'One Billion Americans' Review, Matthew Yglesias' Bold Vision for a Bigger, Family-Centric America

Explore Matthew Yglesias' "One Billion Americans," where he argues for expanding family-friendly policies to boost national growth and stability.

'One Billion Americans' Review, Matthew Yglesias' Bold Vision for a Bigger, Family-Centric America
Photo by Samuel Branch / Unsplash

In his thought-provoking book, "One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger," Matthew Yglesias makes a compelling argument for a more robust and family-focused America. Yglesias doesn’t just present problems; he offers refreshing, innovative solutions that challenge our current political and social frameworks, specifically those undermining family growth and stability.

Yglesias underscores the critical lack of child care support, pointing out the unaffordability that deters many from starting families. This systemic issue is compounded by the astronomical costs of higher education, which burden prospective parents already struggling with their student debts. Further highlighting the challenges, he notes the adverse effects of our welfare policies, which often penalize marriage and stability in low-income families, leaving a significant portion of American children—over 20%—living in poverty, with distressing numbers experiencing homelessness.

Moreover, Yglesias discusses the absence of policies that support family unity and well-being, such as the European models of child allowances and guaranteed family vacations. He also advocates for universal Pre-K and daycare, which could drastically improve the educational outcomes for children from all backgrounds. Not stopping at education, Yglesias criticizes the outdated structure of our school system and the part-time nature of K-12 education, which places unnecessary burdens on families.

On the topic of immigration, Yglesias proposes a rational, structured approach to integrating immigrants into society, suggesting a system that not only helps fulfill legal requirements but also incentivizes new immigrants to settle in less populated areas, potentially revitalizing these communities.

"One Billion Americans" is a manifesto for massive societal change, aimed at reinvigorating America’s global standing through policies that foster family growth and integration. Yglesias’ work is timely and offers a clear-eyed look at how we can collectively build a more inclusive and prosperous future.

One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger

What would actually make America great: more people. 
If the most challenging crisis in living memory has shown us anything, it’s that America has lost the will and the means to lead. We can’t compete with the huge population clusters of the global marketplace by keeping our population static or letting it diminish, or with our crumbling transit and unaffordable housing. The winner in the future world is going to have more—more ideas, more ambition, more utilization of resources, more people. 

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