“Affordable” family formation

Most people want affordable family formation, but most people don’t want to be realistic about what “affordable” means.

Back when I read Steve Sailer, he used to describe affordable family formation as (and I’m going from memory here but I think this is close) the ability for a man of mediocre intelligence and skill to get a job that supports his wife and kids, affords him a house with a yard, plus allows him to put away sufficient retirement savings.

Sailer, and most of the Alt Right, never seem to look more closely at this vision and point out that it doesn’t include a big gas-guzzling truck, multiple flat-screen TVs, high speed internet, smart devices streaming Netflix and Spotify and ESPN in every pocket and on every wrist, drone helicopters under the Christmas tree, and so on.

They also don’t seem to acknowledge that we presently enjoy very high quality services, and these are necessarily costly (innovators get paid, new high-skill positions are created, etc.). For example while medicine isn’t exactly a science, it is wizardry compared to what was possible 50 years ago. The cost of healthcare hasn’t gone up in proportion to medical advances necessarily, but at least a good portion of the cost increase is due to those advances.

The Alt Right likes to take the easy route and pin their problems on illegal immigrants and the politicians and pundits who enable them. Illegal immigration is in my opinion a major contributing factor to the unaffordability of family formation, but materialism is clearly another one.

Materialism is harder to criticize because it inevitably means criticizing your own choices and those of your countrymen, but that doesn’t make it any less important.


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