Two billionaires got a lot of press recently by saying that underpopulation threatens humanity. It’s not the first time Elon Musk has suggested women are not having enough babies. It’s nonsense to say that depopulation poses any threat to our species – look at the numbers. Falling fertility rates are a good thing, and are part of the transition to a more sustainable world population – a process the world intentionally started in the Twentieth Century.
So why do Musk and others worry about lower fertility rates?
- Billionaires like Musk and Ma have taken control of almost half of the wealth that hard-working Americans created. How did that happen? The economic growth and increasing inequality of the past few decades was largely fueled by and tracked unsustainable population growth, and its resulting glut of cheap laborers, voracious consumers, and compliant taxpayers. This ponzi-scheme economic pyramid created people like Musk. They benefited, so they want the scheme to continue.
- But that scheme has costs, which people like Musk have yet to pay. The simple “make babies to grow the economy” mantra and the policies it created, blocked family planning models like collective planning to ensure all kids a fair start in life, and ensured that children would be born into conditions of horrific poverty, abuse, and neglect, that animals would be driven into extinction and our ecology destroyed, and that the gap between rich and poor – which starts at birth – would only increase.
- Is there a better way than using people to fuel growth that only benefits a few? Musk was born wealthy, to a white South Africa family who left the country with the wealth apartheid enabled and others had earned, in places like oppressive gem mines. His being born wealthy was not an act of god, or matter of being fortunate. It happened because of an intentional family planning model that ignored objective values like nature, equality and democracy. We can change that modeling, and make people like Musk and the rest of the people at the top of the pyramid, the ones holding unearned benefits and undemocratic influence, pay the costs they never have. Do Musk’s kids really deserve a massive head start in life – or shall we cut them off and level the field? The answer is the latter. Because we are before we do, ensuring kids a fair start is the first and overriding human right – one we can all work to ensure by any means effective.
So this is the bottom line: The question is not whether we should push women to have more kids so that people like Musk can exploit them. The question is whether we will take back the wealth and resources these people are unjustly holding, and use those resources to give kids a fair start in life.
TAKE ACTION: Tweet Musk, @elonmusk, and urge him to change positions on family planning, and embrace values like nature, fairness, and democracy over wealth and power.