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By John Zmirak, The Stream, December 4, 2019

John ZmirakThe famous TV personality, and possible future saint, Fulton J. Sheen, used to beat out Milton Berle for ratings with his program Life Is Worth Living. You wouldn’t think a bishop in long, flowing robes standing in front of a chalkboard would make for great television. But you would be wrong.


Apparently, his was a message America wanted to hear, during the Baby Boom. Would we believe it now, in our current baby bust, with 2019 yielding the lowest birth rate in 32 years? Does any nation in the West really believe life is worth living, outside of Israel — the only developed country on earth with a positive birthrate?

The Baby Boom, historians speculate, was a response to postwar abundance. Well maybe. Certainly the misery of the Depression had artificially pushed birth rates down. Wasn’t it also that in the wake of World War II’s mass slaughter, people in Western countries wanted to push back? To spend their newfound wealth leading normal, peacetime lives, which back then included … babies? Isn’t the decision to bring a new child onto this earth the ultimate affirmation of life itself?

A Boom With No Babies

But it seems that abundance is not enough. We live in far better conditions than those in the Baby Boom. We have bigger houses, with central heat and air. (Something I grew up without!) We have TVs in every room, and in our pockets, and hundreds of channels. Even the poor have better health care and medicine than the rich did in 1950. We can eat a wider variety of better, healthier foods (should we choose to). More of us can work from home than ever. Travel is far cheaper and more convenient than during the highly regulated “golden age” of luxury air travel — not to speak of long, tedious train, bus, or car rides cross country.   ….

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