*note – see why i’m writing without capitalization here. basically, this post is written off the cuff and quite unedited, so treat wisely.
charlie munger once said something wise about incentives that’s definitely worth googling. something i think a lot about as i get within spitting distance of having kids is… why has society made having kids so hard?!
if you live in one of the most economically productive areas in the US (ie a major city), there’s almost nothing about your life that gets easier, more convenient or cheaper when you have kids.
you pay up for more housing. you pay more for food. education, transit, healthcare costs: all go up.
OR – if you’d rather not pay more – you can move to the suburbs and endure a soul-crushing commute that will make you about as unhappy as if you got 20k knocked off your salary. (talking about most people here, not necessarily remote-first tech workers).
really, your options are not good. which is dumb, because society benefits when its members have more kids!
if society wants more kids (which we do, if we want to avoid the fate of japan + other barely-above-replacement-rate countries), society should make it easy to have more kids!
that’s why i’d love to see the US (or some startup or other community) launch kids as a service: a program that rewarded those who choose to build families and create the next generation.
this could look like a bond that paid one partner to stay home with the kids (and matures at a low interest rate 18 years later) to ease the financial burden, tax writeoffs for childcare, cheaper access to food… i’d love to see a program (or startup) look at what makes raising kids HARD, and figure out how to make it easy.
make starting a family almost as easy as using AWS. how cool would that be?5