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The Future is Growth!
Updated: Dec 13, 2021
To meet the future we need to grow. I just became aware of a book called 'One Billion Americans' by Matthew Yglesias. The United States needs to be bolder about the future is his thesis. That is what AJF is about having a vision for America that is bold and supports the people of this great country. Unless we envision creating something fantastic here in an ethical supportive manner then we will not meet our destiny.
The author makes the assertion that to keep American dominance in the world we must accept more migration and find other inventive ways to increase our population.
"We should have a billion Americans for two big reasons. One is that in a globe of international competition, it’s good to be a big country as well as a wealthy country. And the United States has historically benefited from having a large population relative to a lot of its competitors. And then the other reason we should have a billion Americans is that it will make this country a better place. The steps we need to take to get there will improve the country and make us richer as well as larger."
America has a policy where we let people from other countries study here and get degrees but then when they graduate we make them go back. We should have a policy that if you get a degree here you get to stay.
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What do we need to build? We need to build technology, we need to build future cities, we need to build future energy, we need to build future transportation. Currently with our population 47% of our country remains unoccupied. There are 144 countries more population dense than the United States. His case for having one billion Americans is not only do we have the space with this vast nation but that the US is a place with a mindset of inclusion. We also are the biggest nation to lead the world in peace and prosperity. If we welcome more people here then we will incorporate others into that mind set.
He talks about the threat from countries like China, Russia and Iran. When talking about China his argument is that if we had a bigger market (more people) we would have more leverage. The fact that we set regulations is a good thing. We set ethical perimeters that other companies and countries have to meet. Because we are a global market and China has the largest population means they get to set the terms for selling to their people. We have to go along with those terms if we want that market. If we had more people we could compete with that market and not be dependent on them.
He also talks about how with a growing population we would need to spread out people to places all over America. To do that we would need to decentralize companies, government agencies and work in general. We can do this by making our government not have agencies just in DC. We can do this by making internet available throughout the country, in rural areas and cities alike. We can do this by investing in rural communities though universal basic income. We can attract immigrants to certain cites though our visa programs instead of toward companies.
We need to live up to American ideals. Right now we are not leading the world in any quantitative way. We are more polarized and divided. Our freedom of press is diminished with local papers closed down all over the country. We are not creating enough jobs and not welcoming enough people to support our way of life. Wealth is correlating at the top and cutting the bottom sixty percent off from upward mobility. These issues need to be solved so that we can set an example to the world that our system of capitalism and governance is correct. That way countries don't win in the argument that theirs are better with forms of oligarchy and or communism.
Right now certain studies show that not even 500 thousand people would want to come to America. We are not leading the world or showing that we have the best economy or outcomes for our population. Some of that is health care. There are many countries that have better health care we pay twice as much for worse results. That also could be amplified by our response to immigrants in the last several years. We need to be more welcoming and show that we can help people be successful.
Any problem we face in the future can be solved with more people. Throwing intellectual capital at the problem can solve climate change, can solve poverty and job growth. Immigrants started 40% of business in certain states. Our population likes to go to places that are more integrated. To win our future, simply we need more people.
One is just philosophically, is more people better, or not? But I think a universe of seven really happy people all being treated really fairly, is worse than a thriving planet of 7 billion, even if some of those 7 billion people are living in worse conditions than what existed in the seven.