Jun 17, 2010

Touching up on the kids before myself topic, despite my selfish intentions with wanting to become rich so I can enjoy life with my future wife, I really want to be able to spoil my kids (2 max) and be able to put them through private school. My family isn't rich, but my parents have pretty much done the best they can for my brothers and I.

Jul 20, 2010

I've lived (for a short while) in a mostly Muslim country before (5 religions are "officially recognized"). Trust me, if Western countries were to become Muslim that would suck. That said, I did enjoy my time over there though. There just isn't as much freedom among other problems.

Jun 17, 2010

Rich people limiting their children is not good for society.

If you become truly wealthy, you should have a boat load of kids (birth and adoption). You will be in the position to give them a safe home, great education, etc.

"The American father is never seen in London. He passes his life entirely in Wall Street and communicates with his family once a month by means of a telegram in cipher." - Oscar Wilde

Jun 17, 2010
veritas14:

Rich people limiting their children is not good for society.

If you become truly wealthy, you should have a boat load of kids (birth and adoption). You will be in the position to give them a safe home, great education, etc.

An ER Analyst I interviewed with invited me over to his home and he had like 7 kids, pretty crazy to see someone from the Street and with an Ivy background be the religious type and have so many kids.

Jun 17, 2010
2007Grad:
veritas14:

Rich people limiting their children is not good for society.

If you become truly wealthy, you should have a boat load of kids (birth and adoption). You will be in the position to give them a safe home, great education, etc.

An ER Analyst I interviewed with invited me over to his home and he had like 7 kids, pretty crazy to see someone from the Street and with an Ivy background be the religious type and have so many kids.

He is a man who understands what is good in life.

"The American father is never seen in London. He passes his life entirely in Wall Street and communicates with his family once a month by means of a telegram in cipher." - Oscar Wilde

    • 1
Jun 17, 2010

WHEW!

Don't worry guys. All human life will be extinct in 100 years:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/our-own-extinc...

Jun 17, 2010

I want to have at least 3 kids, and hopefully they will all have kids when they grow up, and when I am old I am wanted by many grandchildren. social capital is an amazing thing. if you can afford to, have kids.

Jun 17, 2010

one very simple solution to the rising numbers in stupid/poor populations and declining strong/intelligent populations could be income-tax deductions for each kid, and a fine for any kid above a certain number. china's ahead of the curve, but off to a skewed direction.

aw shit, speaking of muslims... the muazin's are calling all around me now for the morning prayer. it's 4 am. fuckin crazy ass mofos... if they're devout enough to wake up at 4 am for a fucking prayer, they're devout enough to murder innocent civilians is what i say.

"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."

Jun 18, 2010

Can we please tone down the anti-Islam and general xenophobia.

I'm a muslim and pretty sure I am not part of an "Empire" conspiracy. Nor am I sure that being Muslim is my only identity, or even, necessarily, my primary one.

This is generally a fun forum that isn't full of such small-minded chatter. I hope things remain that way going forward. After all, if some of the most educated people on the planet are saying stupid shit like this, then I'm not sure what to expect from the common man.

IF you're already working at a large bank, I'm sure you'll find that there are a number of Muslims in various roles at the firm. Try to see if some of the things said in this post apply equally across all those people and if it doesn't, then lets not stereotype.

Otherwise, awesome OP.

For the record, if I can afford it, I'd love to have a couple of kids one day.

Jun 18, 2010
raheel:

Can we please tone down the anti-Islam and general xenophobia.

I'm a muslim and pretty sure I am not part of an "Empire" conspiracy. Nor am I sure that being Muslim is my only identity, or even, necessarily, my primary one.

This is generally a fun forum that isn't full of such small-minded chatter. I hope things remain that way going forward. After all, if some of the most educated people on the planet are saying stupid shit like this, then I'm not sure what to expect from the common man.

IF you're already working at a large bank, I'm sure you'll find that there are a number of Muslims in various roles at the firm. Try to see if some of the things said in this post apply equally across all those people and if it doesn't, then lets not stereotype.

