When I explain that I’m writing a book called Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, people often ask me, “Well, why aren’t you having any more?”  It’s a fair question, but one that one should always hesitate to ask – for at least two reasons.

First, it usually takes two people to create a life.  Someone might completely buy my arguments (see here and here for starters), but fail to act on them because his or her spouse is unconvinced.

Second, many couples suffer from infertility.  It’s a cause of great silent suffering for millions who long for kids they can’t have.  When you ask an individual point-blank, “Why aren’t you having any more kids?,” there is a good chance that you are thoughtlessly twisting the knife.

This doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t talk about the kids they’re having.  Far from it; I’m delighted every time I hear that my arguments have created a life.  What it means, rather, is that one should follow the rule, “Don’t ask, do tell.”   You should avoid asking sensitive personal questions, but there’s every reason to share happy personal information.  Such as… another Caplan baby is on the way!


No joke!  Starting mid-September, I’ll be expecting another baby, and EconLog readers should be expecting a lot of 2 AM posts.