Declining birth rates combined with xenophobia have inspired the rich and powerful to expand their unholy alliance with the religious right.
Billionaire Elon Musk tweeted, “population collapse due to low birth rates is a much bigger risk to civilization than global warming.” Are you f*cking kidding me? This kind of thinking has promoted the banning and criminalization of abortion.
In a world of global environmental destruction and resource depletion, the people who will suffer the most from population decline are billionaire capitalists who need an ample supply of impoverished workers to exploit – you know – filthy-rich individuals like Elon Musk.
Pronatalism is frightening
The policy of promoting human reproduction – aka pronatalism – relegates women to the position of breeders necessary to maintain a nation’s native population. This can be accomplished in two ways: providing incentives such as baby bonuses and tax breaks or restricting access to abortion and contraception – the carrot or the stick.
- China’s shift from their one-child policy to a three-child policy.
- Hungary’s benefit packages that include subsidized housing for single mothers, free child carriers, easily available nursery schools, and exempting women who have five or more children from paying income tax for life. (NOTE: Mussolini – the man who started fascism – gave a special badge to any woman who birthed five or more children. To be clear, Viktor Orban, the president of Hungary “doesn’t want just any children; he wants Hungarian children.”
- The reversal of abortion rights in the United States.
Proponents of pronatalism identify the economic necessity of maintaining a nation’s population. First and foremost is the concern that a declining population will correlate to a declining Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This in turn will result in the fall of American hegemony (global dominance). However, the promotion of pronatalism over immigration falls in line with the Great Replacement Theory, the racist conspiracy that minorities are attempting to displace Americans of European ancestry.
The anti-abortion agenda
Denying women control over their own body is part of a bigger plan by racist conservatives and capitalists. The religious right is merely a pawn in their scheme and a distraction from their agenda to restrict abortion, as pro-choice Americans are blaming the Bible Belt rather than the racists and capitalists who are pulling the strings.
This is phase two of the Republican Party’s Southern Strategy devised in the 1960s by Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater to convince southerners to abandon the Democratic Party by amping up their fear of their Black neighbors. It worked brilliantly; Southern whites abandoned the Democrats and became the new Republican base. The Civil Rights Movement solidified the move.
Donald Trump took the Southern Strategy to the next level with his Muslim ban, racist immigration policy, (his Eastern European in-laws were welcome), and reference to the marchers at Charlottesville as “very fine people.” Trump effectively divided the Republican Party into a small group of old-school, fiscal-conservatives and a larger group of MAGA racists and homophobes.
Promoting pronatalism over immigration to maintain the population of the United States is both racist and misogynist. It supports the religious right’s extreme position on abortion, when most Americans continue to support safe access to abortion and a woman’s right over her own body.
Population decline is a good thing
The whole concept of population decline being detrimental is bullshit. Joseph Chamie, the former Director of the United Nations Population Division has referred to the population decline hysteria as Ponzi demography. The idea that more and more children must be produced in order to save the economy by maintaining a young workforce to support an aging society is unsustainable. It is a pyramid scheme.
Our world of melting icecaps and the corresponding rise in sea levels will result in a loss of arable land to farm and millions of displaced people in low-lying geography like the Netherlands, Bangladesh, and Florida. “The World Bank estimates that by 2050 there will be 143 million additional climate migrants from Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.” Our planet does not need even more people to feed, house, and pretend to employ in a world becoming increasingly overrun by artificial intelligence (AI).
Conservatives are not pro-life
If conservatives truly cared about people, they would help the poor prosper via decent-paying jobs or universal basic income, affordable housing, quality daycare, adequate family leave, and decent medical care. They would generously fund education, regulate gun ownership, and prosecute individuals who use loopholes like “stand your ground” laws to assassinate Black people.
Old-school conservatives are pro-wealth, but just their own wealth. They still need workers and consumers to maintain their elite position in society. Thus, they try to convince the masses that tax cuts to the wealthy will “trickle down” to the ever-shrinking middle class and the ever-increasing underclass. Thanks, Ronald Reagan, for developing such a ludicrous theory! The wealthy only care about maintaining a class of “wage slaves” to exploit. Thanks, Karl Marx, for providing the correct terminology!
As Derek Thompson noted in his article “Why U.S. Population Growth Is Collapsing,” in The Atlantic, “Shrinking populations produce stagnant economies.” Hence, declining populations will hurt the capitalist class and their need for cheap labor and humans as cannon fodder.
Population decline in the United States is on the horizon
Between 2011 and 2017, the U.S. population increased by about 2 million people each year. In 2019, the U.S. birthrate hit its lowest level in 35 years. Marriage rates are at their lowest since 1900. Teen births have decreased, while births to women over 40 have increased.