Otherwise, awesome OP.

For the record, if I can afford it, I'd love to have a couple of kids one day.

nobody here is (or should be) worried about people who label themselves as muslim.
what people are worried about is the people you see populating the slums of large european cities. they are predominantly muslim, undereducated, primitive, superstitious, fanatic, uncultured, and violent. remember the riots in paris a few years ago? i was hoping they would get out of control so that something extreme would be done, but i guess the french are pretty stupid...
i study at university with hundreds of muslim arabs. sure, the fact that they huddle in groups and talk only arabic if they can help it and use any opportunity to protest against anything not arab is somewhat disconcerting, but i'm not worried about them blowing up in the cafeteria.
the ones who live in the surrounding towns, tho, are known to molest the local non-arab girls, just for one example. and nothing is done against them. and this is fucking israel.
biased public opinion is preventing us from defending ourselves.

but how did we get here from a harmless topic such as kids?

"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."

Jun 18, 2010
Edmundo Braverman:

I was 38 when I became a dad for the first time (that I know of - haha).

Silver banana for this line!

The clip is from the movie Idiocracy. Rent it for a good laugh.

May 9, 2018

[Deleted! No longer relevant.]

Jun 18, 2010
jtbbdxbnycmad:

I had an awesome time in college: my alma mater has one of the highest concentrations of hot-babes per square mile (or square male, for that matter; more girls than men) in the entire country. I learned so much about female biology and never took a biology class.

I don't make boatloads of money, but I have a decent pocket of savings that will last me for at least 2 years if I get sacked. Meanwhile, I've got a pretty exclusive beachfront apartment.

All of this PALES in comparison to the fun I had growing up in my Western European country of origin (citizenship; was born in passing somewhere else).

My country is good, above all, for one thing: to be a kid in.

The best thing I could possibly do for some little critters is there to engender them and let them have a shot at a few years of unbelievable happiness with the childhood that I had.

It all goes downhill from there.

It only goes down if you let it go down. Not to mention, I think a lot of guys on here don't think that youth is the best time of your life. In fact, I'd say that your 50's are the best time of your life. If you are successful, you are at a good point in your career. You've probably made good money. Your kids have moved on to college and have finished the whole annoying baby/teenager thing. You will still be in decent health. Not to mention, I've seen statistics that this is the happiest time of your life (http://www.stopagingnow.com/liveinthenow/article/n...) http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/05/04/10037...

So don't give up thinking life can't get better. It will if you work for it.

Jun 18, 2010
jtbbdxbnycmad:

I had an awesome time in college: my alma mater has one of the highest concentrations of hot-babes per square mile (or square male, for that matter; more girls than men) in the entire country. I learned so much about female biology and never took a biology class.

I don't make boatloads of money, but I have a decent pocket of savings that will last me for at least 2 years if I get sacked. Meanwhile, I've got a pretty exclusive beachfront apartment.

All of this PALES in comparison to the fun I had growing up in my Western European country of origin (citizenship; was born in passing somewhere else).

My country is good, above all, for one thing: to be a kid in.

The best thing I could possibly do for some little critters is there to engender them and let them have a shot at a few years of unbelievable happiness with the childhood that I had.

It all goes downhill from there.

Which country ?

Jun 18, 2010

^^^ I gotta call bullshit on that one.

I'm most of the way to 50 (I'm 41 now), and middle age pretty much sucks ass. I'm putting myself in front of a couple thousand pounds of angry bulls in Pamplona next month just to feel something, anything, vaguely reminiscent of my youth.

Don't put off till your 50's what you should be doing in your 20's.

Jun 18, 2010
Edmundo Braverman:

My wife and I adopted two brothers from a Siberian orphanage a couple years ago. They were 3 and 4 at the time, now 5 and 6.

They're tough kids, and I take comfort in the fact that no matter how badly I screw them up, they'll still be better off than they would have been growing up in an orphanage in the frozen shithole mining camp that sprung up around the concentration camp where Stalin exiled their great-grandparents

By the way, you and your wife did a really good thing here. As did your dad when he adopted you.

