So is Caplan convincing? I swear I’m keeping an open mind on the topic, but it’s interesting to me that he repeatedly assures the reader that having that first kid (according to the psych-survey response stats) makes you only slightly more miserable than those who never have kids. Having subsequent kids is, comparatively speaking, a breeze — and you can make parenting even easier if you assume, as current research supposedly suggests, that you don’t have that much impact on your kids’ personalities and likelihood of success anyway.
Only slightly more miserable — and irrelevant to the offspring’s mental development? You call this a sales pitch? On the other hand, I’m going to call Dad now, and I trust we’ll both regard it as a positive experience.