Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) believes capitalism is the root of all evil and socialism is the solution to all problems. Apparently, she is quite ignorant when it comes to modern world history.
In her latest broadside against capitalism, the very economic system that has uplifted billions from abject poverty over the past two centuries, AOC says the decline in the U.S. birth rate (and in other countries) is due to the “burdens” of capitalism.
According to AOC, “There are quite a few countries that are really struggling because young people, under the burdens of capitalism and living in a society that is increasingly concentrating wealth among the rich, we’re not having kids. Or we’re not having kids at the same rate.”
She added, “And we actually need immigrant populations to help balance things out. We can’t continue to fund social security, Medicare, all of this stuff without immigrants. And it’s always been that way. Don’t act like this is some new trend or anything like that.”
As per usual, AOC is dead wrong.
Birth rates have been falling throughout the world over the past 60 years. There are many reasons for this, among them: more women are becoming educated and entering the workforce, there is more widespread access to contraception, the infant mortality rate is decreasing due to health care advancements, and raising children has become more expensive.
Of course, declining birth rates do not mean that the world population is shrinking; it simply means that the population explosion we’ve experienced over the past several centuries is just slowing down. Maybe that is good. Maybe that is bad. We don’t know, yet.
AOC offers zero evidence to support her contention that the “burdens of capitalism” (whatever that means) or increased inequality are the driving factors for the decline in the worldwide birth rate.
But, did it ever occur to her that the rhetoric she constantly espouses about the existential crisis of climate change is causing some people to not have children? After all, AOC has repeatedly claimed that the world will end in a few years if we do not radically alter our way of life, which includes disavowing capitalism, or else the planet will become uninhabitable.
As CNBC recently reported, the “movement to not have children owing to fears over climate change is growing and impacting fertility rates quicker than any preceding trend in the field of fertility decline.”
Lastly, AOC mentions that we need to address the potential crisis of an underfunded welfare state with more immigrants. That is one way to look at it. Another way is that we need to reform these programs so that they are sustainable over the long term via means testing, work requirements, and other possible answers. However, that would reduce the size and scope of government, which is something that AOC and her fellow socialists would absolutely never endorse.
PHOTO: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking to attendees at a rally for Bernie Sanders in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Photo by Matt Johnson. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).
Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is an editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute and a researcher and editor at StoppingSocialism.com.