Jun 18, 2010
MeatProduct:
Edmundo Braverman:

My wife and I adopted two brothers from a Siberian orphanage a couple years ago. They were 3 and 4 at the time, now 5 and 6.

They're tough kids, and I take comfort in the fact that no matter how badly I screw them up, they'll still be better off than they would have been growing up in an orphanage in the frozen shithole mining camp that sprung up around the concentration camp where Stalin exiled their great-grandparents

By the way, you and your wife did a really good thing here. As did your dad when he adopted you.

Thanks. We try to recycle when we can.

Jun 18, 2010
Edmundo Braverman:
MeatProduct:
Edmundo Braverman:

My wife and I adopted two brothers from a Siberian orphanage a couple years ago. They were 3 and 4 at the time, now 5 and 6.

They're tough kids, and I take comfort in the fact that no matter how badly I screw them up, they'll still be better off than they would have been growing up in an orphanage in the frozen shithole mining camp that sprung up around the concentration camp where Stalin exiled their great-grandparents

By the way, you and your wife did a really good thing here. As did your dad when he adopted you.

Thanks. We try to recycle when we can.

that's a nice way of putting it :P i'm sure the kids'll appreciate being called "recycled" once they're old enough to google you up and see what nasty things you've been doing on the internet while they've been innocently looking up to you ;)

"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."

Jun 18, 2010

tho to be honest, hats off, ed. i personally prefer my genes to those of a stranger and would have a hard time accepting someone else's child as 100% my own. an ego thing...

"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."

Jun 18, 2010

The idea that Europeans ( why beat around the bush, White Christians) should start pumping out kids because if we don't middle eastern and mexicans will multiply and take over is absurd. How about this, how about people in other countries stop squirting out kids that they can't afford or support.

Developed nations are not having kids at a replacement rate and you know what, big fucking deal. Our population will slowly decline and eventually level out. Lets not exaggerate and make it sound like unless we all have kids now we will disappear in 10 years. Could someone tell me why population declining a little is such a bad thing? As if an ever increasing population means anything other than things sucking more and more.

Having a kid is a big deal. People go into it with these grand notions, but lets face it, as Edmundo mentioned your life is over. The joys of raising a kid come later on. In the mean time kiss sleeping good bye, doing things you enjoy, sleeping with your wife and having tons of expendable money. You are going to have to put a lot of financial as well as physical effort into the CHORE of raising the child and then guess what? They still might end up fucked up, screw off in school, be a bastard. Then you get no joy other than blaming yourself for adding to the population of losers.

Best thing anyone can do is adopt a kid. These kids are criminal time bombs and the more that are adopted by educated parents the more who will be contributing members of society.

As far is the developing nations are concerned, it is our duty to make sure they have access to all the wonderful family planning tools we have here. It will increase the rates of safe sex and decrease the population growth, all things which benefit western nations because we pay pay pay out the ass for the screw ups in those countries.

I am the last male of my family and my dad bitches at me all the time to have a kid. His legacy I call it. As if when he dies his DNA is magically going to make him some eternal creature. That bullshit theory doesn't hold water in my world. You want to live forever? Donate money, give kids scholarships, adopt children, volunteer, make the world a better place. Your life will live forever in hundreds of peoples memory. We need to move away from this keeping the genes alive bullshit.

Jun 18, 2010
AnthonyD1982:

The idea that Europeans ( why beat around the bush, White Christians) should start pumping out kids because if we don't middle eastern and mexicans will multiply and take over is absurd. How about this, how about people in other countries stop squirting out kids that they can't afford or support.

Developed nations are not having kids at a replacement rate and you know what, big fucking deal. Our population will slowly decline and eventually level out. Lets not exaggerate and make it sound like unless we all have kids now we will disappear in 10 years. Could someone tell me why population declining a little is such a bad thing? As if an ever increasing population means anything other than things sucking more and more.