The financial crisis of 2008 didn’t help, and the anticipated Covid “baby boom” turned out to be a “baby bust.” In 2020, the population only increased by 1.1 million, and in 2021, there was a mere 393,000-person increase in population.
According to the U.S. Census, “The year 2021 is the first time since 1937 that the U.S. population grew by fewer than one million people, featuring the lowest numeric growth since 1900, when the Census Bureau began annual population estimates.” The period between 1918 and 1919 came in second for population decline due to the First World War and the Spanish Flu pandemic.
Negative population growth in the U.S. is on the horizon. Despite Americans living longer and fewer people dying young, the declining birth rates and bans on immigration in the U.S. are taking a toll. Replacement population requires each woman to give birth to 2.1 children, which in theory replaces herself along with her partner and allows for some child mortality. In the U.S., replacement is not happening. Since the 1980s, immigration to the U.S. averaged around one-million people annually. However, in 2021, immigration was down to 250,000.
The world in 2100
According to Google, the global population at the start of 2023 is close to 8 billion and the U.S. population is just under 332 million, but as this century progresses, big changes are forecasted. According to experts, the global population will peak in 2064 at 9.7 billion, then decline to 8.8 billion by 2100. By the end of the century, 183 out of 195 nations will experience population declines. Japan, Thailand, Italy, Spain, and 19 other nations will shrink in half, while China and 33 other countries are expected to lose 25% of their population.
However, not all nations are projected to experience a decline in population. Sub-Saharan nations in Africa are expected to triple in population from a current 1.03 billion to 3.07 billion in 2100. North Africa and the Middle East will also endure a population increase, but not at the level anticipated in Sub-Saharan Africa. By 2100, there will be twice as many people over age 80 in the world than people under age 5.
What is to be done with a declining population?
There are two solutions to maintaining a robust economy amidst declining birth rates: promote immigration or increase birthrates via financial benefits or forced pregnancies. Autocratic and xenophobic Hungary is offering incentives. Autocratic and immoral Russia is kidnapping Ukrainian children. Progressive and sane Sweden is allowing immigration. Wannabe autocratic United States is attempting to prohibit all abortions by playing the pro-life religion card. Whereas, Japan – another notoriously xenophobic country – is choosing robots over immigrants.
The only legitimate problem concerning population decline is support for the aged population. According to Frank Gotmark, et al., in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution, the challenges of dealing with an aging population, including worker shortages, retirement income, and medical care are “manageable and over-stated.” The so-called “dependency ratio” of working adults supporting retired individuals can vary according to time and place. In addition, with the rise of AI, many jobs will be obsolete and less workers will be needed. It becomes a matter of financial reallocation, wherein the billionaire hoarders of wealth must finally share their riches for the survival of all.
Aside from medical costs, older individuals require less resources than younger adults when it comes to food, clothing, housing, entertainment, etc. The belief that an expanding population is essential to maintain the lifestyle of the existing population is nonsense at best and environmentally dangerous at worst. By adopting the pronatalist plan, societal “aging is not avoided but merely deferred.” At some point, the cycle of expanding human reproduction must be stopped – ideally before all our world’s resources are extinguished.
The pronatalists are right to be nervous. The other historical example of major population decline was the Black Plague aka Black Death in the mid-1300s. In Europe and the Near East, between one-third and one-half of the population died. This massive decline in the workforce hastened the end of feudalism, wherein serfs were tied to land and exploited by the landed nobility. Following the plague, there was a pronounced shortage of workers, who in turn demanded higher wages. As Marx and Engels would tell you, capitalism depends on a “reserve army of labor” to keep wages low so that capitalists can prosper. With high unemployment, the bourgeoisie owners of production can get away with paying low wages. So yes, Elon Musk is right to be worried, as is his fellow pronatalist, Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire owner of the Alibaba Group.
The pronatalists are dead wrong in their belief that global underpopulation is a problem. Blocking immigration, while forcing reproduction, is racist and misogynist at its core. This policy spawns from the Great Replacement Theory and seeks to weaken the status of women by denying access to abortion and forcing unwanted pregnancies.
(C) Joyce O’Day 2023. All Rights Reserved.
AI was NOT used in the creation of this article.
2 thoughts on “Is the Abortion Ban a Plan to Increase the U.S. Population?”
Loved reading this
[Result-start] Great article on population decline and pronatalism. It raises important points about the policies promoting human reproduction and eliminating abortion rights as racist and misogynistic. The declining population is not a problem, and the focus should be on financial benefits, affordable housing, quality daycare, and medical care for the poor. The wealthy should share their riches for the survival of all. [Result-end]
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