A crowd of people rushing in a subway station

The US population is more than 300 million currently. What would change if that number topped 1 billion?

Credit:

Mark Lennihan/AP 

The pandemic has caused a steep economic decline in the US.

But many experts worried we were already in trouble before the coronavirus because of the rise of economic powerhouses with huge populations, such as China and India. That has also been a concern of Matthew Yglesias who has a radical solution for our economic woes: take the current US population and triple it in the decades to come.

Yglesias, the co-founder of Vox and the author of “One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger,” walks us through his progressive proposals, which he argues are far from fantastical. 

Three takeaways:

  • President Donald Trump may have urged his supporters to "Make America Great Again,” but Yglesias’ ideas for sustaining America’s dominance on the world stage are pretty different from the president’s. Instead of limiting immigration, as the Trump administration has, Yglesias believes we should “recruit as many smart, skilled immigrants to our shores as we possibly can.” He also supports reform efforts that would provide millions of undocumented immigrants with a pathway to obtaining legal status.
  • Besides welcoming in vastly more immigrants, Yglesias calls for family-friendly government policies which he says would encourage Americans to have more children. For example, he points to the American Family Act, supported by Democrats, which proposes a new tax credit that would give families with children under the age of 6 a stipend of $300 a month, per child, and also increase the credit for children under 17. 
  • Yglesias says we should be especially worried about China’s growing economic influence and purchasing power because the Communist country’s values and standards do not align with our own. He points to the impact that Chinese censors have had on the global content of movies produced by Hollywood, as one example.

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