...

As far is the developing nations are concerned, it is our duty to make sure they have access to all the wonderful family planning tools we have here. It will increase the rates of safe sex and decrease the population growth, all things which benefit western nations because we pay pay pay out the ass for the screw ups in those countries.

.

Come on, dude, read up on your Easterly. there are studies stat show the number of children third world inhabitants have is highly correlated to the number they want to have (both men and women). Birth rates haven't dropped so low in the US just because it's expensive, now women have more options than before and many chose to have fewer or no children because it interferes with their careers.

I'd like to throw in something about how shallow and selfish everyone seems these days but I'm not sure if that is really a change from say, 100 years ago.

The third worlders who have nothing better to do ( low marginal costs) will out-spawn the rest of us...unless we do something about! So go out there and get bitches!!

Jun 25, 2010
AnthonyD1982:

The idea that Europeans ( why beat around the bush, White Christians) should start pumping out kids because if we don't middle eastern and mexicans will multiply and take over is absurd. How about this, how about people in other countries stop squirting out kids that they can't afford or support.

Developed nations are not having kids at a replacement rate and you know what, big fucking deal. Our population will slowly decline and eventually level out. Lets not exaggerate and make it sound like unless we all have kids now we will disappear in 10 years. Could someone tell me why population declining a little is such a bad thing? As if an ever increasing population means anything other than things sucking more and more.

Having a kid is a big deal. People go into it with these grand notions, but lets face it, as Edmundo mentioned your life is over. The joys of raising a kid come later on. In the mean time kiss sleeping good bye, doing things you enjoy, sleeping with your wife and having tons of expendable money. You are going to have to put a lot of financial as well as physical effort into the CHORE of raising the child and then guess what? They still might end up fucked up, screw off in school, be a bastard. Then you get no joy other than blaming yourself for adding to the population of losers.

Best thing anyone can do is adopt a kid. These kids are criminal time bombs and the more that are adopted by educated parents the more who will be contributing members of society.

As far is the developing nations are concerned, it is our duty to make sure they have access to all the wonderful family planning tools we have here. It will increase the rates of safe sex and decrease the population growth, all things which benefit western nations because we pay pay pay out the ass for the screw ups in those countries.

I am the last male of my family and my dad bitches at me all the time to have a kid. His legacy I call it. As if when he dies his DNA is magically going to make him some eternal creature. That bullshit theory doesn't hold water in my world. You want to live forever? Donate money, give kids scholarships, adopt children, volunteer, make the world a better place. Your life will live forever in hundreds of peoples memory. We need to move away from this keeping the genes alive bullshit.

Failing to give life to the next generation is a clear sign of societal decline.

Children(people) are a blessing. We cannot have "too many". Surplus populations DRIVE economic success.

The underlying cultural and moral relativism of your posts is troubling.

"The American father is never seen in London. He passes his life entirely in Wall Street and communicates with his family once a month by means of a telegram in cipher." - Oscar Wilde

    • 1
Jun 28, 2012
veritas14:
AnthonyD1982:

The idea that Europeans ( why beat around the bush, White Christians) should start pumping out kids because if we don't middle eastern and mexicans will multiply and take over is absurd. How about this, how about people in other countries stop squirting out kids that they can't afford or support.

Developed nations are not having kids at a replacement rate and you know what, big fucking deal. Our population will slowly decline and eventually level out. Lets not exaggerate and make it sound like unless we all have kids now we will disappear in 10 years. Could someone tell me why population declining a little is such a bad thing? As if an ever increasing population means anything other than things sucking more and more.

Having a kid is a big deal. People go into it with these grand notions, but lets face it, as Edmundo mentioned your life is over. The joys of raising a kid come later on. In the mean time kiss sleeping good bye, doing things you enjoy, sleeping with your wife and having tons of expendable money. You are going to have to put a lot of financial as well as physical effort into the CHORE of raising the child and then guess what? They still might end up fucked up, screw off in school, be a bastard. Then you get no joy other than blaming yourself for adding to the population of losers.

