Led by Hillary Clinton, many pro-choice Democrats are already calling for ways to reduce the number of abortions. That's a good start. If Democrats want another bold stroke to shatter the Republican myth that we're anti-family, perhaps baby bonuses might be just the ticket. It's certainly hard to imagine a message that's more pro-marriage, pro-faith, and pro-family than "Go forth and multiply." ... 5:24 A.M. (link)
Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2005
Mickey's Assignment Desk: As if those of us who support expanding trade didn't face enough hurdles, Australia and New Zealand have found another problem to blame on globalization. Both countries are in the midst of a nationwide "man-drought."
According to a new report by Australian demographer Bernard Salt, his country now has 20,000 fewer 30-something men than women. Thirty years ago, Australia had the opposite problem: a substantial man surplus. Salt says the ratio of male and female births hasn't changed. His theory: The globalization of labor draws many Australian men to job opportunities overseas, where they marry and remain abroad or bring their foreign bride home. Either way, they end up throwing the natural balance out of whack.
Salt first noticed the trend in New Zealand, which has a female shortfall of 24,000. By his estimate, a 32-year-old Kiwi woman has as much chance of finding a male partner her own age as does an 82-year-old woman. Salt believes the man-drought could help explain why New Zealand has a female prime minister, governor-general, and chief justice.
Amazon.com: While men still hold Australia's top political posts, women are preparing to do without them. Salt told one newspaper, "You have more women buying apartments, taking out finance loans; women are evolving their own single culture."
It's not at all clear why globalization would cause men to abandon Australia and New Zealand in higher numbers than women. Nicole Kidman certainly did her part. But Salt warns both countries to adopt "defensive migration strategies over the next ten years to limit both the impact of the brain drain and the man-drought."
One can only wonder what such policies might entail. Asking Foster's to run more ads on Spike TV? Hiring John Roberts to start a chain of all-boy boarding schools in the Outback?
New Zealand, where women rule, seems to have adopted the best policy: no worries. But if the drought persists, Aussies might have to look to a solution from their own history. After all, an earlier wave of globalization—the massive deportation of convicts and criminals—is what overpopulated the Australian continent with too many men in the first place. ... 2:26 A.M. (link)
Monday, Aug. 22, 2005
School for Scandal: So far, the John Roberts scandal watch has come up empty. But the intense scrutiny of Roberts' privileged youth may have uncovered another scandal: One of the hottest-selling novels of 2005 turns out to rest on a premise that's pure fiction.