Despite the continued growth in world population, which is the underlying driver of climate change, poverty, and social instability, many media outlets are reporting that women are not having enough kids. This example, from Fortune magazine, is telling. The headline literally misstates a government report’s findings on the subject. Things can be more subtle – like a list of solutions to climate change that omit the most effective one – smaller families.
What gives? Modern systems of economic growth were built on population growth – which meant a constant supply of cheap labor, voracious consumers, and compliant taxpayers. Be clear what this means. People pushing arbitrary population growth are pushing for the exacerbation of climate change and other environmental crises, children being born into poverty and unimaginable conditions, and revolution ready-sized gap between rich and poor – because those kids are vital fuel for their growth-backed investments, job security, low tax rates, etc. in an unsustainable pyramid Ponzi scheme. See these people for who they are.
Our Unsustainable Reality
That system of constant growth was never sustainable. That is why we are now faced with the incomparable threat of climate change, crowded cities with unaffordable housing, extreme poverty and inequality. But the people that designed that system left it for future generations to find a better way. Can we?
The Green New Deal
The Green New Deal presents an opportunity. It represents an attempt to address the intersecting issues of environmental crisis and inequality with an ambitious, centralized plan for massive public infrastructure investments and new jobs, all themed around sustainability. Here’s the problem. It does not address family planning.
How can we address things like climate change and inequality without addressing their underlying driver, and most effective solutions? The Green New Deal also needs to reform our family planning system, and change the focus to ensure smaller families that work together – yes, transfer significant resources – in order to give every child a fair start in life. The Green New Deal needs to include a transition from parent-focused to child-focused family planning, using something like the Fair Start model. That will mean more effective outcomes, avoiding the inefficiency of centralization and big government, and address a variety of other problems we face today.
We can find a better way, but not without change at the most fundamental level.
Is there a way to make the deal nonpartisan?
Can we use it to eliminate the big businesses that liberals oppose, and big government that conservatives oppose, at the same time? A healthy, safe and natural environment, and an economic system free of big government and big business, one that is comprised of relatively equal players, starts at the same place: With a family planning system that creates a smaller population of highly prepared people, people who got a fair start, and a shot at equal opportunities, in life. Specifically, that means targeting big businesses with an antitrust reform to distribute their market share to future generations, and big government with tax reform to reduce its size, with both reforms designed to fund a cooperative family planning system that maximizes investments in future children, through a variety of mechanisms like delay and relocation incentives, early childhood development programming, and heavy investments in international family planning systems.
Unless the Green New Deal integrates and addresses the source of the problem, it is neither Green nor New. Including family planning reform would integrate the Deal with the overarching and universal human rights regime from which it should derive, a regime that itself derives from the fundamental human right – the right to a fair start in life.
Tweet Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise Movement, urging them to include sustainable family planning in the Green New Deal. Copy/paste below into a Tweet.
.@aoc @sunrisemvmt the #GreenNewDeal won’t succeed without a plan to reform #familyplanning to encourage smaller, more sustainable families. It’s the most effective way to reduce inequality AND climate impact. https://havingkids.org/whats-missing-green-new-deal/