The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its report, Expenditures on Children by Families, and the cost of raising a child is now up to $245,000- not including the cost of college. The most expensive part of raising children is keeping a roof over their heads and food in their bellies; combined, the two equate to 46 % of total cost.
This is indeed sticker shock, to say the least. In 1960, the cost was $25,230 or $203,000 in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation. However, most components have actually decreased in cost, save for the glaring explosion in the cost to educate our children which is now at 18% of the total from 2% in 1960.
Back then, public schools were good enough – nowadays, not so much. Instead of using public schools, we pay sky-high property taxes, send our children to private schools, and then hire tutors (if we can afford to do so). This speaks volumes to the mismanagement of taxpayer funds, and to the disaster that is public school.
Yes, I blame the unions and the parents. The former offered a watered-down curriculum, while the latter said fine, because now, little Johnny is an “A” student. This must stop at some point.
Beyond Hooking Up
Many are saying that this high price tag is why debt-laden millennials are not in a rush to start families, but in some ways, it goes against the Darwinian nature of family creation. Historically, families with the least amount of money had the most children, and had a better chance of someone breaking through to greater heights in changing the dynamics of the family tree… much larger families also supplied larger pools of wage earners later in life.
When I hear young adults talk about being socially responsible and not having children, I want to say not having children is the exact opposite. Most want to have fun, and that’s fine, however we are on the cusp of becoming like Japan where adult diapers are outselling baby diapers. We need a baby boom and we need accountability, so these children are prepared for a knoweldged-based society.