Best thing anyone can do is adopt a kid. These kids are criminal time bombs and the more that are adopted by educated parents the more who will be contributing members of society.

As far is the developing nations are concerned, it is our duty to make sure they have access to all the wonderful family planning tools we have here. It will increase the rates of safe sex and decrease the population growth, all things which benefit western nations because we pay pay pay out the ass for the screw ups in those countries.

I am the last male of my family and my dad bitches at me all the time to have a kid. His legacy I call it. As if when he dies his DNA is magically going to make him some eternal creature. That bullshit theory doesn't hold water in my world. You want to live forever? Donate money, give kids scholarships, adopt children, volunteer, make the world a better place. Your life will live forever in hundreds of peoples memory. We need to move away from this keeping the genes alive bullshit.

Failing to give life to the next generation is a clear sign of societal decline.

Children(people) are a blessing. We cannot have "too many". Surplus populations DRIVE economic success.

The underlying cultural and moral relativism of your posts is troubling.

Children are a blessing? Where are you from? Neverland? overpopulation of the species is what will cause mass unrest on this world.

Food for thought, at no point during the 20th century, including WW1 and WW2 AND the "peoples revolution in china" did the population of the world decrease.

That should put things in perspective of how drastic the change required to keep population in check is.

Jun 29, 2012
TNA:

The idea that Europeans ( why beat around the bush, White Christians) should start pumping out kids because if we don't middle eastern and mexicans will multiply and take over is absurd. How about this, how about people in other countries stop squirting out kids that they can't afford or support.

Developed nations are not having kids at a replacement rate and you know what, big fucking deal. Our population will slowly decline and eventually level out. Lets not exaggerate and make it sound like unless we all have kids now we will disappear in 10 years. Could someone tell me why population declining a little is such a bad thing? As if an ever increasing population means anything other than things sucking more and more.

Having a kid is a big deal. People go into it with these grand notions, but lets face it, as Edmundo mentioned your life is over. The joys of raising a kid come later on. In the mean time kiss sleeping good bye, doing things you enjoy, sleeping with your wife and having tons of expendable money. You are going to have to put a lot of financial as well as physical effort into the CHORE of raising the child and then guess what? They still might end up fucked up, screw off in school, be a bastard. Then you get no joy other than blaming yourself for adding to the population of losers.

Best thing anyone can do is adopt a kid. These kids are criminal time bombs and the more that are adopted by educated parents the more who will be contributing members of society.

As far is the developing nations are concerned, it is our duty to make sure they have access to all the wonderful family planning tools we have here. It will increase the rates of safe sex and decrease the population growth, all things which benefit western nations because we pay pay pay out the ass for the screw ups in those countries.

I am the last male of my family and my dad bitches at me all the time to have a kid. His legacy I call it. As if when he dies his DNA is magically going to make him some eternal creature. That bullshit theory doesn't hold water in my world. You want to live forever? Donate money, give kids scholarships, adopt children, volunteer, make the world a better place. Your life will live forever in hundreds of peoples memory. We need to move away from this keeping the genes alive bullshit.

I realize this comment is two years old, but the thread was bumped so I'll ask my question.

Are you saying that someone with better genetics should forgo having there own children and instead adopt a lesser genetically gifted person? Wouldn't that lead to some long term consequences if everyone did that?

I get adoption, some of my family is, but your reasoning for it makes little sense.

Jun 29, 2012
historiclegend:
TNA:

The idea that Europeans ( why beat around the bush, White Christians) should start pumping out kids because if we don't middle eastern and mexicans will multiply and take over is absurd. How about this, how about people in other countries stop squirting out kids that they can't afford or support.

Developed nations are not having kids at a replacement rate and you know what, big fucking deal. Our population will slowly decline and eventually level out. Lets not exaggerate and make it sound like unless we all have kids now we will disappear in 10 years. Could someone tell me why population declining a little is such a bad thing? As if an ever increasing population means anything other than things sucking more and more.

