Chuck Schumer has made an intriguing comment.
Schumer: "We have a population that is not reproducing on its own with the same level that it used to. The only way we’re going to have a great future is if we welcome immigrants… get a path to citizenship for all 11 million [illegal immigrants].”
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 16, 2022
It’s great that Schumer has noted falling birthrates and said that it’s a problem serious enough to warrant a policy response. This isn’t a popular view, especially on his side of the aisle. Paul Krugman says worries about low birthrates are just racist or dominionist or something.
The other ubiquitous response whenever one mentions falling birthrates is why are you trying to oppress women and control their bodies?!
Schumer is sticking his neck out by acknowledging the downsides to a falling birthrate, but he’s correct. Demographics are already shrinking the workforce as baby boomers enter retirement. Our current baby bust began in 2008, and so each year, starting next year, the cohort entering “ working age ” will be smaller than the year before.
In trying to address this problem, though, I hope Schumer, who is returning as the Senate majority leader, will consider all sorts of policies. Immigrants are great for America, but some policies to “welcome immigrants” probably reduce birthrates by driving down wages and reducing the number of men who appear capable of raising families.
Schumer hopefully will broaden the range of policy solutions he is considering to address our demographic problems. He certainly starts off with a handicap, which is that his party holds dearly to many anti-natal positions.
Democrats are dedicated to subsidizing abortion, for instance, which is not pro-natal. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), for instance, wants to shut down crisis pregnancy centers that help at-risk mothers keep their babies and feed and care for them or else to put them up for adoption. President Joe Biden goes around telling women not even to date seriously until age 30.