Somewhere there is a young lady whose life has been impoverished by my failure to sire the son who would someday sweep her off her feet. If I cared as much about that young lady as I do about my own daughter, I'd have produced that son. But because I selfishly acted as if other people's children are less important than my own, I stopped reproducing too soon.
Be Fruitful and Multiply - Do the world a favor: Have more children. By Steven E. Landsburg
But what if that young lady paid you, the parent of the son she wished to have as a husband? After all, Landsburg also wrote in the same essay:
You might imagine that there are also costs associated with your competing in the marketplace, bidding some prices up and others down, applying for the job I wanted, and so forth. But each of those costs has an offsetting benefit. If you bid up the price of cars, sellers will gain as much as buyers lose. If you prove a stronger job candidate than I do, my loss is the employer's gain.
Some of the people who wrote to me said it was irresponsible to bring a child into such a lousy world. Making that same point was a letter to the editor in the Washington Post in response to Robert Samuelson's column on declining population. In the letter, the writer said that after reading Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb 35 years ago he decided not to have children, a decision he encouraged others to make because it "may be one of the best ways to say yes to the future." This man didn't have children because of a book that turned out to be wrong!
Why childless people hate me. By Emily Yoffe