Having a kid is a big deal. People go into it with these grand notions, but lets face it, as Edmundo mentioned your life is over. The joys of raising a kid come later on. In the mean time kiss sleeping good bye, doing things you enjoy, sleeping with your wife and having tons of expendable money. You are going to have to put a lot of financial as well as physical effort into the CHORE of raising the child and then guess what? They still might end up fucked up, screw off in school, be a bastard. Then you get no joy other than blaming yourself for adding to the population of losers.

Best thing anyone can do is adopt a kid. These kids are criminal time bombs and the more that are adopted by educated parents the more who will be contributing members of society.

As far is the developing nations are concerned, it is our duty to make sure they have access to all the wonderful family planning tools we have here. It will increase the rates of safe sex and decrease the population growth, all things which benefit western nations because we pay pay pay out the ass for the screw ups in those countries.

I am the last male of my family and my dad bitches at me all the time to have a kid. His legacy I call it. As if when he dies his DNA is magically going to make him some eternal creature. That bullshit theory doesn't hold water in my world. You want to live forever? Donate money, give kids scholarships, adopt children, volunteer, make the world a better place. Your life will live forever in hundreds of peoples memory. We need to move away from this keeping the genes alive bullshit.

I realize this comment is two years old, but the thread was bumped so I'll ask my question.

Are you saying that someone with better genetics should forgo having there own children and instead adopt a lesser genetically gifted person? Wouldn't that lead to some long term consequences if everyone did that?

I get adoption, some of my family is, but your reasoning for it makes little sense.

...he may just want grandkids. Some people feel the need to justify relatively standard desires in different terms, for whatever reason. Grandpa wants visitors :)

Jun 18, 2010

I guess some people don't mind if Europe becomes Saudi Arabia. Do you like hearing stories of women getting stoned for showing a strand of their hair Anthony ? Because that's what will happen in Europe in 20 years if Muslims become the majority.

Jun 21, 2010

Woah now I really doubt it's going to turn out to be such a scary place. A) Not all muslims go around stoning women for showing strands of hair. B) Muslims are spread all over the world and belong to different ethnicities (would you believe they're in China?). C) Some are treating Muslim as an ethnicity, and in fact, it's not. The actual culture of a place really matters. So if you're for some reason against certain Arab Muslims because of how they interpret and exercise the religion, that's fine. But I really doubt the same applies to others. On top of that, I really doubt Europe is doomed. That's like saying "omg America was doomed b/c of all these crazy immigrants" and honestly the whole country was built upon diversity. I think it's doing mighty fine imho. I dislike the term "Islamic terrorists" for example because it just reinforces a concept that Muslims=bad, and I do find that untrue.

But back to the original topic. I am most certainly not at a point to make a decision on whether I want kids or not. But I feel like I probably would one day, perhaps out of obligation or a feeling of incompleteness if I didn't. Plus, it makes life more interesting, doesn't it?

Jun 20, 2010

1) I think it is completely fucked up how women, gays, non Muslim's, etc are treated in the Middle East. That being said, there are moderates and hard liners everywhere. Massive amounts of white Christians and pumped out isn't going to stem this tide. As far as I am concerned, the extremism we are seeing now is a direct result of the hopelessness and joblessness of these people. You give a 16 year old a job and a hope of a better future and blowing himself up seems a lot less enticing.

Once again, Europeans are falling below replacement rates, but that does not mean we will disappear in 20 years, it will take a long time for our numbers to significantly decline. Once again I fall back on the fact that I am not going to reproduce out of some "obligation" to perpetuate the white race or some shit.

2) People in third worlds have excess children for a variety of reasons. These include religious or cultural reasons, agricultural lifestyle where free labor is a benefit and lack of cheap and readily available birth control. Condoms and birth control are still not widely available, shit, we can't even fully saturate this country.

