The (Potential) Enemies List
By Bryan Caplan
I expect Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids to be controversial. In fact, I think it will have enemies. I’m going to stick to my policy of unilateral friendliness, but I’d still like to improve my forecast of who’s going to attack me, and why. Here are my top candidates and their expected central complaints:
1. Environmentalists – for claiming that more people are good for world.
2. Feminists – for downplaying the horrible effects of kids on women.
3. Child advocates – for arguing that nurture has little effect on kids’ adult outcomes (never mind that I repeatedly distinguish between variation within the normal range and poverty/ abuse/ worse).
4. Safety activists – for emphasizing that kids are five times safer than they were in 1950.
6. Perfectionist academics – economists, psychologists, sociologists, etc. – who prefer silence to simplification, and “proof” to probability. I was initially worried that behavioral geneticists would be on this list, but I’ve gotten some strong signals that they’ll be happy with my popularization of their field.
Who am I missing? Who am I under- or over-estimating? My intuition’s not great here; I certainly didn’t expect one little post to provoke a Clone War. Can you help me out?