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Writing in The Hill, Benzel and Kotlikoff may be correct that the U.S. is seeing its last days as an economic superpower, relative to China and India. But as the climate crisis deepens now is a great time to assess the costs and benefits of chest-thumping nations trying to outdo one another.

The alternative is the international law regime set up after World War 2, the one designed to prevent nations dominating one another. That regime is just missing one piece: A just system of family policies that would prohibit the growth, and exploitation of future generations, the Benzel and Kotlikoff article highlights.

A just families system would replace growth-based national dominance with the goal of ensuring equitable families that raise children consistent with the Children’s Convention. That would move us away from a superpower, and towards the ideal of human rights: Sustainable and participatory democracies composed of people who truly have equal opportunities to thrive. Rather than vie for supremacy, we should urge the United Nations to do its job and help change family systems to create that future.

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