Our Aborted Economy

In How Roe v. Wade aborted America, Robert Patterson lays today's collapsing economy at the feet not of the Congress, but of the Court, for profoundly disrupting family, which is the bedrock of the economy.

He takes the idea from an important new book from former Jack Kemp aide John Mueller, Redeeming Economics, which is a discussion of how no economic model takes love and family ties into account -- and yet people's decisions can't be understood otherwise. (Read the book and then re-read Caritas in Veritate, which you'll see in a different light.) 
Mueller likens the effects of Roe on baby boomers to the impact of World War II on their parents, only in reverse. Unlike the war, whose aftermath produced a boom in family life and child-packed neighborhoods --creating, per French writer R. L. Bruckberger, a "humane economy" that made America the envy of the West -- Roe ushered in a marriage and baby bust that has sucked the life-blood out of the economy.
Census data show that the legalization of elective abortion was followed by immediate and sharp decreases in fertility rates. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) sank to a historic low of 1.74 children per woman in 1976 and has since struggled to reach replacement levels (the 2009 TFR is 2.01).
Given that birth rates were already in decline and that the Court had recently dictated that states could no longer limit contraceptive sales to married couples, 1973 was the worst of times for the justices to license abortion-on-demand nationwide.
Mueller estimates that the new abortion regime further reduced fertility "by an average of 0.6 to 0.7 children per couple" -- and that the corresponding three-decade reduction in U.S. population is "entirely" responsible for the liabilities of the Social Security system. If the TFR returned to what to the late-1960s level of 2.7 children, these deficits "would be easily surmounted," he contends.
It's not merely low fertility that's the problem, it's that the "new freedoms" gut the number of folks who choose the one lifestyle that drives economic effort and economic growth: the two-parent family with dependent children.