The core of the problem here is that children no longer are necessary for survival as old people no longer are live-in family members but get fostered out to care homes and then mostly forgotten.
Plus women are free to work nowadays instead of being stuck at home, and the reason they wanted to be free of that drudge in the first place is that being full-time mom and nurse to one’s parents is a pretty crap job that no-one enjoys all that much.
So children and old people instead of being a important investment that brings in wealth and helping hands to the family, have become a elective cost, a luxury item, and it’s financially a foolish decision to have them around(a bit like buying a boat)
And since IHT/forced care payments swallows a lot of the inheritance there isn’t the incentive either to earn that money and look after the old, after all, the state has to pay because that is what the old dears paid tax for all their lives, right?
I don’t think that this way of doing things will last longer than my generation, love doesn’t appear to be a great incentive to keep things going as the amount of abandoned, family-less and disposable people of all ages everywhere prove to us.
The cost of children
Tim Worstall makes a good point here, but doesn't follow the trail back to the money and so misses the actual issues, I think. Hence my comment: