In western societies the size of the white family has been decreasing, you need at lease two children to maintain the current population. If you want to keep the modern high powered lifestyle you need more people unless you want to be paying 75% tax rates or more. We need people to live the consumerist way
You've brought up several interesting points in this sentence. First of all we have the debate about whether we should even want
to maintain the current population, for whatever reason. Single-child families could be the way of the future. Consider - what sort of mess would the world already be in if it were not for Chairman Mao? A bizarre sentiment, but without the Chinese population being in constant check from the mid C20th onwards, we would all be positively fucked right now.
Next to the question of what you call the high powered lifestyle, and this is linked to the final point of consumer culture. I have been looking for a while at these trends and can see them as an utter illusion (delusion?) which has been made possible by nothing more complex than smart accounting procedures. The economic "boom" (1940s-1960s; 1980s-2000s) was not a boom so much as a distortion of time - all the vast sums of money derive from future trading predictions. We basically compacted the near-future market into the present, so that we could get our hands on the profit today. We started reaching further and further into that future as money came in short supply, to a point where we were trading so far off the present that the entire system failed because no-one could have any level of confidence in any trade. We had hit an economic vanishing point. This is not something that needs to be "put right" and continued with (as they are clearly attempting); it is something that needs to be progressed beyond and abandoned. But nobody has found the next step yet...
Lastly - consumer culture. Consumers see wealth as possessions - DVDs, iPhone etc. But - using some rudimentary calculations - it becomes apparent that there has been no increase in wealth in real terms, merely a 1:1 trade off between cost and standards. I saw a show with Thai peasants cooking their daily meals recently. The food they cooked could only be afforded by upper/middle class people if it was eaten in the west, due to its many spices and raw fresh ingredients. They eat well, and healthily, and have little money to spare. A bit like western peasantry in the 1800s. Similarly, one hundred years ago you could afford one pair of shoes and these would last you several years. Today, if you ignore mass production and go to a cobbler, a brand new pair of crafted shoes will cost about £600-£1000. In other words - you could afford one pair, and they would last you several years.
See the pattern? We have not become wealthier, we have devalued our standards and expectations. A clear mind is needed to differentiate actual progress (healthcare, scientific knowledge, IMPLEMENTABLE technology - ie not 'gadgets' - etc.) from consumer fluff. Consumers do not support a progressive system as they produce nothing. Consumer culture is social constipation - a blockage of mouths, who feed off productivity and produce nothing from this intake.