There’s just one problem. The entire critique can be summarized as follows: Long-term and short-term savings are not the same thing. Yes, that’s true – so what? How would that fact undercut policy prescriptions, which generally use both? Is this article advocating being shortsighted?
At the end, the author reveals a bit more about why she’d want to critique those studies and the idea of promoting smaller families: Making the shift to smaller families would mean fewer workers in the future, would rob kids of the benefit of many siblings, invite immigration in the future to add to the labor force. What would promoting smaller families mean about how we value children? The author values economic growth driven by using future children as cheap labor over protecting the environment and restoring nature, values the aesthetic of large families (even though studies have debunked the claim that kids fare better with many siblings), does not value immigrants, and values the act of having kids, which is not the same as valuing children. To truly value children, we must ensure they are only born in situations that give them the resources they need to have a safe and healthy future.
By launching an attack on the science that shows smaller families are perhaps the best way to respond to climate change, the author declares her position. Yes, policy choices, in the end, come down to values. At Having Kids, we value ensuring that all children are born into a basic level of well being and are given a fair start; that all children can enjoy the natural world and live in a true democracy. Those values, together, support a child-first Fair Start family planning model. Learn more here.