Women have less children for whatever reason they want. This flexibility is made possible because of birth control. I am pretty sure women and men in the third world would also have less children if the pill was free to them. It is also been shown in studies that as a society moves from agricultural to industrial with more free time and money available that birthrates decline.

http://www.jstor.org/pss/1909327
I dont have time to pull the full paper right now, but I have read similar materials in various sociology books.

Jun 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day to all those who chose to ignore my advice!

Jun 20, 2010

what an annoying little motherfucker

Jun 20, 2010

By the way a significant proportion of terrorists (including suicide bombers) is well-educated.

Jun 21, 2010

he (anthony) does have a point, tho i don't appreciate his including the entire middle east in his definition of backwardness, and excluding many other places not in the middle east.
tits for tats.
blowing yourself up is indeed an act of desperation. and the level of education doesn't mean they are not brainwashed, and does not mean they have a job. but true, take the 9/11 guys. they weren't so not well-off. they all believe they're bringing about the end of the world and the coming of the messiah. or whatever it is they believe.
and 16 year olds taking an ak47 and shooting kufr civilians in the name of allah is not necessarily an act of desperation, coz that 16 yrold is dumb, feel invincible, and is living in a fantasy where he saves his people.

most would not engage in terrorism if they had too much to lose, but some are crazy enough to follow the leader out of blindness, fruit of culture and religion. one of those most fertile grounds for growing terrorists is radical islam, with preaching for jihad in the military sense against all infidel pigs.

"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."

Jun 28, 2012

Having seen parents go through a rough divorce and knowing that the biggest suffering is felt by the children, I will never have kids unless I am 300% bet-my-entire-life comfortable with the girl I marry. And even after that event, I would wait to make sure she doesn't go psycho on me after the marriage.

50% divorce rate is only the start. How many countless marriages are unhappy and really only stay together for other reasons such as religion? kids? age? lack of options? finances? The truly happily married with kids ratio is probably way below 1 in 10. it's not just your life on the line anymore, it's 2 more people, and the kid didn't even have a chance to say "no" in coming into the world. So, to ruin the kid's life is just horrible.

Jun 28, 2012

If you love your wife, it's only going to be natural to want to raise kids with her. They'll be sacrifices, but having kids should be a commitment to giving up certain things for the joy and experience of having kids. Hopefully, your kid brings something to your life that is unique and at the end of your life, you feel your kids were worth the trouble.

If you can't see yourself happy with a family or making the necessary sacrifices for the kids and wife, then you probably shouldn't have them. I would think a good father is one who's sure he is going to be able to provide the love, care, and the whole father figure package for his kids and willing to give up other things in his life. Otherwise, I think the kids are going to have a childhood that never reaches its potential in terms of happiness or satisfaction, harbor some sort of resentment against their parents, and perhaps never reach their full potential as humans.

Jun 28, 2012

I have had two friends growing up resenting their father. There were two situations: One's father was an asshole who cheated on his wife excessively. The other's father was really successful, but he traded his kid's happiness for money. They found a way to make themselves happy, but their situation asked for them needing a psychiatrist.

What if you knew that your father traded spending time with you for money? Would all the vacations in the world pay for the lack of your father's attention?

My dad is a very successful individual. He was making more than most people imagine by the time he was 35. However, he realized that my brothers and I were growing up without his attention. He quit the job, repaired relationships, and he lives off of seeing my brothers and I growing and you have to see his face when he is around his granddaughter.

I have seen both spectrums and I want to make my father's dreams come true (cabin in the mountains, laser etched guns, etc.). I'm young and I won't have kids until I fulfill his dreams.

There is life and death. I'm going to bust my ass to make an impact 'til the latter comes.

Jun 28, 2012

This was a great post, I expected it to be more cynical but I agreed with just about everything.

When my kids have a shit fit in a restaurant, I'm totally that dad in the video Eddie posted. But I only eat in restaurants with crayons and high chairs, so people can basically f*ck off.

But back to the lecture at hand - don't have 'em unless you're ready to be a parent.

Jun 28, 2012

I can't imagine not having family.

Jun 28, 2012
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Jun 28, 2012

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