Millions of Americans are playing a fun new parlor game: figure out what industries will actually fare well in a prolonged and devastating economic downturn.
We know Netflix is doing all right, and so are the bankruptcy lawyers. Now that everybody's broke and sitting around at home watching the television for "fun," you'd think we might see a spike in birth rates, which are of course directly related to a completely free pastime you can engage in with a consenting adult of your choice.
However, we're seeing just the opposite: fewer visits to the obstetrician and a whole lot of visits to vasectomy doctors.
A vasectomy is an operation that renders a gentleman sterile through the severing or tying off of certain important tubes; look it up here if you want the gory details. This procedure is a lot more difficult to reverse than to initiate, and while insurance plans will often happily pay for vasectomies they're just as often reluctant to pay for a reversal.
But who wants kids in this lousy economy, anyhow? Nobody -- not even the people who already have them.
So a lot of smart men are stopping children before they start. And as a result, according to one vasectomy doctor quoted in the New York Times, "I’ve been in practice for 30 years, and I’ve never seen a spike like this.”