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January 10, 2024

By the Numbers: Here’s How the New Federal Financial Aid Formula Harms Families with More Than One Child

The old federal formula for higher education financial aid is dead. The new formula creates winners and losers. Specifically, the new formula harms middle-class families with more than one child in college at a time. It’s not that the new formula doesn’t take family size into account at all—it does, barely. The issue is that the new formula calculates the total…

January 9, 2024

Let’s Expand the Child Tax Credit a Little Bit

A bipartisan group of senators is trying to hash out a deal on extending some of the Republican tax cuts from 2017. If Congress does nothing, the child tax credit will drop down to $1,000 per child from its current level of $2,000. Some lawmakers want to expand the child tax credit massively. Others don’t. There’s a middle course that involves moderately growing…

September 1, 2023

Paying People to Have Kids Can Only Do So Much When You’re in a Spiraling Baby Bust

“Frankly, whenever elections come up politicians tend to unveil grand measures aimed at resolving the birthrate issue,” Choi Seul-ki, a demographer in South Korea, told the Wall Street Journal. “But cash is a limited incentive in changing people’s outlook on life.” Indeed, South Korea has spent more than $210 billion in the past decade in an effort to…

August 24, 2023

Baby Boom Or Bust

Salt Lake City’s lower Avenues neighborhood is a lovely change of pace after a morning walking through the central part of the city. Everything is on a more human scale up here. The streets are easier to cross, the blocks are shorter. As I study the homes and take in the neighborhood, I start to…

August 3, 2023

Fight Crime, and Poverty, with Civil Society

Maryland’s new Democratic governor, Wes Moore, has to play to his party’s increasingly left-wing base, but he also knows that problem No. 1 in much of the state is rising crime. Prince George’s County, in particular, has a much higher crime rate than the national average, and crime has been rising since the COVID lockdowns, which were extraordinarily…

June 22, 2023

In An Age Of Low Social Trust, Stopping By Your Neighbor’s House Is Weird And Creepy

It was presaged during the pandemic: “Masks have also become so much more than mere barrier between germs and lungs,” the New York Times reported in April 2021. “They can keep that too-chatty neighbor at bay or help the introvert hide in plain sight.” Everyone had shouted at us in spring 2020 to stay at home. They told us that…

June 22, 2023

Thanks to the Baby Bust, America Is Getting Older

When I was born in 1978, the median American was 30 years old. These days, the median American is 38.9, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday. That’s a rapid aging of the American population. Some portion of that increase is good news: Older people are living longer than they were 40 years ago. In 1980, the average American life expectancy at…

June 20, 2023

College isn’t just about career or credentials — it’s also about friends, formation, and, if you’re lucky, marriage

A few weeks ago, my college friends and I all got together for the weekend. We are seven guys in our mid-40s who have been friends for about 25 years. We drank beer and flavored seltzer and spoke about marriage, parenthood, artificial intelligence, Moby Dick, Homer, and faith, along with reminiscing about college days. It was a truly glorious weekend, and…

June 2, 2023

America’s Baby Bust Is Back on Track

America’s birthrate has been falling steadily since the Great Recession 15 years ago, and the brief uptick of 2021 proved to be a statistical blip, as new birth data show a small drop in births in 2022. Speculation of a COVID baby boom hasn’t panned out. Provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and…

May 24, 2023

Don’t Be So Shocked That People Still Want Marriage and Children

Four writers at Curbed, the millennial-run, New York-centric real estate site, undertook an ambitious project. To put a price tag on living in New York, they asked young people to describe their ideal life and then tried to calculate how much it would cost. “We decided to put a price tag on the dream lives of a wide…