Matthew Yglesias’ new book, “One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger,” is the thought experiment the title implies: exploring policies that might increase the population of the country threefold by using incentives to create larger families.
Cassie King with Having Kids has a message and invitation for Matthew:
The book has been harshly critiqued by most reviewers for its admiration of China and its placing economic growth before human rights, confusing quantitative growth with sustainable human development, ignoring and naively dismissing the environmental consequences of its proposal (the sort of thinking that created the climate crisis), reinforcing a patriarchal vision of women as mothers, and more.
In a previous blog post, Having Kids argued that his approach — like many others who see babies as economic inputs to be exploited — was actually compelling evidence of the fundamentally unjust nature of our system.
All kids have a fundamental human right, ecologically and socially, to a #fairstart in life. It’s the first human right. Help us secure it against those who threaten our future.
The right to have children comes with responsibilities on parents and their communities that protect us all. The United Nations is using a decades-old pro-growth family planning model that ignores those responsibilities, enables people like Yglesias to promote economic growth over human rights, and hurts kids. That model is fundamentally driving ecological crises and the climate crisis, child poverty, and growing inequity across the globe. That model exacerbates the risk and impact of pandemics and prevents our reaching the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. That noninclusive model exploits children more than it invests in them, thereby driving political illegitimacy.
But groups and individuals from around the world are signing on to an effort to change the old model that focuses on what parents want toward a new model that focuses on what all kids need. The new model, called Fair Start family planning, is the beginning of real social justice. The reform can begin with the United Nations secretary general simply acknowledging the need for change.
Sign on, and urge any organization you support or can influence — nonprofit or for-profit — to also sign on. Sign here, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.